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Offline Fruit Pie~

TalonRO
« on: Jan 20, 2013, 09:33 PM »
Hello! This is a tag team review documenting the first impressions and experience of two long-time RO players trying out TalonRO over two straight days. I'm Fruit Pie and my text is colored green, my friend is Rose Tea and his text is colored maroon. Let's get started!

THE MAIN SITE

The site has a fairly clean, simplistic layout. It's apparently designed for 1024 resolution, though, since at 1360 I have bars of empty space running along each side. Graphically-heavy layouts like this tend to have that, though (I just feel bad for anyone with 1920x1080).
The site is so ill-suited to 1920x1080 it's hilarious. I get half the screen covered in site, the other half covered in light blue. Thank the heavens for Firefox's zoom function.

The screenshot area is cute and amusing, but doesn't feature much of anything any other server couldn't make screenshots of. Nothing to really display what makes TalonRO unique, or any of the custom mechanics available.

Reading the server info section, it's fairly striking how much like the old AnimaRO this is. Remember AnimaRO? Same rates, same general site layout, same Cross Transing system (that I genuinely love - no more leveling as an Alchemist to get to Creator!). I think there's even a "testimonials" section, which was what originally ended up dragging me into that server - though now it links to the RMS Reviews section.

TalonRO's registration system took more time and effort on my part than any other server's. You need to create a forum account, THEN create an ingame account. To make it more annoying, there is a very bizarre captcha where you need to finish making a picture by shuffling pieces around.
Why in the nine heavens do I need a forum account to have a game account? Do they have such severe problems with forum trolls and scammers that this is required? If so, I can't help but say this is a genuinely good move!
I had to assemble an MVP card as a captcha. I could never tell if it was right or not until I got my mouse cursor off the picture (then it told me). This reminds me of those old bot security pop-ups from way back.

Finally, the emails you're allowed to use are awfully picky. I had no intention of ever using the forums, so a throwaway recieve-only address didn't work at all, and my Yahoo email address was denied too. Finally, on attempt three (including doing the puzzle captcha three times), I managed to make the forums account. No, I can't actually play yet: I need to make the in-game account next. For someone hopping around looking to try out the server, here's a bunch of extra hurdles you won't see anywhere else to "see what it's like in-game real quick".
I managed to get my e-mail right the first time around, but this is certainly roundabout. The registration for a game account somehow asks me for my birthday, but not the registration for the FORUM ACCOUNT. So I can have multiple birth dates. What?

On a related note, I typed in my username and it gave me a nice green "Okay!". Little did I know, it was already in use! Why not tell me before I click the register button and have to do it all again?
On a second related note, between the tiny text in my resolution and the same screen tone, the error message looked the same to me as the "you're all good" message, which made me check twice.

Finally, only AFTER making your accounts are you allowed to access the download links. Had I known it'd take me 15 minutes to get registered, I'd have liked to be able to get started on them earlier.
Certainly not the biggest of problems, but compared to "sign up on the control panel, download, go" of other servers, I was a little annoyed.

THE WIKI

The wiki is quite broken! A lot of the database links and images are straight-up broken. The last "Server Changelog" update is from April 4th, 2012.

For Custom Features, the card exchanger tab is completely empty, so I can't say anything about that.

The Autoloot tab isn't really describing autoloot as it is a big giant rant about how lazy and imbalanced @autoloot actually is. I find being accused of laziness in what amounts to "passing my free time playing a video game" sort of insulting. Furthermore, for all the custom changes TalonRO gives, they apparently couldn't come up with any alternative or compromise for autoloot other than a binary "have it or don't". To help a little: MouRO's autoloot essentially is Greed, but rapidly picks up things, one-by-one, surrounding you. Less clicking, still have to be at the item to loot it, works great.

The Spawn Rate changes, in a hilarious contrast to the autoloot's rant, actually ups the rates of experience-bags and lowers the spawns for the "annoying" mobs like Hunter Flies (or in the case of GL Underprison, removes them entirely!). Really now, TalonRO, are you wanting to make this easy or hard for us?

Rest Buffer is an ideal mechanic and I don't see major problems with it. Orphanage is also non-objectionable.

Vanilla mode is a nice change, but it doesn't actually tell me what Vanilla mode IS, simply saying what it does and a list of things that are banned.


Also banned : Sushi, Raw Fish, Honey. Vanilla Mode WoE features some of the most out-of-touch item bans I've ever seen.


THE SERVER FEATURES

The Server Features page is quite barebones. What's a Haunted House? What's up with the whatever-the-hell of the week? What's a Poring Rally and how much better (it can't be worse, really) than the Hugel event is it?

I can't help but see it apparently doesn't have Battlegrounds. A shame, really, it's my favorite kind of PVP - like WoE, but the team dynamic is less about being the Zerg Swarm and more about making do with what you got. Also, Battlegrounds give out top tier, easy to acquire gear and generally makes PVP less of a pain to gear for. It's also just plain fun, so I'm kind of missing it already.

TalonRO borrows the bonus EXP for fighting mobs within ten levels of your character from Renewal, but doesn't go all the way and make the 70+ mobs less murderous. Good luck leveling up your mid-90s Whitesmith on Bio 3 for that sick EXP bonus.

