Month ‘n a day.

December 13, 2006 marked the launch date for Anarchy Online’s either third or fourth expansion pack Lost Eden. So, what does it do? Well, like any game out these days, it has to rip off some element of World of Warcraft. Since AO has always been an attempt at a pvp-centric game, they introduced a “battlestation.” Yes, a rip off so obvious Funcom didn’t even change the name enough to make it seem like it was anything else but.

Regardless, it’s actually fun. Along with the Battlestation, research was added to the game. Research is simply a poor-man’s rip off of Everquest’s Alternate Advancement system. There are two types of research, personal and global. Personal research is the little additions you can add to your character like nanoskills, weaponskills, and procs.

Global research puts a little spin on the system. With Lost Eden, Funcom introduced Mechs and Turrets in order to spice up PvP. These are usable both in the battlestations, and on the original world of Rubi-Ka in order to PvP for Notum Towers. In order to get these mechs and turrets, each side has to come together and put experience into the item they want to research.

Strangely enough, these mechs and turrets actually seem to balance out AO’s broken PvP system. Since The Shadowlands expansion pack went live, and they skewed the entire game by adding 20 levels, that actually amount to another 200 levels following the game’s normal level progression system, PvP has been ridiculous. Several professions are virtually unkillable by other players. In fact, since I hit 220 recently and tried out some of this Battlestation action I’ve found that my Atrox Adventurer requires about 7-8 people in order to have any hopes of killing me, and that’s on dial-up induced lag…. Regardless, this is where the mechs and turrets come in. Turrets have two kinds: Anti-personnel Turret (APT), and Anti-Vehicular Battery (AVB). APTs tear apart players on foot; AVBs counteract Mechs trying to take out APTs. And Mechs are both good at taking out turrets and other mechs. In addition to this, sometime down the road, the Rocket Launchers for infantry are supposed to be introduced in order to help counteract AVBs.

Meching up in order to take out some APTs while watching infantry battle it out under your feet for control over control points, all while watching your back for other mechs and AVBs adds a real element of fun and excitement to something that would otherwise be pretty boring due to broken PvP system. Hey, even the “boring” job of sitting in a turret providing defense to a control point is exciting and fresh in the PvP realm of AO. It’s a lot of fun to be up in the battlestation working together with your side and fighting for the benefit of yourself, as well as the rest of the players as a whole.

It’s a slightly different take on the rock, paper, scissors balancing method, but it really seems to help balance out the godly professions in PvP that are nigh unkillable. And all the while, it adds some flavor and tactics to be used in the mass PvP situation. Originally I thought that this battlestation would be a poor-man’s attempt at adding PvP back into a game that was all about mass-ganking, but it’s actually turned out to be fun.

Lost Eden also introduced Alien “mothership” missions. These missions are a way for people to get Alien experience by simply having a group going into these missions instead of needing a guild to own a city to spawn aliens. Also, these missions are where the upgrades for the new armor and weapons drop. This is good, since you no longer need to use credits in order to buy the new weapons or upgrades – you need victory points. Victory points are gotten by doing the Battlestation, a win now nets you around 1160 points, a loss about 350 points, and a tie about 700 points. Victory points can also be gotten from drops in the alien missions.

That about sums up Lost Eden. It’s not really an expansion pack in many ways, hell it was a 300mb download that cost $30…. That’s right, $10/100mb of data. Woot. This “expansion” took two years to develop and we get very little out of it as a result. Does it add some interesting and possibly fun elements to the game? Sure, it changes the PvP mechanic and gives us research to continue to progress our characters. It’s been fun so far, and has put new life into a game I could barely log into once a week.

Oh, and yes, it wouldn’t be Funcom without it’s more than fair share of bugs and mess-ups. But since this is one of a few actual praises Funcom gets from me, I’m not going to mention them right now. Regardless, Lost Eden works and does what it’s intended to do quite well.

I would provide pictures… but uploading to web photo albums takes forever on dial-up. Sorry.

11 thoughts on “Month ‘n a day.”

  1. The “can’t zone while in combat” is complete and utter bullcrap. I know WHY it was added but it wa simplemented poorly it should be “if PvP flagged can’t zone” there ya go end of problem. But no it’s “if in combat can’t zone” which since the missions and other entrances to instances tend to have mobs all around them it is totally friggin borked, especially if you get sent to a mission with a bunch of deep red mobs around your mission entrance for say a level 30ish player (and lets not even talk about ToTW).

  2. Yeah, that zoning thing is a huge issue right now. Funcom said they are going to look into it and all… but let’s face it, what’s really going to be done? A simple if attackerPC flag on it would be all that’s needed to be done. But hell, Funcom can’t even get zoning into the Battlestations right… much less adding a flag like that to make regular zoning like it once was.

  3. I have played AO for 3 1/2 years now, and I have to say, this is by far the best expansion. For those that were bored to tears with AO, this expansion has given lots of fun and exciting opportunities. I will admit, I have found my niche for making creds in game, but I was most impressed that with a few days of work, which happened to be enjoyable and addicting on the battlestation, I was able to get pants that are better than any pants in game for a martial artist, my profession, and I didn’t even have to cast 1 single buff to equip….how easy is that?

    Lost Eden gets 2 thumbs up from me. I have been very pleased and satisfied.

  4. I’m sorry, but just going out and bluntly saying they ripped off WoW? Isn’t that going a little to far when insulting a game?

    Now wait, let me just say that I hate both games, to get that out of the way.

    It may be me, but I’m just sick and tired of seeing people complain about one MMO ripping off from another, especially since I’ve joined the Vanguard beta. In fact, I’ll use that as an example. Vanguard’s quest system, UI, Skill mechanics, and a lot of other things, are all suspiciously just like WoW’s. Yet, VG manages to be a very independent, different game.

    See?

    Just something I’d throw in. I’d figure I’d ad that in there, but I’m sure there’s plenty of people willing to counter argue.

  5. It may be an insult, but saying rip off also acknowledges a place where the idea may have originated. It can be a rip off, and still be unique and individual. I’ve played Vanguard beta, for instance, and it is a unique game with a conglomeration of elements from various MMOs. I’m just saying it that way to acknowledge the original place, and it also makes people know how something works if they are familiar with another game with a similar mechanic.

    No offense meant. And, sooner or later, someone will throw the rip off thing around anyway… may as well lead off with it. Plus, it might grab someone’s attention. =P

  6. “Unbeliever”…..”Moltove”

    wow, do you have nothing else better to do with your time?

    “Vaguely similar”, “somewhat alike”, “Like two peas in a pod” From what I have been told in game by people that have played WoW, Battle Station in AO is EXACTLY like instances in WoW. So, if you have played AO and done Battle Station, and you have played WoW, and done whatever instance it is that is EXACTLY like Battle Station, THEN come back here and say it’s NOT a “rip off”. Or just go fuck yourselves…..

    I would hate to actually be in a game with either of you because the world has enough smart ass, know it all, elitist hecklers as it is.

  7. Every MMO “rips off” ideas from previous MMOs. It’s the truth and a well-known fact. In fact, many of WoW’s design ideas are a rip off of earlier games. Each game, if they are smart, will look at what worked and what did not in previous games and use that information to make their own game better, all the while hopefully adding some of their own unique ideas.

    The term “rip off” may not really be a proper term, maybe “smartly copied” would be better?

  8. Every game, every person, everybody, every where “borrows” ideas. Rip off is a term of ignorance and haste. *shrug*

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