Mabinogi (video game)


Mabinogi (video game)

Infobox VG| title = Mabinogi


developer = devCAT (Nexon)
publisher = Nexon
designer =
engine = Pleione Engine
release = flagicon|South Korea June 22, 2004
flagicon|Japan April 26, 2005
flagicon|China flagicon|Hong Kong flagicon|Taiwan May 6, 2005

version =
genre = Fantasy MMORPG
modes =MMO
ratings =
platforms = Windows(98/ME/2K/XP)
media =
requirements = Intel Pentium III 800 MHz
256 MB RAM
GeForce 2MX, ATI Radeon 7000, Matrox G550, i82865
600 MB free HD space
DirectX 9.0b
Broadband connection
input = Keyboard, mouse

Mabinogi (Hangul:마비노기) is an online role-playing game released by South Korean Game Distributing Company Nexon, and developed by devCAT studio, one of several development teams in Nexon Inc. inspired by Celtic mythology. The Welsh word "mabinogi" is found in the original manuscripts of the Mabinogion. Mabinogi offers a multitude of skills and a high level of diversity among players and environments.

The game engine features hand-painted textures stylized with edge detection outlining, which enhance the anime-looking characters. The game world is developed continuously, through the release of important patches (referred to as "Generations" and "Chapters") that introduce new areas to explore, additional features such as pets and new skills, and advancement of the storyline. The user interface is familiarly simple and designed in the likeness of Microsoft Windows' task bar, allowing the player to access most game panels with ease (experienced players can also make use of keyboard shortcuts, to simplify certain tasks).

Commercially, Mabinogi is built on a hybrid Value Added Services model (which varies slightly for each game localization), that allows free but limited gameplay and the subscription of paid packages, purchased through the game service shop, which unlock the full game experience. In South Korea, beginning with the Chapter 3 patch, Mabinogi now allows free 24-hr gameplay, but the Item Shop has been opened, where players can buy special items like the Skill Untrain Capsule using Nexon Cash. The Premium Shop, selling Character Cards, etc., still exists.

The game service is currently available in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mainland China, North America and most recently New Zealand and Australia. During the 2007 Gstar game show in Seoul, South Korea, Nexon announced an Xbox 360 version of Mabinogi. [citeweb|url=http://216.92.236.126/php-bin/news_index.php?story=16167|title=G*: Nexon Reveals Xbox 360 MMO Mabinogi, Talks Maple Story DS|author=Brandon Sheffield, Seoul|date=2007-08-11|accessdate=2008-03-24]

The North American closed beta test began on January 30 2008, at 2pm PST. [citeweb|url=http://www.worldsinmotion.biz/2008/01/nexon_announces_mabinogi.php|title=Nexon Announces Mabinogi|author=Leigh Alexander|date=2008-16-01|accessdate=2008-03-24] The pre-open beta only available to Fileplanet users was released on March 5 2008. [citeweb|url=http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/02/mabinogi-beta-o.html|title=Mabinogi Open Beta Lands March 5|author=Earnest Cavalli|date=2008-29-02|accessdate=2008-03-24] The full open beta was released on March 6 2008, at 3PM PST. The North American localization of Mabinogi was officially released on March 27th 2008. [citeweb|url=http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm?LOADNEWS=10301&bhcp=1|title=Commercial Launch Announced|author=Keith Cross|date=2008-24-02|accessdate=2008-03-25]

Gameplay

Mabinogi's gameplay is like most other MMORPGs. It does, however, offer some options uncommon to most games. The player is not limited by any class (except the character's race), but is instead free to level up any of the different skills available. The combination of skill choice, age, items and other variables such as user title and physical constitution is what indeed makes up the character. Players can also use facial expressions as emotes to enhance the way they communicate with others. Different activities and mini-games can be enjoyed by the players, such as fishing, herding, applying for a part-time job, or simply sitting around a campfire, playing music, having a friendly chat, and sharing food.

Character creation and development

Characters are created by using Character Cards (additional cards must be purchased from the game service store). There are two kinds of cards, basic and premium (a newly created account or an account with no characters has one free basic card). Premium cards give the player a wider variety of hairstyles, eye and mouth shapes and also come with more elaborate clothes than the basic type. Players can also choose from three available races: human, elf (since Generation 5, Chapter 2) and giant (since Generation 6, Chapter 2). When creating a character, one may choose an age between 10 and 17 years-old. The character will advance one year in age every (real) Saturday. Different ages yield different initial stats and affect the amount of stats raised when leveling up.

