The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Preview

Eschalon: Book II

Publisher:Ubisoft
Developer:Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date:2015-02-05
Genre:
  • Action,Role-Playing
Theme: Perspective:
  • Third-Person
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay
The loot you find when defeating enemies in battle tends to be lower in quality and uninteresting - it'll get you by, but I found the best loot by far was the stuff available for crafting. It's expensive, but once I saved up enough gold to get the recommended gear for my level, I found I didn't need to change it out for anything for a very long time, and nothing I found myself even remotely approached the quality of the crafted stuff. This ultimately means that your gear progression is going to be mostly limited to the crafting system if you choose to partake in it, unless drop rates of usable equipment increase later on; somewhat perplexing for a game with "epic loot" in its title.

Last, I hate to say it, but the combat, at least in the closed beta, is just not very good. The first problem is that it's extremely slow, especially character movement, which makes things like positioning near-impossible to really exploit properly - you just enter a room, enemies run up to you, you bash them over the head and they die. At most, you can take a few steps back to give yourself some room if you're playing a ranged character, but kiting enemies - a key part of many hack-and-slash games - is all but impossible. What's more, the difficulty is very much "on" or "off". Although some of the enemy designs are creative, generally speaking a dungeon will go one of two ways: either you steamroll it with no effort whatsoever, or it'll completely crush you. Thus, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot reveals its biggest gameplay flaw at this time - there is a low skill ceiling to it, and the only way to really get better at the game is to grind lower-level dungeons until you level up, or get enough money to buy new gear.

There's a big stigma surrounding free-to-play games, one which isn't entirely undeserved, but which is often used to judge games prematurely and rather unfairly.  While it's hard to judge just yet, The Might Quest for Epic Loot could go either way. One thing I noticed in particular is that there are lengthy timers associated with almost all things (income, building new upgrades, etc.), which seems to exist solely to motivate players to pay real money to skip the wait. In a genre about leveling up and getting better gear to take on bigger challenges, to lock much of it behind a "soft" pay wall somewhat overrules the entire point of the game.  But, if such features are entirely optional and the benefits of paying aren't too great, then it might be able to straddle the line well enough to not drive away free players, or turn them into food for the paying users.

Overall, at this time I'm not especially optimistic about The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot. The fact is that while it does have a novel idea which could make for a fantastic game, the execution at this stage didn't do it for me. As I've said, I don't have anything against free-to-play games themselves, but The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot draws more comparisons to Farmville than it does to, say, Path of Exile. The great benefit of a heavily online-focused title is that the developers are free to make changes not just before release but after it as well, and it may well be that the late-game content I didn't have access to will bring the depth that fans of this genre demand. We'll have to wait and see how things turn out once the game goes live.