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#14379022 Jun 23, 2020 at 10:49 PM
Crew
21 Posts
[00:35] omido: btw Quilla
[00:36] omido: Considering the fact that you are a native English speaker and a good writer
[00:36] omido: Why don't you write some reviews on TMW
[00:36] Quillia: Hmm.
[00:36] omido: We can publishe them on several gaming websites/forums
[00:36] omido: And attract new players.
[00:37] Quillia: I could do that, but it might be best to do that rigth before or right after rEvolt.
[00:38] Quillia: Now seems a bit of an odd time to start attracting new players when the games about to change a lot.
[00:38] omido: I think it's better now, since we can use the later update as a follow up.
[00:41] Quillia: I'll think about it, but I won't make any promises.


Ask and ye shall recieve! I need to stretch my analytic writing skills anyway, so here is a draft review. . .

This took me maybe a day and a half; I might be an okay writer, but it's super slow. . . so I'm going to shelve this for a bit so I can get back to grinding keys.
--QuillAeudia out.

--Long form--

The Mana World legacy (TMW-l) is a top down 2d MMORPG that is not only free-to-play, but also free-as-in-beer and open source.

Unlike its closest non-free cousins, Ragnarok Online(RO) and Tree of Savior(ToS), [parts of the base engine for TMW-l were developed as part of a project to emulate RO]
TMW-l has developers(DEVs) and gamemasters(GMs) who roam the game as regular players, and anyone who has the artistic or programming skills to contribute to the game's development is encouraged to do so.
Admitedly, TMW-l has fewer quests, a smaller map, and less in-depth lore than other similar MMOs, but it certainly makes up for lack of quantity with an abundance of quality;
each piece of equipment feels valuable and special, because you will rarely throw something away once you've gotten a marginally better version, and the game's systems foster a sense of comunity and cooperation that you don't need to be a 'max level' player to participate in.


The game begins with you waking up in Sorfina's house on Candor island. After she lets you pick your gender (Male, Female or 'Non-binary') she will optionally give you a short tutorial on movement and interaction then direct you to the two npcs downstairs, one gives a tutorial on combat, the other lets you change your appearance.
While there 3 races and and a variety of hairstyles and colors [Talpan(human) 20 styles 13 colors;Tritan(fish) 8s, 5c; Ifriton(demon) 6s, 6c] , the talpan race is much more commonly played than the others, and only a few hairstyles are commonly used.
There are no gameplay differences based on gender or species, although men may find wearing the [fine dress] -- a decent mid-level equipment for mages -- to be a bit embarassing.

After the very short tutorial section the you are free to explore the rest of Candor island, which has several quests suitable for begining players, or to ignore the island entirely and head straight for Hurnscald, which is well known for its 'afk square' where players of all levels tend to congregate.
Aside from chatting with other players, the main activities in the game are doing quests and grinding enemies for items, money or experience.

[where to put this] the quests are a bit sparse at mid to high level, and some NPCs won't tell you about their quests unless you meet level requirement for their quest, so it may be nessessary to ask other players or consult the wiki to find what quests are available at any given level.
The wiki also has a guide for completing each quest (except for the newest Alacrius' riddle quest at the time of this writing) , and detailed information on monster drops. Unfortunately one or two quests have parts that are so obscure that asking a friend or consulting the wiki is almost nessessary.

Aside from a few basic 'gather 10 bug legs' fetch quests, the game also has several 'boss battle' like quests and some simple minigames.
With the exception of some early game quests like the 'Dark Green Dye' quest, and a recently added high level 'Alacrius's Riddle' quest though, most quests will not reward you with enough experience to gain levels quickly.
Instead, quests generally reward you with powerfull equipment, spells(most of which are only useful for specialized mages), and skills(each character may only be focused on one skill at a time however) that will last you the rest of the game.

While many of the early game quests are possible to do solo, most of the quests with the best rewards either highly encourage or require assistance from other players or trading.
The 'Short Sword' quest for example requires using 10 keys to open a locked chest. This is extremely basic, save for the fact that the room with the chest in it is filled to the brim with monsters that will kill even a high level player if they stand still long enough.
Other quests that encourage assistance from higher level players to avoid monsters are the [Speed Skill] quest, which has you make a timed run through convoluted caves filled with deadly snakes, getting into the crypt which is guarded by a large number of skeletons, and stealing the pirate's treasure.
With a few exceptions, quests that require you to actually defeat monsters require a large party to overcome (one notable exception is 'Rossy's Quest' which has you fight a large number of unique enemies by yourself in small and sometimes dark caves).

'Angela's Daughter' commonly known as 'Rossy Quest' for example requires fighting a large number of Yetti, which will kill an unprepared player in a few hits.
Yettis give a lot of xp and drop rare items required for other quests, so higher level players will usually be more than willing to assist. Because this quest randomly gives one of two different rewards,-- either a Wooden staff(1/3 chance) or one of 11 differently colored Wizard Hats (2/3 chance)--
both of which are the best equipment for a mage, higher level players are encouraged to create alternate characters (alt's) and raise them to level 70 (the minimum level to attempt the quest) to do the quest again and have a chance at getting the other item.

