The Chronicles of Spellborn

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The Chronicles of Spellborn
Chronicles of Spellborn.jpg
Developer(s) Spellborn International
Publisher(s) Frogster Interactive
Mindscape
Acclaim Games
Composer(s) Jesper Kyd
Engine Unreal Engine 2.5[1] (mod.)
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) November 27, 2008 UK Only[2]

US April 23, 2009

Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer

The Chronicles of Spellborn (TCoS) was an MMORPG initially released on November 27, 2008, developed by Spellborn International and distributed by Frogster Interactive, Mindscape and Acclaim Games; set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Spellborn uses the Unreal Engine, featuring a European Art approach and contains notable contributions from Jesper Kyd.[3]

The Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation have two songs featured in the game: "The Howling" and "Sounds of Freedom".

Development[edit]

In June 2009, the developers of Spellborn, Spellborn Works, went bankrupt. One of the publishers, Acclaim, announced the following month that the game would be re-developed as a free-to-play game supported by microtransactions. The new version would be released sometime after 2010, and until then the free-to-play version would remain active.[4] The game servers were shut down in August 2010. As of May 2013, Spellborn has not been re-released by any publisher.

Gameplay[edit]

Spellborn consists largely of conventional MMORPG gameplay, in which the player plays a character (avatar), and explores the gameworld in order to gain experience points and advance in level. In exploring the gameworld, the player encounters quests, the most important part of Spellborn's gameplay. The game has about a thousand of these quests.[5] Completing quests is the primary means of earning experience points. Repeatedly killing creatures ("Grinding" in gaming jargon) to gain levels is not a practical option in Spellborn. Separate from other story-driven quests are the Ancestral Quests, which allow the player to take the role of a major character in Spellborn's history to accomplish a specific requirement. Players need to complete certain Ancestral Quests in order to advance their character's story arc.

Spellborn incorporates a first person targeting system.[6] In this system, the player selects an available skill to use, while aiming at the opponent. The player can also use two skills at the same time to create combinations.[7]

Characters[edit]

Warrior Mage Rogue
Bloodwarrior Ancestral Trickster
Wrathguard Void Seer Deathhand
Adept Rune Mage Skinshifter

In Spellborn the player can choose Humans and Daevis as race, who can become all classes and feature no special advantages or flaws. At character creation the player can select one of three archetypes, which then spread into three different classes each at level 5.[8]

Every class gets access to several different skills, which can be used in combat, but due to the Skilldeck system players can only choose between a few at any time. Every skill a character has learned in a career is listed in the skill book. Some skills are unique to certain classes, while others are shared between them. Characters learn new skills as they increase in level. At maximum level a character can also learn the skills of the other archetypes (but not classes) by exploring certain places in the game's setting.

These skills all increase with power along the attribute they depend on — either Body, Mind or Focus. This means skills learned at an early stage can be useful at later moments as well.[9]

Armor and weapons in Spellborn do not provide any statistical improvements to the player's character.[10] Instead, they serve aesthetic purposes. Players can choose their character's appearance at the beginning of the game, and can change it later by using different items with higher requirements. Players can enhance their gear with Sigils. These enhancements are interchangeable between different items.

Setting[edit]

Since Spellborn focuses in a large part on doing quests, the game provides a certain amount of background information for the players. Spellborn's fictional history[11] is divided into eight ages; players enter the world at its current age known as "The Time of the Enclave", 998 years after the shattering of the world. The game's world is divided into Shards[12] of rock, remnants of the ancient world that are inhabited by the survivors of the cataclysm. Four main Shards are available for exploration by players.

Shutdown[edit]

The player base was initially enthusiastic at the announcement that Spellborn would become free-to-play. However, Acclaim made little progress with the game. The game download, patcher and game client itself ceased to work, causing players to use third party downloads. In addition, a bug appeared that required all players above level nine to change passwords every day or be unable to enter the game. Acclaim refused to respond to tickets posted inquiring into when Spellborn would be re-released, causing some players to believe that the game would not return. Acclaim sold the game rights to Playdom, who then sold it to Disney, leaving the game with no support, administrators or moderators. Players who tried to contact all companies concerned - Spellborn NV, Frogster, Acclaim, Playdom and Disney received no replies. In August 2010, it was revealed to the media that the game would be closed down at the end of that month. As a result, Spellborn subscribers and fans started a petition to try to keep the game online.[13][14][15] However, Acclaim closed its doors on August 27, 2010, and all of its games[contradictory] were shut down. An unverified announcement shortly before Acclaim's closing stated that the game would be relaunched by an unknown publisher sometime in early 2011.

References[edit]

  1. ^ van Haren, Marco (2007-04-23). "The Chronicles of Spellborn: Exclusive Interview". WarCry Networks. Retrieved 2010-06-04. "Over the course of development we made many changes to the […] 2.5 engine" 
  2. ^ "The Chronicles Of Spellborn Finally Gets A Release Date". Kotaku. Sep 19, 2008. 
  3. ^ "The Chronicles Of Spellborn Features Original Score By Jesper Kyd". Jesper Kyd's Homepage. Apr 14, 2006. 
  4. ^ Welsh, Oli (2009-07-01). "Spellborn MMO to go free-to-play". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  5. ^ "Exclusive Spellborn Interview". CuppyCake.org. Jul 4, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Chronicles of Spellborn". IGN. Dec 7, 2005. 
  7. ^ "Fan-Submitted Q&A With The Chronicles of Spellborn Developers". TenTonHammer. Sep 28, 2007. 
  8. ^ Spellborn Video Interview from Leipzig. MMORPG.com. Sep 1, 2007. 
  9. ^ "Chronicles of Spellborn: Attributes". MMORPG.com. Jun 22, 2007. 
  10. ^ "The Chronicles of Spellborn Impressions". IGN. Mar 20, 2007. 
  11. ^ "The full Spellborn Timeline revealed!". The Chronicles of Spellborn Website. Jan 22, 2007. 
  12. ^ "The Chronicles of Spellborn Diary #2". IGN. Jan 31, 2006. 
  13. ^ "Latest Solution to Client/Patch/Connection Problems". 
  14. ^ "Free Account...Expired?". 
  15. ^ "Anybody There?!? Common!!!". 

External links[edit]