Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem Impressions - Oh hey there Diablo

This is honestly a game I never heard of, never had it on my radar, didn't know anything about until yesterday. Then all of a sudden people are talking about this 5 year developed kickstarter action rpg project and I'm looking at videos of a next generation looking Diablo-like game.

So I was like....uhh....Okay.

Wolcen is an isometric action rpg much akin to the Diablos and Path of Exiles in the world, though it is a lot more like PoE than Diablo. Slay monsters, collect loot, level up and fill up a massive fucking skill tree with apparently more build options than a tub filled with Legos.

You start by making your own character, and immediately Wolcen differentiates itself from the other action-rpg games. In Wolcen you do not pick a character class when you make your character, instead you pick a starting weapon and go from there. The starting weapon is basically meaningless to the long term progression of your character. What the game does is give you abilities and skills based on your weapons, sort of in a way that Guild Wars 2 used to do things.

For example you equip a sword and you'll have melee type abilities, powerful slashes and ground slams and shit like that. But if you have a wand, you'll instead have spells, or ranged skills if you have a gun or bow equipped. Where Wolcen gets a bit more crazy, is that you can mix and match these weapons up to create a bunch of interesting set ups. Equip a dagger for quick applications of poisons and bleed, then also equip a gun in the off hand so you can use explosive bullets and drop turrets and shit. Or maybe equip a spell focus to shot fireballs at poisoned foes. Whatever you want. You can duel wield guns to just be a ranged bully.

Your skills level up allowing you to enhance them like rune in diablo 3. And your talent tree is a huge sphere grid of crazyness. In Path of Exile you have this network web of paths you can take as you put points into this grid, working your way towards specific goals. Wolcen does this same thing but better, because your grid is divided into three rings, and you don't have to follow a linear path to reach the powerful abilities on the outer ring. Instead each of the rings within the tree can be rotated allowing you to mix and match the directions you go. Of course each section of these rings apply themselves to specific types of characters like fast attack speed, or enhance elemental effects, or making yourself tougher, and all that stuff. Because you can rotate the rings around you can start leveling into assassin, then rotate the next ring to give you more mage related things, then rotate the outer ring to give you more tanky boosts.

There are a lot of sections within this talent ring too. So the mix and match potential is absolutely nuts.

Stats are done differently as well. In other RPG's leveling up either gave you a base boost to things like agility, strength, intelligence, etc etc, or did something like Diablo 2 where each level gave you a few points to increase whatever stat you want. Wolcen does the later, every level up gives you ten points to put into any of your 4 stats you want.

Ferocity increases your crit potential, Toughness gives you more hp, agility increases your attack speed, and wisdom increases spell power. But again Wolcen takes this idea and twists it. Your character gets a percentage damage bonus from any and all of these stats. So you literally have no "main stat" in this game. You level each of these in whatever way you feel best helps your play style and the game gives you damage based on how many points into each one you level.

So that's the core systems in place. Additionally there is the loot and I'm too low level for it to really matter but even at my low level I have found items that change the way I play the game from a moment to moment basis and I can easily see how you could find items in which you would want to stack several stats together to make yourself a monster. Finding weapons that add bleed damage or give you 15% bonus damage on every lightning skill you have, instantly changes your build up as you swap to your lighting versions of given abilities. Some weapons even let you have skills that you shouldn't have, like a hammer that allows you to drop specific turrets that usually only come from guns and things of that nature. The loot feels really good, and it changes you up pretty frequently that you shouldn't get bored of expirimenting with how you slaughter things.

Speaking of slaughtering things. Combat feels good, though there is admittedly a bit of an input lag problem from time to time that can feel jarring, but it wasn't very often for me. Monsters look really cool and the elite ones all get new and interesting things that make them rather dangerous. Unlike Diablo 3 where things are rarely strong enough to murder you, the enemies here can quickly rip you apart if you aren't paying attention. They also have enough health that they aren't spongey to kill but they also don't explode if you barely touch them either. Each fight feels like a fight, but still allows the game to be fast enough where you always feel on the move. It's balanced pretty well for the most part, though some of the boss encounters can be really hard if you aren't built properly or underleveled.

