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GDC 2012: A look at Seven Souls Online with the NEOWIZ team

Karen Bryan

Just a few short weeks ago, Seven Souls Online was in closed beta and Massively readers were scooping up beta keys to test it out. Now, with closed beta, well, closed and open beta just around the corner, the team at NEOWIZ GAMES sat down to show off the state of the game and its plans for launch. The devs showed some beginner gameplay and then revealed some of the content that's ready and waiting for the higher levels. From jackpots to cubes to rage mode, Lead Community Manager Cesar Gatica and Marketing Manager Joon Yoon explained it all. What the heck are jackpots, cubes, and rage mode? Read on!

First off, the team gave an overview of the nuts and bolts of the game, starting with classes. As Community Manager Gatica explained, there are three classes. The Exiled Avenger is best described as a rogue type, with stealth, dagger, and ranged attacks. The Imperial Guard is basically a melee toon, with a variety of weapons at his dispense, while the Manatech Rebel is looks like a hybrid melee/magic user. There is a fourth class hinted at on the character select screen, but right now its still under wraps and will be revealed later on. The character creator is very detailed, and when open beta arrives, the team plans on holding an in-game event called "infamous character creator" to see how many famous icons players can come up with.

The game takes place in the realm of Akkadia, and when open beta launches, players will be able to access more areas than in closed. The tutorial areas and the UI have the same familiar features that are common in MMOs, with features like minimaps, quest trackers, waypoint paths, and casting hotbars. One of the more unique features, though, is the Jackpot bar. It's based on damage dealt, and when you've dealt enough and filled the bar, you can select from four different prizes and then roll to see what you've won. There is a chance of failure, though!

Another feature that the team showed off is the cube system. When players reach level 10, they gain access to the Cube, in which players can place items and then combine, dismantle, or copy them. Combining unwanted items in the cube gives you a chance of creating a tier pebble, which is a crafting item, and from there you can click on that to get a random item. If you dismantle an tem, it spawns jewels that can be applied to the armor and gives stat bonuses as well as improves the look of the armor. There are currently 10 levels, and when you reach the higher levels you begin to glow silver and eventually gold. If you feel lucky and want to see if you can double your loot, you can put an item in the cube, copy it, and have a chance to create a second copy of the item.

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There is a trading card game, and players can gain cards for their collections through killing mobs or trading directly with players. There are three classes of cards -- normal, rare, and unique -- and the higher the class, the better the bonuses. There are currently 180 cards in the game, with plans for more down the road.

Combat is fast, and based on a combo-system. The more successive hits, the greater the damage you deal. It also opens up special attacks and chain attacks as well as rage mode. When a player does enough damage, he can activate rage, which allows him to do double damage for a certain amount of time. As players level up, the time they remain in rage increases.

While you're out adventuring, there are regular task-type quests, area quests that open up as you enter a certain area, and special storyline quests. The storyline quests are a bit more in depth, and during the demo, the team showed a cutscene involving a traitorous general and his army, who are attempting to take over a palace, and the player is asked to drive them back. As for the zones, when players start off, the areas have an Asian look to them, but as players venture out, the areas take on more of a Medieval-European look. Players can use both portals located throughout the areas to speed up travel and travel hubs that allow them to ride floating futuristic-steampunk motorcycles to various waypoints.

The team also talked about features and content for groups and guilds. Guilds can level up in game, and as they level up, they can earn special buffs. There is group content for up to groups of four as well as overland bosses for groups and larger bosses for raids of over 20 players.

The world is PvP, but there are no factions, so it's pretty much a free-for-all. However, the team has said that it is always listening to what the community wants, and the devs have the ability to switch to a PvE style if the players demand it.

As for payment plans, NEOWIZ is still working out details, but it does not currently have a cash shop in-game. If one is added, it will not contain items that would cause imbalance or create a "pay to win" scenario.

Right now, the game just finished up closed beta, and it wrapped up with a Bug-Hunt contest (winners will be receiving their prizes soon!). Open beta begins shortly, and while there is no launch date yet, the team seems pleased with the progress so far.

Massively sent four resolute reporters to San Francisco to bring you back the biggest MMO news from this year's GDC, the largest pro-only gaming industry con in the world! From games like The Secret World to PlanetSide 2, we're on the case, so stay tuned for all the highlights from the show!

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