Eastern games with a free-to-play model continue to be imported to the
West with varying degrees of success. Most Eastern MMOGs have a hard
time finding an audience with Western players due the play style
differences between the two regions. Perfect World seeks to change that
by launching a game with the Western player firmly in mind: Forsaken World
This fantasy MMOG, which began its open beta in early March, strives
mightily to bridge the gap between East and West.
Stylistically, Forsaken World
is a fantasy MMOG that combines elements of Eastern and Western games.
The lore for Forsaken World
is your typical clash-of-the-gods scenario with the player races
loosely banded together to face the increasing threat of Dysil, an evil
entity now housed in the body of a black dragon, and his forces.
There are no ratings for the game, but there is mild violence depicted
within the game along the same scale as World of Warcraft
The gameplay for Forsaken World
will feel familiar to Western players and is similar to other
successful MMOGs currently on the market, most notably World of Warcraft
Players create their character by choosing a race and a class. FW
adds a couple of new races to the standard fantasy mix, Kindred (a
vampire-like race created when a demi-goddess
“embraced” her mortal true love) and Stonemen (a
race of males that are born out of the stones of the earth), and race
selection does have an impact upon what class you can play. Dwarves can
only be Marksmen (ranged DPS) whilst Humans and Kindred can be
Once you have chosen your race and class, you start out in your
race’s starting area. From there, you’ll follow a
linear quest path that eventually takes you to Freedom Harbor, the
questing hub of the game. From Freedom Harbor, you can quest in the
surrounding countryside or travel to other zones. The different zones
are level locked, which means that you’ll have to be a
specific level (20, 30, 40, 50, etc) to travel there.
A female dwarf marksman.
A male elf warrior.
A female kindred vampire.
Just like other MMOGs, there are crafting professions (called Jobs)
such as Alchemy or Cook that a player can learn. Some Jobs are
automatically learned by reaching a certain level, whilst the others
are learned by spending Job points. In addition, each class has their
own talent trees (starting at level 20) by which they can further
specialize their class. Other game amenities include a bank and an
While every person is on the same side (the good side), there are three
factions in the game that a player can increase their reputation with
for rewards, normally in the guise of better gear. Just like in World of Warcraft
gear can increase stats and abilities.
Quests are your typical MMOG quests: kill X of something, gather X of
something, and run messages back and forth between NPCs. There is a
main quest storyline in the game (denoted as yellow) and offshoot
quests (green) as well as daily quests. The dungeons in FW
require a party to enter and the usual minimum is three players, so if
you play solo, you’ll miss some of the content.
A feature that I like in the game is that when you’re looking
at a quest entry, you can click on the name of an NPC or monster and
you will automatically run to their location. While some might think
that this takes the fun out of exploring, I have almost no patience and
I don’t want to spend an hour looking for a specific named
monster or an NPC contact in the city.
Combat is straightforward with the player having an auto-attack and
special abilities. As you gain levels, you gain new abilities and
increase the effectiveness of certain abilities. However, you
regenerate health and mana (used for all your abilities) very slowly,
so you’ll be drinking liquids and eating food to replenish
your vitality after fighting.
Two other things stand out about monsters and combat. First, hitting
TAB does not automatically select the closest enemy to you in the
direction you are facing. It selects the closest one period
which means that it can select one behind you. If you’re not
paying attention, you can start a fight with one creature and
accidentally attack an enemy behind you. With the incredibly fast
respawn rate of creatures, this can become quite a problem.
Another weird trait is that most of the monsters do not attack on
sight. If they can be aggroed, they will have a symbol of crossed
swords over their heads. It took me awhile to get used to this, and it
still feels weird to walk through a pack of vampires equal to my level
and they don’t even bat an eye (no pun intended) at my
presence. You will definitely have to keep an eye out for those
creatures that will aggro on you as that the respawn rate in FW
is insanely fast, so you can find yourself constantly being attacked by
a respawning foe if you stay in the wrong place.
Overall, the game mechanics will feel familiar to Western players, but
there are some differences that show its Eastern origins.
First, there is a huge emphasis on pets in the game. Starting out, a
player can have two pets and this number can be expanded later on.
Before you can use a pet, you have to incubate it for at least 10
minutes. The longer you leave it in incubation, the stronger it will be
when you bring it out. Incubation only occurs while you’re
logged into the game. Once you have your trusty pet by your side, it
will fight and defend you. You can even have your pet learn skills to
enhance its ability. I had to fight off the urge to yell out,
“I summon you, Pikachu!” as I summoned my pet ram
for the first time.
There is also a great deal of running around to do the quests. Some
quests required me to run back and forth between a few NPCs a dozen
times, which I found extremely tedious. There are daily events and
quests that open up, but those are timed for specific days and specific
times. If you prefer to play late at night (like me), you’re
out of luck for events like the Nightmare Carnival.
My dwarf marksman fighting
Another interesting bit is that the zodiac is used in the game. Your
character can pray during the day with an hour between each prayer. The
first four times you pray, you are rewarded with experience, a buff,
and items. After the fourth time, you gain only a buff. If your
character’s sign (chosen at character creation) is currently
active when you pray, you have a greater chance of receiving items.
I must make note of one big negative that I hope will be addressed in
the future and that is the Encylopedia in the game. While some lore and
quest entries are put into the book for you to read over later, the
remainder of the entries is in Chinese. There’s a nice table
of contents and a search function, but everything you click on goes to
a page filled with Chinese script. I can’t read Chinese and
neither can most of the gamers in the West. I found this surprising as
that the quest text and other written parts were clear and in proper
Finally, while the game plays like most other Western MMOGs, there is
one area that it does differ remarkably: money. There are two types of
currency in the game, which I will go into detail in the Value section.
The gameplay is extremely solid overall, even with the gripes
I’ve listed above. There are some issues that need to be
addressed, but the game is very polished from a design standpoint and
offers players all the bells and whistles that they’ve come
to expect in today’s MMOGs.
The graphics in Forsaken World
are above the norm for a free-to-play game and are on par with your
typical subscription MMOG. The colors are lush and vibrant and the
lands and creatures very detailed. The look of the game is similar to World of Warcraft
and is Western in nature, but the Eastern influence of the game does
pop out from time to time. The heroes are all anime-tall with the Elves
and Kindred almost androgynous in their looks. The dwarf female looks
nothing like a dwarf, but rather an anime style gothic lolita. Zones
have different looks from one another: Freedom Harbor boasts a
Renaissance style theme to the people and architecture while the Sea of
Oblivion has an Egyptian motif due to its desert location. My one
quibble is that some of the attack animations for some of the creatures
(most notably the vampires) need to be improved a bit as that
they’re a bit too static.
Sound in Forsaken
is standard for MMOGs.
You’ll find the sounds of combat, the soothing lapping of
water, and background music, but it does not really draw you into the
world of Eyrda. The sound isn’t terrible, but it’s
more of a background filter that you listen to while questing. Like
most MMOGs, you’ll probably be listening to your own
soundtrack after a while.