The 2nd Core Masters beta had just ended yesterday and I have spent most of my nights beta testing the game in eight to nine hour gaming sessions. I usually don't play two consecutive betas after the other, but Core Masters is one of those enjoyable titles that I couldn't pass up, need my daily fix! You're probably like, "Oh gosh, not another MOBA or AOS game!" right? There is actually more to it than that, so find out the reason why I played this game so much below.
Game Mode #1 and #2 - Core Collecting Mode
Core Masters Online currently has three game modes, the most popular one would probably have to be the fast-paced and stress free Core Masters Casual Collecting Core Mode. This is a 4vs4 mode that can end as quick as four minutes or last as long as fifteen minutes depending on how skilled the players are. Here is how it works, every player will spawn next to a Core Tower, they must destroy this tower and the trashy monsters around it so they can level up once and collect the core dropped from the tower. After collecting their first core, they can then hunt down the enemy players or find more core towers. The first group that collects 20 cores wins the match. Sounds pretty easy right? Heres the catch, every time you kill a player they will drop the core they are carrying on the floor. A player on their team or your team can then pick up the core. Why not just have a tanky character collect all the cores then? The more cores that your character carries, the higher chance that you will drop more than just one core. For example, you will 100% drop two cores if you're carrying at least 10 cores at time. The most cores I have seen dropped at one point was ten, it was super easy winning the match from there. Carrying that many cores at once is like putting a target sign up above your head.
My party members usually like to farm as many towers as we can at the beginning of the game. Why is that? The longer the game goes on, the monsters around the map become a lot more stronger making it harder to solo farm the core towers. The Core Towers doesn't shoot lasers or anything special the only thing you have to worry about are the minions around the tower. They can become super minions and such depending on how further in the game your team is. This is a very entertaining and stress free mode because you don't really have to worry about defending towers or pushing lanes. Just stay alive and stick with the group during team fights! There is also a Solo FFA version of this mode. Which resembles a bit like a FPS deathmatch against seven other players and the first person that collects ten cores win (This mode was disabled in the 2nd Beta). You also have to buy items in all the modes throughout the match, in which will be explaining in-detail further down below.
Game Mode #3 - Core Major/Master Mode
This is more of the AOS type of map because there are two to three lanes depending on how you see it. In this mode, you must collect a Core from the tower and then touch the enemy Nexus Tower to score kind of like Basketball. It sounds easy right? Try again! The Nexus Tower in this mode actually attacks you. Playing this map requires a bit of planning because you want to have a person or two guarding the base most the time or have wards up at every choke point. When you have wards up, then you freely explore and level up by killing Core Towers and the monsters around it. I will probably play this mode more often in the next test. You can check out my old Master Mode during the last beta below, I really didn't play this mode much during the 2nd beta because my friends were into killing players more in the other mode. One of the reasons my party members didn't like playing this mode was because the games lasted as long as fifteen to thirty minutes long, perhaps even longer. One of the changes they made in this beta was that you can't stall and protect your own Nexus Tower anymore. As you can see above the screen, it shows how much HP your base tower has. When that goes down to 0 you will lose the match. In the 2nd beta, they implemented a feature where you will have to feed your own tower a Core every now and then. If you happen to fail on feeding your own tower, then you will gradually lose -400 HP to your Nexus. Yikes!
Language Barrier - Do I need to learn Korean!?
Even with a complicated item system, you don't need to understand Korean at all. All you have to do is memorize what each item and skill does. Google Translate does a pretty good job on translating most of the items located on Item List page. As for the character skills, there is a short preview of what each skill does on the main website. For example, here is a character preview of Kazu the Shinobi. I was actually playing with a couple English players that randomly PM'ed me during the beta, so we had a lot of fun during the test. Though if you're patient enough, you can always wait for the English version by Rock Hippo found at http://core-masters.com/. The only part where a foreigner would have trouble in is the Mastery Page, to keep things simple. The left side is for Tanking, the Middle is for Carrying, and the right side is more Random since there are really no support characters in the game yet. If you're seriously thinking of playing this game, then my only advise would be to print out a small sheet of what Magic Damage and Physical Damage looks like in Korean.
물리 = Physical
방어력 = Defense
공격력 = Attack
관통력 = Penetration
마법 = Magic
Combine them together and what do you get?
물리 방어력 = Physical Defense
물리 공격력 = Physical Attack
마법 공격력 = ____ Attack
마법 관통력 = ____ ____
Of course, there are more terms to learn, but this shoudl give you a general idea. You can Google Translate the Item List page to and character page to understand it better. Enough Korean lessons, moving back on to the review.
The Item System - How it works!
