Swordsman Online (CN) - Angelica III engine combat trailer - YouTube

Hoping that this comes to the English market sometime next year or the year after.

PWE's martial arts based combat animations have always been gorgeous. Even the basic autoattack animations in their wuxia type MMOs are gorgeous - I don't know the names, but I do remember recognising some of the swordplay moves in Jade Dynasty's basic autoattack.

With this whole new engine (Angelica III), the combat animations have retained all of their distinctive flavour, and are more gorgeous than ever.

No idea how it's going to work in actual gameplay, what with latency, etc, but what the trailer really reminds me of is Street Fighter... only in 3D. It's sort of like Virtua Fighter all grown up. XD

Since this is (I think) PWE's first use of a new engine, it'll doubtless have bugs and stuff, but it's just so pretty!

...and OMG you can do all the qinggong stuff, apparently. Bound over small buildings and hop along the surface of the water etc etc.

We are all Junundu nao: 2 months worth of reflections on GW2 (and more)

After 2 months of more or less continuous play (moved to new country, job hunting, etc) the nugget did get 2 toons to 80, three into the 70s in Guild Wars 2, before the crispy golden batter did break down into a hopelessly soggy mass of despair.

Though the nugget originally aimed to give GW2 a 'fair' chance by getting five 80s with 1 of each profession maxxed, the nugget could not do it.

Instead, the formerly-juicy-with-adoration-but-now-soggy-with-sad nugget did log off after her poor ranger hit 80, hasn't logged back on since. (Ok, that's a lieTwice after that! Once to donate money to a poor friend who got hacked, and the other time because I was playing MMO-as-chat-client tag with another friend.)

The funniest - or saddest - thing is, the nuggetty toons weren't even affected by the nerfs that went down at the time. (Same time as ranger shortbow 'animation' nerf.)

Nuggety guardian was a hammer guardian, and nuggetty ranger had JUST changed to sword/dagger + axe/horn PBAOE trapper before the nerf. Literally days before. Which, incidentally, the nugget was rather liking - insofar as the nugget liked any of the gameplay in GW2.

Honestly, the only reason the nugget lasted so long was that her soon-to-be-soggy batter wanted so desperately... not to be underwhelmed and unhappy. Didn't work, but let it not be said that a nugget did not try! XD

1 sentence Nuggetty Review of GW2:
"We are all Junundu nao."

... and now, on to FPN - First Person Nugget!

Achievements - They Aren't All Equal
The saddest part of this for me is that I've lost all faith in ArenaNet. GW was the only game I've loved even 1/3 as much as I loved LegendMUD.

I have no problems with games being a business. I happily play PWE titles, and they are the polar rapacious opposite of what I loved about ArenaNet with regards to Guild Wars and the design philosophy behind it.

One of the hallmarks of Guild Wars was the burning idealism behind it that shaped it into the unique creation it is. It goes beyond the later additions like vanquishing, heroes and then all-hero parties, PvE skills. Those things were icing and evolution both. But the core of Guild Wars was the idea that playing could be fun and rewarding in and of itself. That if given the right platform, people could and would play for fun. That the fun could be the reward, because fun could be creative. That was what really differientated Guild Wars from WoW and all the other rat pellet MMOs I've played.

Don't get me wrong, rat pellets have their place, and I do like them. But they are, at heart, carrot-based. Guild Wars is not. Guild Wars gave me a sense of achievement. It still does when I come up with a build that looks like 'lol that can't possibly work... can eet?' on paper that turns out to be brilliant. Rat-pellet MMOs give me... achievements. ._.

And that's just one of the ways where Guild Wars 2 went wrong. How for the love of all that is crispy and fatty and cholesterol-filled in the world, did ArenaNet go from the sheer brilliance of the fights in War in Kryta to those in Guild Wars 2?

