AdventureQuest 3D didn’t actually launch this past week — it was more of a soft launch, what the devs are calling open beta. From what I can tell, it marked the start of a persistent game open to the public, so that’s a soft launch in my book.
I’d been pretty excited to give this a go on my mobile devices, but that wasn’t in the cards. While the PC, Mac, and Android versions all came out on the 19th, the Apple version is (at the time of this writing) still going through the approval process. I told myself that was fine, I could wait… and then impatience got the best of me and I logged in over the weekend on the PC client so that I wasn’t completely behind the curve. I’m counting this as my Try-It Tuesday pick because I did spend a lot of time fiddling about in it.
Thus, Syppi the Rogue entered the world. The art style of AQ3D seems to divide people, but I’m on the side that likes it. It’s a somewhat low fidelity game to accommodate the mobile crowd, but the stylish cel-shading art helps one get over that.
I’m pretty new to the whole AdventureQuest scene, but what I got from the start here is that it’s very tongue-in-cheek and willing to be all sorts of meta. Zorbak, the somewhat-evil little critter that serves as your tutorial guide (despite him hating them) has a lot of laugh-out-loud comments if you take the time to thumb through his whole dialogue.
Zorbak is very up front with the state of AQ3D — open beta is still beta, and this game has a long, long way to go. It’ll probably launch before the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be near what we’d think of a launch state. The devs have a good track record of pumping out content, so here’s hoping.
And off I was. The current client uses the same interface that’s designed for mobile, although a PC-specific UI is presumably on the way. What would probably feel very natural for a mobile user is a little awkward for the PC. For the most part it’s easy to intuit, but there are missing chunks that require some adjustment.
The combat and movement both are fine, which is definitely a big plus. No auto-attacking here; you’re going to be spamming the action buttons a lot. Could use more contact response from mobs and sound effects. I liked how my character looked swinging her giant dagger around (a sword, really).
The tutorial is pretty entertaining. The dialogue from the few NPCs is worth reading in full, and I liked how this above guy was flinging skeletons to and fro in the background. Nice touch.
I started off with a bare-bones inventory save for my awesome Massively OP cape. I’m going to wear this with pride! Do pink and orange go together? No matter.
This… is not the MMO you want to play if you’re worried about fourth wall-breaking. Sally here was a hoot, particularly when you brought her back the amulet of her mother, confirming her death. Sally kind of cracks up and goes insane. I hope she becomes a supervillain later on.
Following the tutorial is the introduction of the town of Battleon. It’s an amusing place to poke around in, especially the inn. This picture begs an explanation.
The inn also has a “secret” passageway down into the sewers where some level 10 slimes await. Too high level for my blood, so I’ll come back to that later.
The band playing on the stage was pretty amusing. Would have loved to hear music from them, though.
About half of Battleon’s buildings can’t be entered, as you get a notification screen like this one. It was like this in alpha, and I had hopes that these places would be built by the time open beta went live.
I’m guessing this studio loves its little in-jokes among the small dev team.
Even tombstones are under construction! Lots of work seems to have gone into these screens.
Anyway, I went out into the first zone and gamely worked on quests. Without a map and with only the ability to track one quest at a time, it was a little confusing. I would love a multi-quest tracker — and quests that pay out better rewards than a paltry handful of coins and XP. I’m still wearing my gear from the tutorial.
I remembered back during my dev tour that there was a cave with a giant chicken/dragon thing, so I made my way in there. Took a lot of fights against these level 3 beasts to get to her at the center. Finally, there I was, drinking in her majesty. Then she pecked me to death.
AdventureQuest 3D will be mostly a mobile activity for me, so I was happy when the Apple store unlocked it on Saturday night. The download was incredibly small and quick, and I was back onto the same character I played on the PC not 15 minutes previous. The interface definitely works better with mobile as it is and I ran it through the paces for about a half hour with no difficulty. I couldn’t enable some of the more advanced graphic effects without bringing it to a crippling halt.
All in all, it should be said that AQ3D is very, very much in a beta state. It’s a little too grindy and the gear system isn’t the clearest in the world, and there isn’t much to do right now other than follow the string of standard quests and hope to level up. It’s probably best enjoyed on an incredibly casual basis right now until more features and content gets added. I think it has a lot of potential, to be sure, and the core functionality is there, but this isn’t as full-featured as you might expect from a standard (even a cheap Asian) MMO. There’s probably no shame in waiting until release.
On the other hand, the Halloween event starts this week, so I do want to see what they come up with for a haunted house. Should be interesting.