Thursday, June 7, 2007

Pioneers' Reconnaissance: NineMoons's report

(Part One in a series of posts for today, documenting 6 June in the Philippine Granado Espada Community.

Also known as something to read while the long maintenance goes on - hey, a girl can dream, yeah?

WARNING to dial-up users: picture-heavy post, and you'll see why.)

June 6 marked an important day for Granado Espada in the Philippines: it was the date of the very first PvP tournament held by and for the local fans and community of players.

Led by Product Manager Ivee Feria, and Assistant Product Manager / Philippine Community Manager Bea Navarrete, the staff of IP-Interactive - Granado Espada's local licensee - put together an event called Pioneers' Reconnaissance, with the cooperation of several internet cafes spread across the country.

Because the objective of the event was to pick the Philippine representatives to the major Granado Espada PvP tournament scheduled during the Singapore commercial launch on 16 June, excitement was running high in the community in the days leading up to the event.

Your intrepid blogger now brings back this report of the event from two of the tournament's venues, both located in the National Capital Region of the Philippines.

I wish there was some way by which I could have covered the other regional venues, but that's what living in an archipelago of over 7,100 islands will do to you. ^^ The other venues included cafes in Baguio, Cabanatuan, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.

First, a recap of the rules of the game: each team would consist of two players, and each match would be fought by two teams - the matches were six-on-six in terms of characters. Only families based on Cervantes server could join the tournament, and they could be of levels 30 to 72 only. Players could bring a limited amount of potions (30 Healing Potions, 10 Healing Liquors only), and an unlimited amount of orbs, ammunition, and resurrective potions. A list was provided at, detailing which characters and RNPCs were eligible for use in the matches.

Now, on to the two venues that I was able to go to.

I Hooked Cafe, Katipunan Ave., QC
First my partner and I went to this brand-spanking new internet shop located in one of the busy university districts, which had just opened, and was already promoting Granado Espada during its soft opening.

From about noon onwards, the shop began a free play period for the game, in which people who walked in and registered at the IP-Interactive table would be allowed to play Granado Espada, free of charge, until around 7 in the evening.

Students from several major schools and universities came to try out the game, and my partner and I did what we could to help them through their first steps into the New World of Granado Espada.

IP-Interactive not only brought posters and a prize draw to keep the gamers interested, they also brought a box full of game installers! And that was pretty much the first time I saw them here in my country - we'd pretty much had to download the closed beta and the current clients on our own.

Pioneers' Recon 01
My partner holding up our copies of the installer.

Pioneers' Recon 02
A boxful of OBT installers for the National Capital Region!

Pioneers' Recon 03
The installer DVD and the nifty keyboard diagram insert.

Pioneers' Recon 04

What interested me most about the installer, as you can see in the pictures, was the fact that they were playing up the added story angle of the political parties now contending for Granado Espada. A nice picture of Simon Ayende and Princess Gabriella forms the backdrop to the important question: "Who Will You Support?"

Ivee soon came in to the venue to both introduce the game to the crowd of mostly new players, and to talk about the tournament itself. The ultimate enticement was, of course, the part where the Philippine representatives would get to compete in the finals during the Singapore commercial launch.

Pioneers' Recon 05

That's me in black, with four new players of Granado Espada ^^ Notice the pin badge?

Phoenix Internet Cafe, Makati City
We next went to the second National Capital Region venue, about an hour's commute away, and found the event being supervised by
pCM Veya (as she spells it on the forums and on her blog).

(I'll be putting up the informal interview I did with her shortly; please watch out for it.)

Here, we actually got to watch as the tournament unfolded before our eyes. Six players - Crowe, Stormgeist, Ino, Overseer, ford, and DarkSide - got their families ready to rumble with each other, and with the other families who were also preparing at the other venues.

