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[Monster Hunter OL] [Review] First 10 Levels in MHOL CN ._.

So what’s new in the Chinese MMORPG scene in 2015? While I might not really wna call this game “new”, it is once again, a CN MMORPG in CBT. Yes, the notorious Tencent Closed Beta Phases that make all gamers cringe ._. I sometimes wonder whether 90% of the players would have already given up on the game and went in search of newer stuff even before the beta tests end, simply because there are too many of them and they last too long. Also, with the huge number of players in China, getting Beta keys is simply annoying (you most probably won’t get it). Sometimes we buy a key, sometimes we wait and watch the beta videos made by the lucky players to satisfy the crave for more action, and sometimes we just grow tired of it and focus our attention on yet another up-and-coming game in its CBT phase as well D:

So… the game we are looking at today is the MMORPG version of the legendary Monster Hunter franchise. MHOL (Monster Hunter Online) has gotten a lot of attention from the wide Monster Hunter fanbase all over the world, since it now provides an open world with loads of players to hunt with!

Firstly, I would like to introduce myself as a person entirely new to the Monster Hunter world. I have never played any Monster Hunter game before and am unaware of how amazing MH games are and how much I’ve lost out by not laying my hands on one. Here I am, trying out first-hand this MH game, and along with some opinions about the game, I’ve recorded a few video clips documenting my adventure through the first 10 levels in MHOL (I have not played much of the game simply because I’m really busy with school work during this testing phase). Mind you, getting to level 10 is pretty easy in the game, and as with most other RPGs, the game only starts when you get max level. However, many issues and features of the game can be experienced just from the early levels.  Well, let’s get on with it and enjoy some of the beautiful stuff MHOL has in store for us!

Note: What you are gna read below are ONLY my personal views and opinions about the game, and you should take no offense from them. If you are a die-hard Monster Hunter fan who will get hurt seeing bad comments about Monster Hunter related games, please move your cursor over to the top-right hand corner of your screen and click once. Proceed with caution!

 

First Impressions and Character Creation

The first thing I look out for in a game would be the graphics. The loading screen and character creation boasts some nice graphical detail that I was pretty happy with. It might lean more towards the cartoony side of things though (especially the character model) but it’s fine. It surprised me that the in-game graphics were pretty high-quality too even at low graphics settings. Sound was fine, maybe cos I had no prior experience with MH games and this should be the moment where veteran MH players jump and scream “I MISS THAT SOUNDTRACK!” or stuff like that.

The attractive loading screen.
The attractive loading screen.

The video above shows probably all of the available character creation options currently. It’s not as detailed as many of the MMORPGs now like Revelation and Blade and Soul, but you can still create your handsome gentlemen or burly giant and stuff. Personally, this wasn’t enough for me (I have really high expectations for character customization, especially in the looks department :3 and with this system, I constantly end up with the same face that I deem acceptable, so it’s pretty linear I feel).

 

Combat, Controls and In-game Interface

Let's learn how to... walk.
Let’s learn how to… walk.

As an old DN and GW2 player, ducking with spacebar was really awkward. Being able to sprint in towns and in combat areas was nice, and movement felt pretty smooth. I felt rather left out though, since the game did not really explain most of the interface. For instance, what are the bars below the HP bar? As a player new to MH, there really were many crucial aspects and mechanisms of the game not explained.

Ye, where do you get the meat to cook with, and how different are these cooked meat  from the ones given in the chest?
Yea, where do you get the meat to cook with, and how different are these cooked meat from the ones given in the chest?

I do believe the developers need to make the game more newbie-friendly, since after 10 levels, all I know is how to accept and complete quests, open my inventory and storage, go out hunting and that’s about it. Opening the Hunter Ranks tab and all the confusion begins again. Maybe they will explain the ranking stars to me as I progress in levels, but now I don’t even know whether I’m 1 star yet though I believe I’ve been past a quest related to that.

A wild boar has appeared!
A wild bear has appeared!

