The closed beta for Requiem: Bloodymare started on 2/29. Being the MMO whore that I am, I snapped up a beta key and started playing. Horror games are not my usual cup of tea, but something about blood, gore, and mmo-style play thrills me. For example, there's something totally awesome about killing those named mobs in Diablo 2 that explode into bits and pieces all over the place when they die.
There's no NDA on this beta, so I thought I'd share my thoughts.
The premise is that there's some kind of magical energy wreaking havoc on this world, so my avatar has undergone some kind of cybernetic enhancement to become a Temperion. I have to go on quests for the company that made me and help people out with problems. That, in itself, feels a bit odd to me, simply because when I created my character, I didn't really feel like I was creating a hero. It felt more like I was creating a mercenary, at best. The NPC's I help seem to view me more as a hero, though.
Regardless of what race you choose, the first 10 levels of every character is exactly the same. At level 10, you get to decide what your job will be. Each race can choose between 2 jobs, so there's not a whole lot of choice. There's a DNA system that enhances your character, along with skills that you can learn each level. I haven't experimented much with DNA yet, though, as I only just reached level 10. Leveling is slightly slow when compared to World of Warcraft (and I'm only comparing the two because EVERYONE compares EVERYTHING to WoW these days), but I don't feel that it's THAT bad.
There's a tutorial of sorts when you begin, but it's not that great. It teaches you how to move, attack, use items, etc. But nothing ever pops up on the screen to say, “press M for the map.” I got all the way to level 10 before I stumbled on M by accident…lol. Not that I really minded. I'm used to EQ back when there WAS no map. And Plane of Knowledge? Hah! I walked everywhere or paid someone for a port.
The battle system is standard fare. Auto-attack, spells, skills, cooldowns, etc. You can enhance your gear with items and deconstruct old gear into items.
Graphics are very nice. I turned everything up, of course. And the blood and guts? AWESOME. Twitching, bloody corpses lie on the ground after you deliver the killing blow and usually a body part or two goes flying. I'm loving it.
The background music is meh. I turned it off after a day, although I kept the regular sound effects on. Every game day (which seems to be about 2 hours or so), there's a period of time called Nightmare Time or something. It lasts for about 15 real minutes. During this time, nightmare creatures (like Elites) come out, which require groups to kill. I haven't killed one or seen one yet, so I'm not sure what the benefits are if you kill them. I love when Nightmare time starts, though. The whole screen goes black for a second or two and there's an ominous sound.
Probably my biggest complaint about the game isn't really about the game itself, but the people who are playing it. I realize that this is an M Rated game. I expect profanity and stuff. Hell, I have a pretty foul mouth myself, sometimes. But just because you can swear, does not make it okay to treat people to verbal abuse or racist comments. I get the distinct impression that many people playing this think, “Oh, it's M rated, so I can say whatever I want.” An M Rating shouldn't give people the license to hurt others, you know? Thankfully, there is an excellent “Block” option and, believe it or not, I've only added one person to that list so far. (I have very high tolerance for stupidity, although I LOVE to complain about it.)
I created two characters: a shaman and a soul hunter. I'm looking forward to actually playing them now that I have their level 10 jobs. As to whether I will actually play this game when it goes live, I'm not sure yet. I don't know anything at all about grouping or group dynamics. 1-10 is totally soloable. I have quests now that require me to group, so I'll learn soon. It's my understanding that the game will be free-to-play with pay-for-premium.
I can't remember what server I chose, but if anyone else is playing, I'd love to have someone else to play with.