The other leveling changes seem fine, though. I particularly like that Homunculi are USEFUL in PVP now (this info is somehow in the leveling changes section), since they're gonna need the boost when people aren't walking around in BG gear, which - surprise! - makes Homunculi useful in PVP.

Account-bound Rachel, Nameless, Moscovia and Kiel are fantastic ideas. No longer shall we stand for camel poop getting in the way of broken small scale team AoE leveling.

THE RULES

The Server Rules are quite long. Some of them are even "soft" rules that could be made "hard". For an example of what I mean, look at the rule disallowing Dead Branches or monster transformation in only some maps (Apparently, Izlude is a perfectly fine place to spam a dozen BBs, but Payon, Pront, and Alberta are not). It should not be that difficult to simply disable using the items and card effects outright on those maps, instead of manually enforcing.

You can also for some reason use skills in major cities. I'm fairly sure you can ban SOME skills from there, so all you need to do is ban the big annoying buffs (Magnificat, Gloria, Overthrust) and every attack/offensive support skill and just leave the Priest buffs and some more quiet self-buffs there, thus solving the Ice Wall problem quite nicely.

Since people here apparently hate @autoloot, wouldn't just having a longer looting period on non-MVP items solve looting? Can't they just BLOCK DEAD BRANCHES in those maps you can't use Dead Branches on? Sometimes, a little customization goes a long way.

And quite frankly, if your players cry about PVP harassment, they should just go grab some people and team up. Aside from straight-up cheating, everything goes in PVP. Stop being babies about it.

CARD CHANGES (Follow along!)

Atroce card. Unchanged.
You have a small chance of getting ASPD 190 when attacking.
I just want to point out, it's like 5%, so most classes that attack fast enough to get the boost constantly... don't need the boost!
It's not a bad card at all, but it's going to be overshadowed, amusingly, by a lot of TalonRO's changes.
Unless an unchanged card is particularly noteworthy let's try and focus on the Talon edits.

Drake is made pretty good!
Drake is pretty okay, Waterball is a great spell. And it's now actually not worth LESS than regular mob cards!

Baphomet. Still doesn't stack. Still makes it 3x3. Still sucks.
From what I've read this is apparently a Big Deal Card for melees here.
Well, I figure if they have incredible mobbing skills.
This is like hitting Arrow Shower at range 1. Hell, Arrow Shower might have more AoE.

Kiel is made different.
And way more complicated.
And quite frankly useless.
Let's work out the math on what it'll actually do for you.
Alright. Imagine a Sniper hitting for 400. He's gaining 20 SP every time it procs.
At 10%, that's 2 SP per shot, on average. At an ASPD of, say, 185...
That's 7 SP per second, roughly.
It's... not BAD, I guess.
What I think really makes it good is you have a 10% chance of taking off 5% of the enemy's SP.
But apparently spamming grape juice is such a thing here that the SP reduction isn't a problem.
Also, you need crazy ASPD to make it a painful loss.
5% of the enemy's SP is pretty good, but I dunno about the grand scheme of things. Can't you get a Dark Priest card here?
I still don't get the super low tier healing items thing. Why Grape Juice? Why Meat? Why not Strawberries and Fresh Fish like normal human beings?

SinX is made near-useless. When has Critical Wounds ever killed anyone?
The SinX card change is one of the many in this server which attempts to remove any shred of creativity from the cards.
Frilldora and Smokie already open up tactics like few cards do. SinX is just a more freeform Frilldora.
Now I'd like to point out that Frilldora is not changed.
So you can STILL cloak. In fact... There's another card that DOES give you level 3 Cloaking. But you need to be hit for it.
They were okay with the idea of a card to cloak with, but this one took it over the line I guess?

Detale is the exact same, but no freeze immunity.
Which makes it useless, since you're casting LP to protect yourself FROM Storm Gust. And your teammates too, I guess.
Detale was never a very good card since Evil Druid exists.
To be fair, it's pretty decent on a precast breaker, since sometimes the precast is loaded.
But the freeze immunity WAS part of that deal.
So now instead of taking -20 MDEF of damage from storm gust all the way, you get frozen and JTed for -20 MDEF of damage.
Fortunately, being frozen increases your MDEF! And you're obviously stacking MDEF for WoE, aren't you?

RSX confuses me, was indestructability a complete game-shattering trait?
Of course not. If it was, they'd nerf Glistening Coat.
I have no idea, honestly. It doesn't seem to hurt anyone. It was just... there.
It was a bonus that was there and was nice if it was needed. But most of the time it wasn't.
And you only really use RSX if you absolutely refuse to use a Strong Shield.
The only thing I can think of is they're trying to keep the Whitesmith with a niche, but this doesn't work for two reasons: You're super vulnerable to freeze when you have RSX on, and in WOE you don't have knockback anyway.

Tao Gunka is unchanged.
It's still the best armor card in the game, by pretty far.
DEF matters so LITTLE that -50 isn't going to be a dealbreaker.
What's interesting is I can't tell what card they were "balanced around".
What was the baseline for tuning these cards up and down for?
It certainly wasn't "the best cards in the game".

Gryphon. I don't know what to think of this one. It's good for... Bow Hunters? And that's it.
It's apparently a Bow Hunter card, yeah. Someone who'd want Crit but no STR.

