The ARPG MMO is full of hack-and-slash, dungeon crawling adventure.
Devilian, an ARPG MMO currently released only in Thailand and South Korea, will be coming North America and Europe with Trion Worlds at the helm. We spoke with Producer Andrew Sipotz, Program Manager Victoria Voss and Trion CEO Scott Hartsman last week about the game and we took our first look at how it plays.
At character creation players will be able to choose between four classes: Evoker (battlefield control and projectile blasts), Shadowhunter (whip-wielder that can alternate between melee and ranged), Cannoneer (tactical), and the Berserker (dual-wielder, plate-wearer). During gameplay your character can shift into devilian form, which is a super-charged winged demon form that uses its own ability set, enhanced stats, unique equipment, and has its own progression. By slaying mobs you'll gain devil soul, which both contributes to leveling up your devilian form and grants more time to be shifted into the form.
Andrew: "In the game you play as a devilian who has been awoken from a long slumber after an ancient war between man and demon. The storyline progresses as you quest; there's story for the class that you play through and learn more about the background, what's going on with the world and has happened since you've been asleep, and what the new evil is up to."
Devilian has typical MMO elements, such as dungeons, groups, raids, social features, and so on. The ARPG influence is most evident in the combat, which gave off Diablo series vibes to us with its fast-paced movement.
Three skill trees per class will allow for players to customize their character to mold a playstyle. Enhance and modify skills to master them, increasing their potency in battle. Talismans, acquired mainly through the crafting system, allow you to customize your character and increase your stats. Only a select amount can be equipped at one time, but they can be leveled up by sacrificing other talismans.
The game has a click on map to run feature to quickly navigate you around to your desired location. "It's all about getting you into the action as fast as possible," Andrew explained. Use mounts not only to increase your run speed, but also to gain special advantages (ex: decrease aggro range of mobs).
Area rift events will bring players together to accomplish a common objective. For players of MMOs such as RIFT, this concept will sound quite familiar. Also out in the world are World Bosses, which is optional contested content available to challenge and support up to 200 players.
In Devilian's PvP you'll be capturing control points in your devil form while trying to dominate your opponents. Some open world events are PvP as well, but the player-vs-player content is completely optional to engage in. If PvE is more your style, there are many dungeons you can dive into with a group, or you can tackle a raid with up to a max of nine players.
Andrew: "Dungeons can either be played solo—here's a lot of solo dungeons—but the group dungeons are amazing. They're more like traditional MMO dungeons; they're hand-crafted, they have coordinated attacks from the bosses. You have to examine your group's skill set and adjust your strategy based off what you have.
"There's no Holy Trinity in Devilian. You customize your class and play the way you want to play."
ZAM: "So basically everyone can contribute evenly to a party no matter how they set themselves up?"
Andrew: "Yes. Find the skills that work for you and that's the best way to get through the content in the game."
A robust guild system will bring players together in Devilian. On top of being in a guild and helping it earn levels, guilds can also form alliances with each other, giving players more resources to call upon each other for help in tackling content. Your guild could also declare war against a guild they dislike, opening up options for PvP against one another, as well as competitive PvE play.
Guild gifting allows you to send a limited number of gifts to guildmates each day. Players can build affinity with each other as they send more gifts, which then increases the potency of the gifts. As Andrew explained, "It pays to pay well with your guildmates!"
Scott: "Our internal players have been playing this for a couple of months now, so we have folks in the 200 hours range... I'm actually one of them. With the combat pacing you get these overworld areas where you [experience] the joy of combat, you versus dozens of creatures all at one time.
"But then you can suddenly go into a group instance, where you have to work on boss tactics and strategies, otherwise you're wiping 10-20 times. It's got a nice blend of popcorn encounters, where it's really just about the fun and abilities, and at the same time you got the harder-core moments where it's really rewarding and you get loot at the end."
A post level-cap Alternate Advancement system will be in place for those looking to continue improving on their character once they hit the top. Continue to earn experience and spend it in various AA trees while gaining post-cap abilities. The level cap hasn't been decided on yet, but the Korean and Thai version is currently set at level 60.
Trion is aiming to release Devilian at the end of 2015 and beta registration is currently open. "We've been working on this for quite some time behind the scenes," Scott explained. The game will be free-to-play, with an in-game marketplace and membership options akin to RIFT's. As an alternative, gemstones can be earned from in-game content and will allow players to purchase items similar to marketplace items from a vendor in town.
Another comparison, for those familiar with RIFT, is a feature similar to Instant Adventures called the Eternal Hunting Grounds. Players register to take part in the hunting grounds and will be ported in a group to a specific ground where they face elite mobs and perform dailies.
Our thanks to Andrew, Scott, and Victoria for taking the time to show us Devilian!
Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor