Thursday, March 8, 2012

Magic Campus (Part One)

Magic CampusMagic Campus - Start
Magic Campus is a turn-based MMORPG game that is played using one's browser and does not require any kind of installation. The game boasts of its cute campus style design of characters and monsters, extensive pet system, dazzling special effects and challenging quests.

And indeed, it was its cute website and character design that caught my attention in the first place. However, what initially looked like a promising game soon turned out otherwise as several aspects of the game clearly needs polishing and brushing up.

To sum things up, I nearly wanted to log out of the game after playing for an hour or so. Apart from leveling up, running around doing quests and catching/upgrading your pets, there's nothing else left to do. There is a lack of features and end-game elements to either distract you from the grinding or motivate you to level higher.

The game, at best, only provides a PK system where players can fight against each other in duels or in teams/guilds. Thus from my point of view, unless things change, you might be better off playing some other game.

Character Creation
Magic Campus - Character Creation
There are six character classes which you can choose in Magic Campus, Engineering Soldier, Cleric, Sunshine Hunter, Soul Musician, Ensorcelled Archer and Ancient Martial Artist. Each of these classes have a male and female version so you won't have to settle for what you dislike.

Initially, I was quite confused with what the words "Pan Di", "Liao Yun", "Tian Shu", "Ling Wu", "Tian Qiong" and "Liu Huo" were. As they were right beside the portraits of the characters, I nearly mistook them as being the "job class" for the characters. However, if that were true, then it would have been in direct conflict with the English titles (Engineering Soldier, Cleric, etc).

At that point in time, I only dismissed it as probably a sloppy translation job but now I realised that those words actually represented which academy the characters were affiliated to. To learn new skills for your chosen character, you will have to go to the corresponding academy's NPC.

As for the rest of character creation, there's hardly much to mention. All you have is a description of your chosen character class, three choices of preset colours for your character and a box to type your character's name.

Interface & Presentation
Magic Campus - Game InterfaceMagic Campus - Character SkillsMagic Campus - NPC Missions
Although the overall design of the interface looks decent, much more could have been done to improve the other windows like character skills and NPC missions. There is a poor utilisation of space within the windows and the cluttering of words together with the poor layout makes it hard for the players to read and understand without making an effort to do so.
Magic Campus - Help Guide
What makes things even funnier is that the in-game "help" guide that we can consult to is in another language while the game is supposed to be in English. However, in hindsight, I guess these flaws mentioned above might have well been the deeds of a hasty "local" publisher instead of the actual game maker. Therefore, there is the chance that a better version of this game exists out there which is done by a different publisher.

Character Stats
Magic Campus - Character Stats
As mentioned on the game's website, whenever our character levels up we will receive 5 stat points which we can freely allocate into the five main attributes, strength, vitality, agility, intelligence and spirit. However, throughout my leveling from 1 up to 16, I have yet been able to do so. It appears that my stats are automatically allocated for me by the game. I can only say that its either the game's website that is wrong or perhaps we will be able to do so at a later stage, when we're more familiar with the game?

Nonetheless, here's a brief explanation of the five main attributes.
  • Strength (Str)
    Affects a character’s Physical Attack and Hit Rate.
  • Vitality (Phy)
    Affects a character’s Max HP and Physical Defense.
  • Agility (Agi)
    Affects a character’s Speed, Evasion, Hit Rate and Physical Attack (slightly).
  • Intelligence (Wis)
    Affects a character’s Magical Attack, Magical Defense (slightly) and Max MP (slightly).
  • Spirit (Spr)
    Affects a character’s Magical Attack, Max MP, success rate of casting debuffs, resistance to debuffs and Magical Defense.

Magic Campus - Tianqiong Technical LibraryMagic Campus - Character Skill Book
Currently, each character class has 10 different skills and 1 legendary secret skill. Each of these skills can only be learned once you reach the appropriate levels. You will need to acquire the respective skill books in order to learn the skills. And as far as I know, all of these skill books can be acquired from the technical library NPC at the respective academies (except for the legendary secret skill). You will receive your legendary secret skill only when you complete the level 80 promotion quest.
Magic Campus - Teleporter
To get to these academies, all you need to do is find the friendly teleporters at major cities, like Instructor Ryan at Dongxuan city, and pay 10 silver. Just make sure that you are teleporting to the right academy for your character class.
  • Pan Di Academy: For Engineering Soldier
  • Ling Wu Academy: For Soul Musician
  • Liao Yun Academy: For Cleric
  • Tian Qiong Academy: For Ensorcelled Archer
  • Tian Shu Academy: For Sunshine Hunter
  • Liu Huo Academy: For Ancient Martial Artist
Magic Campus - Learn SkillsMagic Campus - Character Skills
For each individual skill, there is a maximum of 10 levels. You can raise the level of the skill by either approaching the NPC in charge of skill training (found at the academies) or just click on the "upgrade" button in the skills window. Do note that you will need to pay a certain amount of silver and experience points as a levy. (Yup, these experience points that I'm talking about is the exact same ones that you use to level up your character.)

Apart from the levy, you will need to be at a certain proficiency level too in order to raise the skill's level. Once you've reached the appropriate levels, look for your academy's headmaster for the quest.
Skill LevelRequirement
2, 3Complete beginner promotion quest (Level 10)
4, 5Complete intermediate promotion quest (Level 40)
6, 7Complete advanced promotion quest (Level 80)
8, 9Complete specialist promotion quest (Level 119)

Next: Magic Campus (Part Two)