Welcome to my Big Time 1st Impressions. This is an Action RPG MMO Game that is currently in Early Access with plans for a closed BETA some time later in 2023. I was given a Ruby Pass that gave me access to the game so I could try it out, and I was obviously interested in seeing if Tanking is possible and what it’s all about in Big Time.

One big thing about this game is that it is linked with NFT’s which is an alarming thing for some people, especially if you don’t fully understand what NFTs are about. Basically, you can earn digital items – things like skins, titles and weapons for your character in the game, these are limited NFT’s which can be kept or sold to other players.

Now it’s important to remember that this game is early access so there are many things that are unfinished, the main thing I was focussing on playing this game was, is it fun and what content is there to enjoy?

Big Time

After selecting my first character class you end up on a bridge with a number of robots to speak to who try to tell you things about the game. It’s hard to take in this information when you know nothing about the game. It’s quite long and boring reading the text from the bots. Some kind of tutorial quest and combat would be nice. A new user experience is currently in design which is a good thing because this didn’t feel like a good introduction to the game.

The game is quite complicated to understand at the beginning. A lot of your skills are locked behind skill trainers and you need gold to unlock the skill lines. These skill trainers at first don’t seem easy to find and navigating around the map is a bit of a struggle because you have no option yet of expanding the map so you can see things further away or more clearly and when you look on your map it doesn’t tell you what the visible icons mean or what they are.

I was invited to a group at the start and some high level players boosted my level. This was great as I levelled up really quickly but I was basically dead all the time and it didn’t seem like a good thing to boost level so quickly. All of the gear I was picking up while these players killed everything was way over my level so it couldn’t be used but I could sell it to the in game shop for gold. My problems mostly came once I was out of the group and found that I couldn’t really do anything due to my lack of gear.

The game has quite a big overland map, the areas look visually appealing but they are empty in regards to wildlife or enemies. The rare wildlife you do find are not threatening and can be killed with 1 hit and you get no loot or exp for doing so. You’ll also rarely come across enemies next to portals that spawn and these do give exp and loot but they are very rare to find. The main content in this game is portals which are essentially 6 player dungeons.

Portals are your source of everything in the game: exp, gear, potions, skins and fragments to create NFT’s. These portals are intended to be completed as a group and are very hard to clear by yourself unless you are well about the level range of the portal. They have different level ranges, the closer to the town the lower the level portal, the higher level the portal, the better gear and exp you get.

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I really like the idea of group content and games that run on a necessity for it because I like playing as a Tank and a lot of games punish you with a lack of damage as a Tank whereas here you HAVE to group up meaning you’ll have a function most of the time. The portals themselves vary each time you go into one. I do hope that they will make some adjustments to them as the layout of the portals doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You run to the end of a path, kill some things then you have to run all the way back, you do the same thing again on the other side and you do this multiple times in a portal meaning you spend more time running around empty space than you do actually killing enemies. Portals often take 30-40 mins or longer because you have to keep running backwards and forwards so much, I personally prefer a more linear style dungeon where there is very little back tracking involved and you spend more time fighting enemies and completing objectives.

With portals being your only real source of exp, it can sometimes take a while to group up and level up. My main concern would be if you play at off peak hours and can’t find a group, you currently wouldn’t have anything to do since there are no quests, no solo areas, and no way of gaining any gear or exp. The developers have content on the cards in future updates with public quests, boss arenas, in-game competitions and leaderboards which would definitely increase the interest of the game and giving more reasons to continue playing. There are some timed daily events, these are similar to portals but everyone on your server can join in to work together to clear the objective and this was a pretty cool and surprising event that I thought was really good.

Combat was actually something I found enjoyable. There is a combo system with light attacking where you can attack one to four times and your character hits different light attacks, you also have the option to hit one of four heavy attacks during that combo, it was a bit clunky doing this but I expect it will be much smoother once they have optimised the game later down the line.

Early on you have very limited access to skills and you need to speak to trainers and pay to unlock different skill trees. When you reach a higher level and you have the gold and skill points you can upgrade your character to have some really powerful abilities. You are able to evade damage by dodge rolling attacks and this has zero cost so you can do this an unlimited amount of times. Blocking is a bit strange, when you block attacks you take considerably less damage, but you’re unable to move if you are blocking which doesn’t seem ideal.

One thing that surprised me was the pocket watch and timeline system.

I levelled my character to 10 and my Pocket Watch also. I found a much better Mythic Pocket Watch that I equipped at level 10 and what this does is basically resets your character to the beginning, so you keep your character level but starting a new pocket watch which is level 1 and its almost like “rebirthing” where the pocket watch makes your stronger and gives you more stats but you have to equip beginner gear because the gear you just picked up can’t be equipped with a level 1 Pocket Watch, and you need to buy all of your skill trees and abilities all over again. At any time you can switch back to the Pocket Watch that you have already levelled and it will include your gear and abilities.

The system is something that will probably be more intriguing at higher levels where you can create different builds and quickly switch depending on the fights you’re about to do or your groups needs, but for a new player this isn’t really explained at all and it does make things quite tricky so it’s probably best to grind out your character level and keep the same pocket watch for a while so you can build up your strength with gear and abilities and then switch to a new pocket watch once you loot a higher tier and higher levelled one. It probably also requires some good planning when deciding to switch to a new Pocket Watch as you’ll want to keep some low level gear available so you’re not completely useless when you do.

In conclusion I do think that Big Time has the potential to be a fun game. There is already a good size player base considering the game is unfinished and in early access you’ll see a good amount of players in the chat, in the group tab and in the main town. Currently some of the systems are a bit complicated and the beginner experience isn’t amazing but it’s being worked on. The game currently is very grindy, you have to grind out portals, your level, pocket watch level and farming gear but one of the big motivators for doing so is the digital collectables and NFT’s. People are playing this to collect those digital collectables so they have a portfolio of items that have some monetary value. For me personally I want to play a game that is fun as the main reason to play and then having a player owned economy is an additional benefit where I am rewarded for spending time in the game with items looted from enemies which I can use or sell. It’s something that you have to think carefully about if you are unsure about NFT’s, you won’t be losing anything by gaining the items in game, the risk would revolve more around if you are buying things as the success of the game and the value of the items relies on people playing the game and it being fun with regular updates and content. I’ll be interested in taking a look at how this game develops over the next few months as it goes into beta.

If you’re interested in trying out Big Time you can sign up here: Home Page (bigtime.gg)