By Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
NDoors, the company that brought the smash hit F2P MMO, Atlantica Online, brings to the MMO scene a new MMO that brings politics, economics and role playing into an MMO.
Living in a new world
Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu, is an 2.5D MMO. Its story centers around the civilization that is thriving after humanity’s excessive reliance on technology destroyed the balance of the world. Your part in the story of Luminary is that you will be taking part in the daily running and goings of the world of Luminary.
You get to choose from four default characters in Luminary. Out of the four choices you can choose between two male and two female characters. For the male characters, you can either be the ex-bandit Fabian or the revenge-hungry Calix. Meanwhile, the female character’s choices consist of Raina, the childhood friend of Fabian or the free-spirited Ariel. Luminary doesn’t have any customization features. Your in-game character does look like the character picture though what you get is the smaller and cuter version of the character.
The game doesn’t really have a clear-cut final objective like most f2ps. The game’s basic premise is that you are living in a new world and trying your best to live well and survive. However, this may seem a little vague especially for an MMORPG of this kind. Yet, this works well with the game system that Luminary has.
Systems that actually work
For an F2P game, Luminary has a lot of systematic elements that actually work, or at least, offer a different experience.
First up would be economic system the game has. Luminary online has an in-game stock market system where you can invest on stocks of the different cities in-game. The stock market system is somewhat similar to the real-life stock market where stock holders get a portion of the earnings the city has through the taxes the lord of the city has imposed on it. The stock market system provides you with an alternative way of earning in-game money and also influence.
Another system unique to Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu is its political system. Luminary allows you to become the server’s “ruler” or in this case, the Goonzu. Of course, not everyone can become a ruler for a server, so as a way to establish order. The game system requires you to be able to pass certain requirements to be able to become a candidate. Earning the title Goonzu gives the players a lot of perks, like assigning those who will be your ministers and the like.
Besides the economic and the political in-game system, Luminary also has a very intricate character development system. Yes, the choice for avatars may be limited to only four, but the way your character is built varies depending on your preferred style of gameplay.
Luminary allows you to allocate points on your stats, but the game also gives you an option on what weapons you are more inclined on. Furthermore, Luminary enables you to craft your own items. You can make your own weapons, armor and other usable items as long as you have the necessary ingredients and if you already have the skill to make that said item. You don’t have to worry much about getting information regarding those ingredients you need because the game provides you every data regarding about the item.
Speaking of ingredients, the game requires you to eat, especially if your character is hungry. Besides the usual HP recovery items that you need to gather, you also have to buy or make your own food so that your character is full. Failure to do so may in fact cause problems for your character. The problems include getting sick, or even slowly losing your HP if you let your character starve.
The crafting/cooking element of Luminary is also coupled with a mini-game. The mini-game prior to the actual crafting material affects the grade and the chance of success your crafting/cooking will be.
Luminary’s other feature that needs attention is the mentor system. True, the mentor system is neither new nor innovative for other MMOs have those kinds of systems that works. The difference in Luminary’s system is that the mentor system automatically shows itself when you log in. You can choose to PM those who are officially considered as mentors or if you are lucky they could be online and ready to be there to help you in getting familiar with the game.
Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu, is not by far a very revolutionary game. Whatever features the game has, other games have used. However, Luminary has successfully integrated all those elements and created a world where there is a working political and economic system. This is rarely seen in any F2P MMOs and the game has in fact fine-tuned it enough to be effective and newbie friendly.
Even with a game that has no clear objective story-wise, Luminary has a lot of things to offer that you can spend your time on. If you tire of the usual level grinding you can choose to play around with the in-game stock market, and maybe land on a stock investment that gives you a huge payout. Or you can enhance your artisan skills and try to be a better craftsman and sell your stuff in the market. Or you can go into in-game politics and vie to be the next Goonzu of the server.
There are a lot of things you can do in the game that sometimes it can be overwhelming for those players who are not used to this kind of MMOs. Another thing is the graphics and the type of game Luminary is. The game sprites remind me of another MMO Trickster online. Both games have in fact the same type of genre, though it is only in the looks and gameplay that the two MMOs have in common, Luminary takes the more “simulation” type of approach with the system’s almost real-world semblance.
Besides the looks and the kid-like feel of the game, the other thing that can be considered as a con in Luminary is the mini-game when you are crafting or cooking. Yes the mini-game does help a lot when you are trying to successfully create a hard to obtain equipment or food, but the mini-game can be such a waste of time when you are just creating a lowly item. This is evident when you are doing the Crafting quest for the first time. I never got the heads up that the mini-game is in fact part of the crafting process so I just played it out, not till I got the crafted item that I finally understood what the mini-game was for.
Luminary: Rise of the Goonzu may not be a visually stunning F2P MMO, the game does deliver an addicting gaming experience especially if you are into politics, economics or just plain lounging around.
– There’s always something to do in-game
– The game has a working political and economical system
– Everything you need is already available through the game info tab
– The Graphic is cute and kid-like
– The crafting mini-game can really be a bother
– The amount of information the game provides can be daunting especially for newbies