Sunday, June 2, 2013

J1 - Perfect World Review


The perfect world. My second MMORPG I ever played. I started around the early 2000”s when my first mmorpg came to a halt. I played for a few months, stopped, and returned to my original mmorpg, stopped, and spent a good 2 years in Perfect World Internationl.

When I first entered in PW I was using the only English server available, in Malaysia. No other version existed unless you read Chinese. I was suggested to try it out by a family member and friends that never touched EQ or WOW. They were 100% PW fans. They brought me in, showed me around and watched me quit later.

I returned to my original mmorpg because some expations came out, which I “beat” in about 2 months. Quit, and returned to PW, but this time PWE was created in US and PWI is the “official” title to PW games. The guild had transferred here because they saw, in Malaysia 3 things: 1) The GM’s all bailed. 2)The influx of gold spammers, non active players, and nothing new. 3) The promise of faster content in PWI US

A little about PWE. They sell the core game, the core world if you will, on the market to publishers. It is a chinese title that is considered a business and you must be qualified to buy the rights. You can purchase it and use it for private use, or run a business with it but must give the cash to the creators. The core world is large and consists of about 90% of what you see in game. The rest are optional updates and add ons particular to the US version. You can find their stock market ticker on Wall Street and find the game published in a few countries.
When I first played I was in the core game only available, and in Malaysia becaue only English server. Different nations were present and guilds of French, German, Polish, etc…all played here. There were a few loop holes you had to do to sign up, which compromised Customer support, but it didn’t matter as customer support was pretty much in Malaysian anyways, so…no help if you spoke English. Also, by fufging the sign in (I believe it was providing fake passport umber) you could not open your account options in case of in game issues. This would prove hard to handle when you forget a mailbox password…But if you made nice with the English speaking GM’s, all of this is fine.
I joined the best guild in the server. They had 2 guilds that owned all the territory through pvp territory control matches. This guild started small, and both politically, socially, and skillfully took over all the maps and owned all territory when I joined. Since one of the leaders was a family member, I knew how he did it. He was fair with the public. Called out the rats. The jelouse drama queen leaders that usually abused their power threatened and faught our guild and slowly got destroyed and took over (leading to allot of rage quitters)…It was an interesting moment to join the guild with haters looming in the shadows to romances and people meeting up in real life all over the world…but before that…I quit. I hid a certain level (30) and stopped as grind hit…my first grind as my previous mmorpg did not have any…I stopped to return to my old mmorpg…


FAST FORWARD

I quit old mmorpg and hopped back into PW by contacting my family member. He said they now play in US and on PWI…WOW! How did they ditch their high level cahracters for this? As I mention above there were 3 major factors and the guild sort of split and here they are in PWI. And so begins my review of PWI:

I had played a healer before, or cleric, and decided to go Barbarian this time to do something different for a change.

Character creation is Malaysia was x1000 more detailed. I do not know why, other than perhapps cash shop options, but there were hair colors, and face forms we could no longer use in PWI. But that said, there was still enough options to make a unique looking character. One of PWE selling points. Probably one of the best character creation set ups in any mmorpg I have yet to see. And it is all 1995 software. Not bad! Youtube the videos to check it out. I do not need to post links all other reviewers and sites already have. But one difference I will note between Malaysia and PWI is, I could create a mulit colored panda bear with bulgy eyes in PW My. But in US you had one model and no change…wtf. Also, the humanoids, I could not create the midget with rainbow hair and bulgy eyes and long nose in US…but I could in My.

Class Selection: Hand full of classic classes. Mage, Barbarian and female Venomancer , Warrior, Cleric, Hunter (original core classes). Back in the day Mages an Hunters were the best damage out put. Barbarians useless. Warriors better tank or dps build, and Cleric a must have healer or no dungeon run, and a great challenge in DPS.
It was unbalanced. It was rediculous. But it was not unfair. You could still take whatever your class into whatever content provided your played in the right group. Recently there have been patches TRYING to balance, but just ending up screwing things up so bad. Barbarians still a useless class. A new paladin like class that has no purpose, The female Venomancer was suddenly the best Damage dealer. The Mage dropped off the radar. The hunter is useless. Warriors still hold ground, but not in DPS, the assassin is better. They introduced a few other middle range classes like Psychic etc.. More classes, some a little more equal with each other, but the core exists: There are better over all classes and you would be foolish not to roll them.
It used to be you could not solo unless you picked a certain class. But they nerfed a few things and made it possible to solo pretty far before instancing content or PvP. Despite class.

