Zenith review from the perspective of an old Runescape player
I don’t often play games in general and often stick to social VR apps like AltspaceVR & VRChat however, lately more and more of my friends have been talking about this new MMORPG game that is growing by the day in user levels.
As I am entering my first month of gameplay I have progressed to level 30 at the time of this article being written and I wanted to share my thoughts and first impressions towards this new game. I will be critical but fair considering this is a brand new released game and no one can expect them to get the game mechanics, economy, UI and storyline perfect. But I hope that my post shines a light on some issues that we can all agree are important and should be addressed.
Personally getting on Zenith was a little tricky because someone based in the US gifted the game to me but Zenith was geo-locked to buy/redeem within Australia. My workaround was to use a VPN for the redemption and was able to get into the application without a VPN once I had the app downloaded.
Loading into the main screen for the first time greeted with a standard signup form and choosing your class would be a familiar experience to most who have played similar games even on other consoles. I wasn’t really in the know of all the game mechanics so I went with choosing a DPS character with dual swords.
I noticed that using swords was more physically demanding to fight compared to other classes where their options were using forms of blaster pistols. I can see physical wellbeing and fitness playing into the reason why some people may choose to play a certain class, the good news is if you have medical issues preventing you from exerting yourself you can choose another class. Having known how demanding the swords were compared to other classes I may have started out as another class.
In Zenith you can play as other classes on your same account which allows you to build up a range of characters that you can play to suit a particular style, or if you need a particular class present in your group such as a healer.
My first month on Zenith
I played with a few friends from Altspace who were already past level 10 and realised immediately there was a strength difference between level 2 and level 10. When I got to level 10 I noticed my friends were almost level 20 and they were struggling a lot less with the basic mobs to the point that they could kill them with one hit.
But observing this same group, I have seen them attack NPC’s maybe 1-2 levels above the prior NPC’s they had been fighting and they would be on the borderline of dying, what gives? So my initial observation during the first week is the balances in levelling, fighting and NPC strength isn’t consistent throughout the whole game.
As I entered my 2nd week I worked out that it was still rather quick to level up between levels 12-24 by levelling from repeating the Mika and Shin quests outside of the city (spawn) and doing them back to back and collecting horns. I was able to level up to 24 in a few days, the advantage of me completing these lower mobs was the fact at my level I didn’t have to worry about dying.
I also learnt that the Syphiods on the overside of Shin in the plains that are level 3 give much more EXP, but weirdly enough they are over-powered compared to the level difference of the level 2 Syphiods outside of the bridge area.
As I got into my third week I still hadn’t completed any of the quests that were preventing me to skip ahead and unlock fast travels for some of the other later areas. This was difficult catching up with friends who had progressed and wanted to fight stronger monsters however, it was clear that most of the map is accessible with minimal travel time required if you are able to fly. I spent most of the time chasing friends by climbing to the highest points and gliding from mountain to mountain until I could make one last leap.
As I hit the one month mark I was a level 30 and able to go back and unlock most of the areas by completing quests solo. I also gained a better understanding of the game mechanics during the 4th week and I was becoming more social fighting in groups.
Learning the basics
In hindsight, I wish I had watched this video first before I struggled to level 30 without realising the full mechanics of the game. Unfortunately, it’s not fully documented so it’s great to check out YouTube to see what user-generated content and guides are out there.
Annoying features/bugs or issues
- Would be nice to set the default for you to join your guild, party chat as you login and choose if your microphone is muted by default.
- The ability to see friends on the map without having to be in a party or guild
- The ability to block other peoplke who harrass you
- Optional personal bubble and or a bypass option for friends/guild.
- Default stamina quota is not enough (I just wanted to fly for ages when I first signed in 🙁 )
The development team is hiring, money is being funded so no doubt there is enough momentum to keep this game alive and progressing. The player base is growing so as long as they are providing updates and patches regularly I can see Zenith VR becoming a great MMORPG community.
This game is far from complete but compared to other VR MMO’s this game really made it easy to get started and work out the game mechanics mostly on my own. I believe this score is likely to go up in time and I would recommend this game for anyone trying out VR games for the first time. Just set your expectations accordingly as this is a brand new game only being released publicly in early 2022.
Another reason for the score is the content feels repetitive and quests are always fetching, talking to another NPC which requires you to travel somewhere or killing X amount of mobs. Collecting tears are fun and always something to listen out for and are a great addition to the game and provide a fun treasure hunting activities.