As I threatened to do in the last posting, I’m looking at Jade Dynasty. With Asian MMORPGs like this, the western MMOs really need to start innovating soon, otherwise they’ll be history in a while. There are a lot of very convenient but straightforward new ideas in this game that American and European developers apparently ignored or simply didn’t think of for years. And this is a free-to-play game.
First off, my very creatively named character starts next to a smoking box labeled “Fume of Sin”. That’s a bit confusing. But the first quest NPC is nearby, so all’s fine. The music is nice and Classical Chinese sounding, without being too cheesy. Lovely.
I love the pick up button! When you kill something and it drops loot, just press this button (which you can hotkey) to pick things up. Beats anything except e.g. Dragonica’s “walk over to pick up” feature. That’d make a good addition to WoW, EverQuest and Runes of Magic.
Here we have the quest tracker. It not only tells you who gave you which quest, you can also click on any quest NPC name to auto-walk to that location (somewhat like Runes of Magic). Bonus feature: don’t know what to do? Press the quest suggestion button and you receive the (clickable) name of an NPC to find. Extra bonus feature: if you don’t know where the mobs you’re supposed to grind are, click the mob name. You’ll auto-walk to their area. Just like in Runes of Magic.
Also, click anywhere on the mini-map and you auto-walk there. Western MMOs are in dire need of this feature.
The translation is quite good, technically, but quest text so far is rather boring. The translation does produce some bizarre things, however, like quest NPCs who say “I won’t talk to you!” and then hand you quest rewards, or this guard giving me the “smelly feet” quest.
And finally, a combat screenshot. Combat is your usual happy fare, but attacks feel strong and beefy from the start. After all, you’re supposed to be some martial arts dude. You can kill these wolves and toads with a single hit, by the way. This makes combat feel very quick without being twitchy.
All in all, the game (after ten minutes, mind) feels on par with Runes of Magic, which I’d already class above WoW in terms of player convenience. I’ve tried meditating in town (to gain experience while AFK), and that seems to work as well, though I can’t judge if it’s really enough to make an exp difference.
I have a whole world to explore still, such as all the crazy shit you can do with pets. There are a lot more options than just riding some mount. You get to fuse with your pet, use pets to raise stats and even let the pet fight in your place while AFK.
Fun times, and the west is no longer innovative in this genre!