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MechQuest: 2008 Awards

Posted by The Peanut Master on January 22, 2009

Is this nearly a month late? Err, yes, but let’s forget about that for now and reminisce over 2008: The Year That Was. Let’s face it: In 2008, MechQuest underwent extreme evolution and progress, being the first full year of complete development. There were ups, there were downs, there was good, there was bad, and yes, there was ugly *looks at Alamonia Bug Disaster*. But the journey AE took during 2008 was a memorable experience throughout, and I am happy to stay I experienced it in action with them. But enough silly talk. Without further ado, I present you with the 5 best and worst releases of 2008. (Note: You’ll notice some of the “releases” listed aren’t really releases but features that have been implemented and built up over time. Just bear with me here. ;))

Best Releases

1. Mecha Combat System Evolution. This is something I’ve gone over many times and its one of MechQuest’s biggest strengths. Simply put, MechQuest has gone from a DF-like battle system to one which far surpasses even that of AdventureQuest’s deep combat system, and it is one which has multiple dimensions and strategies too numerous to count. There are so many factors one must consider when developing an appropriate battle strategy: mecha selections (dependent on health, energy, energy regeneration, and now immobility resistance, a very important but never underestimated factor), stuns, DoTs, bonus damages, damage buffs, enemy damage nerfs, cooldown-increasers, energy drainers, healing weapons, immobility buffs, enemy immobility nerfs, combos, the list goes on and on. Furthermore, we are starting to see a taste of enemy strategy as well. While still very raw, underdeveloped and not particularly strong, enemy strategy/AI is starting to surface in some forms, and it’s great to see.
Link to full post.

2. Tweak Week. I’m probably going to get criticism for putting this so high, but Tweak Week was one of the most important and beneficial to MechQuest. Serving as MQ’s mini-sweep, Tweak Week rebalanced the costs of all mecha currently in the game to much lower costs, and by doing this, I am sure AE has gained tons and tons of new players who would have otherwise been turned off by the extraordinarily high mecha prices (caused by players coming off the dropship with mass credits). Mecha prices returned to normal levels, and had this adjustment not been made, we would have looked at a much, much more unbalanced and unattractive game.
Link to full post.

3. Dragonoid War With ShadowScythe. Simply put, this war was the best MechQuest had ever seen. I won’t drone on and on about the incredible achievements this war accomplished: An amazingly deep and superb plot/storyline (with an absolutely jaw-dropping ridiculous ending cutscene), implementation of Valor Badges (MechQuest’s war motivation similar to DF’s Defender Medals, a MUCH-needed permanent implementation), enemies which advanced enemy strategy/AI with perfect difficulties, a Rec Room (which immensely improved NPC interactivity, also an issue that needed major addressing), and the overall polish that makes releases shine.
Link to full post (beginning of war). 
Link to full post (end of war).

4. Stats. I think we sometimes take for granted how well stats were implemented into MechQuest, because it is NOT an easy task to accomplish, and if done incorrectly, can be devastating to a game’s battle system. Thankfully, AE just flat-out did stats perfectly, something they showed they weren’t always capable of doing *looks at DragonFable*. It’s a good problem when the player looks at the possible stats to train and can’t discount any of them from the start, and is forced to make some excruciating decisions on which stats to train and how to allot the points. A very important battle strategy feature done right.
Link to full post.

5. Mogloween. Not often do we see AE combine holiday events and wars into one. But this was the exception, and boy was it a good one. This event was most well-known for being the first true attempt at adding war motivation to wars. While the attempts ultimate success was debatable, the fact that AE put out a first try was commendable, and it did somewhat accomplish the task of motivating players to participate. The plot was superb and a fantastic Mogloween starter for MechQuest, with a whole battlefield and progressive clues leading the way. The enemies were amazing as always, and the music put the cherry on top. A difficult but strategic and beatable boss fight tacked onto two new mecha rewards (one of which was very well-created and strategized) completed an all-around magnificent effort.
Link to full post (beginning of war). Link to full post (end of war).

Worst Releases

1. Alamonia Bug Invasion (Disaster). If you know me well, you’ll most certainly know how I feel on the (henceforth named) Alamonia Bug Disaster. To put it bluntly, I HATED it. Despised it. I wish I could stab it everywhere and anywhere and send it to the depths of AE hell. The enemies were simple, basic, and without any specials, resistances, or strategy of any sort. The timing was just awful for too many reasons to state, and the ultimate overall plot relationship was… well, there wasn’t any. In fact, it was so awful and so little people participated in it that AE had to help us out… twice, the second ending the war extremely early after AE realized their huge mistake. There honestly wasn’t a single thing AE did right with this release, and for that it is rewarded with the award of being the worst release of 2008. Congratz? Link to full post (if you dare). Oh fine, here is the real full post. I couldn’t resist.

