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A look at Cabal 2, the upcoming free-to-play MMO

May 24, 2018 10:29 pm
A sequel to the free-to-play MMO CabalOnline, developed by South Korea's ESTsoft, is quickly approaching beta. I gotto take a short tour of one of cabal2 instances (with some of the game's developers leading the way andmaking sure I didn't get completely killed), which featured a number ofincreasingly more powerful boss monsters.

I typically prefer to tank, as I findhitting things with giant weapons is more fun than standing at the back of thecrowd lobbing magical attacks, but the level 40 wizard I was given to play feltpowerful as hell, particularly with his explosive, roaring, screen-shaking fireattacks and swirling ice vortexes. While I wasn't wielding enormous axes orblades, I still felt like I was seriously whomping on the monsters we faced.

The bosses had their own fire attacks,explosive pillars of flame that would target each of us if they weren'tinterrupted by our own attacks and debuffs. As one towering boss moved aroundthe arena she left a massive trail of scorching lava, giving us less and lessroom to find solid footing as the fight wore on. The devs told me that if thebattle lasted too long, players could find themselves with nowhere safe tostand.Something I really enjoyed about combat was Cabal 2's combo system. I'dlaunch an attack, in this case, a fireball. Once the first fireball had beenhurled, an icon appeared briefly on my screen. Tapping the fireball key asecond time when the icon appeared launched the attack again, and if I chainedthese key presses together just right, the result was a four-move attack withextra damage dealt at the end of the combo (plus some cool animations for eachstage).

It took a few fights to get the timingdown, but once I did I got really good at it, and combos gave the combat a funreflex-based challenge as well as the feeling that I was building andrebuilding on my own power, as opposed to simply selecting attacks from thehotbar and waiting for them to recharge.There's also a special Battle Modepower I got to try, which briefly stripped me of my usual powers and abilitiesand provided me an entirely new hotbar with a handful of more powerfulspecialized attacks. With a short duration and long cooldown, Battle Mode issomething to be used sparingly and only when you really need ituse it too early in a fight, and it might not be available ifsomething bigger and tougher appears. In the instance we played, somethingbigger and tougher appeared every few minutes.

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