Thursday, February 3, 2011

Xsyon: (P)review Cliffhanger Conclusion!

So after spending a cold night on the ground by the river I’m decided I would do the obvious thing and cheat. One character only, eh? No alts, eh? Little did they know they were messing with a committed altoholic. If there’s a way to roll an alt I’ll find one. Its only a matter of determination, like homeless alcoholics who raid the public washrooms at the public library for hand sanitizer and mix it with water for a great hobo-cocktail. Mmmmmmmm drunk and germ-free.

All those fancy grass containers that you are able to craft have privacy settings which operate as your bank, if you will. You can set them to private, tribe (guild), or open. I took all my gear, put it into my containers, and set them to open. I then logged out, deleted my character (sorry Axe-handle Annie), and rolled anew! Chose the same starting location (handy feature) and presto! New 'toon. This time, feeling smart and oh-so-clever I chose woodworking as my craft. I wasn’t to be denied that knife, dammit! I also chose knife vs. axe this time as my starter skill, just to be sure. I like fire, what can I say?

Into the world I go, over to the containers and empty them all......only to find that I actually forgot to leave behind the crafting tools from the other character. Not so smart after all, I guess. As I begin to play around with a few things I begin to realize my second mistake. A woodworking craftsmen is going to have to cut a lot of trees to break down into logs, planks, blocks, handles, and such......and what did I do? Chose a knife. No trees being felled for me then. Hmmm...the shine on my brilliance is losing its luster.         

Luckily for me, logs, and wood in general, are too large to store (apparently) as there are plenty lying about. Using my crafting saw I cut some blocks and handles (medium sized from medium blocks, small from small) and took them back to my camp. With this character I also tried tool making instead of weapons. As I crafted some tools a few new recipes were discovered- crafting is like that: you get new discoveries at certain levels, from trading, or through deduction. The game assumes a crafter will naturally learn how to modify things and create useful new things- just how tool evolution really began (that nice little gem being the influence from an archaeologist).

I also decided to finally give the combat system a go. Mobs don’t re-spawn in Xsyon (that rhymes nicely) so once you kill it, its gone. So far I have decimated the local population of Mule Deer with one kill. Well, to be fair to the deer, he killed me three times before I realized that you have to hit ‘C’ to enter combat mode, but once I figured that out I smote down upon him with great vengeance and furious anger.

The Smoten

In retrospect bludgeoning him with my new club probably wasn't the most humane way to kill him but as I said, he did kill me several times. Payback's a bitch. Once my noble enemy was dispatched quietly into that good night I had several tasks to compete with its corpse (after, of course, I ripped the still-beating heart from its chest with my bare hands and drank deep of his life-soul):

I like the realism of corpse processing. Can't wait to do it on a fallen human opponent :)
Notice anything missing? In a game that seems to enjoy the little details I sure would have liked the option to EAT IT. I assume this will be brought in once cooking is implemented (prior to launch). There is a month yet to go, and I am hopeful that the game will be a moderate success. I don't imagine it will pull in a large subscription base but may be one of those sleeper games which attracts a small-but devoted following (maybe like Fallen Earth, from what I've heard). The crafting system is very, very deep, but the realism (you must drink, and if you don't eat your avatar will get skinny) and lack of a fluid combat system may not be for everyone. I'm looking forward to the evolution of the world and going from primitive clubs to melting people's faces with high-tec weapons. That may indeed take a while and although I am leaving the Preview here I will return with a proper review once the game goes live. I hate to fully judge a game still in beta.

Until then I promised you a cliffhanger, so here it is. Are you ready? Brace yourself for a whole bucketful of corny:

A small community created entirely by the players. Note that it is, in fact, on a cliff.

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