Dragon-slaying 101... Err... I mean... 1111111111111111111111
In Guild Wars: War in Kryta, every mob loaded a random skillbar from a pool, which then synergised anywhere from well to brilliantly with all the OTHER mobs also doing the same thing. And to make things even more hilarious and beautiful, the mobs were using skillbars based on the PvE 'meta' builds of the day. Which meant that prior to the content being nerfed (and even the nerfs were timed well), they couldn't be facerolled with the current PvE metas (in Hard Mode). Instead, fights were full of watching your opponents, adapting on the fly, switching targets fast in some cases, knowing when to spike in others... It's the closest I've ever seen to PvP in any game, and it was utterly fucking beautiful.

...and then in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet has you kill dragons by spamming your 1-key (or 2-key), together with a whole horde of other monkeys also spamming their 1-keys.

I know I keep using the word 'heartbreaking', but there it is. :(

Oh Well, the Art Lived Up to the Hype. And You Can Jump.
Guild Wars 2 has none of the burning idealism that makes GW the unique thing it is. While it's certainly a beautiful game (if you don't think about the armour art), taken as a whole, it's definitely neither revolutionary nor unique.

It's not that GW2 didn't bring any improvements, it's that the improvements were far outweighed by the WTFery.

One Step Forward...
You can now jump.
I've seen people say they couldn't play GW because you couldn't jump with the spacebar. While I totally agree that /jump just isn't the same, I've never understood that point of view. Still, there you have it, in GW2, you can jump. With your spacebar.

You can walk over terrain and fall to your death.
Definite improvement - in GW2 you longer have to walk around that tiny kitten sized rock anymore. I liked that.

There's an Auction House, and you can sell from anywhere!
That's great. I wish more auction houses worked like that. It would be even better if you could also pick up from anywhere. Oh and if the auction house fee wasn't so stupidly high... but more about that later...

New graphics engine
Extremely beautiful, no denying it.

Underwater combat
I think I'm one of the few people who actually liked underwater combat - on all 5 of my toons (Guardian, Mesmer, Thief, Elementalist, Ranger). It is revolutionary for underwater combat to obey a different set of rules. From what I can tell, not only are the skills different (duh), but the damage patterns are also different. Unfortunately, the x, y and z-axis are incredibly buggy, and if you pull a mob up or down from the level it loaded on, half the time it goes invulnerable, while your toon, of course, stays all too vulnerable. Not until GW2 did I appreciate the sheer amount of work Blizzard put into underwater in Cataclysm. I don't recall ever EVER getting axis-based evades underwater in Cata.

Nodes for all
No more node-ninjaing! Now work together to get to that node! This was a definite improvement.

Two Steps Back
Fully customisable UI is gone
In Guild Wars you could drag, drop, resize and reposition anything and everything, anywhere you wanted. That's gone like it never was. You're gonna use ArenaNet's 'vision' of what their UI should be, and that's that.

Your screen is full of you
Unless you play an Asura, you'll notice that you're more important to yourself than ever before. No longer can you zoom way out like you can in Guild Wars, for a tactical view of the battle. Nope, you'll spend most of your time looking at yourself, and if you're a Norn or a big Charr... Lol. Reminds me of being in bear form in Sunken Temple back in the day in WoW.

Two upper torsos with heads talking against a backdrop
Gone are the meaningful, in-world cutscenes. I don't think the voice acting has gotten worse, but the whole backdrop thing made the entire experience of watching my toon interacting with NPCs so utterly disconnected that I ended up turning off all voice acting and just reading. When I bothered to read. There is one bright spark though - Tybalt. I loved Tybalt and his apples. XD

Armour design is leaves something to be desired
Guild Wars armour is beautiful from level 1, and every class has a unique look even across all the different variants. No classes share armour skins. It's perfectly possible to mix-and-match a gorgeous set of armour by combining expensive elite pieces with dirt cheap ones. No armour is inferior to any other in looks. In Guild Wars 2 cloth, leather, heavy armour wearers all wear the same sets of skins until you get to the grindy prestige skins. And there is a definite sense that non-prestige skins are not 'worthy' or real art attention and love.

