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Author Topic: Free Realms opens Tuesday  (Read 7076 times)
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vizionblind
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« on: April 27, 2009, 03:19:37 PM »

http://www.massively.com/2009/04/27/free-realms-launches-tuesday/
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 08:25:10 PM »

Interesting. This is absolutely smack dab on the 5th Anniversary of City of Heroes, too. Makes me wonder why Sony picked that date...
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 08:29:39 PM »

They don't seem to be going after the same audience. I'm sure NCSoft West is more concerned about an exodus to Champions Online in June. I'm too wrapped up in the Architect to care about either.  icon_wink This is also LOTRO's 2nd anniversary week, and they're doing various promotional stuff too.
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 11:54:05 PM »

Been playing a bit now.
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 01:15:11 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on April 27, 2009, 11:54:05 PM

Been playing a bit now.
what do you think so far? I think it is very interesting and they do some neat twists with questing
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 01:41:11 AM »

Well its different. Its not great and not bad. I dont feel as though Im in a MMO...more a social gathering type thing. which I think it aspires to be. Do some quests...race a little...train a pet...mostly just about casual fun and not rushing or feeling like a grind.
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Razgon
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 06:01:27 AM »

Its a kids game, and I think it will do well in that target audience. There's loads of minigames in it, and cuteness in overabundance.

The game is somewhat choppy in some of its stuff, the cart racing and demolition derby particulary, but I'm sure that will be ironed out.

what I do believe will be thier greatest hurdle, is the MMO people who thinks this is another MMO for, well, those that play EQ, WoW, LOTRO and so on...its not, it  is an MMO targettted specifically for kids and if Sony succeeds in making people understand that, and do enough in-game protection for kids (language and so on) I think they have a hit on their hands
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 12:46:56 PM »

Given that they've adopted the Webkinz/Nintendo style chat conventions of parsing together communication from stock phrases, I figure it's a pretty safe bet they will handle language.  Heck, you can't even pick out a name of your own without having it vetted by the GMs.

I'm actually a bit bummed the game world will be crowded today. smile
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 12:49:36 PM »

yeah, I know about the name thing, which is pretty good IMO. But the chat I'm not sure I understand what you mean? I tried the game a few times, and the chat was just a chatbox as far as I could tell? I didnt actually type something, but saw people chatting a bit
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 10:37:35 PM »

This may simply be the cutest game I've ever played.

 icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 05:27:14 AM »

Quote from: Lockdown on April 29, 2009, 10:37:35 PM

This may simply be the cutest game I've ever played.

 icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin

Is it worth trying though?
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Razgon
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2009, 07:53:50 AM »

Quote from: Tals on April 30, 2009, 05:27:14 AM

Quote from: Lockdown on April 29, 2009, 10:37:35 PM

This may simply be the cutest game I've ever played.

 icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin

Is it worth trying though?

definitely worth trying. Be aware though, that if you want it offers, you have to pay. Some classes, like Wizard, is only avaible to subscribers.

But, its actually quite solid for a newly released MMO, even if its very kid-friendly
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Victoria Raverna
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2009, 10:44:00 AM »

Is this a remake of Realms online?
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Razgon
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2009, 10:49:34 AM »

Quote from: Victoria Raverna on April 30, 2009, 10:44:00 AM

Is this a remake of Realms online?


I dont know Realms online, but I doubt it. Basically, its a kids MMO, where you can do all the usual stuff, craft, adventure, and so on and gain levels in each different area. Crafting is done via mini-games, and so is your other professions, such as Demolitoin derby driver, or racekart driver where you actually get to race others.

Its a "cute" MMO in graphicsstyle, and its free if you want the basic game, but there's load of stuff you need to pay for.

Its fun, actually, and well done, although runs a bit sluggish on my machine, but that could be because it was beta
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vizionblind
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2009, 11:38:42 AM »

only $4.95 a month
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2009, 12:41:34 PM »

Quote from: Tals on April 30, 2009, 05:27:14 AM

Quote from: Lockdown on April 29, 2009, 10:37:35 PM

This may simply be the cutest game I've ever played.

 icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin   icon_biggrin

Is it worth trying though?

I can see myself being the GT Pimp for this game... that's how incredibly cool I think this game is.  In my opinion, it's absolutely fantastic, as long as a few things are kept in perspective (all in my personal opinion of course):

1. The game is 5 bucks a month, as compared to 12-15 for most MMO games.  Yes, it can be "free" if you want the basic game, but the fact of the matter is, if you end up 'buying into' the game and its concept, the 5 bucks is an absolute no-brainer for what you get in return.

