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I will try and overview what this game is like. I love the game so it might sound a bit biased.
The game is massive, a large open environment for you to explore, kill mysterious creatures, find random things such as quests (There are many kinds of quests), loot (Random loot system with tons of stuff to find), find out about the lore of the land. In a nutshell, Asheron's Call 2 leaves off after the first game where the world literally was wiped out, which is why the game is very barren in AC2.
First, you choose your race. One of the races you have to unlock via quest in-game. Each races has a primary skill tree and a secondary skill tree FOR EACH of the following: Melee, Missile, and Magic. Experience is used as a currency to level up skills and you need "skill credits" to unlock skills to start putting experience into them. It is very open ended and you can make a bunch of unique builds that fit your playstyle.
You can see the skill trees for all the classes/races in this calculator: http://ac2vault.ign.com/races/xpcalc.html?human-records.js
Quests don't hold your hand in this game. You need to talk to NPC's to see if they have a quest for you and then they either give you coordinates or they give you a direction or something neither. The thing is, questing is a bonus, you go out and explore and if you complete the quest in the time limit, you get a nice experience bonus.
Another type of quest is called an "Incursion Quest".... These are started by killing monsters with a green name. Once killed, you will get a quest to kill X amount of monsters. There are solo incursion quests and group incursion quests. One of the fastest ways to level up is grouping up with 9 players and doing group incursion quests on higher level monsters.
Loot and crafting:
Loot in this game is very random. Weapons have a damage range and a combat delay. Armor has an armor value and a combat delay. Combat delay determines your attack speed. Since all gear is randomized, you will want gear that has high damage or high armor with a low combat delay.
On top of this, items can spawn with random enchantments on them. As you level up, the loot system gets better and better because you will find some ridiculous enchantments.
On top of that, you can add a "harmonic" effect on your items later in the game which is like a 3rd enchantment effect.
The loot system in this game is very fun and being a fan of Diablo 2, I can really appreciate that in a MMO.
While loot can be obtained from monsters and treasure chests (Order Caches), crafted gear is better than gear that is found. There are no limitations to crafting but it isn't easy. It's time consuming, but you will be rewarded in the long run.
1.) Monsters have a chance to drop keys called "Emblems of Order" which are used to open "Order Caches" inside of dungeons. They contain powerful loot that scales to your level.
2.) Dungeons in this game are scattered around the world and can be located on your map. Dungeons aren't instanced and can be explored by anybody. They all contain an order cache deep inside.
3.) Vaults are similar to dungeons but are instanced and require a Glyph to enter them. They are the main storyline of the game which give you a nice cutscene at the end revealing what is going on in the world. It makes you really want to continue leveling.
4.) Everything in the game uses an examine system. If you wanna see the stats of an item or a monster, you must examine them.
5.) When examined there are color codes for monsters: Orange Monsters = Group Monsters (More HP, but tons of XP) Blue Monsters = Rare Spawn (Bonus loot) Green Monsters = Incursion Quest Starter White Monsters = Normal
6.) The game has a semi-steep learning curve. From figuring out how to customize controls, UI, chat, navigating the world, portal system, crafting.... It took me a few hours of really looking at everything to understand but it was well worth it. Helped me see how great this game is.
7.) There is PvP in this game but it depends on the server ruleset. 3 types: Normal, KvK, and Open PK. Currently the beta server is Normal but even on normal servers there are FFA arenas you can enter. People are requesting the server be changed to KvK (Kingdom vs Kingdom) which is probably the best system. You align yourself with one of three kingdoms and the other kingdoms will be KoS. You can also be neutral if you don't want to PvP.
8.) There is much loot in this game. Not just gear, but random potions, item enchantments, tokens for quests/items, dyes, musical instruments which each have a set of songs.... It makes killing monsters really fun because you never know what you could find next.
Overall, if you can get past the fact that it was made in 2002, slightly dated graphics, clunky UI but manageable, strange movement (The game has an acceleration system when you move), you will see that the game is really amazing. One vast open world where you are free to do what you want. Experience is a currency used to train skills so pretty much all monsters are valueable. ALL monsters have a static XP value. So if you are stuck and can't kill level 30 monsters at level 30, you can just kill stuff thats lower with no penalty.
For a game made in 2002 and re-released in 2012, I have to give this game an 8/10... B+ It is better than a lot of the current MMO's but everyone has there own taste in games.
Asheron's Call 2 really captures what an MMORPG should be. Progression is almost infinite, large game world to explore with tons of stuff to discover, open ended skill system where you choose what kind of character you make. Experience is used as a currency to level up skills, in-depth crafting system that rewards the dedicated crafters, group play is heavily rewarded with tons of experience but you can also solo if that's your thing. This game was ahead of it's time in 2002, the reason it was shutdown was because of the "boom" in MMO's in 2005. We had Everquest 2, DAoC, and WoW plus a ton of others which literally broke other games populations. Now the MMO market is 20x the size it was and AC2 re-launched. If you are a true MMO gamer, you would be missing out on this gem of a game. Semi-steep learning curve but once you get the hang of it and get used to the 2002 feel (animations/graphics) you will find that the game is incredible.
Funny, for being as horrible as you make it sound it sure did get solid reviews.
