I mistook it for a colorful flag at first—the geometrically patterned cloak snapping at his back—perhaps signaling the next town or objective my party should explore. As I drew closer I noticed the tall, white, wide-brimmed hat atop his head. It’s pointy tip leaned lazily to the side and a giant ruby adorned its front. He waved a gnarled piece of wood with deep focus in what I quickly realized were patterns—repetitive and intentional. A soft light began at the tip of the branch, quickly growing in intensity before releasing into the sky. He did it again, and another explosion followed.
A small crowd of seven or eight stood before him, watching in silence with branches of their own. “Now you try,” he instructed. With varying levels of speed and confidence, they did. He walked between them observing and adjusting quietly until suddenly, a burst of light.
“I did it!” one of the mages is running between the crowd, waving a gloved hand that clasped his own entry-level wand, “finally!”
OrbusVR is the largest VR exclusive MMORPG out there with eight classes to choose from and all the features you would expect from the genre: questing, PvP, guilds, raids, crafting, dungeons, personal player housing, pets, and of course, delicious loot. The level cap is thirty which can between forty and eighty hours to attain, depending on your pace and commitment.
The community is robust with an active Discord and people online playing any time I logged in. Frequent updates and events keep the game fresh with the most recent starting December 5th in celebration of the winter season. Those on PCVR that want to try before buying can get the demo on Steam and play up to level 10. Trading is disabled due to obvious exploitation issues; however, aside from this reasonable limitation, it’s the full game.
OrbusVR is better with a group so part of my preparation is scheduling a time to get on when I know my friends can play. If you don’t know anyone who plays OrbusVR, join the Discord and meet some! Partying up to quest and explore adds a whole level of teamwork and cooperation everyone should experience.
Make sure to have a fresh VRCover ready, along with plenty of water if you’re planning to play for an extended session, which can happen pretty easily with a group of friends. I also like to do some dynamic shoulder and chest stretches before partying up as this game tends to have some repetitive arm and shoulder movement regardless of what class you choose.
Intensity – Runemage: 2/10 vs Warrior: 6/10
The different classes and weapons all play in distinct ways. Archers draw arrows they pull from a virtual quiver, Paladins wield mighty hammers and call down lightning, Bards…well, Bards are ridiculous.
Because of these mechanical differences, the class you pick affects the level of activity and intensity required. After trying all the classes and reading opinions on Reddit and the official forums I chose the least and most physically demanding—Runemage and Warrior, respectively—to test and compare while using the YUR desktop app along with my Samsung Galaxy Active watch to track my play sessions.
Runemage vs Warrior
Calories burned: 76 vs 220
Calories per minute: 2.4 vs 6.5
Max heart rate: 94 vs 128
Active Minutes: 32 (0 mins Cardio 0 mins Peak) vs 34 (23 Cardio 0 mins Peak)
Even the more vigorous classes don’t hold a candle to some of the more intense VR fitness options out there; however, there is a glimmer of hope hiding behind these numbers, especially if you’re an MMORPG fanatic. You are able to burn some calories while playing this game, so if you love raiding, dungeons, or MMO’s as a genre and have a group of likeminded VR friends, this may be a perfect light activity option for you.
Arms – Runemage: 2/10 vs Warrior: 7/10
This is where the class intensity differentiates the most. On the lower end of the spectrum, you are casting spells by drawing arcane runes with a wand in the space in front of you. This requires—at its arguably most efficient—zero arm movement. That being said, I’m certainly not a good enough Runemage to cast with just a flick of my wrist and did have to employ some arm motions.
Warrior is intense hand to hand combat and group defense. Being a melee class means being up close and personal with the enemies as you shield bash and sword slash your way to victory. The combos may seem confusing at first but with experience become more natural and require less effort.