Rebirthing is one important factor of the game. Unused Character Cards can be purchased to rebirth existing characters instead of creating new ones. Rebirthing allows the player to change the character's age, gender, appearance, and reset the character's level back to 1 while keeping all previously learned skills. When a character reaches the age of 25, aging will not be rewarded with Ability Points and leveling-up gradually becomes more difficult as the character's level becomes higher. Since all skills require a great amount of Ability Points at a higher rank, there's a limit to character development if players don't take advantage of rebirthing.

While engaging in most activities, the player must keep an eye on the three major status bars: health, mana and stamina. When health reaches zero the player dies (if fatally wounded, the player may still recover health or get healed), while mana is used for magic skills. Stamina is important because without it tasks cannot be performed. The player may use the rest skill, use stamina potions or eat food to recover stamina. In addition to stamina, The character can also get hungry, which prevents stamina recovery.

The player's eating habits will affect the character's build, eating certain foods in large quantities will increase their weight (it may also raise/lower some of their stats). Eating berries has a slimming effect, gradually reducing the character's weight. These transformations happen over time, so the player may watch how the character's body changes.

Each (real world) day of the week grants players specific bonuses, such as getting a higher experience rate for certain skills, higher item creation success, aging, gaining AP, etc. Players can take advantage of these bonuses to quickly advance their character builds.

Combat system

The combat system has a tactical side to it. Predicting the enemy's next move and making use of different offensive and defensive skills is crucial. However, the game features an automatic combat mode if the player wishes to choose this option. Enemies have different ranks and come in all sorts of species, some of them being very large in size. The player can usually see the strength of the enemy before attacking it by pressing the Alt key. Some monsters are aggressive and will attack and pursue on sight. The high artificial intelligence of the enemies makes combat more engaging and reduces the existence of bots.

Dying causes a loss of experience points (depending on whether the player respawns in a town or on the same spot the death occurred) and sometimes the loss of equipment (these lost items can be retrieved at a lost and found NPC, but at a cost, usually, half of the item's actual price). Fallen players can be revived if another player uses a Phoenix Feather on them. If the player has used Soul Stone of Nao (can be purchased on Item Shop), then Nao can be summoned to revive the player. If the player has zero experience points and suffers a death penalty, negative experience points will accumulate and the experience bar will turn red on the Character panel, instead of losing a level.

Fantasy Life

There is a wide range of Life skills which give the player the chance to experience a different side of the “fantasy life”. Players can perform tasks such as tending to the wheat and potato fields, making flour, gathering wool from sheep and eggs from hens, weaving and making garments, mining for minerals and crafting weapons, playing and composing music, cooking dishes, etc.

Using a system called Music Markup Language (a variation of Music Macro Language), players may compose their own arrangements or use music scrolls created by other players. In the North American version, this is simply known as the "Compose" And "Play Music" skills. Different musical instruments, such as lutes, ukuleles, flutes, and other instruments can be used to play these compositions in-game. Naturally, there are legal implications of playing copyrighted music, and while Nexon officially discourages such actions, there are many players who choose to do so.

NPC interaction is very important in the game. As the player talks to different non-player characters, keywords will become available to use in dialog with other NPC's. These conversations will reveal plot points and NPC backgrounds, unlock quests or skills, etc. NPC's also offer a variety of services such as shops, item repair and upgrade, skill apprenticeships and more. Players can also request part-time jobs from some of the NPC's, which can be useful to get items or quickly earn gold (the in-game currency). By interacting frequently with the NPC's, they will be able to remember the player's character.

Mainstream plots

Mabinogi has mainstream story campaigns which are playable only when a person is a game service subscriber. These quests have connected story lines that reveal the background story of Erinn and several important characters.:There are 3 stories in sequential order, each implemented at their corresponding Generation updates.:*Generation 1: Advent of the Goddess:*Generation 2: Paladin:*Generation 3: Dark Knight:*Generation 8: The Drake of Iria:*Generation 9: AlchemyGenerations 4 through 7 don't have any story campaign, which is reason of complaint among part of the player base.

Quests, exploration and part-time jobs

There are many different quests that players can complete throughout the game. Different types of quests exist, some are party quests, others involve monster hunting, item collecting or other tasks, for instance, skill-based quests like cooking or tailoring.

Some of them are received by the player at specific points or after certain quests are completed, others are given by the NPC's, some can be purchased as quest scrolls and, finally, there are also exploration quests that the player can enroll in through the Quest Boards.

