With the sudden flood of MMORPGs, there is somehow a popularity for cutesy sort of games. So cute I feel somewhat diabetic. However, as I was clicking my way through Blue land - the world of Luna Online, I realised that many of the gamers are guys as well. I would assume that most people who play cute MMOs are girls, but it seems like guys are not immune to cuteness either.
At its core, Luna Online is a 3D point-and-click game. The graphics are pretty decent with proper shadowing and detailed textures. Although we all know how grinding is always an unpleasant chore, in Luna Online, grinding has been made to be fun and rewarding. You get random gifts as you continue playing, from crafting materials to buff potions. Even at death, you get a special quest that rewards you with items in order to compensate for the experience loss.
Basically, the land of Luna Online is called Blue Land. Life started when a goddess was born in this world and after billions of years of wandering, she created various races and living beings. However, there was a never ending demonic war between the demons who wanted to rule the world and the other races. When the dominator of the world; the Dragons fell apart, the demon race massacred the world. The goddess couldn't stand this situation hence she created the Elves. The elves forged an alliance with other races and fought their last fight to save the land. Under the ferocious battle, a loud sad roar could be heard and hence the world was separated with this roar. From then on, the people named their place Blue Land.
In order to get the true story, you need to visit various NPCs throughout your journey in Blue Land. They will tell you what exactly happened; you get to hear it from representatives of various races on what transpired. The story is quite interesting; somehow reminded me of a short novel. At least I didn't have to bear horrendous, mangled, bastardised English as the translation for Luna Online is pretty decent. The only thing that occasionally irritated me was the word wrap. Sometimes certain words are cut halfway and continued in the next line. That makes reading a chore and after a while my eye tend to hurt from trying to make out the words. But since this game is now still technically in Open Beta Phase, there is still hope for them to correct the word wrapping. I do hope they fix it, say like, soon.
Like I mentioned earlier, grinding is not too tedious. It's not a series of whacking random mobs repetitively. Of course there are still quests that require you to kill X number of mobs; however, the rewards are decent although frankly the experience you get is sometimes minute. However, I would say that just killing mobs does not level your character as fast as quests. For instance, you receive a quest to kill 10 Black Bears. You get experience for killing the mob, and when you are done, you get experience and goodies from the NPC when you've completed the quest. On top of that, you can literally kill two birds with one stone. Let's say you've received two different quests from two different NPCs to kill X number of Goblins. When you kill 1 Goblin, both quests will accept that 1 Goblin is down. This way, you can complete quests faster instead of wasting effort hacking the same mob again and again.
There is a built in counter in Luna Online that keeps track of the time you're logged on and the number of mobs you've destroyed. I checked that, and I realise it take about 24 hours to get to level 17. Not too fast, but reasonable enough so much so grinding is not too frustrating, although I have to admit it does get tedious, but that's what MMORPGs are about, isn't it?
Since I am a sucker for tweaking skills and crafting, Luna Online gave me somewhat enough satisfaction from that. The skills that can be learnt is a lot, however, I must rant that it is quite expensive to learn them. Especially since I am a mage, I need to learn a lot of magic skills. So, on top of paying SP to learn spells, I need to also pay with in-game gold. As for crafting, there are lots of equipment, accessories and even potions that can be compounded. Well, basically you can compound almost anything, from raw materials to potions. Some items can be compounded to many different items, something sort of an upgrade. For instance, you can compound copper pieces to copper bars, and subsequently a copper mold for various weapons. However, some items are not easy to find as only certain mob drops them. There are ways around this problem though. You can either purchase certain items from the merchant, or disjoint mob drops. Now, let's talk about disjointing. Instead of selling off unwanted equipment that you've picked up or not in use any more, you can disjoint them to produce other materials; which in turn can be used to compound into things that you need. A never ending cycle. Sounds fun right? Well, it is, if it wasn't for the fact that there is always not enough space in your personal storage or the warehouse. There is only limited space to store materials before and after they've been compounded. At the start, you are given 36 slots in your warehouse and 40 slots in your inventory. This may sound a lot, but after all the potions and seeds and various crafting materials, there is definitely very limited storage space. And to increase your space requires quite a large amount of in-game gold which is not easy to procure.
The whole point of levelling up is to as uber as possible. In Luna Online, there is a job change at certain levels. There is about six stages of job change where you can decide your class built to be a hybrid or a purebreed. For instance, purebreeds are like Mage > Cleric > Priest > Bishop > Cardinal > Saint. As for hybrids, you may start out as a wizard to boost your offensive damage, but in order to obtain more HP and MP, you decide to later take up the job as a Priest, then a Warlock at the next job change to boost more firepower. There are many ways to built your character class and this is another reason to level up as fast as possible.
As you climb up the ladder into the higher character levels, you will need to start making friends. Many quests will require you to party to take down the boss. This encourages players to be more sociable instead of a loner. You would need allies and friends to fight in high level regions, defeat raid bosses and take part in a unique feature in Luna Online; which is owning a farm.
When I started out, I really wondered what's the point of owning a farm. For one, it isn't cheap since you need to pay a fee, and since there's only limited farms available, your family would be evicted if they fail to pay the rent. How droll. It's really so ironic how that is so much like real life that I loled. What's the point of owning a farm, you may ask. Well, with a farm, you are able to plant seeds that produces items such as potions. It all depends on what seed you plant. The yield isn't as rewarding, but it's more of fun than anything else. And since you need to belong to a family to rent a farm, it gives players a sense of belonging and be more sociable. On top of that, what is a MMO without fishing? Fishing in timed tournaments gives you items and the fishes you've caught can be exchanged for fishing points, which in turn can be accumulated to purchase fishing equipments.
So far, the players of Luna Online are quite friendly. I have not encountered any jerks yet and it isn't possible for players to be ninja looters since whenever you kill a mob, the loot automatically goes into your inventory. However, kill stealing still happens although so far I have not encountered many Ksers. For those who do not like to be a carebear player, you can always request duel from other players. The other person can decide whether to duel with you or not, however, I still see Luna Online to be more of PvE than PvP.
One of my biggest gripe about this game is the lack of shortcut keys; especially the WASD movement keys. In order to navigate, you have to point and click, which is trifle annoying at times since it is way faster to bind everything onto the keyboard. However, I have to admit that Luna Online is a well-rounded game and realistic in a certain sense. The lower level mobs are either animals, plantlife or some mutated gremlin. This is true to its nature since humanoids are suppose to have brains and would be more aggro towards players. Entertainment-wise, the mobs wandering around the land does sprout some random ramblings such as “Why do people mistaken me as a dog?” or “If only I have a bit of the king's treasures”; which is moderately entertaining and provides some laughs while waiting for your HP or MP bar to replenish.