Thursday, November 28, 2013

Closers Online

Recently, I came across this cool-looking picture while I was gathering information about GhostX Ultimate, the next free to play MMORPG that I'm about to feature on my blog.
Closers Online
Owing to its sharp colors and interesting character designs, my curiosity was immediately piqued and thus a world wide website hunt soon ensued as I tried to uncover the nature or source for this. (Well...I'm exaggerating here of course. ^_^;)

Anyway, with that huge a clue left on the picture itself, it didn't take long before I discovered that it actually came from a still-in-development game called, Closers Online (by Naddic Games).

Background Story
Closers Online - Background Story
From the developer's website, I can roughly tell that the storyline for the game appears to be taking place in New Seoul, in 2020, right after some sort of calamity called the "First Dimensional War" which almost destroyed humanity.

During this first dimensional war, mysterious dimensional gates started opening randomly around the world for no reason whatsoever. And from these gates spewed tons and tons of nasty monsters which were impervious to any of the known weaponry and technology of that time.

Luckily though, along with the opening of these gates, some sort of psychokinetic power also started to spread around the world, resulting in a minority of humans gaining some extraordinary psychic powers.

Eventually, these awakened psychic humans managed to fight back/fend off those invading monsters and successfully closed most of these dimensional gates, thus winning that war.

So working with that story in mind, the game is apparently going to be designed as some sort of high-speed action fighting multiplayer online role-playing game (quite a mouthful huh...when it can be simply called an arcade-styled MORPG) whereby the player plays as one of these "Closers" entrusted with the task of closing down the dimensional gates that pops up.
Closers Online - Combat 1Closers Online - Combat 2
However because everything is still in development status, not much information is available to make heads or tails of how the game will be. But from the information released thus far, it should be safe to assume that Closers Online ought to work somewhat like games such as Dragon Nest, Dragonica or GhostX Ultimate.
Closers Online - Instance Results
Likewise, judging from this screenshot taken above (also taken from one of the official videos released), the game should ought to contain similar dungeon-like instances with a score/results calculated towards the end of completing it.
Closers Online - Character Selection
As for playable characters, there seems to be at least four of them planned for the time being, Seha Lee, Seulbi Lee, Yuri Seo and J.
Closers Online - Character Seha LeeSeha Lee (Striker)
From the looks of things, Seha Lee seems to be a gunblade-wielding type of character.
Closers Online - Character Seulbi LeeSeulbi Lee (Caster)
Seulbi Lee, on the other hand, appears to be a combat knife-wielding type and could possibly even be able to dual-wield two knives.
Closers Online - Character Yuri SeoYuri Seo (Ranger)
Yuri Seo looks like she will be fighting with a katana in one hand and a gun in the other.
Closers Online - Character JJ (Fighter)
Being barehanded, J will most likely be your typical close range fighter that specializes in unarmed combat.

Up until this point, that's roughly all we've got our hands on regarding Closers Online. And frankly speaking, I'm pretty certain that the game should attract plenty of potential customers once it finds a publisher and becomes ready for open beta.

However, how many of those customers would "stay" to play the game for a good while is still likely to depend upon how the rest of the game's features pans out (the in-game world, quests, end-game content, etc).

Well...with that, I shall leave you with these. Enjoy...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Need For Speed World (Part Three)

Need For Speed World - Safehouse
The "Safehouse" is where you would go to when you need to buy a new car, change to a different ride or driver profile, customize/upgrade your cars with better performance and visual parts, repair your current car's durability as well as the purchasing of card packs and replenishing of powerups.

You can access this safehouse from anywhere within the free roam world by simply clicking on the big "Safehouse" button at the top right corner of your HUD.
  • Change Car
    Need For Speed World - Change Car
    If you possess more than one car, selecting this option would allow you to switch to a different car.
  • Customization
    Need For Speed World - CustomizationNeed For Speed World - Part Removal Warning
    The "Customization" option is where you can perform various sorts of alterations to your car. These alterations would include parts that you install into your car to modify its physical appearance, boost its overall performance (top speed, acceleration, handling) and also improve its ability to take on specific race modes.

    However, one important thing to note here is that these parts that you install onto a car actually sticks to the car so much so that it cannot be removed from the car without destroying it (or rather selling it). Therefore, it is prudent that you know what you want to do with the car first before you start installing those rare, hard to get modification parts on it.

