Mortal Online First Impressions

Many of you don’t like detailed prose, so here is a short summary.  You can read further to see the details.

Key points:

  1. Slow Patch and Install
  2. No auto run key or ability to map such
  3. Can’t figure out a 3rd person view
  4. Lore, descriptions, and tutorials are sparse to non-existent.  A useless user guide is buried under the ESC menu
  5. Doesn’t conform to normal MMORPG conventions
  6. No world map
  7. I can’t recommend anyone buying this game at this point.  Don’t waste your time and energy.  I spent money and precious hours of my life.  Benefit from my experience.

The Install

I bought my account on the day of the launch, June 9th, and I am still installing the client and its patches as of 10:15 12 Jun 2010.  That’s a long time to download a game client and its patches!  Alas it finished a couple of minutes later!


Disappointment Sets In….

As I was going through the character screen, I knew I would be disappointed.  When I was selecting my race, it reported to me that the “Description to come” on the LORE of your character’s history and background.  How can you understand a story?  How can you get context?


Description to come:  An incomplete game

Creating a Character: Race, Age, and Ancestry Impact your Stats

Wow…  There is no manual or tutorial to determine what your skill builds deliver to you.  For a skill based system, you should be able to determine what benefits the skills bring.


Physical Attribute:  I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weener 10:20

Yes, it shows genitals, but I could not figure out how to adjust size.  Although it does allow you to control the size of your nose.


Background Skills 10:43

I chose scout.  Not sure what this choice does.  I next named my player and saved him as Duch Morgan.  From the choices it was not clear what they do or facilitate.


Key Customization 10:45

First thing I went to find was an autorun feature, but I cant seem to figure it out!  An hour into the game, and I felt the physical discomfort involved in constantly holding down the W key to move anywhere.


Not sure what to do 10:50

In most MMORPGs, it’s apparent how to navigate.  Like Battleground Europe, this one is not going to be for the feint of heart.  You have to want it, as it is not a Warhammer, LOTRO, WoW simple interface and user experience.  This one is using the Unreal Engine, and it feels like a first person shooter.  Not sure if we can zoom out yet to the third person, but I like to see my avatar.  There are no quest givers or intro NPCs near me.  I just spawned into a village that has no one in it.

Unforgiving in Death 11:09

Not knowing what to do, I jumped off a cliff.  There appears to be some sort of corpse walk, but it doesn’t even tell you where to go.  Also it looks like my paltry loot fell out for other people to claim.


Apparently you need to run to the nearest priest to bring yourself back from the ether.  Also, you can warp to the nearest shrine in 60 seconds by pressing the P key and clicking nearest shrine.   I ended up warping into a city, and I thought I would get some relief, but I can’t even tell the difference between a player and a NPC.  There are no overhead tags at all.


The Graphics: Looks Nice but Useless 11:30

The place looks nice.  I can’t find out what to do, and I can’t figure out where to go to find out what to do.  There is no world map.  There are no noob quest examples to get you to see how things work.  There are no world glowies.  You are just thrown in and let loose.  After a few deaths and finally getting stuck in a river where I couldn’t even teleport back to the priest, I just closed the client, because it would not let me log out in the water, and I was stuck in the water as a ghost.


Well folks, as I said about Battleground Europe:  I want indie studios to succeed, and I hope there are enough tolerant people with immense amounts of idle time on their hands to fill their niche markets.  Mortal Online is another half complete game pushed to market.  You know what is striking is how people complained about Warhammer or LOTRO on their respective launches in terms of polish.  This thing is still in Alpha or Beta mode, but they probably felt pressure to go to market.  It is unplayable from my perspective.

I am always optimistic about these games in spite of my constant string of disappointments.  I optimistically buy into the press releases and hype on the blogs.  I suppose it is wishful thinking at work.  However, when I shell out the bling and sit down to play on release, only the major studios deliver things that are worth while.  God Bless the indies, but they just don’t seem to have it so far.

I will give it a couple of more tries, as the idea of a skill based system and sandbox MMORPG are really what I want.  I suppose I am still just searching for that original Star Wars Galaxies old school experience, but no one has even come close yet.  Mortal Online has a lot of work to do.  At least get NPCs, guide quests, world map, lore, and autorun to start!


  1. There is no third person view in Mortal Online. The reason being is that most of the core mechanics of the game rely on being able to sneak up on a target from behind and attack them or steal from them. There are no plans to ever a put third person views in the game.

    Did you get a chance to look into the crafting at all? I heard there are several million recipes you can use to create armor and weapons. I don’t think there are potions in Mortal Online so that adds a bit more difficulty to the game as well.

    This game is definitely not for a traditional MMO player and its been something I was going to keep on eye on for a while. I have the worst luck jumping right into a game at launch. I may still give this game a try in a few months. I want to see how well the studio does at fixing some of the issues the game has now. I also want to wait and see how badly the player killers and thieves ruin the game first. There is also a software hack that is currently being used right now that I want to see fixed first as well.