This was 9-10 years ago for these reviews. Though I'm sure the common battlecry of "they paid for good reviews!" is still forthcoming. Maybe even a "lolmetacritic". I skimmed a few reviews that still had links to the review (yay for 404) and saw no mention of those issues. Granted, the lowest rated review I could check out was 75 but you'd think someone else would've noticed and mentioned those issues right? At least in passing?
Unless you're willing to prove who you are and then prove your name is in that guide, then that's a pointless claim to make and nobody is going to buy it. Unless you meant you wrote your name inside your copy of the guide.
While checking out those reviews this line made me smile.
The developers are not kidding when they say you need at least a 733mhz CPU with at least a 32MB second or third generation video card.
The game was released years before WoW and still completely bombed. I remember a lot of my friends back in Dark Age of Camelot disappearing for about 2 weeks after AC2's release, then they all came back and blasted the game as trash. And wouldn't you know it? The game closed its doors not too long after because it didn't retain enough subscribers to be financially viable.
Everyone's tastes are different, and more power to you if you really dig the game. But don't hype it up with your over sweeping nonsense.
Edited by Sicom#1101 on 12/24/2012 12:20 PM PST
What MMO nowadays releases complete? Not even WoW came out complete... I agree, AC2 started out slow, but not for the reasons you say.
Quests received from clicking totems? That's an issue for you? Not every MMO in the world needs to have NPC's with "!" over there head. Also, Dereth was wiped out after Asheron's Call 1 that is why the world barely has any NPC's. There are NPC's that give you quests, but you need to explore to get them.
The entire game is exploring and it does a great job at making it feel like an epic journey. You always feel like you are progressing with the skill system and you always feel you are rewarded because the game mechanics are amazing.
I played WoW for 6 years, so don't think I'm saying this cause I'm hating on something. I'm here to share the knowledge about a great game that is overlooked. AC2, in it's current state (Maybe not at the state at launch) is one of the best MMO's of our time.
And seeing as you were an AC1 player, I can immediately tell you are one of the ones who hate AC2 because it isn't like AC1. AC2 is a 100% completely different game then AC1.
Cheers and Happy Holidays
Edited by Raserei#1287 on 12/25/2012 9:34 AM PST
AC2 is not and was not a "great" game. It failed in a time when their was an order of magnitude less competition.
How comes i have an incredible blast playing it these last 2 weeks ?
I played a lot of WoW in my life, from the US beta, till MoP, it's a great game, but you know what ? i enjoy more playing AC2 than anything else atm. Isn't that all what matters ?
I think you have not much clue of what you are actually talking. You might want to give AC2 another look. Your AC2 knowledge sounds to me as much outdated.
Oh, and just as an exemple; there are a lot of mobs who have no ranged attacks, like some varietys of olthois or buruns for example.
What killed AC2 is not AC2, but the extremly poor marketing that existed for it, and clueless people like you.
There is no honeymoon period. It's actualy in beta state, and not the best period to play for new players. A lot of crashes and other interruption, but i like it as much to just wait till the server is back up again each time, and lots of others do so as well.
Just did some nice quests together with 7 others in a group. We had great fun , beleive it or not !
Currently level 40 in Asheron's Call 2. It has been an epic journey not only learning the game and it's mechanics but exploring and meeting new players. AC2 really brings back that feel I got when I used to play Everquest. Grouping up with players and hunting together as a large group to get XP. The thing is, EQ didn't have much past that. AC2 on the other hand has no many choices. You can solo, group, craft, explore, quest, or socialize. You can pvp in the pvp areas, you can join a kingdom and pvp for your kingdom in the kvk zones.
There is a ton of randomized loot like in Diablo. The crafting system is epic and there is a craft called "spellbinding" where you can suck the enchants off an item you find and put them on other items or sell the enchants to other players.
AC2 is epic. I won't bash WoW even though I know Arcanian is heavily influenced by it. I played WoW for 6 years in a very hardcore manner. There were times the game was epic as well and there were times the game changed too much and wasn't for me anymore. AC2 is still epic.
So epic it failed miserably.
No, I don't. I'm very passionate about the MMO market and it's past, present, and future. That being said, a lot of the MMO's released in the past 5+ years have been sub-par at best. To me, bringing back AC2 AND the fact that games like The Realm, Everquest, Asheron's Call 1, Meridian 59, Ultima Online, , and DAoC are still running to this day is important.
Why is it important?
There are MMO's being released to this day that stay open for less than a year in some cases and SHUTDOWN. The fact that 10+ year old MMO's are still being played and preferred over the newer MMO's says a lot. It might not say a lot to someone who is just an average gamer and looks at graphics. It say's a lot to the players who care about the past, present, and future of MMO's. If this trend keeps up, we won't have an MMORPG genre anymore. There are already tons of bad games giving a bad name to what an MMORPG is.
Edited by Raserei#1287 on 12/28/2012 3:25 PM PST
And all of them have tiny populations.
The MMO population back in 1997-2004 was very small compared to what it is now. Of course the audience will be smaller for this games. Especially since there are now over 1000+ MMO's to choose from when back in 2004 there were a handful at best.
The new MMO's cater to a larger audience, by doing so, in most cases, turns out to be a lackluster game.
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