The Chronicles of Spellborn lives… sorta…
I took some time to get the beta client for The Chronicles of Spellborn and connect it to the fan-run server this morning. All you can really do is just run around the main city, but dang, how I would love to see what Spellborn would have become if it had made it.
Developed at a time when many new MMOs were content with iterating on the EverQuest/World of Warcraft model, Spellborn was a picture storybook come to life. Player gear was non-visible; you could pick up new display pieces, but they rarely influenced your stats. The intense visual style was entirely appropriate for a game set in the shards of a destroyed world; everything looked alien to some degree.
The innovation extended to the combat, which, unusually for the time, let you make quite individual iterations on the familiar tank/mage/rogue template. The random nature of the combo-based combat meant each encounter was different, and someone who could arrange their skills correctly had a huge advantage in PvP.
We don't get many MMOs out of Europe here in the US. Ryzom, Dofus, Allods Online… whenever we do get one, we get a unique experience. But few were as completely new as The Chronicles of Spellborn.
You, too, can run around in TCoS! Download the beta client and the connection details. Links and information in the official forums at http://www.spellborn.org/.