Monday, February 7, 2011

Cabal Online review

Cabal Online is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG that used to be published by OGPlanet, but is now published by ESTsoft, the game’s developer. The game was officially released in North America on February 28th and is known for it’s unique set of features and solid gameplay. Start off your adventure in one of the game’s three newbie towns and explore the large fantasy world of Cabal Online. The game’s six playable classes are:
Warrior - As the name applies, the ‘warrior’ is the standard tank / melee character. The warrior relies entirely on his strength and uses the two handed sword as his main weapon.
Blader - Bladers are proficient at using dual swords and can deal damage very quickly but have incredibly low hit points. They are strong PvE characters, as they have high defense.
Wizard - The Wizard is the standard offensive spell caster archetype in Cabal. They can deal massive damage from a distance but are vulnerable to attacks in melee range. They have the lowest hit points in the game.
Force Blader – Force bladers are proficient with both spell casting and melee swords. They are quick and agile and can do a great deal of damage very quickly, but are unable to wear heavy armor. They are regarded as one of the best ‘pvp’ classes.
Force Shielder - Force Shielders are the standard ‘tank’ archetype in Cabal, they have the best defensive capabilities, but relatively weaker damage than the other melee classes in the game. They are capable of using both defensive and offensive magic and are considered strong ‘PvE’ characters.
Force Archer - As the name applies, the Force Archer is the generic ‘archer’ character in Cabal Online.
Cabal Online is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG by ESTsoft. The game has a fast paced combat system and looks a lot like a more graphically impressive Silkroad Online. The game has a fair amount of variety with its six playable classes and varied maps. The game certainly doesn’t reinvent the MMORPG genre, but it’s a polished fantasy title with a lot of unique features to explore.

The most innovative aspect of Cabal Online’s fast paced combat is the game’s combo system. After reaching level 10, players can use combo attacks which require players to time their attacks for them to do additional damage. This is an interesting system that I’d like to see other MMORPGs employ, because it spices up an otherwise incredibly boring and repetitive part of a game; the grinding. At least in Cabal Online, you can perform combos to keep you entertained while you grind. This feature became popularized in console RPGs and I’m glad that at least one MMORPG incorporated it into its combat, as it also adds skill into the combat. The more advanced a skill is, the harder it is to land perfect combos, so you’ll need to practice to get better.

Lord of War’ is the name of Cabal Online’s latest content update that introduced a lot of fun new features into the game, most obviously the new ‘Lord of War’ system. The ‘Lord of War’ which rewards the top players on the server each week with special bonuses and titles. Even though the content update is called ‘Lord of War’, it introduces a lot more to the game other than the PvP ranking system. It polished up a lot of the game’s existing features, introduced new skills, fixed countless bugs and also introduced both a party search system and an auction house. I’m surprised that it took a massive content update for Cabal Online to have an auction house, as there is no reason for such a feature to be excluded at launch for any modern MMORPG.

Cabal Online has an interesting level progression system that takes the old generic leveling up system and spices it up by adding one simple component; a reward every 10 levels. Every 10 levels, players in Cabal can upgrade their class level by completing a special quest, and upon the completion of that quest, players will be rewarded with access to new skills or special items. This isn’t exactly a revolutionary change from the ‘norm’, but it definitely spices up the gameplay a bit, and I’d like to see this sort of system incorporated into other games, as It adds another incentive for players to push themselves to get to the next level.

Honor is a big part of Cabal Online, because honor ranks can have a significant impact on your character’s stats. A player with a high honor rank gets a massive bonus to hit points, damage and all resistances. Players can gain honor by hunting monsters in special PvP zones and also by defeating enemy players in duels and PvP areas. Characters can lose honor just as fast as they gain it if they PK others or craft certain items. The most powerful craftable items usually require a large deal of honor to be sacrificed, so honor actually means a lot in Cabal. Plenty free MMORPGs usually incorporate some sort of PvP reward system, but no other game really rewards players as much as Cabal Online does for getting ‘honor’ and killing enemies in PvP zones.

Cabal uses a pretty….. for a lack of better words ‘unique’ method of combating botters and spammers by having a Captcha system in place for logging in and switching characters. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘Captcha’ they’re those distorted letters you have to type in to verify that you’re a human being when creating an account on most websites. Having to enter the captcha every time you switch characters and during the game at times can get terribly annoying, but it’s worth it if it stops botters and spammers, right? Well maybe it would be, but the fact is that it doesn’t eliminate the in game spam, as the chat box is usually full of someone advertising a site where you can purchase power leveling and currency for the game. You’d imagine if something didn’t work, it would get patched, but unfortunately it hasn’t happened yet.

Although Cabal Online doesn’t reinvent the MMORPG genre, it’s still a fun game to play, especially if you’ve already played a lot of the Free MMORPGs out there and are looking for something new to try. The game has a fun PvP system and an interested fast paced combat system with gorgeously animated graphics. The gameplay is extremely polished and is the game’s varied classes and environments will keep you coming for more. The game used to be published by OG Planet who also publishes LaTale, Rumble Fighter, Lost Saga and Hockey Dash, but is now being published by ESTsoft, the game’s original developer.

Omer Altay

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