Quests that do not involve fighting or collecting items are usually either talking to NPC's (Murder in Hurnscald) or simple variations on 'guess the number' ('Dark Green Dye','Mallard's Eye' and 'Resist Poison skill' quests are distinctly different variations on this concept), although there are some other more interesting quests that involve mixing colors ( 'Orum Quest' and Monster Oil ) , solving a riddle (Alacrius's quest) or answering trivia(focusing skills and towel quest).

The 'Love triangle Quest' (LTQ) is the most involved fetch quest in the game, and involves collecting a variety of items (though in turn the quest has a variety of rewards throughout). Grinding everything yourself could easily take 35+ hours at best and much longer at worst.
Fortunately the game's economy is structured in such a way that many of the required items are worth less than the ammount of time it would take to grind them. For example, although it would normally take a player over 7 hours of grinding Red slimes to get the 25 rubies required for part of the quest, red slimes also happen to be the best mob in the game to grind for money due to their other valuable drops, so older players of the game will often have exsess rubies to sell, and will know that they're worth more than NPCs will pay for them. It's easily possible to grind red slimes for a little over an hour to get a few rubies and to buy the rest with the monney obtained from drops. (similar situations for other items)
Trade between higher and lower level players is encourged by the game's systems in several other ways. Iron Ore, Herbs, and silk cocoons are all resources that are useful to players of all levels (silk cocoons less so), and are dropped by sparsely occuring enemies that are easy to kill.
This means that low level players can get a similar value for their time as high level players.
While the luxury economy is dominated by long time players who have built great fortunes over years of casual play, and who have access to no longer obtainable items (mostly cosmetic) they got from past events, newer players don't have to grind to max level in order to have meaningful economic transactions with high level players.

Besides trading with other players or grinding red slimes, the other way to make gp is by doing one of several 'daily quests' that involve turning in easily obtained items for money.
the ammount of items you can turn in per day is proportional to your level, which encourages players to have many high level alts so they can turn in more items per day.

The mobs that are good for grinding XP are different than the mobs for grinding money. . .
. . . mention the XP formula which encourages team play. . .

There are very few combat abilities in TMW-l, with archers and melee fighters being limited to only basic attacks, and mages having only 2 or 3 viable attack spells, so most of the variety in fights comes from the different kinds of enemies. [explain classes more?]
The main characteristics that make enemies feel different to fight are their speed, attackrange, hp and defense, as well as whether they attack immediately on sight, call on their friends to assist them, or only attack when provoked.
while some enemies will also summon underlings to assist them, the game does not employ AoE(area of effect) attacks, status effects(there is a poison status effect in the game but it is rarely seen), moments of invulnerability, elemental weakness(some enemies are more vulnerable to magic or physical attacks however) alternate dammage conditions (EX. break a crystal to hurt the boss) or bosses with multiple stages (EX. a rage state when low on health).
Even so, there is a surprising amount of variety ranging from slow and hardy zombies, to fragile but fast and deadly white slimes.

lore and environment

The game has 4 Aesthetically different regions and main towns to explore: the Forests (and caves) around Hurnscald, the sandy deserts (and caves) around Tulimshar, the snowy deserts (and caves) by Nivalis, and the wet swamplands by the graveyard town (the region only fetures 2 caves on its border with the hurnscald region which are used exclusively for quests).
While the world is quite expansive, most enemies outside of caves aren't agressive or hard to deal with, so if you want to you can see the majority of the game's map in a few hours at most, and there are no rewards for 'map completion'(all minimaps are fully visible) or hidden chests.
There are a few signs and loose threads of content that were intended but never implemented; an unopenable chest, beneath the miner's house in Hurnscald, a 'witches lair' in the troll cave by Tulimshar that cannot be entered, and alchemy benches that can only create a few useless recipes are some examples, but in general the world does not give you the sense that it is incomplete or that something is missing.
The dialogue from non quest npcs is rather terse and often does little in the way of lore building, but there are a good number of unnessesary quests that add a little bit of flavor to the game, and there are enough npcs in each town and around the world to make the game feel alive.
What lore the game does have often pertains to past actions and events that actually took place in the game; some NPCs such as Dimond and Katze are earstwhile players, and toumbstones in the graveyard and in Tulimshar mention actual players. Item descriptions are terse and literal.

Instead of having a main storyline that is sussessively added to in updates, the overarching story of TMW-l is usually advanced by meetings of the 'Wizard's Council' wherein Devs and GMs talk through some of the game's NPCs and have a conversation with the players.
Decisions reached at the Wizard's council are enacted or programed into the game when possible.
art
The game is entirely drawn with 2d pixel art, and everything blends together amazingly well, especially for a game drawn by volunteers without central art direction.
Because equipment is implemented as simple sprites, sometimes players hair can stick out behind hats in unintended ways, and the left facing cotton shirt (but not the tank top or short tank top) is 1 pixel too small for a woman's bust, and there are a few minor sprite ordering errors on certain equipment, female Tritans and Ifritons have a transparent 1 pixel hole in their necks (a feature?) . . .
but on the whole the art is of consistantly high quality.

