Grand Chase Tour - Season 3 Shenanigans!
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Tour guide: GM_Bawkzie
Back in spring 2010, SG Interactive (formerly known as Ntreev USA) released season 3 updates for Grand Chase, a multiplayer online brawler with cute anime flavored boys and girls that love beating the crap out of monsters, evil villains and each other. Season 3 featured numerous updates including a complete overhaul for missions, items and user Interfaces, plus brand new dungeons , land and tons more.
I used to play this game way back before it was even in English, and I was pretty damn good at it, so I was more than ready to give the new Grand Chase a go.
The tour started off kind of slow, as the first stop on the tour was a trip to the game's tutorial mode. Training with the tutorial mode has been incredibly revamped, allowing you to try out every character available with tons of possible tweaks and combinations. Back in the day, there was only Elesis, Lire and Arme. But now, eight new characters have joined the fight, such as Jin the martial arts expert and Amy the divine dancer. As much as I wanted to give everyone a try, I decided to get re-acquainted with Elesis.
With the time I spent fooling around with the tutorial mode, I re-learned some of Elesis' bread n' butter combos. During this, I noticed the "Type 1" icon hovering over the MP bar. The GM explains that some characters have the ability to switch between two different skills sets with a quick press of the spacebar. Skill switching opened up a whole new set of possibilities for me, so I was pretty eager to try them in action when I had the chance.
After I finished warming up in the tutorial, I was asked to hop on the Gorgos server and from there; we took to the equipment screen so the GM could explain, in fine detail, all the nice features that shows how much Grand Chase has evolved. In the previous versions of Grand Chase, stat properties that went with your equipment were very bare bones, but now there are tons of new stats properties to take into consideration, such as Critical hit rate, Counterattack resistance, HP recovery rate and more.
But it doesn't end there: Some of your equipment can be stat tweaked even further with the properties menu (on some equipment) that will let you select several options to fit your fighting tactics.
But wait... there's even more tweaking you can do! Grand Chase also has a card system that allows you to socket your equipment with cards of monsters you've slain in combat. Each card holds small effects that can be combined with other cards to create wicked combinations.
They've also added a crafting system that is familiar to those found in MMORPGs. Simply put: You can use this system to create equipment that can be found in the shop or equipment that can only be created by crafting.
So many customization options, so little time! Even though I didn't care much for any of the customization available, it was neat to know that every detail of your character could be tweaked 'til you heart's content.
But enough talk of customization... It was time to take some action! I joined up with GM_Bawkzie to check out some of the dungeons. We started off slow: Over at the Trial Forest, we beat up a couple of mushroom dudes before heading off to defeating a giant tree monster. Of course, these monsters weren't a challenge for us, so we jumped over to the Wyrm's Maw dungeon to take on some more adequate enemies.
The place was crawling with fire breathing baddies and I was itching to take them all out. Despite my confidence, I ended up dying twice before deciding not to play like a maniac, all while GM_Bawkzie hanged back and tore the place up without getting a scratch.
After we finished our dungeon run, it was time for the main event: PvP! But before we got started, GM_Bawkzie wanted to explain a little bit about the skill tree system: Adopted from many other MMORPGs out there, making use of skill trees in Grand Chase allows you to gain new skills after mastering a few prerequisites. Skill trees are broken up into active and passive skills.
I was also asked to try out Dio, one of the recent additions to Grand Chase's playable characters. Dio apparently doesn't play out quite the same as everyone else, as he relies on AP instead of MP to perform skills. Also unlike the other Grand Chase characters: he can create each attack links from his basic skills and specials, making him very easy to play, but difficult to master.
But there was one more thing I decided to ask before the tour ended. I wanted to know what was up with the little gray dragon that GM_Bawkzie had. Then I was told that Grand Chase featured a neat little pet system: While most MMOs included pets that simply boosted your stats and showed off how rich you were, pets in Grand Chase actually fight alongside you. Pets need to be taken care off with feeding and battle experience so they can evolve and gain new attacks.
We hopped back into another PvP battle to show off what some of the pets could do. I had a little penguin pet by my side that shot weak balls of fire, while GM_Bawkzie had some kind of robo maid that shot a crapton of lasers that could stun enemies. Needless to say, it was obvious which one would be more useful in a fight.
There were a lot of other features that were mentioned during the tour, such as guild functions, a couples function and even a park for players to run around and just chat.
Overall, I had lots of fun playing Grand Chase after being away from it for such a long time. A lot of features gave the game some much needed depth while keeping the core gameplay simple enough for gamers of all skill ranges to enjoy.
I had such a good time that I might even start playing again! I may not be a total pro since I haven't been at it for a while, but I should be good enough to beat newbs at the least, so watch out!
For more info on Grand Chase Season 3: Visit the Grand Chase Profile.