I used to play this game a far
long time ago, back on Kongregate. It was a good game, plenty of fun to be had, and the perma-death, while annoying, only made me more determined to do better in the future, work with my friends, and pursue a higher goal.
But that was a different time entirely; a golden age long since past.
So, around 2 years later, being a more experienced and wisened individual, I decided to check this game out again, seeing it was on Steam. I went into the reviews, and noticed...a surprising negative reaction among a bulk of the players, even ones who've spent over hundreds of hours. I thought to myself, Well it just can't be as bad as these people say, right? People love to use hyperbole to make a point.
In my lack of judgement, I decided to play this again...
I regretted said decision.
So I started up the game after a shockingly-fast install time of roughly 2 seconds. Flash games, gotta love'em. I start things up, go into my character menu, and realize that half the screen's dedicated to selling me crap. That's not
a good sign...
I start up my one character slot, and I go through the motions of picking my first hero, a Warrior. The tutorial's straight-forward, I blitzed through fairly quickly, and reached the point where I named the account. For review sake, I'll disclose my account username in-game was DMNTDxNem.
When I first started up my warrior, in the first server I selected, things went overall decently for me. I stuck to the beach, like the game said to, and leveled up to 3 before taking on a little deeper in the forest areas. Reaching around level 5 now, fighting against not only the enemies, but the server lag, I decide a quick respite at the Nexus was in order.
Now, from when I was playing this back on Kongregate, I used to love
the Nexus! It was crowded pretty often, yeah, but there tended to be a lot of friendly player interaction; people helping each other, constantly working in each other's benefit to get better gear and equipment, there was always strong community there.
But on my return trip to the Nexus during this refresher playthrough, I realized the game's first critical issue:
Bots! Bots everywhere! I couldn't speak to any of the players, as few as there even were around, without bots running up and drowning us out. I cannot tell you how much I desperately wanted to kill some of these players; physically. In real life. I was that angry.
Aside from that, though, there was also the issue of the shop items. Originally, pre-dev change, the shop items, while difficult to acquire, were completely do-able, and it was rather straight-forward; you earn coins, you go to the shop, you spend coins on an item you want (and eventually die and lose, but I digress,) and you got said item. Now, shop items range from the hundreds to the thousands in coin value! And if you came back into the game with 50 coins earned, many of the shop items that were once 50 are now 51
, meaning you'd be forced to pay for one more bloody coin! Slowly, I was realizing that people's anger was rather justified.
Enough about the Nexus and the broken shop, though. I went back in, enjoyed my time fighting through enemy territory, until it appeared the server I was on had a server-wide boss battle occurring. Everyone was teleported into a dangerous, high-level world dungeon: Oryx's Castle. I, among many players, was ill-equipped for the encounter, so I ended up dying along heaps of other players, who all probably experienced the same game-breaking lag spikes that I did. Congratulations, RotMD, you, a flash game, made my high-performance gaming computer buckle onto its knees...
Second go, another warrior, and I was definitely getting the hang of things. I beat a few dungeon bosses, went into the ruins and killed a few mini-bosses strewn across the world, and grabbed some decent equipment. Things were going good, and the whole thing went just as I'd hoped. Barring the several passing exchanges I gave the bots advertising their crummy products, to which I had some choice opinions of them, I finally came across an actual, breathing player; they were running around like the flash, and when I strolled up, they told me about a dungeon where they could help me get some better equipment. Now, I'll say in advance that I read the reviews extensively, and knew there were players who got their kicks off of getting people with good characters killed. I thought to myself, Well, my guy's crap, so he'd be wasting his time if he just wanted to off me.
How wrong I was.
First off, the dungeon he dragged me into was from some candy dude that was prancing around like the Gingerbread Man. I insisted on being the one to take him down, so a little Looney Tunes-style chase went on, me using mana potions to keep up like Lance Armstrong used drugs for the Tour De France, and finally was able to dead him to death. Me and the guy go in, and before my eyes, he vanishes through a wall...and when he returned, every enemy he could alert in the area was with him. Running as far as I could, not long, considering I used up all my mana, I was eventually shot to death by a unicorn pinata barfing rainbows. And so, at level 9, Sir Gullible II was found dead due to overdose on vibrant colors. The last words he ever heard were from his once-thought ally, typing in "#rekt" about 7 times. Fun times were had..
Now, the fact the game now being a botting trollfest of epic proportions notwithstanding, it's still incredibly functional. The base game works as intended, and the system hasn't changed all that much since 2 years ago. Now, I'll admit the difficulty curve's definitely become harder to cope with, especially how the higher-tier equipment is even harder to acquire than ever before, unless you throw your wallet at the screen, but by the by, it hasn't really changed all that much. You still work with other players, you still try for the best loot, and you still fight towards the ultimate goal of taking down the Mad God.
You have your four slots, weapon, helmet, armor, and ring, and equipment is divided amongst different classes, rings being the only ones where any class can use anything they find for that slot. Each class has different advantages and disadvantages; warriors can buff allies and face-tank, wizards can do solid damage, archers can hit multiple enemies at once, they're all viable for different reasons.
Remember, of course, about the perma-death mechanic; once a character's dead, they're dead. Anything they had, if you didn't get it sorted out or saved, is gone, so it's incredibly important to manage the equipment that you find, so that the next time someone throws a death-spewing unicorn at you, you'll have plenty of equipment for the next character that hits the ground.
In all, the game's as it's always been: you play, you die, you improve, you die again, the cycle continues. Granted, there are the more-than-occasional hacking players that either screw you out of loot, or, in my experience, send sentient pinatas to murder you with rainbows, so the cycle is a bit less off a circle, and more of a triangle, where every corner is a slap to the face. You get your first slap when you boot up the game, and you're being asked to buy crap you don't even need; you get the second slap going to the Nexus, once a sanctum for player cooperation, now a den of botting inequity and a broken economy; and the final slap, rounding this merry-go-♥♥♥♥-yourself out quite nicely, is the afore-mentioned hackers, honing their trolling skills to a weaponized level in the goal of wanting you dead.
I could go on about how Kabam doesn't care, and how they potentially ruined a good game. But, instead, I'll give them a break, and say this: at least Road-Squared didn't get their hands on this game.