Gameplay : Here is where things get strange. Before in Malaysia, the game was hardcore PVE. You grinded your ass off and did a few dungeons end game. And I mean GRINDDDD. Grind parties were commong. Level 1-50 you can play really F2P and solo. Starting area made no sense. The mobs were scattered penguins and spiders, and weird fire ball things. You are told by starter NPC’s with the title “Dragon prophets” etc..o go kill them..The first impression is “ok, A dragon guild in a cool world telling me to go kill mobs!’ Then you see the mobs and are like “WTF is this shit???” IT is stupid. Rediculous. And I consider a bug never fixed. The story line is meanginless, there are strange things on the map lvl 1-10 like a tree with spider webs in it the other trees do not have…like they were going to script something cool there but just left it out…allot of abandoned idea feeling in this large map…Level 1 you get a feel of 2 things right away: 1) The size of the large world and 2) you jump like an idiot.
The world is massive and you can see pretty far off that there is allot to explore without instancing between maps! The second you press spacebatt you do this space wal jump…you float up pretty high and double tap does a flying like double jump and you float lightly down… There is no drowning or fall damage in this game…What the game never tells you, but the Role players will..It is a perfect world. You are god like creatures so you cannot die except by enemies and pvp…hever…the theme….Ok, moving on…
Skills are meat and potatoes. You mus, at level 1 make little to no errors in your build. You can roll a Cleric, but put all points into strength….Normally you think, like I did, “WOW I can roll a healer with healer skills, but put stats like a tank! That meas I can make a hybrid tank healer???”” NOOOOOOOOO! YOU CANT1 DON’T DO IT!
Follow the guides for your class. It is so rediculous why they allow freedom to build out of your skill points if it has no effect on your class. They should make it automated or just let us divide based on the STATS that EFFECT our SKILLS ONLY! The only thing you need to build out of your class is for armor. Example, if you have a Cleric, you do not need allot of Strength…but to wield higher level armor you need it (apparently robes get heavy…) You will to sacrafice a few levels in magic power to be investing early for end game str requirements. IT is hard to explain, but I Recommend reading forums or you will hate life later for building like a noob. I feel it is set upa little trap like to buy cash shop reroll scrolls of course….

As you progress to end game the grind picks up massively. Around level 50 we needed groups. Killing over 500 fish will take you weeks. You learn to be a hardcore gamer here, if you are not already: You know that joy you get whe nyou level up. That sparkly flash, the litlte music, the guild spam: “DING”….In PW you have that same emotion just to see the bar go from 5% to 6% complete after 3 days of grinding…No joke… That is the prupose. A slow level progression, while you aggressively beat mobs to death. The noob area mobs mention soon turn into more challenging monsters and demons. The story sort of take place not really. It is just collection quests.I call them “Mechanic” quests. The games mechanics are “As you slowly level and grind try collecting these items to unlock certain skills later”…everything is an investment. As you are out killing keep your eye on the markets and look for stones that drop to turn in to a city NPC that takes them and gives you “harvesting” points…points that build a reputation like exp bar to unlock your next set of skills. You can but these materials off an NPC in the city and do a DAILY quest to get these points. That is the hook to sign in every day.
This will stop end game and you need to get into a dungeon. So as you see this is VERY VERY Mechanical game play if investment. You can of course…use cash shop to help…but the price for a few stones and what you need si MASSIVE! And ends up in the thousands. Better to do Dailies, then run dungeons…but there is a catch there too…All roads lead to investment in cash shop sooner or later.

AT this point I would like to mention the game play of Level 50 in the original game was impossible without cash or guild help. There are these neckalces that auto refil your health and MP. So if you dropped below 50% POOF a neckalce (called Charm) of 100000 charges gives you 5000 HP… This is good at first…Level 60 comes around. YOU have 10000000 HP, and a mob can 2 hit you…that means your charm is busted after about 2 rounds of fighting mobs…level 50 I paid a sub fee. About 15 a month to quest normally in this game… Then level 60 came around and I would need 100 a month to keep up. I stoppped and did what everyone else was doing. Just some heavy heavy farming on lower rending Exp mobs. Guild runs if they were up (hard to do as level scaling ruins exp). And Dailies…. It was a stuck feeling. Allot of feed back was ‘Spend half day famring, and the other half socializing. Allot of people your level are doing this. No ones progressing rapidly. You have to feel this game different now. It is more of a chat room with small gridning session…unless you have cash. The higher ups should be considered elite and are just going to dominate you in PvP. They own the maps….You are only good for group filler in dungeons, grind groups…And that is it. You become worthless…but you can create DRAMA and PvP with people like you…hoping their superior guild leader does not descend upon you”….THAT is PW IN A NUT SHELL!

