For some time, I’ve been bemoaning the fact that there aren’t really that many good — or even decent — mobile MMOs out there. Oh sure, there scads of skeezy menu-based titles and the World of Warcraft-lite Order & Chaos, but nothing that’s sat right with me as both a real MMO in its own right and a title that’s quite playable on a smartphone.
I’ve tried all three of Spacetime Studios’ previous titles — Pocket Legends, Star Legends, and Dark Legends — but none of them stuck with me at all. So color me surprised (that’s bluish-pink in the Crayola spectrum) that I’ve taken a shine to its newest MMO, Arcane Legends. The maddening thing is that it’s hard to say why this is more “sticky” than the other games for me.
Arcane Legends is essentially the next iteration of Pocket Legends, only with humans instead of humanoid animals plus a pet system. Think of a very Diablo-lite style of gameplay (main attack button mashing + the occasional special attacks and potions) in a world broken up by instances, where other players can come and go alongside of you as they please. You go on quests, smash barrels, level up, gear out, and gradually open up the world.
What strikes me as compelling about Arcane Legends is that it seems far more polished and engaging than its predecessors. Less confusing, too. It’s easy to see where I’m going, as the camera’s not swiveling about all the time. Combat is silky smooth and occasionally tactically challenging. You not only choose skills at level up, but can customize those skills in various ways. You can unlock and level up pets who fight alongside of you and give you special bonuses. There are daily rewards just for logging in (sort of like a loyalty program that you find in F2P MMOs). And it’s a breeze to pop in and out.
Even the art style is a notch above. It’s very colorful and stylish, although there’s a hint of a harder, less “kiddie” world among it all. My character is a scarred, bald warrior who totes around a weapon bigger than he is, and I dig the visceral feel of swinging that puppy around. Well, not my actual puppy — he wouldn’t take kindly to that.
I was pretty impressed last night as I discovered that the bard in the tavern offers a special daily quest. These are short solo instances where he sings if your great deeds as you perform them, and afterward he gives you a special currency that can be horded for better gear.
I don’t know where/when the F2P wall is at this point. There’s a strong push to buy elixirs and treasure chests in the store, which makes me hope that this is where Spacetime expects to get most of its money (instead of making us pay to unlock world content). I have noticed that the game occasionally rewards me with store currency as I play, which is a very nice touch indeed.
So I’m just a few days into playing this, but wanted to pass along at least a cursory recommendation to check it out.