Monday, June 30, 2008

Dinosaurs, dragons, and soon - skellies! NineMoons in Ustiur

A long time ago I made my first foray into the Ustiur jungles, meeting distinguished base camp leaders Grandice, Queen of Pioneers, and Romina, leader of the Rescue Knights. I only made it as far as Ustiur Zona Dos in Cervantes, though, and had never even had a chance to take out the Tyrannosaurus lurking between Zona Dos and Zona Tres. [Got killed the only time I tried it, and never did it again.]

Not any more! Finally achieving the required levels on Carracci, I powered through Zona Uno and Zona Dos - and took out the mighty Tyrannosaurus on the very first attempt! I'm sorry there were no screenshots, as I was too nervous and too focused on the boss. I can go and try it again sometime, though....

But lest you think I'm just boasting, check out this screenshot:

That is, of course, my NineMoons team in Caracci taking on a Hydradon - and that means I've made it as far as Zona Tres! This shot was taken en route to the Skull Dungeon. Next time I log into the game, I will try to see if I can survive that famous place.

This week will see several major announcements on the blog, so please do stay tuned. I promise I'll really make it worth your while to see what changes are in store!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

[Picspam] Manila Leg, Globe Summer Gimik Games 2008

As promised, the pics from yesterday's event. I've made the pics load in smaller versions so those on dial-up won't have that long to wait before seeing them. Thanks to our unofficial photographer, who helped take the group shots. [You know who you are ♥]

28JuneGlobeSummerGimikGames001 by NineMoons
After I got sneaked in past the long lines by Veya, here she is in the very left of the picture as the tech team installs Granado Espada on the bank of PCs reserved for the game.

The very nearest PC in the foreground is connected to the IAH test server, and not to the regular game servers; it was one of the PCs used for the day's PvP tournaments.

28JuneGlobeSummerGimikGames004 by NineMoons
Once the event was open, I took advantage of the GE freeplay to both level and to sit down. That didn't stop me from taking pictures! Here's the crowd early in the morning, around the Dance Battle Audition segment. Farther on in the picture are the segments for O2 Jam and Ran Online.

28JuneGlobeSummerGimikGames006 by NineMoons
Veya on stage, during her [unfortunately] error-filled presentation.

When talking about a game, you're required to pitch it to people who might become interested enough to play it. Such a pitch means you have to be both interesting and accurate.

Besides, the presence of inaccuracies in your pitch will not only make you look very badly informed, a disaster if you're a product and community manager; but you'll also be panned / snarked about / criticized by your actual, current players. What kind of product manager doesn't know even the basics of the product he/she manages?

My dear, fighters in GE carry much more than just swords, shields, and pistols; musketeers cannot use shotguns; and wizards are not purely offensive characters - that's the elementalist you're describing - wizards are both offensive hitters and defensive buffers/debuffers.

Never mention the B-word - "bot" - in a presentation, and especially not anywhere near the AFK-leveling mechanic, lest you give anyone the wrong impression. Associating the B-word with a perfectly legal game mechanic is a major misstep. Don't we have enough trouble fighting off the bots already?

Above all, you might want to throw out some props to your community, which really does the bulk of your work for you [witness that sudden spike of broads in Carracci about the event, to which people were responding with there's an event?!], instead of just saying "balance your real life and your gaming life"!

[Corrections to that error-filled presentation are here, if you're interested.]

28JuneGlobeSummerGimikGames007 by NineMoons
Caracci faction sandwich! NineMoons and Mitchin of Takhisis flank Blacksword of Covenant.

28JuneGlobeSummerGimikGames009 by NineMoons
GE players and curious onlookers mob one of the PvP tournaments that took place at the event.

28JuneGlobeSummerGimikGames011 by NineMoons
Another Takhisis + Covenant faction group shot! From left to right: Zoldyak [is this the right spelling? corrected, thanks Blacksword ^^], Rivendel, Mitchin, Nate Reclusion, NineMoons, Blacksword, Kincaid, and Darrick Reclusion.

...I really just went to the event for the EB in the last picture, the free play, my Bellem card, and the Version 2.6 previews - but unfortunately, I never experienced that last one......

Saturday, June 28, 2008

[Guide] Introducing Granado Espada: An Overview

Today I went to the Manila leg, and final installment, of the Globe Summer Gimik Games 2008, at which telecoms company Globe partnered with IP e-Games to showcase and promote the game publisher's range of online games.

Since IP e-Games publishes Granado Espada, there were GE merchandise items to buy, PCs to play GE on, tournaments for current and new players, and a presentation from the country community manager.

[They promised a sneak peek of The Requiem, but all we saw were video snippets. I'm not sure if anyone actually got there. However, I left early, so I might've missed it.]

I was determined to have fun because I went to the event primarily to meet up with friends from Takhisis and Covenant factions. [Pictures will be up tomorrow, kids.]

