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The Chronicles of Spellborn

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The Chronicles of Spellborn (TCoS) was a MMORPG, developed by Spellborn International and distributed by Frogster Interactive, Mindscape and Acclaim Games; set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Spellborn uses the Unreal Engine, featuring a European Art approach and contains notable contributions from Jesper Kyd.[3]

The Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation have two songs featured in the game: "The Howling" and "Sounds of Freedom".

Development

In June 2009, the developers of Spellborn, Spellborn Works, went bankrupt. One of the publishers, Acclaim, announced the following month that the game would be re-developed as a free-to-play game supported by microtransactions. The new version would be released sometime after 2010, and until then the free-to-play version would remain active.[4]

Gameplay

Spellborn consists largely of conventional MMORPG gameplay, in which the player plays a character (his avatar), and explores the gameworld in order to gain experience points and advance in level. In exploring the gameworld, he encounters quests, the most important part of Spellborn's gameplay. The game has about a thousand of these quests.[5] Completing quests is the primary means of earning experience points. Repeatedly killing creatures ("Grinding" in gaming jargon) to gain levels is not a practical option in Spellborn. Separate from other story-driven quests are the Ancestral Quests, which allow the player to take the role of a major character in Spellborn's history to accomplish a specific requirement. Players need to complete certain Ancestral Quests in order to advance their character's story arc.

Spellborn incorporates a first person targeting system.[6] In this system, the player selects an available skill to use, while aiming at the opponent. The player can also use two skills at the same time to create combinations.[7]

Characters

Warrior Mage Rogue
Bloodwarrior Ancestral Trickster
Wrathguard Void Seer Deathhand
Adept Rune Mage Skinshifter

In Spellborn the player can choose Humans and Daevis as race, who can become all classes and feature no special advantages or flaws. At character creation he can select one of three archetypes, which then spread into three different classes each at level 5.[8]

Every class gets access to several different skills, which can be used in combat, but due to the Skilldeck system players can only choose between a few at any time. Every skill a character has learned in his career is listed in the skill book. Some skills are unique to certain classes, while others are shared between them. Characters learn new skills as they increase in level. At maximum level a character can also learn the skills of the other archetypes (but not classes) by exploring certain places in the game's setting.

These skills all increase with power along the attribute they depend on — either Body, Mind or Focus. This means skills learned at an early stage can be useful at later moments as well.[9]

Armor and weapons in Spellborn do not provide any statistical improvements to the player's character.[10] Instead, they serve aesthetic purposes. Players can choose their character's appearance at the beginning of the game, and can change it later by using different items with higher requirements. Players can enhance their gear with Sigils. These enhancements are interchangeable between different items.

Setting

Since Spellborn focuses in a large part on doing quests, the game provides a certain amount of background information for the players. Spellborn's fictional history[11] is divided into eight ages; players enter the world at its current age known as "The Time of the Enclave", 998 years after the shattering of the world. The game's world is divided into Shards[12] of rock, remnants of the ancient world that are inhabited by the survivors of the cataclysm. Four main Shards are available for exploration by players.

Players ignored

After it was announced that Spellborn would go free-to-play, the player base was initially enthusiastic. However, it soon became apparent that Acclaim was basically abandoning the game until the re-release. The game download from the website, the patcher, then the game client itself ceased to work, forcing players to use third party downloads. A bug appeared that caused all players above level nine to be forced to changed their passwords every day, or be unable to enter the game. Acclaim refused to respond to tickets posted inquiring into when Spellborn would be re-released, causing suspicion among the players that the game would not return. Acclaim sold out to Playdom who then sold to Disney leaving the game with no support, administrators or moderators. Players who tried to contact all companies concerned - Spellborn NV, Frogster, Acclaim, Playdom and Disney received no replies. In August 2010, it was revealed to the media that the game would be closed down at the end of that month.[13] In protest, Spellborn subscribers and fans started a petition to try and keep the game online.[14][15][16] However, Acclaim closed its doors on August 27, 2010, and all of its games were shut down.

References

Acclaim Games Released TCoS Closed Beta

External links

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