By MerryQuiteContrary, OnRPG Journalist
Moonlight Online, developed by China-based IGG, is a free to play fantasy Vampire based MMORPG for Facebook, though the player can log in using Twitter, Yahoo, MSN and Google. Currently only Windows OS is supported.
The world of Ansgarde is in trouble or so the story goes. Unnamed dark forces are attempting to overthrow the three great races of Human, Vampire and Werewolf. There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of lore but if you are fan of Twilight or just like vampires and werewolves in general then you are in luck. Moonlight Online has plenty of both.
There are three races to choose from in Moonlight Online: Vampire, Werewolf and Human. Each has their own special abilities, style and starting zones. Character creation offers the choice of the three races, gender and several looks for each. Character creation is very basic with only two or three choices for face but quite a few for hair colour and skin colour. There isn’t a slider bar to be had anywhere. Vampires and Werewolves have the choice of being a knight, rogue or mage and Humans can pick from knight, mage and sage.
“Moonlight Online boasts 3D amazing graphics.” Amazing is a rather strong description. Decent graphics would be more of an appropriate adjective here. I haven’t seen any evidence of physics or ragdoll effect. There isn’t a lot of character detail. I have a high end gaming PC and I can’t tell the colour of my character’s eyes. This is with settings turned all the way to max. That being said the art direction has a haunting old world quality to it. There is considerably more detail in the architecture and environs than the characters. While the graphics aren’t bad the sound effects are. The sound effects are annoying; I had to turn them off. I would rank them on par with Runes of Magic. You know that tinny metal on metal sound? Yeah, that. The background music is nice without being obvious.
As with most free to play games, the interface is cluttered with promotions, giveaways, and rewards as well as the standard fare. If you think the interface looks a bit familiar that is because it bears a striking resemblance to the standard WoW interface, especially the red buttons. The item mall, however, is unobtrusive but there is a scrolling ticker announcing miscellaneous items or sales. The item mall carries things like reagents, warehouse expansions, rep gain items, guild items, materials, pets, mounts and fashion outfits.
Graphics aren’t that important to most as long as the combat is good. Luckily, Moonlight Online has surprisingly average combat which is neither good nor bad. If you’ve played any of the AAA titles you will feel right at home here. One of the more interesting features is the ability to enhance your weapon and then transfer its abilities to a new weapon. By enhancing your weapons you unlock new skills. Where Moonlight Online potentially fails is with the questing which seems to be a lot of running around talking to this NPC or that. Levelling is incredibly fast at least at lower levels. When you do get to fight there doesn’t seem to be any real threat that you may lose to. I would even say lower level characters are a bit over powered. I can’t say if this carries on throughout the game but hopefully end-game has further challenge.
There are currently only four dungeons in Moonlight Online. The first dungeon becomes available at level 28. There are several events throughout the day which require the player to be at least level 25 to 30 depending on the event. There is some PvP in the form of arenas which are open to level 50+. However, none of this is immediately clear and requires some looking. I found nothing in the tutorial with regard to PvP options.
Mentoring is another feature of Moonlight Online though I haven’t determined to what end other than possibly extra experience. Supposedly, as a disciple, graduating from your mentor brings “great rewards”.
Aside from mentoring another feature that is somewhat unique or at least one that isn’t encountered that often is meditation. Meditation allows the player to gain experience and energy while offline. In later levels this requires a certain reagent.
Overall, this is a fun and easy game. It would be ideal for those new to MMORPGs to learn on; however, it could do with a better tutorial. It has its own merits and a few faults but it is early days yet for Moonlight Online. It will be interesting to see how it develops over time. For a Facebook game, Moonlight Online is a nice way to spend some time. If you haven’t tried it yet, why not give it a go? Trust me, you could do a lot worse.