Tree of Savior (ToS) English version commenced its first CBT on 5th Aug 2015. The CBT test is a relatively small scale one with only 5000 players. Take note that, the ToS Korean version is still in CBT 3 at this moment. It is pretty rare that the English version of the game goes into CBT phase at such an early development phase. However, this also means that English speaking audience will get to play the game in English very soon! Kudos to IMCgames!
I have not played the Korean version of the game before. So this is indeed my first time playing the game and the article will be my first impression of the game. First, the graphic of the game is very nice. The 2D sprites of characters, monsters and bosses ingame are very cute and reminds me of the old RPG which i used to play a lot. This is indeed the spiritual successor of the great Ragnarok Online (RO), more so than Ragnarok Online 2 itself. Fans of Ragnarok Online will definitely like the style and gameplay of ToS. This comes as no surprise as the game is created by Kim Hakkyu, the same man who made RO many years ago.
One can choose between one of the 3 methods for controlling the character: keyboard, mouse or joystick. I am using the keyboard movement control, with the arrow key to move the character around, with the various buttons on the left of the keyboard to cast skill in quickslot. It seems that the keybind of the quick slot cannot be altered in this CBT and i do hope that this will change in the upcoming CBT. With the mouse mode, you control the movement of your character with mouse click instead. However, some classes such as wizard and cleric might not be feasible with mouse click control due to the skill casting mechanics.
There are 4 basic classes to start with, namely Archer, Swordsman, Wizard and Cleric. When you reach the required job level, each class can choose between 2 advanced classes or you can continue on the current class for more advanced skills. For example, at job level 15, Cleric can choose between Priest and Krivis or continue to stay as a Cleric. Initially, as a cleric, you only have 4 basic skills: Heal, Cure, Safety Zone and Deprotected Zone. These are called Cleric Circle 1 skill. If you choose to stay as cleric at rank 2, you will get access to Cleric Circle 2 skill, namely Divine Might and Fade. Eventually, if you choose to stay as cleric again at rank 3, you will get to learn Cleric Circle 3 skill, Guardian Saint. There are up to 80 different classes in ToS.
This process goes on and on about every 15 class level. Each time you choose to job advance, the previous skills you learn are carried over. Each sub-classes has up to 3 Circle or depth which allows you to learn more advanced skills in the sub-classes. It is a very interesting class system which allows you to mix and match the various skills from different sub-classes to build your unique character.
Further customization of skills, so-called Attribute can be learned at the class Master NPC in town by spending in game gold. Some Attribute can be learned immediately while others requires some time to master it. Certain attributes requires the skills to be at higher levels and each Attribute can be leveled up too.
For example, Monstrance is a Priest skill, which creates a magic circle to booster allies' DEX and lower enemys' evasion & defence. The magic circle originally lasts for 20seconds. By learning the Attribute for Monstrance: Duration, one can extend by the duration of the magic circle by 1 sec per Attribute level. Some skills, for example, Blessing of Priest (attack buff), offers multiple Attributes, namely Blessing: Enhance (increase damage buff), Blessing: Number of Attacks (increase the hit count affected by the damage buff) & Blessing: Additional Buff (buff more targets).
The gearing system is very interesting as well. Aside from the generic enchanting of gear, one can also slot gems into the gear to increase stats. First, you will have to bring the gear to the blacksmith to make slots on it. There is a limit on how many slots can be made on the gear. There are various types of gems available for slotting. The effect of gem actually depends on the parts you are slotting it to. For example, the Yellow gem gives +6 critical attack & -3 accuracy when it is slotted to weapon; when it is slotted to boots, it gives Hp +5 & magic attack -2 instead. Each gems has an EXP bar and can be further leveled up by feeding other gems to it. Gems can be removed from old gears and be slotted again in better ones. Making slots and removing gems from slots requires in-game gold though.
Being the 1st CBT, ToS English does come with a fair share of bugs as well. The experience curve is pretty steep even at the lower level; you will need to spend much time grinding mobs to catch up with the quest. However, i believe the experience curve is not final since it is much easier to level up in the Korean version. Also, i don't like the fact that you need to pay each time you put things into the vault in town.
Being a priest, i would need to consume Holy Water each time i cast Aspersion (buff allies' defence) or consume Holy Powder every time i use Blessing (buff allies' damage), aside from the generic SP (MP) consumption. Both Holy Water and Holy Powder need to be purchased from NPC with gold. Not all classes have this type of consumable tied to their skills though; certain classes, such as sapper and priest do require extra consumable for skill casting, which i think is unnecessary and troublesome.
Overall, Tree of Savior is indeed a great game. The class system is very intricate and offers in-depth skill customization for each skills. I am looking forward to the next CBT.