War of the Immortals could be considered a sequel to Perfect World Entertainment's Battle of the Immortals, but when the game changes very little beyond adding a few extra classes and tweaking the graphics, it comes off feeling more like a director's cut of the first one than a completely new game. You'll still have fun playing the game, but a reliance on marketplace items, overly complicated upgrade systems, and sheer luck ultimately hampers the enjoyment one can get from the game.
Players start by choosing one of eight different character classes: Champion, Slayer, Heretic, Magus, Berzerker, Ranger, Enchantress, or Duelist. Out of the eight classes available, only three are completely new - Ranger, Enchantress, and Duelist - while the other five feel pretty much the same (by what I recall) from back in Battle of the Immortals. For the most part, players should feel quite a home with these classes, as these are the most basic of classes you can find in a number of other MMOs. Champions are tanks that are built for taking a beating, the Magus is the glass cannon ranged DPS, Heretics can wield both offensive and healing magic, etc. Once you've figured out your class, you then pick a sex, input a name, date of birth, (War of the Immortals Gold)and pick between a limited number of both hair and face options; it's sad this has carried over from the first game too.
For the first quarter or so of the game the computer will constantly grab your hand and drag you from place to place until you eventually get to Atlantis. Atlantis is the major hub city of the game, where tons of shops, character NPCs, and various crafters and fortifiers can be found; almost too many as it's easy to get lost if you don't use the map and then even when you do it's still sometimes not evident what an NPC does what. The city of Atlantis can be quite daunting, as there are a ton of NPCs, offering different quests, different gameplay functions, and willing to trade various items for other trinkets and whatnot. There are a few quests meant to take you on a tour of the most important hot spots, but unless you read carefully and ask questions, you'll still be clueless when it comes to what many of these characters do. How do you fortify gear? How do you train your pet?
As you're moving about Atlantis and questing outside, you'll find yourself leveling up after nearly every quest, which means levels come at a blistering pace. I'm all for allowing the player to gain levels quicker, but the pace of War of the Immortals is too crazy. If I knew it would be like this I would've focused more on my clock, but after only around an hour of play - I'd wager - I'd already reached somewhere between 20 and 25 levels; progress stops, however, later on and becomes a boring grind to get from one level to the next. The game doesn't cover much during these sections, as most every quest is "go visit this person" or "kill these creatures" and then that's that - no real explanation about the complicated systems. Also, skills come very slowly and only when you hit certain level milestones, so while combat was quick, it was very dull too, as all it required of me was to hammer on one button whenever the cooldown was over. You can tweak a power by training that skill up, but the only thing that really changes is how long it lasts, how much it heals, or how much damage you do. After you've reached a level,(War of the Immortals Gold) the game will automatically distribute points for the first few levels, but then you're allowed to assign stat points per level gain into whatever stat works best for your class.
One of the nicest systems in the game is the pet system, as you're able to capture almost any creature in the game and use them as your special helper, which grows and levels alongside you as you play. Whether you capture a certain pet is solely based on the idea of luck (more about this annoyance to come), so if there's a specific creature you'd like to have it could take quite a long time before the pet ever drops. You'll get your first pet easily enough as it's tied into a quest, but after that if you see something you really want you're going to have to work at it and grind, grind, and grind some more.
The major problems with the combat all stem from the health and magic pools, because other than your main, basic attack, every ability and skill uses these points up. That's standard for a MMO, I know that, but unlike other games, the health and magic pools refill at a pace that is ridiculously slow. You can improve how fast these refill by improving certain stats, but the change is hardly noticeable if at all. So instead of fighting some enemies and then sitting back for a few seconds to have the game auto heal yourself, your only real option in this game is to heal yourself with in-game items. Since these meters refill so slowly, it's not uncommon for one of two things to happen: 1) players and groups will attack monsters only using their basic, free attack, and 2) someone will always inevitably ask for a health or mana healing item because they're completely dried up.
Another problem with the game is its reliance on the marketplace. I'm all for free-to-play games offering optional items to help improve the gameplay experience for a player, but I can't stand it when you're forced to pay in order to get the complete experience. A game's exclusive mounts and alternate clothing options - I have no problem with those. What I can't stand, however, are items you have to pay for in order to make the rest of the game more bearable. Whenever you're fortifying gear or upgrading something, there's always a risk of failure, and the only real way to improve your chances is to buy something from the mall which isn't even 100% guaranteed to give you the result you want. I absolutely loathe luck based systems. You either make it so something is guaranteed to work exactly as it should or you can buy an item to take the luck aspect out. War of the Immortals, much like Battle of the Immortals, does neither and instead only lets you do away with a little of the luck risk but not it completely. How long can you continue playing such a game or engaging in such an event or activity before you just finally give-up and stop playing?
For those who can't afford to engage in the game's real-world money mall, there is a system in play where you can buy and sell ZEN (the game's real world money) with the game's free in-game earned money. Basically, players can buy ZEN with real world money, and then put it on the market for people to buy with in-game money. The problem is that people are selling ZEN for so much you'll usually have to get rid of a ton of earnings just to get 100 ZEN (some items can cost you 5000 - so look how much you're not getting) or you either have to have made that money in the first place by selling ZEN yourself; it's a vicious circle.
I also don't like that while you gain levels at a rapid pace during the opening portion of the game, a lot of systems and options don't open up until later in the game. Do you like crafting? Tough, because you're going to have to be level 50 just to even start it. I ran across other upgrade mechanics that can take up to 60 levels before you can mess with them and see how they work.
I know I haven't pointed out many positives, but there are indeed some to be had. For instance, the game is technically sound when it comes to the graphics and audio, as the dazzling color palette and character models look even more impressive here than they did in Battle of the Immortals, which wasn't exactly a slouch in the graphics department. I like the more epic armor too, because they're not just an elite status symbol but some of the best armor and weapon designs you'll find in any MMORPG out there; you can really get a good look at them when you're first creating your character as the pieces grow, move, and expand as if they're living entities. I also like the game's intricate auto-route system, as it's very easy to find where you need to go at any given time, and the ability to record your own in-game movies such as whenever you're about to takedown a particularly nasty monster is a nice feature too.
War of the Immortals(War of the Immortals Gold) isn't a great game, but it is pretty fun under certain situations. The big problem the game is going to face is that it feels more like an upgraded version of Battle of the Immortals rather than a full-blown sequel. Fans of the first game should naturally want to play this one, but when there's really nothing that's new, why should they want to come on over after spending so much time and money over in Battle of the Immortals?