Hey everyone, so after a bit more experience with the game here's what I found to shine in the game in its features and what the game has to offer.
Tree of Savior is a big hit so far just off its Closed Betas, meaning when it's opened and released it's safe to assume it's probably going to be that much bigger. Closed Beta isn't really conclusive of everything the game has but really what it's showing what its got so far is pretty solid for its base design. The game has very good strong gameplay foundations with mechanics, freedom of choice, permanence, party play elements, and that actual MMORPG feel.
Art by Maggi An Jeong Won, Art Director of Tree of Savior.
What do I mean by the actual MMORPG feel? I feel like I'm actually playing a massively multiplayer game with hundreds or thousands of people rather than a small groups of 4-8 people like most other MMOs these days in barely populated maps. While the maps are fitted in zones just like Ragnarok Online, each map is pretty large and offers a numerous amount of monsters, subquests, bosses, treasures and events. This is a shot taken a few hours after maintenance from the day before.
I can say the game has a very good foundation for future content and it'd be pretty hard for the developers to screw it up unless they overhaul the entire game and revamp it into something completely different. The game itself has only ~25 or so classes unleashed out of the 80 classes and only 200 levels out of the 600 levels. So there are still about approximately 12 extra unknown advancement classes of the 4 base classes; Warrior, Cleric, Archer and Wizard.
As usual video is at the bottom.
The greatest things that shined for me within Tree of Savior are these elements:
Unique Classes and Freedom & Permanence to Character Growth & Creation.
A LOT of Bosses
Synergistic Skill system between all if not, most of the Classes.
Intense Encouragement for Party Play while Solo play still not hindered.
Good pace of progression
Before I go into each of these elements here's a bit about the story. You play a generic Revelator in the game that's been called down by the goddess to chase after some artifacts and fulfill some prophecy(could be a bit off but that's what I understood from playing), there's many cutscenes throughout the game and a lot of backstabbing from other NPCs and monsters.
Nonetheless it's hard to miss what's going on in the story since you'll come across many many cutscenes that either turn into Boss Fights, or defend some objective, or lead an NPC through an entire area(like the Mage Tower... that place was horrible) and various other things. There's also item collection sets that can be found throughout the world to help give your character permanent boosts so even completing the story will help progress your character in growth. Some collection sets will be given from the Main Quest line others are just simply found elsewhere.
The game has a massive world for you to run around in, while it's not completely connected in one seamless map, it is marked in zones like Ragnarok. Most of the exploration elements involve finding treasure chests which you'll probably run by a lot of them if you don't bother looking around or finding NPCs or hidden bosses behind trees or bushes. By the time you reach say... Nefritas Cliff(Lvl35) you should've encountered possibly 6-10 chests already, 3 of which contain a Novice accessory set and the rest containing equipment or gems and recipes from the other areas. I know a lot of players who just missed them entirely. The novice bangle is literally behind where your new character starts but the game prompts you to run forward making you easily missing it unless you're an explorer of types. Tree of Savior doesn't treat you like some watered down MMO, there are small nuances like this that make the experience that much more enjoyable.
Discovering treasure chests is not something required it is a small bonus you can pick up along the way. Some of the hat costumes are obtained only this way as well or weapons like the 2-Handed Sword Collecture can only be found in a chest, not by any monster drop or boss drop or quest reward which in turn can be crafted into a Flamini if the other chest is found further down your journey. These chests I mention aren't random they are in set locations and instanced to each player uniquely, so each of your characters can find it.
You can of course always spoil your fun and just look up guides and pictures of where they are exactly but if you're more into just discovering things on your own then do look around everywhere!
This is only the lower 1/3rd of the world map.
NPCs also aren't marked on your map until you speak with them for the first time, so you can also miss out on a lot of subquests if you're just gunning through the main story quest line. You have to look around. I see so many players(probably casuals) saying the game is so grindy at level 29 as an example. Good grief, I didn't even grind until Level 134 and I didn't even look at guides. It really is not that hard. If you're stuck in an area grinding monsters to level up you either missed a lot of quests in another area, or you should be going to a dungeon and partying with people to level on monsters that give about 10-20x the amount of experience per kill.
Sometimes chatting with some NPCs multiple times like a wandering golem in one of the level 100+ forests pisses it off and it'll summon a Golem boss to fight you in a hallway-like area between some cliffs.
