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

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