Ever since Gameloft's Order & Chaos Online showed up for download on the Canadian App Store this morning, our forums have gone wild with speculation regarding gameplay, how the IAP works, and everything else. Since the release is Canada-only right now, and the game isn't free, it has left all of our "Canadian" forum members on the outs anxiously awaiting impressions from the few actual Canadians out there. Consider this post a continuation from the one from earlier today, so check that out first if you haven't already.

I decided to play an orc ranger because I wanted to play on the chaos side of things and I've always been partial to ranger-like classes in general. Starting the game, you're inundated with various tips, all of which will be incredibly obvious to anyone who has played an MMORPG before. The early quests, like most (all?) MMORPG's walk you through how the basics of the game works, and the path my orc ranger took involved slaying pigs, killing crabs, and various other low-level kill quests before I decided to go exploring.

Fast travel in the game works through a portal system, instead of flying places you're able to find a portal and just instantly warp from place to place for a small fee. I actually like this quite a bit because when playing World of Warcraft, flying somewhere was basically little more than a time sink. As mentioned in the previous post, the quest system also includes a waypoint arrow that points from your character to either the quest objective or the quest giver to go turn it in.

By and large this works decent, up until you get into areas that are a little more complicated than the starting town that have hills and other obstacles that prevent you from running directly to where the arrow is pointing. In these instances, finding the objective can be fairly difficult because the objectives don't appear on your map anywhere, and the quest text is often fairly vague (likely assuming you're going to be using the arrow.) Also, things get really confusing once you start warping around, as quests don't seem to be broken up by region. Early on it suggested I warp to Silence, a nearby town. It took me a good 20 minutes to figure out where I was originally and how to get back to all of my low level quests.

The interface of the game works basically how you would expect. Touching the left side of the screen works like a virtual joystick, and touching the right controls the camera. Pinching moves the camera in and out, and buttons frame the screen that perform all of the other functions. Targetting is as simple as tapping enemies, and for the most part combat works reasonably well.

Of course Order & Chaos isn't without its launch day flaws. Pathfinding for monsters seems laughably exploitable, and attacks don't seem to obey line of sight. If you're experienced at kiting, you can take down enemies that are much tougher than you should be able to fight. Monsters also seem to have very short leashes so you're rarely ever in danger of dying because you can just run away a few steps.

Death is handled in an interesting way, and is one of the most useful things that I've stumbled across so far that the IAP runes can do. When you die, you're given two choices: Respawn at a graveyard, or at the cost of one rune, resurrect right where you are. Otherwise, the runes seem to serve little permanent purpose aside from buying in-game vanity pets. Other uses for these runes include both temporary stat boosts along with boosting the rate that you gain experience.

Potential players on our forums are worried about this upsetting the balance of the game, but I don't really see that happening in the long term. The experience boost item costs 25 runes, which amounts to almost $5 and only lasts an hour. Sure, I'm sure that some people will buy these items, but the low length of time that they're effective combined with their pricing makes me think it really won't be much of an issue.

Also, while you can buy gold in game to buy things, you also seem to earn plenty of money for whatever you'd want to do just by playing. Every MMORPG that I know of has third party markets that players can buy gold from, so all Gameloft is doing here is moving things in house and cutting off any third party market. What I'm getting at here is I don't think the IAP is anything to get worked up over.

Anyway, on my way to level 10 I've come to the sad realization that there doesn't seem to be any world PvP (Yet?). The order and chaos factions don't seem to make any difference, as you're able to hang out with people from either faction and even invite order characters in to a guild started with my chaos character. The only PvP I've stumbled across is finding someone to duel me in town.

I'm liking the quest system, even though it doesn't really do anything new or exciting. In fact, almost all of the core gameplay is lifted straight out of World of Warcraft, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Quests chains often have you going back and forth between different NPC's, and delving deeper and deeper into enemy camps. Loot is plentiful, and it always seems like you're either on the verge of upgrading something, or leveling and getting another talent point to assign somewhere (which also works very WoW-like).

As mentioned, I've yet to come across any kind of PvP, or any dungeons to speak of. Because of the Canadian release, the world is quite barren of players so I'm not even sure grouping up is possible right now. Regardless, I'm going to keep playing and see what else I come across. My initial impressions from five or so hours of playing is that Order & Chaos Online is a textbook Gameloft game. It copies the important parts from what it's imitating, loses some depth in the process, but overall feels remarkably competent. If you've been looking to get your WoW fix on the go, this is it.

I've started a TouchArcade guild on the Arcadian Forest server, and my character name is "Eli". If you add me to your friends list, then send me a whisper in game I'll invite you to the guild. I'm also not sure what purpose being in said guild has, but at least we'll have some rockin' guild chat if nothing else.

Canadian App Store Link: Order & Chaos Online, $6.99

  • http://www.minimaxir.com/ Max Woolf

    Have you found Mankrik's wife?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      No I was hoping you could help me with that.

  • SMP

    So, Im assuming there isnt a trial

  • Mike

    I dont get why real gamers woule be upset at ios games adding iap or gsmeloft making a n ipad game. Even all hail king valve spends most of its time as of lste creating $10 hats for tf 2. Im talking about real gamers here not soccer moms.

  • jxw245

    I think i'll buy this just to join the guild.

  • Matthew

    Hey Eli, Matthew in the game here, thanks for letting me into the guild. There is grouping right now, just click on a friendly, then click the little + that shows up in the icons.

