2013/11/05

This is not the Silkroad you are looking for

So, the so called "Silkroad 2" or "Silkroad Kingdoms" (from now on refered as SRK) came out as closed beta the 31th of the last month, and I was able to login with a shared account and play around on the game and investigate a bit the client. So far I can tell I'm really dissapointed and that the game is not worth playing at all, and I will explain why below.

First I will do an small in-game review.
The gameplay overall feels slow, the server is hosted on china so lag might be part of the reason of this feeling, but overall it didn't feel confortable even after 2h of gameplay.
The graphics are average for an MMO of the year 2007-2009, the problem comes mainly from the engine, the requeriments for run the game on minimum settings are kinda high (2GB RAM, nVidia GTS 250, which is 1GB graphic card, dual core processor), and it's not because the graphics are outstanding, but because the engine is very poorly optimized, other games require way lower computer requeriments and the graphics are way better than on SRK. My gameplay wasn't long, but I was already able to find flaws such as sudden changes on enviroment (its when you change from 1 region to another with a different enviroment and in 1ms the fog, lod, ambiance color, sky color and texture filters change), while on the original SRO this was smooth, water corners everywhere, buggy camera when you go near walls, awful collision on mountains (I will dedicate a whole paragraph just for that), terrain meshes moving in front of you like quicksand, as it generates while you walk near it, the water animation and aspect looks like jelly, the swimming is buggy, and sometimes you dive till death! The textures of the world are very un-detailed when you go near them, and the variety of ground textures make the terrain look repetitive and noobish, the transaction between terrain textures is also worse than on the original SRO (gonna show a pic later), some regions doesn't load when they are far away, causing you see the regions as squares and being perfectly able to see where they end.
The movement is WASD, at least that's what they say, because it's not real WASD unless you keep pressed your right mouse button the whole time, if you press A or S without pressing the right button your character just rotate over itself, but it migth be me because I'm used to play action MMORPG's where you don't click on stuff.
The animations are average, but the transition between them is bad, causing the char to quickly change from 1 animation to another in a very un-realistic way.
The monsters variety is average aswell, its kinda funny because SRK is more fantasy-oriented than the original Silkroad, but the amount of antropomorphic-monsters is higher on SRK, maybe because it's easier to animate humans (or reutilize their walking-attacking animations) rather than monsters (humans can be captured with motion capture, monsters must be always animated by hand).
When it comes to resource usage, I have a 2010 not-too-bad computer, and while I was playing (with max settings), it was using 40-50% CPU and 1.3GB of RAM, with random FPS drops.

About the gameplay itself, I got discouraged after the first 2 hours exploring the game, so I couldn't play much PVE and didn't even test PVP, but according to other players, there are no STR/INT distribution, the formulas are exponential, meaning you have around 400k HP at level 40~, the only good thing about the game is that the map is really big, but this is also a bad thing on towns since you are slow as hell and the npc's are very far away eachother, so you take around 5 minutes to do your stuff before you are able to get back to grinding.
Is worth mentioning also that the BGM is awful. Is loud, you can't change the volume and very un-fitting for most of the zones. I remember I was in an european-like field and a BGM featuring an Spanish guitar started to sound, making me laugh of how ridiculous it was.

The big issue mentioning earlier is how easy is to "climb" mountains doing bunny-jumps. Basically, any mountain that is not vertical can be climbed, resulting into being able to go anywhere on the map at any level, this becomes a fun thing, I always found exploring those terrains very interesting, and they give you even more ease by allowing you to resurrect as many times as you want (after a short cooldown, and only lv 20 and below I guess), which makes you able to swim anywhere ignoring the fatigue bar you get when swimming.

Here are some screenshots:



Here we can see how repetitive the ground textures are, and how bad bended are eachother on the transition from field to beach


I reached that place just bordering the ground of the first European town, and the boats you see there are not solid (you can swim across them)


Here I reached a disabled part of the map by bunny-jumping through mountains, there are no objects or mobs on this area


There is a big desert disabled on the zone aswell



The division between the desert and a forest, and more repetitive ground textures




A level 40 region, the models are very simple, vertex are visible and the textures are very low quality.


