Posted: February 24, 2014
Vindictus is an MMO that does what most MMOs don't: Provide immersion. The game's combat style is hack n' slash, which certainly does its job for immersion. In most MMOs, you smack an enemy with a giant sword, they flinch a little and can still attack. In Vindictus, you hit an enemy with a giant sword, they're going to react in a way anything normally would, and that's getting knocked backwards or off their feet. The hack n' slash genre is a fantastic and enjoyable genre and it's nice to see it in an MMO.
The soundtrack to the game is beautiful, it creates a sense that you are, in fact, fighting a god or incredibly powerful creature. I don't know much about music, but it sounds incredible.
Here come the cons. What would be the perfect MMO is published by none other than Nexon. Nexon is notorious for bad customer service, inefficient servers, and buggy games. Some bugs that started way back when still exist to this day. Pray that you do not get hacked or any situation occurs, or you'll be waiting for months before you get a response. Hell, you may not even get one. With this company controlling the hosting of Vindictus, it really cripples what the game can really do.
There are some game-based cons as well. As you progress you will end up finding it harder and harder to level and get better gear. Once you get to the level 60-80 range, it becomes an endless grindfest to get the materials you need for a single piece of armor or a weapon you need. That and the need to add enchant scrolls or enhance a weapon/armor piece does not help due to the high chance of failure and destruction of a weapon you worked so hard to get.
The economy is heavily inflated due to influxes of next-to-impossible to obtain items required for crafting, making it hard for newcomers to properly purchase things they may need. Not only that, gold bots and hackers infest the market with extortionate prices on items, which can't be averted due to the need for these items.
The playerbase is... debateable. On one hand, there are some players that will help and enjoy your company. On the other, there's people who set up raid boats with attack requirements and will insult you on the smallest mistake you, or they, make. "18k ATT, 20k MATT ONLY" is a title I see on a lot of boats, making it difficult to access raids that I need materials from. The only way to get such stats is risk destroying your equipment with enchant scrolls and enhancements, with a likely chance of never getting to such stats anyway.
The enchantment/refinement system is incredibly hard to work with and incredibly "pay2win". Let's start with the refinement system.
You can refine your weapon/armor piece 3 times without fail and then the next set of 3 has a chance of lowering your refinement level if it fails. If you're lucky enough to get through this, the next set of 2 has a chance to reset your refinement entirely. Lucky enough to get past that? Any more up to 15 max refinements can destroy your item, leaving you without that equipment you grinded so hard for. The chances of success are unbearably low. You can purchase consumable refinement stones for about, if I remember correctly, $5 each that let you complete a refinement without failure, but that's it. That's incredibly unbalanced.
Enchantment is not much easier. You have to find specific "enchantment scrolls" in Hero mode dungeons, which significantly make the battle harder. When you find them, you need to craft or find elixirs which increase your chances of success on enchantment. However, there's a maximum amount of elixirs that you can add before it significantly decreases your success chance, and it's difficult to tell whether or not you're going overboard. Even if you get just the right amount, you may only have a 40% or less chance of success depending on what scroll you're trying to enchant with. If you fail, it can break or damage the durability on your weapon. You can purchase enchantment runes for the same price as refinement stones, but they only ensure you don't break your weapon or lose durability.
Boats are hosted in a Peer-to-Peer connection, making it so the boat host's connection is the one everyone else deals with, which can lead to problems. If someone has a crappy internet connection, the other players will feel its wrath. This cripples some players, which rely on pinpoint timing in order to survive a fight. And with player progression, lower level areas tend to be deserted for boats, making it harder for newer players to get fights in they can't solo.
All in all, Vindictus has a lot of ups and downs. Because of its immense cons, I would not recommend it. However, it does have a sort of enjoyableness with its genre of gameplay. So take it as you will.
I decided to come back to this review to note on some things I've thought about. I've made some changes around and added some new pros and cons. Feel free to leave feedback.