Long ago, Emperor Zachariel succeeded in uniting the land's disparate countries under his banner. The resulting nation was known simply as "the Kingdom," for no other nations were known to exist outside Zachariel's rule. Zachariel established a new city as the Kingdom's capital, around a tree known as the Divine Tree. Every year, priests would gather in the capital city to bless it.
In 1091, almost a hundred years after the celebration of the Millenary—the thousand-year anniversary of the Kingdom's founding—the divine tree suddenly grew dramatically in size, destroying much of the capital city, as well as damaging outlying cities, and leaving the citizens dumbstruck. The tree had grown so tall that it appeared to touch the sky, its trunk so wide that it could not be measured. Yet this was only the beginning: monstrous, carnivorous plants appeared throughout the city and devoured much of the surviving populace. The king, the royal family, most of his ministers, and much of the Kingdom's government also perished in the aftermath.
That day came to be known as Medzio Diena, or the Day of the Divine Tree. Since that day, the Goddesses have been gone from the world, unresponsive to the prayers of the Kingdom's people.
Four years later, certain people throughout the land experienced a dream in which the Goddess of Destiny, Laima, told them to go to either the mining town of Klaipeda or the tropical city of Orsha. They are known as Revelators, and they are the Kingdom's best hope in finding out what happened to the Goddesses and how to set the world right again.
Tree of Savior, originally known as Project R1 when it was first announced at Hangame 2011, is an action-adventure MMORPG developed by IMC Games—the same company responsible for Granado Espada—and set in a world based on Lithuanian folklore and the native religions of the Baltic region.
The game is the industry equivalent of Putting the Band Back Together: Hak Kyu Kim, IMC Games' founder, was also one of the founders of Gravity Corporation and part of Ragnarok Online's original development team. Several of RO's original developers are working on Tree of Savior as part of his studio—including soundTeMP, who provided the bulk of RO's soundtrack. Between this and the similar presentation, game mechanics, and 2½D Sprite/Polygon Mix, many have hailed this game as a Spiritual Successor to RO.
An English-language closed beta was held via Steam between the 4th and 10th of August 2015, with 5,000 randomly picked participants and some additional beta keys sent out later on. A second beta followed, lasting between October 27 and November 25, open to anyone who registered beforehand as well as all previous beta test players. After polling the community, IMC Games launched a one-month early access program in April 2016. The full, free-to-play launch would follow later that May.
For tropes specific to the player classes and non-player characters, check the character sheet.
Tree of Savior provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: The game provides bonuses for nearly everything. Exploring every corner of the map, killing enough of every type of enemy, and so forth all net completion bonuses that can be redeemed for silver or experience cards.
- Action RPG: Tree of Savior is decidedly more of one in its mechanics than RO (or any of its sequels) is—footwork is just as important to staying alive as your stats and gear, multiple classes have the ability to attack while on the move, and combat isn't just a matter of autoattacking. Oh—and you can jump. Also, while the game can be controlled via point-and-click like Ragnarok Online, Tree of Savior defaults to keyboard commands and is also compatible with gamepads.
- Adventurous Irish Violins: Lithuanian instead of Irish, in this case. Prominent in several songs, but notably in the main theme "Tree of Savior."
- Always Accurate Attack: Any ranged attack (arrows, magic, etc.) that only requires a target cannot miss, though they can be dodged or blocked depending on the abilities of the target. This can be particularly annoying for players, as enemies can hit you from any distance if they cue the attack while you're still in range.
- Anti-Grinding: Grinding as opposed to questing is made difficult by a number of factors. Fighting monsters too far above or below your current level comes with experience penalties, to the point of outright granting no experience if the difference is too great. Dungeons have enemies which are far tougher but grant much more experience (with a bonus if you use enter with the party matching system), but you can only do these twice a day (plus however many reset scrolls you may have) and the experience penalties still apply. Finally, the necessary experience to reach the next level doesn't increase consistently, instead going up considerably every 40 levels or so and dropping back down for the next cycle, so grinding tends to lose its effectiveness at the edges of these cycles.
- Beef Gate: The player can only kill enemies around five to ten levels above their own. After that threshold, they only do Scratch Damage. This encourages the player to explore surrounding areas closer to their level.