But things changed: PWI changed the rules around. They created new classes and areas. What the media was: “New class and balance and zone to level up!” YES finally! The relaity: The new class made the warrior useless as DPS and therefore cut 50%of the people that played a dps warrior. The new land was crap excuse to put low level quests to give MASS exp boosts to get you from 50 – 80 FAST! This did several problems. 1) Forums burned for over a year of rage quiters and haters. The new class just was out of place. The new land was a cheap excuse to power level. If you leveled up and did not level slowly, you missed your cultivation quests and had a high level, skill less toon…This, of course, caused out lash.

I would also like to mention my guild. MY guild, the leader in Malaysia versiona nd PWI was a Canadien farmer. She got her salary from the government. This government paid her durring Canadian winter to do nothing but sit on the land. 6 months of a 10K salary, and she put 5K of that into the game…THAT IS HOW WE PWNED all the maps in Malaysia and were one of the 3 guilds in PWI..we were about to take over the remaining 2, but the patch ruined it all. Soon F2P flood came in to power up…they skewed the dunjon runs, screwed the PUG quality, and made pvp a nightmare. A guild of skilled players suddenly being interuppted by a flash mob os clueless turds rolling all the same OP toons (exploited Venomancers and Assassins).
My guild quit and this ancient group of players no longer exist in PWE. The game is left to a recycled crowd. That is, new players every week come in, level up of years or months of playing, realize the crap, quit, all starts over again. Cash Casino. PWE knows it. The forums reflect it. If you could only see the forul archive XD

The game saw a few other updates, but nothing that changed the core mechanisms. The worst. There are bugs from 1995. New bugs popped up including mass exploits ‘(The gonzo bug) that powere leved mass cheaters. PWE knew the names, did not ban…they know how it goes. MY guild also quit because PvP maps are reset. The new crowd will never know what it is to start in a world dominated by others, and learn through team work and skill and politics how to peel back the power and take over…only in Malaysia hard core PW did that exist. Now it is all catered to paying babies with credit cards. Before it was catered to serious grinders with credit cards…which is better??? I DO NOT KNOW!

Gameplay continues to evolve in end game. I did like the idea of heaven and hell. You will sort of learn through the bad translation that your perfect world has a hell and heaven and that you unlock these powers as an end gamer and you get a little devil or angel pet that follows you around and it greatly changes your stats etc. You also realize that giant mountain you had been playing on or questing around, houses a giant end game dungeon with evil inside. Pretty creepy and adds the idea that the world is really united and that large. THIS is the winning point for me. They managed to unite the start to end of a large map/world and bring it to gether in end game…The problem, the voyage it takes to realize this…is sooo horrible.

The forums all repeat history. IF you go now and read the forums….they are the same topics I read in 1995….just different authors and new crows..”Why PWI is pa to win”. “Unbalanced” “gear is impossible” “donjon bugged” “just got hacked”.

I can go on about how the GMs favor, cheating in game. Hacks. Stole accounts. I used to share accounts of a high level archer, we had no idea the bank code the original owner had on it LOL! Good times!

In the end… this is a game there is no dipping the toes in to test it out. You can…but you will have no idea what you are talking about if you try to review it up to level 50…You really have to get in, waste 2 years or more of life in it. Ask around, talk to end gamers….Well, that was before. I hear it is a little easier to taste…but as you are flying past dead space looking down at a hill or strange looking tree thinking “wow, that looks odd, what is that”…that was us…that was us…that was content you do not touch now..that used to be our grinding grounds…

PvP gameplay is brutal and brings in all the drama asosciated to PWI. PWI turns social as grinding is tedious. Social turns violent as you realize the community is garbage (I recommend play with friends ina close guild, the public sucks in this game). Gear based, PvP is kind of a crap chute. You can meet with people like you and hope you know what skills to pop before the opponent. Or you you are just blown down by a higher gear player. Thery have the red name pvp punishment for open pkers, and items can drop. So if killed you will drop something…hahaha. This creates so much drama.
Socially speaking people love getting intimate. I knew several hot girls all over europe that would play, and we would be in the guild on video. Freaks. Seriously I think back and like wtf…A hot blonde from Sweeden was so addicted, if she had dorm parties she would live stream it and show us on screen and log in to play a little…guys looking in like “this girls a freak…but hot” LOL I know several people in guild that met up. Some getting married….it CAN be like that. Depends. This game plays with your head. You may find yourself defending your honor for some one and get beat down and an item stolen. The girl might actually find you are not worht hanging out because you will be pvped and you guys could lose, so she will shak up with the other guy all “pro”…it also shows he has more cash than you…. So a weird perverted like sense of chivalry and love exist in this game…all in all it is pathetic but hey…so are bronies and cloppers and that exists.