2. Star Captain Crisis. I’m fairly certain CCL will be analyzing this in depth sometime soon, so I won’t go into it too much. A quick summary: Star Captains don’t get their money’s worth, and still don’t over a year into development. In fact, I would still argue that buying $20 worth of Nova Gems is a better deal than buying a $20 Star Captainship. The one thing that Star Captains supposedly get over everyone else is better equipment/mecha, but of course everything Star Captains get is outclassed by Nova Gems (which is subsequently outclassed by Sepulchure, but that’s another story). There are hardly enough side attractions (starships, difficulty choice, one permanent SC-only quest, a few SC-only extra abilities,  and extra mecha slots, NOT a compelling argument) to warrant getting a Star Captain upgrade, and there needs to be more substance. This is an issue that is really gaining steam because of how long we Star Captains have had to wait for true benefits and extra features, and over the course of 2008 nothing major was done in this department.
No relevant posts yet.

3. Mass Dice Rolls/Reputation. Too much of anything is bad. It doesn’t take much of dice rolls/reputation to make too much. AE stretched the rubber band so far as to break it twice (something only Chuck Norris was able to accomplish) with mass dice rolls and reputation littering MechQuest, a sight that we can only hope to see slow down immensely in the future. Look, a dice roll here and a reputation quest there isn’t the end of the world and would provide a nice diversion from other quests. But with the tons of jobs with dice rolls, Westion populated with reputation, and even the moon joining the club, there isn’t anywhere you can safely look without seeing dice rolls or reputation. It’s a fairly awful way of slowing down your MechQuest career (with a questionable Flash RNG), and its forcing of extreme repetitiveness and tediousness was, and still remains one of MechQuest’s biggest issues thus far. The relative absence of these monsters in Zargon is pleasing, now the task will be to continue to stay away.
Somewhat relevant post (discussing a possible solution to dice rolls, a determination bonus). 

4. Mysterious Johnson Emporium/War. Look, the invention of Mysterious Johnson wasn’t a bad idea, and he is a popular character and representative of MechQuest. My issue was with the absolute ridiculous repetitiveness of his emporium and the seemingly pointless war involving him. The Mysterious Emporium job area place is the epitome of tediousness and repetitiveness, and it is a heart-derailing, slow, boring trek to the end. There are some nice parts of the emporium (the interactivity, new mecha rewards, and overall ending was nice) but the leadup to it was just… UGH. The Mysterious War didn’t fare much better, with a terrible start and an only slightly better ending. A bad marketing ploy (player-based war meter) and no real boss monster were huge downers. The fact that this led into the Mysterious Stranger and Sepulchure additions (discussed in detail next) didn’t help. We still haven’t seen any connections to anything else in MechQuest from this war, and imo, it was overall the second-worst MechQuest war (you should know by now which was first).
Link to full post (Mysterious Emporium).
Link to full post (Mysterious War beginning).
Link to full post (Mysterious War ending). 

5. Sepulchure/Mysterious Stranger Addition. I won’t delve too deep into this, because I already made a post regarding it. In summary: AE made a gigantic mistake adding both the Mysterious Stranger and Sepulchure, both DragonFable unique staples, to MechQuest. I’m surprised Cysero and Co. allowed it, and they feel completely out of place in a game where they don’t belong.
Link to full post. 

6. Alamonia Bug Disaster. You say I’ve already put this on the list, at #1 no less? Bah, nonsense. The sheer awfulness of this release requires it to be mentioned not once, but TWICE, expanding the laws I set forth at the beginning of the post. Too bad, deal with it.
Hah, you think I’m actually going to link to the Bug Disaster analysis AGAIN? Doing it once was bad enough…

And there you have it, a nice, tidy list of the best and worst releases of 2008. It was an amazing year, and 2009 is shaping up to be even better (and crazier). Thanks for reading! 🙂


4 Responses to “MechQuest: 2008 Awards”

  1. ZamuelNow said

    Something interesting is that I disliked the Mysterious Portal War vastly more than the Bug Disaster. I can see what they were going for with the Bug Disaster (it just didn’t work…) while I have no clue what they were thinking with the Portal War. While Ghost Hunting is the single longest quest in the game, I don’t think it really deserves to be considered the 4th worst release though that’s just me.

    Also, while it doesn’t really detract from the need for more SC stuff, we do have Doom Harvester as another SC only quest.

  2. Lemmy said

    just like that, I actully saved up 20000 credits for a Level 3 mech!

  3. Merlin said

    In responce to #2- Star Captain crisis. I just posted a topic in MQ general discussion: Star Captains: Outlasted by Nova Gems? Hopefully a moderator or game administrator will glance by this topic and things will change. Feel free to post a comment.

  4. savan said

    What do i get if i deliver 13 ghosts to the stranger?????
    pls answer.

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