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Analysis of 5/7/08 Update

Posted by The Peanut Master on May 7, 2008

This week’s Wednesday update brought an all-new Espionage Mission, new Patrol Mission on the “Battle” button, and the removal of the war and extra starship costs for free players. Roll it!

About: The major release of this week was the Espionage Mission, which is an optional (according to AE) mission that can be found at Dean Warlic’s office after having completed the Cure Sys-Zero quest. First you equip a snazzy Spy Uniform, and go on to play a minigame where you are attempting to hack into the ShadowScythe computers and find any information whatsoever. The minigame uses the right arrow key to move forward, the left arrow key to protect against flying flashlight-bearing creatures, and the down key to dodge quick laser attacks by approaching ShadowScythe. Once you reach the end, you go through a similar minigame to the Museum, where you have to correctly figure out the five-part sequence of buttons to unlock the hieroglyphic. There are a total of five pieces, and you have to correctly guess each of the five pieces in order to continue. Once you beat it, you will finally face a Bloodhound to finish the quest. As of right now, the Espionage is a repeating quest that does not have an “end” point. You can just keep on doing it and there is nothing to gain. Also, a new Patrol Mission was added to the Battle button, which is simply an order to go out and protect the citizens from an incoming ShadowScythe attack. You simply battle a pre-existing enemy ShadowScythe just like any other Battle button monster. Lastly, the war was removed from the game and starship fares for free players were returned to normal (from 5K back to 1K).

My Opinion: I guess after such an amazingly packed last week in MechQuest we could expect a bit of a setback, and honestly, there wasn’t much AE could do to rival what they pulled of last week. Having that said, this probably won’t be known as one of AE’s best Wednesday releases (there’s still a lower-level price adjustment and new items coming out on Friday) due to its overall unimpressiveness. The Espionage, which is by far the main update of this release, had some characteristics to praise: The new Spy Uniform immediately bolts to one of the top uniforms in MechQuest (it truly is fantastic) and the new minigame is once again creative, original, and fun to go through. Even the final hieroglyphic puzzle at the end is a nice touch. But after that the fun stops, since there isn’t anything else to praise. There are once again no new enemies, and you get to fight is a simple Bloodhound at the end. There are no revealing cut scenes, and to be honest, there was no plot-revealing whatsoever in this update, and that’s surprising considering we just hacked into the ShadowScythe computers. Each time you successfully beat the quest it says you gain information on a certain subject, but since it is not revealed to us, it can’t count for anything. There is not progress gain at all, and is just a repeatable, optional side-quest for us to go through. For a main Wednesday release that doesn’t sound too great. The new Battle mission is flat-out disappointing, and really didn’t need to be added if it made that little of a difference.

Summary of Enemy Monsters: There were none in this update.

Possible Farming Strategies: Also nothing to see here.

Rewards: None to speak of.

Overall Grade of Update: 7.5/10 (very easily could have been an 8.0, but I felt I was giving out some super grades these past few weeks, so I thought I’d tone things down a bit). What’s really holding this grade up is the creativity and originality that went into the Espionage Mission itself and the entertainment value it brought. Because after that, there wasn’t anything I could get excited about. Nothing. The removal of the war and lowering of the starship fare for free players was neutral and expected, the new Battle Mission was irrelevant and unneeded, and the Espionage mission, while fun to play through, had no long-term effect and nothing to accomplish other than the satisfaction of doing it the first time. For the major release of the week, the Espionage (an “optional” mission, by the way) was disappointing and wasn’t supported by anything else. Nonetheless, I’m excited for the Mecha Pricedrop for lower levels on Friday because of the long-term positives that will come out of it, and the new items sound interesting (although not overly exciting).

Feel free to post your feedback to this analysis or your own in the Comments section below. 🙂

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