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 Post subject: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 14th, 2009, 3:45 pm 
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Anyone else playing/played this free to play/rmt mmorpg? Given the setting, I'd be surprised if I was the first here. Got kid in hand right now, and I plan on mini-reviewing later, but was curious if anyone was playing and wanted to team up.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 5:04 am 
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The game itself is based off the novel by the name of "Zhu Xian", which unfortunately isn't available in English and thus... I don't know much about it other than what the community has said. Apparently it's a high-fantasy romance novel. As such, the game is also based in a high-fantasy setting, albeit decidingly drawing more from Chinese lore than any Tolkein works. Thankfully, this is a major departure from the norm, as is much of what else is offered in the game, making this very different from most MMOs currently on the market. This uniqueness in setting and game play has found it's niche in my heart.

The game play, from levels 1 to 15, is basically a tutorial where everyone is the same. Your character customization at the beginning involves choosing a name, gender and face/hair combo. Your class is automatically set to Initiate, the "beginner" class of the game. Upon logging in, you will find yourself in beautiful Sunstream City, a common neutral location in the land. Here, you are introduced to the main story, given some basic gear, had some of the game mechanics explained to you and introduced to many of the NPCs you'll be visiting in the future for crafting, vending, healing and other needs.

The quest are fairly standard fair. Go here, talk to this guy, fetch this for me and kill some monsters. Some exceptions involve platforming elements (that aren't very well implemented), but for the most part, you've seen this in just about every other RPG. Something I haven't seen is the Auto-Route system. Thanks to this, the days of Alakhazam and Thotbot are numbered. Basically, you bring up your quest log to read the new quest. Let's say it tells you to talk to an NPC. The NPC in question's name is highlighted in green text, and clicking on this text automatically beings moving your character towards him, pathing around obstacles and taking the most direct route. You can break this at any time, but it eliminates the need to look up on a third party website where your NPC is located. Also, if the quest orders you to kill mobs, the mobs will be highlighted and function the same way. Except the game will route you to the closest gathering of them, rather than a set spot. Finally, if you have to collect an item, clicking the item name will take you to the mob that holds it. Extremely handy, and makes advancing the main story via mandatory quests a breeze.

There seem to be multiple quest types, but this very well explained in game or in the community. There are voyage quests, which take you to different locations. There are Pacifier quests, which seem to be your "kill x amount of mobs" type. There are romance quests, which involve finding an in-game spouse. There are career quests, which I assume you can complete anytime but may take a long, long time to complete. There is also something called a Trial quests, which seem to function and random quests to fill in the gaps between levels. Finally, there are mandatory quests. Mandatory quests introduce you to new game mechanics, new zones and finally, advance the main story line.

In addition to furthering the story, the mandatory quests also introduce you to your pet and esper. Pets are a common element from many other MMOs, and for the most part are handled similarly. They have a health, mana and exp bar... get hungry and do less damage, become full - do more damage, and level alongside of your character. However, some of the more unique aspects is that pets can obtain gear through thier own crafting and gathering system, age, and eventually... evolve. Think the many stages of Freeza. A cute little monkey can eventually turn into a monstrous looking beast. In fact, look up pictures of the pet Ghengis Khan to see exactly what I mean.

The Esper is another unique element, and a controversial one. It functions as another set of skill bars, has unique skills that other espers don't, and levels up alongside your character. But it isn't a pet. It's a built in botting mechanic. Which is... unique. Most games outlaw botting, but Jade Dynasty has it built right it's core programming. The Esper can be set how far to move from where you activate it, what items to pick up, what monsters to attack, and when to heal/recover you. However, it doesn't allow you to instantly log in and begin farming mobs. Also, mobs that don't grant experience (IE: present some level of threat), don't drop items. So, farming is virtually annihilated, where you bot or not. Instead, the Esper's intended use is to grind out long quests (Kill 50 of these mobs, kill 50 of some other mobs in the same area, report back to me.)

For example, I recently had put the kid down for a nap and was wanting to get in a shower. However, I was extremely close to leveling up and unlocking a new skill. So, I auto-routed to my quest location, set the Esper to grind out my two quests there, and by the time I was out and dry, I had two ordinarily mundane quests completed. All it cost me was a couple healing and energy potions. Meanwhile, I was able to go about real life while still progressing in the game. No one in the game was hurt by the botting, I was able to multi-task, and my character benefited at the expense of some coin. So as far as Espers go, I love them.

