Riders of Icarus entered the MMO scene as a surprise this year. It’s not exactly what you’d call a AAA title of the like of ArcheAge or Black Desert, and in fact has a rather basic class system and character progression. Even the quests, while really well done, were nothing truly extraordinary. Where it really stood out was with its mount taming that I would say is somewhere in between Monster Hunter and Pokemon. Nearly all the animals and non-humanoid creatures in the game can be tamed and used as mounts/pets. And things seem to be still going strong for the Riders of Icarus with its new Blight of Frost Keep update recently released. We’ve had the chance to try it for over a week now, and here is what we thought of it.
While minimal, I’ve noticed some improvements in the game’s performance on my different machines, especially on my laptop that runs an Intel HD Graphics 3000 where previously encountered stutters on mid-high settings seem to have vanished completely. The fix I was most grateful for was the one that removed the issue where the game would not close properly on Windows 10. While it wasn’t in the patch notes, the issue where the game crashed whenever I entered the cash shop also seems to have been fixed.
As mentioned above, the quests in Riders of Icarus are nothing out of the ordinary, although their quality is rather high for a F2P game. And while this update brings its new set of quest lines and plot twists, the style remains the same with slightly repetitive objectives. Since I had access a level 35 character from the get go, I can’t comment much on their difficulty, but I’ve noticed no real change in the AI, with enemies still being somewhat easy to kite for the Priest, Wizard and Assassin classes.
Probably the most popular change this update introduced, the level cap being raised to 35 changes the way the classes are played. They all maintain their playstyle as well as their pros and cons, but benefit from a new set of skills that will add up to existing combos.
The Priest being my favorite class in the game, it was the one I started my Blight of Frost adventure with. If you’ve played the Priest before, you’ll know that he thrives on regenerating his health (or that of allies) while depending mostly on knockdowns to keep enemies at bay, and DoT to slowly eat at their healths. This doesn’t change much here, although the class does get new skills that will change strategies, with the most notable ones being Ray of Salvation that lifts and holds enemies within 8m in the air for up to 12 seconds or until they take damage, allowing the priest time for heals, as well as Protective Light that outright absorbs and nullifies any damage or status effect done to the character for 5 seconds.
In contrast to its Berserker counterpart that relies on brute strength and exaggerated attacks, the Guardian requires more finesse, a number of its skills being meant to get the attention of enemies and hold them at bay. At level 35, the class only gains more survivability, with Hakain’s Hammer allowing the Guarding to restore his health if there is a pledge active, and Swift Justice providing an excellent combo and knockdown ability.