Weekend With Vindictus

I, and just about everybody who wanted one, received a beta key for the Vindictus NA beta event going on until early October (the game is live in Korea).  I also laughably bought Minecraft on Friday mere moments before the servers crashed due to patch day overload.  Of course then Minecraft became a free-to-play weekend, but I am happy to support the indie dev making the game.  It was a very balanced gaming weekend filled with creating cliffside overlooks and aquaducts in Minecraft and destroying just about everything in free-to-play Vindictus.

And when I say “just about everything,” I mean it.  Vindictus is built on the Source engine from Half-Life 2 et al. fame, and the destructability truly shines through the games physics engine.  Bosses break down pillars with abandon, pottery becomes pinatas, and there is something really gratifying about picking up a 4×4 wood beam and bashing it across multiple enemies.  You see, “just about everything” also applies to turning all of the above in to temporary weapons.  The Source engine also brings some really nice graphics, and I’ve been hearing it looks pretty good on older computers.

The gameplay of Vindictus is very action oriented.  Skills are more akin to something out of a God of War button combination than the usual skill bar set up found in most MMOs.  The two mouse buttons give a light attack and a heavy attack respectively, and by pressing the light attack one to four times followed by the heavy attack, a combo will ensue.  Then there are throw, kick, rush, sprint, etc. buttons thrown in for a little more combat variety.  The combat is really intense, and often times I found myself facing four enemies ready to be ginsu’d by my double-blades.

There is unfortunately still some discussion on whether this game is an MMO.  From a standard… uhh.. standpoint it already loses points in that direction because it plays like an bash-em-up action game instead of the fight-a-single-enemy, skill rotation tacticality of World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online.  For the world itself it feels mostly like Guild Wars or Dungeons and Dragons Online.  There is a single town instance (with multiple districts ala Guild Wars) with all the shops and quest givers, which leads to the docks.  At the docks, players are given a menu of options to launch a boat to one of the dungeon instances.  Each dungeon, such as Perilous Ruins, will have a handful of Battles.  Battles change the formula of the dungeon with length, enemy makeup, difficulty, and most notably bosses as the variables.  There are also various modes of difficulty for each Battle, similar to Dungeons and Dragons Online’s difficulty settings.

Also at the dungeon menu screen, party options are available.  Players can choose to attack a Battle solo, make the instance private to friends, or allow anybody to join before the boat launches to the dungeon.  If a boat is open to anybody there are a plethora of quick join buttons to find a specific Battle and people waiting for a party.  My experience with joining random groups has been hit or miss, but not because of the players themselves.  When I joined my own game I got a full connection, but when I joined a large party the group leader would have a full connection while I and the two others would have minimal, laggy connections.

Apart from the network issues, I have a few other gripes.  The biggest is that the game thinks I am cheating, and boots me thusly, when I use the Steam overlay.  They are using a Valve engine, and then they have this issue?  Hopefully it gets fixed pronto.  The other gripe I have is the low amount of content.   There are only two classes (soon to be three out of five) available, and only two dungeons (each with multiple Battles).  It seems pretty low.

However, the game is free-to-play, and I think most players wanting a action-oriented MMO aside to take a break from some of the slower paced “main” MMOs will enjoy Vindictus.  I hope Nexon is going to be adding more dungeons at a good pace because this game has a ton of potential to be a mainstay in my stable of MMOs.  Now just let me add it to Steam.

–Ravious
mouths open in silent screams

14 thoughts on “Weekend With Vindictus”

  1. Here we are again. That pesky 3 letter acronym…MMO.
    Where is the line drawn for games calling themselves an MMO compared to say Call of Duty?
    Vindictus felt like a FPS shooter just in 3rd person. Where are the amenities associated with MMO’s?
    Crafting?…not sure. Very Guild Wars like from what I have read.
    Open World? Nope…nada. But, does that instantly make a game NOT an MMO?
    Grinding? OH YES….over and over and over.
    Gear? Will be important.
    But, most of all, we must see that MMO is Massively Multiplayer Online and Vindictus is that.