Core Masters Online offers a unique item system. I will try to explain it in a very simple matter, at the end of each match you will obtain a exp and gold. This gold is then used for purchasing special boxes that contain all kinds of equipment, ranging from potions, tanking gear, hybrid gear, swords, weapons, master(summoner) spells, and more. Let's talk about how the item system works outside of a match first. After purchasing a box, you will randomly get 3-5 random items. You can then equip the items on your 1~= hot key slot. Feel like making an attack speed or physical damage build for your carry character? No problem, select an empty slot and fill it up with items that give + Attack Speed per level and + Physical Damage per level.
At the beginning of the match, you can pick one item in your slot bar to upgrade right away. To make things fair, all of the items you have equipped will always start of at level 0, even if you were to start a new match after this one. Now let's look at what upgrading an item does in match. Each item is unique in their own way. As you can see in the screenshot below, the Feather of Phoenix is like a Guardian Angel type of item. Upgrading it once will cost 400g and will give your character +18 Magic Defense. Upgrading it a second time around give your character a passive +10 HP Regen Bonus, but it will cost slightly more. Upgrading it to Level 3 will increase the price again, at the same time give you another passive bonus that is +18 Magic Defense. At Level 4 another +10 HP Regen. By the time you hit the Level 5 Upgrade you're loaded with +Regen and Magic Defense. The 5th upgrade is very expensive, it usually cost 800-1200 gold. Why upgrade to level 5 when you can multiple upgrade Level 0 items to 1? This item is special, for instance, the 5th upgrade will automatically give you a passive reviving bonus upon death. If you were to die, you will come back to life. The passive revive skill from this item also has a 300 second cool down. Then there is the other item above this one called Infinite Quiver, the 5th upgrade on this item will give your character a "Frenzy" effect, but it must be activated by pressing that key you have it equipped to. If you have this item in slot #8, then you will have to press #8 key to activate it.
As for the Masters Spells, you can equip as many Flash and Ghosts you want in the game. There is a catch to it! Using Flash will cost your character 250g. Now let's see how useful flash is in a situation. At the beginning of a game, there are three guys chasing you. You can either Flash or Ghost right away and stay alive or wait 150g more to upgrade another item. Dying early on wouldn't be bad. Now let's look at situation #2. You're in late game and there are three guys chasing you, a single death will determine the game. If you have extra gold, then you can use Flash or Ghost to get away. If you recently upgraded an item to Level 3 or 4 and only have 100g, then you're officially screwed.
Really cool system right? There are a lot of numerous builds you can come up for your character, but finding the right ones and which ones to upgrade first is the tricky part. My only concern about this item system is that you can enchant items as in +1, +2, +3. How does it work? If you were to obtain two of the same item, say you got 2 Phoenix Feathers. Then you can +1 it by using Enchanting feature shown below. This will give it a slightly more bonus than usual. I just hope it's not game breaking in the future! I'd also like to note that the items don't expire. Which is nice to know, especially if you were to obtain a Rank 5 rarity item in the boxes.
The Cash Shop
The Cash Shop or Store was not available during the 1st and 2nd Closed Beta. I am speculating that they are going to sell a lot of things in the store such as Unlocking Characters, Character Skins, Bigger Inventory Bag, Exp Boost, Gold Boost, Character Slots, Item Load Out Pages, and more. I'm not that worried about the store just yet, at least until they start selling boxes with better loot in it.
Graphics, Sound, and Latency - Does it lag!?
I was a bit surprised with the lag or latency issues during the 2nd test. I am playing from California and the ping was smooth, I hope it stays that way in the future since this is one of those titles I will most likely play in the future. The other foreigners in my party said they had some latency issues so they used a game booster program to speed up their game. The graphics looked decent enough it gave off a high quality vibe, though it kind of resembles League of Legends a lot. Heck, some of the characters look a bit LoL'ish. I honestly can't tell if the game is taxing on the computer graphics wise since I was running 60FPS most of the time and had V-sync on. The 2nd beta was a lot better than the 1st because they finally added voices to all of the characters. They also changed the background music to dub step!
Conclusion - My Final Thoughts!
I had a blast with the 1st beta and I had a lot more fun during the 2nd beta. The game can use a little bit more improvements, but other than that I will definitely try it out again in the 3rd beta. I was satisfied with the unique style the game has to offer. It's not just another three lane type of game or kill everyone for no reason. Most of the English and Korean players that I met and partied with during this test enjoyed the "Core Collecting" mode so we played that mode non stop. The 2nd Beta had a good amount of playable characters to choose from totalling to 35 characters. I am hoping that they add more in the future, but more importantly I think they should focus on balancing some of the characters first. It would also be nice to add more game modes than the current ones available. Most of the modes right now only have a maximum capacity of 8 players on the field in short a 4v4 match. 5v5 would be too common perhaps a 6v6 or 8v8 with another new mode would be cool. The game may look complicated, but it's actually easy to learn and pick up. Especially if you have played a lot of games such as LoL and DotA. I suggest signing up for the next beta in the future, I will make a post if there is any new progress on my site. Until then, hope you enjoyed my review and see ya next time!