Perfect World Entertainment is serious about making an impact on the western MMO market and with the changes coming to its mythic fantasy game Jade Dynasty it’s hard not to be impressed. Imported from the east, Jade Dynasty features five magic wielding factions all taking different paths on the road to immortality. The new expansion, Ascension, throws a knot in the silk path to enlightenment and everlasting life thanks to the gods of the universe interfering with the natural path of humanity to attain divinity.
The war between the heavens and mankind explodes and characters who once believed themselves the pinnacle of human skill and mastery find themselves returned to a formative stage only to climb the ladder toward ascension anew using new powers and abilities until now unknown in the mortal lands.
The Athan race becomes available and its two sub-races include the Arden – archers who can summon battle pets to aid them along with automated turrents and the Balo – barbarian warriors focused on massive direct-damage attacks. The Arden also eventually gain an ability to transform into various creatures and can use unique attacks and abilities while in a transformed state and also gain automated turrets that aid in their attack options.
New content also appears in the form of additional instances. These instances, according to the games’ American product manager Andrew Brown, differ from the original content in that it encompasses a more collaborative and puzzle-centric approach. Players need to work together to solve environmental challenges or overcome enemies to change the world and time travel plays a part in changing the game around them.
Flying mounts also getting an upgrade , transforming from merely a travel system to combat capable mounts usable during both player vs. player and mob combat.
Jade Dynasty is a game that in the past faced some pretty harsh criticism for allowing players to buy leveling items that basically act as legal game bots, leveling your character automatically as you go about your normal life. The Ascension content will not disallow this practice for those who choose to buy their way up the ladder but Brown estimates that even a casual player can reach the point of ascending with only a month of play invested if they take advantage of the daily events and ignore much of the expanded content around the core quest.
Measuring the length of a game by how long it takes to reach max level is a bad metric for any MMO and with the new instances and player vs. player battlegrounds as well as the realm vs. realm combat introduced in Ascension there looks like plenty for players new or old to explore.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Shawn Sines is an avid game player who has been writing video game review and feature pieces freelance for over 9 years. He's served as the Hardware how-to writer, Mod and MMO expert, news writer and game reviewer for Filefront's Gaming Today, GameFront, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive and Columbus Parent in Columbus Ohio. He was also the co-host of GameOn! a video game podcast hosted by the Dispatch Media Group. Shawn's personal favorite genre are RPGs and Strategy, though at the latter he never claims to be very good despite hours of trying. View Profile