Since having let my subscription to Warhammer Online lapse, I’ve moved on to Atlantica Online, a free turned based MMORPG in the style of Final Fantasy games. Currently I have a level 28 character, but I’m not sure how much longer I plan to say with Atlantica. The game has an extremely weak story line and so far I’ve only seen 3 types of quests, but we’ll get into that later. The game does have a ton of features and options to keep you busy, but from my point of view it seems like it’s just one big grind.
Questing – Having reached level 28 I would have thought I would be doing more than just 3 types of quests by now. So far the only quests I’ve seen are tutorial, fetch and kill quests. Tutorial quests are actually very good and I’m glad they have them, some are extremely easy and should never have been created, but for the most part there useful. As I said earlier there are a ton of features and options in the game so it’s good to have these tutorial quests to help you learn the game and yes even at lev 28 I still get many tutorial quests. Fetch quest are exactly that, deliver this or go talk to that person and you’re done. Then there are kill quests which either tell you to go kill x number of these monsters or kill a boss. That’s it. I’m not sure if there are other type of quests later on, but having played to lev 28 at this point it’s pretty sad those are the only types of quests I’ve seen.
Traveling with Auto-Move/Teleports - One of the features that you’ll uses pretty much the entire time you’re playing is auto-move. Basically when you get a quest you don’t have to do anything except click the auto-move button, then you can go make yourself something to eat or watch TV. The auto-move feature will take you exactly to where you need to go, so when you come back all you have to do is talk to the person or kill the monster then click auto-move again and it will take you back to turn-in the quest. Honestly Atlantica is unplayable unless you have a TV in the same room because a good portion of your time you’re not even playing, you’re just waiting for auto-move to take you to where you need to go. Later on in the game you’ll get Teleportation Licenses, basically these allow you for 1 day (in game time) to teleport anywhere you have already been, which is great cause it saves you a ton of time, however they’re expensive so you won’t be using it all the time.
Above is a screenshot of one of my auto-move runs. I had to go to Rome to use the warehouse so I could store some of my items, since I don’t have enough money to buy a teleportation license I had to run back to where I was questing. As you can see it took about 27 mins, 27 mins! While a bit on the high end it’s nothing unusually to have 10-15 min auto-move times. While I like having auto-run cause I’d rather the computer run for me than having to waste my own time, it makes me wonder why they even have a 3D game world to begin with. Why not just make it a top down map where you move from locaton to locaton similar to Mythos. There’s no monster agro so unless your character runs directly into a monster your fine.
Combat PvE - Combat is the best part of the game, if you like eastern style RPGs like Final Fantasy you’ll feel right at home. Atlantica allows you to have up to 18 mercenaries in your group which I actually feel is way to much. Right now I only have 6 and feel like that’s enough, so I couldn’t imagine worrying about 18 units. The problem with Atlantica is that it makes PvE combat extremely boring, the monster you fight are way to easy unless you go way past your level then you die. The only time I feel like I have a challenge is when I’m fighting a boss, but the great majority of you’re time you’ll be grinding monsters.
Combat PvP - PvP combat is a lot more fun than PvE. The game gives you many options to participate in PvP, you can challenge someone that’s near you, go to the challenge board to find an open challenge or participate in the battle arenas which start every 2 hrs or so. Winning a battle you’ll be awarded items and XP, there’s no looting so you don’t need to worry about losing your items. Free leagues are battles that take place in the Rome arena where players of similar rankings fight over a 1 hr 40 mins time span to determine a winner. I’ve participate in a few of these although I haven’t done well yet. One of my biggest grips is that even though they put users of similar rankings together that doesn’t mean there similar levels. I was lev 28 with 6 merc and I had to fight a lev 33 char with 7 mercs. Not only did the user have an extra merc to fight with, but they were all 5 levels higher than my guys, so obviously I got my ass kicked. This seems to be a very common occurrence as most of my PvP battles have been one sided. On another note once the League ends your stuck in Rome, so for me that means I have a 27 min auto-run back to where I was questing.
Crafting – While I haven’t done much crafting so far, it basically works the same way as most crafting systems with one exception. Once you have gathered your ingredients, you need to build up work-load points to actually craft the items. The way to build work-load points is to either fight monsters or get work-load scrolls for winning PvP fights. I honestly hate crafting in MMOs, just a huge grind fest, so I tend to not do it.
Basically I’m not seeing the potential in this game, it seems like all you do is quest grinding. Since Darkfall seems to be having 1001 problems, I’ll probably continue playing Atlantica from time to time when I’m extremely bored. I really hate quest grinding so unless the game starts offering other things to do I don’t see myself lasting.