Steam Gaming: Enjoying Palworld

Posted on April 22, 2024 by Aywren

I picked up Palworld back in late January, and have put over 100 hours into it, but just have not gotten around to writing about it. Syn joined me in my Palworld journey pretty early on, and we’ve built up a nice series of bases, our characters leveling up to somewhere mid-40s back in March.

We haven’t played it lately, though, because we got severely distracted by Enshrouded. However, I know we’ll return to our Pals again because there’s much we haven’t completed yet.

I kept meaning to blog about the game, but was more preoccupied playing it as Syn and I have enjoyed our time quite a bit. Despite all this “Pokemon with Guns” and “animal abuse” business, I haven’t taken issue with the game or the tongue-in-cheek world that it inhabits.

Bascially, Palworld is a Friendlier ARK: Survival Evolved

While, yes, it has a handful of similarities to Pokemon, including the Pal designs (I won’t argue that), Palworld feels much more like a user-friendly version of ARK to me. In fact, this is ARK as I would have wished it would be.

The skill unlocks, gear unlocks, crafting, and progression immediately brought me back to our ARK-playing days (another game in which I have over 200 hours of time).  Palworld just lacks the annoyances of ARK. Things like: Spending so much time to tame a dino, then completely losing the tame if they should die (you just put your Pal in the Palbox to revive them if they die). Or, not constantly swapping ARK gear around because it’s either too hot, too cold, or weighs you down to the point that your stamina might as well be nothing.

Not to mention the beef I have with breeding. I never got deep into writing about ARK breeding in the past. Probably because I was disgusted with what you had to do (and how many baby dinos you had to outright “dispose of”) in order to improve your dinos through mutations to a point they were useful for their ultimate purpose (to use as fodder to fight bosses).

Just give them a fancy hot tub and Pals are quite content.

I will not get into the details here, but thank goodness that Palworld breeding doesn’t turn into a butcher-fest like ARK did. If there’s a game to complain about animal cruelty, honestly Palworld doesn’t hold a candle to ARK. RIP poor baby dinos I had to “cull” while trying to get proper mutation in stats while breeding.

Do the means of being cruel to your Pals exist? Yes. However, any kind of cruelty you inflict is completely within your ability to choose and control. You’re not forced to work them to death - in fact, Pals seem pleased to do a good job for you as long as you treat them kindly. And you’re not forced to butcher them to tidy up your Pal box – there are other uses for duplicate Pals.

What I Enjoy in Palworld

While Palworld focuses much on exploring, leveling, collecting Pals, and building bases, one of my bigger focuses was (naturally) breeding Pals. One nice element of Pal breeding is that cross-breeding the proper Pal combinations can reward you with new Pals you don’t already have. It’s an alternative way of filling out your Paldex, and one that I certainly put time into as the collection aspect of these games is one of the most important to me.

I lucked out in that I managed to find and hatch a giant dragon egg early in the game that turned out to be a Jormuntide Ignis. With this, I was able to breed combinations to unlock all sorts of Pals.

Of course, you can’t breed for legendaries. Those you do have to catch fair and square. I think this is fine. It does give me something to work towards outside of breeding.

Once I found out about the hidden IV stats that Pals have, I quickly modded my game so that I could view Pal IV stats, which made breeding all the more interesting for me. I think the newest patches have made being able to see IVs a thing without needing a mod – I’ll have to check next time I log in. If so, that’s a good move, because IVs help to create more content in breeding and catching better quality Pals.

Another thing I enjoy about Palworld is the fact that your Pals help around the base. And no, this doesn’t have to be “animal slavery.” As I stated before, you don’t have to choose to work Pals to the point their sanity breaks. In fact, they seem eager to hop right to a job as soon as you place them in the base.

As long as you provide them with food, beds, and hot tubs, they go about doing the tasks of gathering and upkeep that frees you up to travel and explore. When you return home, they’ve not only chopped the wood and mined the ore, but have put it away in the chest for you. This means capturing Pals who provide useful base skills is just as important as capturing Pals for battle – even more so because Palworld is a resource-heavy game.

Of course, there’s also the exploration – it gives the feeling of adventure around every corner. You have the ability to climb, glide, and grapple your way over obstacles (think LoZ: Breath of the Wild). Once you capture Pals that can fly, you have means to fly, though at the mercy of a stamina (and food) timer. From there on, there’s the challenge of capturing better fliers.

Snagging an egg off the top of a castle spire FTW!

Yes, there are better fliers in the game than Zemi, but I’m attached to him. So he remains my main flyer for now.

While there’s no overarching plot or story in Palworld, you can collect and read journal entries created by those who came before you – very similar to ARK – that give you hints of what the world and the people there are like. The more you explore, the more you find structures from the ages before – ancients who are no longer here, but seemed to have an idea how to capture and unlock the secrets of the Pals.

There’s even a mysterious giant tree off on the horizon…

I wasn’t able to get to it, however, even riding my water serpent as far as I could. You get a red barrier wall when you get too close. ☹

So, there’s still plenty of secrets to find – things that may hopefully unlock down the line. Possibly at full launch?

Speaking of which. Yes, being in EA, we’ve seen our share of bugs and troubles in the game. The team has been working hard to fix things that come up. Sometimes, Pal pathing is still flukey, but the fact they’ve already started adding great Quality of Life features in the last patch (such as assigning your Pals to specific jobs and allowing chests to hold only specific types of materials) has already gone a long way.

Over 100 hours in, I still need to level my pal team to take on the next boss (we’re currently at Axel), and there’s plenty of legendary fights and captures to collect! So far, we’ve been having fun, and we’re looking forward to where future development will lead!

*|* {April} *|* {2024} *|* {Steam Gaming} *|*