- Boss Battle:
- Questlines usually end with a boss battle of some sort, pitting you (and your party if applicable) against a large, hard-to-kill beastie. You can also find hidden bosses in certain areas that are triggered by interacting with an object, which play out the same. The game transitions you to an instanced copy of the current dungeon for the duration of the battle to prevent non-party members from interfering.
- There are also raid bosses and RO-style MVP bosses.
- Breakable Weapons:
- Almost all equipment has a durability statistic that slowly depletes as the equipment is used (firing weapons, armor taking hits). Dying results in a significant durability penalty to all currently-equipped items. Once an item is reduced to zero, all of its benefits are removed until it is repaired. Items can be repaired either by a Squire or a non-player Blacksmith.
- Equipment also has an Item Potential gauge. Adding gem slots to equipment reduces this potential, as does failing to upgrade it on an anvil (which also resets any previous upgrades). If brought down to zero, further modification may destroy it.
- Bullet Hell: A few bosses have moves that involve firing patterns of bullets and lasers. As you progress, these patterns grow more complex and harder to dodge.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Koru Jungle has a furry quadruped with leafy antlers. This is apparently a "parrot".
- Calling Your Attacks: Player characters do this for many of their class skills—and not simply through text as was done in RO, but through voice.
- Character Class System: Tree of Savior sports a rather unorthodox Prestige Class system. Every character starts with a base profession, but after a certain amount of levels, they advance to a new rank and are given a choice of continuing to stay in their current profession (though this can only be done up to three times), or pick a new one determined by the base profession. There are seven available ranks, allowing for a wide range of class combinations. In addition, there are hidden classes planned for each of the major class types. During the closed betas, IMC Games indicated these classes would have population caps; only a certain amount of characters at any given time could be one.
- The Re:Build update made some drastic changes, having scrapped the rank system. Instead the rank 1 classes become base classes with all skills available but can only level up to 15. After that you choose an advanced class of your choosing, which reaches a level of 45. You choose up to 3 advanced classes and can switch between them using class change points.
- The Chosen Many: Even though characters might refer to you as the Revelator, you aren't the only Revelator. Aside from the fact that all player characters are Revelators, several non-player characters are also considered Revelators as well. In a Leaning on the Fourth Wall moment, one NPC in the western iauliai Woods comments on the sheer number of Revelators running about. Justified. Laima foresaw that someone will become the one true savior for the world, with that someone being you. This plants a huge target on your back for the demons to find, so she mixes you with many other people we have dreams of the goddesses to protect at the start of your journey.
- Collection Sidequest: Within each area is a chest containing a collection box for that area. By giving it to the Magic Association NPC, then filling out the collection by donating several items from that area, you unlock a permanent stat bonus shared by every character in your team.
- Crapsaccharine World: In spite of the game's vibrant environment, the game's story can become very dark, with NPCs getting killed by monsters or turned into demons. The game takes place after four years when a cataclysm known as Mezio Diena resulted in countless deaths and the survivors barely clinging onto their daily lives, which doesn't help that monsters suddenly became much more violent.
- Crosshair Aware: Early boss battles (and certain enemies in the field) telegraph their attacks with glowing red danger zones or arrow paths. As you progress, however, boss attacks speed up, and bosses start dispensing with the warning zones entirely.
- Culture Chop Suey: Despite Tree of Savior's basis in all things Lithuanian, elements from many other cultures exist in the setting, too. This is most readily apparent in the character classes.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Dungeon bosses have about ten times the health of a boss at that level, as do mercenary mission bosses. Field and world bosses are even worse, with health in the millions, making it absolutely necessary to have a party if you want to kill them in a reasonable length of time.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Similar to the games that came before it, Tree of Savior doesn't punish players too hard for death. When a player dies, they're given the option of waiting for a resurrection, respawning at their last spawn point, or using a purchasable Soul Crystal to revive on their own. Regardless of which option is chosen, dying incurs a significant penalty to the durability of all equipped gear and causes the player to drop every gemstone in their inventory. If not revived by another player or a Soul Crystal, the gemstones are lost permanently.
- Dynamic Difficulty: Instanced missions at the Mercenary Post are scaled to the highest-leveled player in the group, though players need to be at least level 100 to access them in the first place. The same goes for the Uphill mission (120) and Saalus (240). The retrieval missions at the Mercenary Post also send the player to areas at their level range, though not necessarily areas they've visited.