Lord Knight was a very underused card with interesting implications that has been stripped away into a generic autocast skill.
It's another card that loses creativity. You could build interesting characters around Berserk and having mediocre defenses.
But now you get perhaps the worst LK skill in the game. On a 5% autocast. Color me impressed!

Orc Hero and Pharoh unchanged, but honestly that's fair, if every MVP card was balanced around Orc Hero or Pharaoh that'd be alright with me since they're short, powerful effects that give you a level of freedom.
I'd disagree with Orc Hero simply due to the mechanics of the game.
High VIT is required for survival, and with high VIT comes Stun immunity.
Pharaoh is still good for PVM, though.

Stormy Knight has been changed to probably the blandest card possible.
Stormy Knight is now a hat Whisper.
And again, instead of a thematically interesting card, they make it into a straight-up +something.

Lord of Death is possibly the best garment card in the game.
There is objectively no reason to never use it. You get 10% reduction from everything, full stop, and also 10 vitality.
Lord of Death is now the supreme Garment card, walking over Raydric, Noxious and Aliot.
At least between those three it was a CHOICE, but with LoD you get the resist AND Aliot's bonus HP.
And you save a few points in VIT if you so desire.

Eddga is now less terrible. Did they ever fix the Endure bug, where you can only take 12 hits with Eddga's endure and then have to reequip? Because if they didn't, this is STILL one of the worst MVP cards in the game.
There is no disadvantage to using Eddga which is weird. Endure is a powerful mobbing effect, and now you get a bonus on top of that.
Even just "endure all the time" with no HP mod would be okay.
This wasn't the buff Eddga needed. It needed a bug fix so it would work properly and then it'd be an amazing mobbing card, yes.

Egnigem Cenia, changed to be stupidly good.
The only reason this isn't top tier is because the later cards are even better. This is basically Verit++.

Doppelganger buffed to 25%.
I'm not sure about this one. On one hand, Doppel has always been an useless card. On the other, 25% holy JESUS.
I don't like this change because you could probably get away with almost no agi and hit stupid high ASPDs anyway.
This stacks with other ASPD increases. A Crusader using this, Spear Quicken and a Zerk Potion is looking at a sweet 70% bonus.
And it stacks with itself.

I can't believe how uninteresting Dracula is.
Now stupidly good for tanking.
You can't even think of a good disadvantage aside from "Unequip this weapon you won't be unequipping anyway"?
Its old effect has, for some reason, passed onto Kiel, which makes no sense.
Kiel is a large tanky MVP. Dracula is the one that has Magic Drain and spams it like a bastard.

Randgris is another victim in "things must be destructable" and also they buffed it by now having 1 out of every 25 hits intsead of 1 out of 100 doing a very weak skill.
Level 1 Dispel isn't worth the paper the card is printed on.
On the contrary, friend, it'll be worth 5 british pounds once I kidnap their queen.
What's good there is the physical attack strength. And then TG does it better. Hell, Hydras do it better.

Incantation Samurai is buffed.
And I'll hear nothing else, at least PVP-wise.
It's buffed, but how many more changes will be a + to something?
True. But you have to agree DEF ignore is a terrible mod.
Where's a cool MvP card that gives you a chance to loot awesome stuff?
Or one that allows you to do stuff you previously couldn't? You know, what makes them UNIQUE.
Yeah!
« Last Edit: Jan 20, 2013, 09:41 PM by Fruit Pie~ »

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Offline RoseTea

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #1 on: Jan 20, 2013, 09:34 PM »
 CARDS CHANGES CONT'D

Thanatos is... bad.
It's a miniature version of the old Incantation Samurai card, and Samurai was already terrible. A third of a Samurai is even WORSE.
Defense doesn't matter. Defense has never mattered.
Even Cart Term will melt defense if you have an Ice Pick. And it's not that hard to get! At least not compared to a freaking Thanatos.
And while getting one, you also get a sweet-donkey LoD card!
Well there's something fun about that we can talk about later.

Whitesmith.
Lol. Whitesmith is made worse. End of story.

Fallen Bishop card.
Terrible. Magic Mirror only works for half a second.
For some explanation, NPC_MAGICMIRROR is a 40% chance to reflect magic for 30 seconds.
It's not that Magic Mirror, I think. Isn't it the Sage skill?
No, that's like Magic Rod or some stuff.
Ah, true. So it's absurdly good.

Garm is made worse and also boring.
Garm is extremely boring, and perhaps the worst MVP card.
+10 DEF doesn't matter. Not in PVM. Definitely not in PVP.
50% freeze? That's cool! You're not freeze immune so you can get frozen yourself, but physical damage is in big trouble around you.
+10 DEF yawn.

Ghostring is unchanged.
We can assume unchanged means perfectly balanced, right?

Gloom is toned down, but I never recall seeing some guy with Gloom armor walking around owning everyone, so I'm not sure what the point is.

Ktullanux is made straight-up worse, probably to make Kasa farming harder.
As if anyone ever used it for the Frost Nova bit, right?
It wasn't very good for that, either.
Now is a good time to say... those Thor mobs? They drop a similar card. It increases Wizard fire damage by 40%. It's unchanged.