    Skill Workshop
    Need For Speed World - Skill Mods
    Skill Mods are broken down into three categories, Race, Pursuit and Explore. They are mods that you can install onto a car to have it custom-made/tailored for certain gameplay features, particular race modes or perhaps improve the effectiveness of some specific powerups.
    Need For Speed World - Super ShotNeed For Speed World - Magnetized
    For example, if you often find yourself using a lot of "Nitrous" or "Traffic Magnet" in races, then you may find it beneficial to install a couple of "Super Shot" and "Magnetized" skill mods in your car.
    Need For Speed World - RamNeed For Speed World - Cooldown
    If you like playing Pursuit Outruns in a particular car, it may be useful to customize it with skill mods such as "Ram" or "Cooldown". (Ram will increase the weight of the car so that it is more suited for collisions and ramming through roadblocks while Cooldown will decrease the actual amount of time required to escape from the police.)
    Need For Speed World - One Star Super ShotNeed For Speed World - Two Star Super Shot
    Next, it is also important to recognize that each skill mod part has its own quality range as well as star rating (1 star to 3 stars). A two star skill mod would naturally offer a greater effect boost than compared to a one star skill mod. However, even if both skill mods were to be of the same star rating, they might still have different magnitudes in their effect boosting so please take note of that. (The basic skill mods can be directly purchased from the workshop while the stronger ones would have to be won from races or card packs.)

    Aftermarket Shop
    Need For Speed World - Aftermarket ShopNeed For Speed World - Aftermarket Shop 1
    The "Aftermarket Shop" comprises of purely visual effect parts which you can install onto a car to change its outer appearance. And as far as I know, these parts do not seem to have any effect upon the performance of a car.

    Performance Shop
    Now before I talk about the parts that you can install into your car in the Performance Shop, I will need you to realize that each and every car that is found in Need For Speed World actually has a set of "hidden" parameters which are unknown to the players. Instead, the information that we do have about a car is all condensed into three general scoring categories, its "Top Speed", "Acceleration" and "Handling".

    But even though we do not actually "see" these hidden stats, we are however able to feel and recognize their existence whilst we are driving the various different cars in races. For example, certain cars seem to be more apt in pushing away other cars when they collide, some cars can more easily negotiate a high speed corner than compared to others while some seem to oversteer (spins out of control easily) or understeer (feels sluggish like a tank).

    Well if you are clear on that, then let us proceed...
    Need For Speed World - Performance ShopNeed For Speed World - Performance Shop 1
    In the Performance Shop, there are six kinds of parts which you can install onto a car, "Engine", "Forced Induction", "Transmission", "Suspension", "Brakes" and "Tires". And basically, what these parts do is that they help boost those "hidden" parameters of the car by a certain percentage, thereby helping improve the car's performance in a race.

    Unfortunately though, since the initial parameters of a car isn't visible to the player, we simply cannot gauge how effective it will be to install certain kinds of parts onto a vehicle. The best that we can do is to infer its effects from how much of an increase the car will get, from its general scorings in the three categories.

    But either way, I will have to tell you that, as far as I can tell, the actual benefits that you can get from the parts are pretty "limited" in a sense. For instance, if a car's top speed is already very low in its initial stats, then using a part which boosts its top speed by a high percentage would be pretty ineffective. Similarly, trying to increase a car's handling via handling boosting parts isn't gonna work too well if the car originally had a weak handling parameter to begin with.

    Furthermore, I will need you to realize that if a particular car is programmed to oversteer or understeer when cornering at high speeds, it will continue to do so even if you try to tweak the car's "Handling" to a very high score. (Or so it seems to me, since I have a Lexus LFA which often spins out of control despite having a 713 "Handling" score.)

    Anyway, if we add up all three of the general scorings of a car and divide it by 3, we will get an "Overall" rating for the car. This rating would then determine which class category the car would belong to. (This is particularly important when participating in a race with class restrictions.)

    If the "Overall" rating is between:
    - 0 to 249 (Class 'E')
    - 250 to 399 (Class 'D')
    - 400 to 499 (Class 'C')
    - 500 to 599 (Class 'B')
    - 600 to 749 (Class 'A')
    - 750 to 1000 (Class 'S')

    So depending on the parts that you install, it is actually possible to boost the car up to the next class category or two. But in order to remain competitive, you should try to make it such that your car's overall rating stay within the top end of one class category rather then making it become at the bottom end of the next.