- Elements of Nature: Here, Water, Earth, Wind, and Fire. They are explicitly considered "the simplest forms of all things," and under the purview of the Goddesses.
- Elite Mooks: Dungeons have enhanced versions of normal mooks with a significant increase in both health and damage.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Kingdom has no other name than "the Kingdom." It encompasses all the lands held by previously known nation-states, so its founder, subsequent rulers, and citizens have felt no need to give it a name.
- Global Currency: Silver. One kingdom, one currency!
- Götterdämmerung: One woman in Klaipeda mentions that even before Medzio Diena, the Goddesses have been disappearing one by one. Gabija stopped replying a long time ago, followed by Vakarinė just before Medzio Diena, then Zemyna and Saulė shortly afterward. The common people aren't even sure if Laima is truly a goddess, as they have never seen her. Ever.
- Hard-Coded Hostility: Ever since Medzio Diena, all manner of creatures have become increasingly, implacably violent to humans, where before it was only the Vubbes that acted this way. One soldier notes early on that plant-based monsters didn't exist at all before that day. When you reach Srautas Canyon, you'll discover that the goat-like Pantos were once friendly to and mingled with humans, but ever since Medzio Diena they have become increasingly hostile.
- Have You Seen My God?: One of the central themes present in the storyline.
- Headless Horseman: The Dullahan is a headless ghost on a horse wearing heavy armor. It serves as the world boss of the Roxona Recontruction Agency. Very tough to kill, but it holds a part to one of the game's best armor sets.
- Herd-Hitting Attack: A very common move used by boss monsters—often as a Shockwave Stomp, but found in many other flavors as well.
- Hub Level: Klaipeda and Orsha, the two starting towns, have nearly everything the player needs. You'll be heading back often to offload gear, train skills, and so forth. Fedimian serves as a third later in the game, though it lacks some of the features of the first two.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: This has become more noticeable than it was in RO thanks to the ability to jump. You'll inevitably find a lot of places that look like they should be accessible, either by jumping over a barrier or landing on a ledge—but try as you might, you just can't get to them.
- Item Crafting: Any character can craft their own equipment, as well as refine gemstones—so long as they have the right materials (and a recipe, in the case of gear).
- Last Lousy Point:
- Exploring all 100% of a map can turn into this, since the grid-based nature of the map isn't always consistent with the actual physical layout. You can have a totally visible map and yet be a few percentage points short because there's a corner or two you didn't fully explore. Fortunately, there's a mod which renders such sections visible and makes the search far less annoying.
- Giant Mooks in any given area have spawn rates lower than other monsters, spawn in fewer numbers (sometimes as low as two), and can spawn anywhere on the sometimes sizable map. This makes earning the related kill achievements much harder, especially when competing with other players for those kills.
- Mana: In the Pyromancer's Lab at Klaipeda, you can find textbooks discussing the nature of mana. Mana is defined as the power to change divine grace into other forms, something that both the Cleric and Wizard class families do. It appears to be treated differently from the game mechanic of SP (see Mana Meter, below).
- Mana Meter: Like RO, all classes use SP for skills and spells, represented by the SP meter.
- Metal Slime: If you ever see an enemy flashing while not under any status effects, this indicates that killing them will result in a massive payout. Silver flashing means a lot of money, gold means a large amount of items from that monster's loot table, and blue is a massive amount of experience. Silver is the most common and still extremely rare, while the others you'll be lucky to ever see.
- Money Sink: Ubiquitous as an effort to fight inflation. Buying attributes costs a considerable sum, storing and removing items costs a little bit in both directions, items need repairs every so often, and that's just the most basic aspects of the game.
- Non-Standard Skill Learning: On top of acquiring skill points with each job level and using them to acquire new skills and skill levels, there are Attributes. These are perks which augment how skills work—some can even change how they work entirely, and these usually come with an on/off switch so the player can modify skill behavior as the situation demands. Attributes must be learned from a class master, which involves both a hefty sum of Silver and a certain amount of time (which can be anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour or more). Thankfully, similar to EVE Online, your character will continue studying attributes even while logged out.