Boss Fights: Bland and boring. You just make sure the right class is doing the right spams and it is over. No real threat. In fact, I used to run high level dungeons (no exp, it was “just to show you whats up”) with the guild. IT just took 2 OP classes and my noob self to go in and spank the bosses. I died with a 1 hit AOE, but it was cool to be dragged it. But every thing was horribly designed. Just cave systems, jagged edges. OP mobs, and an interesting looking boss. The grind of this game does something to your brain. After 100000 fish, seeing an actual monster is like “woahhh nice”…but when I look back, it was poorly designed. Just a mod at the end of a cave. Maybe a few skeletons set around…not really impressive, super lack luster. The excitement was WHAT HE DROPPED! So you work half a lifetime to get to this point and it is not worth it. I think the idea of seeing something "new" is the reward after drying your eyes of mob kill after mob kill...It is like changing the color of a mob "ooo something different" and you are so desperate for it at this time that it becomes a GOAL!

This game does have a LOT to offer. I have not talked about flying and how it works, the emotes to carry other players. The Territory wars in detail…but you know what… I do not need to. These are all fluff and extra that even if they sound cool…It is not worth it. The main problems and likes about this game I already mentioned, no other sub feature of this game will attract you. Or if I does “WOW I CAN FLY?? I WANT IN!!” you will regret investing your time when you realize that flying is actually not all that cool after all…
There is no crafting. Everything is Gear Based Dunjon drops. I have asked pros before. Not the turds standing around trying to pvp everyone saying they are the best. But the badasses thatt have top armor, built smart, and know the calander. They are reserved and play for self suffering. I asked them ploitely to give me some tips (and drop the name of my guild), they answer to the point nad factually: “You will need to spend cash. You can spend cash now and get a little boost, or hold off, but at X level you will need this much for this and that, and soon this or that. You can play if you want after, but if you want to be like me and run the dungeons like this…you will need over 1K”…Straight up. Trutheful, and no BS. He did not say “pay or get out”…there are things to do…but not free.
Think of Planet Calypso when it comes to end game. You will need that credit card out. Except you get nothing back like in PC.

Music is forgetable and super annoying. I used to like the origina Malaysia music: “Welcome to the perfect worllddd!:” now it is some asian theme whatever. I turn it off nad pop in the CD tracks.

Graphics: Great character creation, and emphasis on upper level skills and cash shop costumes. Everything else is ugly and 1995. Mobs, land, etc. It is not horrible, but LOTS AND LOTS of empty space, useless placement of mobs, horrible story, quest hubs of doom, best is to run a TV not far to watch your favorite show as you grind…the graphics are nothing to be like “wow I have to watch each movement of this (like in TERA)”.

Combat is tab and 123

Conclusion:
IT is a deep and involved game. A deep game with no story. Just mechanics of investment. Interstingly these mechanics are long waits to learn. You will see games of mechanics in most chinese titles like Age of Wushu, etc. But it is a huge time and money sink. MORE than most mmorpgs and sadly less reward for the time invested.
IT is solid, the malaysian version exists and I do not know of a sinlge pubisher that shut down Perfect World due to lack of funds. But it is buggy.
But solid community and large world are not enough without crafitng. All the key sub features, flying, heaven and hell, class and character creation, are all over shadowed by the pay to win mechanics. Now real objective except to be social and piss each other off until you decide to pay up to gear up to beat that ass hole to the ground…of course the victory is subjonctif and you could lose an item and quit. The amount of changes = you could waste a huge amount of time playing PW your way now, and then patched against your favor later (nerfing you, or making you useless).
I had an obsession. I learned to love to grind here. Going 6%to 7% was a thrill. I still liked it when I could level up faster after an expansion, but in the end…when guild left, and I when ex friend sobered up and where like: “Man I can”t believe I spent my 20”s in my room grinding PW”…I just sat there logged in looking around at all the new 12 year olds insutling each other to instigate PvP…and I logged off and uninstlaeed.

I give the game 2/5
1 point for character creation and another point for persistant large world…Sadly it fails on keeping it all together and obviously not caring as this is the 1995 cash cow of PWE. Nothing will get better with this title. Just differently worse.

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