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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 10/30/08)  | Pub:Valofe
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The Minstrel

By Guest Writer on September 22, 2009 | Developer Journals | Comments

The Minstrel

The Minstrel, Atlantica Online’s newest mercenary, is finally here, and ready to take center stage by storm. No, this Minstrel is not your typical medieval bard, and he’s definitely not your harp-wielding, muffin hat-wearing servant in tights either. Rather, this Minstrel is a she, and she’s in scantily clad leather and chains, handling ridiculously eccentric guitars that would make Jimmy Page jealous. The Minstrel will be the first mercenary able to wield instruments.

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The Minstrel recruitment quest was influenced by one of the most celebrated violinists of his time, Niccolò Paganini. You follow Nina Paganini, a talented virtuoso herself, who is banished from her hometown in Italy when fear of iniquity arises because of her otherworldly talents. You find out that she is now situated in the Dallas Lawless District, where her parents have been murdered by Machine Gun Brooks’ gang. As she looks to recover stolen keepsakes of her parents, she seeks your assistance to avenge her parents by ridding the streets clean of violence.

We took a slightly different approach with this quest line, which engages players a bit more when doing the quests. It has a much more dynamic feel, so players won’t simply be going to Location A to kill Monster A. For example, one of the quests require you to ambush a boss, so you will be staking out and striking when he least expects it. Another quest will require you to use items to lure out certain monsters. So in all, the experience will be much more engaging, as players will have more interaction with the in-game environment.

To hire the Minstrel, you begin a chain of quests from the NPC Nina Paganini near the city of Dallas. You must be of level 100 or higher to begin the recruitment quest. However, because she is a C-class mercenary, you do not necessarily need to be level 100 to have her on your team. The fortunate few can simply pay a higher level player for their summoning stone. With the Minstrel being the first musician mercenary, we kept her as a C-class so that she could be more accessible to players.

The Minstrel is a magic-heavy mercenary designed to effectively counter Guitar or Power Saw mercenaries. In addition, we did not have any guitar-wielding mercenaries so we only saw it fitting to put her in. Like the Hwarang, the design process was very similar. We had our artists sketch and outfit the mercenary while our designers mapped out her stats, abilities and magic skills. We then added the finishing touches like the graphical effects and the total process took about three months. But we had some hiccups here and there. It was especially tough recreating a character using historical facts about Paganini. And redesigning the Minstrel to fit the Atlantica World was the most difficult aspect of the development cycle.

As a mercenary who can seal magic and movement, the Minstrel is a highly capable mercenary with the ability to disrupt the cadence of battle. So rethink your strategies because the Minstrel is here to rock and roll.

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