So now we fight. As a mainstream MMORPG player who plays games revolving around dazzling skills and staggeringly complicated skill mechanics and interactions, it’s unbelievable that a game only allows me to hack… and slash. Well, LB lets you perform hack/slash combos at the enemy (space) right in front of you, while RB makes you jump a few spaces forward and perform a slash attack, along with a substantial recovery time. And that’s pretty much the tools you have to slay a monster at this level. I’ve heard you will eventually be able to perform combos though, and I hope that brings a lot more color into the combat system. Also, the different classes of weapons should also add some depth to the combat. MH fans would not find this an issue though 🙂

And of course with every RPG game, there’s crafting! And to craft you need to first get those materials. That’s where harvesting comes in, and also where I find the icons of items rather frustrating to look at. When the backpack eventually gets filled with all those gathered materials, and the icons offer not much of a clue what they actually are, you would simply have to hover over each and every icon to find the one you want to select, which is a pain D:

 

Quests and Growing Up

To eventually become a hero, we have to level; and to level, we need quests. Main quests up to level 10 were all pretty straightforward and easy, and they were basically ones that teach you some of the features of the game, like where the storage is, equipping weapon and going out on a hunt etc.

We needa go out hunting if we play Monster Hunter!
We needa go out hunting if we play Monster Hunter!

Eventually, we reach level 10, and the game rewards us with our first armor set!

So, I got curious about the equipment available for us as we level (looks are important! as always :P), so I continued checking the blacksmith out to get more info.

The above video shows all of the weapon and armor sets I could find. For the armor, only the chest piece is shown to preview the theme of the armor set.

 

The Town and Other Peaceful Places

A busy environment, laggy too.
A busy environment, laggy too.

The button to hide other players is F8. The developers of recent games have been kind to allow us to hide other players’ models while in town, as there are simply too many. The lag was not as bad as in Revelation and BnS since the town is considerably smaller and details are fewer, but hiding others was still a must in order to run the game smoothly. As stated, the towns are small and concise. There weren’t many redundant NPCs walking around to add to the lag, and the NPCs are placed in easily-accessible places. By level 10, you would already have been to the other town, where the blacksmith and other vendors are located at. So to make towns smaller, they split essential NPCs into several towns? Not much of an issue though, since loading between towns were pretty quick and sprinting made it less painful too.

I could not find any button that links me to a “Cash Shop” of sorts, which nearly all recent CN MMORPGs have right from the beta tests (Revelation, I’m looking at you). Well, many Chinese players nowadays are rich and it would be surprising to not have the game developers grow rich with them together. I doubt that the game would sustain without a cash shop, so it should find its way into the game sooner or later, but as of now, i cannot judge how “keng” or money-sucking this game is gna be. Good news though (or bad news), there’s a weapon/gear enhancer beside the blacksmith, so all us hunters can enjoy better gear while out facing dangerous creatures!

 

Level 10…

So that’s basically all I experienced while playing this game for a short time. Sadly, I’m not particularly attracted to this game. It feels more like a game made for all you handsome and pretty Monster Hunter fans, and the combat system just doesn’t suit my style of playing. I’m really sure this game will satisfy the needs of the fans though, so dear MHOL fans, please do not let me deter you from trying this game out! But for a mainstream MMO player like myself, I guess I’ll be keeping my eyes out for say… Moonlight Blade CBT next?

The above video shows me attempting a random hunt at level 10. It was supposed to be a hunting board request but apparently I screwed it up while getting too excited chopping the bird up. This was also the moment I discovered that monsters have points of weaknesses and those are probably the keys to victory against them ._. The vid also shows me wasting a lot of time running around chasing the damn bird. Forgive me pls, I’m simply not used to bosses running away from me 😛

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[ToS] [Guide] 8.1 is here!! Let’s hurry up and… PR Daji Amelioration :P

The new patch (8.1) is out! While I usually don’t do much nowadays even after patches, this time round my long-time ally card (PR Daji) is clearly dying to be Ameliorated, so I have to do eeeet 😀

So, Ame 4 PR Daji time!

Ame 4 done within 10 mins! Amelioration stages are definitely getting easier and easier :P
Ame 4 done within 10 mins! Amelioration stages are definitely getting easier and easier 😛

Notes:
1) Each Amelioration battle takes 20 stamina.
2) Total Souls needed to achieve Ame 4 = 1250 souls
3) Most stages involve getting high number of combos or dissolving many runestones of your element in order to deal damage. Once you meet the criteria, though, the boss drops like a fly.
5) Most enemies (except Ame4) all bear the skull, meaning if your do not kill them before their first CD is up, YOU FAIL.

