Silkroad Online: Exploring the Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor
MMORPG.com's Carolyn Koh had the chance recently to explore the Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor, a dungeon that's a part of the game's high level expansion, Legend IV.
Silkroad Online is based on the historical trade network across the Asian continent. Set mainly in China and spanning mainly East and West from Louyang to Constantinople. Doing some quick reading, install and patch, I was taken for a spin in Silkroad Online's latest expansion, Legend IV: Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor.
Legend IV is a high-level expansion with the Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor meant for players level 70 and above that launched on March 17, 2009. This expansion also increases the maximum character level to 100 with accompanying skills, new quests and quests updates for Roc Mountain. A new armor set, the 10th degree armor set, as well as a new outfit available in the online store. A new Scenario Quest system also debuted at the same time, giving players cinematic cut scenes to enjoy.
Online tours these days are conducted with a conference number dial in and not text chat, with or without VOIP chat. I had been provided with an account and a character. Logging in, I found a level 89 warrior at my disposal. Hanging around outside the tomb, I dispatched a few critters that tried to chomp on my butt and dialed in to meet the rest of my party. The PR folk and the good people of Joymax.
This tour covered the Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor, a vast dungeon with six levels, each with different "camps". You had to make your way through new mobs, mini-bosses and the final big nasty herself, Beak Yung.
The legend of the Qin-Shi Emperor begins with a love story. An ancient white viper, Beak Yung had fallen in love with a mortal and took human form. Unfortunately, a suspicious monk uncovered her secret and imprisoned her within a tower and sealed it with a holy seal. Years passed and war came to the Silkroads. The tower and the seal were destroyed and Beak Yung wandered the lands until she came across the Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor, hidden in the mountains east of Jangan. She thought to meditate and rest her soul, mind and body, protected by the fearsome beasts that filled the massive dungeon. That was not to be however, as greedy humans began to infiltrate the tomb, lured by rumors of weapons of legend and riches beyond their imaginings, all guarded by an ancient viper who's death would make heroes of those that defeated her.
After playing with a few more temple guardians in the shape of monstrous Fu Dogs, I zoned into the temple and grouped up. To my surprise, our characters were not immune. We could fight our way in to see how far we could go, or make a run for it. The Healer bit it almost immediately, as did the Mage. After far too many TPWs, it was left to myself and Randall from Joymax driving Tangen, a bow-user with an immobilizing ice-spell taking me through the tomb. Kill a few mobs, dodge the others, enter a new area.
After dying a few times in an attempt to get up close enough to a mob for a good screenshot, forgetting that the moment I stopped, the bunch of mobs trailing me would dog-pile on and prevent any good screenshots, I gave it up and just followed Tangen through, running around in large circles, drawing mobs away from his corpse when he died so he could resurrect and resisting the temptation to stop. It sure would have been nice to have some AE skills.
The Take Home
The dungeon, I was warned at the start of the tour, contained no passive mobs. Everything in it will attack you and it is definitely a party dungeon. A great one for a dungeon crawl as it is designed in that fashion, with rest areas for the party to regroup that were pretty much safe unless a media tour group trained a bunch of nasties in. Luckily, the mob aggression in Silkroad Online is far more forgiving than some MMOs of old (EQ).
Visually, the dungeon is quite stunning. The vastness of the caverns, the scale of the architecture, the intricate textures and details of mobs were impressive, and I wanted to go as far as I could, take as many screenshots as I could, kill a few more mobs... find the bosses and see Beak Yung.
"Wow... you guys have gotten further in than any other party so far." A member who had fallen behind and dropped out, stated. I flexed my uber warrior skills. Not. But we did work well together, Tangen and I, skirting mobs and dispatching a few when that simply made life easier so we could look or try to look at some feature or other in game.
"With the level cap raised to 100, of course we have new skills, new weapons and armor. The drops in the dungeon are really pretty nice."
Unfortunately, in the hour we had allocated for the tour, we had not even made it up to the higher levels of the dungeon, much less visited Beak Yung in her lair - which was a pity. So we'll have to make do with the artwork that Joymax has provided and the few Screenshots I managed to take while trying to run through the dungeon, and without so many mobs on top of me you could not see anything but their bodies.