Updated Wed, Jun 18, 2008 by Aurael
Angels are a part of many mythologies. They are the benevolent spirits that protect and comfort humankind. They are the avenging might of God and the messengers of peace. The game Angels Online from Internet Gaming Gate (also known as IGG) allows the player to step into the shoes of an angel-in-training, to gear up for the greatest conflict ever to approach Heaven. As a new recruit of the army of Heaven, I started in the Lyceum to begin my training for the war against the armies of evil.Getting Started
The game begins by registering for an account on the official website. Like all free-to-play games, the download is free and there is no cost for registration. The requirements for the game are suitable for lower end computers, so just about anyone can play this game.
Creating a new and unique angel
After getting set up, you can start the character creation process. There are three servers to choose from and subservers for each server. After you choose where you will play, you can make your character. Characters will show up on all the subservers of a particular server.
The character creation of Angels Online was a pleasant surprise. The customization choices are unique. The first step is to choose your character's basic appearance. You can choose skin color, hair color, hair style, height and gender. I chose a cute little purple-skinned female with green pigtails. You can further customize your character by name, birthday (determining what your character's sign is), blood type, geographical location, job, and personality traits. Other than for use in role-playing, I have yet to discover what the benefit of choosing a blood type or personality trait or any of the other secondary traits for my character will be.The Lyceum
My angel-in-training first appeared in a beautiful room in which the floor is the main focal point. The floor is a mosaic of a huge dagger with three teachers standing at the points of the hilt. These three were anxious to get me started on my way.
Angels Online does not subscribe to the now-popular method of pointing out whom you should speak to first by way of an arrow or exclamation mark. But, seeing as how there were only four people in the room including me, it's a pretty sure bet that I'm supposed to talk to one of the angels standing in front of me. I chose the Angel Raphael simply because he was glowering at me while patting a wand against his hand in an impatient manner. It turned out the room was a classroom and class was in session. Now, this is not the first time I've experienced being in a class without being aware of how I got there (college can be rough), so I referred to my old standby of winging it (which is funny, since my character is an angel without wings at the moment).
Raphael waxes poetic for a bit about being in the Angel Lyceum and learning to evolve and bring help to the people of Eden, but finally he gets to the meat of his lecture--choosing a career.Careers
With 14 job types available, everyone should find something they like.
Angels Online further distances itself from other games in the diversity of job types available. There are 14 and they are not just the standard run-of-the-mill warrior, mage, healer, ranged damage-dealer. They also include jobs that most other games would list as a profession, not a character class. I guess that Heaven's army needs all the help they can get, both military and industrial. The job types are priest, summoner, wizard, magician, protector, warrior, swordsman, spearman, archer, weaponsmith, armorsmith, tailor, technician and chef. Each of these jobs has 6 skill types available and you are given a brief explanation of the job and the skills involved before choosing. No worries if you decide you don't like your job, because skills can be changed by talking to the Skill Angel in the Lyceum.Combat
The next stage of the tutorial involves combat. You are taken to a separate room where a much-nicer-looking Angel Raphael instructs you on how to kill the nearby Little Slarms. Slarms are everywhere in the Lyceum--in the classroom with Raphael, the Lyceum's square and the playgrounds. The playgrounds are rough places, full of bully elves and slarms who are just waiting to beat up on Angels who are in need of combat training.
Combat is relatively simple. You can drag your skills into the toolbar at the top of the screen. This sets them to hotkeys (F1-F12). Then you simply left click on the monster you want to attack and use your hotkeys to apply your skills. The jobs which seem more like tradeskills can still attack, even though they do not have any fancy attack skills.Back to School
After completing the combat class with Raphael, I was sent to the main complex of the Angel Lyceum. This bustling hub is where I first enrolled in classes and received my first quests (or assignments). Quest objectives are standard fare, but part of the rewards are "credit" for each class, more credits for the more difficult the class. When you have so many "credit hours", you can graduate from the Lyceum. You only require five to graduate, but when it comes to school, I've always been a bit of a nerd so I took the Top Student Training (requires a minimum of 15 credits).
After completing enough credits to graduate from the Lyceum, I spoke with the Angel Tutor who transported me to the graduation ceremony where I received my 2nd Class graduation certificate. I was put to work right away by choosing a city to help protect against the evil armies of Lucifer. I chose to head to the Dark City, as it sounded like the kind of place in which there would be a lot of action against an evil army.
It doesn't seem to matter which of the starting cities you choose to go to, as all of them seem to be linked to some or all of the gathering and tradeskills. All skills can be changed for free until level 20. After level 20, skill changes requires the use of skill crystals.Tradeskills
Resource gathering takes minimal effort since your robot does all the work.
Tradeskills are important in Angels Online, so much so that some of them are classes to themselves. Combat requires well-made equipment and angels who are more martial than creative can still be involved in tradeskills (for example, by gathering resources). Resources are gathered through use of a robot or special gloves. The character rides inside the robot over the resource node and then just waits until the robot is finished gathering the resource. The resources can then be refined and used to create items such as armor and weapons in the game. Robots come in all shapes and sizes. The beginning robot is a simple wooden cask with a wheel. I also spotted some giant dog and cat shaped robots as well.
So far, I've found Angels Online to be a fascinating and unique game with colorful graphics, an easy-to use interface, and perky background music. The job system has a depth to it that is not normally seen in a free-to-play game, and the character customization has refreshing variety and is open to changes. It is well worth the time to download and try it out. I'm a bit disappointed to have graduated from the training classes and I do not yet have a halo or wings, but time will tell if I prove myself enough to earn them. I am excited to see what other surprises this game will hold for me as I delve further into it over the next few weeks.