Community

TMW supports a wide diversity of players from across the globe, and the game puts up as few barriers as possible in front of being able to participate in the community.
The client supports a few different languages, and there has been some work on translating NPC dialoge, but by in-game law all public communication is in English, and while there is no automatic censorship of foul language, the game is moderated to an extent and players are encouraged to report abuse to a GM.
The use of 'Away From Keyboard'(AFK) bots or tools is banned and the ban is strictly enforced, so most of the people you see in game will be willing and able to talk to you.
(Wiki & forums)
As previously mentioned the game's systems allow and encourage co-operation and trade, . . . mention Iron transmutation . . .

While the game may not have as much 'content' as its closest non-free cousins, Ragnarok Online(RO) and Tree of Savior(ToS), its diverse and amicable community as well as gameplay systems that force and encourage player cooperation more than earn it a seat at the table of worthwhile MMOs to try.



pros:
4 regions
variety of quests
(solo boss, team boss, fetch, minigame (poison, monster oil, orum colors, archery) )
Meaningful quest rewards
community
community driven
Wizard's council.
not railroaded
involved GMs and DEVs
@wgm
bot-free
wiki
Cons:
small world (compared to RO/ TOS)
'grindy'
loose threads (world -> witches lair, alchemy bench, unopenable chest; plot -> masked men)
Guide dang it! (#parum boo, /me hugs tree)
few (but lengthy) quests
no central story, little lore (but player-driven lore too)
no instancing
few skills/abilities
The game (arguably) offers few intellectual challenges outside time-management and efficiency problems.
bosses could be made more complex.
little room for player customization outside of outfits and hairstyles.

(mention other servers, hardcore, ML, Evol, LoF, TMW-Br)
+2
#14379028 Jun 23, 2020 at 11:09 PM
1 Post
That was brilliant,
Now the only thing we need is to capture some cool screenshots (with more players preferably) and post it to several gaming, software community forums/websites.

Thanks for such great and detailed review.
"Success always calls for greater generosity β€” though most people, lost in the darkness of their own egos, treat it as an occasion for greater greed. Collecting boot is not an end itself, but only a means for building an empire. Riches would be of little use to us now β€” except as a means of winning new friends."

Cyrus the Great
+1
#14379085 Jun 24, 2020 at 02:29 AM
Crew
21 Posts
It's not really finished, it wold take another several hours work at least to polish it up, and you'd want to tailor a couple different versions depending on the nature of the site you're posting to. . . a lot more work than I really want to put in at the moment :P
+0
#14379360 Jun 24, 2020 at 01:04 PM
Crew
4 Posts
Very nice text :D i think, you made a little error talking about Quests. 'Angela's Daughter' commonly known as 'Rossy Quest' i think it means 'Cindy Quest' :P
Princess of the Cookie KingdomπŸͺπŸͺπŸͺ
+0
#14379398 Jun 24, 2020 at 02:57 PM
Crew
21 Posts
XD Thanks Myu, I think I made a lot of little errors :P
+0
#14379587 Jun 25, 2020 at 12:43 AM
Crew
6 Posts
This is a very good review of TMW. You captured all of the key elements, gave a back story on the review. πŸ˜€πŸ‘
+0
#14381588 Jun 28, 2020 at 08:57 PM
Crew
94 Posts
Maybe this thread is more suitable for the TMW forum itself than the CRC one.
Livio
+0
#14381609 Jun 28, 2020 at 10:00 PM
Crew
21 Posts
Maybe this thread is more suitable for the TMW forum itself than the CRC one.
Livio


Probably, but that's more of a public forum than this is (i.e. people who might decide to play TMW-l will land there, probably not here), and I'd want to *finish* writing a thing before I post it 'publicly'.

I suppose this thread has 3 main ideas:
  1. I started writing a review of TMW because omido suggested it. Here's my draft.
  2. Omido thinks we should 'Publish reviews on several gaming websites/forums'. Is it a good idea to start some sort of media campaign to attract players?
  3. If it is a good idea, then who should put in the work to make it happen, and what platforms should we advertise on?


Idea 1. can stay here, ideas 2. and 3. should go on the TMW forums.

I mostly wrote it because after omido made the suggestion I basically wrote it in my head anyway, but the extra work of polishing it up, editing things to fit the style of different platforms and so on is more than I feel like doing for its own sake. So the review will stay here unless and until I get the energy to do something else with it.
+0
#14381857 Jun 29, 2020 at 12:01 PM
Crew
94 Posts
Hmm... We are still playing on an old defective server I don't know if is a good idea to attract players here before things will get fixed.
Livio
+0
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