Finally, at level 15, you are allowed to choose one of five factions. As the game doesn't have cookie cutter archetypes ala other online games, these factions are difficult to describe in terms of functionality. The Vim seem to be the melee tanker class, with some Shadow Knight elements. The Jadeon seem to be a Battle Mage. The Lupin are straight up Assassins, with a 1 hit KO ability. The Skysong are a cross between Priests and Paladins, and finally... the Modo are a cross between Warlocks and Druids. Very, very little information exists outside of conjecture, so my advice is try each and every faction to see which play style fits you best.

Gear is limited to your faction, and even then, fairly sparse. There seems to be a set every 15 levels that can be crafted or bought from a vendor, with some rare pieces scattered here and there (Quest rewards and some PvP gear.) Even though I'm normally a fan of greater customization, I like this approach to gear. In World of Warcraft. there are hundreds of options of what to wear at any level, thus complicating what you *should* be getting to be effective. In this, your gear is presented to you as is, no options and with set stats. If you don't care for the look, there are "fashion" items you can purchase at the Marketplace to hide your gear's appearance. At first, this seems limited and makes you just one soldier of Vim in a sea of many... until you are introduced to the Refining and Imbuing system.

The Refining part of gear customization is simply a way to level your gear, so to speak. After obtaining a Refining Talisman off a mob or player, you make your way to the Enchanter NPC and ask about refining. You add the base gear you're wanting to upgrade, the refining talisman and an optional axillary talisman (purchased from the Marketplace.) You click upgrade and voila, your old gear can be dramatically upgraded to do more damage, add more defense, etc. There is a risk though, and it's that the gear could be destroyed in the process of refining. The more times you refine, the greater the risk. Hence the reason base gear with a refining value of +6 sell for hundreds of gold... no telling how many talismans and pieces they went through to get that. If the risk isn't worth it, two auxillary talismans from the Marketplace help negate that risk. One increases chance of success by 15%, the other prevents the gear from being destroyed and instead, only lose one rank of refining.

The Imbuing system is somewhat similar. Instead of using a refining talisman, you instead can use any number of random talismans to add properties to an item. You could add defense, accuracy, attack strength or health. Maybe evasion or spirit. There are a ton of talismans to choose from. The caveat here is you pick the property you want on your item, and once added... that property is the only thing you can increase. So if you have a refined sword + 6, and want to add attack strength to that sword, you'll only be adding attack strength. The consequences of failure here are less than refining. Failure means all added imbuing properties are removed, but the refining quality and item strength stay the same.

I've mentioned the Marketplace a couple times above, and since I think I've covered just about everything else (from an under level 30 point of view... the cap is 150.), I'll end this mini-review with a break down of what keeps this game running: The Real Money Transaction system known as the Marketplace. Essentially, this is what makes up for the lack of subscription fees by allowing those with expendable income to obtain in-game perks. And thankfully, they are merely perks... very few options feel necessary to play.

Some of the more cosmetic options are mounts, fashion and pets only obtainable Marketplace system, or buying from someone who uses the Marketplace system. Most mounts I've seen are from this system, and since you must be level 30 to use them... I can't say whether or not they exist without paying real money to get one. Fashion items cover your gear and are not upgradeable, they merely add style to your character. Lastly, two pets are permanently listed here and others are limited offers. These don't function that much differently than the other in-game pets, they simply look different.

Functional items include buffs, potions and incentives to use the crafting system (ala refining and imbuing axillary talismans.) None of these feel needed, they just make the game easier to play and/or faster. Some add proficiency to your Skyblade (a flying mount), some add energy to your Esper (insta-botting, or maintaining botting after level 90), and some level up your pet to your existing level to prevent grinding after switching out pets.

Some of the items that feel like you need them apply to certain play styles. People who do PvP are going to want the death penalty preventing items, and people who craft are going to want the bag and personal bank expanding items.

All in all, Jade Dynasty is a breath of fresh air to me in a stagnant US market filled with elven high fantasy. Even World of Warcraft, the current big-boy, gets dull mere months after each expansion. With 150 levels, the upcoming Ascension system (which I understand to function as a New Game +), and continous content being brought over from the original version... Jade Dynasty seems to me like a F2P/RMT MMO that is worth investing your time into.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 18th, 2009, 4:30 am 
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The game has only been out for a couple months. So yeah, it's fairly new but runs on even most older systems. I've got most character classes unlocked so far (Vim being my main, then a Jadeon, Lupin and now a Modo. Just gotta work on the Skysong, which I read is the most newbie friendly class.) and thus can give my own personal takes on each class.

