Thursday, March 25, 2021

Stingite Unleashed -- Bless my Soul

 A few days ago I was reading through the feed over on MassivelyOP and found an article about an MMO that hadn't hit PCs yet, and that MMO is Bless Unleashed. So I thought to myself, "Self, we has a PS4 ya? YA! Self, shall we download? YA!"

I went to the PS4 and lo and behold it's a free to play MMO just waiting to be downloaded. Cool!  I downloaded it over lunchtime and then finally came back to it late in the evening.

Character creation was less than impressive, but the graphics were pretty great for my standards -- look I played Project Gorgon for a year, I have low standards. Bless Unleash has amazing graphics as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, you don't really get to choose minor details of your face and classes and races come bundled together (at least for the Beserker), so the customization of your character is a bit lacking. That said, I created a pretty sick looking version of Stingite and began following the main quest line.

Stingite the Beserker at your service

Apparently I'm a Varg, which is a race of wolf people. The in-game lore doesn't seem to give a lot of details other than Varg are pretty agile and come from the forest . . . also that I'm peaceful unless provoked.  I can get with that.

The controls for attacking took a bit to get used to, but I suppose that's my problem. I don't typically play with controllers . . . I'm a WASD warrior of the keyboard clan, so it was a little weird pressing Left 1 and then pairing that with the main buttons of the controller to attack. It took me another 15 minutes to realize that Right 1 and 2 were my standard attacks, so I was killing stuff with opening moves only and thinking WTF is going on with this game.

It's not too hard to follow on the main quest line so far. The mini-map puts a big blue shield over the main quest givers, a beacon shining in the sky, and a blue trail of sparklies to lead you to your objective.  Nice and easy.

It took me another 15 minutes to realize pressing the left joystick down makes you run.

When you're playing a free-to-play MMO, it feels like the whole time you're just wondering in the back of your head . . . ok, game . . . when are you going to show your ugly monetization head.  It's just how it works.  Eventually you're going to hit that enticing pay wall and want to leap. That nagging feeling of anticipation is actually super annoying.  I guess I've just hit it too many times to know that . . . yup . . . it's coming.

The first real signs of it happened when I talked to the "Equipment Specialist."  He wanted to teach me all about fortifying my gear.  Yup. Future me was saying, "You know what that means . . . costly failures at high levels when the stakes are high. Brace yourself."

Hello fellow Varg. Yes! Teach me the ways of your expensive fortifications.

I did notice after I fortified my weapon, stuff was dying much faster . . . so it helped! I am both interested and frightened to see where the real monetization hooks are. Until then, I guess I need to just quell that nagging thought in the back of my head and enjoy the ride.

Someone in the chat was complaining about waiting in queue for a dungeon for a long time and there was some discussion of server population, but I encountered plenty of people right out the gate. The first "big" boss you fight is a giant wolf, and myself and three others downed him pretty easily. Later I was running down a long pathway full of wolves and a little mage fella and I were working great as a team clearing the path. He even shot me a friend request, so to me, those are all positive signs.

By the end of my first night I was level 6 and had enjoyed myself.  The story was interesting and I felt like I was part of a world undergoing a shift in power. If I can get a hang of the controls, I'll for sure be playing this game a bit more.

Happy Dueling!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Project Gorgon's graphics, the new animation engine went in. With some tweaks and turning on the experimental settings I was able to dance lag-free in the Serbule inn this weekend and moving around at the player vendors was buttery smooth. There's a bug where if you walk into a portal while mouse-looking it seems to make your cursor disappear, but otherwise it's a much better game now.