GTB, perfectly balanced, unchanged.
GTB, unchanged. This is a PERFECT example of a balanced card.
Who thought not changing this one was a good idea? Who thought 100% SP Consumption was a tradeoff? It completely inviabilizes four or five classes!

So, Maya. It gives you an 8% block. An 8% block ain't gonna save you from anything. It's nothing but a lucksack card.
The original Maya card? That was cool, that could have been GTB if it wasn't for GTB.

Toad Card.
35% Demi Human now, a better Thara.
Why? It's Thara, but better and on a super, super rare mob.
And those 5% don't seem like much, but once you realize it's alongside Beret, Combat Knife and possibly BG gear, it stacks HARD.

Bacsojin, High Wizard, Vesper, junk, junk, junk.
High Wizard has been nerfed, because MDEF is such a worry. And Vesper is an even WORSE High Wizard.
And why would anyone ever use Backy there? It wasn't good unnerfed, when it was a straight +30% that would upgrade your useless 2600 heal to an useless 3400 heal.
And now that it's +20% AND makes you take more damage...

Maya P.
Now, Maya Purple had a good IDEA for a downside, but in practice the downside will never, ever be a problem.
http://somewhat.crappyfiles.com/52998.gif
My review of Maya P is just this picture.
But yeah, you can just switch gears. It's even instant.

Berzebub unchagned, but it's actually irrelevant now, and we'll see why shortly.

Ifrit has apparently become my calculus homework.
It's +14 ATK and HIT, +7 CRIT
They could just say "adds 1 ATK and HIT every five job levels, one Crit every 10".
Guess which card works EXACTLY like this? IFRIT.
They just changed the description for the worse and buffed it very slightly.
Also removed Earthquake, which was the entire reason for using that card!

Osiris is still completely useless.
This is a card that's dying to be made exciting, but they couldn't do it.
HA HA HA!
But seriously, Osiris is okay in some specific occasions. And at least they didn't turn it into a +something.

Deviling is still the same.
And I still find it useless.
It's a fair card. Like, fair as in reasonable advantage/disadvantage.

DARUKO LODOOO!
Alright, +50% HP. This is objectively the absolute best foot card in the game.
It's the best Shoes card in the game. By far. Max HP +50% is so absurdly huge. And no flaws, either.
We can look over the other ones for fun but there is absolutely, seriously no reason to use anything but this when it's +50% HP and no downside.

Lady Tanee is good, too, but why not use Dark Lord?
I guess it gives you a nice ATK boost if you're built for WoE.

Moonlight was buffed... why?
I liked it as a PVM card. Walking fast is awesome!
It didn't really need a DEX boost and Max HP bonus.
+5 DEX is a massive buff, but it's still no Dark Lord - which has an extra 25% HP.

Mysteltainn now sucks.
...wait a second, wasn't Mysteltainn a shield card?
I think so? I'm not even sure why this one was changed to be honest. Was there a Mysteltainn strategy I wasn't aware of?
Flee in general is a rather worthless stat and only provides significant DPS reduction on the lowest of tiers of PVM (and no tiers of MVP or PVP).

Not sure why Alligator was changed to a +Crit weapon card.
It was a good Accessory card, too - fairly useful.
Crit +12 is absurd. It's the best Crit card in the game.
And Alligators are easily farmable!

Sting.
DEX +4, Accessory.
This is, hands down, the best accessory card for casters. Pop this on a Glove, go wild.
Better than Zerom and more easily farmable.
You will, in fact, end up farming them with any DEX-using class, since Hunters level there, as well as Wizards and Sages.

Gremlin is now a silly substitute for Stem Worm.
Noticeably, Box of Thunder is gone forever : no other card drops it now.
This really doesn't improve Gremlin in any way.

Stem Worm and Gargoyle : +5 DEX.
These are instant cast granting cards, pretty much.
This is high rate server shenanigans right here.
You're losing a bit of resistance in order to get 0 second cast Storm Gust and Safety Wall. And you know what? It's worth it.

So we saw all these changes, and the one that bugged you the most was the Toad Card.
http://wiki.talonro.com/Reward_Card_List_TCSorted
Right. Here.
A Lord of Death is 12 Talon Coins. ($12)
A Toad card is 20.
Oh. Now THERE's why.

They may have realized it's super easy to farm a Thara Frog card, so they made the Toad card, something extra-rare, even better than the Thara.
So unless you farm it or put in a ton of effort, you'll be shelling out the Talon Coins for the +5%.
Some of the cards there boggle the mind.
Who in their right minds buys an Armeyer Dinze card? Do you know what I can buy for 3 USD?
3 quarter pounders?
Nah, quarter pounders are 5 USD each here.
Brazil is a hell of a place.

Gargoyles, Stings... All expensive.
Surprisingly, Green Ferus seems to cost less than Verit. Half, in fact!
Despite Green Ferus usually being the go-to WoE card.

Honestly, the correlation between cards arbitrarily getting buffed like crazy, and their price at the TC redeemer...
It just seems TOO obvious, you know? Like, what other reason does Toad have to be like that?

Aliot costs a third of the Raydric card! A THIRD! Despite being just as useful, if not more.
Why is the WHISPER card 10 TC? Why is LoD worth less than DEVILING? Who made this table!?
Bacsojin is 20! People are paying 20 bucks to get a boost to two worthless skills.
It's the WORST of the footcards.

