Hero Online Launch Day Preview (Page 2 of 2)
Gambling. Gambling comes in two different forms in Hero Online. There are lots which show up randomly after you kill creatures of your level and higher. A “lot” is an object that is used as a counter to determine an answer by chance. The graphic shows a bunch of scrolls in a container that’s shaken and one tossed out. As the scroll unfurls, you see what you’ve won; xp, items such as healing tea, another shake of the lot or perhaps you just lose. Another form are the “Fortune Boxes” that drop off creatures or are rewards from GM Quizzes that show up randomly. You have to pay to open these boxes and you may win or lose a fortune, or gain yet another fortune box.
GM Quizzes are simple math addition questions but can be annoying as they always seem to show up only when you are engaged with five creatures all 12 levels higher than you. Rumor has it that they are used to seek out botters as your character is teleported back to the starting Castle if you fail to answer or answer incorrectly 3 times… which may explain why my four year old niece ended up back in the Castle one day while playing with my pet. “I was letting your doggie kill the bad men and pigs but suddenly, suddenly I was in the Castle!” She was pretty upset. Poor dear.
Boss / GM Events
Houses are the names for guilds here in Hero, and more are beginning to form as players get to know each other through message boards and through the open chat channel.
Server-wide chat. Currently in its final week of Open Beta, Hero Online has attracted a large number of English speaking players from all-over the world on 10 currently available servers. I’ve seen players from Malaysia, Singapore and the UK as well as the US chatting on the common server-wide channel and the community seems to be building up nicely there. Chi is required to use this chat (also known as Lion’s Roar), so although there seems to be at least one “interesting” character who likes to troll on each server, I have not seen much evidence of people spamming or cursing on the channel.
Drops of cash, weapons and armor are plentiful, as are other useful items such as health and mana potions. You do start with killing animals, but they aren’t bats and rats. They are Wolves and Wild Boars as large as your character, Bears twice as large as a mounted player and fantastically dressed humans. Interestingly enough… the first bandits you encounter outside the starting city, look like Chinese court officials with handkerchiefs tied over their faces. Nice humor going there.
The grind… yes the grind. It did not take combat long to get repetitive as there were only so many zones and so many mobs to kill. Grouping does alleviate the boredom a little if you get into a good group and if there is a little interaction. Finding a good House gives you a little more fun, as does challenging yourself with higher level mobs – which also cuts down on xp grinding time.
On the other hand, what made Diablo such fun and the feature I find lacking in Hero Online, was the character development. You had an entire advancement tree to play with and spells at every level. In Hero, you finally receive weapon skills and a profession skill at level 10 that you can put skill points into. You know? All those skill points you kept getting and wondering how the heck to use? Level 20 before you can purchase a horse… and although each book has 3 skills, it’s 15 more levels before you can get more skill books at 25, level 30 before the cool Wind Drift skill – an ability to “Drift with the wind” or fly… you get my point.
There are only four characters, and six types of weapon skills, bow, sword (single or double handed), throwing weapon, rod/spear & fist skills. Each character gets 2 types, and there are four professions to choose from. So re-playing the game with a different character is less satisfying than would be if each character type were unique. I lose count of the number of times I’ve killed Andariel in DiabloII with different characters. I’ve built a “pet” druid, a melee druid, a fire mage, a paladin, an assassin and wiped the cow level, numerous times. But I’m not terribly excited about playing another character to the higher levels in Hero Online.
In conclusion I will say that players who enjoy the Diabloesque type games will probably enjoy Hero Online. Those who want a more immersive world with involving tradeskills… will not.
I’m still enjoying the Hero Online but I want more, especially in character development. As closed mouthed as Netgame has been about the full feature set, I’m sure we’ll all see much more content enter the game in the weeks ahead, and we’ll see what else comes in, what features are free and what is paid content in the Hero Shop.
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