Spirit Lords: a damn good time
Like most of you, Jay and I have sort of fallen out of love with gaming. Though our children are grown and gone, the truth is we don’t have the available time to commit to gaming like we used to. That, and the fact that there were no games that got us interested enough to bother. We tried, lord did we try, but there was just nothing on the market to grab us. We’ve gone back and forth to WoW a billion times. We’ve tried every new MMO that’s reared its head in the past 10 years. A handful we’ve tried twice. We’ve tried being semi-hard core and we’ve tried being ultra casual. We’ve tried being more casual than ultra casual. We’ve tried not playing any games, and we’ve tried playing multiple games at once.
Here’s what I think it all comes down to. It comes down to be tied down to your goddamn gaming rig. It’s being required to sit at home, on your computer for XYZ amount of time in order to run a dungeon/instance/whatever. It’s committing time to sitting your ass in front of that stupid ass thing to level your toon, to get the gear you need. It’s just straight up a giant pain in the ass for all involved to be tied down to that stupid ass gaming rig. However, the thing that grabs me the most about Spirit Lords, is the simplicity of being able to get an MMO experience on my tablet or phone. It’s just brilliant. Now, don’t get me wrong– this is a MOBILE game and that entails all the normal bullshit stuff you have to deal with in brand new mobile games. Certain devices run slower than others, thus impacting the users gameplay and creating a not as fun experience. You have bugs that need to be fixed that seem to last forever. You have to deal with a dev team that you are 100% CERTAIN never listens to a thing you have to say as a player, etc. I’ve got newer hardware, so have had no issues with lag times, but Jay was saying he had a hard time logging in, because of lag. I suggested he try killing his apps. That always helps my load times, or at the very least– has me convinced it helps my load times. So, let’s get started.
First and foremost– the character creation in Spirit Lords is actually really well done. You get to choose between several hairstyles and colors, face shapes, skin color and the color of your armor. The coolest thing about this is that you aren’t locked into that look forever. You can change the way your character looks any time you want to! This is probably one of my favorite features, though it’s one of those small things that I think most of the population at large cares little about. Considering many people play this game on a cellphone, I could see how it would be unimportant– but for those who play on a tablet, I think they’ll find they really like the ability to change their character.
Once you get the feel of the game, and get out of your storyline quests, you’ll eventually find yourself in Lower Arborlith. You’ll be able to wander around here, and will run into a bunch of different players who are wandering around the zone, digging up chests, or waiting for parties to form for dungeons. For the most part, this zone isn’t too laggy– but other than just checking people out by ‘inspecting’ them, and digging up treasure in pre-marked spots on your map, at this point there isn’t a lot to do out in the wild like this, outside of doing dungeons as a group.
You can chat with them privately– but the chat system in game is in some serious need of some love– and eventually you’ll find yourself wanting to throw your phone across the room from the constant stops/starts/glitches in chat. You can see the chat window at the bottom of the photo above. Basically, you tap inside that area, and it brings you to another window, shown below (eventually– depending on your connection, your phone, etc). For me, I normally can get to the window fairly quickly, but chat crashing the devices is common, and pisses off everyone– you can tell because chat is full of pretty much a-holes trying to be a bunch of weird kid-touchers with their porn chat, and then the rest of the people are bitching about chat. Between ‘join my guild’ and ‘how do you start a party’ and ‘what do I spend on gold’– that’s pretty much all you see in general chat. As you can see, general chat is about as fucking useful as Barrens chat during spring break. Oh– and also, please for the love of sam, let us turn off the RELIC MERCHANT. I want to kick him in the shins every time he spams my feed. Anyway, the yellow colored world icon is general chat, the fist is guild chat, the 3 people lined up is party chat, and the other slots are for private messages. Which seems isn’t really about the game, but seems to be for weirdos doing weird chat things with people they shouldn’t be doing chat things with. Gross.
UPDATE REGARDING THE CHAT SYSTEM:
I was on the Spirit Lords forums this morning and noticed one of the devs posted about the chat system. Here’s a screenshot of his post:
The guild interface was the most surprising part of this game for me. I’ve never actually seen a mobile game that had a decent guild system, so finding this was a real treat. You can tell that the game is young, and that there are still parts of the guild system that haven’t yet been fleshed out, but you can see the potential anyway. Promoting people within the guild is easy, though there is no real direction on what those ranks allow (at least, from the in-game perspective I didn’t find anything). I do like that I can constantly see where our guild sits in the rankings– so that part is easy. It’s also super easy to click on a name in chat and have the menu pop up that allows a guild invite. Super handy.
I haven’t gone into the actual game play, spirits, dungeons, etc yet, but I will do so in the next few days. Again– is this the best game ever made? Naw, of course not. But– it’s a really fun mobile game that has a Diablo feel to it. There are some kinks to work through (balance, leveling, chat, guilds) but for the most part– it tends to be a pretty fun little game. Next time I’ll get into the dungeons, quests and side quests.