We've been in the beta and file this first look, in advance of a full preview
Our hero survived, though he would be treacherously murdered and rumors that the Twelve Demons return to the land... we now seek new heroes to keep the land and the people safe. Are you that Hero?
You have 3 character stats to build:
As you level, you gain stat points and skill points. The Martial Arts Kyu/Dan system of ranking is employed. Kyu being a "student" rank and Dan being a "master" rank, in the martial arts world, Kyu ranks count downwards and Dan ranks count upwards. How they are employed in Hero Online is an upward count, using Dan ranks as a main level and Kyu ranks as sub-levels. So you started off at 1st Kyu and at level 10 became 1st Dan 0 Kyu. Got it? Okay. Good.
The problem I faced was that the manual on the website really wasn’t much help and there were no in-game tutorial or NPCs who guided you in what to do. So I was standing there with several thousand other beta testers running around, all asking the same questions that I couldn’t ask because the "Lion’s Roar" (worldwide chat channel) required Chi to use and at level one, I didn’t have enough Chi. All the better to prevent annoying abuse by those simply creating new characters to spam a channel but for someone entering the game, it was completely frustrating.
Given my Diablo experience, I looked at my inventory. 3 weapons that I required 2nd Kyu to use. Point and click to move. No problem. The camera didn’t follow "over the shoulder". Problem. How do I swing the #$!! Camera? I cheated and asked the PR rep. the next day.
I moved on outside the castle. See those wolf pups? I attacked them by double-clicking on them. My character screamed "Kaieeeee!" and went after them with feet and fists. After several kills, I was level 2 and told to go see an NPC to get a quest. I tried out all the weapons available and then some as the wolf pups dropped weapons, armor and gold. Where they kept them, I don’t know and didn’t want to know.
I watched all the different character’s attack animation, graphical effects and sounds. If there’s one thing I can say about Hero Online is that the graphics are clean, bright and effective. The combat animation really flowed beautifully and I enjoyed the martial art poses. Graphical effects accompanying each move and skill attack were not overly intense or blinding and indeed, I enjoyed going into areas with more players to see what their characters did.
There is also a form of crafting in game which is handled by a Blacksmith NPC. Again, little information is available except for the most accessible type, Composition. Ala Diablo, you can improve your weapons and armor by inserting Gems into it. Be warned. If you fail, you lose all. Your precious gems as well as your item.
What else did the game feature besides neat graphics? Kill things, loot stuff, kill things. Get a quest. Kill more things? Information from MGame is lean, but we are told that the game really takes off at level 30 and are promised more features.
Jack Stanley, the lead designer has told of the messenger system, the dueling and PVP warfare system, the master / disciple system, carrier pigeons, side love stories and more, which were not available during closed beta and are being patched into Open Beta.
Information about Hero Online is only now trickling in on its official website. As successful as this game is in Asia, I can’t help but feel that there is more to the game than meets the eye, and will have another report a few weeks further into Open Beta. I recommend a "try for yourself" and read the Tips and Guides on the official fan site forums to learn the ins and outs of the game, and I leave you dear readers, with a few tips of my own.
You can comment on this article here.