Since this is supposed to be an Android blog, and i haven’t been doing much Android development lately, i figured i’d take a moment and post something (non-dev) Android-related…
Back in the late 90′s, when MMORPGs first game about, i never allowed myself to start playing them because i knew that i would quickly get addicted and they would ruin my life. (That, and i had only a 56kbit internet connection until 2004, making online play unfeasible.) A few weeks ago, however, there was a 99 cent sale for an app i’ve been eye-balling on the Google Market since i got my first Android device in November, 2011: Order and Chaos Online. At 99 cents i couldn’t resist… but now i almost wish i had. The past 3 weeks or so i’ve done little other than work, sleep, and play OaC. i don’t play it for the community or interaction with other players (i don’t belong to a guild and generally prefer to play alone!), but there is just something primordially satisfying about leading an overly-muscular avatar around the countryside smashing evil-doing bad guys of all sorts, collecting more and more loot and skills, and exploring a huge virtual world. Last week i had two days off of work and did little other than play that damned game (and leveled up some 25 times…).
OaC is a “freemium” game with a required subscription (anywhere from 50 to 99 cents per month, depending on whether one renews monthly or half-yearly), but a 6-month “trial membership” is included with the purchase of the game. In-game premium content can be purchased for real cash, but there is nothing there which requires expenditures other than the subscription. My avatar is currently almost maxed out in terms of levels (they have a cap of level 60), and i have purchased in-game content, but i could have gotten just as far (but taken a bit longer to do so) without having purchased any. In terms of pennies-per-hour, OaC offers a fantastic deal (with the option to spend as much as you like if you really feel compelled to do so).
In the 3 weeks or so i’ve been playing it, OaC has easily become my most-CPU-time Android app, quite possibly more-so than all of my other apps combined (i say that with some degree of shame!). Just this (extended) weekend i ran my tablet through at least 5 chargings (and OaC is not at all the battery hog which so many high-performance apps are).
If you enjoy fantasy role playing games, OaC’s game world is huge, there are hundreds of quests, lots of people, tons of options, nice controls, and it’s just fun to play. And the subscription price is certainly fair (50 cents per month doesn’t even begin to cover Gameloft’s electricity costs for an active player).
A big tip for new players (i wish i had known this much earlier): don’t sell the various cloths/metals you collect along the way to normal merchants. Save them up and sell whole “stacks” of them in the Auction House in Greenmont (the first of several major cities you will encounter). One can easily accumulate a princely sum in a short time. i managed to collect somewhere around 400-500 gold (that’s a lot in this game) in about 3-4 (admittedly over-active) days of play. Unfortunately i didn’t know about that option until i had already been playing for 2 weeks (you, however, having read this, do not have that problem ;).
For other OaC players: i’m on the European server and my primary avatar is an Orc named Orchiböb (a.k.a. “bob”). i have a Guild Stone (the thing one uses to create a guild), but have not yet used it because i have yet to find a satisfying name for the guild (and, to be honest, have little interest in managing a micro-community, so it would likely be a 1-person guild). If you’ve got interesting ideas for a guild name, please drop them as comments to this post :). My initial choice, and still current favourite, is a quote from a monkey in the film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: “Steeeeeve!”
Happy Hacking (and Slaying!)
PS: no, i am not in any way affiliated with OaC, nor did Gameloft (OaC’s publisher) sponsor this post! i just felt compelled to do something other than play OaC for a few minutes, and this post is the result :/.