Devilian – First Impressions

Spurred by Syp and Rohan, I gave Devilian a go; enough to reach level 19 and run 2 dungeons, which exposed a decent chunk of content.  Fusing, enchanting and end-game experience gains for AA points isn’t in the bag yet.  Neato, you can get it from Steam. So-so, you use Glyph, Trion’s all-in-one game manager.

So I guess some quick notes.  Devilian feels like a PC port of Arcane Legends, with a slightly more integrated overworld.  In fact, similar to Rohan, I’d compare the overworld to Marvel Heroes, where there are more than 3 people around you.  The rest of the game is taking the tropes from mobile dungeon crawlers and tweaking the UI.

The art style is Asian, so my evoker has a stupidly bouncy chest and runs around in heels.  The actual combat art is good, with telegraphs in place to make you move around.  The sound is pretty neat as well, though I have yet to notice any actual music.  Characters and pets are well animated, though the graphics themselves are pretty shoddy unless you max everything out.  I also find that the camera is a bit too close.  All personal taste really.

I am disappointed in the armor designs though, or lack thereof.  It’s the same issue I have with Diablo to be frank, where everyone just looks the same while leveling up.  My evoker is wearing a nightgown and one stocking.  Why?  When you create a character you can see what their gear looks like later on, and the 3 options all looked like I was going clubbing.  It’s off-putting.

Character development is very straightforward, with a minimal set of stats.  After level 10 you get to specialize in 1 of 3 trees, given 1 point per level to invest.  The trees have names and intent (like a control tree) but the skills within have little/nothing to do with the names. For example, the Burst tree has a healing skill.  Each skill has 2 or 3 additional nodes allowing you to customize a bit, say less cooldown or extra mana per hit.  You need to invest X points in order to unlock more skills in the tree.  There are passive skills available per tree as well, but you need to invest all the way to the end to get them.  You can cross between trees as well, though limited by available points.  You can reset points at any time and you can save 2 point configurations as well (more if you’re a patron).  So there’s some flexibility here, certainly.

The story/lore/quests are skipped through due to poor writing and structure.  I like reading about the lore but this stuff isn’t interesting in the least.  Not a bit deal in the grand scheme of things though.

There’s threat, knockdown, slow, and stun/frozen as core combat mechanics.  Every skill has an AE component and a maximum number of targets.  It makes for big, hectic fights most of the time.  Bosses are single target affairs, usually some giant creature that’s a damage sponge.  Dungeons are straight lines, with 7-15 fights each.  There’s a built-in LFG tool, so you can solo or go in with 3 random people to clear it.  It is near identical to any mobile group dungeon crawler you’ve played before – seriously, it’s a giant flashback to Dungeon Hunter 5.

The requisite “gambling” is here as well, in the Talisman section.  Think trading cards, with 1-5 star quality that you unlock from boxes.  You can buy the boxes, or create them for gold.  Merging, fusing and all that stuff.  It gives the game a long tail I guess.  They have a big enough impact on statistics that you shouldn’t ignore them later on, but they are pretty meaningless while leveling.

There’s an auction house too, but the UI is quite poor.  If you don’t know the exact name you’re looking for and want to find say, all the weapons available, you need to select the level range, the class and the quality before running the search.  If you want to use the same criteria for a helmet, you need to re-enter all that data again.  I guess this is in place to save on SQL queries and server memory.

No gold spam yet.  I think that’s related to the chat channels being ranked based on your behavior.  Which in itself is the most interesting feature the game has shown me so far.  That is, if what I think is happening, actually is happening.  The store itself doesn’t seem to sell any power related items directly.  So from a F2P perspective, it’s good.  There’s a daily login counter, with benefits that route… but that’s expected nowdays I guess.

I’m far from the end game; that seems to take around 10-12 hours based on what I’ve read.  The first impressions are that the combat is engaging, and there’s smoothness to the gameplay.  It’s certainly engaging, which is good.  It’s free to play and there aren’t any restrictions that I can see.  The characters have enough skills to be diverse, the art is ok and it feels like you can get things done in a small amount of time.  It’s certainly worth the pickup to try it out.

Once I reach the end-game, I’ll add some more thoughts to the long-term viability of the game.

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