Thursday, March 24, 2011

On Loong

Loong is a Fantasy MMO set in a mythical version of ancient China, from gamigo.

This was a game I chose, because I had real trouble getting hold of another I was interested - Runes of Magic - which I couldn't do much with, because their servers and my bandwidth made getting it a truly slow proposition.

With that said - I came to this game because I hadn't heard of it before, and because I have had some good experiences with games in a similar genre.

The opening screen started the whole thing off, as it should, with the appearance of a Chinese scroll that had been animated. Interesting. The character creation screen is the usual group of simple appearance options and outfits that are to be expected - but the background is actually long lines of floating Chinese characters. I admit, I cannot read a syllable of it, but it does make for a nice effect.

Loong is a classless system, where you build your character based on a set of choices of weapon and training, from the ground up. There aren't any restrictions that I could find that were based on gender or how much money a given player puts into the game, for starting characters. The tutorials are simple, and easily skipped if you don't care to be led around by the nose. Now, the first enemies. Flowers. That's right, you have to attack some kind of scourge of knee-high demon lotuses, as part of your training, which is about as challenging as it sounds. Oh boy! There are killer flowers here! *stomp stomp*.

Then, we come to the pet system and the system of beasts of burden. Your first choices are: A flower demon, a different flower demon, and a small cat. That's right - flowers or a cat. And it gets better! You are given your first horse - who looks like they would run and hide from a Dachshund. Brilliant. In order to get them to grow into something that won't wander around randomly scaring grass and falling leaves, you have to "feed" them, which is the way they gain experience.

The tutorial mission takes a turn for the odd, actually requiring you to add people to your friends list, which had me wondering if the whole thing was an elaborate Facebook application that had gained sentience and assimilated Zhang Yimou. And the team system. Ah, yes, the team system, where you can only leave your team by logging out of the game!


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