Emil Chronicle Online
So there's a contest on blogging eh? I'll see if I can pull up a few things. I'm Noperative of the /ggFTW! Brigade, one of the rings in the CBT and the hosters of a ECO wiki. Seems like Run-Up (RUNDOWN--) is finally going to get that OBT up and running (personally I didn't really see what they had to fix, CBT was really smooth.) so they're trying to get bloggers to post 'OMG RUN-UP IS AWESOME' blog posts on their blogs. Unfortunately this is going to be a normal blog post by a normal blogger, so no praise from me.
Basically, Emil Chronicle is like the Ragnarok 2 that didn't suck. Job systems, fighting and even the map are similar, and it's just as addicting. There are also some epic systems such as Possession and Marionettes, though you don't really use the latter much after a while.
Being an originally Japanese game, it's got enough things to satisfy the otaku in me, everything from gothic lolita costumes to maid outfits. Aside from customizing your lolis in embarassing costumes, one can also get pets such as Nekomata ghosts or ride a giant caterpillar. Much better than RO where I couldn't customize more than my head without some cash.
You can also choose a race in ECO: Titania (Angels), Dominion (Devils) or Emil (Humans), these will slightly affect your early game. No one really cares though, just dye your hair and get a sailor costume and you're ready (after all, who would play a guy in this kind of game??).
There are 36 total classes, 12 being your first job and the other 24 being the 2-1 (Expert) and the 2-2 (Technical) classes. The job system is a ***** though, all the classes are unique enough to make me make 24 characters (8 accounts) so I can properly explore all of them.
Rather than a job tree, it can be better described as a job 'table' where you're allowed to switch between your 2-1 and 2-2 with a small job level penalty (this is more like a balancing factor than an actual penalty).
Not much to say about the mobs, I've seen every single one that was in the CBT and most of them were shameless recolours. Aggro in this game is horrible, be prepared to deal with giant mobs stalking you for the whole map until you learn some AOEs. Bosses have a lot of minions around them as well as being big and aggressive, make sure to stay away from them as they happen to come in some very inconvenient times.
Quests in this game are pretty bad as well, you get 'quests counts' everyday and you can't do most of the quests once you hit 0. The counts are stackable up to 15 so you can't quit for a year and come back with 1000+ counts. Some of the quests are hella annoying, usually they're generic crap like kill x amount of monsters or get x amount of items or spend an hour walking from 1 NPC to the next. Rewards are pretty good sometimes, but make sure you're doing the right quests.
ITEMS ARE FFFFFFF. Our wiki team was adding in all 3000+ items in the game when we noticed that Run-Up practically ran everything through a translator and ended up with maybe 50 different items sharing the same name, not to mention skills and monsters as well. But the HUGE amount of items is pretty good for customization, there are like 5 colours of a single item that give the exact same stats.
Playing the CBT with our guys in the /ggFTW! Brigade we got to explore quite a few things in the game itself. The game doesn't have a fixed camera angle and can be adjusted at will, some areas have full camera angles and you get to see some beautiful scenes with it. Sometimes it can get a bit annoying during basic tasks like grinding (I know of at least 1 member that quit due to the camera angles) but overall I find the camera angles quite fun to use.
Possession and such is awesome stuff, you can go into someone else's equips and leech of them. But you can also use some skills to aid in the fighting, a tank being possessed by a mage can be a mean grinding machine since they cover up for each other's weaknesses.
Factions are a nice thing too, you can get free passage to the direction you're aligned with and get some nice perks as well (South gives you the use for gatling cannons, for example).
Solo grinding is horrible and you need at least 3 people to effectively grind. Trying to talk in this system is horrible, the chat window keeps deselecting when you try to type and the whisper system is too bulky to chat properly.
The interface can be customized by editing the BMP files in the folder, if you think the old black and gold windows are ugly this is a good fix as you can customize them as far as your imagination and photoshop skills can allow. Most of us are lazy and download them from other creators, though.
Guilds/clans are called 'Rings' in ECO. for a cheap 10k you can make a ring that holds up to 16 people, completing quests will slowly build up your 'Fame' and you can get more people and a guild emblem if you have enough fame. It's troublesome for every member to do quests regularly (see above) so we're just going to be making a bunch of rings at the start.
You can get an airship with the completion of a long (and probably expensive) quest. It's basically a floating piece of land used for transportation, but your personally airship can be decorated with some furniture and made into a house.
Overall the game is pretty nice for casual and hard-core players alike, with some nice and some bad systems. It'll definitely grow into a nice game if handled properly. The mechanics and style also make it pretty hard to screw up with cash spam, though many of the cute equips will most definitely be cash. So far, Run-Up hasn't done much to gain my affection, but apart from delaying the OBT release, they haven't done much to lose it either. We'll see how things pan out in OBT.
Until next time~
Emil Chronicle Online • Official Website • Singapore
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