Weekend WoW and Spellborn

Very little gaming of consequence was done over the weekend. Mrs. Ardwulf and I did put a couple of hours into our characters, getting the Druids to level 18 and anbd establishing a new paring of Dwarves, Priest (she) and Hunter (me.) Both of these were characters we had laying around in the low teens – Saturday we just paired them up.

I also managed to get into the Chronicles of Spellborn, so I have some very initial thoughts on that. I only spent maybe half an hour playing, but it’s more than interesting enough to make me want to go back and dig further into it.

First of all, the world is artistically very lush, although the little tutorial starter area doesn’t much reflect that. The art style is fairly abstract, but it manages not to be abstract in a similar way to World of Warcraft. Between the visuals and the haunting voiceover at the beginning of the game, combined with the whole floating shards and etherships thing, I was reminded distinctly of Planescape, and that’s a good thing. The character models are not terribly compelling, but you do have a fair amount of customization available.

The controls are pretty radically diferent from most other MMOs, since attacks are aimed. I am very much stuck in my ways when it comes to control schemes, and I hate learning new ones, so I was a little surprised that I got the hang of this as quickly as I did, and not only that, but the combat struck me as really fluid and fun. I liked it well enough that I made a new character to specialize in physical combat, the original having been a mage.

I’ve only scratched the surface so far, but Spellborn certainly appears to be worth at least a look. The fact that the early levels are going to be free ensures the permanent presence of a de facto free trial right from the start, which is a pretty good way to approach things in comparison to the more typical practice of holding off for a year or two before offering one.

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