Arcane Saga Online is a free to play massively multiplayer online role playing game developed by CJ Internet Game Studio. There are 4 races and 7 classes to choose from, while 3 races have both male and female options and each of the 7 classes can only be accessed from one of the 7 character race and gender options. Because of this, there isn’t a whole lot of character customization, since you will just have to pick the race and gender that has the class you are interested in. Each class will eventually have a total of 3 jobs to choose from, a party job at level 30 and PvP job at level 45, which all range from dps, tanking, healing, and PvP. After picking your desired class, you will be able to somewhat customize what your character will look like. Only the hair and face will have options to choose from, though there is a large selection of colors that you can choose for your hair and skin. Even though this is a free to play game, all of this means that there will not be paid options to change genders or even races, since it is all tied to your class. You might think you’re done, but you will also be able to choose what your Anima looks like. The options are the same as your character, in regards to hair and skin choices.
When you are around level 15, the Anima that you designed during character creation will become available to you. Other than simply following you around everywhere that you go, the anima can be quite useful in different situations. Moreso when you apply skill points to it, the abilities that you use during combat may be imitated by your Anima, which effectively causes the selected ability to be used twice. This can be deadly or helpful when you use an especially strong ability. Your Anima can also use a purify ability on either dead or alive enemies, which will give you crafting reagents. There is even a way to take control of it, allowing you to walk around in its shoes. . . you might even discover something this way.
If you have played other MMOs, there will be nothing new here. You will be going from zone to zone doing quests that involve killing different enemies over and over. Every once in a while you will get a quest that will want you to do something else, but they generally just require you to click and item when you get to a certain location.
Many activities, from simply using the in game ui and completing quests, will earn you simple achievements that will reward you with Star Coins. This kind of currency can be used in an in game store always available to you through the interface, with lots of different tools to help you on your journey to max level. A lot of these items are the same ones that can be bought with real money, though you can buy Star Coins with money as well, so if you prefer to earn items instead of simply opening up your wallet you are able to.
Along with the Star Coins that you are able to earn, you will also be given a lot of gifts through the mail system automatically when you reach certain character levels. These gifts come in a wide variety of the same ones that you can buy with either the coins or real money, even Star Coins themself, making another way to earn items without spending a dime. The issue with this though is that since you get quite a ton of them, if you try to accept them all at the same time your inventory will fill up fast and with limited space, this will cause a problem.
Every job will always have every skill in its arsenal available to you, so you will be playing with the same abilities from level one all the way up to 70. This may sound boring, but the skill points that you earn from leveling up can be applied to any of your abilities, causing them to either be stronger or work more often. You will have to wisely choose when and where to spend your points since they are per class instead of per job, since if you put them all into a healing role you will have none to put into your PvP job.
Except for a few jobs, most just have abilities that don’t seem to work or go together well, and you just feel like randomly pushing buttons. The addition of the combo system gets rid of this and allows you to create your own rotation. You choose which ability starts the combo, as well as 5 abilities after it that must be used in order. Each of the 5 abilities can be paired with a buff, which have a small chance of being applied to you when the successfully cast each ability in the combo. Buffs can range from simple status bonuses such as STR+, to healing you or regenerating mana. The combo system is very strict in how long you get to activate your abilities in a row, which balances it for PvP and rewards damage dealers for standing in the correct places.
The gear that exists in Arcane Saga isn’t very special on its own, which is where all the spheres come into play. Each piece of gear, from weapons and armor, to jewelry such as rings, has a base stat on it such as physical or magic defense. They all also have different colored slots to put items in called spheres, which have a large variety of colors. Each sphere is limited to which slots they can go into, base colors can only go into their own slot, while mixed color spheres can go into any color that they are part of. Since gear itself has almost no stats, the bonuses that you can get from spheres is huge and is important to pick the best stats for your job. The stats that spheres have can be any of the stats that exist in the game, such as extra hp and mp to bonus strength and wisdom. Each piece of gear also has two locked grey sphere slots that require special items to unlock, and the grey spheres that you can acquire are very powerful such as giving you a bonus of 30 to every stat at once. All spheres can easily be taken out and put back into any piece of gear at any time, so you can easily save your strong spheres for newer pieces of equipment.
There are many different types of equipment, potions and food, spheres, and gear upgrades that are available for you to craft. All crafting requires many different types of materials, and all of them can be found while killing monsters or disenchanting already obtained gear. The need to go around and hunt for shiny rocks to mine or plants to pick doesn’t exist in this game, which gets rid of a lot of grind and wasted time of waiting for your character to mine their 5000th rock. When crafting gear, you may or may not get a random assortment of already equipped spheres in the piece you made, making a good way to accumulate different types of spheres. Potions and food just require items you can find while killing enemies, and they are all simple ones that just restore health and mana. While you can’t directly make the colored spheres on your own, you can gamble ones that you already own along with a little bit of money which will randomly change its color and stats either for the better or worse. Grey spheres are the only ones that you can directly create, and they cost a lot of material to make.