The Vim seem to be able to be both a melee powerhouse, a crowd controller and a tanker with different builds. Their combat is fairly flashy, the two bladed weapon looks a lot better than I would have thought. The Jadeon uses swords and are definitely the mage class. They "push" their sword attacks much like the NES version of Zelda, where link throws sword thrusts instead of having to be right next to the target. The first spell is a watery ranged attack that currently one-shots any mobs I'm fighting. Not bad at all. Plus, the Jadeon resemble the leaders from Dynasty Warriors in attire, which is some nice nostalgia for me. The Lupin are unique as well in that their "assassin" weapon isn't daggers, swords or other typical ninja equipment. It's... glaives. Or what the game calls glaives. They... are like chakram. But the user doesn't hold them in their hand, but instead... a glyph or rune glows on the user's forehand and the chakram hovers above, swirling. When attacking, the user "pushes" it do attack with his mind instead of throwing it. Unique, like I said. Also, the Lupin males run like Mugen from Samurai Champloo. Love it.

Just unlocked the Modo, they are the most complicated class, more on them later.

The Espers for each class function like the newbie esper. The Vim resembles a book with organic claws hanging off the side, and when used, it grows in size and smashes down unto the target. The Jadeon esper is a floating golden object that functions as yet another high powered ranged attack. The Lupin is "shock bells", which look like two golden bells floating that don't do a ton of damage but instead seem to offer a chance of some crowd control abilities.

Don't have to work Monday or Tuesday night. Plan on getting my Skysong unlocked and my Vim to 30, so I can see what exactly the post-newbie phase of the game is really like.

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Last edited by Shirogetsune on October 21st, 2009, 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 18th, 2009, 2:55 pm 
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You know I forgot I downloaded the game and installed it (I even made an account)...this will be my first time playing a MMO on my PC...its few the games I've played online...which are games like Mario Kart....Pokemon (though thats mostly online trading)...and others like The Conduit where I probably died 40 times before killing 1 person :sweat:

Anyways...I'm going to take the chance now and start the game...be back later :gatsu:

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 19th, 2009, 1:02 pm 
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Well had to double post to be noticed...

How the hell do you save?...I thougt by just hitting exit the game it would save...I found no other save game option...my character was already around level 6..had an esper...a pet...etc..was aiming for a group....but decided to leave and play another time...

I come back...my character is back to level 1 :shock:

So either it didn't save...or it depends on what place I choose to play? :O.O:

I don't feel like going thru all the trouble again... :d-_-b:

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 19th, 2009, 1:10 pm 
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Should save automatically. Not sure what would cause it not to. Did you log in? Maybe the character select screen just didn't update.

EDIT: Just leveled my Vim to 30 and unlocked his 3rd attack. So far, the game looks amazing but the combat visuals were simply on par with everything else I've in other MMOs. However, 30 changed that drastically. In my skill trees, there is an ability called "Counter Tide" that's text is pretty status-quo. Does damage, has a chance to slow both me and the target. Hoorah. Since changing your skill point allocations is free with Ascending, I decided to drop a single point into it and see just what it could do.

It's a Water Dragon summon that crashes into the target. 40 seconds into this YouTube vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfTmTZsRw6g

And unless you play zoomed out like this guy does, it looks massive. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed. The vid also shows off some of the beautiful scenery that is all throughout this game.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 21st, 2009, 1:14 pm 
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All the mostly off topic posts have been moved to the Site Comments area. As always, it's not a clean split, but feel free to edit any old posts in this thread if you see fit to delete the contents that were about the previous OT discussion.

The discussion about Jade Dynasty can thus resume.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 21st, 2009, 1:58 pm 
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All has bee moved... so I'll say again thanks for the elaborate review.
That esper system is revolutionary and strange in a way - set a few parameters and the computer does the gaming for you, MMORPG for the busy businessman!
Doesn't that eliminate part of the fun if the Esper bot does quests?
Having such a routine for shopping or selling sounds good though.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 21st, 2009, 4:47 pm 
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Personal shops are built in as part of your bag, ala the "Vending" function where you set your own prices. Also, there is a realm within each server designated for Trading. Since there isn't an AFK-logout function, you can set up your shop, leave the PC on overnight and come back to reap your rewards.

