Five features Absolver needs to add
As you can tell from my review, I really liked Sloclap’s new martial arts adventure/RPG Absolver. However, like most other games, Absolver isn’t perfect, and I’m talking about more than just the widespread server issues the game suffered from at launch.
I said in my review that Absolver has the potential to be a longstanding breakout hit of 2017 and beyond, but in order for it to achieve such a status, it definitely needs to expand in order to accommodate certain new features. I have listed five such features below, features that aren’t technically a requirement, but that would certainly make Sloclap’s latest a more inviting experience.
A Minimap/Navigation Guide
Absolver’s world isn’t terribly large, but it’s large enough that trying to track down the various Marked Ones and bosses you have to defeat as part of the game’s initial story campaign can be a real pain, especially if you don’t have a great sense of direction.
These frustrations are compounded by the fact that the only time you can get your bearings and see exactly where you are in the world is when you visit an altar, and even then it’s not very helpful since you still have no idea which direction you need to travel in or exactly how far away a particular objective is.
A sort of persistent minimap would be a welcome feature for sure, or, at the very least, some sort of clear notification telling us when we’re near a Marked One and/or boss we haven’t bested yet. I understand that having players venture out and organically find their bearings was likely an intentional part of the experience, but the thrill of adventure can quickly sour into frustration when you only have one or two more Marked Ones to find and you have absolutely no idea where to search.
More Max Level Progression
As of the time of this writing, the max character level in Absolver is level 60, a plateau that can be reached fairly quickly for a dedicated player. Once you reach level 60, you continue to gain XP for defeating enemies and participating in PvP matches, but it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s just funneled into a proverbial empty void. Raising the level cap is certainly one route Sloclap could go in, but I’d prefer if instead the studio simply added in some sort of alternate advancement that our post-60 XP could go towards.
Maybe for every “level” we earned beyond 60, we could be granted new items similar to what we earn from reaching new Combat Trial ranks, items that could only be earned via post-60 advancement (this would certainly inspire players to level up at a brisk pace as well). If Sloclap has plans to add in other customization items like titles, auras, attack effects, and the like, making them post-60 rewards would be a good choice as well. Basically, I’d love for my post-60 XP to go towards something, and preferably towards something other than just more character levels.
Cosmetic-Only Character Customization
For now, since all wearable gear items in Absolver have stat values tied to them, players often have to choose between the gear that’s most beneficial to their playstyle and the gear that they find most aesthetically pleasing, since the two are rarely one in the same.
I certainly wouldn’t object to a system where players could freely customize their character with their favorite clothing options while retaining the ideal gear-based stats for their character build. There are several ways Sloclap could go about doing this, and I reckon it will become a more oft-requested feature as more and more gear is added to the game.
Long-term Incentives For Joining A School
Again, schools in their current form are a nice side activity for endgame players to participate in, but once you reach the maximum rank in a school, there’s really no incentive to stay, especially if there’s another fighting style you want to learn (joining schools associated with a particular style is the only way to learn that style if you didn’t pick it during character creation).
One way Sloclap could get players more heavily invested in their chosen schools would be to add global rewards for all members of a school to work towards. For example, if all members of a school managed to collectively earn a certain amount of school XP or defeat a certain number of either AI or PvP opponents, then they could unlock exclusive cosmetic rewards (such as the ones I listed back in the Max Level Progression section), exclusive gear, and maybe even exclusive new style-specific moves. Speaking of which….
This is undoubtedly one of the most obvious new features Absolver needs, but it bears repeating nonetheless. While it’s true that the game already has a decent number of styles and an impressive array of different moves to learn, adding in more styles and moves would certainly help Absolver feel more varied and fresh, plus it would help deepen both the endgame and PvP meta.
Naturally Sloclap would have to ensure that the breadth of different styles and moves didn’t become too bogged down or complicated, but I think most other players would agree that the current selection, while large, could certainly do with an expansion at some point.