Before I begin, please be informed that this is just a small preview, with me barely scratching the core content even at level 40. Duke of Mount Deer Online is based on Louis Cha’s final martial arts novel, developed for around 5 years by China MMO giant, ChangYou. While the game stays true to the novel in terms of storyline, characters etc, additional elements are added to boost the game’s lore and content. Let’s take a look!
|↑↑ Running the client, the first page you will see contains all of the events running for today and tomorrow, including which is running currently. An abundance of events as you can see on the left window.|
|↑↑ Choosing a main server to play in.|
|↑↑ Game view option, but it can also be changed within the game.|
|↑↑ Another option for selecting target which can be changed in the game.|
Shown below is the character creation footage. As you can see, there are non-combat classes to choose from at the beginning. However, they are still under testing and only those with special access codes can give them a run at this point of time. The class I chose was the Sage, also known as the healer.
And now, some brief footage of the early game. There are quests, tons of them right from the beginning. A nice feature is the automated mount system, where characters automatically mounts if the distance to the next location is further than a few steps. There are quite a few cut scenes as well. Continuing parts of the footage can be seen at my YouTube channel.
As you can see, there are 2 followers and 1 golden floating blob aiding me in fights. One of them is the normal pet, one is a mercenary while the floating blob is actually a… Let’s call it the Spirit (it is directly translated as Tail). For pets and mercenaries, players can actually hold up till 4 each and switch any time. They gain experience points as well through each fight and will evolve up to a tune of 10 stages. The Spirit can transform into the appearance of the last mob you fight and aid players in battle for a short time until the skill cools down and there is enough “Spirit points” to consume. It levels by feeding equipments to it. The skills available are also affect by the horoscope you chose when creating characters.
|↑↑ Pet window and showing the many stages it can go evolve into.|
|↑↑ Mercenary window on the left and Spirit window on the right.|
Below is a small footage displaying how to capture pets and convince mercenaries. There is actually a pet island where they can be caught, each at different levels. For example, a level 30 character will be unable to use a level 40 pet. Players can breed pets of the different gender to produce a stronger 2nd generation. For mercenaries, players will have to battle them and win them over. Some mercenaries require players to party as well in order to defeat it like a boss battle.
Let us now skip to around level 40, which is my current level after a few hours of gameplay. From level 30 and onwards, players will get to add stats for their characters. There will be prompts every time a level is gained, including suitable players to be my disciple or my master. Every time a new member is added into the guild, players have the option to send some Cash Shop credits or just a gesture to welcome him. If I missed out, there are quests which reward players with a small amount of Cash Shop gold. Talking about the social aspects of the game, there is also a family system which is different from the guild.
There is a slightly worrying feature found in the experience system though. There are 2 different experience bars for each character, one being the normal experience while the other being the job experience points. Normal experience points are needed to upgrade skill levels together with in-game gold. If the character is level 40, skills can be upgraded to a maximum of 45 (5 above base level). All these need huge amount of gold and experience points.
For job experience, the only way I have so far found to obtain it is through doing the class quests. However, the quests are mostly “go there and get something for me” or just playing mini-games at a NPC nearby within the class’ main town. After level 30, job experience points are needed to level up the job (different from based character level) and also to upgrade the equipped Holy Gear. Holy Gear is different for each class and it acts as a bonus equipment to give extra stats to characters. It can also “reborn” and be upgraded into a stronger one… At a cost again. This part of the game seems very tedious to me.
I am nearing the end of my brief look at the beginning part of the game. There are still tons of features I have not touched, including the triple class feature within one character (at level 75), personal housing and farming, guild housing and farming, family housing and farming, guild leveling arena, family leveling arena, instances, Realm Vs Realm, imperial examinations, cooking mini-games, crafting, live skills and more importantly, visiting the “new” dimension not found in the original novel.
Note that this is just the Closed Beta phase and the amount of content available is already very impressive, although it might overwhelm players as well. The English teaser website seems back online now, so have a read and understand more about the game as well! You can also read through my previous posts about the game.