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Hashs's Datapack Reviews #01 - Essence RPG

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Level 63 : High Grandmaster Botanist
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Hello everyone! You may or may not have seen me around the datapacks section before. If you haven't, well, hello!

I'm the developer of the datapack Undermagic, as well as several others, and today I'm starting a datapack reviewing blog series. I'll be picking datapacks that either interest me or are suggested by you all, playing them, and reviewing them for you all!

My first review is on Essence RPG by MrMcAwesumz. This is an RPG pack that allows you to collect Essence Points from doing various actions in the world, and spend them on a variety of things, including permanent stat boosts, new abilities, and refined gear.

Without further ado, let's get into it!

(Note, I am reviewing v1.1.2 of the pack. I may do another review in the future after it has been through a few updates.)


Review


Essence RPG's gameplay, as said before, revolves around collecting Essence Points (EP) in three categories: Fighter, Protector, and Scavenger. These categories respectively revolve around attack potency, defenses, and speed and gathering abilities.

You can spend this EP in the Essence Imbuer, a book given to you when you first spawn, on Imbuements, permanent upgrades to your statistics and abilities. There are three imbuement options per category, and six tiers for each imbuement option. You can only spend a maximum of 7000 EP on imbuements overall, discounting expansion empowerments.

This allows players to create unique builds catered to their own playstyle. Like melee combat? Put your EP into Strength and Haste. Good with a crossbow? Buy Truth to buff your arrow velocity.

Speaking of empowerments, players can purchase empowerments, special powers associated with one of the EP categories. There are expansion empowerments, which expand your maximum EP usage by 1000 each, and ability empowerments, which grant special powers usable by sneaking, such as creating a large damaging blast (Erupt) or lifting yourself up and gaining slow falling (Upwind).

Essence RPG rewards focusing on one class of weapons, and it also adds a new type of damage, focus damage, to compound that. Focus damage is basically magic damage. Each player has a Focus meter, which regenerates over time, similarly to a mana bar from other games. Special items called Channelers use this focus meter to create effects such as shooting a fireball, summoning a pool of healing at your feet, or applying glowing to mobs in a large range. Empowerments also use the Focus meter. Effects from the meter that deal damage deal focus damage, which scales with your Focus imbuement. Therefore, focus damage functions as a third class of damage beyond just melee and bows, adding variety to the potential playstyles.

Another key system is augmentation. Using EP, you can augment most tools, armor, and weapons, granting them stat changes according to which category of EP you use. For example, applying Fighter EP to a sword gives it additional damage, while applying Scavenger EP grants a speed boost when you hold it. Also, when tools are augmented, they gain weapon stats; each tool has its own niche in combat. Bows and crossbows can even be augmented for unique effects. Some tiers of items (chain and gold) function as gimmick items, gaining odd stat boosts and often coming alongside a penalty. These can be used to create particularly unique builds.

Another feature is personal difficulty. Players can select a difficulty from Vanilla to Molten (and maybe more?). There are 7 unique difficulties; each grant mobs increasing buffs, but reward the player with higher EP gains. Additionally, many mobs have special abilities when under the effects of personal difficulty; for example, skeletons can swap to a bone and melee the player.

Essence RPG also features relic items, rare drops from many things with special effects. For example, the helmet Enlightener drops from Evokers; when worn, it triples your base HP, at the cost of nullifying all your armor points. Other relics include Bash, a shield with attack power similar to an iron sword, and Phantom's Bane, a powerful bow that shoots arrows that deflect to additional targets after hitting. These relics, if obtained, can add further variety and uniqueness to your build.

The last feature I will spotlight is my favorite of all. Essence RPG features two custom boss battles; one against Illus the Ascendant, and one secret boss that I will not spoil here. Both make for interesting fights; they even have custom music! Each also has their own relic drops. The secret boss's relic drop in particular is unique; I'll leave it to you to discover it ;)

Essence RPG isn't perfect, of course. v1.1 had a few bugs, notably with the two bosses being immune to magic damage, as well as a few typos causing some issues. However, the developer was very quick to respond to this; these bugs have already been fixed in v1.1.2. Overall, the developer is very receptive to feedback and bug reports.

Otherwise, my only other gripe with this pack would be that armors tend to break extremely fast on high difficulties, particularly gimmick armor. I think the developer is working on something to help mitigate this. In the meantime, it would be advisable to keep spare armor sets when playing high difficulties.

In all, though, those small gripes do nothing to change the fact that this is one of my favorite datapacks. I would recommend this datapack to fans of my own mcEXP Reborn and Undermagic packs; if you like RPG progression, difficult boss battles, and interesting custom abilities, look no further.

I would give this pack a 9 out of 10 overall. The high quality and highly customizable gameplay of this pack, including great build variety and configuration options, easily make up for the bugs that spring up from time to time. I can't exactly call said bugs minor, but the dev pays attention to bug reports and hotfixes them quickly.

Thanks for reading! If you're interested in Essence RPG, you can download it here.
CreditRavioli/MrMcAwesumz for making a great pack
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3
01/11/2021 11:48 am
Level 43 : Master Steve
MrMcAwesumz
MrMcAwesumz avatar
Thanks for the review and the kind words!

I'd like to add that most of the bugs that sprung up in 1.1 were the result of experimental optimization changes with the hope of making the entire pack run more smoothly. It's my fault for pushing out 1.1 in a relatively untested state, although I am looking at making another patch version to further get the pack working 100% as intended before I begin work on 1.2. Perhaps some extra quality of life improvements will also be included in the hotfix!



Also, thanks for getting me into datapacks in the first place :P

Editing mcEXP (classic) and poking around earlier versions of UM was interesting enough for me to stick with this stuff all this time!
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