 

Amelioration 1

Souls required: 100
Stamina required: 20
No. of stages: 2
Ally: Max Fox De vil CD20

Stage 1: Dissolve 5 or more Dark runes to deal damage. Enemy CD: 8.

Stage 2: Dissolve 6 or more Dark runes to deal damage. Enemy CD: 8.

Overall, pretty straightforward stuff. Get the required number of combos that turn and the boss will die in 1 hit. I play more on the safe side for this, and saved the required runes on board before I dissolve, thus removing the luck factor involved in relying on skyfall. Take your time..

 

Amelioration 2

Souls required: 200
Stamina required: 20
No. of stages: 2
Ally: Max non-pr Daji CD22

Stage 1: 4 x revive “friends” Light pawns. To put it simply, perform a full attack and proceed. Enemy CD: 2/3.

Stage 2: 2 x creatures that require dissolving 9 or more Dark runes at once to kill. 9 or more needs some skill in storing runes so be careful. Enemy CD: 8.

Stage 2 requires storing of Dark runes and you need to be careful not to let skyfall ones take away your stored runes. 8 turns is still a long time though even if you make 1 or 2 mistakes.

 

Amelioration 3

Souls required: 350
Stamina required: 20
No. of stages: 2
Ally: GSS ._.

Stage 1: 4 or more combos to deal damage. Enemy damage: 1542, CD: 2.

Stage 2: 8 or more combos to deal damage. Enemy damage: 1897, CD: 2.

So, stage 1 is pretty easy, and it’s best to take your time in stage 1. Not that it matters though, since with your PR Daji’s high Recovery, the damage dealt to you is easily healed even with just 1 set of Heart runes! Stage 2 calls for your Daji active, since 8 combos is really pretty hard from raw spinning. Be careful to count the number of sets you have on board before using the active though, as it is still very likely to not have 8 combos even when using the active!

 

Amelioration 4 ^^

Souls required: 600
Stamina required: 20
No. of stages: 2
Ally: GSS 😀

We see a hefty amount of Souls required for this Ame 4!!
We see a hefty amount of Souls required for this Ame 4!!

Stage 1: This YangJian’s HP decreases by 10% each turn and you can’t damage him otherwise. Enemy damage: 1012, CD: 1. 2 turns will drop you to about 20% HP, which is easily healed up. Hence, if you are short of Heart runes, heal every 2 turns and clear as much of the board as possible to make way for more Heart runes.

Stage 2: Rune-spinning time reduced to 2 sec. Enemy damage: 2025, CD: 3. Again, this calls for you to stall till your Daji active, and it also means you cannot clear this Ame if your Daji has HP lower than 2025. CD3 makes it easy to stall, despite the 2 sec spinning time, so plan out your route well before attempting! Once you get your active, he’s a piece of cake ^^

 

So, I recorded the battle in Ame 4. For your reference. As usual, please forgive lousy rune-spinning and stuff ._. I’m not a pro.

And that’s all for now! This is considered very easy stuff to clear and I hope all my many many many PR Daji allies spend some time Ameliorating her! Goodluck Havefun!

[ToS] [Patch-Preview] ToS February Patch 8.1 Preview Article Translations and Information ^^

This will mainly be a translation post regarding the upcoming version 8.1 patch for Tower of Saviors. Another long article which looks scary to even start translating. Regardless, here we go…

Note:
– All information about new features or cards and abilities are extracted from the news articles online. My input will only be deductions or guesses built upon those information.
– As with all translations, info may be lost or changed to a certain extent. This is mainly due to the fact that for the majority of the info, only a 1-sentence description has been provided in the article without video evidence of how detailed mechanics work. Thus, certain deductions have to be made on vague descriptions.
– The main article or source will be linked at the bottom of the post.
– Sources which were written in English and do not need to be translated will only be linked.

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Brand New Areas to Explore

NEW CONTENT!!!!!
NEW CONTENT!!!!!

