by: William Usher
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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The PvP-based Rohan offers gamers the standard MMO experience with the exception of a vengeance system. The only problem is that getting high enough in level to exact revenge is no easy task.
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Vengeance Belongs To The Elite...
An MMO solely designed for PvP would seem like a game definitely worth playing for those who like to player-kill. R.O.H.A.N (Renaissance of human and nature) is one of those games, but PvP is not something that players get to do at the start of the game. Instead, Rohan: Blood Feud forces players to grind, quest and grind some more until reaching the appropriate level for PvP. Some gamers might be questioning, though, if the constant grinding is worth all the effort? That’s not an entirely easy question to answer but you can keep reading to find out if the game might be to your liking.
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I wanted to like the quest setup in this game but it was hard to do so. While the map has a convenient quest locator with big green dots indicating which NPCs a player is supposed to talk to, the quests aren’t always clear in what players are supposed to do. Furthermore, if you mess up and click through the (lengthy) NPC text and miss some info, then you’re out of luck for finding out what you have to do and the quest will have to be cancelled and restarted in order to succeed. Unless, of course, the quest consists of killing 'X' monster 'Y' amount of times. The part that annoyed the heck out of me the most, though, was that all the quests basically require players to run a pretty long ways from quest point ‘A’ to quest point ‘B’ .
I also don’t understand why YNK would be so torturous and design a game where the mount level limit was 30 and not 10 or 15? It’s extremely taxing getting from one place to another on foot -- and dear gosh you better hope you’re not overweighed with items otherwise you’ll move twice (or three times) as slow as usual. Fun, eh?
My other problem with the quests is that there just weren’t enough that required more player interaction. I counted maybe three or four quests during my grind-fest up to level 30 that literally required help from other players. Unlike 2029 Online, where it was an MMO that encouraged people to party together and rewarded players well for doing so; Rohan quests don’t do anything of the sort. I’ve yet to understand why an MMO would be designed to keep players separated for most of the time when it should be about bringing them together. And for that, I definitely can’t say that Rohan has a good questing mechanic…especially considering that most are just composed of killing ‘X’ monster ‘X’ amount of times.
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I may have mentioned that the quests didn’t see players partying often. Well, even if they did encourage partying via the quests it doesn’t change a very vital pitfull to the party mechanic: experience is continually cut in half, thirds, fourths and fifths based on the amount of party members in a party. Awful, huh? Yeah, this little feature basically kept a lot of people adventuring solo at lower levels and avoiding parties unless it was absolutely necessary.
What’s worse is that if you play the game you’ll notice there are a lot of people venturing around the game world…usually alone. Now after the PvP kicks in at level 30, players can join a party and then request their party to avenge their death after they’ve been player-killed, but other than that most people on the game keep to themselves, unless they’re doing a party-specific quest. I can't blame them since the experience ratio in parties is extremely low, unless players are killing uber-tough monsters.
YNK really should have increased the party exp and focused the questing on partying together and ensuring that players got a feel for the way the team mechanics work. The solo’ing approach to the game’s design is completely backward and unless you invite some friends to play along with you, you’ll find that most of your time on the game, trying to get to level 30, will be spent alone.
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Fighting And Adventuring
Even if a game has a poor questing and partying system, some games recover themselves with a fun battle setup. Not to continually draw comparisons, but DarkEden is one of those few games where players don’t just stand there waiting and watching as their avatar fights; it’s a game that requires constant engagement on the player’s end.
Rohan, alternatively, does not require players to really stay engaged in the battles. It’s possible to double-click a monster and leave the rest to your character. Only tough monsters that pose a threat of killing the character require continual attention. This can make the grinding kind of boring unless you’re playing an archer or a mage, as the fighters are fairly automated at the lower levels, which can rain down a parade of boredom.
One of the upsides to Rohan, however, is that the game world is quite expansive and despite the unfortunate foot-travel relegated to newbie players it’s still an interesting world to explore. Even though the game lacks realtime weather and a day/night shift like many other MMOs, the environments are highly detailed and the accompanying music helps to convey a good sense of immersion.
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The game’s original concept of open-world PvP is pretty cool, but the requirement to get high enough to experience it is quite taxing. The obligatory level 30 limit to start player-killing will probably turn off a ton of gamers who don’t have the time or patience to invest in an otherwise mundane and rote grinding experience.
Rohan is greatly saved, though, with the refining options that allow players to wear and use items several levels higher. This function alone can prove to be quite time consuming, along with the crafting mechanics. In fact, I’m tempted to say that the crafting for items, weapons and armor carries more depth and gameplay variety than the actual fighting and questing. It takes a while to level up the crafting abilities but the newbie missions to become a crafter are quite helpful and easy to perform, which helped save Rohan from being completely repetitive.
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Rohan: Blood Feud is, at its core, primarily about constant PvP, player-killing and getting revenge. You wouldn’t be able to tell the game is like that given that PvP is restricted for any player under level 30. This begs the question: do you really want to grind for 30 whole levels just to try to kill other players or get killed in doing so? Well, if you have a lot of friends, join a guild and acquire some good armor, then yes.
The downside, though, is that there’s a ton of grinding required in Rohan that has so very little to do with even building up to the PvP in the game. If getting to level 30 was as tough as it was but the entire process was filled with guides, quests and hints on building up a character for player-vs-player bouts, then it wouldn’t have been such a problem. But as it stands, DarkEden is a far better game for constant PvP, especially given that players can kill each other once they log in, which makes it one of the more intense and community oriented PvP MMORPGs out there.
Despite being a free-to-play MMORPG, I can’t really recommend Rohan for new players looking for some good encounters unless you don’t mind spending weeks grinding away just to get high enough to battle another player. If non-stop grinding is your thing, and you enjoy a really deep crafting system, then by all means give Rohan a try.