2. The game is absolutely, positively, without question, geared towards kids.  It's not WoW, it's not Vanguard, it's not City of Heroes.  The fact that it's in the same genre is where the similarities end.

3. It takes the term "casual" to a new level.  There is nothing at all (that I've found so far) that would indicate otherwise.  If you go in wanting a kid-friendly WoW - don't even bother.  It's not.  Free Realms is it's own animal.  It's cutesy, it's adorable, it's cartoony, and it's fun as hell and made me smile and laugh at least a dozen times.

That out of the way...  I loaded it up with one thing in mind.  To show the game to my neighbor and his little 9 year old son, Jesse.  We ended up playing the game for hours, literally.  Jesse and I made our character while the game was loading in the background (think GuildWars).  We chose our name from a list of dozens upon dozens of choices of both first and last name combinations.  We picked what he looked like, what his normal adventuring clothes were, etc...  So cute, so fun.

Next thing you know, we are off to the tutorial where a little boy runs up to you and makes you feel like the game is all about YOU.  (It's an instance, so it makes sense that it works like this).  From there, you do a couple things and are immediately transported into the main world.  Jesse and I played checkers against the computer, we raced go-carts, we played demolition derby, we played some mini-games that helped us level up in our cooking job, we trained a little dog to speak, we pvp dueled against another player (almost won too!), and we beat up some goblin-type monsters and some wolves that were bothering the town.  Then Jesse's dad said it was bedtime, and I stayed up and played for about another hour on my own.

Will the game appeal to the "average adult MMO'er" who just wants something cute, fun, and different?  I really don't know.  There is a collectable-type cardgame in Free Realms as well that was a bit too advanced for Jesse to understand.  I liked it, and thought it was simple yet fun, but haven't dug too deeply into it yet.  I really believe it depends on your personality.  Some people will undoubtedly find the fun and humor in the game, and laugh and enjoy the cuteness of it.  Others I could see getting bored very quickly, and dismissing it as something great for kids, but not nearly engaging enough to hold their interest.

The only way to really know is to try it for about an hour.  Go through the quests that introduce you to the cooking, the racing, the derby, the combat, the mini-games, the pet stuff.  That is all free.  That should by more than enough to tell you if you are smittin' by the game, or see it as a colossal waste of time.  It seems to take just about a gig of memory on the hard drive from what I can determine by quick inspection.  If it doesn't pop your toaster, you're out zero money and a quick uninstall.

How much of my fun was due to the fact I had a young person to share the experience with?  That's a good question that is impossible to determine.  How much of my enjoyment came from the fact that I've been working 13 hour days, and am braindead when I get home and just want to shut off the brain and have fun?  Who knows.  But I do know I can't wait to log back in tonight and level up in some of the careers to see how the game handles that.

The graphics:  They're fine.  Cartoony.  Not brilliant by any stretch, but certainly polished.  The characters are well-animated and have some very funny reactions to things.

The sounds/music:  Fine as well.  Kiddie-like. 

Mini-games:  Fun as heck.  I could play demolition derby for hours alone.  If the card game ends up being fun, I could probably play that all night as well. 

All those wonderful things being said, keep in mind Sony Online Entertainment are always up to their old tricks, so be wary...  You have to buy Station Dollars in order to get a pet.  (I think it's 5 bucks).  If you want special clothing... Station Bucks.  Super Duper Potions... Station Bucks.  etc.. etc...  I didn't get very far into the game to know just how deep the SoE clowns have sunk in order to wisk money away from people, but nothing would surprise me when it comes to them.     

Any specifics about the game I'm sure can be answered by Visionblind's link at the top of the thread.  Or ask me, I'd be happy to answer if I can.
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2009, 01:43:04 PM »

Quote from: Lockdown on April 30, 2009, 12:41:34 PM

All those wonderful things being said, keep in mind Sony Online Entertainment are always up to their old tricks, so be wary...  You have to buy Station Dollars in order to get a pet.  (I think it's 5 bucks).  If you want special clothing... Station Bucks.  Super Duper Potions... Station Bucks.  etc.. etc...  I didn't get very far into the game to know just how deep the SoE clowns have sunk in order to wisk money away from people, but nothing would surprise me when it comes to them.

Based on how the Smed Bucks (EQers name for Station Cash) are so pushed at you in Everquest 1 and 2, along with Vanguard, I'm gonna say that there's a ton of virtual things you'd have to throw money at to get in Free Realms.

