Why is it that some gamers are more concerned with the look of an MMO character, than the look of pity on their girlfriend’s face when hours of game-play have passed by? Ironic how a game can gather more attention than a carefully planned crafting fest, no?
That said, crafting has become one of the fastest growing trends among TLBB communities and with more options for items to be had ‘in-game’, players of this popular Chinese MMO are growing from strength-to-strength and reaping the rewards of their dedication to life skills.
Although the ‘skills’ that are needed to succeed in any MMO come with practice, achievement and failure, there’s not much difference between real life and MMO life on the grander scheme of things. We interact (chat to a friend), join a guild (join a group of mates) level up (gain valuable experience in life), mount fictional creatures (show off your new car), plus more!
Published by gaming giants ChangYou.com, TLBB has grown to be one of the most popular martial arts based MMOs in the western market. Currently in its open beta phase and with an ever-growing fan base on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, TLBB has witnessed a startling number of players dedicating their time to crafting, mining sewing and more – an indication by the developers that ‘Life Skills’ remain an important part of the overall experience for the community.
Popular life skills in TLBB include farming, where players can rest assured that a planting session can be as quick as 5 minutes or up to a staggering 70 minutes in-game. Of course, like anything in life, the more you plant, the more material is produced and therefore the rewards are greater. In order to harvest a farmland, it will need to reach a level of maturity before players can ‘click’ on the ripe plant/s to harvest within 15 minutes.
Players are also entitled to upgrade their farming skill by finding Farmer Liu (219,262) – the master of Farming skills, selecting "Upgrade Farming skill" and then clicking "Study" in the interface in order to upgrade.
With no limits to the types of life skills a player can possess, crafting and gathering incorporates a new angle of giving players the options to have as many or as little skills as they like. Players also have access to a prized possession – the ‘Skyline’ skill. This skill automatically allows players to locate others on the map, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “keeping tabs on someone”.
Another unique feature of this growing game is the random outcome recipe that players have on some life skills such as cooking and pharmacy. The items produced during the ‘cooking’ and ‘pharmacy’ processes either restore health or buff the player with additional stats for a set amount of time. Not only will players find a cheaper and more efficient way of creating items, but they are met with a fun lottery as to what they will receive at the end of it.
For all other life skills in TLBB, there are specific recipes that allow the user knowledge of what armour/weaponry is being created and which ones require specific items, plans and/or recipes to be made up. The Emperor merely leads warriors to the path of enlightenment, but the choices remains strictly up to the players themselves.
The power to further enhance a character in this highly ranked game, has taken one step closer to making ‘Life Skills’ even more important than ever in MMOs. Of course this comes at a cost called ‘time and dedication’, but it’s an incentive nevertheless that’s worth the effort both in life, and virtual life.
Dedicated players of TLBB have compiled 9 MMO related ironies:
- Spending lots of time earning gold but hate going to work.
- Trust a lion mount to get you from A to B, never trust one in real life.
- Staying up late to fight a boss, but counting down the clock to get away from your own.
- Going to the ends of the earth for a rare item but can’t be bothered to get a pint of milk from the local store.
- Quick to get married in-game but then delaying the inevitable to your partner.
- Taking more screenshots on your computer than pictures on holiday.
- Uncharacteristically sewing fashion in-game, yet when grandma makes it, it goes straight in the bin.
- Happily risking your life.
- Running around for endless hours…