by Rob Williams on June 24, 2005 in Gaming
Turbine is getting ready to launch the latest expansion pack for their Asheron’s Call game, entitled “Throne of Destiny”. Will this expansion be enough to please current and old players of the game? Let’s take a good hard look at all ToD has to offer to make that decision.
New Landmass – Sanamar
Since they threw in a new class, of course they needed a new starter town. They added a nicely sized island, which resides above Aerlinthe on the map. Most of the screenshots in this preview are taken on the island, and as you can see, it’s gorgeous. It’s not like any other town, to say the least. As with most noobie areas, veering out starts off easy, but run a little while and you will run into harder and harder monsters. I never had the opportunity to see just how hard the mobs got on the island, but I did encounter many level 70 – 80’s.
The island isn’t huge, but it seems plenty. Looking at the map, you can see it’s about 33% larger than Aerlinthe, so there should be a ton of fun, to be had. I don’t think there was anything I didn’t like about Sanamar. If anything, it would be the uber tall trees, but even that just adds more character.
Augmentation Gems are new gems that you can use after level 125. Using the gems will give you something great in reward, but at the cost of your experience points. The effects can range from an extra pack slot, being able to carry more, lose less items on death, and more.
You can look at the entire list on the official site. I can say one thing, and that I will never be taking advantage over any of these. Unless I ever hit level 200, because I think XP is much better spent on actual skills to help improve your character. I’m sure this is why they increased the level cap to 275.. those will be the players that could benefit from these the most, in my opinion.
Another cool feature I am looking forward to is Rares. Basically, these can be various different items, a killer weapon, tough armor, virtual e-peen enlarger, spell gems and more. Finding a rare, is obviously ‘rare’, and it should be. If you happen to find one, it will be like winning the lottery.. almost. Chances are, that no matter what rare you find, it will be worth a *lot*.
Rares will be in very limited quantities, but the more you hunt, the better the chance you have to find one, since they could be found on any monster. So, no matter where you hunt, you always would have a very small chance of finding a rare. To make sure that high level players don’t camp noobie dungeons though, players over level 100 have to kill monsters also over level 100.
Since I enjoy AC so much to begin with, it would be hard to not like the ToD expansion pack. As I had hoped, what I have played so far, I’ve really enjoyed. I can’t wait for it to go live and take my regular characters for a run through the upgraded world.
One plus as well, is that many bugs/issues have been taken care of. Some still remain, but this is definitely a start. One massive pain in the ass before, was the radar. The blips were sometimes in accurate, especially while being chased by a monster. They would appear a mile behind you, and within an instant be right in your face. Well, the radar now refreshes instantaneously, so that issues gone. Wherever the monster is on the radar is where they are.
One issue is still lag. Even running through non-populated areas, I was lagging a fair amount. This could be because the server has many more players than usual, so it will likely be improved when the expansion goes live. During my play time, I even suffered two BSOD’s (Blue screen of death), due to a video card crash. It’s definitely not card related, as it works great in other games, so there could be a nice bug that needs ironing out.
So even though there’s some bad with the expansion pack, there’s much more good. If you are a veteran player, or even a new player who’s just curious, you will no doubt enjoy Throne of Destiny. If you are interested in trying out the game before it’s released, you can take part in the preview (beta), by downloading and getting a trial key from Fileplanet.
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