We've seen the custom changes, we've seen the site layout and such. We've seen the card changes.
Right now I feel cautious about the server because it doesn't seem to really know what it wants to be.
It's a low-rate with so many high rate mechanics and, frankly, bizzare card edits that I can't tell what we're aiming for here.

It's a low rate meets high rate mess.
The card pricing is also frankly ridiculous and shows the admins have no knowledge of how the game plays.
Or worse, the players don't, and they just priced the cards according to what was most sought out.
Worst of all is... For having so much high rate stuff, it's lacking some convenience features even LOW RATE servers have. @autoloot?

Anyway, maybe we're being unnecesasrily harsh by just looking at the wiki and making judgement calls, maybe it works better in-game than we think.
Only one way to find out : doing it.
You got it.

DAY ONE


Please let me run the Novice Grounds already.


Before the game even starts, I have to stop it to put in mousefreedom really quick. Why this isn't there by default I will never know.
I particularly like no mousefreedom, so I see no problem with that. However, why make me type like eight or nine sentences during the training grounds? On other servers it's usually just the name, which is somewhat understandable, but why make me type out "Yeah, sure, whatever, I get the rules"? Does that actually help me understand the rules? Is it a legal thing they're obligated to do?


TalonRO offers a rather awkward "free trial" of... I'm not quite sure, frankly enough.


The newbie area offers a "free trial" so you can try weapons with a high ASPD, high ATK, then instant cast. I have to ask though: Who is impressed by this? Is it the new player, who I suppose hasn't played RO before and can see character power in a hamfisted way, or the veteran RO player looking for something new, who already knows cards exist that let them do this?
The free trial weapons are noticeably... weak. High ASPD is about as strong as a kitchen knife, high damage is actually pretty low damage (roughly an uncarded Damascus in power) and the staff was pretty damn cool, but I can't see how 1 INT characters would enjoy that sudden change, even with the 20 INT bonus. I certainly didn't enjoy my time with the knives as a 1 STR character, and may God have mercy on those who went Archer first.

The community is nice enough.
The community is apparently stuck in a time warp to the mid 2000s (Myst Cases for a level 40 Swordie/Aco team, really?), but I can't deny how nice they were, yeah.


For perhaps less than 5% of your levelling experience, you are already told so much about Talon Coins and how strong they'll make you.


The server really, really wants us to up and buy some coins: it takes 50 of the copper coins (not exactly easily obtained) to get even 1 Talon Coin... or you can get them for $1 apiece. Sure, it's nice that you can get the MvP cards, the Kaho horns, and so on without having to actually buy (I know it's a "donation", but let's read between the lines here) the coins, but with how long it'd take to get copper coins... it seems like paying for them is how you're "supposed" to do it.


There goes the Echio card!


On a related note, you can't trade or drop those coins at all, so we couldn't even get a quick lowbie card with our combined 50 Copper to help out.


The Novice Area is less of a "novice area" and more of a long, drawn-out (~30 minute?) pitch selling you on Talon Coins.


Did a quest to kill 50 skeleton soldiers, got 25 BRONZE coins (not the coppers you can get talon coins from), and a level and a half. It was not worth the effort in the slightest. To add insult to injury, you can't even buy anything with your excessively-hard-earned coins either: the cheapest bronze rental is 50.
And the next quest would be either 100 Myst Cases or 100 Green Iguanas, both of which are even more gigantic wastes of time and zeny AND wouldn't give any more Bronze Coins. It's always an achievement in game design when you make your leveling assist quests worse than just grinding Metalings to dust 24/7.


The one positive to the hunting quests is they're shared amongst the parties. Only a full day later, I realize a huge party hunting these might work better than a duo... except the reward is still awkward and a deficit.


On a related note, achievements. I don't know where to see them, but I hear there's one for finishing your job change quest instead of using the job changer. You can't go back to Novice. You can't do the quests as a Trans character. You can, however, pay $10 to roll back to Novice! Happy cheev hunting!


The disappointment we felt was enormous. The next proposed hunting quest was even worse. We didn't bother with them again.


Speaking of coins, we occasionally got confused about what coins were used for what items. At first we assumed a Brooch [1] was happily 10 bronze coins... or copper coins. Imagine our surprise when they're actually 10 Talon Coins, or worth $10 if you paid for them directly! (Based on the pricing, this means that, naturally, 2 brooches is worth the same as a GTB card.)
Slotted Brooch, people! Slotted Brooch! This is the sub-basement of low tier items in vanilla RO, and here it is, for 10 United States Dollars.


For whatever reason, Izlude had a lot of the things removed. I sort of like it like this, but...


Day 1, at the least, did not particularly impress me. This seemed like a very confused server that had the worst qualities of "low-rate, work hard for your reward" and "Super-easy high rate". I hesitate to straight-up call it a cash grab but, well, that's honestly my impression.
So far, it's been a mediocre vanilla RO low-rate with some REAL headscratchers and an apparent penchant for money-grabbing. Can't help but hope it improves later on.

DAY TWO - THE COMMUNITY


The rest mechanic was a pleasant thing to log in to, and something I greatly enjoyed for the brief while I had it.