However, the aforementioned presentation really, really got my goat.

I don't want to waste time dwelling on how full of fail and inaccuracies it was, specially when it came to describing the basic classes. So I will instead assuage my hurt feelings by trying to do that presentation right: shorter, more informative, more concise, more user-friendly, and more accurate by far.

What is Granado Espada? It's the first Triple-A MMORPG ever distributed in the Philippines. This critically acclaimed game, designed by Kim Hakkyu, has earned accolades for its unique Multi-Character Control and Xtreme Artificial Intelligence mechanics.

GE tells the tale of the conquest of a New World by courageous pioneers. GE is also the tale of the conflict between the Royalists and the Republicans. It is a game set in lush landscapes,with a setting that resembles our own Baroque Period and the Age of Exploration.

What is Multi-Character Control (MCC)? Among MMORPGs, GE stands out for its MCC mechanic, which allows players to control up to three characters at the same time.

What is Xtreme Artificial Intelligence (XAI)? XAI is a more efficient and balanced game mechanic. Players can choose a mode in which their characters can remain active and gain levels, without always having to stay in front of their gaming PC. XAI's primary component is its Away From Keyboard (AFK) leveling mode, in which players can choose a spot for their characters and press the Space bar, and the XAI keeps the characters killing monsters, therefore leveling even without the player's minute-by-minute attention.

What is a Recruitable Non-Player Character (RNPC)? Another standout feature of GE is that players can actually recruit many of the game's NPCs into their team. This allows for many different combinations of characters, and allows players great flexibility in facing the various situations that crop up in GE.

What are stances and skills? In GE, all characters either already have or can learn a number of stances, which are essentially suites of skills that allow them to wield selected weapons (or none) and use those weapons in specific ways.

What are the game's basic classes? In GE, players begin their adventures by selecting a team of up to three characters from the game's five basic classes. Each of the five basic classes has a male version and a female one. They can later on expand the team by creating additional characters, whether RNPCs or the five original classes.

The five basic classes are the Fighter, the Musketeer, the Wizard, the Scout, and the Elementalist.

Here's a brief overview of the five basic classes.

The Fighter is the game's basic melee-offensive character. A fighter can serve as the main "tank", or damage-absorber, for his or her companions. Fighters are very versatile, as they can learn a wide range of stances, which allows them to use a wide range of weapons:

no weapons - Bareknuckle
sword, sword + shield - Back Guard, High Guard
sword + sword - Hack and Slash
sword + pistol - Heaven or Hell
blunt weapon, blunt weapon + shield - The Defender
sabre - Middle Guard, Low Guard
rapier - Epee Garde, Sabre Garde
rapier + pistol - Avance Garde
greatsword - Plow Guard, Roof Guard, Sidewinder
polearm - Blandir Cruz, Mighty Cruz
dagger - Esgrima
pistol - Freestyle Shot
pistol + pistol - Double-Gun Shot
javelin, javelin + shield - Stab Guard

The Musketeer is GE's basic ranged-offensive character. He or she specializes in killing enemies before they even come close. They have a wide range of ballistic-type weapons to choose from. Being reliant on ballistics means they need to have a steady supply of ammunition.

no weapons - Bareknuckle
pistol - Aiming Shot, Freestyle Shot, Sight Shot
pistol + pistol - Double-Gun Shot, Outrage Shot
rifle, bayonet - Standing Shot, Kneeling Shot
bayonet - Close Encounters

The Wizard in GE is a magic-user with both offensive and defensive capabilities. As an offensive magic-user, a wizard can summon either his or her own psychic energies, or the powers of the earth itself, to deal damage to enemies. As a defensive magic-user, a wizard can use "light" magic to place helpful buffs on his or her allies, and "dark" magic to curse his or her enemies. At high levels, a wizard can even use his or her powers to fly, making them the only class capable of attack from on high.

rod, staff, special rod - Psychokinesis, Levitation
rod - ESP, Incantation
staff - The Illusionist, Anathema

The Scout is the main "supportive" character of the game, extremely useful whether equipped with weapons or without. Their major role, however, is when they have no weapons, thus they become the healer and buffer for a team. The scout uses an array of potions, plus his or her considerable knowledge of the healing arts, to keep his or her comrades alive and kicking. They can also set traps which can deal damage to any enemies who are lured into them. On the other hand, give a scout a dagger or two, and watch those same enemies fall in droves.

no weapons - First Aid, Fortitudo, Install Trap, Tactical Assistance
dagger - Esgrima
dagger + dagger - Dobalada Corte

The Elementalist, is the game's magic-user offensive specialist. As the name implies, an elementalist calls upon the forces of fire, ice, and lightning to kill his or her enemies. They have a few buffs that bestow elemental resistances and strengths upon their companions, but most of their skills are devoted to causing damage to enemies - and lots of damage at that.

