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Video Game / CABAL Online

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CABAL Online is a 3D post-apocalyptic technopunk action MMORPG developed by ESTsoft. The game first released in 2005 in its home country and the beta version for Europe released in 2006, with subsequent servers gradually released in America and South-East Asia after a few years.

Set in the world of Nevareth, a place devastated by an evil entity group known as CABAL in an attempt to turn the world into a utopia gone wrong. Seven masters who wielded the ancient ability "Force Power" appeared and fought this entity, then teaching the populace this magic to rebuild the world. A thousand years later, CABAL is planning to make a comeback by breeding a child to take up the throne and it's up for the players to rise to combat the imminent threat.

There is a sequel called CABAL Online 2, also made by the same company using the CryEngine3 to improve the graphics. This game changed the technopunk setting into a slightly medieval royal theme and changing the Blader class into the Priest Class. Unfortunately, the game didn't get traction and the servers shut down in 2018.

A Mobile Game exclusive Korea was released in May 2019 and planned for a Global Release, but is delayed for unknown reasons. The mobile game is identical to the PC counterpart, albeit with simplified combat.

Has no relation with Cabal, which was released in 1998.

CABAL Online provides the following tropes:

  • 20 Bear Asses: Nearly all quests and side quests require players to kill a certain amount of monsters and/or collect drops, which doesn't drop all the time. Quest dungeons even need to kill all the monsters and dungeon boss for items within the time limit to pass the quest.
  • After the End: The game takes place one thousand years after the fight with CABAL. Monsters and mechanical beings took over the world and humanity still struggles to survive the barren landscape.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: The game rewards you with Bonus EXP range when you quit the game. Experience gained in this range is doubled. The longer you left your character untouched, the longer the Bonus EXP range will grow.
  • Antagonist Title: The game is named from the antagonist group CABAL.
  • Awesomeness Meter: Combat features a combo battle system, where players can chain combos by timing the skill between the optimal zone and rewards chaining special attacks for extra experience points. Chaining combos is easy until it hits a sudden difficulty increase at 30 combos, where skills need to be precisely hit in a tiny zone to continue the combo. Mooks of the recommended level is usually little more than punching bags to be gathered in vast numbers for longer combos.
  • Bad Santa: Christmas events usually feature a bad Santa roaming all over the maps attacking anyone it sees at random times. Players are encouraged to hunt and kill it for rare drops.
  • Bag of Sharing: Extra items can be stored in a warehouse with a small fee and accessible with any character within the account.
  • Battle Aura: Characters can unlock the fittingly named "Battle Aura" at level ten that boosts the character stats and attack power for a limited time. The aura element (fire, ice, thunder, earth, wind, water) is determined through a series of questions but doesn't affect stats in any way.
  • BFS: The Warrior and Gladiator classes can wield a two-handed Daikatana or Greatsword that's half a player's body length.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: In Green Despair, the monsters near the town entrance are filled with huge mosquitoes and other bugs the size of player characters.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can buy stat, experience, and skill boosters, premium services, among other things in the cash shop in order to make grinding stats faster.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In mission wars, the two nations can be distinguished by their colors; Procyon Nation uniforms are black with purple trimmings and Capella uniforms are white with purple trimmings.
  • Combat Medic: Archers have a buff that heals party members up to a certain percent. Wizards have the party-only skill "Mass Heal" that continuously heals a huge amount of health for a minute and a half, perfect for bosses that deal huge damage.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Players can stand in the lava parts of Port Lux unfazed with the monsters the more direct threats. Funnily enough, falling meteors can damage unlucky players passing through and can even kill players than lava.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If a player dies, they lose a certain percentage of health and mana points. Players must gain EXP indicated by the red bar on the EXP gauge to remove the penalty.
  • Dialogue Tree:
