Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dream of Mirror Online

Ok, so lost to the void of Warhammer Online blogging I have very much neglected this blog. Seeing as how WAR is starting to run a bit dry and in my bordom I've returned to hopping around on silly free to play games I thought I'd mention which one has my attention currently.

I actually played Dream of Mirror Online before an English version was launched, on the Japanese servers. I remember hearing that Gametribe was going to be producing an English version and wanting to check it out I slogged through a poorly done translation patch and actually had a lot of fun running around trying to figure things out. It's the art style that got me, originally. Cell shaded animation, very expressive and fun emotes. The second thing was the storyline. Yes... storyline. Free to play game. I know those two do not go together.

The races are unique and fun, I especially love the Shura and Sylph. Both races are currently facing serious population issues for two very different reasons. Shura are very quick to anger and even quicker to fight and just can't seem to stop killing each other. (Sound familiar...). Sylph are are facing a disease of apathy. As they age most Sylph loose all touch with their emotions, leading to a sharp decrease in birthrate since it's hard to have and raise children when you don't even care to associate with others. There's also actually an over arcing storyline in the form of missions complete with cutscenes and boss fights. The sort of thing I really think that WAR is missing, actually.

There's two other major pulls for me as well. One is the crafting system and the other is that in a very FFXI sort of way you can level all classes on one character and even have "sub jobs", setting secondary skills from another job you've leveled to your main job. I really like this system and wish that more RPGs would use it. The question then goes from "Which character am I going to play today?" to "Which class am I going to level?". The former makes me feel as if I'm ignoring my alts, as if I should focus. The latter means that if I feel like playing Dancer tonight I don't have to worry that I'm neglecting my Doctor character because any work I do on Dancer can -help- my doctor latter if I choose to sub it. Perfect solution to my chronic alt-itis in RPGs.

Plus... well, it's freaking adorable. Darn Asian games always get me. My character is Iboshi on the Onyx server, if anyone wishes to say hello.