Still, it sounds like fun. I might have to give it a whirl.
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2009, 01:47:20 PM »

There is no virtual cash in Vanguard....just to clarify
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Arkon
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2009, 02:30:13 PM »

Lockdown, I am creating a character now, what server are you on?
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2009, 02:55:51 PM »

No idea, Arkon.  When I said braindead, I wasn't exaggerating.  It's like soup up there.   icon_neutral
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« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2009, 07:18:57 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on April 30, 2009, 01:47:20 PM

There is no virtual cash in Vanguard....just to clarify

No, but the devs were forced (as far as I can tell based on forum postings) to make all servers Station Cash servers (where people can buy and sell accounts, items, etc). So I'm expecting Smed Bucks to come out soon there too.
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2009, 12:10:27 AM »

My character name is Sebastian Oakheart.
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2009, 03:00:05 AM »

Kylan Keeneye.  ...and my little friendly dog is Zoe.   icon_biggrin

Some neat things I discovered tonight for those interested:

1.  You can go to a racing minigame and create your own game, set the difficulty level, how many "real" players are allowed to enter, which track to race, how many laps, and if the AI fills in the empty spots.  So cool!  There are numerous different types of cars to buy as well.  Good traction cars, fast cars, super-booster cars, etc...  I'm not nearly far enough into the game to know if you can "buy" or earn the cars as you level up with in-game rewards, without having to spend any real money.  (I'm guessing you can though.)

2.  I made friends with a girl character when our dogs met on the street and started barking at each other and then playing with each other.  I nearly fell over laughing at how cute that was.  Found out you can teleport instantly to anyone on your friend's list.  (I'm assuming you have to be on the same server??)

3.  Sony makes it WAY too easy for kids to use the credit card to buy Station Cash.  I tried to spend $5 so I could get my own dog, and sure enough, it accepted the credit card I used to become a Member simple as pie.  The good news is parents do have some control because you must enter that 3 digit code on the back of the card to buy something; but if the kid knows the code...  (Anyhow, going to the forums reveals a tab called Parental Controls, so perhaps there is protection to be found there.  I would hope so at least.)

4.  There are advanced tutorials for the car and demolition derby mini-games, which add a bit more to them.  Pretty neat!  There are also chess, checkers, and other neat boardgame type mini-games scattered throughout the world.  I am not sure if you can set the difficulty level of the tables if you are playing against the A.I. instead of another human.  I would hope you can, as that would be quite a neat thing.  Even if it's just Easy, Medium, and Hard tables.  That way really good Chess players (of which I am not) could put their skills to good use and earn more in-game money and/or tickets and/or experience. 

I have to go to bed, and I realize I'm pretty easy to please compared to most "gamers" - but this game is just too awesome!  I simply CAN NOT WAIT for my niece to come over and play it with me!



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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2009, 12:47:29 PM »

I must admit this game is rather addictive.

My puppy is named Baron Von Zippy.  So far my biggest concern about pets is that they can be rather expensive.  Food, vitamins, shampoo and conditioner are all one shot items, in about 1 hour I needed to feed and bathe my dog twice.

I wish you could add friends from the web interface and have a bit more interaction with things when not in game.  I would love to be able to play some of the minigames via the web when things are slow here at work, without needing to download the client.
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2009, 01:17:57 PM »

Arkon, have you done any testing to see if dogs/cats get hungrier/dirtier when they are "put away"?  I have the same (minor) concern as you in how much of my earnings will end up going to take care of my pet.  I was curious how that could be remedied.  Some thoughts I had were, 1. Maybe as we level up as Pet Trainers, they require less attention or 2. Maybe the better quality foods,vitamins,etc... last a really long time or 3. When the pets are put away, maybe they regenerate so-to-speak or 4. Maybe we can buy pet clothing that somehow adds to the time a pet is satisfied.  I would hope at least one of those things is true, but really have no idea.

Have you had a chance to explore the card game yet?  If so, what do you think?
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2009, 02:07:39 PM »

Well, I shelled out about 1200 coins last night on items for my pet.  From what I can tell, the better foods/shampoos etc seem to work better as far as being able to increase the meters faster but it doesn't appear to slow down the decrease.  I also know that there are better brushes and food bowls from what I have seen.  I wonder if perhaps some of the pet trainer gear will also reduce the rate of decrease in cleanliness/hunger etc on the pet.  I saw something in the tutorial that at some point having a pet can allow you to run faster, not sure when/how that will happen.

I have done the first two CCG quests, very cool, although was a bit odd being taken out of the game to a different "client".  I haven't really taken a look at buying cards at all yet.

