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  1. #1
    Creed of a Titan Titans Creed's Avatar
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    Post RadioSEGA Review: Spiral Knights (PC)

    Spiral Knights is a “Free-to-Play Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game”. Developed by Three Rings Design and published by SEGA.

    A free-to-play MMO, doesn't really appeal to me at a perspective off the bat, mainly due to the fact I will know, from experience that it will cost some monetary in-game item. But with this in mind, I hooked up with Capn Cloudchaser and The Tall Guy, and we set about discovering the wonder of what Spiral Knights had to offer.

    Jumping headlong in, the character creation screen offers few choices, but enough to get a semi-unique look to get you started. So after spending a few minutes finding something that looked decent and grabbing a name, our newly created hero finds themselves thrust headlong into our tutorial level to learn how to move and attack.

    Now, while the tutorial doesn't show and tell you everything off the bat, you do learn enough to get started. Which is always good in any game. Learn by doing, and you do quite well. Get introduced to some starter enemies, and then proceed thusly into your first town. Where, by talking to some of the ever-present NPC's you learn about your vendors and also, some lore about the game and area itself.

    Your next area, is the intermission “training area” between this hub and your main hub staging areas, and the main thing this part of the tutorial teaches you is the party system. Unlike some other MMO's, you don't form your parties in the hub worlds and more when going to your dungeon areas. Now for your tutorial dungeon, you can complete it solo, or you can form and gather a party as you go, when you get into the “main” dungeons you can form your parties from your friends list and guild, which is what we did, and while talking over Skype had a fun time of it as well.

    There are a few limitations to just constantly dungeon running though, each floor you trek in requires a cost of 10 energy. Now overly this isn't an issue, because energy can be regained in a few ways. You can regain 1 energy every 15 minutes, and for you math buffs out there, that would make 25 hours to regain your entire energy bar. So, for something a player can generally empty in the space of 1-2 hours, takes more then a day to refill naturally, and at time of writing, I am unaware if this can happen while you are offline from the game.

    A second way for you to regain this energy is to purchase it from other players with your in game gained money or “crowns”. Now this is set at a standard of what the player deems, and from what I've seen goes at a rate which can equal one decent hour's haul of about if not over 100 energy, or 10 floors worth of dungeons.

    But fret not, because this is where the micro-transactions play a part. For some of your real world cash you can purchase energy from the developers themselves. Now, this doesn't seem too expensive, as I think we had a price of about £1.49 for 750 energy. But since, from what I assume is people buying the energy and reselling it on the in-game energy sales, it kinda detracts people away from playing the game, who don't want to spend real money on in-game items/time.

    Now although this does fuel the in game economy, I feel a proper auction house where people can sell their items they create, rather then shouting in the standard chat channels would be properly served here.

    Although, getting back to the game itself, the music is very atmospheric, and personally the combat music is a big favourite of mine. It can be hard sometimes, while dungeon running in any game to have the music pass you by, but Spiral Knights does a great job of pulling you in and feel embraced by the atmospheric content.

    My only real concern is with the “gated” content. You can only proceed so far through the dungeon levels without being forced to withdraw and complete a set attunement per tier level of dungeons. I never like gated content, it feels like restricting the player too much, when they should be left to their own devices. If the content is too hard for players, they will discover this on their own, and work ways around it. But placing arbitrary blocks to lengthen gameplay forcibly is never a good plan.

    As it stands, for a game that is about 16 days old at time of writing, it has a lot of potential. A lot of staying power, if it can keep it's players going with updated content and the like.

    Pros:
    Atmospheric music.
    Very easy to pick up and play.
    Free to play and download.

    Cons:
    Lack of a “real” in game auction house.
    Gated content restricts long term play.

    Overall Score: 3/5

  2. #2
    Prof. KC KC's Avatar
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    Default RadioSEGA Review: Spiral Knights (PC)

    Another nice review there! I'd like to point out 2 things though:

    1. Yes, you regain energy when offline. I usually play until my energy levels are almost depleted and, if I don't feel like spending crowns on energy wait until the next day to play some more.

    2. There is an in-game auction system where you can bid on energy or place an offer to sell energy for some crowns. Players can adjust the amount of crowns they're willing to spend and the game will show the best offers.

    Who's up for a RadioSEGA guild?

    Great work, as usual, man!

  3. #3
    Member Tru's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm actually really glad that you can regain energy when offline because that would be such a deal breaker for me. I know it's 'cool' to have methods of restricting gameplay in MMO's to take breaks and limit addiction, but sometimes these systems can be too restrictive. If I have to spend 4k of my own in-game money just to be able to keep playing the game, then bugger it.

    That said, the combat is really fun and I have enjoyed what I've played so far... Just not enough to want to spend money on it. Micro-transactions be damned.

    Forced multiplayer also kind annoys me somewhat, although we may have found a way around that.

  4. #4
    Creed of a Titan Titans Creed's Avatar
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    Default

    Yeah, went back online today, discovered I had enough energy to go for a dungeon run. Did a solo try through three levels, got a lvl 2 sword recipe and crafted the bugger.

    Cost me 50 energy to make

    No more Spiral Knights till Friday now >.>

  5. #5
    Creed of a Titan Titans Creed's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Another nice review there! I'd like to point out 2 things though:

    1. Yes, you regain energy when offline. I usually play until my energy levels are almost depleted and, if I don't feel like spending crowns on energy wait until the next day to play some more.
    Yeah, I became aware of this today, although you will note in the review, i did specifically write "at time of writing"

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    2. There is an in-game auction system where you can bid on energy or place an offer to sell energy for some crowns. Players can adjust the amount of crowns they're willing to spend and the game will show the best offers.
    Yeah, I know there is that as well, but a proper auction house system for people to buy/sell their craftable items from recipes would be a decent implementation.

  6. #6
    Prof. KC KC's Avatar
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    Default RadioSEGA Review: Spiral Knights (PC)

    Yeah, energy is used for almost everything (just like in real life, wow) and we can run out pretty fast. I'd advise you to keep playing until you've earned a significant amount of money and only then upgrade your equipment.
    I actually like the simple mechanics of the game and the fact that it can be enjoyed in both long sessions and quick runs.

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