Last Tuesday, Rising Force Online-Philippines patched Crimson Dawn, so named because this latest update would have the long-awaited “reds” (or crimsons, or amys, depending on your Race), the special gear for those level 50 and above and the new maps.
I had to uninstall all my previous copies of RF in both HDs (and, wow, i now have more than 11 GB of free space in my primary partition), fully installing from the C.Dawn CDs we got from Level Up! but it was worth it since the patching went fast and hassle-free. There was an initial problem with Altrax, but the other servers were ok.
The first thing that greeted me on entry were the new pop-up messages on the center of the screen because our crazy archon was testing the new target-designation features. I was also (pleasantly) distracted by a bouncing Chootie on my lower right screen.
Actually, Crimson Dawn offers little for a Bellato Mystic like me. Most of the new features for Bellato panders to the Riders and the Specialists, who get access to the Expert Skills when they have 50 PT to their Basic tiers. I remembered the tests we did while waiting to reform the Guild (the Guilds all got erased at patching since CCR, RF’s owner, made a new protocol for C.Dawn that was incompatible with the old Guild system), and I kept missing with single-target spells at my Guildmaster, Ryunaito, because he now had access to the Long Range Skill buff, Dodge.
Still, some of the general features were nifty. I like the new Player-Kill (PK) meter. RF is a PK game, and even the most un-munchkin-like of players appreciates a record of how well you have done as a soldier in this war. Now, if only it didn’t go back to zero after logging out…
It was troublesome to see the Settlement passageways opened again. Back in the early patches, there were links between the Settlements of the three warring Races. Speculation was rife on why these were in the initial design of RF, but whatever the hell the Koreans wanted to do with them, the players found a useful little trick with the passageways: easy raiding paths. Especially with the Bellato Settlement of Anacaade, which links to the Accretian Settlement of 213.
Even worse there is that small “box” just after you exit the main Settlement area of Anacaade. You go in, you can’t be PK-ed. But you can PK anyone going out, like lowbies. And LR weapons work just fine there, too. It’s what we call a “bugged” area, and there were very strict sanctions for players caught abusing it. ECO used to hang out there, keeping down the buggers and raiders, acting as a shield to all the lowbies training at Anacaade. As a final measure, LUG requested a patch from CCR that closed the Settlement Passageways.
Another bothersome feature that returned was the price for the same-Race PK-enabler item called a Chaos Potion. After several high levels abused the item to harass our lowbies by PKing them for no reason at all, LUG raised the price to something even a highbie would think twice of paying for. Now that its back to the very affordable price of 54 gold, everyone seems to be going around with red names. Our guild even had to engage a level 50 Rider in his RMAU who was using it not against the Accretia or Cora, but against his fellow Bellato.
Come to think of it, I haven’t been killed by enemy Races since the patch began, and I encountered a raiding party of one Hora-wielding Cora with a Hecate and a ranger backup to boot. Summoner girl died when I lasted long enough for my guildmate reiayanami to arrive with his BMAU in tow. The new Catapult ammunition allowed rei to take down the Summoner in far lesser time than before.
It was fun reforming the Guild. We all felt like it was Open Beta again, or the early patches of Giga 2 and 3. The only difference this time was the MAUs were black, and no one in the “re-Founding” picture was below level 45.
Well, it’s still to early to tell. I hear the whiners have begun their endless complaining again over at the Boards, but those poor souls are never a proper gauge, anyway.
Here’s to Crimson Dawn. Hope it gives this game we all love the boost it needs.