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Now hear me out, this game is amazing.
1) It's an adult game.
(It's in damn the launcher)
I've censored the thumbnail images here, full versions are linked. You're welcome.
2. There are no dudes
Every player character is a female with waaay too little clothing.
Apparently everyone is some kind of remotely-piloted android or something, and the 'droids were designed by an otaku. This game is mecha (robots, machines, etc) rather than elves'n'orcs'n'gandalf fantasy.
Everyone uses guns. Everyone can (for a short period of time) turn into a mecha-suit robot-thing. Keeps it interesting. In case, y'know, the outfits were starting to bore you.
3) The graphics are pretty damn good
I know, I know, we're all used to really good graphics nowadays (Aion, Vanguard, Age of Conan etc..), but still a valuable feature.
Plus, this one has waay moar anime-style eyecandy than the others.
4) The dialogue is entertaining, and my character is a badass!
5) I don't even like PVP, but this is actually fun!
Of course, I went the closest I could be to an Archer: The Punisher is roughly the mecha equivalent.
6) Dealing with spammers, and other misc. interface features
Yes, it has gold spammers.
However, it is a nice break from Rappelz to be able to rightclick on the name and block them from there. They are also automatically removed from your block list as the spammers are removed from the game. Which actually happens!
Double click on the map and it calculates a route and runs you there. Click on a linked NPC or place in the quest list, and it runs you there.
Way to pander to us lazy folks!
Saryah has a lot of fun purposely running manually and taking shortcuts just to beat me there and rub it in my face.
It is decent. The characters enough personality to be enjoyable, and the voices (while sometimes a little repetitive or... Age inappropriate...) are quite well done. Quests are given out on reasonable premises - "The bugs are chewing our cables and causing interference!", "Fanatics stole my sister!", that kind of thing. One time when you're asked to slaughter a bunch of mobs for an inadequate reason, the avatar begins to have inner dialogue questioning the motives.
It's not the most engaging or emotionally moving dialogue - but the depth far exceeds my expectation of a "Fanservice game".
Everything just sorta, you know, works.
Mostly, and most of the time.
Coming from Rappelz, it's a big jump.
If I had to rate it, where Rappelz was 50% and Aion was 100%, it would be about 80 - 90%.
(Grain of salt: I haven't played very much of Aion, nor of Scarlet Blade yet)
The weird (and impressive) thing is, you very quickly acclimatise to it (or maybe Saryah and I are just too familiar with ecchi themes).
My experience was a sudden realisation that I had stopped treating it as the trashy fanservice game it is deliberately dressed up as, because it is actually a very fun, fluid gameplay experience. At least compared to Rappelz.
We've already kind of taken liberties and created a RedSkies guild. We hope you don't mind, Sub.
We're on Valkyrie server, Royal Guards faction.
Guilds in SB have some of the niceties of other games - Guilds have levels and ranks, and you can 'donate' your gold or experience to the guild in order to 'grow' it. There is a little guild hall where I guess you could hang out or something, it is instanced per-guild. I don't think you can decorate it, however these devs actually have my faith that they are able to continue adding all sorts of awesome features. You cannot currently upload your own guild logo, so I'm hoping that comes soon. I would also LOVE to see them allow custom-print logos on armour like in Aion.
I would LOVE to see some of you trying it out.
Obviously this would not appeal to everyone, but I'm sure there are a few around here still who wouldn't let fanservice get in the way of a perfectly good gaming experience. It's about 2GB worth of installer, through their "I'm not the installer, you download me and I download it for you" thing, and it's about 6.5GB installed.
So, there's this train that regularly runs through one of the PvP arenas...
So originally, Vanguard was going to be my new home once Rappelz finally kicked the bucket.
...I think Scarlet Blade is now that game.
Jupiter is my 'pet' (ornamental, speaks its mind a lot).
Arkana is my race (female mecha battle droid thing).
No (apparently it just never occurred to my character).
Very helpful guide for the (okay, okay, fairly limited) classes and gears:
Neat guides for each class, rough outlines for skill point distribution:
I think it's a clever system, because it forces you to engage in the PVP to make up the experience at the tail-end of levels. It's why there's always a group doing Shirley at 40 minutes past every hour, and people have to escort that NPC across Caergate (with the chance to meet the opposing faction). It's also half the reason Sar and I join in for Janus and Turnpike.
If we get really desparate, the DPs (Bitterstone core at our level) are pretty good EXP, and everyone wants a healer ;D
As one who came from F2P Runescape (70+ firemaking, lol), the grind in Scarlet Blade really isn't a concern for me.
...Though we still groan audibly every time the main quests run out at every level.