    I will be interested in hearing more from you on this if you decide to play it some more.

  2. I’ve heard nothing good about this game so far, except intriguing concepts. Sounds like the execution just isn’t gonna cut it.

    Wonder if they have the resources to ever get the issues straightened out?

  3. if they dont sell boxes (or the equivalent) there is no chance. If people cant get through character creation smoothly, i think the grapevine will choke the life out of this one before it gets started. maybe rightly so.

    I like the honest reaction review as you play. has a good style.

  4. avatar Eric Clifford(Izure from DFO Forums) says:

    Sorry but this is the XXXXXXXX, little kiddy XXXX review I’ve seen since ed zitron did Darkfall.

    NO I do not like MO or have a feeling to switch to MO from Darkfall, but this review is the most stupidest one I’ve seen of a sandbox Full loot Open pvp game yet XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.

    That said, MO sucks, DF 4 life! :)

    P.S. just because a game sucks, does not mean you should list the part on “how to navigate”

    its a XXXX roleplaying game XXXX XXXX, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, and read the website before you go into a game with a WOW mindset, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I hate people like you, well BEcause people like you are the reason why great sandbox games, get horrible review, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    **edited by sarc to remove inflammatory nonsense and leave the “main points” XXXX = where i substituted.

  5. WoW mindset, 12 year old – your comments reflected just that.

    Might wanna try to be a bit more articulate and mature when commenting. Your feedback may hold a bit more water.

    The author didn’t bash the game. He actually purchased the game and spoke of how he had high hopes for it. Should he lie and candy coat it just for the sake of not giving a bad first impression?

    This was a first impression write up, not a review for the record. Any review on an MMO that has just been released is totally unreliable. Though I see nothing wrong with expressing your first impressions. And from what I’ve gathered, this author isn’t alone.

  6. avatar Hail to the Dwarf says:

    As Ineloquent as Cliff’s post was, he’s absolutely right, this review was very poorly thought out, and with your point about “Not conforming to MMORPG standard conventions” shows you clearly don’t understand (and probably haven’t researched) the core game concept. Nevertheless, thanks for giving time to an Independent, fresh MMO, even in such a narrow-minded manner.
    The Dwarf Community.

    Edited by Xerb for language.

  7. I imagine Dwarf didnt load in time to see Ziss’ comment. Specifically listed as a “First Impression” not a review. The author is true to that and accurately represents the average new player experience. This is SIGNIFICANTLY more helpful to game devs for the games’ first impression than anything else you could find out there this early.

  8. avatar Eric Clifford(Izure from DFO Forums) says:

    Sorry, I can type mature if you like, but judging his review, I thought I would stoop down to his level.

    But seriously, it is these type of people that really fck up the sandbox genre, and add in more rep for the brainless theme park games.

    And ziss, he is not alone because you like him, are people from WOW or some other stupid ass game that tells you what to do and how to do it and how many times you can do it etc..

    And to the above, it may be helpful, but some devs will tone down a game for the masses, and really go back on their word and their dream, AKA SOE, SWG.

    It’s a bad trend in the mmorpg biz, and it shows because of all these terrible games that come out.

  9. How do you know what games I play? What types of games I enjoy?

    Actually it sounds like I’m more like you than you want to admit. I loved SWG pre-NGE. I quit playing after the “new game experience” because it was horrible. I played Fallen Earth for over a year until they ruined it with patch v1.4 trash. And no I do not play WoW.

    Seriously, if someone didn’t have a good first experience in a game, are they not allowed to express it? People have the same right to express their view if they had a great experience. If you’re not finding any of those good first impression articles, it might be a hint that a lot of people really had a bad first impression – not that we’re all 12-year old WoW players. Actually, I fall more into the stereotypical middle-aged “old school” gaming crowd who despises this new wave of games.

    Not saying I agree or disagree with the author as I have not played the game. If you want to spread the good word about the game, there are more effective ways to do it.

  10. I wonder … have either Dwarf or Eric played Mortal Online? I’ve been watching the game and there are a lot of things that I love about it, but I haven’t played it so I have no way of writing a first impression article myself. However, from what I’ve seen as far as reviews go, written or video, and from what I’ve read on the MO forums, this is a pretty accurate picture of what people have been saying so far.

    As far as this article goes, I thought it was an interesting way to write it up. It’s a detailed time line of experiences as they occurred to this author. I thought it was a great way to go about a first impression.

    If either of you would like to write your own first impressions I would love to see them. I for one am keeping an open mind about MO and I am hoping that the developers can fix some of the things players have been talking about it so far.

  11. Ooo, inflammatory comments and rash over-generalizations, that *totally* justifies your arguments. You sure showed the writer and Ziss! They’ve already stated that A) its just a first impressions, the game is out on the market… they don’t deserve to have their hands-held if they rushed it out, and B) that they’re genuinely interested in the game.

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