So for the first time ever, we are getting a new “map” at the “homepage”!! Swipe down from the normal page to access the new map. The castle on the top left hand side can be used to access the Guild interface, and will progressively enlarge (develop) as you level up your guild! The top right floating thingy is used to access PVP and multiplayer. Multiplayer spirits count will also be displayed above the PVP structure. The statue below is reserved for future events so stay tuned! More buildings and structures will come in the near future, along with many new features in ToS 🙂

 

New Series of Dragons

It’s been some time since we last saw a new dragon face. Now, a new series of dragons will arrive once again, but sticking to the current trend of racial harmony in ToS, they will enjoy bonuses with Gods and Fiends (ermm.. i forgot the new name for them).

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New Dragons finally. Stop using the Faugn Ursula Novalis Daji plox.
New Dragons finally. Stop using the Faugn Ursula Novalis Daji plox.

Active: For 1 turn, Dragon attack 1.5x. Convert 5% of actual damage done by Dragons into HP recovered, max of 50% of max HP healed. Active and leader ability damage not counted.
Leader: If there are only Dragons in the team, for every combo 125% increased damage. (Do I see a Dragon Daji ._.)

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This leader allows Dragons and Gods to be tgt. If same element attack is launched and recovery is done, there is a chance of critical damage.
This leader allows Dragons and Gods to be tgt. If same element attack is launched and recovery is done, there will be critical damage done(?).
Green version of the Dragon/God leader. Active: For 1 turn, whole team attack 2x. Next turn's recovery = 0.
Green version of the Dragon/God leader. Active: For 1 turn, whole team attack 2x. Next turn’s recovery = 0.

Pretty good active really, since the drawback is minimal. Not often will you desperately need to heal the turn after a burst, unless in Transmigration where you have to use a same active more than once. Else, just leave this skill near the end of a battle, or whenever you have full HP and can take a hit or the mob next turn doesn’t have CD1…. the list goes on and as you can see, it’s pretty manageable 🙂

Some nice damage with Hertz.
Some nice damage with Hertz.
Fire Dragon's Dragon + Fiend team.
Fire Dragon’s Dragon + Fiend team. Active: All received damage is reduced by 20%, lasts until no more Red runes are dissolved. When the effect is in place, CD will not recharge.

Red Dragon leader ability from video: When only Dragons and Fiends are in the team, team attack 300%. If additional effects are in place, there is a 25% chance Fire damage will increase by 50% (effect can be stacked).

Light Dragon likes racial harmony. Active: For 1 turn, attack increases according to the number of races in the team, max 2.25x.
Light Dragon likes racial harmony. Active: For 1 turn, attack increases according to the number of races in the team, max 2.25x.
Dark Dragon's abilities have already been shown. This is just here to display the awesome damage and healing.
Dark Dragon’s abilities have already been shown. This is just here to display the awesome damage and healing.

 

Journey to the West Amelioration ❤

No new Power Release for this patch, but Amelioration for one of the strongest series in the game is still great 🙂 JttW cards will generally enjoy a boost in Atk and HP.

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The immensely powerful JttW converters get upgraded again.
The immensely powerful JttW converters get upgraded again.

So now Ao Guang (and his mega double convert siblings) turns all Blue runes under him into enchanted. Additionally, the next CD will be reduced to 6? Not entirely sure what it meant, but I’m guessing it would be too OP to let his CD be PERMANENTLY reduced to 6.

Wukong active: For 3 turns, ignore defense of all mobs. For the 1st turn, team attack x 1.5.
Wukong active: For 3 turns, ignore defense of all mobs. For the 1st turn, team attack x 1.5.

Additionally, I think the article suggests Wukong’s leader ability gets upgraded too, to 80% damage reduction…

Daji, on the other hand gives boost to Atk and Rec as long as you dissolve 3 or more runes under her.

 

Interface and Quality of Life Upgrades ❤

New Guild missions.
New Guild missions.

Further changes have been implemented for guild missions. New missions and stages have been introduced, allowing players to gather materials in addition to obtaining the black keys when completing them!

New attack animations for the new Dragon series and XuanYuan series (claw swipe and sword slash animations).
New attack animations for the new Dragon series and XuanYuan series (claw swipe and sword slash animations).
Sword slash ._.
Sword slash ._. Pardon my England really.
New settings options to change graphics details and attack animations.
New settings options to change graphics details and attack animations.

 

The Official Video

Very good damage IF all the actives are used! The flaw I see would be that 20% damage reduction is not really useful in this team, especially if you have 2 of these actives D:

 

Sources:
February 13th news article on Patch 8.1.