Given that the level cap, it's probably a good thing there's a grind element to it.
It might just be my class and my personal style, but I actually enjoy the PvP (and even if we lose, I know I'm at least getting EXP out of it). It's not like Rappelz's PvP to me, which I had no interest in. I'd be grumpy about being forced into PvP as well if I didn't actually get a thrill out of it. But I do, and that is rare and exciting.
It makes me wonder about the purpose of playing MMOs.
For me in Runescape, it was to try and get as many of my free-to-play skills as high as I could. That was about the only point. There was no 'party' feature, no groups, no reason to cooperate with other players aside from chat or merchanting. I decided on my dream-armours, got them, and never really needed to strive for any other gear after that, just levels in combat, primary and secondary skills.
For me in Rappelz, the point of playing and grinding and partying was to get better gear and get more gold, in order to get more gold and get better gear, because you knew what was available and because of the immense grind element you end up spending decent amounts of time with the same people, and so competition is more or less encouraged - competition to get more EXP, get better gear, get more gold.
For me it kinda ended there, because I don't PvP and I know I'll never be one of the top levellers. The only thing that me getting more gold and more gear contributes to is getting more parties in which to chat and socialise, so people will like me and we can have fun together. Except that in r7 parties there's no time to chat (unless it's a "Menelik Party", in which we totally can because he's awesome). Once you hit the higher ranks, the grind is so great and the reward for it is so little it is indeed very disparaging - that's not the game's fault, really, that's neglect from its developers and publishers. Actually, toward the end there I was quite enjoying getting better at soloing, managing dungeon mobs by myself. It was kinda fun just being able to. However, the reward from it is so low it's laughable.
In Scarlet Blade, I at least see additional purpose for better gear: Doing better in PvP. Whether it's better armour to live longer, or better weaponry to get more kills or better contribution, I don't just get more gold to get better gear to kill the mobs that little bit faster in order to get more gold and better gear. This is the first game to actually inspire this in me, to make me actually want to engage in the PvP. It's not even a huge deal, it isn't the entirety of the game and being lousy at it isn't the end of the world - the opposite faction can't call you a homo and teabag you when you die, and with the exception of 'feeders' it is generally agreed that more players is an advantage, your team probably won't hate you for not being uber. At least once the grind is ridiculous and there isn't much else to do at a level cap, you still have something to do - fight for your faction. Particularly when the Royal Guards seem to be the 'underdog' in most fights these days.
I'm not convinced that Scarlet Blade isn't currently in "open beta". It doesn't expressly state this anywhere, however there are patch notes from March 27 saying that "Closed Beta" has ended, and most games would follow that with a 'public, but still being actively developed' period. If this is the case at the moment, perhaps they haven't advertised it the way other MMOs to simply because they choose to market the game differently to the norm (quite successfully too). Should I find myself in a position of meeting the level cap regularly and waiting for new content to be released, I'll probably play Vanguard in-between - It's definitely impressive, and having skills to raise will hopefully feel nostalgic for me - ohhh the memories of raising skills in Runescape. And if SB starts getting "too much" for me, if the PvP gets too elitest to be enjoyable, I might merge to Vanguard permanently and just do it very lazily - I probably won't go out of my way to play it, it'll be there for when I really feel like it.
As for you guys... I enjoy even just the thought that you're here too playing the same game, even if we're too far apart in level to play together. That said, if you prefer to play something else instead you really don't need to hang about on account of me and Sar. Scarlet Blade is definitely not a 'serious MMO', at least not at the moment. I definitely agree that other games (Aion, Vanguard, AoC) have a LOT more to do and are very very smooth, and I wouldn't hold you away from 'em. Dunno how I feel about AoC, I was immediately un-eased by its overall look and feel at the very beginning and I didn't give it enough time for me to adjust. Aion didn't really do it for me enough either, not as much as Vanguard.
When I run out of quests at the end of a level, I figure that's just permission from the game to play it less - log in each day to do the daily quests (and Shirley ^^), maybe an arena or two, and then log out. Skip the PvP ones if you prefer (though Shirley is pretty safe, usually).
However since I'm currently keeping in-line with Saryah, instead we just do the repeatable quests over and over until we level, doing PVP or Shirley as they come up. Which is also fine by me, I enjoy trying to find the best spot to set up my circles (coccoons), 'plant' myself (firing squad, can't move but +30% damage), and kill as many things in that time as possible. Getting crits feels good man. It helps to have a medic fulltime though ;D
Wowzers, wall-of-text mostly unintentional. I'm just sick and miserable and lack alternative entertainment :ar!
(We need more non-animated emoticons - Pretty please, Sub?)