Clans, Cash Shop and More
Bruce Lee once said, when asked what his style of fighting was, that, "The art of fighting without fighting."
I finally hit 60 today. It was a struggle, I admit. If you haven't noticed I've been trying to get 15 levels every article I write but frankly it's not going to be possible. I had to really push with grinding out quests and meditation. All of that, though, was finally worth it when I got a new set of equipment, meaning more badassness going my way.
I've been asking myself why I play MMOs lately. The whole time I am playing I'm focused on raising my level, or my crafting skill, or getting new equipment, or making money. I finally reached the conclusion that it's the progression of my character. I just like becoming uber, which probably says way too much about my psyche and all that Barn Swallow, but I'll acknowledge the fact. I can't be the only one though; I think we should hold Anonymous meetings. My name is Segun and I like to gank mobs.
Joining a Clan
Oh, and I finally joined a clan and an alliance this week too. Yeah so clans, guilds in most other games, in Jade Dynasty have this nice feature where you gain exp from everyone grinding in the clan. While Clans can only reach 15 people, which might not seem like very much in regards to exp or size, it quickly adds up. Moreover it's a pretty cool feature. Sometimes the best innovations are small. I mean seriously, what better way to foster cooperation than to gain side benefits from being in a clan, especially a clan that has members who play a lot. Then there's the fact that your clan can level up skills as well which helps to give you a little edge while leveling. Alliances are collections of Clans, though their purpose is more unclear.
The Modo faction has three distinct forms to fight in. The Human form is a sort of catch-all melee Area of Effect form. The Demonic Posture form is the melee tank role, with a nice boost of defense over the Human form. Last but certainly not least is the Modon form. As the last form, it also tends to be the greatest form. It has the highest attack power of any of the three forms and the lowest defense, which wouldn't be all that unusual as a damage dealer. However, the Modon form also has the ability to range DOT. Frankly, the Modon has the ability to hit hard and fast from afar and then finish off the kill up close. All in all, this makes for a strong combination that is rather hard to beat.
Shopping at the Cash Shop
So I did it, I finally broke down and bought stuff from the cash shop. I know I said I'd wait a bit to see how Jade Dynasty plays without it, but frankly I wanted to get a few things I saw there. A lot of western players have issues with cash shops. I can understand that because most western MMOs have you pay a monthly subscription, so any cash shop items on top of that would seem rather harsh (I'm looking at you, Champions Online).
Still, Jade Dynasty is a F2P with a cash shop, which means that the company cannot make any money unless you buy items from their store; all of which means that I just paid Perfect World Entertainment to play for the month. I'm fine with that. Fact of the matter is that I'm starting to enjoy MMOs with cash shops more than the regular subscription ones. I think it's two parts, one when you get the cash shop, especially when it's a good one you can buy what you want when you want. There's a lot of opportunity to make your character and your gaming experience unique to you. A lot of Asian MMOs will have tens if not hundreds of pieces of clothing to buy which you can mix and match to your heart's desire. The other reason I like cash shops rather than the subscription model is the ability to pick up and play and stop at a moment's notice without the hassle of starting and stopping your payments. There are no wasted monies since everything will be there when you start playing again. (A side note for all of you who play Jade Dynasty, PWE seems to be having Zen sales on the last weekend of every month. One might take this to heart.) Anyway, what I was interested the most in Jade was the Dreamland Scroll. The Dreamland scroll allows you to get twice the experience as meditate when you're not playing Jade Dynasty. So with Ettarre in La La Land, I decided to play Amina.
Back to the Game
I took Amina to level 30 and I like how she's shaping up. Thirty is a bit arbitrary but at 20 you can join clans, 25 you can join alliances, and 30 you can ride a mount. Although the more I play Ettarre, the less I seem to want to play Amina. Go figure I make a DD character to balance my Tank, and by the time I'm done; my Tank has become a DD toon. Talk about irony. I think I'm going to leave Amina at 30 for a while.
So I leveled up my pet after I got to 60. I figured it was high time to get it done. My pet looks like a little plant. Some people have wolves others have rocks for pets, I have a plant. Leveling your pet is actually far easier than it sounds. Once you get sufficiently high in level you just throw on invigorate in Skysong or Billows and take a nap. Once you get back you should be well on your way to getting your pet to 60. Raising the level on your Esper is different because it's a mind numbingly time consuming task and at the rate that you get new Espers perhaps not worth the time. My pet rocks though, shame that they don't morph or change as they get more powerful. I mean come on we've all played Pokémon I know these little guys get power ups.
If anything sets Jade apart from the pack its ease of pickup. The graphics, storyline, quests, etc can mostly be all found somewhere else, yet the ability to just turn Jade on and increase your stats in some area, no matter how small, in mere minutes is a most welcome achievement. Anyways that's all for this week, I'll probably be spending most of my time next week getting gear for my pet and for Ettarre.