    • The storyline is mostly texts players can read from quest givers and require the player to choose between dialog to advance the conversation. Some dungeons even require players to travel and select dialogue between objects and/or NPCs to unlock the next room.
    • CABAL II incorporated some cutscenes and voice acting, but still relies on text to tell the story.
  • Dual Wielding:
    • Bladers can dual wield either Blades or Katanas, sometimes can even use both at the same time. Battle Mode 2 shows Bladers dual wield claws to attack enemies, at the cost of not able to use any sword skills.
    • Force Archer's Battle Mode 2 skill lets them dual wield guns and attack two enemies. Its Force Gunner counterpart can dual wield energy guns but can only attack one enemy.
  • Elemental Powers: Players can unlock Battle Auras with Aqua, Earth, Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Wind attributes, but only differ visually. The Wizards, Force Archers, and Force Bladers' strongest attacks are all attribute-based and have access to stronger versions of the elemental skills available in the skill tab.
  • Energy Bow: The Force Archers create their Astral Bows made of Hard Light from the Crystals they wield on their hands and fires magical arrows to the enemies. Wizards also create their staff in the same way, and Force Archers derived their crystals and magic abilities from the Wizards in lore.
  • Experience Booster: There are EXP, HP, MP, and item drop boosters that last for a limited time (up to 30 days maximum) available in the Cash Shop.
  • Flaming Sword: Force Bladers can enchant their sword with fire or any other element they desire and buff up their stats. Other melee classes usually have an aura on their swords that evokes this whenever they use skills.
  • Flash Step: Wizards have a skill called "Blink" that allows them to teleport in a short distance. Combining this with "Fade Step" and/or "Dash" skills makes them one of the fastest class and can even outrun players using Astral Bikes.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Bladers focus on speed to kill their enemies quickly and to evade attacks, but can't take too much damage or risk dying. Their BM2 skills can combo with some buffs to focus on quickly swiping their claws at the enemy to instantly drain their health at the cost of more defense.
    • Wizards is also one of the most mobile classes thanks to their "Blink" skill, even outrunning the fastest Astral Bike. They also have the lowest defense of all classes.
  • Gendered Outfit: Armors and outfits vary between the two genders. Male characters are usually clad in pants or heavy armor while female characters wear skimpy skirts and revealing outfits.
  • Glass Cannon: Wizards are one of the highest damage classes with a lot of Area of Effect attacks; their blink skill also makes them one of the fastest classes in-game. They also have a defense of wet paper, making it easy for mobs to overwhelm them with sheer number.
  • Hard Light: The Orbs and Crystals that Wizards, Force Shielders, and Force Archers use can manifest weapons via this method. Astral Bikes and Boards are made up of hard light that is manifested from an Astral Card and can even be used to attack enemies.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: The only thing preventing Force Archers and Wizards from being completely minced within seconds in a PVP scenario is the Fade Step skill, which is a sort of Flash Step in reverse. Wizards even have the "Blink" skill, which allows them to teleport out of trouble fast. A smart player will take advantage of the skill to fire a few volleys at a foe, then Fade Step, launch a few more attacks, Fade Step, and repeat the cycle. Unfortunately, many players consider it equal to cheating, despite the fact that ya know, it's the entire point of both classes.
  • Iconic Outfit: The Osmium Set is the most recognizable outfit in the game, with official posters and advertisements always featuring the classes wearing the armor.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The first three map names are "Bloody Ice", "Green Despair", and "Desert Scream" to emphasize how desolate the small human settlements are exactly.
  • Impossible Item Drop: While some monster drops make sense like fangs or skin, monsters have a chance of dropping weapons and armor even if it's from a small animal like a Garlie or Mantis.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The inventory uses a Grid Inventory system and certain items take up more space than a potion. Melee weapons and armor takes up the largest space while the other armor parts take up at least 4 grid spaces, requiring some creativity on how to store the items in the inventory and warehouse alongside all the potions and other important items.
  • Item Crafting: The best way to gain the best item sets is to craft them at the Transmuter, and the higher the item level is crafted, the higher the chance of it failing and decreases its level by two points as a penalty.
  • Level Grinding: As expected of a Korean MMORPG.
