Tobold's Blog
Monday, June 08, 2009
Bones and flowers

My thoughts on The Sims 3 will be for next week, as I haven't gotten past the character creation and tutorial yet. The game I still spent the most time with this weekend was Luminary. I got up to level 52 now, so if I think of putting my mentor flag up, I can now be a mentor for new players.

One of the reasons I like Luminary, is that there are so many unusual things to discover. Probably a good part of that comes from its Korean origin, because a faery tale story which might be common in Asia looks pretty exotic to western eyes. There are tigers disguised as old women, luring children with rice cakes. The first quest is to kill 10 racoons, not 10 rats. And much of the decor is pleasantly exotic. On top of that the developers had some pretty weird ideas. Yesterday I was fighting drill sharks, that is sharks having drills at the end of their fins, and having a nasty whirlwind attack. But when you look closer, especially after killing them, you find that in fact it is a balloon fish in a shark costume. Weird! Other monsters wouldn't be out of place in any western MMORPG, if taken from 2D to 3D of course. The frozen sorcerers and frozen knights look great, have some cool animations, and might as well live in Northrend.

What tends to strike me most is the combination of fearsome and cute. For example there are just 4 different avatars in the game, two men, two women. So with 3 characters per account and not wanting to have two characters look the same, I have a female and two male characters on my main account. In armor they all pretty much look the same, except that the women's armor is decoracted with little hearts or flowers. So right now my female toon is wearing bone armor, where the helmet consists of a fearsome looking horned skull. And the top is decorated with cute pink flowers. Bones and flowers, looks quite strange.

Besides leveling, I spend a lot of time with the player-run economy of Luminary, making good money. I'm shown as the 20th richest players on the server right now, although I do think that isn't quite true: The assets count underestimates the value of shares, and I only have 40 of those, while some players got in early and grabbed hundreds. I also discovered that you can't buy your way up to master craftsman by buying lots of skill books; you can't get more than 30 skill points per skill by books. So I took a lot of useful "secondary" crafting skills to 30, like cooking, medicine, or toolmaking, and try to advance only one "primary" crafting skill, sword manufacture.

Luminary is still free to play, not Free2Play. :) That is, the item mall still isn't implemented, because Aeria Games must be extra certain there are no bugs once real money gets involved. Too bad for them, I wouldn't mind handing them some of my real money for items of convenience, like teleport tickets.
52 levels in a couple of weeks sounds like very rapid progress. Is there a level cap and is there an end game after you reach it?
WTB Western MMORPG;)
Right now the level cap is 100, but on the Korean servers that has already been raised to 120. And then you probably still haven't maxed out your tradeskills.

The end game is a political one, trying to become first town chief and then GoonZu, elected head of the server, or one of his ministers.
"My thoughts on The Sims 3 will be for next week, as I haven't gotten past the character creation and tutorial yet."

Sounds like you are more than qualified to give a full review...

On subject, I got the same feeling when I was playing Atlantica Online, about the odd creatures and interesting game systems. While too many MMOs in the west copy/paste EQ, I get the feeling the same thing happens in the east (forget the name of the first big MMO there).

It's new to us when we try it for the first time, and then like the games we usually play, we get accustomed to the quirks and can identify the unique selling points (which as we know are usually somewhat weak) The end-game for Luminaries sounds very similar to AO's end-game of city control and political influence, only AO goes more towards GvG PvP.
Leveling in Luminary is very fast, as long as you are killing the right mobs. I hit 30 on an alt in a single Saturday afternoon play session. My main probably took a few days.

You can spend a lot of time not leveling though, as tradeskills and grining lower level mobs for materials for crafting all eat into leveling speed. Sort of like in WoW, if you went back to Westfall to grind Harvest Golems becuase they dropped mats for end game armor.
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