- One Steve Limit: Averted in the case of player characters, thanks to the Lodge system—all characters owned by an account belong to the same Lodge, which also has a player-given name. The Lodge's name acts as a sort of surname for the characters, and it's what people will see in party lists as well as the chat window.
- Organ Drops: Most monsters will typically drop a body part or organ. It's less common for them to drop something they were wearing or wielding. Nevertheless, they're often required for Item Crafting.
- Playboy Bunny: The Wizard class has these outfits available as costumes for either gender, though it should come as no surprise that the female version is more revealing.
- Point Build System: Tree of Savior has one that is similar to what Ragnarok Online has, albeit with some major changes. Rather than six stats (STR/VIT/DEX/AGI/INT/LUK), there's five:
- STR (Strength), which governs physical and Critical Hit strength as well as how much a character can carry.
- CON (Constitution), which governs resistance to Critical Hits, maximum HP, and HP recovery rate.
- INT (Intelligence), which governs magic attack strength.
- SPR (Spirit), which governs maximum SP, SP recovery rate, and the ability to penetrate blocks.
- DEX (Dexterity), which governs accuracy and evasion as well as the probability of inflicting Critical Hits.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Characters can be either male or female, which merely determines what outfits they'll be getting... and which version of the Miko class they play as... and if they'll even be allowed to become a Miko with their gender.
- Regional Riff: "Triste" (the theme of Klaipeda) is evocative of traditional Lithuanian music, albeit in a morose style (as befitting of the song's name).
- Roof Hopping: This is doable in Klaipeda and makes for effective shortcuts through the town.
- Socketed Equipment: Sockets usually have to be drilled into equipment first before gemstones can be inserted.
- Spiritual Successor: As noted, Tree of Savior is widely hailed as one to Ragnarok Online due to both the similar presentation and amount of former RO developers involved. The game includes many mechanics that the original dev team for RO had planned before Samsung bought Gravity Corporation early on. Some of these include:
- The 80+ classes. Gravity's founders had planned 70 or so for Ragnarok Online, but the dev team that replaced them opted for a less-diverse, more-vertical class system.
- Characters owning their own customizable home, revisited here as the Lodge system.
- Massive, fully polygonal bosses. Gravity had attempted to implement something like this in RO with a zombie dragon MVP in Payon Caves (its early form was as a massive sprite-based monster), but it never happened due to the Samsung buyout and departure of the original devteam.
- Unlocking treasure chests. This was originally a planned ability for Thieves in RO.
- Story Arc: The main quests are divided into episodes that cover multiple maps. In the past episodes 1-4 differ depending on which starting town is chosen (Klaipeda or Orsha) until the episode 13 revamp removed the Orsha quests.
- Episode 1 (Klaipeda): You among many Revelators have arrived in Klaipeda after having a dream about Goddess Laima and something called the Light of Salvation. You're tasked from Sir Uska to liberate the Crystal Mines that have recently been taken over from the Vubbes. After defeating Demon Lord and retrieving a stone tablet, it's revealed that it's a revelation from Goddess Laima who foresaw that Medzio Diena is only the start of a greater calamity and only you, the Savior, can stop it and save the world.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: While in the Crystal Mine, you may come across a dining table at the miner's resting hall which still happens to have a plate of potato dumplings set out. Even though you're explicitly told they don't look like they should be eaten, your only options are: "Eat it," "Try eating it," and "Must try eating it." Suffice to say, be glad it's your character who's eating them and not you.
- Underground Monkey: Many of the enemies are recolored variants of previous ones.
- Warp Whistle: In several varieties:
- The Statue of Goddess Vakarine allows you to warp between any similar statue so long as you've previous visited it. It costs a small amount of silver relative to the distance traveled.
- Warp Scrolls purchased with TP act as a portable Statue of Goddess Vakarine, but also leave a single-use return warp point in the area you teleport from that costs no silver to use.
- Item Merchants sell warp scrolls that allow instant teleportation to one of the three main towns, depending on the scroll. These do not leave a return point, but they're significantly cheaper and bypass the need to pick a location, allowing them to be used as an escape method in a pinch. Fedimian scrolls are only sold in Fedimian, preventing the player from jumping to the game's halfway point before they're ready, but the other two are sold at the start so the player can move between the two halves of the map for questing.