Monday, October 17, 2011


Vindictus/Mabinogi Heroes is a hack and slash MMORPG created by devCAT. In my opinion, this is a pretty cool game to consider downloading if you live in Korea, North America or Europe (Apparently, due to licensing issues, they implement IP blocks on all other countries).

The game itself is free to download and play. It contains a virtual item shop where players can purchase in-game items using Nexon points. The items bought can have an effect on a character's appearance and abilities.

There are 5 main playable characters. Only 4 are playable in the Korean and North American versions (Fiona, Lann, Evie and Karok) and only 3 are playable in the European version (Fiona, Lann and Evie) at this moment. As you can tell from the names, these characters are gender locked.
  • Lann
    Lann specializes in dual-wielding spears and swords. His attacks are speedy, and in the battlefield, enemies are left breathless at his seemingly non-stop whirlwind of slashes and thrusts. Because he relies on speed, Lann starts out wearing light armor. As he gets stronger, he learns how to wear heavy armor without impeding his quick movements.
  • Fiona
    Fiona is a balanced warrior who wields a sword and a shield. She values defense, so she uses her shield to protect herself during combat and then strikes strategically when enemies aren’t expecting it. She is able to wear heavy armor from the start and later learns to wear plate armor as well.
  • Evie
    Evie is a magic user who can wield a staff or a battle scythe. With a staff, she is capable of casting a wide variety of spells, ranging from Ice Spear (that can freeze bosses) to Healing Corona (which restores her allies' health). Scythe Evie is capable of dealing much more direct physical damage, but gives up much of her spell casting ability. She starts out wearing cloth armor but, with time and effort, she can learn to wear light armor as well.
  • Karok
    Karok starts out wielding a colossal pillar which he uses to bludgeon his enemies into submission. As he levels up, he will be able to swap out the pillar for a huge hammer instead. As a giant, his considerable strength allows him to easily carry and throw huge objects. His massive size makes him slow, but it also grants him high defense and the ability to start with heavy armor.
  • Kai
    Kai is a male character who presumably plays the Archer role. Kai is currently not released in any version (including Korean) and thus very little information is known about him.
Immediately after choosing your character comes the prologue. You will be guided on how to move your character, attack, use skills and how to interact with your environment (which is the charm of playing this game).

Towards the end of the prologue, you will be asked to fight a giant spider which sort of acts as an introduction to how 'Boss Fights' will be conducted in the various instances soon to come. Be sure to enjoy the intriguing cinematics that is interlaced into the gameplay.
After completing the prologue, you will find yourself waking up in a tavern. The lady you have saved during the prologue will then ask for your name. You will then be shown the customization screen for your chosen character. As you can see, there isn't much options available for you to customize your character with at this point in the game. I'm afraid that most of the uniqueness of your character will depend upon your weapon and armor choices plus the coloring of them via dyes.
Upon finishing the conversation and exiting the tavern, you will find yourself in the town of Colhen. From here onwards, its pretty much free and easy. Just follow the instructions to pick up some quests and off you go to explore the world of 'Vindictus'.
The game is basically sort of instanced oriented. There are only two places in the world of Vindictus, Colhen and Rocheste. You enter the dungeon instances via boats at the docks.

Combat-wise, this game is simply just hack and slash. You turn your character to face an opponent and then use combinations of left and right clicks on the mouse to attack.

Most of the stuff found lying around in the game's instances can be lifted, thrown or broken. Pots can be grabbed and used to smash enemies, barrels can be thrown and even stone pillars can be destroyed with sufficient damage.
As for your character, there are no stat points for you to allocate when you level up your character. In my opinion, although this will potentially remove the chances of gimping your character, but it also restricts on the character variations that you can create if stat points allocation was possible.

However, tweaking of stats can still be done through equipment and skill choices. If you wish to improve on a particular stat, all you have to do is find and wear equipments which improve that stat. There are also some skills which you can learn to improve your base stats too.

Additionally, there is also a system of 'Titles' which you can obtain that will improve on your stats. For example, if you defeat 25 enemies with kicks, you will acquire the title of 'Pro Kicks' which will give you STR+2, WIL+1 & AGI+1. All of these stat gains from titles are permanent. You do not have to equip the titles to gain their bonuses.
Apart from the few starting skills that you get, all of the other skills are acquired from skill books. Some skill books are obtained as quest rewards while others are bought from NPCs. Once you have fulfilled the requirements, right click on the skill book to learn the skill.

Ability Points (AP) are used to improve the level or rank of a skill. However, AP can only be gained through the completion of Battle Quests or obtained via the Meditation Skill. And with regards to AP gained from Battle Quests, the amount of AP earned from completion diminishes with repetition.

To increase the level of a particular skill, you need to open up the skill window and then click on the skill you wish to train. After doing so, you will then be able to allocate the AP you've obtained into the skill. Upon completion in filling up the bar with AP, your skill will rank up. Note that you can only rank up one skill at a time. Once you've clicked on the train button, you WILL have to finish ranking up the skill before you can select another one to train.
In Vindictus, player crafting comes in the form of 'Expertise'. There are 6 categories of expertise, Weaponsmithing, Goldsmithing, Tailoring, Platesmithing, Armorsmithing and Cooking. Each character can only learn cooking and one other category of expertise.

Items that are crafted by players can be higher in quality than compared to items crafted by NPCs. This is indicated by the number of stars in the item's description.

Unless there is a special event going, increasing a character's proficiency in an expertise can take a lot of time (as well as gold if the ingredients are obtained from the Marketplace rather than from dungeon runs). For this exact reason, unless you craft your own equipment, you might have to pay an arm or a leg to obtain a set of high level equipment from crafters.

If you are interested in playing this game, my advice for you would be to focus on the combat system and its storyline. Play it like you would with an offline game - complete and move on.