Amidst all the heavy downpour of Early Access games, sometimes you find a true diamond in the rough. Interestingly enough, it is also a survival game. No, it’s not zombies or dinosaurs. You are literally trying to survive the Black Plague. For those of you who don’t know what the black plague was, I suggest you read up on it. It’s pretty terrifying to say the least. Once you get an understanding of that, you are trying to survive that in the survival MMO “The Black Plague” I stumbled upon this game awhile back while doing some research on another game actually. This one caught my eye, because I knew and studied about the actual plague. I thought to myself “How fun would that be? Surviving the black plague!” Now, I’m not much of a survival type of guy. I bought H1z1, DayZ standalone, and others. I haven’t touched them since I purchased them, thankfully The Black Plague changed this for me. It also brought hope among the Early Access craze. Since, we have many of them that never live up to hype, or are stuck in the EA phase for what seems like forever to us.
Now there isn’t one massive server for the game. I’m kind of disappointed that it’s split up into other servers. Hosted in various regions of the world. I understand why they did this, but for the sake of more play immersion, I would have love to seem some singular server tech to be used. This hasn’t really hindered my experience with the game. The same people that I have played with play on the same server, but I definitely would love to see new faces more than I do now. Also, this game is in Early Access for a reason, and it should stay there for as long as they need it to be. I’m not trying to say that in a negative light, but the game is clunky. The game runs off the Unreal Engine, and even though it looks really pretty, it is still very much rough around the edges.
There are bugs, and there are some annoyances that come with being in such an early state. That is why every game has the “Buy only if you know what you are getting into” thing before you purchase it on Steam. I knew exactly what I was getting into when purchasing The Black Plague. I’ve purchased countless other EA games, and this game is far from the worst of them. It runs, it functions and it’s fun. Not much else I can ask for, except for them to keep updating and working on the game, which they actively are. In the actual game there are multiple classes/professions to choose from. Militia, Merchant, Peasant, Smith, Monk, Hunter, Beggar, Knight, and Outlaw.. Hooray! Classes! Yes, they are all fun to play. It’s actually pretty funny to play Beggar and go around asking for money. It’s just like real life for me… (Please, no judging).
I have not yet played every single class because some of them require you to play a class to unlock them. Along with unlocking classes, each class has a skill tree! I have a love for progression, and this game gives it to me. Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a huge skill tree like you would see in an ARPG, but it’s pretty good for what it is right now. More health, more damage, and of course plague resistance. You gain experience by doing various things. Crafting, fighting, gathering. Typical survival game stuff. That is one thing that keeps me hooked to the game though. Progression even if it’s small like it is in the game for right now, it gives me a goal. Sure, acquiring a overpriced house (Hint hint) or getting my farm done is a goal, but progression allows for many different goals aside from those I just mentioned.
Among the things that keeps me hooked to the game would be roleplaying. This game just screams roleplay value. Currently I roleplay as a farmer who knows where the good stuff is, and supply everyone with tons of Cotton. Because of how expensive the houses are (Hint hint again) I also craft a lot of weapons and sell them. This is where one of my dislikes come from the game. Death, and loot. Granted this is a survival game and when you die you lose everything. Even skill points. So if you are saving up some skill points for your next progression level, and a player comes around and just jacks you up, those are now gone. It’s happened to me before, and I was not a happy camper. I wish they would change this, or make it a server option but who knows. Just be careful out there in the world, it can be dangerous. Most usually the players you meet are nice, but some of them out there just like in every game love to see the world burn.
I wish loot was a little bit kinder as well, or at least the RNG involved within it. Since the houses are expensive and I don’t even have one yet to keep my loot safe. I can always find some random spot, and HOPE TO GOD, it’s still there when I log back in later, say tomorrow or something. I’m being very nit picky here, but hey I am just voicing my opinion about this. I know it’s all about the survival and every man for himself aspect but sometimes I am a huge care bear about stuff, so please no judgy.
The game map is also HUGE! There are multiple towns, and some other various places of interests to go adventuring on. Some are more dangerous than others but that is a good thing. We don’t want it to be too easy eh? I mean after all, we are still trying to do the number one thing: Surviving the plague. I have yet had a character die to the sickness, and I am sure it takes a long time to actual die. There are stages to the sickness, and you can check on your character screen. For testing purpose, I stood over a large area of dead corpses and I was getting sicker and sicker but wasn’t going to die yet. The disease also makes you not so pretty. There are bandits and other various NPCs that will attack you if you go upon their land. I’ve died to a guard as well, because I thought it would be cool to smack one… I recommend not doing that. It wasn’t the best of times I will tell you that much.
Of course there are weapons and armours in the game to defend yourself with. I am currently rocking the bow and arrow, which I continually make for money and defensive purpose. (Yes, I do have to craft arrows, it isn’t unlimited). I mean, a man can dream of infinite arrows right? I spoke awhile back about the RNG involved in crafting. Sometimes when you have decent crafting materials and when it says maybe 78% of succeeding and it doesn’t, yeah that gets annoying. Now it doesn’t happen all the time, but I feel like in the game the odds are always against me. My friends haven’t had this problem as much as me, which I hate them for. Lately it hasn’t been like this though. Maybe the last couple of patches made the RNG Gods shine upon me. Again I am just nitpicking. A lot of my problems within the game are just nitpicks. Besides the bugs that come with EA, and random server crashes there isn’t much to actually dislike you know?
Given that this game is in Early Access I’m not being super duper harsh. There isn’t much to be harsh about though. Sure the animations could be a lot better, and things of that nature but again it’s in Early Access, and is not a feature complete game. Core features are there, and more to be added. Polish is coming along great, they are releasing some really good patches. Recently, patch V0.09 introduced the Knight and Outlaw professions along with a bunch more goodies, and lower housing costs! My complaint still stands though! The game has had 9 great patches since it’s release. Each one adding things that have vastly improved the game, along with a lot of bug fixes. I will talk a lot more in depth stuff in the next post! I really just wanted to introduce you all to the game, and what generally it’s all about. In the next post we will be going in-depth with classes, the skill tree, crafting, and more ingame material. A lot more things will be covered next time, I promise. You can currently check out “The Black Death” over at Steam, or at their website. www.small-impact.com/blackdeath I seriously recommend checking the game out if you are into Medieval era and survival type of games. It’s such a joy to play, and I seriously can’t wait to keep playing it more, and I will be streaming the game as well! Www.twitch.tv/IsaacJewton Small Impact has done a fabulous job so far, and they seriously need to keep up the good work, and they will have a master piece on their hands. Part two will be coming out in about a week in a half, hopefully sooner depending on how much free time is available for me.
Hopefully down the line I can get an interview/QA session with Small Impact to give you more information about the game from their mouths. I for sure want to see how the game evolves and will be playing it every step of the way. I just don’t want Small Impact to give up on this. We have seen so many Early Access games be turned to the waste side. They have a real gem here, they need to capitalize on that. You can also check out the patch notes on their website to see how much they have added to the game since launch!
Thank you for reading this first entry for “The Black Plague” I will be streaming my adventures on my Twitch channel, and the next entry will be coming very soon! Thank you for reading and supporting me! Cheers!