The Esper's botting function isn't immediately usable upon login. You'll probably spend half an hour to an hour in combat building up the Esper's energy to allow for botting. Also, after level 90, the Esper will begin to drain this energy when in botting mode. Another limitation is you can't assign multiple orders to the Esper. You have to manually order your character to the area you wish to bot, manually add in the items to restore your hit points and spirit (otherwise you're asking for a quick trip back to town) and then upon arrival, activate the botting mode. Thus, if I'm going to bot, it's for one of two reasons. I'm between quests and don't feel like sitting at the PC for hours grinding out the Dispatcher's random quests, so I'll assign him to an area where the mobs are a little tougher than me and grind out xp and items.

Or, if I need a quick break, grab two quests from the Dispatcher where I know the targets are either the same or in close proximity, and set the bot to only grind them until it's done or I'm back. This latter one is handy with a kid that needs changed, fed or naps, while the former is great while I don't want to simply Meditate for exp (because you're not earning cash) but still need to make progress in the game... even if I want to marathon an anime series. I simply check in between episodes, reload healing items, do some inventory management and set him right back to it.

You could say it detracts from the fun if you enjoyed grinding the same mobs, over and over for hours on end. MMOs need time sinks, but implementing them is risky business. Go without and rely on game play, you have titles like Exteel that are super fun but small communities thanks to a lack of content. Add too many time sinks and you have Final Fantasy XI, where reaching level 75 in one job, let alone multiple jobs, is a feat of patience and endurance. This game goes the FF route of requiring a big time investment, but not all of that time is necessarily spent in front of the PC, grinding mobs or quests unrelated to the main story and becoming bored... thus quitting.

What keeps me going is the new skills, gear and ways to advance my character. Combat is fun, but eventually becomes tedious between big level gaps where the main story is at a stand still (I had to grind out 26-30 just to advance the storyline. Granted, doing random quests would have been faster, cheaper and easier... but Kiddy Grade needed to be finished as well.) and you really do have better things to be doing rather than clicking the same 3 or 4 skills for x amount of hours until you unlock new ones.

I guess, to simply answer the question... the Esper takes the work out of the game and leaves mostly the fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 21st, 2009, 5:40 pm 
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Well yesterday when I logged on it was back to the level I had...thankfully..haha...now before the power went out today I was around lvl. 27 and was a Modo :gatsu:

How the hell did you level your esper so quickly?....mine is still lvl.1 :shock:

Only thing that keeps going up is my pet...

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 23rd, 2009, 7:05 pm 
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Your Esper is leveled by using his unique skill, in your case, the Trigram Palm. Don't spend too much time leveling the Trigram Esper though, when you pick a class at level 15, you get a new Esper more suited to the faction's style. Anyways, after using the Esper skill a billion times ( I recommend picking some low level mobs, setting up botting to only use the Esper skill and walking off with a bunch of potions), it's proficiency will cap and you take it to an Esper mystic, where it will upgrade the Esper to the next level.

Level cap on the Esper is a weird formula.

Quote:
Your Esper has a max level that is based off your current level. This limit is x/5+2, where x is your character level. Thus, at level three, your Esper's max level is 2. At level 10, your Esper's max level will be 4. At level 30, its max level will be 8.
- JDpedia

I'm 36, and my Esper is level 2. Don't see much of a point in keeping it up to date just yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 24th, 2009, 1:00 pm 
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Well I do realize that when I got my new esper...ha...but I would love to bloodsmelt the 2 whenever I get chance..see what comes out of it...

Oh and I have a few screenshots I found (remembered now)...

Attachment:
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Me sitting at the usual spot where I medidate...

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2009-10-22 13-25-34.jpg [ 261.06 KiB | Viewed 6043 times ]


Me recently discovering all my skills :sweat:

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 25th, 2009, 10:17 am 
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Modo, eh? Not bad. I'll post some screens of my Vim when I find a program to downsize the images. 2 mb per screen is a bit much, and I lost my Photoshop disk :(

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 25th, 2009, 12:16 pm 
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I used Photoscape...its free and light...available at download.com or any of those sites...perfect for things like a quick edit...and yet still powerful enough (of course not as Photoshop...but I have both...Photoshop for sigs or coloring...Photoscape for editing a pic real quick) :whistle:

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 Post subject: Re: Jade Dynasty
PostPosted: October 29th, 2009, 6:13 am 
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http://jd.perfectworld.com/expansion

Ascension will soon be here!

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