I've come back from the living dead from gaming too much with the 2nd Tree of Savior Online Closed Beta Review! A good amount of my followers have often asked me about the specific release date for the English version of this game. Honestly, I don't have a clue! However, the game is well headed on its way for the first 1st International Closed Beta in the months to come unless delayed.
Gameplay - Is it still easy?
As an experienced TOS Closed Beta Tester, the game still felt a bit too easy. A lot of people were satisfied with how they toned up the boss difficulty by giving them random summoned recycled traps. As for me, I wasn't very fond of it, probably because it seemed like a lazy approach on making content harder. In the end, most of the boss battles felt the same with a random trap each time. Perhaps this was a last minute addition, but I would rather see the bosses get buffed in their own unique way along with having a few special punishing attacks. It was strange seeing random traps spew out of nowhere for no reason during boss fights. Don't get me wrong, they're pretty effective. It does add a bit more challenge, especially when you randomly step on an invisible trap or web that binds your character in place resulting in death. Yes, I've died to traps. I believe almost all of the bosses even the field ones can be solo'ed without Nexon Cash revive, given you have the time and patience. Bosses also felt a bit sluggish and I started to notice some recycled looking ones later on.
Playable Classes - Plan Ahead!
The job system in Tree of Savior Online is what makes this game special compared to the newer games coming out today. Every 15 job levels a player can decide on selecting "one" of the "two new jobs" for ranking up or retain their current job and max out skills for that class. Once a player ranks up, the job level resets to back 1 and the player must obtain job level 15 again for the next advancement. Please do keep in mind that you can no longer go back to the previous job after you have changed into a new one. For example, a Job Level 15 Sapper can no longer go back to Archer circle because it's only available for the first few rank changes. Players also must plan their job changes carefully. For example, the a rank 2 job change offers players to be a Ranger, Quarrel Shooter, or Archer again. If you DO DECIDE to pick Archer again, you will miss the opportunity of job changing to Ranger or Quarrel Shooter. Carefully plan your job changes and enjoy the many possible class combos!
I just wanted to rush the gunner class ASAP and shoot stuff! I ended up being extremely poor going down the Sapper route. Thankfully, I ended up running into a Dievdirbys player in the game that was able to provide me wood base materials for my wooden traps using, which helped a lot. Going down the Archer tree felt painfully slow to level up compared to my Mage character from the previous beta test. I felt like the class lacked a bit in damage and cooldown. Not to mention buying traps was such a hassle because the NPC's didn't sell them, until it was added during the last day of beta. You can find a more detailed explanation about the unique class system on my previous Tree of Savior Review.
There were certain active skills from my gunner class that I couldn't use because it required me to use a Bow. IMCGames recently implemented a workaround for this with the new weapon switch feature, all you have to do is drag your gun and bow to the weapon switch slot and press ALT+Z. Not much of a problem, unless you're playing the Schwarze Reiter class because all of their skills can only be activated while mounted. In short, I will have to press alt+down to get off my mount followed by alt+z to switch to bow, use bow rotation skills, then alt+z again to switch to gun and alt+up to mount on my pet again and use my gun rotation skills. I suppose choosing Sapper helped me out since I was able to set down traps with a gun and not worry about having to switch to bow.
Questing and Leveling Up - Another Korean Grind or Not?
The leveling pace was actually decent during 2nd CBT, which doesn't include the EXP rate bonus during last day of beta. Leveling seemed consistent with no huge noticeable difference in base EXP curves even as I progressed through the higher levels of the game However, I did run into a lot job level problems as I was mostly focused on questing. The 2nd CBT had a level 250 cap that is easily obtainable in a week without the bonus EXP rates. I'm guessing that the real grind starts at around level 300-500. I mostly focused on the story and area quests and did a fair bit of grinding during the last few days of beta. No drastic changes in the quest system and it's still the same from the previous beta. Just pick up and complete quests in one zone, once done, rinse and repeat in the next zone. As I progressed to the higher levels of the game, the boss battles became a lot more tedious. I wasn't really looking forward to the next boss fight, maybe because this is my 2nd playthrough of the game?
