Jumping in Aika

March 20, 2010 at 2:45 am | Posted in mmorpg | Comments Off on Jumping in Aika
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AikaI can jump in Aika, but it’s no better than an emote. There are no cliffs to jump off, thanks to invisible barriers, and nothing to jump on. You can only jump where you can walk. If you can jump on that rock that’s jutting out of the road, you can walk on top of it too. There’s no real jumping, and no z-axis. I find that disappointing.

Maybe I’m drawing too close a comparison between Aika and Guild Wars, because there are plenty of things that differentiate the two. Like the Pram for instance. It’s some form of mystical being raised to serve you. A fairy pet, at least in my case.

Today I got the quest to collect my Pram and went about getting the materials I need, and for the first time felt real purpose in the game. I wanted one. One of the first things you’ll notice walking around in Aika is all the pets following people around, everyone gets one. The vast majority of these pets appear as little girls holding teddy bears. I don’t know whether it’s adorably cute or frighteningly creepy. It’s possible that the fairy that floats around me evolves into these little girls at some point, I’ll have to investigate that in the future.

To get your Pram, the Fire Pram in my case, you need various random drops that start appearing as soon as you start killing. These are Water, Fire, and Air essences. Hold on to your essences until you get your Pram, it’ll save you a lot of trouble. Turn them in, and you get a choice of 3 different types of Pram. Do you get to know which Pram does what before hand? No. You do get to collect all 3 though, so go farm up those essences.

My fairy gives me a passive attack bonus, a passive defense to fire damage, and a skill that ups my magic attack, but only lasts 20 seconds or so. Not particularly great, but, she also talks to me, and I got to name her. Cringer. The ultimate sidekick. Strangely my fairy is naked, it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Each quest I do with my Pram now has my Pram interacting with the quest giver, and giving dialogue. We’re more of a pair than I had anticipated.

One of the other differences I noticed was the looting system. Unlike virtually every other MMO I’ve ever played, my loot is deposited into my backpack. It’s convenient, but it makes me wonder. Is there any joy in picking up loot? I can’t quite decide if there is. I know there’s a sense of curiosity, and a tiny thrill when you get something good or something you’re looking for. I think I miss it. I think I want my loot to drop. Is picking loot up off a kill worth it? It says in text, exactly what I get when I make a kill in Aika. I wonder if that dilutes any joy in what loot I get. I don’t even have to look in my pack often.

Other than that, I spent my time in Aika questing, looking for a particular boss, and exploring new areas. I’ve got quests to check out the first dungeon, not sure if I want to do that yet. I’m about level 10 and to be honest the difficulty is pretty easy.

I still haven’t decided if Aika is worth my time. MMO Gamer Chick (I like your blog title, but I think you need a catchier authorial nickname :P) asked in the comments on the last post whether she should bother, and I said no. I can’t honestly recommend it. If something in my posts stands out, like the fact that it’s free-to-play, kind of good looking, light-hearted quest dialogue, or maybe the Prams, then I would say to my 3 readers, I’m not holding a gun to your head, check it out for yourself.

I’ve still got things I want to do in this game before I leave it completely. I think I’ll keep playing until at least level 20. I’d also like to check out the instances, see what the PvP is like, group up with some people, maybe even join a guild for a half second, and gosh golly maybe even speak to a real live person at some point. I haven’t done that yet. And you know what, playing around with this Pram isn’t so bad, it’s half a reason to keep at it anyway. After years of not jumping in Guild Wars though, you’d think I wouldn’t feel the need to jump. I need it though. I need it.


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