The . Cinderstone Online plays in a 2.5D world and places emphasis on housing, caravan events and battles for castles, a combination of which is particularly familiar from ArcheAge. But the release went anything but well and the game was released after just two months closed.
What happened at Cinderstone? The indie . celebrated its release in Early Access on Steam on September 6th. But it didn’t inspire many players, also because it was Buy2Play and you had to pay 24.99 euros to even be allowed on the servers:
- Cinderstone Online reached its highest peak in simultaneous players in a free play event in 2022. At that time, 683 people logged in at the same time.
- The release itself didn’t even manage to reach a three-digit number of players.
- Recently, only around two to three players were online at the same time per day.
On November 14th, the developers announced that the servers would be shut down. The article states that unfortunately the . was never able to achieve the hoped-for number of players and the expenses far exceeded the income.
However, the shutdown should not be the end of Cinderstone:
We are happy to announce that we are working on a new free-to-play version. This is not only a new game, but also a token of our appreciation for your tireless support. Our loyal players can look forward to special premium items in this new adventure – a small thank you for joining us on the journey.
It is currently not known when this re-release will take place. There are also doubts as to whether the . will really return. Crowfall last promised this in November 2022, although there has not been a single sEsports Extrasof life from the game since then.
You can watch gameplay for Cinderstone Online here:
Unwieldy controls, balance problems and a game world that is far too empty
What kind of game was Cinderstone? On Steam, the game described itself as a “cute and colorful” . in a 2.5D world. So you always looked at your characters from the side, but you could move in all four directions in the game world.
The . emphasized:
- 12 different main classes that could be played as a tank, healer or DD
- Action-packed fights
- A large and open game world
- A main story and dynamic quests in the world
- Housing including your own farm
- Various life skills including mining, logging and fishing
- The endgame will revolve around caravans that transport goods from one place to another, as well as battles for fortresses
It was pretty unique in terms of both the graphics, the classes and the feel of the game. I spent around 4 hours in the game myself.
Why didn’t that work? Cinderstone Online had very unusual controls. You looked at the character from the side and then used WASD to move. Since there were no functions for oblique movements, such as on Q and E, you always ran in a kind of square.
However, this led to problems with aiming the attacks. So you could stand directly in front of an opponent, but you would be barely visible in a different position on the y-axis and just hit nothing. In addition, the dodge role in the game looked completely strange and only half served its purpose. You didn’t actually cover any distance, but rather you avoided the enemy attack by standing in one position.
Distance is also a good keyword, because many tasks in the game required running from A to B, often covering huge distances. The first two hours weren’t really fun. In addition, there were always bugs and display errors in texts.
According to the Steam reviews, things didn’t get any better as the game progressed. Balance problems are said to have arisen in the endgame and in PvP. As a Thief, for example, auto-attacks did more damage than most abilities, so it was wiser to just stand still and let the character strike. There was also an animation lock that kept the character in one place for a long time.
Hardcore fans, of which there were at least some initially, also complained that initially promised content was not included in Early Access.
What do you think of Cinderstone Online? Have you tried the . or just left it alone?
However, if you are longing for a new ArcheAge, you should keep an eye on the second part. There was new information there last week:
The new . ArcheAge 2 would like to please us western players better, but to do so it deletes PvP content