Kim Hakkyu, the Project Director of “Arcturus”, “Ragnarok Online”, “Granado Espada” and “Wolfknights” will be starting the first Closed Beta Testing (CBT) for his new MMORPG, Tree of Savior (TOS). The CBT will begin on January 15th to 18th for a total of four (4) days.
Tree of Savior is famous for being the successor of “Ragnarok Online (RO)”.Those who have played RO are familiar with its 2.5D graphics and an isometric viewpoint of the surrounding. Tree of Savior is similar, but with improved graphics. Gaming mechanics however resembles more of an earlier creation of Kim Hakkyu titled “Arcturus”.
A total of 3,000 participants will be chosen tomorrow to participate in the first CBT. The purpose of this CBT is to obtain determine the direction of the game and to obtain valuable feedback from the testers. Thus, only South Koreans were eligible to play in the first CBT. With that said, what can we expect from the first CBT?
Graphics & Sounds from the Memories of a Classic RPG
The graphics in Tree of Savior is spearheaded by the art director, Maggi An. Maggi is responsible for character design, costumes, illustrations, NPC images, background images, modelling and texture design for Tree of Savior. The character design in Tree of Savior is a result of a five (5) step development process that consists of developing the 3D model based on 2D sketches and then converting it back onto a 2D frame.
The costume and background design also reminiscent on a particular medieval age and culture. Clothing and armor reflects the Roman Empire, buildings are inspired by medieval Europe and cities incorporated from Lithuania. The design team traveled around the world to places such as Lithuania, Turkey, Nepal, France and China to collect cultural data and re-create them in Tree of Savior. The interview with the art director, Maggi showed an example of the “Fedimian” city is design based on the city of Bhaktapur in Nepal.
Kim Hakkyu started the Tree of Savior project with the aim to create a fairy tale environment with unique graphics styles. Emphasizing the loveliness and cuteness in Tree of Savior he said, “I began this project thinking that if I don’t make it, no one else will make games with cute graphics anymore.” Players will be able to recognize Tree of Savior based on its distinct art style.
We are also expecting great BGMs out of the Sound Director, Sevin who was working under SoundTEMP on the Ragnarok Online project. The BGM will use a combination of piano and various orchestra instruments to produce classical music in Tree of Savior. Other composers are Esti, Questrosound, Joon Sung Kim and Symphonix,
28 out of 80 Classes & Unconventional Class System
Although imcGAMES promised 80 classes during the official release, only a handful of 28 classes is available in the upcoming CBT. If you have played Ragnarok Online before, you know that higher ranking class does not divert out of the base class. This is the same in Tree of Savior, where the higher ranking classes retains the core function of its basic class.
However, unlike RO that starts with six base classes, TOS only starts with four (4) basic rank one (1) classes: Swordsman, Wizard, Archer and Cleric. In the CBT, testers can only advance three (3) times to rank four (4).
When players have reached a certain job level, players have the opportunity to change class. Below is an example of a Cleric class.
Job Level 15: Krivis or Priest
Job Level 30: Bokor or Dievdirbys
Job Level 45: Paladin or Sadhu
During job change, players can continue to use their existing class by leveling up the class circle. Class circle shows the depth of class advancement and each class has a maximum of three (3) class circles. Higher class circle unlocks higher level skills and attributes. For example, Wizard Class unlocks Earthquake in second circle and unlocks Magic Missile in third circle.
All old skills from lower rank classes are brought forward to the higher rank class. All of the skills can be learnt as well if they are not maxed out. The Class Advancement System does not allow players to change to a class that is lower or same rank.
Skills, Attributes & Stats
Although all of the higher ranking classes have similar basic traits, none of them share the same skill function. For example, under the Wizard class, Pyromancer and Cryomancer are both rank 2 classes but are both extremely different. Pyromancer is a fire user and Cryomancer is an ice user. At Rank 3, Psychokino attacks enemy using psychokinetic energy and Linker (Rank 3) links enemies or allies together. At Rank 4 Thaumaturge can enlarge or shrink monsters and Elementalist (Rank 4) uses strong elemental magic spells.
There are also plenty other job classes not seen in other MMORPG such as Centurion (formation master), Chronomancer (time manipulator), Pied Piper (flute player), Dievdirbys (carver of the Goddess statue) and more.
Skill collaboration is definitely a feature to look forward to in Tree of Savior CBT. Some skills can be used between party members to increase effectiveness of leveling. One of the prime example is using Cryomancer’s Ice Wall skill. When other characters hit the ice wall, ice shrapnel is produced that can damage nearby enemies. This collaboration protects both players from monster while attacking monsters at the same time.