I think my highest rank job is Mining at lvl 7 I believe.
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2009, 05:34:11 PM »

Okey Dokey.  Maybe I'll run into Sebastian online this weekend - that would be cool. 
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2009, 05:37:11 PM »

Thank you for the impressions, guys. I am looking forward to trying it out with my daughter.
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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2009, 09:52:40 PM »

Played a bit more today, really enjoying the game.  A few nitpicks... most of the minigames are at a much lower resolution than the rest of the game for me.  Not sure why but it makes the games such as Garden Defense (Tower Defense minigame) look really bad. 

Non combat jobs such as miner, chef and blacksmith seem to level up way faster than the combat jobs like brawler.  I am intending on getting pretty high lvls of miner and blacksmith so I can help outfit folks as I get recipes.

Lockdown I tried adding you as a friend, not sure if you have to be online for me to do so, I got no sort of feedback when hitting the add button.
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« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2009, 01:21:02 AM »

I am noticing latency/loading issues with a lot of the mini-games
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« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2009, 01:39:52 AM »

I'm enjoying it as well.  A lot.  What a super fun game.

I am beginning to think quite a few of the mini-games do not give rewards yet.  I do not think any of the Tower Defense type games, nor the race car driving, nor the demolition derby give any type of reward yet.  I sure hope they add that, cause I really enjoy playing them.

I have all but 2 jobs unlocked now.  Wizard and something else.  I tried doing my first instance dungeon on my own today.  Couldn't beat the final wolf... otherwise, I did pretty good.  For the combat classes, I like the Warrior and Medic jobs - as I am fairly successful with them. 

Have no clue how adding friends works if you can't physically see the person you are trying to add.  Hopefully that gets worked out as well.



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« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2009, 01:45:22 AM »

Quote from: Lockdown on May 04, 2009, 01:39:52 AM

I'm enjoying it as well.  A lot.  What a super fun game.

I am beginning to think quite a few of the mini-games do not give rewards yet.  I do not think any of the Tower Defense type games, nor the race car driving, nor the demolition derby give any type of reward yet.  I sure hope they add that, cause I really enjoy playing them.

I have all but 2 jobs unlocked now.  Wizard and something else.  I tried doing my first instance dungeon on my own today.  Couldn't beat the final wolf... otherwise, I did pretty good.  For the combat classes, I like the Warrior and Medic jobs - as I am fairly successful with them. 

Have no clue how adding friends works if you can't physically see the person you are trying to add.  Hopefully that gets worked out as well.

Have you unlocked the ninja class?  Where is that one at?
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« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2009, 12:50:28 PM »

I've been playing this one too.  I'm a Station Access subscriber so figured I'd give this a try.  I really like it!  I decided to use the dial-a-name and always play on Server 3.  My character is Xavier Silvereyes.  I think you can send tells in game by surrounding the full name in quotes, but so far I only seem to be able to add people to my friends list if I can target them.  I do believe that if someone has a dialed a name, that name is now taken and can't be used again.  Feel free to send me a tell in game and perhaps we can get a nice friends list going smile
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« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2009, 03:20:42 PM »

I think choosing a server and always playing on there is a great idea.  I have been randomly assigned at least 4 different ones so far, and have just accepted.  I will begin playing on Server 3 though, as I would love to have some friends in game.

I find it a bit ironic that someone who loves the most detailed crafting, combat, and storyline imaginable in his MMO, likes this game so much - but what can I sayÖ I just do.  I am quite simply enamored by Free Realms.  I absolutely love the character art and animations of my little cartoon-like avatar as well as the NPCís and ďmonstersĒ in the game.  Itís like playing a cartoon or something.  Iím not sure how long I will be captivated by it, as the game is really nothing more than a collection of a lot of simple little things that are put together in one package; but for right now, I am just totally hooked.  Itís pretty funny.

Here is a small bullet list of some further thoughts of mine so far:

+ As mentioned, the cartoon character art and animations are super.  The overall world is just so well done, and so lively and fun and kick-back.

+ I find while some mini-games are quite easy, others are challenging for me.  Especially trying to get the bonusesÖ I must be getting old, because I am pretty awful at bonuses.  This in turn keeps them interesting for me.

- I am getting impatient for the mini-games that donít give rewards to begin giving rewards.  Coins seem to be pretty tight in this game, so I would love to have more ways to earn them.

+ The card game is actually pretty solid.  Iím not a collectable card game aficionado by any stretch, so most anything more complicated than 'Go Fish' would probably be great to me, but I am enjoying it quite a bit.  I hope the single player questing against the A.I. continues throughout the leveling up of the Job though, as Iím not always in the mood to play against real players.  I guess weíll see.