    I really think we SHOULD start using the term…OMG. Online Multiplayer Games. Then we would really drop any intention of future games being an MMO and being criticized as such.

    Otherwise the game is really pretty good. More stable than most MMO’s on launch. Fast paced action. Gorgeous visuals. Has that LOTRO teeny font issue though, that for us old people, is a concern.

    But, it will be Free to play. I will play it.

    1. Well, for me “massively” is a measure of persistence, but like I said it’s pretty much akin to GW and DDO, which are “MMOs” to some. ;)

  2. All of my friends and I are unable to connect to Vindictus. Maybe it’s not open to the UK yet.

    As for Minecraft – win! It’s got to be one of the greatest games this year. I got my moneys worth a long time ago.

    1. Correct, Nexon is blocking those outside North America as this version of the game is for NA only. I believe a European release is scheduled for later this year.

      1. I just tried to sign up for a new Nexon Passport, and I’m getting the unhelpful JavaScript alert “system error” – all of the fields have check marks, so I don’t think it’s bad input. Has anyone else seen this?

  3. The MMO moniker is less important to me now. I’d be more concerned about the lack of drop-in drop-out, joining my friends in-progress is a bigger deal. Sounds like the docks are a sorry of lobby.

    How big are the areas / zones? I love the Source engine but large open areas are not is strong suit, so I’m really curious.

    On the cheat disconnect issue, are they using Punkbuster? It would be odd if VAC had issues with the Steam overlay, but generally Punkbuster always sucks IMHO.

  4. I had a weekend full of Vindictus as well. It is a really fun game, and I feel satisfied with simply saying that, rather than getting bogged down in a linguistical debate over its status as an “MMO.”

    It does need more lobby creation and editing options. For example, when you select an “Oath” to complete for a battle, when that battle is over you have to teleport back to the town and relaunch the boat to select another Oath, rather than just teleporting to the boat and selecting a different one.

    Two classes is a bit limiting as well and I don’t like gender-locked classes either. Being forced to be a girl because you like the sword/shield combo seems fairly limiting.

  5. i agree with alex.

    great game, don’t care wether it’s an “MMO” or not.. i’m still enjoying it immensely.

    the only real issue i have is all the loading screens…

    the game really feels more like a traditional JRPG with all the talking to NPCs and a coherent main storyline.. but the combat is way better and you can partake in the battle sequences with a few friends… and guess what… i’m totally OK with that.

    i do really hope that they bring out the EX version that they have available over in Korea (look up Mabinogi Heroes EX, if you haven’t heard of it)… being able to jump, new skills, and a combo counter sound like great additions to the game… there is some concern that EX is a lot easier, but i have to assume that devcat can re-tune the enemies to bring the difficulty back… the added stuff brought by EX is just too good to pass up.

    oh… and i can’t seem to change the keybinds, i change them, but they seem to revert every time i restart the game.

  6. Speaking of the party leader having full connection bars while everyone else always has weak connection, well that tells me that the dungeons are indeed hosted locally on the party leader’s machine. Doubtlessly part of the Free-to-playness of the game.

    But I didn’t do any research to find out if this was the case or not, cuz I’m not a game blogger or anything. ;-}

    Also, it’s fun as hell for mindless carnage (actually fairly tactical and less mindless in boss fights), but less so than TF2. I find that the crafting and other “MMO” elements actually kinda get in the way. GW, the self-proclaimed non-MMO does the MMORPG elements better (and that’s damning praise IMO).

    Can’t beat free, though.

  7. Err you should know that there is at least one more area in the game that hasn’t been opened yet since it is beta. Actually some people found out that they could enter it through a glitch which I think has been fixed now (not sure). And the third char is supposed to come out with the open beta next month.

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