Other times you'll have to talk/interact with sign posts to get another quest that you can do much much later(like the signpost recruitment quest with Knight Titas at the beginning for a level 130 area, you can obtain that quest at level 1).
Some of them do grant permanent boosts to your character's stats upon completion, such as more carry weight, stamina, or permanent status points. There's even a few where you can break a training dummy in one of the classes advancement profession offices to get another quest to repair the training dummy, that's only if you feel like attacking a dummy object for about 2-3 minutes but you wouldn't know to do that unless someone told you or if you just tried messing around and noticed it had an HP bar decreasing.
Other maps like the Royal Mausoleum Chapel don't have any quests at all or the Royal Legwyn Family Residence area, those maps are more like a "map event" area. They consist of multiple floors and generally a Statue of Zemyna somewhere within along with treasure chests that contain equipment or special items that appear there every few days. They also contain bosses and huge army waves of monsters during certain events and times of the day.
Statues of Zemyna grant you a permanent status point upon first time worshipping, they're found everywhere throughout the game world. Do not miss them and I highly suggest seeking them out. Some like Zubeck's Secret moves is just a piece of paper on the floor, consuming/reading it gives you a stat point too, easily missed if you're just running by without paying attention.
Unique Classes and Freedom & Permanence to Character growth and Creation.
Tree of Savior offers many multiple ways to play making everyone similarly or vastly different from one another. It'll be very hard to find a carbon copy of your own build vs. what someone else is doing. I would say only a FEW of the advancement classes don't work well with certain advancement paths(my psychokino & wizard2 for instance was a horrible idea that I didn't think out very well).
Most of your character creation, status point allotment and advancement paths will be unique from one to the next between each player. As you reach further class advancements more and more classes open up.
One Wizard could be spouting fire and ice all over the place if they went with a Cryomancer/Pyromancer advancement while the other like myself could be enlarging players' arms and heads and swelling monsters causing more overall damage output and double exp/drop rate gain from enemy debuffs and resurrecting mobs for them to be killed again as a Thaumaturge/Chronomancer.
What's unique though is the roles Tree of Savior offers per class.
Each class has 3 advancement ranks(some call them just classname#, Circle 1 2 3, rank 1 2 3) unlocking new skills with each advancement rank if you choose to advance into the same path. However advancing into other classes splits your specialization and offering different synergies or effects or roles.
Early advancements don't have too many choices but by the 6th advancement there is a lot of diversity and choice for players to make. Don't forget the consideration of an extra 12 advancement classes per class since later content will reach level 600 and possibly 15-20 class advancements.
Classes are sorted into 4 roles so far, I don't know if there'll be another kind later. 3 are pretty traditional of what you'll know as: DPS, Tank and Support.
DPS Classes(Damage per second) are often signified with Red icons, these classes generally offer more offense and attack skills/buffs associated with them. Barbarian, Monk, Pyromancers and Elementalists are a few examples.
Tank/Defensive classes are indicated with Blue icons, they're more catered towards guarding another player, or causing more aggression to hit them than other players along with crowd control effects at the frontline. Cryomancer or a Peltasta are good examples.
Support/Utility classes are regarded with Green icons, these classes are aimed towards making players stronger in general, buffs, healing, removal, extra help with grinding etc. Some great examples are Thaumaturge, Krivis, Priests, and a Corsair.
Now the fourth one is weird, I consider them as a heavy utility or community class. Meaning they don't have very much associated with combat skills or tank or the previous rest. They generally involve creation or silver income and stuff that just helps the community in general rather than having to always visit the NPC to do repairs and the like.
These Utility Heavy/Community classes are regarded with a golden class icon and I'll just say they have weirdo skills which make the gameplay very interesting. Seriously!
I'll go into more detail on the golden classes since I don't come across such roles or classes in any other MMO I can ever recall.
Squires for instance from the Warrior branch of classes, has 1 skill known as Arrest which binds an enemy down to the ground channeled(think BatRider's ult from DotA2 if you know what DotA2 is), and it works on BOSSES. Most other classes don't have skills that affect boss on such a huge element such as binding movement for a crazy 10 SECONDS.
But that's just one, the other skills the Squires have is Repair, Weapon Maintenance, Armor Maintenance just off its first rank. Second rank you can open up a refreshment shop and make people sandwiches N drinks... LOL. I'm sure the buffs from those will be extremely useful in later content.