Quest rewards may consist of experience points, Ability Points, gold, items or a combination of these rewards. Quests help the player to discover the game's regions and to find out about the many available NPC's, as they require traveling to different parts of the game world and talking to all the different non-player characters.

Exploration quests typically involve finding certain hidden objects using a pair of L-shaped rods or by finding landmarks or animals and making a sketch of these. Different exploration quests are available according to the player's exploration level. Sometimes, when a player is using the L-rods, they may encounter chests with rewards (some of these chests are guarded by enemies which characters must defeat to open the chests).

There is also a player rank for the completion of each quest, which can be viewed on the Exploration Chronicle panel. When a character completes exploration quests or simply come across these hidden landmarks, the character's exploration level will increase and as they level up the character will gain Ability Points and access to new exploration quests.

Another type of special quests are part-time jobs, which are given by the NPC's. Part-time jobs (called in all regions but North America) are only available at a specific time of the day for each NPC and have a time limit to be completed. The player must complete the requested tasks (i.e.: delivering an item to another NPC, crafting a certain number of items, collecting objects, doing farming chores, etc.) and report back to the NPC to choose their reward. If the player completes the task only partially, the reward will be smaller.

Repeating these part-time jobs helps to raise the intimacy level between the player and the NPC (giving certain items to the NPC may also help). When a friendship has been established between them, certain merchant NPC's will reveal a "secret store" to the player with special items to purchase.

Time and weather

The game has its own internal clock (36 minutes of the real time corresponds to 1 day of the game), as day gradually turns into night (a dynamic weather system is also in place, with effects such as rain, thunder and sand storms). Each real time day of the week offers players the opportunity to take advantage of specific gameplay bonuses, such as increased skill success or lowered NPC store prices. Weekday names used in-game reflect the Celtic mythology that the game evokes. In Mabinogi, the days of the week are represented by seasons:
*Imbolic (Sunday)
*Alban Eiler (Monday)
*Beltane (Tuesday)
*Alban Heruin (Wednesday)
*Lughnasadh (Thursday)
*Alban Elved (Friday)
*Samhain (Saturday)

Titles

Achieving certain conditions will reward the character with a title. Titles, when applied, can change the character's stats, with the potential to be beneficial or detrimental.

Some examples::"Lucky Guy/Girl":"Bear Slayer with Bare hands":"Defeated by a Fox at 17":"Noob Elemental Master":"Elemental Master":"The Ogre Slayer":"The Fishing King":"The Adult":"The Beta Tester":"The seal breaker of Ciar Dungeon":"Friend of Malcolm/Nora/Trefor/Deian":"Paladin/Dark knight/Falcon/Savage Beast"

Some titles are unique in the server and only one character in that server can be awarded with the title, this is usually achieved by breaking down a Seal Stone. There are also a few titles awarded for completing an event, participating in the Closed Beta period or completing Mainstream Quests.

Other game systems

Players can set up stores to sell their items. Incidentally, items cannot be looted, as it frequently happens in other games, since any item dropped from a monster cannot, as a rule, be picked up by another player for a short time. Items can be safely traded through the trading panels. Also, any items dropped by a player as a result of the player's death is automatically recovered by an NPC nearby, where it can be retrieved.

Generation 3, in later updates, added housing areas between Tir Chonaill and Dunbarton and also between Bangor and Emain Macha. Through this housing system, players can bid for a house and pay rent for it afterwards, in order to keep it. Houses may be used as stores and players can purchase items to decorate their homes.

As in many other MMORPG's, player characters can get married in-game, by requesting this to a marriage NPC. A pet system is also available. Players may purchase Pet Cards from the game store and summon them in-game. Pets can help in combat or, in some cases, even be used as transportation, allowing the player to travel at a greater speed than on foot.

Other features worth mentioning are the friend, party and guild systems. Guild creation requires the purchase of an extended play package from the game store. Guilds can expand/level up by meeting an increasing quota of points (called Guild Points, or GP), which are earned by the guild's members by staying in-game. PvP combat is also possible in special arenas.

