50 MMOs in 50 Days #40: Rusty Hearts

Last played: 2011
Experience: Very Minimal

We’re all used to having to repeat dungeons or raids or dailies at max level. But at least during the leveling process, we get to do things that are a little different, in different areas. Sure, killing 10 rats over and over is dull, but if I get to do it in a forest, on an island, on top of a mountain… well, that’s something, right?

Rusty Hearts apparently decided that designing all those spaces was too much work, so it made you run through the exact same dungeons pretty much right out of the gate. The first time was fun. The second and third times? Not so much. The combat system was heavily combo-based, but I seem to recall that I could get through everything just with a bunch of button-mashing. That’s probably not abnormal for the first few levels of any game, but given the repetitive nature of the content, it seemed even duller than usual.

The storyline of Rusty Hearts centered around three characters (i.e., classes… this is an Asian MMO, after all) in what I guess you would call a “Renaissance fantasy” kingdom – more advanced than medieval times, but definitely not modern (or steampunk). While I don’t remember much about the story, like the graphics, it was reasonably well-executed, with anime-style cut scenes and some voice acting. They’ve since increased the roster to eight characters, and I don’t know how they’re incorporated them into the story; the original three seemed to have pretty good chemistry and a camaraderie that was amusing to watch.

RustyHeartsCharactersI also liked the cel-shaded graphical look. I know a lot of people don’t go for that, but I like it. Then again, graphics in a game are weird for me… I just want them to be good, I don’t usually care much about particular styles. Some people, for instance, can’t stand the cartoony graphics of WildStar, or don’t like the particular style of Guild Wars 2, but I think they’re fine. All I really care about is that graphics are well-done and make my video card slightly break a sweat; I’m not going to complain too much that noses are too big or hips are too narrow.

While it had its merits, I’d stop short of actually recommending Rusty Hearts unless you really like grinding the same content over and over, even at early levels –

Oh. Just as I was typing that last paragraph, I found this on the site: “After three wonderful years, Rusty Hearts is officially coming to an end on September 15, 2014.” That would be tomorrow. Well, now I really can’t recommend it, as the game’s not even downloadable for new players. I’m sure some folks will miss it, but I’d imagine the vast majority who tried it out moved on a long time ago.

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3 Responses to 50 MMOs in 50 Days #40: Rusty Hearts

  1. While it doesn’t hold an enormous appeal to me, I am surprised we don’t see more games devoted to nothing but lobby-based dungeon-running. It seems to me that’s all most people care about in your average themepark MMO; leveling and such seems to be viewed as a pointless timesink before the “real” game starts. It seems to me a big budget, well-advertised, well-polished game focused on nothing but dungeon crawling would probably do fairly well.

    • zax19taken says:

      I absolutely agree, people keep screaming about grind and levelling before end game but games like Rusty Hearts or Vindictus can’t seem to become popular enough. Especially now that Kickstarter is around people are trying to fund niche games, so why not a skill based dungeon game?

      • jasonwinter says:

        Also agreed. I might think that it’s a case of really wanting to keep us occupied with menial tasks, like regular open-world questing, so we don’t just rush to the dungeons and conquer them lightning-fast, but I’d think that creating a huge open-world — or heck, just one or two zones — is probably on par with making just one dungeon. So take a game that has 15 zones and 5 dungeons at launch and instead do just 20 dungeons at launch. If that was possible, and you could make sure to balance them, either in terms of challenges or rewards, so people don’t just run the “easy” dungeon for the quick loot all the time, I think it’d work.

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