+ I like that there always seems to be so much to do, yet travelling to where you need to go is so simple.  Iím only missing the Wizard and Ninja jobs so far, which leaves about 14 jobs to level up, depending on what Iím in the mood for.  (Well, minus the racing jobs, which I donít believe can be leveled up yet).

- Quite a few of the merchants have things which are downright expensive!  Iím not nearly far enough into the game to know if there is a reason for this yet; but the initial impression it gives is that the only real way to acquire anything of quality is in the form of quest rewards.  I suppose that can be a positive or negative depending on your point of view though.

+ The mouse-related mini-games are cool, especially for kids.  My neighborís son likes those the best, which is good, Ďcause Iíve yet to pass one of the combat dummy tests if Jesse isn't around!   icon_smile

- Iím not crazy about the chat system.  I find all the ďcontrolsĒ to be cumbersome.  Maybe itís just me not being familiar with how it works.  [shrug].

+ I just love the global and mini-map.  The way everything is laid out to be so easy to find is so refreshing.  When Iím playing a ďhardcoreĒ game, I find I enjoy the challenge of trying to locate things.  In Free Realms, I donít want to fuss with it, so itís great that I donít have to.

- My puppy requires a lot of attention in the form of food, cleaning, and teaching.  The truth is, I love having her around, so I find it to be a pain in the neck.  I guess I canít fault the game for that though, as I suppose it makes sense in that making 'Pet Trainer' a fleshed out Job, you canít have it be too easy.  I guess I got used to Fable 2, in which I didnít have to really do much with my dog in terms of care.

- Speaking of which, I would love for my dog to help me find treasure, like in Fable.  There are so many collection type quests, if I could train my dog to be a treasure hunter, it would add so much to the game for me.  I may actually ask the devs for that feature in feedback.


I guess thatís about it for now.  I really hope this game is a success and sparks further content.  I think what they have at launch is a great start for a great concept of game.  Iím still not sure how many adult gamers are going to buy into the concept though, as the combat and crafting portions are extremely watered down, and that is such a huge draw for most people when it comes to these types of games.  I'm guessing quite a few people at GT have tried it and don't like it too much, as there are very few comments in our thread here.  I can totally understand that.

At any rate, I continue to love it and hope for it's success.   icon_biggrin 
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Cragmyre
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« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2009, 05:37:22 PM »

My dog sort of helps me find treasure.  Once in a while my dog has a collection book in the thought bubble...of course by that time I've already spotted it anyway smile

Did you know that you can tip cows? biggrin

I enjoy the card game, but I love card games.  I did a couple of the quests...well, I did the tutorial quest and one match.  At first I was getting creamed in the match, but eventually I was able to take the win.  Of course I'm sure the NPC was designed not to be too aggressive.  My starter was the Machine starter ( yellow deck ).  I also got a booster for being a member.

I've read that more will be coming including housing and gardening.  This is sort of like a cross between an MMO, the Sims, and Pogo  icon_lol

But like Lockdown, I can't put my finger on why it is do addicting.  Probably because you can just relax and still feel like you've made progress.

I think the hardest part will be meeting up with others until they get on your friends list.  I've got a few warp stones collected now, so I can make my way around the map a tiny bit, but I'm not in a rush to uncover the entire map.  I guess we'll either have to arrange a meeting time and place, or just randomly send tells to those listed here smile
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« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2009, 11:50:07 PM »

I haven't posted in the thread yet because I've already plunked down 50+ hours in the game since Tuesday night (actually Wed. evening). smile

The thing that has addicted me so far is the adventurer career.  I'm only about 13 coins from collecting every rare location in game, all without the use of hints in the forums or cheats.  Soon I'll have to go back and do the quests, too... smile
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« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2009, 03:47:09 PM »

So I played last night with a friend of mine.  She had her dog out and we were just exploring the country side when her dog got a thought bubble of a treasure chest.  We glanced around but didn't see any treasure, then all of a sudden her dog started sniffing the ground and then dug at the spot.  Out pops a treasure chest with a new collar for the dog.  My dog never found anything frown
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« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2009, 04:15:14 PM »

Mine either!  That's awesome though!!
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« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2009, 08:34:42 PM »

Anyone able to run this on Vista x64?
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« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2009, 10:21:53 PM »

Quote from: Laner on May 06, 2009, 08:34:42 PM

Anyone able to run this on Vista x64?

While I haven't tried it myself (yet), I'd be surprised if it didn't work under Vista 64.
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