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Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem review
by zelaxi

tl;dr I recommend this at a 20$ price point. 40$? Not as of 2/26/2020.

- Graphically, its a very good-looking game. Some beautiful lighting effects, especially for an ARPG. That being said, its very poorly optimized. No reason a 1070 should have issues running this game, but sadly it does. The last patch (1.0.4) had a terrible memory leak issue I found running high level end game content that required a complete game restart. Seemed to be fixed with the last patch though. Still having a hard time getting above 60 fps, which isn't ideal.
- The skill system is very easy to wrap your head around and offers interesting flexibility as well as building opportunities. Sadly, so many seem either broken to the point of being beyond overpowered, or broken to the point of not being even usable.
- One character is all you really need. Respeccing is easily done and allows you not to need different characters to try out different builds, etc.
- Transmog armor/dye system is pretty in depth. Just a look at reddit can show you some of the interesting creations that you don't find in other ARPGs. Need some work on handling the dye drops (ie either not dropping ones you already own or marking them so you know) but otherwise it’s a well done system. I imagine seeing more variety in the next year as content is added.

- Lack of most quality of life featured in other ARPGs. No search function in the passive nodes, no savable gear sets. The latter is especially bad considering how easily it is to change your build.
- End game currently is fairly dull. I realize its an APRG but its the same half dozen maps with the same half dozen enemies, over and over. The design of the boss having spawn rooms instead of spawning on the player ala Diablo 3 leads to a lot of back tracking and just pathing through a, sometimes, empty level. Some movement skills help, but hardly make up for it.
- Bugs? Yeah we got bugs. Between gold being easily dupable despite devs knowing about it long enough to solve it, to all the character/item resets or issues where they disappear upon relogging, never mind the fact that for DAYS after the 1.0 release the online servers were offline, leading many (including myself) to roll an offline only character to dive into the game, only to have to start over once the servers were finally up. Oh, and the passive tree? How much just wasn't working at release, or was incorrectly entered? 50% damage increase was supposed to be .5? How does that even happen?
- Small dev team doing the best they can, but I fear the game grew too fast for them to control and address. - So many clunky feeling elements in battle. Want to use a potion? Hands off all other keys! Want to move around the enemies? Oops you used left click THAT YOU CANNOT BIND TO MOVE ONLY and just attacked, standing in the AoE. - Gold.... doesn't.... drop. Level 40 map? Drops 17 gold. Level 187 map? Drops 17 gold. Hmm. No wonder people were using the gold dupe!! With only two in game currencies, gold actually matters, and the lack of scaling is almost hard to believe in the year 2020. -
 Difficulty is campaign is fairly spikey. Seems like a dungeon will be almost beatable while asleep, and then an act boss will hit you like a truck.... and then back to falling asleep. - The story is clearly unfinished. They had talked about during four acts, but the current release stops at act three... and it really shows. There's a bit of a buildup in the first two but I mostly found myself not caring, which is unfortunate for a game that has a (albeit small) larger focus on the story elements than other ARPGs, including cut scenes and long dialogue. I wish the story was stronger to really shine here.

I had so much fun for the first 20 hours or so... wish it continued in the last 30 hours. I plan to check back in on the next large content patch and hopefully can recapture so many of the things that made Wolcen fun!
«Buggy as hell»
«Disappointment of the year»
«Ugly as my life»

Other reviews2

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Early Access Review Wolcen Lord of Mayhem is currently one of the most Interesting Titles from the upcoming Hack and Slash Games. The Game is still in an early Phase currently 0.5 Alpha and soon in the first Beta but it can also be seen in this early Version, and there are already things like a housing system that other Games in 5 Years do not manage to implement. In Wolcen there are no more Classes much more, you build up your Class from the Passive Skillbaum itself. Which, of course, brings many Advantages as you are much more flexible to adapt your Character to your Playing Style. The Passive Skill System is a bit of Path of Exile, which is not bad because as I said it offers many Possibilities. It Plays out similar to D3 and Co but tries to have its own Touch and to bring together the Best of all other H & S games. What makes the Title stand out in particular is the very good Graphics that in the Genre of its same is looking For CryEngine thanks. One has High Quality Textures light and Shadow Effects like an AAA Shooter. The Performance of the Game is now also good with a 6700k and 1070 you have between 45-120 fps depending on The Situation at Ultra settings. The Animation still seem a bit wooden but are still revised. Player I is already Fun for Wolces it has a good Hit feedback and the Effects are Bomb, only Quest there are still very few that is due to the Alpha. Otherwise, there are already some Items (weapon/armor) with different Values and Rarity Levels grey/Blue-b/orange. There is an extensive Housing System which looks really good and you can already test. The Game is still Rudimentary on many Points, but you could also claim that from Star Citizen. First Of All, Wolcen takes the H & S to a new Level and is recommended for every Fan. The Game makes a lot of things very Right and it is to be hoped that the 400,000$ will be enough from Kickstarter plus the Steam Sales. Even If it only appears in 1-2 Years, the Potential is Very high, and the Price of €19.99million is more than fair. What you can't say of every Early Access title By a Long shot, here you get Regular Updates every Month that you can also See. Special Features: Even good Graphics (Cryengine)-Shave good Active/Passive skill effects-physics system with Destructive Environment (Partly still under Development)-Weather system Cloud-/cytz Shine//Night Change (Partly still under Development)-Open World ( You can walk around the World without a Loading Screen)-Coop/Multiplayer (in Development) Should be released in the next 6 Months. -Extensive Skill Possibilities activ/passive. -Housing System Pet System or Company-Extensive Crafting System (In Designs)-One Build Selber One. -Looting system as you know it with Rare Heifers,-Extensive Story/Quest (in Development)-Hardcoremodus (in development)-LINUX Support (in development)-PC Only It is Developed for PC negative points:-It is still in Alpha status (Currently 0.4)-There are still various Errors -The Scope is still relatively small-The Release is not expected until 1-2 Years from now. Early Access also means that you have Access to a very early Developer version and can test it. I always have the Impression that the Term EA is not aware of many. !!!! If you want to have a finished Game, you shouldn't buy it, quite simply. !!!! -----------------------------------------Here is a Roadmap to the Game where you can follow the Current Development.