Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Perfect World: The Perfect MMO?

Ragnarok Online was my introduction into the world of MMORPGs: I started playing on pRO Chaos during the Beta period, and stayed on for a good two-and-a-half years of my life. Through those years I've met countless friends, made not so few enemies, lost others to the Real World(tm), leveled up, and loved. Sadly, it was that last thing that proved to be my undoing: hearts were broken and my characters were deleted by my ex in an unrivaled act of vengeance.

Since then, I've tried a handful other MMOs, from a short stint in Ran Online to an even shorter stint in Silk Road Online. Lineage II caught my attention for a good long while because most of its features reflect what I've been looking for in a new MMO (chief among others: a full streaming world whose every corner you can explore). Most recently, I took part in the Granado Espada Beta Test--Multiple Character Control is indeed interesting, but too bad that it was all the game really offers.

I first heard of Perfect World when GM Tristan announced his contest on the AEGIS yahoogroup only a few days ago. I've been looking for a new game to satisfy my MMO fix, and so I fired off my Google-fu to find out more about this Chinese-created game. What I found out about it could be summed in one word: perfect.

But here's what I'm eagerly awaiting about Perfect World:

Huge continuous terrain
The entire game world is within one large map that requires no loading or no changing of maps so players can move around without waiting for scenes to change.

I've only seen streaming world content in Lineage II, and was disappointed that more recent MMOs still haven't adopted that new MMO technology. Perfect World gets a whole lot of points from me, just for including this feature.

Day, Night and Weather Shifting
The game shifts from night to day and sunny to rainy season on a regular cycle, changing the view of each area to suit the time. This "real world" effect will immerse the players more effectively in the game.

Oh yeah. Day/Night cycles and weather changes to boot!

Perfect World Mailing System
This enables players to communicate with their online and offline friends, clan mates or factions. Aside from mail, items can also be sent through this unique system.

Sounds a lot like KoL's mailing system because you can also send items. Another winning feature.

Battle in Land, Sea and Air
Each character and class in Perfect World has the special ability and peripherals to fly, trek, and swim in different terrains. Inherent attributes, special equipments, summons or even mountable animals make it possible for characters to not only fly, trek, and swim but also to duel and clash on any of the terrain. Perfect World created a world with flying monsters and floating cities and ruins, all waiting to be explored.

Wow. This just gave me an MMOG-gasm! Now that is a truly 3D world.

Massive Quest/Mission System
The game itself has more than 5,000 quests waiting to be discovered and completed. Quests can be race- and class-specific. Instance quests are available for players who would like to make their own adventures.

Ahh, for me, this is the crowning glory of every MMORPG: a rich collection of quests to occupy your character's time. I have little tolerance for grinding but having quests to fulfill while you do seems to make the time worthwhile. So definitely lots of quests! The use of instancing also adds to the feeling that you're the hero of your own story, which is as it should be. Also, it protects you from the interference of player griefers.

I've barely covered the entire list of features, but the four I've discussed above are my personal faves. You can find the rest of the features here at LUG's Perfect World site.

Perfect World is definitely on my must-play list. Now all I need to do is get a CBT account....

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