These other skills let a Squire open shop wherever they want in the world, and as long as they have the tools, they can charge other players a small fee or whatever fee they prefer to repair their equipment(say outside of a dungeon entrance for instance so you don't have to go back to town), or give temporary weapon buffs for x number of hits or armor buffs that grant extra defense bonuses or accuracy traits etc. Why would you pay someone else to do this also?
NPCs can't perform ANY of these except probably repair but even repair has extra benefits coming from a Squire vs. an NPC. A Squire can over-repair past the durability maximum which is highly useful for dungeon runs since multiple deaths drop durability of equipment very quickly and you also help someone else out(assuming they're not charging ridiculous fees) rather than have your money be disintegrated into the NPC's pocket.
Alchemists from the Wizard branch of classes can gem roast, make potions, awaken items. Gem roasting REMOVES the negative effects a gem has, it's very costly I've never seen anyone charge very little for it probably because the tool kits to serve the shop are expensive, but that is a massive bonus when you have higher level gems. For example, a gem reducing Critical Attack by 20 for a bonus 15 critical rate. Removing that means you suddenly do a lot more critical damage than before while still sustaining the bonus critical chance rate, the gem roasting effects are permanent.
Item awakening grants special effects to a piece of equipment, some can be overpowered awakenings like granting a sword 30 DEX or something. That's the equivalent of 30 levels with stats placed into DEX. Might be a rare roll but I don't know too much about how awakenings roll all I know is that its beneficial.
But that isn't all, while most of these classes described sound like money makers and community classes some are ... sort of combat too!
Sorcerers for instance get a Grimoire, what can you do with a Grimoire? Well if you put a boss card in it you can summon a BOSS to help you fight as an ally. You can also get more boss cards from Card Battling people and taking their cards, or buying them from people via trade... or kill bosses and hope they drop it. But think of Sorcerers as a boss Summoner class. They have minor summons too but seeing giant boss monsters you've fought in the past fighting alongside you is pretty overwhelming and welcome.
Clerics have the Pardoner class or the Dievdirby to make temporary Goddess statues allowing you to warp from wherever they made the statue being 1 of the 4 skills they have initially...(PRETTY INSANE), Pardoners can draft their skills(their level & attribute bonuses) onto a scroll and sell them to others for profit(Skills like Daino are sooo useful; increases buff limit beyond base 5.) later on. Priests also have buff vending machine shops too!
So in short, consider the Golden Icon classes more of a utility/community/creation-type-like class.
What's more is you can have your alt of a Squire/Alch/Pardoner or whatever class have their shop open logged into the game while you're playing on another character on the same account. So making multiple accounts for this sort of thing is really pointless you'd have more of a hassle than actual benefit.
Don't forget this is only the currently known ~25 classes or so out of 80!
One thing I'd like to mention is the freedom of all these choices you can take for a character growth path, the permanence may sound contradictory to freedom but I feel Tree of Savior makes that solid in concept and practice.
I wouldn't want to know others can just freely re-roll their class advancements and stats and skills willy nilly, if they did it'd destroy any kind of uniqueness to your character between everyone else. While stats and skills can be reset(from monetary purchases probably from cash shop), your advancement is permanent.
SO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ADVANCING INTO. The advancement table has its initial skills listed when you can advance and if you mouse over the skills they tell you what they have and generally what role that advancement generally plays as.
Give your character development some thought, if it was free re-roll everywhere why even bother, I hate RPG games that allow re-roll or class specialization re-rolls with little to no permanence in choices. If people screw it up even with all the information displayed that's their own fault for not thinking through what works with what like my experience with making a Wiz2 & Psychokino. If it's a specialization it shouldn't be allowed to be re-rolled into something else because that just defeats the purpose and the term specialization altogether.
If you need minimal demonstration of skills or see paths and advancements go visit http://www.tosbase.com/tools/skill-simulator/
There you can check out skills, their attributes and videos that quickly demonstrate the skill for most classes. Some you won't know the effects until you practice it in game as it is hard to just depict in a video casting it on the air.
A LOT of Bosses.
In Tree of Savior by about level 100 or so the game will offer you encounters with at least 50-60 bosses by that time. A few recycled but most unique and in multiple areas. They all have different weaknesses to certain elements and others, strengths against certain attacks instead. When I fight a ghost boss like Chapparition for instance I can drop him as a Wizard in about 15 seconds but for a boss like a giant lizard Molich or strange tree creature Bramble it'd take about 3-4 minutes instead or longer as the same class, unless I'm a Warrior then flip that around.
