Funtasy Online: Don't JudgeA Game By Its Cover
By Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
I was rather surprised when I received this assignment, given that the title is in Taiwanese Traditional Chinese rather than in English. But being the Chinese I am, I decided to give the game a brief spin with the Closed Beta account provided. I have actually been following the game's progress since it was announced last year, so why not? :)
About Funtasy Online
Funtasy Online is developed by Lager Network Technology, the Taiwanese developers who brought us the well-known Fairyland. Funtasy Online's storyline actually takes place 100 years after what happens in Fairyland, with players acting as brave adventurers looking to stop an awakening darkness slowly consuming the lands.Funtasy Online is a cartoony turn-based MMORPG, and I will admit I was never a fan of turn-based games. I can only count Digimon World 3 and Pokemon in my favourites, and neither are MMOs. So, how will Funtasy Online fare in my eyes?
Chinese title: Rainbow Bubbles
There are 3 races for players to choose from, Human, Dwarf and Elf. Both genders are available for each race. There are not many facial features or hairstyles to choose from, but players can distinguish themselves further by choosing the hair and skin colour tone and wacky costumes, which will be looked into later.
As this is only a Closed Beta with limited keys given out, there is only 1 server currently. But as you can see below, there will slots available for more servers. Players can create up to 3 characters on each server, designated by the "head shot" picture beside the server name.
The first thing that came into my mind when I officially entered the game world for the first time was "Woah, Seal Online!" Well, both games do have a slight resemblance in terms of the cartoony graphics, but let's not compare too much. The interface is kind of clean, which is always a good thing. One thing which I personally dislike is the opening of function windows, which will require a CTRL + random key combination. I will prefer a one click X instead of adding the CTRL.
You can also see the inventory, character equipment and status window. There is an option to switch between a costume and actual armor outlook. Do notice that at the top left, there is a meter showing the time, date and weather. Though it might be insignificant to most, I think its a really nice touch. And yes, there is a Day-Night feature in the game, not forgetting a nice weather system!
Equipment and Inventory
Its a wacky world!
Yes, its a wacky world indeed! Since Funtasy Online is based on fairytales, it would be a sin not to include some wacky elements. You can see a witch flying around on broom, every single moving creature having their own names and speech and even wackier NPCs in all sorts of shapes and sizes!
Various NPC characters in Funtasy
Questing in Funtasy Online is pretty standard, and there is auto-tracking available when you click on the coordinates in the Quest Log. However, players must be within the same map of the coordinates before the character will move towards the target. Players can also choose to click the NPC's or monster's name to teleport there immediately, but VIP points (Cash shop points I believe) are needed. There will also be various sorts of quests, and the first two types players will encounter will be the Main Story and Daily quests.
Questing in Funtasy Online
One unique "feature" I noticed when talking to NPCs is the banner below the chat box. Pardon me if I am late for this new idea, but it is a good place to put up advertisements. This can both inform players of news related to Funtasy Online and earn advertising fees from 3rd party companies. Ingenious idea I say.
PvE (Player Vs Environment)
Like I mentioned, I don't really like turn-based MMOs. I have no idea why, but Funtasy Online's clear and easy battle system got into me. Players can either click on certain monsters, or for most of the time, just wonder around on the fields just like in the Pokemon games, waiting for a battle to start.
The battle interface is as simple as it gets. Give a command before time runs out, secure victory and reap the victory gains. The victory screen will also show how much EXP your pet/s gained.When players party up, they gain unique party skills which can be used. Do note that these skills are only available when in a party.
Players level up via getting experience points from completing quests and of course, engaging in battles. Players gain stat points upon reaching a new level and these can be added to the stat of their choice. Skills points can also be earned, and there are 3 skill trees for players to learn from. Note that there are no specific classes in the game. Skills are first activated by using the skill book before they can add points to the skill itself. As you can see below, there are tons of skills for players to pick and learn.
Tons of skills available
Life skills/ Gathering
During the initial beginner's quests, players can have a brief but detailed preview of the gathering and production system. After receiving a newbie's gathering tool set, players have to find the appropriate spot to gather, like a cluster of flowers or trees. After gathering, players must work on the raw materials before they can be used to produce various goods.
And yes, I have yet to see a turn-based game where players are not allowed to collect an army of minions. In Funtasy Online, these hundreds of minions come in the form of very, very cute pets. It's like Pokemon all over again, players get to choose from 3 starting pets as their first companion. I chose Fergie the Frog.... and yes, its due to the handsome crown it's wearing. But there is a twist to it...
Fergie the Frog
Fergie the Frog is actually the final evolution of the frog pet! Yes, pets do evolve and take on new looks and abilities as they level up. This is Muddy Frog, the very first stage of Fergie the Frog. It may not be a looker, but hey, it's the final evolution I am aiming for!
First stage: muddy frog
Players can capture and add more pets to their team as they progress deeper and further into the game.
Gear and Equipment
Equipment is mostly gained from completing quests or from monster drops. Additionally, some are separated into male and female items. Do you remember about there having 3 sets of skills? There will be various types of weapons which add more base damage if your character is equipped right. For example, if I learn most of the skills in the Warrior skill tree, I should be holding weapons, which will give me more melee bonus, which is the red stat, found on weapons. If I am a hybrid Warrior and Healer (blue stats) character, I should go for weapons that give an equal amount of bonus to the Warrior and Healer skill trees. The green stats represent the Mage skill tree.
There are also hundreds of wacky costumes found in the game, and here's one example.
I have not seen many players with mounts, but there are indeed flying mounts, which can ferry more than 1 player. Here's a preview of one of the flying mounts.
This must be one of the greatest and most colourful main cities I have seen in a F2P MMO. Welcome to Rainbow City, where fantasy comes to life. Rainbow City is big, and I mean in a good way, NPCs and vendors are scattered evenly around this town, and players can gather to trade. I personally was there to admire the various pets people have.
Heck, there's even an awesome stage where future events are going to take place!
Funtasy Event Stage
Some players will slam the game for being too "childish" looking, but don't judge a book by its cover. Even if Funtasy Online is aimed for players 13 years of age and above, the many features and functions in the game are superior to most Free to Play MMOs out on the market.Digimon and Pokemon fans will no doubt love the pet companion capturing system and of course, evolving them into bigger and better beasts. Players can also choose to allow their pet to follow them , showing off their rare or strong pets to other players!
As this is a Closed Beta, some features were not yet implemented, like the housing system. There will also be various instanced maps where party members have to co-operate with each other, wedding system and many more. Unfortunately, there was no mention of PvP, but as a "carebear" player who prefers to PvE, this is of little concern to me ^_^.I believe this title will be a hit if it does comes to English shores. The right marketing could be done to promote this as a game truly for everyone as there is minimal violence of any kind, and not to forget the abundance of features found.