Update 9-29-09: OP revisited because why the hell not...dunno why the title isn't updating.
...The story of Asheron's Call takes place on the planet Auberean which was ruled by the Empyrean. The Empyrean are tall humanoids with immense life spans and a powerful mastery of magic. Prior to Portal Year (PY) 0, their civilization dominated the surface of Auberean, a feudalistic, religious society that later split into several nations such as the Yalain, the Falatacot, and the Dericost. The main setting of the game is a small island in the Yalain dominion. The island was known in Yalaini as Ireth Lassel.
In PY0, a young Yalaini mage named Asheron Realaidain was experimenting with portal magic when he accidentally opened portals to an alien world. This planet was the homeworld of many monstrous insectlike species. One of the smaller species, the Olthoi, proceeded to invade Auberean via the portals, and legions of black, man-sized death machines spewed across the surface of the planet, skewering all other inhabitants on their massive pincers, their magic-resistant hides rendering them largely immune to the Empyreans' defenses. Their invasion went almost unchecked and the Olthoi all but annihilated the Empyrean civilization.
In a desperate attempt to save the survivors of his people, Asheron called forth all of his power and summoned many portals, none of their destinations known to him, hoping that one would lead his people to safety. He ushered the last of his race through one of the portals, remaining behind himself to attempt to repair the damage he had caused.
These portals opened to many different worlds, bringing various creatures into Auberean. Most of these creatures were as wild animals, some violent and destructive. One of the portals Asheron opened led to the planet Ispar, the homeworld of the human-like Isparians. The Isparians were sensitive to portal magic and were lured into the portals that appeared there. Upon arrival on Ireth Lassel, they were instantly enslaved by the Olthoi, who were constructing a hive civilization under the planet. As more and more Isparians arrived, some managed to escape slavery and live as nomads, hiding in the wilderness and defending themselves from the Olthoi with weapons of their own fashioning.
Looking to destroy the Olthoi for good, two of the greatest free warriors among the Isparians, two lovers named Thorsten Cragstone and Elysa Strathelar, sought the advice of Asheron. Asheron helped them organize an assault on the lair of the Olthoi Queen. During the raid, Thorsten was struck down by the Queen herself. Enraged, Elysa pulled from her quiver an arrow that Asheron had enchanted for her with an elixir he designed to slay the Olthoi Queen. Elysa let the arrow fly and it struck the Queen in the eye, sending her into death throes that sent waves of primordial fear through the entire Olthoi horde. The head of their hive mind destroyed, the Olthoi domination fell into disarray, freeing the human race from slavery.
In Asheron's Call: Throne of Destiny, players are thrown into a bitter civil war...
A race of humans called the Viamontians managed to find their way to Dereth from Ispar during a war back on the homeworld. The violent Viamontians, led by King Varicci II, were trapped on an island hub for eight years. With the help of a mage named Nuhmudira, the barrier around the islands was destroyed and the Viamontians were unleashed upon Dereth.
The Viamontians have always been at war with the Aluvians (High Queen Elysa's people) and upon seeing that they ruled over Dereth, declared war.
Players must now choose to support the self-declared Queen of New Aluvia, or the violent King Varicci II.
Thus, the nine-year saga of Asheron's Call continues...
I'm reviving this OP because AC is approaching ten years
since it went live.
I originally played from the first week the servers came on line back in late 1999 through early 2004. Much has changed from the first days of the game, and many still debate if the changes made AC better or worse.
Regardless, the changes were made, and the game still stands...even though a sequel (AC 2) has come and gone, closing down for good not all that long ago.This game looks old as hell, why should I care?
There were a number of things that made AC stand out from the crowd. Here are just a few:
Assuming I want to try this, how would I go about it?
- Original Gameworld - Nowhere will you find an elf, an orc, or a dwarf. The creatures and characters scattered across Dereth are largely unique to the series.
- No Character Classes - You build the character YOU want to play from a list of available skills.
- PVP - Considered by many to be one of the best MMO's for PvP mechanics. Play as a PK either on the regular PVE servers or go full time on Darktide, where you can be attacked by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
- Content - An evolving storyline and a changing world through Turbine's regular updates. Since its release in 1999, AC has seen no less than 100 free updates.
- Open World - 500 square miles of open terrain to explore
- Rich Lore - A very deep, involving history waiting to be uncovered...explore places packed with history and discovered lost, ancient texts for yourself
- Randomly Generated Loot - You won't have a ton of people running around with the same epic sword that dropped off some boss somewhere; Quest loot is available but far and away the best loot to be had is randomly generated and dropped by everyday mobs, making everyone's equipment unique.
You can download the game and pick up a 14-day free trial here
If you decide to stay it's just $12.95 a month afterward.So what do you mean by no character classes?
It's really just that simple, no character classes. You can, when creating a character, choose from some preconfigured templates if you like. Or, you can delve into the custom creation screens and make your own unique build.
All characters have six "base" characteristics:
Strength - Determines how much you can carry, as well as influencing melee skills
Coordination - Primary stat for archers, but also influences your ability to dodge attacks. Also critical for alchemists and other craftsmen.
Endurance - Determines how much health & stamina you have
Quickness - Determines run speed as well as influencing ability to dodge attacks
Focus - Your mental clarity; a major stat for mages as well as those who wish to use magic items
Self - Strength of spirit; primarily determines the size of your mana pool
All stats start at a minimum of 10 and can go to a max (on creation) of 100. You get 270 attribute points to assign to a new character, meaning you can focus three of them or spread them around. A mage might put focus/self at 100/100 to maximize spellcasting abilities and spread the rest around as needed, while an axeman might give Str/Coord that 100/100 instead.
After assigning base stats, you then choose the starting skills that will define your character. There are a number of different melee weapons (sword, axe, mace, dagger, spear, etc) to choose from, three ranged abilities (bow, crossbow, thrown weapons), and four schools of magic (life, war, creature, item). There are also trade skills (alchemy, fletching, cooking) as well as tinkering skills that can be used to imbue your items with more powerful attributes. There are also support skills like lockpicking, or mana conversion (critical for any spellcaster as it reduces the mana cost of spells), and defensive skills (melee, missile, magic defense to either evade attacks or resist spells).
Want to be a thundering, raging axe warrior? You can.
Want to be a master of the arcane arts? You can.
Want to be the greatest arrow-slinging chef that ever baked a pie? You can.
Even if you create a total wimp of a character, it's okay. Thanks to the Temples of Enlightenment & Forgetfulness, you can change your stats & skills around later in the game if you really need to.But what is there to do?Quests, and lots of them.
From simple to epic in scale, it's really hard to say there's "nothing to do" in AC.
If you're not into questing, you can roam the lands, hunting the wilderness to earn your keep. Or you can plop yourself into one of the many dungeons packed with dangerous creatures and slaughter them to level your way to the top.Man, I'm not used to this old stuff. This game is tough to play.
Well, there are many useful (and often controversial) third party applications
that run in AC to make things easier for you. Some of them are downright awesome and others are...well, they're bot programs to be blunt. But there's a lot that's been done and outside of unattended macro'ing, Turbine allows it.
I wanted to spruce up this OP a little bit and push it back to the top, for anyone who still plays or anyone who might want to be around for the 10 year patch. Being short of funds I can't play, but Turbine's first MMO deserves a mention for this occasion. ;-)
One thing I will say: Throwing yourself into a pit swarming with giant acid-spitting bugs determined to tear you to pieces never, ever got any less fun.