Perfect World’s upcoming martial arts MMORPG, Swordsman Online, officially begins its “Vanguard Testing” phase over at its Beijing headquarters, with only a handful of players selected. The last time we saw a video on the game, the camera was pretty much isometric, similar to games such as Diablo and Torchlight. However, game website 17173.com had a sneak preview yesterday of the North Hengshan Sect, and took a short combat footage.
Combat is now officially more similar to a traditional 3D MMORPG’s, similar to Guild Wars 2′s but having a much quicker pace. I am trying to hold off from using Blade & Soul as a comparison, as Swordsman Online still does not have all those fancy aerial combos shown, if any. If you read my previous posts, combat here is not just button mashing, but there are various status (block, knockback, stun, dodge etc) to beware of as well.
North Hengshan Sect, the latest clan to be introduced, is a member of the Five Mountain Sword Sects Alliance. A little history here if you have not read the novel of Swordsman Online (or 笑傲江湖). This Northern branch (the other being Southern) consists of mainly female disciples, although they do not harshly reject males. Led by 3 elder nuns, they were all eventually killed and betrayed, with the final nun leaving the leader position to an unwilling Linghu Chong, the novel’s protagonist.
In the novel, the skills of North Hengshan Sect focus more on defense (9 out of 10 skills are defensive), hence in the game, the developers decided to go with the dual swords as the signature weapons. The sword formations of this sect is only 2nd to Wudang’s in terms of flaws and loopholes.
The few offensive, yet passive skills are highly lethal if used at the right times. An example will be a skill which releases supposedly harmless sword waves surrounding the caster, but if attacked, these sword waves will do massive damage to surrounding enemies by aiming their weak spots.
The dual swords setting allow players from the North Hangshan Sect to use 1 for attacking, the other for defending, providing total coverage. In 1 on 1 PvP, it will be hard for players to think of winning in a quick battle. Instead, North Hengshan Sect players will benefit from prolonged battles.
Using the various defensive skills and qing gong to dodge attacks, these will deplete opponent’s stamina, and give a killer blow at the right time to obtain victory. Given the dual roles, they are good controllers in a party as well.