Legs – Runemage: 2/10 vs Warrior: 2/10
In its current state OrbusVR won’t be featured on any of our Best Leg Workout VR Game lists anytime soon. None of the classes require squatting, calf raises, or any sort of notable leg exertion or extension. The only real leg employment—aside from walking and standing upright to play—lies in gathering and exploring, which—even if you’re farming—is light.
Core and Balance – Runemage: 3/10 vs Warrior: 5/10
Movement out of abilities and void zones is imperative to surviving combat. This can require some quick pivoting and looking around for safe zones. I found myself off balance a few times when I first started entering into more frantic combat situations, though I got much better at this as time went on.
The precarious positional requirements of being melee made this category a little more challenging as a warrior. Not only are you dodging into safety like everyone else, you’ve also got a dragon in your face, and must be certain your juicy thick meat shield body isn’t blocking your team from doing damage.
Time Perception –10/10
From here on the classes have no impact on category ranking so I’ve combined them. Time perception is a category where OrbusVR really shines, specifically if you have pals you love adventuring with. There is so much to do and explore that time seems to fly, doubly so when you’re playing with a party. I was two hours deep into a leveling group without realizing it on day one and dungeons or raid sessions can easily be scheduled for several hour time blocks as well.
Replayability – 10/10
So. Much. To. Do. Once you reach level cap on your first class, each subsequent class you level receives an experience boost. This transforms the daunting chore of multi-classing into a viable option that gives hours of additional gameplay. Frequent updates and events also add reasons to come back, the most recent being the Winter Festival of Strangers which started December 5th and runs through January 7th 2020. The event provides players with a brand new winter wonderland infused landscape, new missions and quests to complete, brand new enemies to battle, and more!
Fitness Scalability – 8/10
The ability to choose between classes of varying activity requirements and several types of in-game content are two notable native ways of scaling your fitness levels. I also tested a few of the classes with light wrist weights (2.5lbs on each arm) and it felt very safe on every class except Runemage, and to a lesser extent, Bard. My arms were angry jelly for two days after this experiment.
The lack of ways to incorporate leg scaling outside of heavier weights kept me from ranking this higher; however, I’m interested in revisiting the game with some heavier weights I ordered recently and retaking my biometrics to compare.
Lack of Nausea – 6/10
Chugga chugga blech. The locomotion in this game can take a bit of time to get used to as the world is massive and a bit chunky. The game world is pretty big and towns can get pretty busy which means those of you without supercomputers are at risk for FPS droppage along with associated symptoms of headache and nausea.
Social Competition – 8/10
Competition in MMOs can be difficult to define. On the straightforward side of competition, you have PvP—which OrbusVR does provide—but there are tons of other ways to compete. Being the first group to beat a tough end game boss, having the best gear available, successfully partaking in the economy, or becoming the most sought after tank, healer, or DPS because you’re known as the best are some examples of this.
Socially speaking, OrbusVR is incredibly this. It’s an MMORPG bolstered by social interaction and offering more than one way to play with others cooperatively. All that being said, there aren’t leaderboards or tournaments and for some players, this type of competition is necessary to satiate their bloodlust.
VRFI Fit Score
Runemage: 5.5/10 vs Warrior: 7/10
OrbusVR is the best and biggest VR MMORPG experience out there. It provides tons of familiar content we all love in the genre such as unique classes and class roles, questing/leveling, crafting, housing, dungeons, PvP, and raids. The games also still receives lots of love and attention from the developers with regular updates and events to keep you, your friends, and your new OrbusVR friends entertained for hours in a world that’s surprisingly populated.
The game can feel a bit clunky and on older systems, the load can cause FPS issues. This translates into some motion sickness concerns when using locomotion controls. Experienced players may have no issue with this, but those who are sensitive or new to locomotion might want to stick to teleportation. Additionally, if fitness if your primary goal with VR, only certain classes require noticeable effort.
Gather your friends for an epic VR MMORPG experience in OrbusVR: Reborn on SteamVR, and Oculus.
MSRP: $39.99 USD.