Early Access: Lime Odyssey Part 1
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
For those of you following OnRPG forums, you’re well aware that I had my third visit to Aeria’s HQ in Santa Clara this week to get some hands on time with their upcoming FPS, Repulse Online, as well as their signature upcoming fantasy MMORPG, Lime Odyssey. As Repulse has already been in testing for a while, I’ll refer you to Mikedot’s impressions article for more information on it. Though I will make one mention; Repulse’s sniper only mode is one of the most frantically fun FPS experiences I’ve had in years. Definitely get together with your buddies and try it out! With that said, now it’s time to look at the product of four years of development by Sirius, a company made up of original programmers from the classic Ragnarok Online!
Is Lime Odyssey Your Kind of Game?
Now on to the exclusive so many of you have been patiently waiting for all these months. For those considering if they should check out this title I have a key questions to help you decide. Do you like exploring? If exploring is one of the key elements you find enjoyable in MMORPGs then you’ll definitely be in luck. Lime Odyssey offers an open world environment that is beyond gigantic. I don’t think I’ve ever played an MMORPG to scale with the world they present, and to top it off I only saw loading screens when teleporting between continents. There are a total of four continents in all with plenty of plans to fill each to the brim with content over the course of the game’s future development. Within those 4 continents is a plethora of content with nearly no instancing with the exception of around 5 epic dungeons connected to the main storyline. Though the continents aren’t completely available yet, just what is going to be there at launch would take you ages to travel from one side to another. You’ll be glad when you get a hold of your first mount!
Thankfully the developers of Sirius learned how valuable random exploration was to the success of Ragnarok Online and kept true to its culture by doing away with autopathing to quest goals. Instead you are given a general area on your world map to explore with the goal you seek residing somewhere within that frame. This leaves it up to the player to find their own way from point A to point B, and perhaps happen upon point X in the process, the way a fantasy world should be in my view. Now I spent many hours in Ragnarok Online testing the limits of my character to see just how far I could sneak into the dangerous world before monsters put an end to my daring ways. The introduction of three dimensions in Lime Odyssey takes this feeling to another level. This game offers very few invisible walls so just about anywhere within the world is open to you should you use the physics to your advantage. The inclusion of fall damage limits you from getting too crazy, but adds some seriously fun mountain climbing adventures into your exploration. I think the only relevant exploring game I can compare it to is Skyrim.. just with chibi anime characters and dinosaurs instead of dragons.
Your character has a lot of customization available to you, so it’s important to plan ahead on how exactly you want to build them. Of course your first major decision will be your race. You have the choice of three races, Human, Turga, and Muris. This is mostly a cosmetic decision however there are a few limitations, namely not all classes are available to all races. The beast-like Turga for instance are apparently too barbaric (and stupid) to be capable of harnessing the elemental forces. Edit: At original posting I thought the Muris were unable to be warrior. This turned out to be incorrect. My apologies for this inaccuracy!
After making your race selection and going through the pretty detailed character customization options (Turgas and Muris can change their animal ears and tail!), you will make the most important decision in the game. Players must select a battle class and a trade class. Now for those silly people who aren’t swearing off shaving until Lime Odyssey is released and might be unfamiliar with the trade class, I’ll go over this very intricate part of the game.
The Trade Class
Currently there are 3 trade classes in the game, with a fourth one currently barred out as a question mark. An interesting tid bit of info from Aeria’s Lime Odyssey producer though is that there are possibly up to 6 more trade classes in development! But for now your decision of trade class is much simpler, and you only need to choose between blacksmith, tailor, and chef. Unlike most MMORPGs in the past that give the trade professions a second fiddle in development priorities, Lime Odyssey basis a huge portion of your character development on the profession system.
For starters, characters are able to wear two different sets of armors. One set focuses on improving your battle stats, while the other focusing on improving your profession stats. The list of trade stats is as follows:
Creativity: Affect your chance of collecting additional items.
Smarts: Affects your chance of success when attempting to collect.
Drive: Increases gathering and crafting speed.
Attention: Affects your maximum trade stamina (used for collecting material as well as crafting items. Can be replenished via potions, sleeping at an inn, or max stamina can be increased via gear)
Focus: Affects your chance of success when crafting
Judgment: Affect your chance of hitting a jackpot (a jackpot is when you create something a level higher than the expected result, and how crafted items can be even greater than some of the best drops from boss monsters)
As you level up your trade class, you will gain the ability to allocate points into these various categories. As such you can specialize yourself into a very successful crafter, or focus merely on being super efficient at collecting materials. However being exceptional at both is an impossibility without some legendary crafting armor bonuses. This methodology has an economic goal behind it in which the developers want to force players to interact and spend gold with each other or through the auction house in order to create a prosperous crafting economy. If you’re a pro craftsman but want to craft your own gear, it is far easier to simply charge others gold to craft items for them and then spend that gold in the auction house to buy materials for your desired craft than it would be to gather the materials yourself. On the reverse side, if you’re very efficient at gathering materials, you can sell your excess in the auction house and then use the profits to pay to have your desired gear crafted.
The other point of interest with crafting is that there are two diverging paths under each trade profession. For instance, a tailor can specialize in crafting for heavy armor or lighter armors. A Blacksmith will have to choose his weapon specialization. And finally a chef can go the route of cooking food (offering long term buffs) or potions (offering more immediate short term effects).
Now in my personal experience out of those three options the chef would be considered an underdog in the hierarchy of useful trade professions. The Lime Odyssey devs seemed to have recognized this and implemented a farming/ranching system to counteract the weakness of only producing temporary items like food or potions.
Players are able to visit one of a few open world farming areas where it’s possible to raise 5 different kinds of animals and four different varieties of plants. Raising these animals and plants requires feed, affection, and time, and offers rewards for each of the three professions, making it a vital part of the crafting system. This is where the chef shines as they can create food and potions that can improve the mood of the plant/animal in question, or potions that offer various benefits like faster respawn speed of the pet/plant’s harvestable good. As an example, if you’re a light armor tailor who wishes to make wizard robes, you will be in need of a sheep’s wool. If you trade with a chef, you can obtain a potion that makes your sheep grow wool much faster, allowing you to harvest faster and craft the desired mage robes much sooner. Of course the side benefit of the ranching/farming system is watching 20 guys compete to raise the best panda in the farming zone while a girl stands on the side swooning at the spectacle. On a side note, the chef is also capable of cooking up a valuable meal that reduces the debuff associated with dying and respawning, so definitely visit one before tackling any of the challenging dungeons in this game!
Well that concludes part 1 of our Early Access coverage of Lime Odyssey. I’ll be back at the end of today for a follow up column in which I discuss material collection, guild functions, battle professions, and the many nuances that make Lime Odyssey stand out as a contender in the competitive 2012 MMO industry.