Combat isn't strategic anymore
How did we go from mobs understanding front/mid/backlines, and healer mobs kiting to force you to fight their frontlines, to mobs whose idea of kiting is to run away from you in a straight line about 200 out, and then in a straight line back?
As for the rest ... just scroll back up and re-read the part about War in Kryta vs GW2 dragons, ok? XD

Economy was built with no idea how a F2P game economy works, and none of the finesse needed to wring every last drop of money from a player and have them be okay with it
Yes, I realise you pay for the box, so it's not even strictly F2P. But when 6USD = 1.5g in a system that has gold, silver, and copper, something is wrong. It just doesn't stretch far enough, and it feels like a swindle. Add that to the ridiculous 10-15% (I forget) tax on all items in the AH, and you really start to feel the squeeze. I made enough to buy the upgrades I wanted, sure, but I haven't felt I've had to be this careful about money in a game in years. And as for friends who'd never played anything but GW? Lol - if you have no idea how the usual MMO economy works (e.g. raw mats sell for way more than crafted goods until you have the very high level recipes...) - good luck.

In contrast, while PWE wasn't always as amazing at it as they are now, they learn and evolve. If you play Forsaken World, their newest in-house title aimed at taking a large slice of the English-speaking F2P market... you'll see that they're very very good at not just squeezing money, but deflecting hostility.

A couple of years ago I played another of PWE's in-house titles, Jade Dynasty, and lol. So long after that I still *resent* the US$20 I had to pay for a flying mount so I could continue to level and do content. Fast forward a few years with Forsaken World, where I've dropped US$130 over a year of play, and I'm happy and not at all resentful. These guys are *smart* and they learn *fast*.

ArenaNet, on the other hand, with GW2, seems to have stuck its head in the sand, or up its own arse, singing, 'Lalalala we have a loyal fan base so we know best!' without bothering to even look at how others in the industry are doing things.

Dynamic events are poorly done
GW2's DEs are basically: succeed and restore status quo vs fail and retake 'blah' until you can ... succeed and restore status quo. They are boring, and feel utterly pointless. And they're set up so that if you fail, even though you still get a reward, it *feels* like a failure. The importance of that feeling cannot be overemphasized, because it's one of the reasons why Rift's DEs work much better.

Rift's DEs have (mostly) timer-based stages that you can complete based on whichever DE it happens to be. This means that if you're alone and you want to do a DE (or close a Rift, really, because that's what they tend to be if we leave out Instant Adventures), you can complete as much of the objective that's set before your time runs out, and you successfully close the rift. There are of course some rifts that are very hard to solo (raid rifts), but by and large the ones spawning all over the world follow the pattern above, and by doing so, they grant players what GW2's DEs fail to - satisfaction and the illusion of control.

Teamwork? Lol.
In Guild Wars, I'd group if I felt like being around people, and I've met some cool folks and made good friends that way. In Guild Wars 2, everyone else is basically another NPC that I hope dies before I do. A simple thing like auto-grouping would help so much with this. Time and again in Rift, (which gives you the option to automatically join the DE group and so see people's nameplates, hp, mana, and role...), I've seen people join the group, assess it... and switch talents / builds to fill the gaps they saw. It doesn't have to be requested of them. There are always people who enjoy tanking and/or healing, and if they see that it's needed, *they will do it*.

In Guild Wars, there are so many spells based around buffing other people because it helps your group as a whole. Splinter Weapon and Great Dwarf Weapon are just two in a whole long list. In Guild Wars 2, you have combo fields that you can't even control properly in the zerg that GW2 is.