Overall, the community was a positive experience for the interactions I had with them (on main mostly). My questions got eagerly answered, even if I raised an eyebrow at some of the suggestions (A knight/acolyte party levelling at Myst Case over Metalings? In 2013?). My friend seems right where they're stuck in some weird time-lock, but nobody ever really got angry at me even when I asked questions about how grape juice was so cheap.

I did get a couple random guild invites and friend invitations completely out of the blue, which I guess is to be expected when you have a large enough community. Some players did drop mobs on me, either intentionally (Some fellow MeteorStorms enjoyed doing this with familiars in payon dungeon) or semi-accidentally (a grimtooth assassin at High orcs).

It was a GM's birthday when we played, and so an event of chance was held. We lost all three rounds, but I guess that's how it goes. Later, the GMs let everyone pick mobs to disguise as, which I found to be a hoot (except for spending 10 minutes waiting on the exit...). Overall, even when calling out the GMs on Main to say I thought it as hilarious, they seemed in high spirits and approachable.

Offline Fruit Pie~

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #2 on: Jan 20, 2013, 09:34 PM »
DAY 2 - THE ECONOMY


It's weird that the only NPC shop that sells Grapes seems to be in Prontera. Since we saved in Alberta, we didn't realize we could buy SP items there until several levels in.


The economy here is a weird, weird beast. First off, Talon Coins seem to be worth slighly over a million or so, which sets a ceiling for card prices - if it costs more than the Talon Coins you need to purchase them, you're always better off buying the coins.

And speaking of card prices... look at that Talon Coin reward table! It's written by someone who has only played WoW and thought "Hmm, surely move speed, dodge, ArPen and +Heal are worth a ton!". So you get entirely inconsequential or situational cards like Moonlight Flower, Vesper and Bacsojin somehow considered more powerful (and thus more expensive) than utter game breakers such as Tao Gunka and Lord of Death.

I thought it was weird how the Slotted Brooch, one of the worst accessories in the base game, was worth $10 or roughly 12 million zeny. A look at the quest item page in their wiki suddenly made everything clear. You need FOUR of those to make a Brisingamen, one of the original RO God Items and perhaps the most mediocre of those - a paltry +6 to all stats except DEX, making it worth slightly more than an Orleans Glove with Sting overall.

I don't know if the other slotted accessories are also sold for $10 each, but if so, considering $1 basically gives you 1 mil, that would mean you have to donate the sum of 360 USD for a Brisingamen. Three hundred and sixty flipping dollars. Or you could get 18000 to 36000 Copper Coins on your own, but that's not happening. All this for a mid-tier item that's handily beaten by the BG medals, which can be acquired over a weekend of fun PVP action.

I'm starting to realize why this server doesn't have BG.

Speaking of SQIs (as they call them), they work in a pretty interesting way, sort of a "build your own gear" thing : you have the base item and you can put up to four mods on them, and you pick which mods you want out of a list. That's all good in theory, but I can't see them working in practice because most of the SQIs are terrible and all of them have no-brainer mods (or worse, no good mods at all).

The one SQI I like is the Artemis Bow, which has a selection of awesome mods for a class that could really use some variety. But then you get stuff like the Aegis Shield, which offers little over a Valky, Thorn or even a slotted Mirror. There are two good mods for it - reflection and delay reduction. Everything else you can pick is either highly situational or straight up terrible (10% Heal increase? Really?). The Evangelist is the worst of the bunch, having an anemic +5 DEX, +5 INT as base, giving you Magic Crasher (with no MATK bonus?) and having the worst possible mod picks for the class.

The mob spawn changes "for ease of leveling" are just more proof that this server lives in the past - most people have moved on from those levelings spots (or never used them to begin with). They used to be good back then, they really did!

But Ancient Mummies are gone now that Anubises are available, Mavkas just aren't efficient, Kokomo Beach and Niflheim are done for with Geographers and Nameless here, Myst Cases are old fashioned since the Einbroch update and nobody's leveled in Bathories since the key requirement way back in the Amatsu update, three updates before even TRANSCLASSES were in the game.

I do like the Garm Baby change, though, it makes sense. High Orcs boost is nice for mobbing without dealing with Arclice and Brilights, and the Leaf Cat spawn increase is great considering how large the map is. Playing an Aco class myself I like the undead boost in Prison and Chyard, but reading the wiki I have to wonder... why do Mages and Archers go there? And why in Hell do people use Formal Suits here?

That's another thing - some items here are modified and thus using them now makes sense. Grape Juice doesn't weigh more for less healing than Strawberries (and grapes are sold in an NPC, which makes them easier to acquire for once), and Meat now doesn't weigh half a ton.

I still can't grasp the community's bizarre choice of items, though - said Formal Suit is a 5 defense armor with a slot. It drops like a card, it sells for 11 million and it even costs 10 dollars if you donate for it! Do you know what else you could use? A goddamn coat. Five times more likely to drop, five times cheaper, the only downside is that it's slightly heavier.

And that's dealing in low-tier items with no level requirements - if you wanted to, at the time of this writing, you could buy an Orleans Uniform for 50k Zeny, and this is a much more useful body armor than those two. If you want defense and resistances, you could pick up a Meteor Plate for less than a mil. If you're like me and have realized that defense doesn't matter, but still want a light, no-level-req armor, you can grab a Cotton Shirt for 50k or drop it at 5% from a Picky. The reason for Formal Suits being so overpriced eludes me.


