Swords of Legends Online CBT First Impressions

So I know recently I said we wouldn’t be writing about other games for awhile on here but due to the lack of motivation to play PSO2 in its final two weeks prior to NGS launch, Ciki and I played Swords of Legends Online CBT1 and 2 quite extensively so today I’ll be writing a short (I promise lol) review of the game so far.

Overview:

Swords of Legends Online (SOLO) is a Chinese MMORPG developed by Wangyuan Shengtang Entertainment originally released in China back in July of 2019. The game is actually based off of a Wuxia TV series (古剑奇谭) that was quite popular in 2014. Like many other Chinese MMOs, SOLO has a ton of content catered to all kinds of audience whether you like PvE or PvP.

Localized in the west by Gameforge, the game utilizes the traditional trinity system (tank, DPS, and healer) with a half action combat mechanic. With it’s 6 classes on launch, and dual specialization of each class, there’s plenty of interesting features that will fit many playstyles.

The progression of the game seems to revolve around questing to level up to max level (“37” in CBT) and then actually get into doing “real” content.

Though we will not cover all of the game’s features, it is a game for all types of players. Whether you’re a casual gamer who enjoys socializing with others, or a hardcore player trying to aim for leaderboards, there is abundant content for everyone. 

Character Creation and Graphics

Coming from PSO2, I must say the character creation is lackluster. While there were a ton of sliders, it feels like most of them just make very minor adjustments that don’t really make me feel like I could make a character that looked unique. This may be because the developers wanted it to feel lore friendly with it’s immensely saturated fantasy Wuxia theme.

The graphics of the game are quite immersive and beautiful. The game currently runs off of Havok Vision Engine and will eventually be converted into UE4.

The developers did a very good job in making the world feel very lived-in and “alive” with abundant filler NPCs and foliage/landscape. As someone who has read some of these Wuxia light novels in the past, it really is breathtaking at times to see this fantasy world brought to life.

Gearing

There is no significant RNG in gear progression. You can enhance, socket, and attach talismans to your gear pieces that raise its stats. Everything completes with 100% chance and improvement of the gear is just gated by daily/weekly activities.

PvE gear is also separate from PvP gear. This is quite a nice change as you don’t have to farm up a set of PvE gear first before you grind out your PvP gear. The game’s PvP tutorial will award you a full set of PvP gear to get started with. 

Dungeons

Dungeons in SOLO feel very similar to Revelations Online, Tera, and many other trinity based MMOs. There’s a practice mode (for some dungeons) which you can complete solo just to see some of the bosses’ mechanics and then there’s a Normal and Hard mode available in the CBT. Normal feels easy once you have the minimum gear score requirement and hard requires a bit more coordination even when over the required gear score.

I do like the fact the game includes a codex for all the bosses that explains all of the mechanics of each boss. However, due to the current poor translation, and lack of any visual aid, you would still have to fight the boss to fully grasp what the codex is trying to tell you.

Dungeon participation size is anywhere from 5-10 people (1 to 2 parties). Since there is scaling, this offers a great deal of flexibility when forming parties or queueing into a PUG.

Endgame

Because the game has been released for a couple years in CN already, our localized version is already bloated with content to do at endgame. We didn’t even have a chance to experiment and try out everything during the CBT.

PvE: The bread and butter of gearing up in PvE revolves around dungeons. Hard mode versions of the dungeons may spawn a Hidden Boss at the end if the dungeon was completed under certain conditions. Completing all the main objectives (except hidden bosses) will guarantee an equipment box, while also having additional boxes as a potential drop from bosses.

There are many smaller factions where you can complete mob/boss killing on a daily/weekly basis to earn those faction currencies.

PvP: We didn’t really get a chance to fully try out the PvP that was offered in the CBT but there is a 3v3 and 5v5. There’s also a 10v10 and later on they plan to implement 100v100. Additionally, there are two factions you can join and participate in various PvP related events in the contested map zone.

Other: The remaining content is dubbed as “leisure” activities by the game. This includes life activities like fishing, playing a card game with NPCs, treasure hunting, as well as mini game events that open up during certain days/times. On top of all that, there’s a housing system that has extremely extensive customizations. Overall, a lot of thought was put into the game and its abundant random things to participate in.

Conclusion/thoughts

There were a lot of aspects of the game I did not talk about as I wanted to keep this post short. Gameforge promised the game would be B2P only with no aspects of P2W. So far, the premium currency shop only sells cosmetics that are untradeable. Since the original game was released in CN without any P2W features, I can only hope Gameforge will keep it that way.

Overall, I enjoyed my CBT and first experience in SOLO as the engaging gameplay between classes and breathtaking visuals really captivated me. However, I’m quite weary about the vast amount of dailies that must be completed to keep up with content and other players. Requiring a huge amount of time commitment will quickly ensure a possible burnout, especially if I already have another MMO on my plate.

Regardless, Ciki and I do plan on playing SOLO on release as long as it does not conflict with any major content update on NGS. If any of you guys have played the CBT, let us know in the comments or tweet @lucentreveries how your experience went!

-Aki

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