A hole on the ground, visible without doing any kind of bug or anything



Here are 2 screenshots of me flying like a bird. Some places of the map make you suddenly go high for no reason at all. If you move you usually fall



Falling to the abyss, the maps near me didn't even load while I was falling, I died but I could resurrect thanks to that inifinte-resurrections item



This is hard to show on a picture, but its one of the flaws of the engine, they try to emulate the shadows generated by the sun behind the leafs, and end making an annoying noise effect on the screen with lines moving as you walk, looks awful


One of the many spots where the water doesn't reach the beach. Its not visual, if you walk on it you can go "under water" until you reach the place where the water exists, where you
suddenly go up on the water (or get bugged and get inside the water, kinda diving)



This is one of the edges of the world

And now, the reasons I think this game is not made by Joymax nor has any real relationship with the original game rather than the name.

1. Joymax haven't announced anything related to it, which is rare, as they were developing the game since years and there are few mentions of it on the company site, but no release info.
2. The company that runs SRK is using the CIMO servers and domains, but Joymax terminated their licensing contract with CIMO and created a new partnership contract with U1G for the Chinese region of Silkroad 1, which means I hardly doubt Joymax did it for close the Chinese service, but rather for punish CIMO for breaking their license
3. When asking Joymax about this concern, this was their answer (ambiguous though)
4. The quality of the game itself is far from a very worked on game like it was supposed to be Silkroad 2, in development since 2009~2010, but more like a generic Chinese MMO product
5. The artworks and ingame enviroments doesn't look at all like the poster from the Joymax office we've seen years ago (click here to see it)
6. Internally, on the .FPK files, you can see XML code with chinese comments, which usually means whoever did that was Chinese.
7. On China, SRO was known as 丝路传说, where 丝路 is Silkroad and 传说 is Legend, so Silkroad Legend. On the code seen on the executables and the game installation path the game is refered as SRLegend2, not as Silkroad Online 2, and in fact on the logo its called "Silkroad Kingdoms" with english letters
8. 2 years ago we found on the PathEngine website that Joymax bought the license of their software for their game Silkroad 2, so far I haven't seen any trace of the PathEngine software on this client. There is a path-walking system for towns, but it doesn't look like pathengine (found many bugs on it)
9. The whole fact that it is being released first on the China region instead of Korea

That's all. I won't be doing any updates of SRK on this blog anymore, if you are still interested on this game there is a great website about it where you can check out stuff:

http://www.sro2forums.com/

15 comments:

  1. welcome to a closed beta where many things are often not perfect and half done. i agree with u on many things but you sound like a little whining kid which is not getting an 1:1 sro1 clone... wait till the final release, when everything is still the same, than hate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. forgot: with the last statement about sro2 an joymax i fully agree.

      Delete
  2. Im hoping its a china-made sro copy. And there is real sro 2 in the future waiting for us made by joymax.

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  3. So synx, you think that this game is just made by this chinese company and that the real silkroad 2 is still being developed by joymax/wemade?

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    Replies
    1. Ok, wonder when we will hear about joymax then

      Delete
    2. But still, realistically, Synx. Do you think they are still working on it and havn't ditched the porject? I mean it has been so long ago that they started working on it. When will they start to reveal more information >.<. Even this web silkroad thing has been on the website for more than a year and still hasn't released...

      Delete
    3. Web Silkroad was moved to Mobile Silkroad, its the same game but only available on the phone. It has been released on Korea already, you can download the korean version (search on any app store for "실크로드는 for kakao") and you will be able to play. I tested it a bit but its worth nothing as I dont understand korean. A fun fact, the whole game BGM is from the original Silkroad game.

      About Joymax giving more info about SRO2, I can't really tell, but my instinct tell me that we should get some news about it during 2014.

      Delete
  4. The graphics are okay. but monster's designs sucks as hell

    however, what do you expect from a beta game? of course full bugs

    I'm really confused on this matter. whether is this really Silkroad online 2 we were hearing of or it's just a self-made game from a Chinese company

    Well.. days shall reveal

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  5. is there any gameplay video i can watch !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO99o_6X1qQ

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  6. In this article: http://game.163.com/13/0830/00/97G1Q39K00314J6L.html#from=relevant#xwwzy_35_bottomnewskwd

    They state that China and South Korea created together the game, the development team is the former developer for South Korean "Silkroad"

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes I know it's only beta - but i dont like the graphics. 2014 is comming and this looks like crap. Just compare this to B&S or Black Desert. Anyway graphics isnt so important. I like that oldskool sro graphic. In my opinion SRO died like 4 or 5 years ago. After 90cap.

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  8. the guy who maded this topic is an asshole, really, closed beta and even open beta will always be bad, have a lot of bugs and glitches, thats why is caled "beta", this sounds like a person who dont like the game how it is and wnat put his own ideas in it. life is not perfect dude. u.u

    ReplyDelete
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