I met with KIXEYE at PAX to discuss their new MOBA, TOME the Immortal, and had a chance to play the beta. One of the things that both surprised and pleased me is that TOME has no client download. TOME is based entirely within your web browser, and runs off the Unity engine. Surprisingly, there was little to no lag during my play, and I often forgot that I was running inside a browser. You can also bid goodbye to the constant runs back to base to buy upgrades and heal. In an attempt to streamline the gameplay, KIXEYE stripped out unnecessary time sinks, and all that TOME requires for healing or store access is that you step back until you’re “out of combat.” Healing and buying within the lanes isn’t the only way they seem to have sped it up either. Instead of the ever-popular jungle full of monsters, TOME replaces the maze with a single tough beast in the center of the map that will give a buff if beaten. Because of these changes, you’ll find your average 3v3 TOME match to run you about 15-20 minutes, which will leave you plenty of time to do chores and get a match in while you’re being productive.
Like most MOBAs, there’s a wide selection of guardians to choose from depending on your play style, and each guardian has custom skins to personalize your favorites. You can purchase skins and guardians with either Devotion, which you earn as you play, or Platinum, which you can buy with real life currency. TOME holds true to the idea that you only buy customization items or items that can give you a boost depending on how quickly you earn endgame money. In other words, TOME is not a pay-to-win game. As you play a Guardian, you’ll gain experience and level them up, which in turn unlocks various buffs and abilities. Don’t worry, though: if you switch Guardians during play sessions, you won’t lose any of the XP you’ve gained. You can also add Relics and Blessings to your Guardians to make them even stronger and change the behaviours of some of their abilities. For example, a Relic might turn a single hit attack turn into one that pierces through enemies to hit multiple targets. At the max level for each Guardian you unlock a special skin that is only available through the leveling system as a reward for investing your time and leveling them up.
In TOME, there are seven Gods vying for power, and each Guardian has a specific God they are aligned with. As you play your Guardian, you’ll not only earn favor with their God, but you will also earn a bit of favor with the Gods of your teammates. As you earn favor you unlock various blessings that tie into each God’s element. For instance, Gol is the God of Earth, and his blessings increase your health or defense; whereas Vala, the God of Fire, will increase your might and damage dealing abilities. Earning favor is also another way to earn some of the Platinum in-game, instead of spending real money on it. Blessings are applicable across all Guardians and can be swapped out at any time. TOME is an easy game to jump into: the controls are intuitive and fluid, and the fast matches keep the game from being an excruciating grind. The standard for how long a match should take in the MOBA genre tends to range anywhere from 45-60 minutes, but the shorter matches in TOME actually makes the game much more inviting to play, and the various methods of customization to adapt your Guardian to your specific play style is a refreshing change to the rules.
If you’re new to MOBAs, or if you’re just looking for something different and a little more lighthearted and fun than what you’re used to, TOME is certainly one of the best to check out. The game is still in beta, and — like most MOBAs — is free to play, but you can sign up for an account over at KIXEYE.com. Make sure to sign up before you click Play Now, or the game will make a generic account for you, and likely provide you with a very odd name.
I urge you to check it out and let us know what you think of it! I, for one, am going to be logging way too many hours in this game.