A friend originally told me about CLOK, and the exciting things that could be
done within the confines of the game. She mentioned that there was a heavy
emphasis on crafting, exploration, survival and affiliations. Each of these
things sounded interesting enough to me that I tried, and for a time, enjoyed
Unfortunately, skills are very grindy and have been acknowledged as such by the
playerbase. Exploration is a hit or miss scenario, with some towns overwhelmed
by hostile creatures that will pin your character with arrows, control them
with magic, or simply kill them in two to three hits. Death isn't permanent,
but theft from corpses isn't uncommon and you're often stuck waiting for
someone to drag your corpse to a guild capable of resurrecting you.
While the players are exceedingly helpful, there are a number of pitfalls that
this game suffers from. A lot of guilds within the game are 'secret'; this
doesn't mean that you're entirely unaware of them on an OOC level, though this
is sometimes the case, but rather that you have to earn your way in through
roleplay. Originally, I was very excited by this concept and was eager to show
that I wanted to be a part of one of the darker organizations in the game.
But again, there are problems with this type of thought when it comes to game
design. CLOK is a small game. Personally, I never saw more than 15 people
online at once, though the staff often went invisible, so it's possible that
there were more than the number of people connected at once. This is important,
but I'll get back to it in a moment.
Since the guilds can be of dark or evil alignment/mentality, and they're often
outlawed - Shadgard, one of the starting areas, has a poster listing all known
people affiliated with the dark/evil alignment town - you're stuck floundering.
How do you show that you wish to be a part of these groups? Speaking to someone
on the ESP network, which is essentially a game wide IC chat, isn't a good way
to go about this, yet it's the easiest way to reach out to people when they're
out grinding their skills in the world. Mail is sent via NPCs, so it's possible
that the NPCs could out you as wanting to be one of the more sinister types.
Another option would be to simply meet the PCs that live in the evil town.
Again, this is a problem because they're evil, and you need a special
invitation into the town, or the guards will attack you on sight.
GM intervention could potentially save you from this vicious cycle, but we'll
say that you don't garner their attention, as the typical player doesn't
receive their help. The other method to joining a guild, which is a life long
decision that your PC makes and can never switch, is to get the approval of
other players. As I mentioned, this could be difficult if you're trying to be a
darker character, but we'll ignore that for a moment.
A different friend of mine that joined when I joined CLOK spent an absurd
amount of time trying to work into a neutral guild; it was recently closed for
enrollment and you're simply unable to get in without the approval of other
players or a GM. When we finally located one of the guild members to give my
friend's PC access to the guild, we found out that you need the approval of
three players in total. At the time of me writing this feedback, there were
eight other players connected to the game. Eight. At this point you might be
thinking that I'm blowing this out of proportion, but there are over sixteen
known guilds in the game, and players can only join one per character. A system
that automatically detects active guild members to determine how many
endorsements you need and subtracts or adds based off of the detected number
would be perfect.
The idea that guilds are closed or kept 'secretive' to prevent people from
joining is silly, and it ultimately took away from my enjoyment of the game
world. The game doesn't have a high enough populace to have these sorts of
limitations, which is something that the staff recognized at one point because
they specifically put in NPCs to resurrect players until there were enough of a
certain guild that it didn't need to be done by NPCs.
Not only is participation in some of the guilds limited, but some guilds are
simply better than others. Equipment in CLOK can be created through a number of
means, and when used, it will eventually degrade over time. When you want to
repair it, there are a few methods, but the most common is to contact one of
the Artisans. The Artisans are a guild that can repair, forge, and create a lot
of the items in the game world. Some items are entirely unique to them. While
they get no combat abilities through their guild, they inherently have an edge
over other players that may want to be self-reliant; they can do things that
other people simply cannot, and have a lot of tools that make them appealing,
but altogether too common since they're so well off in terms of abilities.
