Dark or Light

Skills of Martial Artists

Guest Writer Posted:
Developer Journals 0

A new developer journal from the guys bringing 9Dragons to the West

While you read this, I want you to use your imagination and create a picture in your mind. A vision of a distant land, many, many years ago. See in your mind's eye ancient China, some time during the Ming Dynasty. See yourself, a poor young peasant, struggling down the dusty street of a small village. You do not have even a single coin to call your own. Still, you may not have money, but you do have great dreams. You have dreams of glory and wealth. You have dreams of standing up for yourself against the village bullies who terrorise you. But how? An old friend told you that by learning the skills of Kung Fu you could grasp these dreams. But who will teach you? How will you learn?

This is the starting point of your journey in the game 9Dragons. You do not need to use your imagination any longer because your story will unfold in front of you. The skills of Kung Fu are there to be learned. You can change the course of your destiny in ancient China with the decisions you make.

However, unlike other MMO's, you don't just grab the biggest weapon available and start hacking away at the monsters. Oh no! In 9Dragons you must earn your moves. Firstly you need to train your inner "Chi" through in-game mini-games. Then you need to find a trainer who will teach you the basic moves of Kung Fu. After that your mission is to find a clan and join. Only there will you learn the specific skills of your clan and be trained by your Sifu (or teacher).

Not only will he teach you Kung Fu moves but he will also teach you about the history of the clan and the war that raged across China ten years previously. The skills he teaches you depend on the choices you make in developing your character. However, that is not the only way to learn! Sometimes the clan leader will see you and will teach you some of his exclusive abilities. Treasure these because they are rare and deadly. Sometimes you will embark on quests and these may help you to unlock new moves for yourself. Perhaps, if you have the right abilities, you may be lucky and find a tome on those you defeat detailing secrets of Kung Fu. Who knows?

Each of the skills you develop belongs to one of the following categories: Active, Smashing, Charged, Finishing, Casting, Rounding, Channelling and Mind techniques. Within these are literally hundreds of different choices of abilities. All of these have strengths and weaknesses against specific opponents. Your choice of which skills to use is as important as your ability to use them. A warrior's greatest weapon is his mind!

Ah, yes, so you have your skills, you say. Is that it? Do not be confused into thinking that possessing a skill is the same thing as mastering it! To master any ability you must use it, train it and develop it. Each clan has extensive training grounds where you can hone your talents before you leave to follow your quests. Your training takes place under the guidance of a mentor and he will ensure that you understand how to employ your newfound gifts.

Lastly, but very importantly, there are skills that you learn to make you more powerful whichever clan you are in. The two most important of these are meditation and Lightfoot. Meditation is one of the first skills you come across. It enables you to recover your life and "Chi" after battles. Meditating prevents you from becoming vulnerable to weaker opponents after you have defeated their stronger rivals. Lightfoot is a very useful skill because it makes your body lighter and therefore enables you to run faster. Whether this is towards your foe, or away from him, is another matter entirely! You can take my word for it that sometimes you need to leave a situation pretty sharply!

So, let me conclude. There is a lot to learn in 9Dragons. Skills do not always come easily. They need to be earned and then practiced. That, however, is the enjoyment of the game. Everyone will pick a different path and your skills will be very different from anyone else's. You will become a unique martial artist.

A far cry from the poor peasant that you once were.

For more details on the game please visit www.9dragonsgame.com if you are from North America or www.9dragonsonline.com if you are from Europe.

-By Ken Johnston


Guest Writer