Working as a team was built into Guild Wars from the ground up. In Guild Wars 2, that concept's just been ground up. =P

Talent trees added, build diversity and flexibility removed
Not only that, but GW2's talent trees are inferior to the talent trees in other games, let alone the system in the original Guild Wars. Don't give me the whole 'switch on the fly' thing. Rift does that too, and much better. With GW2 talent trees, sorry, traits, NO ONE puts 13 points in one thing and 7 in another as an end build. So why does GW2 have points in increments of 1, when only 5s make a difference? Probably to make the 80 levels feel less pointlessly drawn out.

Lore is gone
There's a bit in Nightfall in Guild Wars where you have to answer questions about the gods. I remember being shocked that I could answer them all even though I never really paid attention to the lore while running around killing everything. It just seeped in. I just KNEW. I found that to be an amazing achievement. In Guild Wars 2, erm... the only reason I know which gods are which are because of all my hours in Guild Wars. In fact, there's a bit in GW2 where you ALSO have to answer questions based on the history of Tyria, and the only reason I could answer them was Guild Wars... not GW2. XD

FFS ArenaNet, don't let your devs post on official forums without vetting with PR or a CM first
This thread
is why. I once thought ArenaNet were brilliant not to have official forums. I thought that it was because they realised that in general, fan forums are far more thoughtful and civil. Now I think they were just incredibly lucky - and never realised it. Not only that, but they're locking any threads on the official forums where people are unhappy. Almost every other MMO company out there has learned the hard way not to do that... but I guess ArenaNet knows better, yeah.

System encourages training mobs & inconsideration
...there is a ridiculous amount of mob training in GW2. Go and read this post. It's hilarious, and it has zmobies. Seriously, zmobies and training! How could it get better! (I'd stick with just reading the OP's posts though.)

Lack of Trinity isn't well implemented
If Guild Wars was a lovingly done Magic: The Gathering the MMO, then Guild Wars 2 is a Diablo clone poorly ported to MMO space.

The thing about Diablo clones is that they give players a degree of self-sufficiency that GW2 doesn't. Just because you can quaff a potion the moment the effects wear off doesn't mean that you can stand there and tank everything, all the time. Just that single change - being able to use your utility skill the moment the effects wear off - would make GW2 play much better. As it is, GW2 combat alternates between 1-key mashing while taking no damage, and hoping someone else will take the hits (or dodge them) while your endurance regens and you wait for your utility skill to come off cooldown.

In nuggetty conclusion...
...and I still love Guild Wars.

...and all I have is this long rant. ;)

Guild Wars 2: Yet one more summation (and good thread), and I promise my last post on GW2.

GW1 > all MMO's. No competition. GW1 by far had the best storylines of all MMORPGs and the best combat mechanics and skill system.

It's skill system was extremely unique, combined with the hero system the amount of combat combinations was unlimited.

It will always be my favorite MMORPG, and GW2 doesn't even come close to it.

Comparing GW1's story to GW2: GW1's storylines had memorable characters: Mhenlo, Togo, Kormir, Koss, Abaddon, Shiro, Rurik. Honestly, i've played through all the races storylines in GW2 up to lvl 20 and don't remember ANYONE's name. That's how weak GW2's story is compared to GW1's. The actual plotlines are really weak as well, there is no reasonable excuse for this IMO, considering the quality of GW1's campaigns, I don't know what ArenaNet was thinking...

GW2 using GW1 music is just as weak--I'd even call ArenaNet lazy for doing this, GW1 pre-searing music shouldn't be played in GW2, they're different times in history that aren't even remotely related.

The main difference I feel is that GW2 feels dull and pointless, I don't feel like a hero at all. Mainly because many of the events are ridiculous chores from picking apples off trees to digging up worms. In GW1 they put you right into the drama of the plotline, the Searing, the war of the White Mantle, the invasion of Kourna, the infection of the plague, the rise of Shiro.

In GW2........ it's just ridiculousness everywhere...Where is the drama of the plot? What is the danger? What is my motive as a "hero?" Why am I killing Skirtt over and over again? ...Why am I picking up apples to help bake apple pies... Not impressed at all, comparing the quality of both games.

