The first community test of NPIXEL’s Web3 MMORPG ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’ has finished successfully. ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’ is a PC MMORPG that combines the Grand Saga IP with blockchain technology. Some may think of it as a P2E game, but it’s different in several ways from them. This is because they brought the IP into the blockchain environment while changing everything to go along well with the environment.
The biggest change is that it has become really close to the PC MMORPG genre. Grand Saga is also an MMORPG, but the system was closer to a collectible RPG. The growth system was also closer to general collectible RPGs, so getting a high-grade character or Grand Weapon was more important than growing a character.
But ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’ was different. It turned into an MMORPG where you create your own character. I say "your own character," but it's not the kind of character you can customize completely — you're choosing one of the characters with a set appearance, gender, and class. In this first community test, there were four classes to choose from: Elementalist, Guardian, Gunner, and Mage, and there were some familiar faces like Wyin and Quyi.
It’s easy to understand the battle system if you think about World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14. You target an enemy and use skills through hotkeys. As the level rises and you gain more skills, the character gets stronger, and the action gets fancier. However, it’s not completely the same — there is no healer in ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’, which is always in general PC MMORPGs.
If healers don’t exist, usually, potions replace them, but in ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’, even that’s not easy. You can carry tens or hundreds of potions, but there’s a cooldown. As for HP recovery potions, the cooldown is a whopping two minutes, so it’s impossible to keep fighting to death while drinking endless numbers of potions.
That’s not necessarily against all monsters — if it’s a field monster of a similar level, it’s not that difficult to fight while getting struck a few times. The problem is when you enter instance dungeons. The named and boss monsters’ attack is at another level. AOE attacks are strong, but as their cast speed is slow, you can dodge them, but basic attacks are targeted, so you get struck no matter what. Obviously, forming parties to clear instance dungeons is compulsory.
The party play of ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’ is similar to general MMORPG, except that there are no healers. Guardians, who are tanks, get aggro of an enemy, then the other characters focus their attacks on the enemy. Obviously, even if Guardians are tanks, they can’t simply get struck by all the attacks. Allowing basic hits are alright, but when the boss lands an AOE attack, they have to evade it. The farming system is similar to general MMORPGs as well — get quests, go into instance dungeons, kill bosses, and farm.
During the first community test, there was an event of killing the Super Mumu King boss. Through this, players were able to gain apparel boxes and MetaPixels, which can be used as P2E elements afterward. Besides that, many different rewards were given in a PvP field channel called Chaos Field. This is projected to be an element where players can farm good items and mine MetaPixels.
Although ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’ attempted to transition into a PC MMORPG, there were areas where it wasn’t really perfect. It still looked like a mobile MMORPG, so there was more to smooth out. More than that, there was more to improve in the gameplay. The main issue was about the harmony of the tank, damage dealer, and healer of the World of Warcraft-style MMORPG, and the strategy that comes from it isn’t yet enough.
Let’s have a look at World of Warcraft, which made the genre’s grammar. The instance dungeon strategy of World of Warcraft is as follows. When the tank gets the aggro from monsters, healers take care of the party mates’ HP so that they don’t die, and the damage dealers focus the targeted monsters one by one or reduce the number of monsters using crowd control skills.
The basic strategy changed little by little as expansions came, but players each still have a clear role: tank, damage dealer, and healer. Tanks gobble up aggro, healers heal, and damage dealers need to kill the monsters as fast as possible. However, in ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’, that wasn’t very clear.
One of the reasons is that the features of each class are light. As mentioned above, Guardians are tanks, but in the past test, there was no trouble in clearing instance dungeons with any class party that doesn’t include Guardians. This could be because it’s an early instance dungeon, but more than that, it’s due to the system structure of ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’. Since there is no healer, it’s designed rather loosely.
Overall, the change into a PC MMORPG isn’t bad. The visual assets and tastes of Grand Saga were clear, but that’s only from the first impression. Although the PC MMORPG genre is in a famine, there are several competitors for ‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’. It’s clear that the competitors that have been available for multiple years have a solid system.
It’s not that all PC MMORPGs have a party system based on tanks, damage dealers, and healers. Some emphasize the action more, like MORPGs. What ‘Grand Saga: Umlimited’ needs to show is clear — make the battle system more specific — whether they’ll go more toward the original Grand Saga and emphasize the action, or make the roles of PC MMORPGs clearer in tanks, damage dealers, and healers.
‘Grand Saga: Unlimited’ is recruiting second community testers up to Jun. 15. They’ll be recruiting up to 8,000 players. The candidates are MetaPixel members, NFT holders, and players that accomplished the Pioneer quest in the first community test. New content and systems that weren’t available in the first community test will be available in the second community test.