A lot of the bosses you encounter are part of subquests, the main quests will have special unique bosses that you'll come across once or twice, like Gesti or Helgasercle or Bramble. Subquest bosses like Golem or Yonazolem for instance you might run across 2-3 times throughout the world in different areas at different levels. I hate Archon and Bearkaras...
Each boss fight isn't really stale either, you can of course sit there but you'll succumb to all the annoying traps they'll spawn near you, fire traps are especially dangerous since they spike a high amount of damage and causes knockdown and if you get knocked into the other traps you just suffer a chain reaction of damage which may end up killing you.
Most of the bosses early on are pretty easy to take on of course, but later on it gets worse, which is good! A challenge. Past level 100 or so bosses might start 1 shotting you depending on what class you are, it'll take your skills and awareness to not die in 1 shot me being a Thaumaturge Transpose is a great skill to increase my HP buffer to take a hit rather than get wiped in 1 attack.
If you're doing Boss Raids in the Mercenary Post expect to take on 2-3 bosses at a time all performing any kind of AoE some even are screen wipe AoEs which require you to jump over the shockwave or suffer ~9000 damage as depicted in the video below which even wiped out the tank on the footage.
Synergistic Skill System between all if not, most Classes.
What I want to outline here is that most of the skills in the game work together from one class to another. Some people play with their friends throughout their entire experience from level 1 to X. Some classes work more upon synergizing with every class like a Linker for example.
Linkers can tag enemies together with a special link(sorry for redundancy) causing them all to take the SAME amount of damage one linked target takes, so if you link 5 enemies, you hit 1, all 5 will take the same damage.
Yes it works like that, and then Linkers also have a bind/gather skill with it that can group them all up. So if you get the idea here, you get a Warrior-Highlander for instance, has a charged up Cartar Stroke, smash into that group of 5 enemies, the Warrior's AoE will hit all 5, 4 times since they're all sitting together. The Link, Joint Penalty skill, will distribute that damage 5 times again between all 5 targets(or however many you have linked). So it's like performing an attack 5 times over on each target while still suffering the 4x hit on the initial hit. That is so confusing even I'm having trouble writing this.
In short it's about 120 hits? Or 100. My math isn't too good these days... 20 from initial hit on 5 targets 4 times each and links will increase that by 100 extra hits spread between 5 targets on top of the initial smash of 4 hits per target.
You know what this animated picture of numbers should explain it all. Zaibas is a single target lightning circle and even with splash attribute it does not produce that many numbers without exhausting its number of hits. Linker OP against mass mob clearing!
While Linker is great for defeating multiple mobs it's very weak against bosses or single targets.
Other things and nuances like Pyromancer's Fireball can be smacked around with melee attacks to reposition them since they don't travel, low DPS roles or classes can assist with this while the rest still do damage and the support classes can keep the DoTs and immobile spells moving to targets that aren't sitting in one spot.
Cryomancer's Icewall and Pyromancer's Fireball can be blasted like a shotgun if you have a Psychokino perform psychic pressure on them which causes additional damage.
Archer's can deploy defense mechanisms if they went with a Quarrel Shooter to match with a cleric's defense safety zone. So you can sometimes just completely disregard defense or HP depending on your party composition if you just have perma blocks, Pavise blocks x number of ranged attacks, Safety Zone blocks x number of attacks. Place it together and you probably won't die from anything for a while unless you walk out of the safety areas.
Thaumaturge and Chronomancer can severely slow down an enemy with Swell Body and Slow put together, they'll be practically immobile with both afflicted.
There's a lot to experience, I dont' even know what the classes that can ride mounts/pets can do.
Intense Encouragement for Party Play while Solo play not hindered.
The game is vastly more enjoyable with partying. I can honestly say I've met 3-4 online friends on Tree of Savior light years faster than any other MMO I've ever played. I generally solo most games and talk very little in game which is why I don't make very many friends in other MMOs. Antisocial problems.
But partying in Tree of Savior makes the questing, the boss fighting, the speed at which you consume content goes so much faster, while keep you at a steady pace and not being under leveled with content due to party exp splits. It is amazing to say the least. Quests can be completed together on same objectives in killing, node gathering etc. even bossfights are encountered together.
If a party member is ahead of you in content they can still join you, but if you're ahead and the other is behind they won't be joining you in that content until they reach it.