Skills

Each character can develop a large number of skills, although some can only be learned if the character is of a certain race (Human, Elf, Giant). Skills are divided into four categories: Combat, Life, Magic and Alchemy. Combat refers to melee and ranged attack skills, as well as defensive moves. Life refers to crafting and performing skills, such as fishing, cooking, composing, tailoring, smithing or potion making. Some of the Life skills available are also mini-games. Magic comprises three kinds of elemental magic (fire, ice and lightning) and non-elemental magic, such as healing and recovery skills. Information on Alchemy

Ability Points (obtained when the player levels up, ages or has completed important quests) are required to take each skill up a level. Each skill is ranked from F to A and then from 9 to 1 (F being the lowest and 1 being the highest possible rank of a given skill). By practicing different skills, the experience for these skills (and also for character level) will go up. If the player performs a certain skill until it reaches "perfect skill" training (before advancing that skill to the next rank), they will also receive special bonuses. Skill levels cannot be lowered once they are advanced, unless a Skill Untrain Capsule is used (only available on Item Shop and can be bought with Nexon Cash). Additionally, the AP required for ranking up may differ between Humans and Elves in certain skills.

Paladin and Dark Knight Skills

Players can acquire special Paladin skills, which allow their character to transform into a Paladin and use power-up skills, after completing the Generation 2 mainstream plots. They can also convert their Paladin to a Dark Knight by solving the quests available in Generation 3, Chapter 4. Dark Knights and Paladins strongly oppose each other. Dark Knights have an additional skill, not available to Paladins, which gives them the ability to control monsters. The player can only transform into a Paladin or a Dark Knight once a day (in-game time).

The Mabinogi World

In the Mabinogi world, there are three beginning towns in Generation 1, named:
*Tir Chonaill (a beginner area)
*Dunbarton
*Bangor

There is also a wide variety of other maps, such as the fields which connect the towns, dungeons and quest maps, the "Soulstream" (where Nao appears) and "the Gate".

The game world is expanded continuously through subsequent major patches. Generation 2 introduces a new town to the world of Erinn, Emain Macha. Generation 4 adds a new region, Rano, which belongs to a whole new continent, named Iria. This continent is quite large (when fully implemented, it is about three times larger than the size of the Urla mainland, where Generations 1 through 3 take place).

Generation 5 reveals another region of Iria, called Connus, and implements a new race of characters, the Desert Elves. It also adds the elven town of 'Philia'. Generation 6 brings yet a new kind of race, the Giants. A new area called Physis (a place eternally covered in snow) and a town called Vales are added at this point.

Generation 8 adds another extension to the continent of Iria, Zardin, where a new mainstream quest takes place for the human characters. This area features active volcanoes and sulfur geysers, and is "not a part of Erinn," according to the game.

Generation 9 adds some new regions and a new town, Taltin. Taltin is a town of Alchemy, where most of Chapter 3 main streams take place. Taltin is on Urla mainland, next to Dunbarton.

However, Tara isn't yet updated, but it seems to be updated on Generation 10.

Moon gates and Mana tunnels

"Moon gates" in Urla connect remote areas and allow players to teleport through them. The destination of moon gates changes every (in-game) day. They are periodic and can be mapped and predicted (as many Korean and Japanese fan sites already do). At a particular night, all moon gates teleport to one place. "Mana tunnels" in Iria connect different points across the continent. These, however, work differently from Moon gates. Mana tunnels can only teleport players to a mana tunnel that the character has used before. The light cycles are important to these portals: Moon gates are active only at night, while mana tunnels can only be used during the day. Mana tunnels, when active, replenish the players' mana if they are standing close to it. Players can also move from one continent to another by boat or by selecting "Continent move" from the main menu.

Dungeons

There are several dungeons in Mabinogi. When a player enters a dungeon, they will find a lobby with a statue of a goddess, and a platform before it. A separate dungeon instance is created for every unique type of item thrown on the platform (this way, the dungeon maps are randomized).

Depending on what the player drops, they might end up in a dungeon instance with players already in it. However, that does not affect the use of Evil Passes, which will create a harder dungeon compared to other items. Evil Passes are available as drops from normal dungeons. Beginner passes, which create easier versions of dungeons, are only available to select dungeons.

Dungeons maps consist of rooms and corridors of the same size connected to each other. Along the way, the player will encounter chests or other devices which will, if opened or activated, summon monsters that must be defeated in order to progress in the dungeon path (keys that unlock dungeon doors must also be found this way). At the end of each dungeon, there is a room four times as large as the regular ones, dubbed the "boss room", which will usually have the boss enemy of the dungeon (sometimes escorted by a number of other enemies).

Once the boss and its minions are defeated, a small room is opened, inside of which there will be several treasure chests and a statue of the goddess to allow players to warp back to the entrance. The number of treasure chests inside the treasury will be equal to the number of characters in the dungeon (at the time of opening the door). Players can thus explore the dungeons in teams.