fire bracelet - Possession Fire
fire bracelet + fire bracelet - Evocation Fire, Domination Fire
ice bracelet - Possession Ice
ice bracelet + ice bracelet - Evocation Ice, Domination Ice
lightning bracelet - Possession Lightning
lightning bracelet + lightning bracelet - Evocation Lightning, Domination Lightning
special bracelet - Lord of Elemental

What else makes GE special or different from other MMORPGs? From the very first Beta Testing period, one of the hallmarks of GE has been its active community. In particular, the community of GE players in the Philippines is responsible for two major streams of fan-contributed work: the player blogs, on which GE players show off their writing skills, and their knowledge of and love for the game; and the Fantazzztic Film Awards, in which players create films based on GE's graphics and mechanics [machinima]. In the Philippines, many of the player groupings, called factions in-game, schedule regular meet-ups in real life, and show the camaraderie and fellowship that Filipino groups are known for.

That's how you do it! No fuss or frills, nothing extra, and everything basic included!

Granado Espada: The Heroes
Book of Wind, a GE stances and skills database

Friday, June 27, 2008

First steps into a larger world


NineMoons in Carracci

Shandre, Standing Shot riflewoman [stance maxed] / Furyk, full-support scout [First Aid, Fortitudo maxed] / Radhanon, landbound wizard [Psychokinesis, ESP, The Illusionist maxed]

84 / 84 / 84

Ustiur Base Camp


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stompin' Rero

Takhisis Faction instant boss raid: just add one (1) Gerero!

So there we were in TK around midnight, happily leveling, when deputy faction leader Lecat began bopping around several fairly well-known maps, looking for trouble. As it turns out, trouble found him: Gerero in Gehenna Bridge, Channel 2!

I'd never even seen "Rero", the boss's nickname, before, so on a whim, I rushed to join Lecat and AlphaOmega there, and this is what we all got dropped into:



We were eventually joined by Mitchin, making for four families whacking at Rero. That meant we took a little while doing it, but in the end - it was done and ding dong the boss is dead! No one else was on the scene at that time, so all the spoils went to TK ^^

Great job TK! Let's do that again soon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Now, THAT'S living Granado Espada: Korean clay art

I was going to include this in the Today's random notes entry, but I couldn't resist spotlighting them on their own, as they're just so pretty!

Brace yourselves for extreme Granado Espada CUTE!

GEChibis Gavin+Scout
Gavin and a male scout [in Oiled Body, no less!] have a tea party!

GEChibis 3Cathys+Gavin+Scout+Clare+Bear
Catherines x 3 chilling, Gavin and the scout noshing, and Clare riding her Bearwalker!

GEChibis Clare+Bear01
Clare and her Bearwalker, up close and personal.

GEChibis Clare+Bear02
Clare and her Bearwalker, from the back this time.

GEChibis VincenteRio
Vincente Rio makes some cute music.

GEChibis Soho
Soho: gone fishin'!

Hungry hungry Gracielo!

Gracielo has SOMETHING on the brain for sure.

Do I hear an idea for GE merch? Plushies! We wish for plushies

[Thanks to DeSanggria for the heads-up.

...and now NineMoons ded of kyoot.]

Gavin, male scout, Catherine x 3, Clare + Bear
Clare + Bear, take two
Vincente Rio, Soho
Gracielo and his LIZARD

Today's random notes

From our friends at the GE fansite comes a new female fighter hairstyle: the Ponytail!

Front view

Side view

[What's the delivery mechanism? Karja Boxes? Premium Item Shop? And which version will this come out in? Can't read all the Japanese at that site.]

B-but I made a male fighter in Carracci, and I've no plans of making another fighter in the same server as of now T.T Dammit! I want one of these!


Yay Level 80 at last! Two more nights to 84 ^^


Heard yesterday that the July print edition of Game! is out on newsstands now. I wrote the feature article on Version 2.6 and the Version 3.0 sneak preview, under my usual "PJ 'NineMoons' Punla" byline. Since the articles were commissioned WAY back in May, a lot of the info in the Version 2.6 article is going to be slightly whacked-off. I couldn't even find all the information I needed to write the two articles properly!

I'll be taking August off from writing Game! articles; come September, I'll do a massive Version 2.6 re-update with all the corrected info from the release. [That's if the release goes through as planned, let's hope eh?]


Was very happy to hear from RCM Hrin about Granado Espada Hangaroo Version 1.0: she thinks it's "awesome" ^^ I asked her for some help with the updates for the game, and she gave it even though she's swamped at work - thank you so much!

Please watch this blog for the release of Granado Espada Hangaroo Version 1.2, sometime within the next few days ^^

SEA ANZ GE June Birthday: Nate Reclusion

Many happy returns.