Public parties are displayed very easily to the left of the screen and lit up while nearby closed parties are grayed but still displayed in your vicinity. Most people are within the same objective that you're doing if you're in one area and notice a nearby party that isn't full.
Dungeons are encountered at level intervals of 50, 90, 132,160, 175, 190, 200 etc. 100(raids), and so on, while a feature not known to everyone if you type /indun in normal chat it'll open a menu that shows you how many instances you've ran for the day.
Solo play isn't hindered at all and you can still get through much of the content by yourself, albeit it'll be slightly slower, not abysmally slower or on some grand scale. However dungeons would take incredibly long without a party so if you really don't like partying you might end up having to grind mobs instead which takes quite a bit longer. Leveling though is still at a fair pace if you don't like partying, but I just find that the system encourages partying much more than most other MMO's I've experienced, in terms of searching for one, finding one, and meeting others willing to party.
Good pace of Progression
Tree of Savior has a good progression pace. While I've read on their forums about people complaining about the game being too grindy which can be a concern to any who haven't played the game, I'll tell you it's not grindy at all. There are players whining about level 29 being too grindy which indicates to me they have no idea what they're doing or this is the first time they've ever played an MMO or they're straight up trolling. Seriously.
Level 29 can be accomplished in less than an hour averaging 1 level every 2 minutes almost. I don't know how much easier one would want the game to be considering there's going to be 600 levels in it. If you found the first 29 levels hard and grindy, you're going to just blast yourself in the face with stupidity when 600 is unlocked and hate yourself all the way there and most likely never make it there out of frustration.
In the video below near the end I even have timestamps on how long it took me to get to Class 4 Advancement with my Wizard which was approximately 22 hours which equated to my current level then being 128. Past that probably another 4-7 hours for Class Advancement rank 5. A day's worth of playing resulted in 128 levels, on one of the more DIFFICULT classes to play. Warriors have an easy life compared to every other class but I don't find them very interesting since it's just mindless mashing. Not to mention the very end where I saved up all these EXP cards and leveled 9 times in a span of a minute from 60-69. EXP Cards are granted from quest completions.
IF you're finding the game to be grindy at level 29 you should not play MMOs to be honest or any of this kind of material where it involves killing a high number of mobs(not even that high really about like 5-1000 mobs if you're just straight grinding and not doing quests; 5 being you find 5 blessed blue glowing mobs but 1000 is pretty fast when you can blow through 5-30 mobs every 5 seconds see video for party grinding at end montage where there's hordes of ghosts at about 32:50).
But enough of that rant about reading people complaining about levels being slow under 100.
The game has enough quests and bosses for you to run into for a continuous stream of EXP cards and content. I've only encountered a grinding block at about level ~104 for only a few levels which was solved by doing the level 90 Dungeon a few times.
Make sure you explore and talk to every NPC you come across, they will hold quests more often than not that you might miss, which will be a chunk of EXP missing from your progression which ultimately results in you wondering where to go and end up grinding pointlessly in particular areas.
Once you run out of quests which generally happens near dungeon levels go party with people and start discovering dungeons that you can do. The first one you'll come across is at level 50 just outside in the Tenet Garden. Run that 3-5 times and I'm sure you'll gain 5-7 levels, you don't need to be 50 to enter, even being at level 45 or 44 will suffice. Dungeon mobs give about 10-20x the amount of exp of their regular world counterpart of the same level and can only be entered x amount of times per day.
EXP Curves, this is something in Tree of Savior that will reset your maximum exp required to level to a certain amount. You may think levelling from 1-600 would take a lifetime if every level had a higher exp cap than previous but no. At level 45 to 46 the exp required to level from 45 to 46 is near forever compared to 46 to 47 which happens in the blink of an eye. The EXP curve resets at 46, so killing 2-3 monsters at that level will almost level you up, and then 47 is insanely fast too. Basically after reaching an EXP curve reset you'll level insanely fast for a short while before EXP requirements for another level start raising. EXP Curve resets occur at intervals of level 45-46, 85-86, ~136-137?, and 187 so far since the max level is only 200 currently.
Please check the video below, as screenshots don't depict it very well, where I run into the 85 EXP curve reset during demonstration of the Highlander branch from the Warrior Class.
That's all I got about the game for now, check out the video for footage regarding the Highlander3 Class and the Thaumaturge/Chronomancer classes.
Thanks so much for reading/watching!
As always comments are welcome, just keep it civil among each other is all I ask thanks!