A quick overview of the National Capital Region players and their families:

Team 1:
Overseer - Claude (Claude Baudez), Kachiko (female Wizard), Tsunade (female Scout)
Ino - Escrima (male Fighter), Katrien (female Scout), Magisch (male Wizard)

Team 2:
Crowe - Russet (Gracielo), Brunhilde (Adelina Esperanza), Shayla (Emilia Guliano)
Stormgeist - Kallista (Grace Bernelli), Serra (Grace Bernelli), Daenerys (female Scout)

Team 3:
ford - Rain (male Fighter), Seth (male Fighter), Roshelle (female Scout)
DarkSide - monami (male Scout), therule (male Elementalist), jariel (male Fighter)

The elimination round used the round-robin format, and in three quick matches ford and DarkSide were knocked out of the running, notching two losses out of two matches played. Crowe and Stormgeist carried a 1-1 win-loss card into the next round, as Overseer and Ino swept their matches for a 2-0 slate.

Pioneers' Recon 06

Overseer and Ino in the middle, receiving their prizes for being the first qualifier from the National Capital Region. They are flanked by IP-Interactive staff - and that's pCM Veya on the right.

Pioneers' Recon 07

Stormgeist and Crowe (the girl!) receiving their qualifier prizes. (They won the caps during the prize draw.)

Pioneers' Recon 08
The two qualifying teams from the National Capital Region.

With the two NCR teams decided, we waited on the regional results, and the winners of the elimination round were the following:

Mindanao: Hush and Amelia(TM); Grandee and micamania
Northern Luzon: oGTo and DeathAngel
Central Luzon: TressPassing and wattz
Southern Luzon: snapshot and Crixca
Visayas: Street and Arcleaumont

As we waited for the regional eliminations' results, Ivee and Veya informed the contestants that the first placer in the tournament would go to Singapore and be counted as the country's representative at the commercial launch PvP tournament. The players who placed from second to eighth would, however, still be part of the Philippine team in the same event, and would also compete in the tourney, except that they would be playing their opponents from here.

Also, it was announced that all eight winners would be the proud winners of limited-edition Granado Espada jackets, each with the legend "Team Philippines" or "Philippine Team" emblazoned on it.

The quarterfinal round saw all families from all venues in action against each other.

There was some surprise when Crowe and Stormgeist, both of the GoD faction, learned that they would be duking it out with Grandee and micamania, as the latter was also a member of GoD. Grandee and micamania won that match.

At the close of this round, the following teams stood triumphant: Overseer and Ino, Street and Arcleaumont, Hush and Amelia(TM), and Grandee and micamania.

These teams then fought it out among themselves during the semifinal round; and a repeat of the earlier surprise was staged when Grandee and micamania found themselves squaring off against Overseer and Ino. This time, it was Grandee who shared a faction with Overseer and Ino, all three being members of CARNAGE. Some good-natured ribbing was had by all during this match.

Finally, two teams remained for the national finals: Street and Arcleaumont, and Overseer and Ino.

This time, the match format was declared as best of 5 - the first team to take three wins would earn the right to go to Singapore to attend the commercial launch and personally join the PvP tournament there.

Overseer and Ino never gave Street and Arcleaumont a chance; they swept their opponents in three matches - and were declared the champion of the inaugural Granado Espada tournament in the Philippines.

(The secret weapon? A Levitation Wizard apiece, raining a hail of Photon Splash upon their opponents.)

Pioneers' Recon 09

Overseer and Ino, soon after winning the national championship!

And that's my report from Pioneers' Reconnaissance.

Philippines, let's support our team for the Singapore tournament - show these guys some love and wish them lots of luck! PM them, friend them, shout their names all over the servers!

Team Philippines is: Overseer, Ino, Street, Arcleaumont, Hush, Amelia(TM), Grandee, micamania, Stormgeist, Crowe, oGTo, DeathAngel, TressPassing, wattz, snapshot, and Crixca.


Other pictures of the event can be found at this Photobucket album - click here!


Veya said...

hahaha! well-written! ^_~ thanks for covering all the way until late in the evening! =P

NineMoons Family said...

@ veya

all the pictures should be up now~!

up next: the interview with you...^^

Jac said...

i get the feeling that certain someone is a big fish over there^^

Lovely interview and so direct not a vague question indeed. thanks for keeping us readers busy busy while the maintenance goes on


Jacquot Alastor

NineMoons Family said...

@ jac

hmm. big fish?