TalonRO's bizarre dissonance between "work hard" low-rate logic and "take it easy" high-rate logic shows yet again with an alchemist shop for easy brewing.


What really seems like it could break the server economy once and for all, though, is a tiny little exploit where you can make infinite zeny. Essentially, you buy a ton of Empty Bottles, take them to a safe Aqua Benedicta spot (there are three I know of - the beach in Ayothaya, the bugged tile on the bridge in Ayothaya again and right outside the Sunken Ship) and just make all of it into Holy Water. With an OC/DC Merch, you'll be buying for 5z and selling for 12z.

This doesn't seem like much, but people are selling Grape Juice for a 7z profit, which is exactly the same as me, yeah, but I'm doing it faster and I don't rely on people not undercutting me to make my zeny. With a high DEX Acolyte and a Bragi slave, this can go on for upwards of 75k zeny an hour, which is fantastic when we're talking a 3x server and no effort whatsoever. Take a bunch of extra Acolytes and some automation and what do you get? Trouble.

OVERALL - FRUIT PIE


I could do this all day, and earn more for it than those fools selling Grape Juice for a living.


Overall? I'm unsure about TalonRO. I had fun, but I don't know where RO's default fun ends and TalonRO's unique brand of fun begins. It feels like I enjoyed my time DESPITE the server, rather than WITH the server.

I have no idea what crowd I could recommend this beast to. Perhaps people who like high rate servers and PVM? Do those exist? They must exist and they all play in TalonRO, because it's the only server in existence that would ever appeal to them.

Perhaps old AnimaRO players? Because this is, quite literally, AnimaRO - all the features are there! The cross transing, the seal quests, the 10z HP/SP healer, the lack of autoloot (at least now they provide you with a taste of autolooting, rather than make you develop RSI from word go). It's technically better than Anima in that it's not full of bots and doesn't lag horribly - in fact, the only lag I ever encountered was my own connection having lag spikes, which is pretty good by RO server standards, actually!

There's nothing really like this server around, but that also means I'm not sure who it appeals to. The people seem to have been cryogenically frozen for the last few years, which doesn't help - why not dive into an actual old school server where their knowledge wouldn't be eight to ten episodes out of date?

Well, I think that's it for me on Talon. It's a server that can't quite decide what it wants to be and ends up losing focus and being worse for it. That and the sheer amount of mind-bending design decisions might have killed this whole deal for me.

OVERALL - ROSE TEA


The highlight of my time was getting disguised as a Christmas Lunatic and killing orcs.


I can't say I'd really recommend TalonRO to anybody. Someone looking for the work-hard low-rate experience of doing things from scratch will be put off immensely by being able to buy any item in the game. At the same time, I can't imagine people with disposable income and craving a high-rate to really appreciate the 5/5/3 rates (8/8/3 at the best).

The systems in place to get Talon Coins are a nice gesture, but it's obvious how you're "supposed" to get them, given the scarcity and difficulty of getting copper coins. Even the bronze coins for temporary rentals seem like a difficult enigma. For someone getting into the server, the only way I can think of to get Talon Coins for "free" without a too substantial time investment is to play the economy.

It's kind of impossible to really look at the whole "you can get kahos horns and mvp cards" thing without actually being able to get them quickly, and I frankly do not want to spend $50 and a couple weeks time to write this review. Strictly off theory, a lot of the changes are strange, arbitrary, and use logic that's either not used in other mechanics or outright betrayed. Why change the spawn points to make grinding easier, but blast @autoloot for making people lazy?

TalonRO just confuses me. It wasn't all bad, but it wasn't all that great either. It felt like two halves of two different servers that somehow fused together, and it definitely was not as good as the sum of its parts.


Bonus picture! This is how the site looks like here, with measurements for good, uh, measure.

Offline Boreas

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #3 on: Jan 20, 2013, 09:52 PM »
The 1200 non vendors we have online for WoE seem to enjoy our system, so I don't see much wrong with that.

Anyway, thank you for the review, we will certainly address some of the website issues and make certain features more outstanding. As for our ingame system, that will stay as it is obviously.

Good luck finding a server which is more to your liking.

Boreas~

Offline RoseTea

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #4 on: Jan 20, 2013, 10:07 PM »
The 1200 non vendors we have online for WoE seem to enjoy our system, so I don't see much wrong with that.

Anyway, thank you for the review, we will certainly address some of the website issues and make certain features more outstanding. As for our ingame system, that will stay as it is obviously.

Good luck finding a server which is more to your liking.

Boreas~

This is a rather insulting reply.  We tried to highlight every aspect of Talon we found good or bad in the two days of playing, and filled the forum's character limit enough to need three posts to cover it all.  This is the closest thing to actually, fully experiencing the server you can possibly do on such a short notice (I recall one Talon thread having "first impressions" as a case against it actually being a good review).  Talon Staff's reply is one hand's worth of effort and a chance to mention their player count.

Thanks for reading, I guess.  I wish you had more of a response.