GW1 = masterpiece, GW2 = Your traditional MMORPG with extra features but missing a LOT of features at the same time. GvG? Guild halls? 1v1 duels? direct trade? capes? the activities we were promised(shooting range)? trade chat?

Anyways that's my perspective from a hardcore GW1 player who ended off with 2022 hours over 4 years, now playing GW2.

EDIT: Don't even get me started on the dungeons... they're extremely short and not challenging at all. They're a joke in my mind. WoW is still the superior game in terms of traditional MMORPGs BECAUSE of how polished it is, along with its nonbullshit specs that GW2 requires to play at a CONSTANT 50-80 FPS. Christ, WoW even has "officer chat" for guild officers. I mean if GW2 was going to take things from other games(downed state), they should've looked at WoW, the leading and most successful MMORPG to date.

GW2 is still a traditional MMORPG, I would even say it's less of a traditional MMORPG, because it lacks challenge and many features that the majority of MMO's offer, GW2 is a disaster that really shouldn't have been released until it was DONE, meaning EVERY SINGLE FEATURE should've been release into the game already, trading post should've been up since day one, email authentication, the guild and party system should be working at all times, overflow shouldn't exist, all activities should be released(we only have keg brawl(?)..., etc. I have no idea how ArenaNet went from GW1 --> GW2, they removed everything that was good and created a ridiculous experiment that uses way too much CPU power. Give me five GW1 expansions ANYDAY.

No more GW2 ranty nuggets! It's all been said. No more buying stuff from ANet either, unless it's a GW campaign, which everyone knows won't happen.

Here's nugget looking forward to PWE's Heaven Sword Dragon Sabre MMO.

I trust PWE more than I trust ANet by a mile now. Never thought I'd see the day.

F2P Pricing Models & Preying on Decision Fatigue - NYT via NorthTemple

“Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain.”

Yes, yes, not all F2P models are evil.

But of those that are (even the amazingly beautiful luscious evil that is PWE's Forsaken World), I suspect a lot of them depend on decision fatigue pushing people to buy impulsively without calculating the costs, whether in-game or in actual cash.

It would also explain why I simply can't understand some of the Auction House prices in Forsaken World - where I've seen people selling stuff for half of what it's worth in actual currency, if you were to convert actual to FW's currency.

...people are tired, impulsive, don't want to do the math (gated through 4 currencies), and they want money NAO. So they buy a high-priced item and undersell it, because they honestly don't know it's worth / are too tired to think through its conversion.

I have personally worked out these numbers for some in-game acquaintances when telling them to buy/sell higher/lower, and they simply don't want to listen. That's too much work! Games should be fun! Let me spend my moneh how I want! Fairynuff.

I don't mean to imply I'm immune to this too. In FW, converting currencies (through all 4 gates) has become second nature for me. But in the other PWE games I've played, decision fatigue from constantly WATCHING myself (can't do this can't do that) contributed hugely to my dropping the titles.

...PWE are like the evil marketing gods the evilmarketingbits of nugget want to grow up to be.

This is why I won't buy Blizzard games anymore.

Wait, I have to sign a contract to play the game that I just paid for? Do I need to get a lawyer? Can I do something in the game that could get me into legal trouble? I mean, I don't plan on playing public games or anything -- just me in my computer room, killing evil and screaming curse words until I lose my voice.

But I convinced myself it was nothing to get worked up about. It's just there to save their asses in case some random jackoff finds a way to make money off of them via lawsuit. Fine. I got through them all and was immediately taken to a screen that pulled the alarms from the back of my mind directly to the front, and cranked up the volume to "nuclear attack" levels.

No. No, no, no, no, no ... No.

For the six of you who just discovered the Internet today, that's a login screen. It's commonly associated with multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft and ... whatever other multiplayer games exist. Except there's a problem: Diablo III isn't a traditional MMO. You don't sign in to the game and immediately find yourself surrounded by a hundred other players shouting racial and homophobic slurs. You are in your own world. By yourself. Single player.