    • The best way to gain the best armor or weapon is to farm dungeons and hope the monsters will drop the needed item or transmutable piece, lucky if it has additional stats or slots. The rest of the drops can be sold for additional Alz or used as material cores.
    • For skills, the best way to grind skill points is to attack the dummy for hours with skills until it reaches the limit for the skill rank. The rest of the points must be earned from quests or grinding mobs.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: If you don't have a travel stone to travel to other maps, expect to face lots of loading screens as you'll need to manually travel to the warp gates and encounter at least two loading screens. Using a travel stone bypasses the loading screen and instantly teleports the player to the chosen warp point.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Force Shielders wield an Astral Shield they use to defend and even attack enemies, giving them one of the highest defenses in the game. Even the official game description says they use their shields to defend their allies from attacks, and their gameplay style focuses more on supportive skills than aggressive battle skills.
  • Microtransaction: There is a cash shop where costumes, blessing beads, premium service, and other stat boosters can only be bought in the cash shop with real money.
  • Mage Marksman:
    • Force Archers fit both definitions. They attack with long-ranged magic attacks amplified and honed by their crystals befitting the Arcane Archer. Their Battle Mode 2 allows them to transform into a Magic Gunman for a limited time and attacking two monsters in different directions at the cost of unable to use some of their skills.
    • Force Gunners, which is another branch of the Archer Class, are Magic Gunmen who also use their magic to summon guns and mechas to attack enemies.
  • Money Spider: Every mob drops a small amount of gold and a chance for items and equipment when killed. There is also a chance for certain mobs to drop very rare items like Astral Bikes or materials transmutable into gear.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: The stat depends on the class, but the optimal builds usually allocate enough points to other stats to wear the required armor and weapons and dump the rest on the required stat point.
  • Player Versus Player:
    • Players can challenge other players into a duel, and winners will be given a small amount of honor points.
    • There is a server-wide PVP event called Nation War even where the two nations fight for dominance at certain times, and the winning nation will give perks to all members like experience boost, Alz discounts, and temporary premium service perks.
    • Maps above Port Lux are an open PVP zone that gives honor points for every player or monster killed and players can kill other players without any penalties but are safe from players with the same nation. Useful for earning honor points to raise honor rank, but good luck trying to do any quest that requires you to venture out to the ruins without getting ganked. Players who don't have a nation yet or choose not to join one can be killed by players from either nation.
  • Player Killing: PK mode. Players can attack other players by pressing Shift and using a skill to attack them. Doing so will apply penalties and lose honor points that stack the more the player kills until the offending player is sent to a large labyrinth after 5 successive kills. Doing this in a dedicated PK channel or the certain maps won't give any penalties and gives out honor points instead.
  • Point Build System: The skill system uses a point build system to upgrade certain skills with the caveat of experience and skill exp bar filling up at different rates. One skill point that can be used to upgrade skills is earned once the skill bar exp is filled up and can be allotted to any skill desired. Also, there is a limit on how many skills can be learned, so players must choose wisely on what build they want to have.
  • Schizo Tech: There are many steampunk-esque pieces of machinery scattered all over the maps in what looks like a primitive civilization.
  • Shield Bash: The Force Shielder has an attack skill named "Shield Bash" that bashes the shield for damage. This also allows Shielders to dash and keep the enemy in close range.
  • Shout-Out: Two dance moves are shoutouts to real-life dances:
    • The dance moves in the /dance2 command are the choreography of "Tell Me" by Wonder Girls.
    • /dance3 is the entirety of "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO.
  • Starter Equipment: Players start out with the most basic armor for each class (Battlesuit, Martialsuit, and Armorsuit), and gains a full set of armor after the tutorial quests.
  • Stat Grinding: Attacking mobs give a slight amount of exp depending on the level difference between the mobs and the player character. Hitting dummies only gives one exp, but it's the most popular way to grind stat points as there's no chance of dying and can park the character just punching for hours.
