You might recall — because your entire life revolves around my petty gaming habits — that one of the three MMOs I’m looking forward to playing this year is the small and strange AdventureQuest 3D. I did a preview piece on this game for Massively OP last month, but to sum up, this is a 3D MMO version of a long-running flash game and is supposed to be pick-up-and-play on many different platforms.
There’s a glimmer of promise and potential to fill a niche here, particularly if this proves to be very playable on mobile. I’d love the thought of being able to log into the same account on my iPad, iPhone, or computer and enjoy the same experience. Not a lot of games are doing that, obviously. And after talking with the devs last month and hearing their passion for making a world full of explorable secrets and ever-evolving events, I’m honestly intrigued.
It doesn’t hurt that this studio has a strong underdog thing going on with it. The kickstarter did fairly well, yet this is a small team without a lot of formal titles trying to make a game that we’d all want to play. From what I can tell, the community is both small and rabidly fanatical about both AQ3D and the game’s developers.
That said, right now the game is so pre-alpha that you can practically see the painters rushing ahead of you to slap colors on mobs and developers shoving gold in their pockets before you arrive. I logged in last night to putter around without devs lurking around (not that they were unpleasant!) and was instantly beset by a small group of what I’m going to call AQ3D enthusiasts.
Somehow I got recognized as being an “interviewer” (which was an odd term — “press” or “media” is usually more the standard). I guess that the devs have been trying to take more press on tour through the game, and when I was on my own tour, the player train that followed us was quite substantial. This shows you the game’s size and incomplete status, when the mere appearance of anyone different or slightly important warrants rapt attention.
I ran around the game’s sole town, Battelion, looking to see which structures I could enter (there’s only about three or four right now). A sign at the inn advertising “Adventurers (not yet) needed” amused me, a tip of the hat to AQ3D’s alpha status. As I’m doing this, people are following me and we’re chatting about a few features.
I really do like how I could switch classes on the fly, so I tried out both the Warrior and the Rogue. Warrior wins out, just because he can do a whirlwind attack that’s awesome for groups of mobs.
But despite the devs drumming up interest in AQ3D and trying to raise general awareness, the truth is that the game as it is is practically barebones. There are four classes, a handful of small zones, one town, and a single (new) dungeon. The sound didn’t quite work right for me the whole session and the animation/latency was off, too. From what I remember, the game played a lot tighter during my dev tour. Maybe I broke something with the settings.
I did run a dungeon — twice, in fact. Right now these look to be public dungeon experiences, as in anyone can run in and participate. So it’s more like being part of a small dungeon zerg alongside strangers than a steady march through dangerous territory. AQ3D is trying to create these segmented dungeons where each section has a different challenge, but all I saw so far were rooms (outdoor areas) where you had to kill all of the mobs to proceed. At the end was a boss, some poor level 5 NPC that got steamrolled by all of the level 12s.
Rough and not quite ready for adventurers as it is, AdventureQuest 3D is definitely on my radar. As I said, I have a feeling about it. Probably won’t be the be-all, end-all of mobile MMOs, but it could well be an accessible, addictive, and slick little title when it comes out. A sleeper hit, even. But the developers have a LOT to do here before the game’s purported release this fall.