Eligium: The Chosen One is a free-to-play MMORPG developed by Shanda Games and published by Frogster (the same folks publishing TERA in Europe). At its core, Eligium is your conventional point and click MMO, but it does present players with a few interesting gameplay mechanics that set the game apart from others in its genre. This writer was recently given a brief demo of Eligium, highlighting some of these neat features.
Eligium features four playable races, each with a set class. Humans are the exception, as they seem to have access to two classes.
- The Humans race is as ordinary as you can imagine, and can play as either Mages or Warriors.
- The pointy-eared Elves are classic archers, and as such utilize the Hunter class.
- The green-skinned Viridis are a shape-shifting race, and the Druid class compliments this.
- The anthropomorphic Panda are not quite as cuddly as they look, and kick ass and chew bamboo as Monks.
Leveling these classes allows players to branch out into more specialized classes.
- Warriors can advance to the Dread Knight or Crusader classes
- Mages can advance to the Ice mage or Inferno Mage classes
- Druids can advance to the Vital Guardian or Soul Enforcer classes
- Hunters can advance to the Forest guard or Shadow Wraith classes
- Monks can advance to the Chi Master or Chi Painter classes.
When players create their character, they must also choose a “Virtue” that they feel best represents their character. Virtues are synergic perks that improve performance when players group together. For example, players with the “Honor” virtue will boost the health of players with the “Bravery” virtue, when grouping. Depending on a player’s role/class in battle, they will want to weigh the benefits of each virtue careful before committing to one.
The most interesting of Eligium’s deviations is its skill and weapon-leveling systems. In Eligium, skills and weapons are strengthened through use, rather than through point distribution or leveling. Skills and weapons that players use often will become stronger naturally, while those that players neglect or don’t use will not develop. Thus, the weapons and skills players utilize are determined by a player’s own preference.
Eligium also has an involved mount system. While players will still need to complete a generic quest at a specific level to earn the mount, they must also raise the creature to maturity by feeding it specific items before it can be mounted. While this may seem a bit contrived, the payoff is a mount that you can not only ride wherever you want, but fight on as well. Mounts have their own HP and Mana, and they can even earn bonus skills, making them a worthwhile investment. On a related note, Eligium also offers plenty of cute vanity pets for players to collect as well.
Eligium: The Chosen One is scheduled for release later this year.