    Vinyl Shop and Paint Shop
    Need For Speed World - Vinyl ShopNeed For Speed World - Paint Shop
    For the Vinyl and Paint Shops, they are mostly there for you to slap in all sorts of logos and designs plus give your car different coats of paints to make it unique and personalized so I reckon its pretty much self-explanatory here.
  • Change Driver
    Need For Speed World - Change Driver
    If you have more than one driver profile, selecting this option would allow you to switch to a different one. Essentially, you can think of this as kind of like changing to a different character that you've created (in regular MMO terms).
  • Car Dealer
    The "Car Dealer" option allows you to purchase new cars or sell your existing ones.
    Need For Speed World - Car DealerNeed For Speed World - Sell Car
    What you really should take note here is that most of the cars that you can buy from the Car Dealer actually costs "SpeedBoost" (which is a form of game currency that you acquire by paying real life cash). And though there are cars that you can buy using in-game cash, these will be limited to only a few select cars/styles per class category (excluding Class 'S') and is subjected to a periodic rotation system so cars that are sold for in-game cash changes once in a while. (But "SpeedBoost" cars will never be sold for in-game cash, if I'm not wrong.)

    Personally, I feel that it is pretty unfair for the game to not have some sort of a comparison chart, recommended cars list or even a test drive option/period here. This is because, as I've mentioned earlier, each and every car in the game seems to have some kind of hidden stats to them so much so that all of the cars may handle differently when we actually take them out for a spin.

    And since we do not know what the stats are, we can only find out how the car performs after we buy it...which by then may already be too late as the in-game cash/SpeedBoost is already spent and lost forever. What's more, immediately after the purchase, you will find that the car's resale value promptly gets slashed to a quarter of its original price so there's really no room for regrets. (For in-game cash bought cars at least, not sure about SpeedBoost ones.)
  • Powerup Console
    Need For Speed World - Powerup Console Sprint
    The Powerup Console is where you can select what sort of powerups to bring to a particular race mode. This is also where you can recharge them using "SpeedBoost" if you've run out.

    After you're done loading out, you can use them via pressing the keys (1, 2, 3, 4) on your keyboard whilst your within each of the individual race modes.
  • Card Packs
    Need For Speed World - Card PacksNeed For Speed World - Card Packs 1
    Finally for the Card Packs, there really isn't a need for much of an explanation here. They are simply a sink for you to spend in-game cash/SpeedBoost to acquire all sorts of cars, performance parts, aftermarket parts and powerups. At a random probability, of course.

All in all, apart from feeding on that innate desire to own and pimp up your rides, there's not much of a gameplay left to the game in my frankly speaking, I wouldn't recommend that you touch this game unless your into this form of entertainment as well as desire the adrenaline rush of high-speed car chases/races.

Previous: NFS World (Part Two)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Need For Speed World (Part Two)

Need For Speed World - World Map
If you bring up the "World Map" (press M) upon entering the game, you can see that there are various sorts of icons lying about the entire in-game world. All of these represents the different kinds of stuff that you can do within the game.

The green area with a diamond-shaped icon (at its center) is a daily treasure hunting activity that you can partake in once a day to earn some interesting rewards while the rest of the other smaller icons would reflect each of the different "hotspots" available for you to race in. (Except for the green camera icon which is actually just a place for you to show off your vehicle to other players or host a car show/photoshoot session).

Daily Treasure Hunt
Need For Speed World - Treasure Hunt GemsNeed For Speed World - Treasure Hunt Reward
For the daily treasure hunt, it actually involves having the player drive around the free roam world to find and collect green floating gems much like the one shown in the screenshot above. Once you've found all of them, you will be rewarded with some random prize of some sort.

(Do note that these gems would only spawn within the limits of the designated area so you shouldn't bother going outside of the green circular area as shown on the world map.)

Race Modes
There are a total of five different types of race modes which you can participate in Need For Speed World, Drag Race, Circuit, Pursuit Outrun, Sprint and Team Escape.
  • Drag Race Need For Speed World - Drag Race Icon
    Drag Race is a multiplayer only race mode that pits the players against one another in a short distance dash along a somewhat "straight" course with a fixed starting and finishing point. This sort of race is usually done to see who's car is better at accelerating from a standstill.
    Need For Speed World - Drag Race TransmissionNeed For Speed World - Drag Race
    Two things to remember here is that in this type of race, you can first of all, change the transmission of your car (Manual or Automatic) at the start of the race during the period when your within the queue/waiting zone. Secondly, you cannot use any form of powerups within the drag race. It is a pure test of your skills at shifting gears as well as the performance of your car.
  • Circuit Need For Speed World - Circuit Icon
    Need For Speed World - Circuit
    In this race mode, players are made to run laps around an enclosed course. The player that manages to complete the designated number of rounds first will win the race.
  • Pursuit Outrun Need For Speed World - Pursuit Outrun Icon
    Now this race mode is a bit tricky in my opinion and may perhaps be the toughest one to complete in NFSW, even though you aren't competing with anyone (single player only).

