Arcane Saga Online

5 Reasons to Try Arcane Saga Online

Arcane Saga Online is a new MMORPG from Netmarble currently gearing up for open beta. The game is a revamp of the now defunct Prius Online, and developers at Netmarble promise that this new incarnation will be a next-level experience. With the release set for the first half of 2013, beta testers are being treated to a range of events and bonuses to help iron out the bugs before launch. I spent a few days playing the closed beta, which ended May 12th, and I found myself coming back for session after session.

The in-game visuals are impressive, but not mind-blowing compared to today’s triple-A MMORPGs. Where the game truly shines visually is in its beautiful art in transitions such as loading screens, and its breathtaking cinematic cutscenes reminiscent of modern iterations of Final Fantasy. An original symphonic score adds to the beautiful aesthetic and immersion.

This promising title does not veer too drastically from current MMORPG conventions, but it includes several unique features that make the game truly enjoyable to play. Based on these unique angles, here are five reasons to try Arcane Saga Online for yourself when open beta begins in June 2013:

Skill Chaining

Arcane Saga Online takes traditional hotbar/cooldown based combat to another level with a well-executed skill chaining system similar to some popular single-player turn-based RPG’s. Rather than spamming abilities at random, players can do bonus damage from chaining their skills in a distinct sequence, with cues displayed on screen similar to quick-time events (QTEs). MMO fans looking for a break in the standard ability spamming routine should find this twist fresh and interesting. There are also special QTE timing opportunities during which players can override ability cooldowns. Since these QTE’s are displayed right over enemies’ heads, players should find themselves looking at the action more often than the hotbars.

Unique Role Switching

This game is blatantly and unashamedly tied to the Big Three party role system, but the way that it integrates the traditional party roles is refreshing and unpretentious. Rather than accumulating a whole new set of gear or re-specializing an entire skill tree, players need only click a single button to switch their roles, which vary according to the different character classes. I played an Ayin character, which could switch between a tank or DPS role instantly. After switching roles, an entirely new set of combat abilities and passives becomes available, allowing for instantaneous switching between complex, role-specific builds. Information on the game’s website indicates that this same kind of instantaneous “job” switching can be done for PVP and Soloing builds, as well.

Ability Combos

The concept of ability combos takes combat to another level of depth and uniqueness in Arcane Saga Online. Each combat ability can be paired with a wide range of passive buffs, which have a chance of being applied each time a player uses the corresponding ability. You may tie a health-regeneration buff to a healing skill for a chance at double healing, for example, or you might tie a strength-boost buff to your favorite opening attack for a chance to raise your strength at the beginning of battles. The possibilities are numerous, and adding the combo system to the skill chaining system ensures that players constantly have a variety of useful passives at work based on their own preferences.

Huge Beta XP Boost

If you play the game in beta, you can take advantage of a massive beta XP boost that can rocket you to level 25 in just under two hours. Level 25 is the first time players can enter a group dungeon, making it the perfect place to land beta players quickly to get a feel for higher-level PvE content. I was able to join in a group dungeon at the end of my first play session, while it may take a week of leveling to get to that point after launch. Now is the time for players to really dig in and see what this game has to offer.

Note: The game will feature open-world PvP on select servers, as well as arena and castle-siege PvP on all servers, but these features have not yet been fully implemented. There may be a sixth reason to try the game once PvP is fully functional.

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  1. Sanghee

    I tried ASO and the skill chaining/combo system were really nice. I wish we could have more than one combo set up to allow for more unique gameplay. I disagree on the role switching though. You still need to get more gear for each of the different jobs and store it in your inventory if you want to be efficient in all of your jobs. There’s also a limit on switching (I hope they fix this for OBT). I actually thought the EXP boost wasn’t just for CBT. It was really fast but allowed us to get into the game quickly.

  2. Nezumichan

    Don’t play this game. It’s a terrible, horrid mess that’s inferior to the original Prius Online in nearly every regard.
    The Anima system has been gutted to uselessness and pointlessness — their skills have been totally reworked to be entirely passive, they draw from your own pool of skill points, their entire personality and personality-related systems have been removed, and they are no longer tied to crafting.
    The Gigas system is gone until Fall.
    The game has incredibly broken PvP using a broken, non-functional version of the crime system from Wizardry Online and removing the incentives for PvP that Wizardry Online and Prius Online had, plus forcing you to use a PvP job to damage other players.
    It has a broken job/skill system — you have to switch to a Solo, Party, or PvP job using a limited supply of points, your skill point supply covers all 3 jobs so you can either be useless at 2 of them and great at 1 or mediocre at all three, and healer party jobs have literally no attacks.
    It has forced power-leveling to level 25 you can’t take your time even if you want to… and since a lot of the world-building and plot setup in Prius Online was pre-25, you lose all that so you won’t “miss” anything.
    It has forced cash shop usage. You can buy 10 skill points at the cash shop, which is almost totally necessary if you want to be good at more than one job or invest in your Anima.
    It has no in-game storage — that was part of the Atrium, which they removed entirely, with some discussion of putting it back… but it’s not clear what they’ll do with it when they do, since its main uses were storage and crafting, and crafting is no longer tied to it.
    I strongly recommend that rather than playing the game, you contact Netmarble and tell them we want the actual Prius Online, not a broken mess of a replacement.

  3. makefriendswithtime

    I loved this game, but sadly I read in an article that it will be shut down in September 🙁 Sure, the game had its downsides, but overall I think it was neat and definitely not deserving of the shameful things people keep saying about it. If you’re interested, the article is here: 
    It’s really sad to see that a game dies due to a low generated income, capitalism is a real mess.

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