When a player is killed inside a dungeon and if they cannot wait for rescue, they can choose to be revived at one of three possible locations: in a town, at the previous dungeon statue, using a Nao revive (limited and available only to subscribers of the Nao Support or Fantasy Life packages), or at the dungeon lobby. If the player revives at the previous statue, they might pick up their dungeon progress where they left off, that is, the chests they have opened and the monsters they have already killed will not be reset. However, there is a big penalty for this and their status (health, mana and stamina) will not be reset either. If the player decides to revive at the dungeon lobby there is a lesser penalty and a new item must be dropped to enter the dungeon again (in which case, a new dungeon instance will be created unless the player dropped a second copy of the item that was used to create the dungeon). If the player uses a Nao revive, they will be revived on the spot with full health, mana, stamina, hunger and fully blessed equipment with minimal experience loss.

Mabinogi Heroes

Infobox VG| title = Mabinogi Heroes


developer = devCAT (Nexon)
publisher = Nexon
designer =
engine = Source engine
release = flagicon|South Korea Late 2008
version =
genre = Fantasy MMORPG
modes =MMO
ratings =
platforms = Windows(98/ME/2K/XP/Vista)
media =
requirements =

"Mabinogi Heroes" was announced in April (a teaser site was opened for it), and it is currently being developed by the Devcat studio. The game's genre (like the original) is an action role playing game that has improved graphics over Mabinogi. Both games have the same world stories, though there are style and gameplay differences.

Devcat studio chose Valve Corporation's Source engine and made many modifications to optimize the performance of Mabinogi Heroes. Due to this method Mabinogi Heroes has materialized a high level of hitting sensibility, which will provide an interactive physical action environment that is considered impossible in an online game.

In the background, the natural features (like signs, trees) are breakable during battle. The player may pick up broken fragments of items and use them as a weapon. There are many sub-weapons ready to make a battle more realistic. Spears can be thrown to stop an enemy from coming at the player, enemies can be held against a wall or the floor, and team cooperation can be employed to perform certain actions, such as using a chain to seize a gigantic monster's legs, making it collapse.

The game is expected to be released in 2008, around Autumn or Winter, though it may be delayed. Mabinogi Heroes will have a playable demo version and a promotional video is available on Mabinogi Heroes Official Website. cite news|url=http://heroes.nexon.com/|title=Korean game website|publisher=Nexon

News

On January 28, 2008, it was reported that a 16-year-old boy from Japan hacked the website of Nexon Japan and accrued 36 million yen (325,000 Dollars) worth of game points used in Mabinogi. It sparked discussions among the public about the security of an online game's billing system. [citeweb|url=http://www.curse.com/articles/details/5904/|title=Mabinogi Was Hacked by A 16-year-old Boy|author=meteo|date=2008-28-01] [citeweb|url=http://www.pinktentacle.com/2008/01/boy-hacker-scams-36-mil-yen-for-virtual-dress/|title=Boy hacker scams 36 mil yen for virtual dress|date=2008-01-24|accessdate=2008-03-24]

A sequel to the game, Mabinogi II, is also planned so far what we know is that it will have nothing to do with the current Mabinogi except the character design and will focus and more human like graphics and will not be an update for the exsisting mabinogi. [citeweb|url=http://devcat.nexon.com/Recruit/M2/|title=DevCAT Mabinogi II recruitment page]

References

External links

Worldwide official game sites

* [http://www.mabinogi.com/ Official site of Mabinogi in South Korea]
* [http://www.mabinogi.jp/ Official site of Mabinogi in Japan]
* [http://tw.mabinogi.gamania.com/ Official site of Mabinogi in Taiwan]
* [http://www.luoqi.com.cn/ Official site of Mabinogi in Mainland China]
* [http://mabinogi.nexon.net/ Official site of Mabinogi in North America]
* [http://heroes.nexon.com/ Official site of Mabinogi Heroes in South Korea]
* [http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/index.php?title=Wiki_Home Mabinogi Wikipedia Website]

Fansite/Database sites

* [http://www.mabiguru.com/ MabiGuru, English Mabinogi Fansite & Wiki]
* [http://www.mabinogiworld.com/ Mabinogi World, Global Mabinogi News Database & Wiki]
* [http://www.mabinogiplayer.com/ Mabinogi Player, an English fansite/database]
* [http://db.mmosite.com/mabinogi Mabinogi Database at MMOsite, an English database]


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