The abilities can be very immersion breaking, too. Hostile mobiles occasionally
drop treasure chests, but they're unable to be opened by anyone that isn't a
member of the Rogue guild, or an NPC that takes the majority of the items out
of the box and gives you the leftovers. I hope you get the point that being in
a guild is often an important thing, but choices are limited by arbitrary
Combat is automatic and usually easily understood, but placement of monsters is
ridiculously awful. Using Shadgard as an example, there's a place called
Tarueka that's suitable for newbie adventurers. You can fight some monsters
that I don't believe are ever capable of killing you in two to three hits. Yet,
attached to this areas are monsters so powerful that they can send you into the
worst wound state in a single round of combat. They're also stealthed, so if
you try to look into the area to get an idea of where you're going, you won't
see them. This is a very common occurrence in CLOK. There are hostile monsters
wandering the game world, near the starting areas, that will destroy newbies
their first time out in the world. There's no preparing, and it can be your
first taste of combat when you're still getting on your feet as a new player.
In short, the game often fights against you wanting to play it. You have to be
extremely specific with commands that often aren't normalized over multiple
commands (i.e. I can type 'bandage me' and it will bandage my PC. If I wanted
to clean my character, I'd instead have to use their name) that only subtracts
more from the experience. Unless you're specific players, you don't seem to
ever get any attention from the GMs, and the majority of the staff only plays
during the daytime in the United States. Roleplay is enforced, but most people
will breeze by your character with a canned emote nod, or simply decline your
assistance in favor of farming materials/grinding skills.
I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone that's looking to pick up an RPI.
There are better choices available. The players are nice, but the staff doesn't
seem to involve themselves in the lives of most players.
The world of Arad is appealing. The mechanics of CLOK are not.
Post a comment
Comment posted on Thu Jan 28 14:04:44 2016 by Jirato:
Thank you for your review. I feel there is some misinformation that
needs to be cleared up.
It is not possible to 'loot' a player corpse. The only things that
can be stolen from a player corpse are the same things that can be
stolen from a living player. However, theft from player corpses is
extremely rare and usually considered a 'taboo'. I've only seen it
happen a couple times, personally, and each time the thief responsible
was charged with a 'tampering with the dead' and/or 'petty theft'
We actually only have two 'secret' guilds. Which is the Claw of
Shar and the Dunwyr. The Claw was, at one time, freely join-able in a
neutral location, until that location was compromised and the guild
had to go in hiding. There are plans to bring back a guild recruiter
soon. The Harbingers of Aranas and Lorekeepers of Atros and Madrim
guilds are simply not 100% implemented yet, but are far from secret.
The 'Known Corvites Listing' in the Shadgard Town hall you speak of
is exactly that, known Corvites. A resident of the 'evil' Corvus
outpost has to be outed before being added to it. It is not updated
automatically and it is entirely possible to be a covert evil
character. You just have to approach it correctly.
The only guild that is outright closed is the Dunwyr. Which has
extremely strict RP requirements and is only played by two very
well-known RPers who have years of experience and a deep understanding
of CLOK and its Lore.
Guilds are intended to enhance your unique story in CLOK, Yes, some
guilds are 'better' than others in certain aspects of the game. We
do not balance guilds versus other guilds. It would not make sense for
a Dwaedn Wyr (Druidic Berserker Warrior) to craft items as well as a
member of the Artisans of the Western Coalition, nor would it make
sense for a non-magical Mercenary to be able to stand toe-to-toe with
said Dwaedn warrior.
Critters in CLOK don't really have 'levels'. The amount of damage
they do is based off the weapons they yield A fully armored newbie
could walk past a high-skilled critter wielding a large weapon and
still walk away after a couple hits.. The logical progression is
intended to be 'Tarueka Environs -> Tarueka Farmhouse -> Tarueka
Interior -> The Concord. However, based on the time and date of your
review, it looks like you stumbled upon the Concord during a specific
event where a large group of bandits took it over. That's one of the
things about CLOK, it's a living and breathing world that always
changes. Unfortunately, you happened to stumble across something that
was quite a bit rougher than intended and were probably outnumbered
Lastly, CLOK is not an RPI.
Thank you for taking the time to play our game and submitting a