The story so far is basic Warhammer-esque. It's not really interesting to me, but I'm not playing for that. However the game looks really pretty and legit looks like a game that belongs on a PS4Pro, or decent PC. Textures are great, armor looks good, character designs are fantastic, and the spell effects are awesome.

I guess the real question will end up being whether the game has any lasting appeal at endgame, and I cannot speak on that. If you are looking for a new action-rpg diablo or PoE style game, then Wolcen is definitely worth a look.

No one keep the thread running : (

I'm somewhat interested in the game, but I just can't stand lootgasm game anymore, spending 10+ minutes sorting trough a bunch of gear just to replace after an hour just doesn't appeal to me anymore. The alternative is to have an easy way to tell at a glance whether or not you want the gear, but then you end up with 90% trash loot with just seem to me to defeat the point...

How doe sit evolve pass the first few hours? Is there a real story or is it just "go there, kill stuff" a la diablo?

Also, wasn't it that game that was initially supposed to be some open world diablo but ended up abandoning the idea?

Meiam:

Also, wasn't it that game that was initially supposed to be some open world diablo but ended up abandoning the idea?

You might be thinking of Torchlight Frontiers.

Neat. I like an ARPG that puts the skills on the weapons because it helps gives different weapons different feelings. Too offten an ARPG reduces weapons down to stat sticks because all your powers are class based. However I couldn't find controller support :(

Meiam:
No one keep the thread running : (

I'm somewhat interested in the game, but I just can't stand lootgasm game anymore, spending 10+ minutes sorting trough a bunch of gear just to replace after an hour just doesn't appeal to me anymore. The alternative is to have an easy way to tell at a glance whether or not you want the gear, but then you end up with 90% trash loot with just seem to me to defeat the point...

How doe sit evolve pass the first few hours? Is there a real story or is it just "go there, kill stuff" a la diablo?

Also, wasn't it that game that was initially supposed to be some open world diablo but ended up abandoning the idea?

So as of now i have beaten the game twice. Online and offline characters dont share progress so they act like two different accounts.

Basically the principle is the same as diablo 3 in the post game. The game has randomly generated rift missions you trigger in town and then get teleported to a random map that has you go kill specific elite mobs, or kill a bunch of enemies to fill a meter which summons a boss and you beat the boss.

Where Wolcen does things a bit differently is that there is a city building element to all of this. There are like 15 buildings you can construct for your city that give you various bonuses. These upgrades cost gold (which is very hard to come by legitimately) and production time. However unlike in a mobile game the time mechanic is not based on real time. Instead there is productivity you must earn by completing missions in the random dungeons.

So say you want to build a bank which increases your gold find rate dramatically, you need 2500 production points. Each mission you complete in the random dungeons gets you 40-50 production. So you'll have to complete quite a few to complete your bank. However there is the city hall which once you complete has it's own little projects you complete within that build that passively increase the production you gain when completing dungeons.

There is a lot to it, but at the same time it all boils down to going into a dungeon and repetitively killing the same shit over and over again. So you have to enjoy to core gameplay loop of ARPG games to get the most out of it.

Also after having put about 30 hours into the game thusfar, it is a fucking buggy mess. online didn't work for the first 4 days of release at all, and when it did it would delete your stash of saved items every time you logged out. There are lots of progression bugs, where you either lose progress or beat the campaign at level 1 and you cannot replay any of the story at all once beaten. There are abilities that just dont work sometimes, there are lots of holes in the maps that you can accidentally fall into.

Wolcen needs a lot more time to cook honestly and if you haven't gotten the game yet, dont. Wait a couple of months for them to fix the game because it is rather frustratingly bad at times. The post game works and it mostly fine, but the story is a hassle to get through and you HAVE to beat the story before doing the post game mode. So it can be frustrating for people who dont have a tolerance for bugs.

 

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