Starting at level 30, you may begin to explore the many dungeons that are available every five levels. Grouping together with 5 other people, a tank and healer accompanied by 4 damage dealers will work their way through the many different rooms full of enemies, while periodically running into bosses to defeat. At first the dungeons are very easily done, even two people can complete the first dungeon, but as you get higher in levels the dungeons and their residents will become stronger and use more complex abilities. Bosses in the beginning just require the healer to keep the tank alive while everyone else kills it, but later on the bosses will indirectly attack the group with are of effect spells so everyone will have to make sure they’re paying attention to what they’re doing. All bosses have a chance to drop an item that can be sold for a large amount of money, as well as pieces of a dungeon specific set that can benefit any job.
Compared to other MMOs, you could say this game is simply unpolished and not worth the time. The grind to max level as well as materials to craft items is drastically reduced in Arcane Saga Online, since you can easily get to level 30 in the first day of playing. Gear having the ability to be greatly customized is another plus, since you can decide exactly what stats go on your gear.
The available options are very limited, but luckily you are able to rebind what every button does. A lot of the nice features and options in other MMOs however don’t exist. Even at the max settings, graphics for Arcane Saga are very simple and basic, though the character models do look fairly nice while the world and everything else look like they were made a decade ago. Every area has its own music while all abilities and attacks also have unique sounds, so they didn’t skimp there.
Overall, almost every mechanic in the game feels like as if it is unpolished. Everything feels and looks very simple, as well as being stiff and unresponsive when you try to do certain things. Not only does it exist in the game mechanics, but it is another MMO that feels like it was quickly and rushed through a translation team, since at times it can take a while before you figure out what something means. Skills and different specializations have always been a staple mechanic in MMOs, but in Arcane Saga they really limit your ability to change them around easily. You can only switch your job around 4 times every 24 hours, and in order to move your skill points around you must reset each one separately… which will cost a lot of Star Coins. Along with the previous restriction, you also can only enter each available dungeon four times a day, which can put a hamper on your journey if you don’t like quest leveling. Inventory space is very limited, and you can’t buy and use extra bags which you can do in almost every other MMO. With the amount of free goodies that they send you from leveling up, your inventory can get filled up very fast unless you decide to use all the gifts. Although it doesn’t affect gameplay, the fact that each race is tied to one class, that creates a big limitation in the customization of characters. Some people probably don’t want to be forced into a male role for tanks, or female role for healers. This is even moreso bizarre when you realise that both human choices only come with dps as both of their PvE jobs. . . male having two magical dps jobs and female having two ranged dps jobs.
As long as you are around the level as the enemies that you face while questing, they are all very easy since it is as simple as pushing buttons until the monsters are dead. If you ever struggled as a tank or healer in other MMOs, you might just want to stick to being a damager dealer when it comes to dungeons since both of the other roles will most likely be too much for you again. Even so, as you progress through the game even the people doing all the damage to bosses will have to make sure they aren’t causing the enemies to attack them as well as dodging all of the abilities that bosses tend to use on groups. Leveling your character out in the field while doing quests and killing enemies will allow you to quit at any time, since none of that content takes more than a few minutes to complete each task. However, if you are more interested in doing dungeons, they can easily take from 30-60 minutes to complete, and that is only if everyone is doing their job right. If you are doing a dungeon with possibly weaker players or strangers in general, you might not want to be willing to stick around for the amount of time it will take to complete the dungeons.
As with all other MMOs, PvP is an aspect that exists in Arcane Saga and it can happen out in the world while you’re leveling or in designated areas. With the wide selection of skills and abilities that exist on all the classes, as well as PvP specific jobs, you can expect PvP combat to be engaging. Even the PvE in Arcane Saga is challenging, which we don’t seem to see anymore in newer MMOs these days. A group that is above the dungeon’s level with a very good healer and tank can easily struggle on the bosses, meaning that groups that plan to do PvE content at the minimum level will definitely have a rough time. The achievements that currently exist in the game aren’t very difficult and most people will have earned most if not all of them by time they are at max level. Peros, on the other hand, will be what all collectors will be after because there are well over 100 of them. Some can simply be bought, but others will have to be found out in the world and collected with your Anima, such as a few guaranteed ones that can be found in the dungeons.
Arcane Saga Online is a completely free to play mmo and it does not suffer from having microtransactions. Currently, 99% of everything that you can buy with real money makes it a faster leveling experience to the max level of 70. There are a few cosmetic items though mostly for your Anima. Everything bought in the store uses NC, which costs a dollar per 1000. Star Coins can also be purchased, and with the most expensive purchase of 1000 of them being 27 and a half dollars, you might want to just earn the ones available in game first in case you don’t need that many. Most of everything costs between 1-5 dollars each, and can last either one day or 7 days, so it isn’t too overly expensive considering it is a free game. Mounts can also be rented for up to 30 days, which cost 4-5 dollars. Nothing in the store can give people large advantages, only unique convenience items such as being able to revive at 100% restoring at the spot that you died, but they can be costly. Compared to other free mmos, Arcane Saga Online has one of the best micro transaction models that won’t drain players of money. . . unless they want to reach max level very fast.