Offline Boreas

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #5 on: Jan 20, 2013, 10:12 PM »
Not entirely sure what kind of response you are expecting, you reviewed every part of the server and questioned what kind of players would join it. I simply told you.

I don't expect people to join TalonRO and to fully understand its features and dynamics within a couple of hours, if that was the case then we'd do a bad job.

Certain aspects of the website might be a tad confusing, we should probably look into that. Other than that I don't see what else we should address as everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Thank you for spending two days on reviewing TalonRO, nobody has done that before and I highly doubt that anyone will in the future.

Best regards,
Boreas

Offline RoseTea

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #6 on: Jan 20, 2013, 10:19 PM »
Thank you for spending two days on reviewing TalonRO, nobody has done that before and I highly doubt that anyone will in the future.
Thank you for this addition to the review: GM attitudes regarding people posting about their server.

Offline Fruit Pie~

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #7 on: Jan 20, 2013, 10:24 PM »
Thank you for this addition to the review: GM attitudes regarding people posting about their server.
Hey, man, chill. It's all good!

He's said he's looking into changing stuff for the better. One step at a time! If we're helping even one poor soul with a large monitor, we're doing our job.

EDIT : On a related note, perhaps it wasn't so clear (made it look like we spent 48 straight hours in Talon) - it was just a weekend, not two STRAIGHT days.

EDIT 2 : The emoticons somehow screwed up the line breaks. Oops!
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2013, 03:23 PM by Fruit Pie~ »

Offline Karuna-tan

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #8 on: Jan 20, 2013, 11:21 PM »
Back when  I was looking at several servers, I remember stumbling upon Talon's site. After that I remember having a discussion that went on for hours with my friend about their modifications to some cards. Your review pretty much nailed our thoughts about the modifications, that's what I wanted to say.
"Howard, you do know I've got a number of ways to poison you. In your sleep. Your food. You don't want that to happen do you?"

Offline Necrophiliac

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #9 on: Jan 20, 2013, 11:23 PM »
I was thinking about trying out Talon since iRO has too many bots and french RO has too many bugs.  I knew it was a cash grab server but thought it might still be worth playing on since the server is at least populated unlike most LR's.  The fact that PvE is stuck in 2008 and there's no BG is too big of a turn off for a cash grab server though.

Have you two done these kind of reviews for other servers?  I would love to read them.

Offline Cawliflower

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #10 on: Jan 21, 2013, 12:51 AM »
Ah, hello Christmas-themed bold text review.

A lot of your commentary was sort of snarky, in my opinion, and very opinionated--obviously as there's 1,200+ always online their server. I wouldn't be offended by Boreas' response as you sort of just got done sarcastically hating on reviewing the entire server. This reminds me of a FIRST review. :( I don't think iRO would score even an 80 if it was reviewed by FIRST. Standards too str0nkz.

Sidenote -- The website looks fantastic, Boreas. It is much better than the last, and really looks awesome.
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2013, 01:25 AM by Cawliflower »
Quote
yesterday im ask gm crewkie hitler for pls ad balance costum like angel wing or 4slot narutaro BUT HE SAY NO.. um sry i thot this was ranganarok and not a nazis???????

DivinityRO 6.9 coming soon!

Offline Hermos

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #11 on: Jan 21, 2013, 01:59 AM »
You must have a lot of free time.

Offline DeePee

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #12 on: Jan 21, 2013, 03:38 AM »
Can't please everyone.

P.S. I do hope you're aware that more or less the majority of the websites out there base their layout on 1024x768, right? The only reason to make it an adaptive width is when you have a lot of data to display. If not, there'll be a lot of whitespace.
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2013, 06:00 AM by DeePee »

Offline Cressy

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #13 on: Jan 21, 2013, 04:17 AM »
I was thinking about trying out Talon since iRO has too many bots and french RO has too many bugs.  I knew it was a cash grab server but thought it might still be worth playing on since the server is at least populated unlike most LR's.  The fact that PvE is stuck in 2008 and there's no BG is too big of a turn off for a cash grab server though.

Have you two done these kind of reviews for other servers?  I would love to read them.
I don't think you should call Talon a cash grab server, I've played on it for a year now, not donated once and have gear as good as some of the vets. Not to mention the best weapons on the server cannot be gained via donation, you need to complete a quest, make the item, and then make bonuses for it (even if you were to donate to sell talon coins and simply buy the weapon you wouldn't be able to use the bonuses without that quest...)

I find it a bit funny to see you picking on some of the most popular weapons on the server (evangelist) perhaps they just do not suit your play style? Or perhaps you have never actually TRIED them so you don't know how god they could be :3

You also seemed to complain about some of the mob changes because "no one ever used them" well... that's kinda... the point? to get people to go to places they normally wouldn't? I think it's better to see a server trying to encourage people to play the game in different ways... as for accusing the server of "living in the past" that's also somewhat the point ._. most of our player base are here for a simple reason, we want nostalgia, we came here because we want to remember the game as it was, not as it is now :)

It was lovely of you to take the time to review the server in such detail though! And you did point out a few things that could maybe be looked at :3

Offline RoseTea

Re: TalonRO
« Reply #14 on: Jan 21, 2013, 01:49 PM »
Edit: Nevermind, this isn't a post I should be making.
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2013, 01:56 PM by RoseTea »