  • Donald

    Gameloft is terrible at AI. They really need some competent programers. That path following will more than likely not be "fixed" considering all of their games suffer the same downfall. I was just reminded of it while playing Dungeon Hunter 2. Absolutely awful AI and path following programing. Bosses all act the same way and run into objects getting stuck, making them lifeless and easily exploitable.

    • http://www.minimaxir.com/ Max Woolf

      The problem with Dungeon Hunter 2 was balance. The Berzerker's No Mercy should have never made it out of beta testing. That's what I am most concerned about with Order and Chaos.

      Gameloft is *infamous* for its lack of updates. How they will do constant updates for an MMO is beyond me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ratonbox Marius Dragomir

        If you look at the Facebook game that they've released, Greenfarm, you'll see that there are almost weekly updates. So, this is going to be updated and maintained.

      • http://twitter.com/Beards2 Beards_Game

        Is Greenfarm the exception? Or the rule? From previous comments it seems that weekly updates is the exception. However, there's a difference in weekly updates that add content, and those that fix bugs and balance.

  • ltcommander.data

    Is there a competent backstory to the world? Perhaps not everyone who plays WoW is an expert on Warcraft lore, but the lore and story is what sets the direction of WoW content updates and expansions. It'll be interesting to see if Gameloft has a cohesive plan on developing additional content for the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xxteargodxx Nick Defelice

    I like your first impressions of the game it sounds fun like something I'd enjoy. Although for now since I'm in America as well, I'm going to wait for it to release here and hold off on purchasing it for a while *maybe* to see how often Gameloft puts out new content for the game and bug fixes.

    If I'm paying for an MMO subscription I expect content updates.

  • Colus

    Ill be buying it when it hits US, make sure to leave a post when it releases, ill join your guild

  • Anonymous

    So is it a one time purchase, or is there also a monthly fee? I may have missed where it stated that, but I don't recall seeing it mentioned. Looks pretty good nonetheless.

  • Turkeynutz

    So far I'm enjoying this game. Like everyone says its very WoW oriented, but the price is sweet and I love having a decent MMO in my pocket :D You'll be able to find me as Turkeynutz in the swamp server

  • Anonymous

    either gameloft has figured out a clever way to rip off other peoples IP or they're going to be sued hardcore by Blizzard. That orc looks almost EXACTLY (even the clothes) like an orc mage or warlock from WoW.

    • Kelly

      Let Gameloft worry about getting sued:) ok?

      • Mooey

        Agreed. Who cares? Warcraft stole the green Orcs from the Warhammer board games anyway. It's not like Blizzard can sue for something they didn't even create themselves.

      • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

        Warhammer didn't create the Orcs either.

      • Thaurin

        But they did create the look and feel.

      • Wolter Janstra

        Orc creator Saruman is unlikely to take legal action at this point, according to his attorney.

  • http://twitter.com/Nachotay Bronco

    Don't understand why everyone bitches about gameloft games. For the most part their games are above average and you can usally pick them up for a dollar on sale.

    • EastsideStompers

      Probably because people get frustrated that all Gameloft seem to do with their considerable pool of resources and talent is squander it on pumping out weak versions of good games. Gameloft are a commercial success, but they could be so much more.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dannythefool Daniel Fischer

        They probably are a commercial success because they adapt the amount of work they are willing to do on a game to the amount of money people are willing to pay... what do you expect for $5 a pop?

        Also, Order&Chaos seems to be out world-wide now although it won't necessarily show up in search.

  • http://twitter.com/apan_bajs Paul Bergman

    Really hope the get 3G support, I need that when playing on the subway to work.

    • Ivanebc

      Train got WiFi?

    • Anonymous

      My jail broken iPhone will let me play over 3G :)

  • http://www.domain-hosting-services.in Domain name hosting

    I really like this game and i want to buy?

  • triptypo

    Just downloaded :D but still working. Can't wait to get off work!

  • Cinepod

    Any iPad 2 optimizations?

  • Tisnetworks

    It's out in the US!

  • sAmsonn

    its out in germany ;)

  • Danis702000

    It's out in Romania, too!

  • Anonymous

    i get why people complain about Gameloft, but think of it this way:

    Blizzard isnt bringing WoW to iOS. Period. Want WoW? You're not gonna get it. Want Diablo? Good luck with that. So what now? Well... O&C and DH2 fit the bill and are as close to those two as youre gonna get. Take it or leave it.

    It's one thing to have Blizzard making games on your platform with another company making a (bad) clone of it on the SAME platform, but when you're on a whole other platform wanting a certain game knowing youre NEVER gonna get it, it's kind of nice having someone like Gameloft at least getting you as close to it as possible.

    Yes, theyre not original and theyre making bank blatantly ripping off ideas, but you know what? They offer me something I want to see on iOS that I'd never see otherwise and they do a damn good job doing it. I've had tons of fun with nearly every Gameloft game I've ever played.

  • Zaraf

    Hey Eli, my name in-game is "Zaraf", please add me to the guild. I've added you as a friend already.

  • Webmaster
  • mehname is

    Great review...I have to say I am not a huge WOW player. I've played in the past and loved it, but sometimes certain things can get confusing. And this game is a little simpler but totally gives you that same feeling. Its fun and portable...I'm shocked at how rad it looks on my Iphone 4, it almost makes me wanna buy an iPad just for this game...pissin my GF off though playing late at night haha. No wifi issues no lag issues. add me to your Guild Eli, I'm a level 10 Chaos Warrior: DORIOUS

  • http://www.theiphoner.co.il/ אפליקציות לאייפון

    nice game

  • Lostpop21

    I come from the future! 2 years later, still a great game.