One of the more concerning issues of the game was that the base character level and job level balance. The amount of experience points earned from both didn't seem to scale properly. A lot of players ended up having a very high base character level, while their job levels fell behind drastically. This is easily fixable by giving players a choice on whether they want to get an EXP Card or JOB EXP Card after completing "special quests" certainly NOT ALL. For those that aren't aware, all of the quests in this game rewards players with EXP Cards that increases your character level upon consumption. JOB EXP Cards has its own drawbacks if implemented, such as players that gets too much job EXP become under leveled to complete their job change quest. If the monster is too high level, your player will do "1" damage despite how strong your character is due to the base level and monster level gap. Solution? Grinding time! Just make sure you grind the right mobs, some may give more JOB EXP while others may give more base EXP. Saving up cards may also be bad due to the fact that there are higher level tier cards that give way more EXP later on. Speaking from experience, the fastest way to level job EXP is up is to grind monsters and skip quests.
End Game Content - Max Level Now What!?
Most beta testers would have probably never reached the level cap if the GM didn't provide an extremely large EXP bonus during the last day of testing. As for the CBT2 end game stuff, there really wasn't much to do after reaching the level cap except party summoned field boss hunting. I believe that this test was primarily focused on testing the new jobs ands tuff. Tree of Savior grants players party field boss missions based on the total average level of the party. All they have to do is wait for the timer and head on to the location. Once all of the party members have gathered at the specific mission location the party boss will pop up. To sum things up, TOS offers three different kinds of bosses. Normal Quest or Story Bosses, Field Bosses, and Summoned Field Bosses.
Crafting, Cards, and Gems - What are they for?
While crafting wasn't that important during the early levels of the game, it started become a thing around level 170. It's a lot cheaper to shop around the Auction House for materials and craft the item compared to buying the weapon at full price. Most of the monsters in the game will drop recipes instead of the item itself forcing players to craft their own equips. The recipe is also consumed after the item is crafted and must be hunted for again if you wish to craft the same item. Players can also craft various headgear equipment shown below though it may change to cash items in the future. I still couldn't quite figure out what the cards are for other than to summon shadow clones for the Sorcerer or Necro class, I think. Lastly, the gem system didn't seem that important during the beta. To keep you well-informed, all you have to do is talk to a Black Smith and ask him to create an empty gem slot. From there, you can apply the gem to the item you had just slotted. The effects vary depending on the color of the gem and piece its socketed onto a Weapon, Armor, Gloves, Shoe, etc.
The World, Graphics, and Sound - All You Need to Know!
I've explored most of the areas during both 1st and 2nd CBT and I must say that the game really has a lot of unique looking areas. The later maps are still linear, but there are multiple exits leading to low and high-level zones. Some players might be a bit disappointed on how the zones are setup in Tree of Savior because it seems a bit small compared to other games where you can run across one big square zone. The graphics looks great as always having its own unique charming looks, but needs a bit of optimization as I often received a lot of FPS drops and short bursts of freezes. BGM is so good that I never bothered turning off the game music to listen to my own playlist. I even saved the official Tree of Savior OST folder filled with mp3's, before uninstalling the Closed Beta 2 client.
Conclusion - Round 2 and Still Enjoyable!
Tree of Savior Online had a 12 hour testing window from 12pm to 12am in South Korea. I had to test the game during the working hours of 7pm to 7am PST and not a single minute was wasted! Except for the day where I had no internet. In short, the CBT2 was worth trying out and I had a blast playing all night long, even with the ridiculous testing hours. The game itself is not actually ready to go live yet, as I ended up running into a lot of FPS issues, graphical bugs, random errors, and random crashes during the test.
I'm a bit more concerned about the future end game content. Considering the massive amount of online games that is often released in South Korea, most companies are rushing production and releasing games early access with cash shop or making a game very easy just to steal players from other titles. If you ask me, I would rather have a challenging game than a grinding game. I would love to see some PvP or GvG related content in ToS and perhaps a better party system. As a Foreigner, I always had trouble finding the right parties for grinding or questing. It may not be much of a problem as a Korean player that can spam /shout and stuff. During the early TOS debut, IMCGames mentioned an auto party system with players around you on the same quest. Not that the story quests and bosses are challenging enough to require a party at all, it's just that I get really bored playing alone. This review is getting long, so much more to write about like stats and etc, but it's time to cut it short! Thanks for following me on another gaming adventure and I hope to see you all on the upcoming Tree of Savior International Closed Beta! Please make sure to like and follow my social media pages below and have a wonderful day.
Publisher: Nexon Korea
Game Site: http://tos.nexon.com/