It is a single-player game with multiplayer options, just like all the other Diablo games. If you choose to play with your friends, you can. If you choose to join public games, you can. Otherwise, you're on your own -- and contrary to what MMO fanatics believe, this is the way millions of gamers prefer it.

So the gamerfolk in my office have been squealing Diablo III! Diablo III! That is, when they're not wandering around like zmobies from not sleeping. As one of these gamerfolk, they give me a shocked stare when I explain that while I'm sure that Diablo III is a polished nugget of Blizzardliness, I have no intention of purchasing it because I don't like where Blizzard has gone since Activi$ion showed up and ate them.

They think I'm silly. And maybe I am, but hey, at least I'm not silly enough to buy a polished game from a company I have ceased to believe in. Except, of course, GW2.

PWE is different, I have never believed in them. I have, however, admired their ruthless sexy evil. ;) That's another thing altogether.

Weird: Rift is not even half as fun as Forsaken World.

Yes, a subs-based AAA fantasy MMO is not even half as fun (or IMO) even half as good as an asian F2P AAA fantasy MMO. (Not to say that I think there is anything wrong with F2P asian MMOs, just that the focus of their studios tends to be a little (ok a lot) different and the general perception of them seems to be bad.)

And this is despite these two being more or less polar opposites with where their studios and dev teams are coming from.

Rift just glows with love love love... in every aspect but its art direction, which is honestly, quite terrible.

Forsaken World just glows with love love love for profit... in every aspect, including its art direction, which is very strong.

Why do I think FW is better, and more fun?

FW has better combat mechanics.
The classes are better thought out, and combat flows more smoothly. Rift combat feels incredibly clunky and unwieldy for some reason. None of the souls I've played have really seemed to 'gel'. Be it from the press eleventy billion buttons builds that some mages have, to the press just two buttons builds that some ranged rogue builds are. FW classes, in contrast, have *flow*. Once you get into the groove, once you know what you are doing, they just *feel* right.

FW has better sound.
FW has great sound - with some classes showing it off better than others. If you have played a bard to a highish level in FW (60+), you'll KNOW the difference between how water/wind/light bards sound just by listening to them play (assuming proper play) - no need to even look at the screen. Contrast this with Rift, where everyone sounds the same. ._. Not just the players, even the mobs sound the same! As someone who usually turns off the music, but leaves the sound on, and who depends on the sound for cues on what to do next, the fact that everything in Rift sounds more or less the same is a big downer.

FW has better art direction.
FW is an attractive, vivid world. While there are some stylistic choices I may not personally like, (hrmm Stonemen), I cannot argue that they are beautiful in their own way. Whereas Rift is bland bland BLAND. And don't even get me started on mage gear. Good lord, I'm convinced Rift mages have the ugliest gear in the MMOverse, even when you discount rendering engines (of which Rift has a rather good one).

I would say those are the three main things that stand out for me. FW, while I played it, was an MMO where I looked forward to jumping into the game world. Rift is just kinda blaaaaah.

This makes me feel sad, because Trion so obviously loves its game and cares about its community. But that isn't enough to overcome the three points above. It's like eating a dish made with the finest ingredients and a great amount of love which has unfortunately, somehow turned out tasteless.

Needless to say, I won't be renewing Rift into month 3, though I wish Trion and the Rift community all the best.

...here's to hoping GW2 won't break my gameynugget heart.

Invasion of the Body Coolers!

While I'm usually very admiring of PWE's nefarious marketing schemes, I think they've failed with HotK's CNY celebrations.

... technically, if you kill these snowmen, you get a chance to get a card. Collect all 5 cards, get some kind of shiny. Usually, players would be all over them. Only... the snowmen take about 2-3 minutes to kill, and you can only gain 4 cards per hour. Snowmen cages, however, load in player inventories every ?hour? or so. As a result, there's a massive invasion of snowmen that players by and large are totally uninterested in killing.

