I play the game since the Korean beta, so as a player that already knows everything, this first look on the US version was a little bit different. And yet the game had some surprises for me too.
First of all, the CBT times weren't player friendly, unless you are living on one of the american continents. They claim that the server is meant for the global market, but they organized the CBT times that it only was comfortable for them. This is not a big problem at all, but many people in other timezones felt uncomfortable because of this. Guys this is the US server! Get over it.
There were many CBT keys to claim. So if you are a fan of the Cabal games and showed a high interest for the game in the past weeks/months, then you got a key. They gave active forum users and social network followers.
They gave keys to players that signed up for the beta on their website, and they even gave keys to 3rd party websites to promote the game to their members. No complains there.
Started with a weird error, that caused that Windows 8 users couldn't start the game at all. This was fixed really soon, so kudos to the GM team for that. But this first weekend was really problematic for me, because I had major latency issues. I really hated when the game prompted me that I don't have a fast enough internet connection to play the game. I would like to point out that in fact I have.
The other annoying thing is when you try to connect to a server and the game puts you on a waiting list. In extreme cases I spent ~15 minutes until the game finally connected.
But enough about negative things, how was the game itself? Well, I felt strange when I saw the "new" storyline of the game. This is the storyline where your mother/father get's killed and you must find the grey haired guy who is responsible. This was not present in the original game, so I was surprised to see these new cutscenes.
And the game has now a prequel sequence too, where you can test the battle mode of your chosen class to fight off the attackers of you village. I'm glad they added this to the game, it gives the player a taste of the battle mode, and maybe motivation to level up the character to 35 to gain this ability for real.
It started with a surprise, my latency issues disappeared. The game was smooth, except in some areas where too much players caused heavy FPS drops. The city of Frey Hilltown was one of these areas. Many other players were complaining about this too, so I'm not alone.
Maybe they can improve upon this too, besides this problem the Cryengine did a pretty decent job. The game looks fine as wine, and in some areas the day/night cycles have really stunning effects.
On this weekend many new GM's appeared. According to the world chat, they know what they are doing. Some of them are a little weird, but in a fun way. And to have fun is the main reason most of the players are playing this game. I hope Cabal 2 will still have active GM's on it's servers, when it enters the open beta.
This weekend I've fallen through the Desertfort map many times. There is this spot - reported by many players - in an oasis tent, where you can get stuck or just fall. This was the most annoying bug I encountered.
Haven't got much time playing on the last weekend, but managed to get my character over level 31. So I explored the Labyrinth Forest map which is my favorite map since it's live on the KR server. I was really surprised that I didn't run into any major problems on this map.
There were many complains that the BM quest is too hard. I didn't get my character there, but on the KR server it can be completed easy in solo mode. So maybe they wanted the BM to be something special, and they made it harder to acquire. Maybe when they update the game with the increased level cap later this year, they will make the lower level quests, including the BM quest a little bit easier.
I had a fun time playing the game in those weekends despite the fact that the amount of bugs in the game is very high at the moment. But hey, that's what closed beta tests are for! The GM team has certainly much to do to process the reports on their forums. At the time of this writing there are 1,616 posts in the bug report section.
Cabal 2 will be more about gear and skill then level, but we will see how the game balances their classes on the long run. Lucky for them they already got the KR version that is running for years now, so if they can adapt from that, then balancing won't be an issue.
I'm very happy to see that they are constantly adding new stuff to the game. And in the CBT the GM's were working hard and actively with the players to create a stable service. If they continue to do things this way, then the EN version of the game could be something really worth to play.