  • Status Buff: Every class has a class self-buff only applied to the caster. Force Archers have a lot of party buffs to help out boost damage for a limited time even after leaving the party. But, similar buffs will overwrite each other and buffs can only be stacked up to a certain amount.
  • Stripperific: As expected of an Asian MMORPG. Female characters usually wear armor or clothing that shows off a lot of skin, with the Martial Set the worst offender as shows off the most skin and the loincloth barely covers the legs. Even the female NPCs wear clothing that makes no sense in the harsh climate they live in.
  • Super Mode:
    • Battle Mode 2 or BM 2 boosts the character's stats for a certain amount of time and even changes the weapons used depending on the class. At level 130, this can be combined with Battle Aura and Battle Mode 1, boosting the stats even further and extending the time BM 2 is activated.
    • Battle Mode 3 is another form that can be unlocked in level 140. Unlike BM 2, this battle mode completely changes the skills into "fatal attacks". Casting fatal attacks in a certain order activates Synergy, which amplifies the attack by a certain percentage if used two or three times in succession.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: There is a "Roll" emote that makes the player characters tuck and roll on the ground at a certain distance. This might look like it's unnecessary at first glance as it's an emote and not a skill, but can break enemy targetting and savvy players can use this emote to break combos during PVP.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • "Regeneration", a skill learned by all class early on, heals around 6 health and mana per second for 223 seconds at max level, which is a negligible amount that a medium potion can cover in an instant. Useful in early levels where HP is less than a hundred but loses its usefulness around level 20 or when players can acquire items with HP/MP steal.
    • Melee Classes can actually learn some magic spells, but it only deals a fraction of damage compared to their caster counterparts as their INT stat is usually low. Some low-level players use one or two in order to use it to lure monsters and quickly replace them with better skills once unlocked.
    • Wizards has a debuff skill called "Weaken" used to weaken enemy defense to make them easier to kill. The problem is that it only targets a single enemy and Wizards prefer to attack groups of mobs thanks to their large AOE attacks so debuffing one enemy when there are hundreds surrounding it is useless. It has some use in PVP to debuff enemy players, but only decreases attack by 21 points, which is negligible when end-game players have stats reaching a thousand points.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Used to deter Player Killings as doing PK in a non-PK channel or map will give harsh penalties to the player. It starts with losing honor points then NPC's will refuse to talk or sell items, and there is a chance of dropping equipment when killed. If a player successfully kills 5 players under 10 minutes, they will be sent to a huge labyrinth with only one way to escape. It is possible to escape but good luck navigating the huge labyrinth without getting lost.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: There are costumes that are sold in the cash shop that allows players to dress up in a Christmas Outfit or even Korean costumes.
  • Warp Whistle: Warp Stones can immediately warp a player to a chosen town or available warp point. There are also Nation Travel stones which allow access to more warp locations, but it's only usable by the players with a nation.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: Certain classes can only wield one or two weapons suited for their class. After a certain level or stat point, they can be able to wield lower-leveled weapons of other classes contradictory to their skills, but this will prevent them from using skills.
    • Greatsword or Daikatana are the main weapons of Warriors.
    • Bladers can only wield katanas or blades.
    • Wizards can only use orbs.
    • Force Archers wield the crystals weapons to summon their bows.
    • Force Shielders wield both the crystal and either blades or katanas.
    • Force Bladers uses an orb and katanas.
  • You All Look Familiar: There are only a few choices in hair/face styles and colors in the character customization. Aside from a few NPC's with unique hairstyles, nearly all players and NPCs looks the same.
  • Zerg Rush: Dungeons usually spawn ridiculous amounts of mooks before opening the next room or the Boss Monster spawns. One of the best ways to clear out the dungeon is to pull all mobs to the middle of the room and combo them all to death while hoping your health can regenerate all the damage taken.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The ice-themed maps (Bloody Ice and Undead Ground) are full of undead humans and monsters that were once alive.