    The goal of this race mode is to "outrun" and successfully evade from the police cars that will soon be chasing after you.
    Need For Speed World - Pursuit OutrunNeed For Speed World - Heat Level 3
    Initially, you will start the run at "Heat Level 1" with a "clean" record for your car (for first timers or those who had been previously busted and fined). If you had successfully evaded the police in a previous "Pursuit Outrun", then you will start the new run with your previous "Heat Level" (I think the heat level is "attached" to the car and not the player).

    Anyway, it shouldn't take too long before a police car is onto you and would then cause you to break all kinds of traffic rules, crash into other cars, cause damage to properties and other whatnots while trying to lose them.

    And as this continues, you will gradually but surely rack up the "Cost to State" (how much money your causing the state to lose)...which eventually forces them to turn up the heat on you. In other words, getting more patrol cars, like police cruisers and rhinos, to chase after you as well as setting up more roadblocks and spike strips to stop your rampage.

    (So the crux of this race mode, I think, is to end the car chase as soon as you can before the Heat Level becomes too high and unmanageable.)

    Need For Speed World - Pursuit MeterNeed For Speed World - Cooldown
    To successfully evade from the police cars chasing after you, you will first need to try and increase the length of the "blue bar" in the "Pursuit Meter" (bottom center of screenshot). This can most probably be done by turning into alleys/backstreets, desolated underpasses or other nooks and crannies to make sure that the police cars loses sight of you.

    Upon maxing this blue bar towards the left of the "Pursuit Meter", you will thereby enter the second and final state called the "Cooldown" period. Once you've finished this "Cooldown" period, you would have then successfully evaded the police and ended the chase. However, if you let even a single police car spot you before your cooldown finishes, the whole car chasing sequence would kick up once again and you will need to find another hiding spot.

    (Note: During the "Cooldown" period, you should start to see snowflake icons in your radar down at the bottom right. These represent locations within your vicinity that you may hide your car in to speed up your cooldown process.)
    Need For Speed World - Busted
    Conversely, if you let enough police cars swarm you and slow you down for too long or even stop you, then the "Pursuit Meter" would instead increase towards the right (in red). And maxing it would result in you being apprehended/busted and fined. (You would lose some money, but it isn't too much in my opinion. Only close to 1,000 in fine in contrast to the 87,750 that is lost by the state.)
  • Sprint Need For Speed World - Sprint Icon
    Need For Speed World - Sprint
    Sprint is a race mode in which players are required to run a course with a set starting and finishing point. All the player needs to do is to complete the full length of the course ahead of the rest of the other drivers to win. Distance from start to finish is shown as a percentage (0% -> 100%).
  • Team Escape Need For Speed World - Team Escape Icon
    Team Escape is a multiplayer only co-operative race mode where the goal is for all of the drivers to avoid being arrested whilst running along a course with a set starting and finishing point much like Sprint, but with the police force chasing after you and your team-mates.
    Need For Speed World - Team EscapeNeed For Speed World - Team Escape Busted
    And although the goal may be clear, it is important to note that you will be given a limited amount of time (refer to "Time Remaining" in screenshot) and a limited number of lives (refer to "Strikes" in screenshot) to complete the full length of the course (refer to "Distance to Escape" in screenshot).

    If you get swarmed by police cars and got surrounded or stopped, the meter on the bottom center of your HUD will start to increase...during which you must try to break away from the cops or risk getting arrested (upon maxing this bar). But unlike "Pursuit Outrun", being arrested here does not end the race for you if there are still "Strikes" left in the common pool. (Yup, the lives are shared amongst all in the team.)

    Instead, one strike will be consumed and then after waiting for a while, you will be re-spawned beside one of your team-mates (usually the one closest to you) to continue with your escape.
    Need For Speed World - Team Escape Results
    Finally, results and rewards are dependent on how many of you escaped and NOT who escaped first. You will all get the same thing (cash, reputation, etc), so it is important that you pace yourselves and try to finish the escape together. This is because if any one of you crosses the finish line way before the others are close enough, there won't be sufficient time for them to escape as all remaining strikes will be removed and the time left to escape reduced to a mere 30 seconds.

    (Tip: If you find yourself lagging too much behind the others, it may sometimes be a good idea to get yourself arrested and respawned, to close up the gap. If there are enough "Strikes" remaining.)

Previous: NFS World (Part One)Next: NFS World (Part Three)