By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), General Manager
A Pet, a Companion, a Narrator, and a Grab Bag
Eidolons don’t necessarily reinvent the wheel in terms of MMO pets. Rather they seem to encompass a half dozen great ideas from various other MMO pet systems, improve them, and offer them up in one complete package with enough customization options, variety, and visual appeal to send the typical gamer into ADD overdrive.
But at the start you’ll face the equivalent of the Professor Oak selection process to decide your starting Eidolon from four options. And don’t worry, the names can be changed to make you and your pet feel like unique snowflakes.
Eternal Youth: Don’t be fooled by his spritely appearance – Serif is a warrior spirit with the courage to take on any foe. Darting through the air, he strikes with powerful punches and lightning attacks that leave enemies reeling.
Cheery Sylph: Merrilee’s bubbly personality and can-do attitude make her a perfect partner. She does her best to keep you safe with defensive spells and healing magics, but she can also turn the tables on foes with vicious ice attacks. I also kid you not, one of her abilities is called “Cheerleader.”
Daring Digimon… er Dragon: A recently hatched dragon, Grimm doesn’t let his size prevent him from displaying the confidence and tenacity of a full-grown drake. He enjoys bobbing around enemies, body-slamming them in between blasts of torching flame.
And to keep that one guy in everyone’s guild happy.
Yes you know the one I’m talking about.
Regal Unicorn: A svelte scion of unicorn nobility, Alessa possesses sacred powers that can purify ailments and heal injuries. The regal horn protruding from her forehead isn’t just for show either – she wields it with the deftness of a fencer’s blade.
Don’t like any of the options? The world of Azuria is filled with countless Eidolons ranging from Iron Man look a-likes to famous historical mythological creatures. And methods of unlocking them are various including quests and drops to obtain a series of keys, guild hall summoning rituals, cash shop packs, and story rewards.
Each Eidolon brings its own unique stats, growth, skills (typically four including an ultimate combo skill with a cool-down ranging in the 2 minute mark), and personality to the mix, and a player can have 3 hotkeyed for fast summoning to swap between skill sets at any time depending on the changing nature of a battle. But beyond splitting skulls in the most adorable of ways and offering awkward upskirt screenshots, what sets these creatures apart from standard MMO pets?
A Companion: So you’ve found an Eidolon you have a connection to and want to see its power grow? Well for starters you’re going to have to spend time to get to know your Eidolon to make that happen in any timely manner. This involves running quests to obtain Eidolon food, participating in epic battles together to create memories, and just generally chatting with your partner about random nonsense to let them know their opinion matters to you. It’s certainly an odd system that’s not for everyone, but I can imagine roleplayers and pet enthusiasts getting really into this.
But even if that’s not your interest, you’ll still need to learn the ropes of caring for an Eidolon as these creatures will offer a hefty boost to your damage, survivability, soloing speed, and in some cases can even act as a combat mount on top of it. I’ll be holding my breath though as PvP is still in the early stages of development so there isn’t a Eidolon battle arena yet to test your pet against other pets. Don’t keep us waiting XLegend!
A Narrator: Your Eidolon team are watching you all the time. Judging you. Criticizing you. Occasionally complimenting you (or so I’ve heard. My Eidolons gave me no respect beyond being an awesome leader of “ExampleGuild2”). Eidolons you have set in your active slots will pop up during key boss battles to be sure to let the Fairy Queen know she they’re no match for you and your iron men of death. Which, based on not knowing the backstory, often had me wondering if I was a hero or villain.
Finally some recognition!
These events will not only build your relation but be brought up by your Eidolon during conversation later. Or they’ll just point out that the grey slime toad somehow managed to kill you for the next three weeks, much like an overbearing girlfriend that takes joy in reminding you of your greatest failures.
A Grab Bag: Outside of combat and fluff features, the most physically rewarding part of building a strong relation with your Eidolon is when you expend relation MP points on reward quests. This typically involves your Eidolon doing some sort superstitious ritualistic dance not unlike the one your crazy uncle does to ensure his football team makes it to the playoffs. Just with more fireballs and flashy effects thrown in.
After ten minutes of summoning a Spirit Bomb, your Eidolon will return to you with a decent prize. This can range from experience orbs to boost your Eidolon’s level to specialty foods that up your Eidolon’s stats. Once in a while they may even surprise you with items found only in the cash shop so don’t miss out on playing the Eidolon lottery every chance you get.
Just note that you can’t have your Eidolon carry you through the game EZ-mode style by spending all your time focus leveling it as your Eidolon can never exceed your character’s level.
Evolution: The last note worth mentioning about Eidolons is the evolution system. This exists only for those that have put in the time to actually level an Eidolon all the way to level 40. At this time you can make the choice to spend precious items to reset your Eidolon back to level 1, but with a higher rate of leveling strength this time around. It’s a tedious process to be sure but worth it in the long run if you want to acquire the most powerful companion possible.
The ostrich driver heard I liked carts. So he gave me a cart to put the Moon Bunny in for carting while carting in his cart. Cartception Achievement Unlocked.
There’s of course more to Aura Kingdom than a glorified Pokemon pet collecting game. While the character grind itself is quite short (a boon to those lacking as much time for MMOs though a bane to hardcore grinders I’m sure), the quest to obtain all achievements and titles is another story.
If you thought Eden Eternal threw an endless barrage of unlockable titles at you, prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer wall of question marks awaiting you on the second page of your character menu in Aura Kingdom. And rarer titles will open up stat bonuses that are cumulative, meaning once you have them unlocked, they will be unlocked and active at all times across all characters on your account whether you are wearing the title or not. This means altaholics are going to be a force to be reckoned with, as each of their new characters will be more powerful at level 1 than their newbie first character brethren. I’ll say it makes alts more appealing as well since your added power will ensure a faster clear of content to level up quicker the second time around.
And while not all achievements are accompanied by sweet titles, they will still reward you with Aeria’s new loyalty point system, a nifty and free way to obtain cash shop goods without paying a dime. I felt this system of hiding achievements behind every corner from jumping up a strange cliff face to killing x number of y monsters to listening to NPCs in town rant about personal drama llamas helps alleviate that race to end-game feeling by giving you physical rewards for just enjoying the beautiful and colorful world around you. And the ever growing tally of achievement points is sure to stand as a competitive benchmark for various completionists to brag and challenge each other with. Even trophies are in the early stages of development for those that prefer a giant golden medal over a raw numeric value to drive their bragging rights home.
Story and Gameplay Impressions coming soon…
We’ll be following up this evening with a look into the actual combat feel of Aura Kingdom as well as the story itself coincided with my personal likes and dislikes of the title later this evening. But if you’re here for a second chance at winning your own pack of Aura Kingdom playing cards, follow this link and answer our forum’s next question.