Eternal Magic is an upcoming MMORPG by 101XP that’s currently in open beta. Available for all players with an early access pack, the CBT will run until September 15th. Having played it for four days, here’s some key thoughts about the five most important aspects of Eternal Magic as an MMORPG.
What Is Eternal Magic?
Eternal Magic is a chinese theme park MMORPG that’s brought to the West by Russian company 101XP, and the game will be free to play at launch, with an Open Beta planned some time after we’re done with the CBT. There are other versions that can be played right now if you don’t want to wait around for access or get a guaranteed pack, and I’m not quite sure about the key differences between the existing one in the east versus what I’m playing now, so I can only share what I’ve experienced with the Western version so far. The game has 6 classes to pick from with basic trinity in-play and then you can further customize that with builds later on. There’s no gender locking, but character appearance is very limited. And players in the CBT can only level up to the cap of 50, but will be higher at 70 when it goes live.
When you start the game it literally takes off with the introduction to the story and combat, and you’re already in the thick of things within 5 minutes tops. You have two control options in Eternal Magic, one is your basic third person perspective and the second is a click to move option, which let’s you play it like a top down hack and slash ARPG or MOBA if you want to. I found myself liking the second a lot more, and being able to swap between the two freshened up my leveling experience jumping between questing and dungeons. Combat while look and feel dated, it works and I like the amount class customization you’re afforded to mix and match skills, passives and more to create your ideal play-style. Now going back to the leveling of experience, PvE questing didn’t really do a whole lot for me. Gaining character experience is very fast all the way up to level 40, from just following the main story-quest chain on top of killing any additional mobs required for objectives. Along the way, plenty of systems and I mean plenty, will start unlocking, and these range from the pet system which is pretty important for combat, in addition to other things I’ll talk about later on. If you’re not having fun experimenting with new class skills, pet abilities and builds, then it’s going to be quite a snooze fest because the overall difficulty in PvE isn’t much of a challenge. What also doesn’t help is that the overall story, narratives and characters are generic and bland, with some obvious localization errors in the dialogue translations and the way it’s formatted.
In the content department, you have your usual mix of PvE and PvP. I did say the questing was bland and uninteresting, with little or no challenge, but things do pick up once you start unlocking the group content. Players get access to dungeons at level 18 and these aren’t bad at all, with multiple boss fights and mechanics that can hurt you if, you didn’t learn anything about your class and how it plays while leveling. There’s dungeon quests, plenty of loot and xp and of course, more challenge overall. On the landscape, there’s World Bosses that spawn in each zone and players within the level bracket can teleport around to take them down, preferably in a group or with guild mates because these things can hurt you real good.
For PvP, Eternal Magic will launch with multiple modes like GvG, battlegrounds and MOBA, but in the CBT I’ve only seen classic battle grounds so far. There’s 4 of them that you can queue for once unlocked at level 35, and each are 10v10 with varying objectives like point control and capture the flag. I wish I could tell you more about them, but unfortunately, the bloody queues never pop, at least if you’re queuing solo. On the EU server and at peak times, I could sit there for over an hour, and see people begging for more players to queue in chat, but nothing happens.
Progression-wise, honestly everything on offer feels like a hodgepodge concoction. There’s a quite lot of stuff thrown at you, and I’m trying to identify the real important things to focus on, versus the fluff. So let’s talk about the main things. The pet progression system is pretty key, because they will fight alongside you and earn XP, which gives you access to their skills and some of em are pretty damn powerful, good enough to melt bosses. You can collect more pets, upgrade their level and quality, give them equipment, and send them on passive time-based expedition missions for XP and treasures, a kin to something like WoW’s Garrison system. For gear, you have an upgrade system to increase an item’s star level that is free to do below level 60, and it appears to require materials and may have a chance to fail after that safety threshold, that’s just my guess though, since we can’t progress beyond level 50 in CBT. Then there’s gear enchanting, where you spend either currency or resources to upgrade a specific stat. And rounding it is the rune system for socketing in gear pieces, and spirit system. Elsewhere, you have a basic crafting system for gear and resources, a guild system for contribution points and other buffs, the rest are, somewhat typical of a free to play eastern MMO.
Monetization and Cash Store
And of course, we can’t end this without talking about the game’s monetization systems. As mentioned earlier, Eternal Magic will be free to play when it launches, so there is a cash shop and its contents and influence within the game is a mixed bag. One hand you have costumes that offers flat stats for your character, for example chest pieces and bikini tops for females offers a +30 to Strength, Agility and Intelligence, while the other cosmetics are just that – costumes to show off. In the other sections of the store like Mounts, Consumables and Gifts, you’ll largely find convenience type stuff like faster mounts, pet items, upgrade items and you can even buy in-game gold and silver to purchase equipment and goods from vendors, and I have no idea if they’ll change things for the OBT or launch and from where it stands, you could argue that it’s leaning toward pretty advantageous and the only thing left that I haven’t seen is how much the premium currency called Elirs costs for real money. You can’t buy them in the CBT, but you’re allocated a large sum daily for being in the CBT, which won’t matter because progress will be wiped once it’s over. The question remains, will it be pay to win? Perhaps yes and perhaps no, until we can actually get to the cap at level 70 and see just how the cash store influences the end-game, it’s too early be conclusive, so this one needs to be revisited at a later date.