Posted Wed, Mar 24, 2010 by Ethec
Two other innovations definitely worth mentioning is the game's quest system, which features an open library of every quest available in the game plus optional red arrows to guide players to each quest objective, and the instant instancing system, which allows players to pick a different instance at any time (dubbed "channels" - e.g. "meet me on channel 5" - perfect for a cartoon MMOG) to, for example, find a less crowded quest mob. Another nicety - players can send and receive mail at any time, no mailbox needed.
Martial arts master Lin Chung is one of Hero: 108 Online's colorful characters.
Hero: 108 Online also features a pretty flat level curve. Kevin noted that to get through the 15 levels of the opening area would take an average gamer about 45 minutes. But at higher levels, Hero: 108 Online doesn't shy away from the sorts of features not often found in teen-oriented MMORPGs such as large scale raids (which have no player cap - loot is the only limit... how's that for old school?), consensual PvP, and guild interaction. Parents may worry about Hero: 108 Online loosens the fetters on chat (language filters are still in place), but Crawford noted that the game will feature a very active GM staff, a novel reporting feature (as seen in the video below), and COPPA compliance for the registration process (you must be 13 or older to play).
The graphics, art direction, and animation are novel as well. Hero: 108 Online features a built-from-scratch engine that's somewhere between a 2.5D scroller and a fully 3D experience, and what I particularly loved was how the game messed with player perspective. The screen zooms in on an attack, a lead-up to a powerful ability blacks out the screen with the character freeze-framed in a bodybuilder pose, fenceposts and pillars sweep by in the foreground as your character moves. Add in some solid anime kitsch in a game that's serious enough to not take itself seriously, and you've got one novel visual experience in Hero: 108 Online.
I'd say Hero: 108 Online looks like the perfect game for parents to play with their tweens and teens, but in all honesty I'm looking forward to playing more of the game myself. If you'd like to see more about the game, check out the trailer and gameplay footage filmed live at GDC 2010 below, and we'll have more coverage of Hero: 108 Online in the coming weeks.