Friday, June 10, 2011

Jade Dynasty- A Glimpse

I've been playing a bit of Jade Dynasty lately and I thought I would post up some impressions on my journey to level 41. I started out as a human, you don't get to pick your class until level 15, which goes by pretty fast. It game me a chance to feel out the game while deciding what I wanted to be. There is no gender lock when it comes to classes and there are some decent looking character hair styles and faces. If you don't want to play a human there is another faction that has classes you can start out as.

The game has a high experience net when it comes to questing. Sometimes I'd get around a whole level for tuning in a quest. Not to say you don't have to work at it. Lots of traveling to and fro. It took me a little bit but I found out that the cities and outposts all have NPCs that will teleport you to different towns for a few copper or silver. This cut down on my travel time immensely.

Guild member flying me somewhere. 
I was asked if I wanted to join a clan (guild) and I jumped at the chance to meet other people in the game and have people to ask questions to. I'm glad I did because it helped me understand a lot of the game. The leader was very helpful and took some time to show me a few helpful things. The experience made the game so much better, connecting with other people made made feel more at home.

First off, there are 150 levels, then ascended levels. Basically ascended levels are starting over at 15 with a stronger character and getting better things as you go, from what I understand. I wouldn't want to do it, but some people seem to enjoy it, especially if you PvP. Plus you can start out as a different class. Kind of boggling, all that work then starting over. There are also death penalties. I never notice any penalty besides being sent to a town, so I don't know if they start off at higher levels or what. I hear around 90, the penalty is experience loss and it is quite harsh. The first 89 levels are said to fly by, already with just a few days play I am sitting at 41, so I can believe it.

This game has some very impressive mounts.
The good and bad. Every ten levels you gain access to a new set of gear, you can purchase from a vendor, a crafter (player) or craft it yourself. The armor looks good too. Something to look forward to while leveling, I love it. At level 30 you gain your first mount, however it only lasts 30 days, more than enough time to get to 45 though, where you can buy your first mount (100gold!!) or you can do quests for three hour mounts.

The thing with mounts and gear is that it can get costly especially when you add in the need to buy potions. You level so fast at the start and you can really start to pay out at a fast rate, making it hard to keep up. You don't have to buy potions- but they make things really go smoother. Money int his game is hard to come by, thus far. Right now I do not have enough room in my bags to save up items to sell later on. So, I end up vendoring everything. I think that is one of my biggest peeves. BAG ROOM! You can buy more and some start unlocking at 75 and up but that is still quite a ways off. You really have to work at it- Unless you buy and sell through the cash shop. You can sell cash shop currency for in game money, right now the prices are skyrocketing so you could make a small fortune easily.

Not everyone wants to do this though. So you will spend time grinding or trying to sell things from your personal shop (think Everquest and trader stalls, similar to many other FTP games like Silk Road and such). Which takes time for a buyer to actually click on you and need/want what you have to offer. So, I've really been scrimping on money. I have my current level gear but the next set will be tough to get. Higher levels seem to be easier but money in this game doesn't seem to be easy at any level, when it comes to farming cash. I don't like having to scrimp every copper I make, it just makes things tough. I suppose when I get a few more levels under my belt, it won't be so bad.

The questing is simple and laid back, for the most part. There are lots of courier type quests but the automated routing makes this cake. It can be made even more so [easy] if you factor in the esper mechanic. Basically an espse is a little pet like entity that floats around you, you get one from the beginning, then you gain a specific class esper through the main quest line. An esper will control your character and use certain abilities while you go AFK. If you have a quest to kill 30 mobs you can let the esper do all the work for you,  then you can come back to set the character to auto route to the quest turn in. Pretty simple. I like the auto route system because I go do something else while my character runs there.

The thing with the esper is, you need potions to keep it going without dying. These can get costly and thus are you just grinding out mobs for money to fund this? I used it sometimes but then I started running low on potions. When you are out questing and you run low on health and mana you can activate an ability which is similar to meditating, as in other games like Everquest. I like this option as it costs nothing and is fairly quick to regenerate health and mana back to full. You can also do a meditation like ability in town to gain a slow but stead bit of XP. I think it may cap out each day, not too sure on the duration, don't quote me on this though.

For those, like me, who love pets there is a pet system, you'll gain a few as you level, then you are able to tame more in the mid levels. There are also cash shop pets. I didn't get into the whole pet thing, besides using him to fight alongside me, he even passed me in levels. However, it did seem a rather in-depth system. I think poets can also age and die, however you can take some of the age off with items.

The graphics are quite lovely, the surrounding scenery is so refreshing and tranquil. The music is relaxing and the characters look stunning as they acquire gear sets. Over all it is a nice solid game. With some time and effort the game can be enjoyable and long lasting. The community, from my perspective, is friendly and helpful. There are many channels per server to hop around on which is nice. PvE today PvP tomorrow, perhaps?

I don't know if it could be my 'main' game. But it really has potential and it is one of the better free to play games I've had a chance to play. Things like bag space and no auction system make me cringe, at times, but the game has a lot of other things to make one look past these imperfections. If you're looking for a laid back PvE game or maybe a little PvP the game offers both which is nice too. It's definitely one worth trying out.


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