Closed Beta Review: Black Prophecy

What can I say about this game? Well – I’m addicted. It’s a blast to play. It’s gorgeous. And I’m enjoying the PVP more in this MMO than any that I’ve played.

Black Prophecy

Black Prophecy is similar to Eve Online in some respects. At least as far as it’s “space feel” and graphics. There is no “locking on” to targets and pressing F keys though. You must physically target the enemy with the reticule and you have to lead the target, depending on the speed of the weapon (and that varies wildly).

It’s much more of a space combat simulation than Eve Online. There will be no sitting still or running circles at range in Black Prophecy. If you’ve played Jump to Lightspeed then the space combat is also very similar to that.

There are several different types of weapons – energy, mechanical, explosion, etc. Within each type there are different kinds of weapons that you can use. For example I’ve alternated between a particle beam and a pulse weapon. Both are energy weapons. An example of explosive would be missiles.

As with any RPG you don’t want to spread yourself too thin so it’s a good idea to concentrate on assigning skills for one type of weapon (ie., energy) and sticking with it.

Black Prophecy

On your ship you can place different components. For example: shields, wings, weapons, cockpit, engines, etc. Each component has mass. Your ship responds quicker with a lower mass. Different weapons penetrate shields in different ways, depending on the shields density. Character and ship setup is unique and interesting compared to a lot of online games. Upgrades to your ship changes the way that it looks.

Crafting is done with parts from a vendor and some crafted items require rarer loot to build. You must loot blueprints to make items. You can mod items if they have slots available for mods. Mods can be purchased and looted. Vendors sell low quality common (gray) items. To get high quality items you must choose between mission rewards and loot. There are also rare named weapons that can be looted.

Black Prophecy

Combat is a blast in PVE. PVP feels very balanced and dependent on skill and spec rather than depending so heavily on gear stats. Stats do help obviously but don’t seem to override skill very much at all. The exception is that if you’re a level 9 and going up against a level 15 then you’re obviously going to die very quickly. If you’re a level 7 and your opponent is a level 9 it’s going to be a test of skill and spec. The way it should be.

One interesting aspect of PVP is that you immediately have a sense of the opponents spec when you see his ship’s durability (when targeted). Durability and shield HP can give you a basic idea of your opponents abilities. An extremely high durability might mean your opponent is a soft hitter, but will take longer to kill. Things like that are a welcome aspect of PVP in the game.

The early stages of the game include lots of cutscenes and story missions until you’ve completed the prologue at about level 5. After this you can roll another character and skip the prologue. The story missions are fun. It is in closed beta and there are bugs here and there, but the only issue worth mentioning is lag from time to time. It is beta and that’s what this stage in development exists for. The real thing missing from this game is a player market (auction house). Hopefully one will be added in the near future.

P.S. This game makes me want to build a new PC to take advantage of it’s graphics. Seriously.

Update: At this time there is no player auction house, but hopefully this will be implemented in the future. Another feature I’m hoping for is a way to limit players from griefing others in PVP space. Right now a level 20 player can attack a level 6 with no penalty immediately after the player spawns. You can leave the area and go back to neutral areas, but for people that want to pvp it would be a welcome change.

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