Here's a new thread! I'll be updating it more often. Max Damage prepared the intro for both SA and PA forums.
The IRC channel (HIGHLY reccomended) is #GundamOnline @ irc.zirc.org.
The Wiki (our community home, including signup guide) is here.
There is no free trial. The client is, however, free - you ONLY pay the monthly fee.
Also, the game server undergoes DAILY downtime for three hours
, from 1-4am GMT (adjust for your timezone). That's 5-8PM Pacific.
For those of you in-game and playing:
Most PA/SA players are fighting for the [b[Principality of Zeon.[/b]
We have multiple teams (guilds) - each one has a maximum member limit of 30.
To join a team, you must meet the founding member
of it on foot, outside a vehicle.
You can find out what teams are recruiting by checking the Squad Roster page, or the IRC channel.
The Setting: (Illustrated with music videos.
Click the links)
Do you like prettyboy robo-angst? Barely-restrained man-love? Incoherent plots and magical invincible mechas with angelfeather wings? You probably like Gundam Wing
Do you like gritty and bloody sci-fi warfare? Ambiguous morality? High-impact mech combat and darkly anti-war stories? You probably like the Universal Century Gundam setting, as exemplified by 08th MS Team
This game is based around the latter. In fact, almost all the hardware in that second video is in the game.
Universal Century: Gundam Online.
Now with two major updates - in July, the game added full space combat. This December, they added a lot of stuff, including a bunch of early 0080 technology, contested and coveted PvP cities to fight over, player-flyable aircraft and background Minovsky particle effects - radiation that blocks radar and communications. Also some major engine optimizations, at the cost of some of the (possibly excessive) view distance. The game now runs better than ever before.
This is technically
a japanese-only MMO, but almost all the interface is in plain english, and there's very little static content, so you don't have to worry about wading through pages of NPC text. This game is all about the players. Hence, it is very easily accessible to foreigners like us. In addition, it's quite easy for people outside Japan to sign up (see the wiki), and you don't have to worry about recurring monthly fees, as we're paying via pre-paid timecards.
We've rapidly built up a large english community over the past month. Probably in excess of a hundred players just from PA/SA alone. There was already a small community from GameFAQs when we arrived, but we seem to far outnumber them now. The japanese community has been of great help to us so far, and we've been aided at every step by the english-speaking (japanese) players we've found. Don't let experiences with FFXI jerks put you off - these people seem pretty damn cool. Also, don't go around being a racist fuckwit. I know that sounds obvious, but some people approach foreign environments with both feet in mouth.
UCGO plays very much like old-school Ultima Online. They've lifted the skill system directly from UO (complete with skill cap and the option to unlearn things when you hit it), and most of the combat system. Much of the games focus is on PvP (factional - although you CAN attack friendlies if you want to endure the crime system - also lifted from UO), with NPC enemies mostly serving as training targets. As such, the greatest threat to your life is other players.
Assorted facts and details:
- The game takes place in Australia for the earthbound part, and a series of orbiting stations and colonies when you travel to space. Both are pretty bleak and bland environments - the cities on earth are highly detailed, but once you're past city limits, it's mostly flat desert with occasional hilly, rocky or forested areas. This isn't a game for sightseers, sadly. The environments are HUGE, though - Australia is actually modelled to scale, so any long-distance travel is best done via transport copters, which seem to be magical and way faster than they should logically be.
- This game is all about risk and reward. You could roll around in your free Magella tank all day long, but you won't achieve much. However, upgrading to a more expensive vehicle means that you've got an aspect of loss to worry about - being clumsy around NPCs, or (worse yet) falling victim to a wandering Federation gank-squad will cost you money. Still, the power-curve seems more fair than many MMOs. Even a newbie in a tank can do a bit of damage to an ace pilot in a Gundam.
- Thankfully, money isn't that huge a deal (not up to Eve Online levels, at least). You start out with 1,000,000 credits, and a basic Mobile Suit (mech) costs 130,000, albeit naked. Equipment will probably put that up to 200,000, but that means you should have enough for five suits with full equipment from the start, and once you're up and running (and ideally with goons), money is easy to make. Just be careful and play it safe at first and you'll be fine.
- As you kill enemies, both NPCs and (if you're lucky) players, you gain money and rank. Rank is a double-edged sword, as while it grants you a higher paycheque at the end of the week (fridays are payday), it also makes you a tastier and more financially rewarding target for enemies. You need a high rank to use certain special items, like base construction gear, too.
- No, you can't be a Newtype (think 'Giant Robot Jedi'), although interestingly, Amuro Ray's original voice actor plays and blogs about it
- No, you cannot squish people on foot, or go around ineffectualy shooting pistols at gigantic robots. All combat is vehicular or suit-based.
- Unfortunately, you cannot pilot battleships (both land or space) or Mobile Armors (giant Zeon superweapons) yet. These things are planned for future updates though, and will be usable in time.
- More setting-related than anything, but Char Aznable is the man. Not only does he teamkill his entire goddamn side (his murder spree including, but not limited to, shooting a (bitch of a) woman directly IN THE FACE with a ROCKET LAUNCHER
), but gets away with it - and later comes back driving a solid gold robot
A Feddie GM takes an easy potshot at an advancing Zaku 2. When combat reaches this kind of range, both combatants usually switch to melee weapons.
Claws! In! Spaaaace! Four Zeon suits floating in the inky blackness. The fourth one is the Z'Gok Experimental, recently added this patch. The second one is the Gasshia, which is actually the only one out of the four that works in space.
The game isn't all combat - while you'll still often be in a Mobile Suit, you can walk around town and raid clothes stores. Also, there's a variety of tradeskills, fuelled by resouces that have to be mined through driving a mobile mining rig.
It's not all giant robots either. Seems that there's a wide range of tanks, including this huge thing - the Guntank V2. Your starting vehicle is a tank, too (a Magella-class, if you're playing Zeon) and they're so shitty they're free to replace if you lose one.
A Zaku 2 floating around in orbit. Space is pretty. Real men melee in space.
This weird-looking machine is the ADZAM - one of Zeons crazy 'mobile armor' superweapon projects. Not pilotable yet, but probably one of the wandering boss-type NPCs.
Team SRX, the PA squad. Grown a lot larger since then! I'll post me a roster when I can.
It's pretty safe to say that this lone GM is fucked - facing down against a vast swathe of Zakus, backed up by a Gallop-class land battleship. Looks like half the Zeon army has locked onto him, too.
And a trio of Really Huge Screenshots (thanks to Shingin), appropriately enough showing off the Really Huge Scale of the game. Also showing the very english-language interface.
Note that you're not even as tall as the foot-segment of a GM.
The Gameplay Videos:
- A large Mobile Suit engagement set around a station. Notice that it's semi-realistic space combat with no friction, or even an up or down?
- A huge space dogfight, wherein this Zeon pilot appears to be ruining a lot of Federation pilots days. Lookit all them shiny radar contacts!
- A GIGANTIC Zeon ground-based force gradually assembles, and proceeds through the desert to clash head-on with Federation forces.
- A Gundam engages a Zeon armor division.
- Death from above! A looooong mid-air saber charge right into a Zakus back.