And then there's the New Year Statues.

This is a case where 'less is more' would have worked a lot better. These New Year Statues require the purchase of a US$1.75 lottery token (or key, as it's called here) before you can 'open' them.

Now, if PWE had limited them to oh, 5 tokens per character over the entire duration of the event, I'm sure they'd be worth a lot more - and more used.

As it is, I get 1 every hour (I think) that I'm online, and afk. Which strangely, has the effect of making me utterly uninclined to use them. When I only had ONE of the things... I was tempted. Now that I have 20, I'm not tempted at all. It's just easier to leave them in my inventory until the event is over. You can't even sell the things, no one wants them. I see some people trying to sell them. I see no one buying.

Add that to the fact that HotK just had an update... which bugged out the combat and made everyone hit like non-ninja bunnies - that means even MORE people sitting around town spawning even more snowmen that no one wants to kill while accumulating more New Year Statues that no one wants to buy... XD

And why, you ask, is everyone sitting around AFK instead of just logging off? Well, PWE likes to reward you for staying logged on no matter what. They don't care if you're AFK. They don't care what you do. They just want you to stay logged on. And because of that, every 30 min for the duration of this festive season, characters get a token that they can right-click for about 30% of their level's worth of xp - it scales. As well as other rewards.

And so, the snowmen slowly take over the Middle Kingdom. Hee!

Heroes of Three Kingdoms

Sooo, I've been poking around Heroes of Three Kingdoms, which is supposedly in its closed beta.

Supposedly, because:
1) There's no easy way to report bugs, even though I've found them
2) They basically sent the invitation to everyone and anyone who ever played a PWE game
3) There's no NDAs, no nothing... not that I noticed anyway. ;)

It fulfills my expectations of a PWE game. I.E. the gameplay seems to be the same old non-existent thing married to endless grind, the cash shop will doubtless be a vampire, and I already see bits of the casino system showing itself.

As long as you're fore-warned that that *is* what PWE games are, Heroes of Three Kingdoms delivers.

1) The quest text is interesting (at least, if you like Wuxia or historical Chinese stuff)
2) The world is beautiful
3) HoTK is emphatically historical - that means there are history nuggets hidden all over, and you get to meet 'legendary' heroes like Zhang Fei, Liu Bei, etc. (Or at least, I assume you will, from the way things have been going over my puny 15 levels!)
4) The music is nice. But only nice. Jade Dynasty's music is *gorgeous*. HoTK's soundtrack can get a bit repetitive.
5) Fashion (read, cosmetic cashshop items) promises to be as pretty as in all PWE games
6) Day and night cycles - gorgeous solar flares when riding into sunset, sunrise. It's such a little thing, but it matters.

SooOoOooo check it out. Despite the flaws in the gameplay itself, HoTK is very, very pretty. One could even say that PWE simply has a different focus from Western MMOs, and that gameplay isn't the core of the game at all. Just... be careful with your wallet.

Oh yes. And that's my newbie Charmer, Zhiruo (fan dancing/fighting healer archetype thingie) in her newbie clothes in Hebei, what I assume is a nooblet area. =) The city shots are of a city (duh) named Chang'an.

Heroes of the Three Kingdoms - New PWE MMO

Perfect World Entertainment sure does know how to create beautiful things. If Perfect World and Jade Dynasty are anything to go by, this new title: Heroes of Three Kingdoms, promises just as much visual (and audial!) splendour.

...and probably crap for gameplay! XD But PWE is so good at the first two that I will, at the very least, check this one out. =)

If this gets you interested too, just bear in mind that PWE is utterly, evilly, rapaciously brilliant at milking their F2P model games. Almost immorally so. 'Jade Casino' is one of the nicknames for Jade Dynasty, and the original Mandarin version, Zhu Xian has a similar nickname - only playing on the word 'Zhu' as a pun for 'Pig'. Greedygreedy money nomnoms!

But oh... what a beautiful piggy.