On top of skills, players can also learn attributes. Attributes are passive skills that are unique to each class. Learnt attributes can give passive effects to your character such as adding splash damage to skills, increasing HP healing rate and so much more.
There are five main stats for each character in Tree of Savior. They are Strength, Stamina, Intelligence, Spirit and Agility. Players should be wise to up the desired stat so that it reflects the requirement of each job classes.
Fully Keyboard Controlled
One of the game mechanics inherited from the game “Arcturus” in Tree of Savior is the full keyboard control of characters. Mouse is only used for interaction with NPC. Players use the directional keys to move their character in eight (8) directions.
When using the attack command, Melee characters will attack the character nearest to him. Ranged class will target monsters closest to him in a line of sight. To target the monster at the back, players can use the “Shift” key to change targets. When casting an Area of Effect (AoE) spells, players will hold down the skill key and use directional keys to manually target selected area to cast the spell.
Video showing melee classes and healing buff zones
Video showing ranged classes and AoE skill targeting
Story, Character & Companions
Tree of Savior appeared on the Earth, destroying the capital palace. The Goddesses who have been protecting humans suddenly started to disappear one by one. Plants turned into monsters and started to attack the humans. Humans suffer from the monster attacks and prayed for help from the Goddesses. However, the Goddesses failed to answer their prayers.
Four years has passed since the event but the wounds suffered by the humans are not healed yet. Despair continued to exist until one day, people from all around the kingdom gathered in Klaipeda, proclaiming to have dreamt about the Goddessses.
Like Granado Espada, Tree of Savior will also have team name (or family name). Players will begin the game in the barrack that is named after the team name. When creating a new character, players can choose both genders, job class and hairstyles. The name of the character will appear in the game as [Character Name] [Team Name].
Barrack can be upgraded into a bigger barrack later in the game to store dozens of characters.
Characters and companions take up one slot in the barrack. Players can choose only one character and one companion to enter the field. Companions are pets that can be mounted or support you in battles. Interactions such as feeding and petting the companion increase the “closeness level” between character and companion. Higher level companions can unlocks skills and can be equipped with items.
Cards, Crafting, Enhance & Trading!
Monsters and bosses will drop items, equipment, cards and crafting ingredients. Boss monsters drop valuable cards that can be used in different ways by different classes. Some of the uses of cards include summoning monsters, changing poison content and using boss skills.
Crafting manual is the core ingredient for crafting. When a player receives a crafting manual from quest completion or dropped by monsters, it will be recorded permanently in the Adventure Journal. The crafting manual can be taught to other classes and every class in Tree of Savior can craft item. One of a unique feature players will definitely use in the upcoming CBT is staying in the field after log out. Crafting takes time in Tree of Savior, this unique feature is created to allow players to continue crafting an item after log out.
If players did not have time to craft a new item, players can opt for item enhancement. Items can be upgraded in three ways:
- Item Upgrading using an Anvil
- Inserting Jewels
- Adding Magic Amulets
Each enhancement will affect the “Potential” of the item. When an item’s potential reaches zero, players will no longer able to enhance or trade the item.
Once the goods are ready, players can make use of the market system to trade with other players. Of course, players can still trade among themselves. There is also an auction house in Tree of Savior where players can auction items. Crafting specialty classes such as Pardoner can also set up stalls to sell buffs.
Adventure, Quests, Journal and Ranking
Tree of Savior will be a thrilling adventure for many people especially with the introduction of “Free Quests”. During the initial introduction of the game, Kim Hakkyu specifically mentioned that players have the freedom to explore the world without any quest restrictions. Players have the freedom to choose which quest to complete first and to create their own adventure. Of course, there are some important quests that the players have to complete.
All achievements and discovery are recorded in the Adventure Journal. While in resting mode, players can update the Adventure Journal and keep track of their achievements. There will be achievement scores based on many achievement indexes. When players obtained a certain amount of achievement scores, they will be able to unlock certain quests or some upper level classes. This will encourage a natural desire to play the quests.
All the players in the server are ranked according to the achievement scores above. They are ranked in five (5) categories: Map Exploration, Item Discovery, Monster Discovery, Crafting Manual and Quest Completion.
Closed Beta Testing Information
Tree of Savior First Closed Beta Testing is planned to start on January 15th, 2015. Although the operating policy have a clause that prohibits online streaming of the test in streaming sites such as TwitchTV, YouTube recording, screenshots and blogging about the test is allowed.
Registration for first CBT has ended 2 days ago. The list of CBT participants will be revealed tomorrow. Stay tuned!