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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Granado Espada - A quick overview

Granado Espada or the Sword of the New World: Granado Espada in North America is a familiar name for most gaming freaks, but not so for the occasional gamers or the novices. For the benefit of these greenhorns, Granado Espada is a free-to-play fantasy Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game developed by the Korean company, IMC Games Co., Ltd. Being a Multiple Character Control game, Granado Espada is unlike common fantasy games as you face quite a few real life situations.

Here’s a peek into this downloadable MMORPG:

The Setting

Granado Espada takes you back to the Age of Exploration. The MCC MMORPG is set in a new-found continent that is akin to the Americas of the Age of Exploration. Ruled as a colony by the imaginary Kingdom of Vespanola (a power of the Old World), the continent is amidst deep crisis due to a number of reasons – if the inattention/negligence of the ruling power (that is caught up in a warfare in the Old World) is one of the reasons, infighting between the Royalists and the Republicans (who are seeking freedom from colonial rule) is another reason.

The game revolves around the ‘Reconquista’ (gradual capturing of the land through settlement by people of the Old World) planned by the Vespanolan Queen to resolve this crisis. As a player, you will need to act the part of a pioneering family from the Old World, exploring the continent and removing every obstacle to establish Vespanolan authority over the land.

GAME FEATURES

MCC

As already said, it is an MCC (Multiple Character Control) game wherein you will be controlling more than one character at the same time. You can choose up to three characters to build your team. You will have the freedom of choosing characters at random, irrespective of their rank or category.

PvP or Player versus Player Features

Speaking of the PvP features of Granado Espada, we must first talk of the Combat System. The Combat System allows you to take on other players and their teams. For this, you will need to click on the other family’s name for a duel. It is important to note here that this tussle between two teams is not essentially linked to the actual Granado-battle.

The Baron Mode is the other PvP feature – it allows a player to take the offensive stance against any other player without his/her consenting to this sudden attack. You can play in the Baron Mode only if you are playing through the Player-kill (PK) servers. Remember, becoming a baron is a sort of a penalty/punishment and once you become one, you will be quite like the mob.

The CHARACTERS and more!

Stock Characters

Granado Espada gives you access to five stock characters – Elementalist, Fighter, Musketeer, Scout and Wizard.

Elementalist – the Elementalist is a rather magical character and is powered by the elements of Nature like Fire, Ice and Lightning. The Elementalist can launch real damaging attacks but is often exposed because of its weak defense and sluggishness. So you will need to take a protective cordon/stance.

Fighter – the typical front-line server during wars/attacks, a fighter is both powerful and proficient. A multitalented character type, a fighter picks up the tricks of combat quite fast and easy.

Musketeer – the Musketeer character too is very powerful. Armed with bayonets, rifles or pistols, a musketeer can wreck havoc with heavy blows to both grounded and air-borne enemies.

Scout – the Scout character is the perfect support system. Apart from engaging in armed combat with adversaries, a Scout also does a lot of war-planning and even acts as a healer.

Wizard – yet another magical character, the wizard very successfully devises both defensive and offensive stances. A wizard is often immune to attacks from grounded foes.

To start with, you will have to pick and choose from among these characters to form your team. As the game advances, you can add to your team by recruiting RNPCs. Besides, the customization feature allows you to train your characters in different warfare techniques and strategies, side by side equipping them with arms and accessories.

As players, there are various ways that you can acquire characters. A limited number of RNPCs are available as part of the Granado Espada Limited Signature Edition Box Set and you will have to use the code of the card to put that character to use. You can make purchases from the Bazaar (or Cash Shop) or choose to trade with other players. (You must remember that each player is allowed the use of a RNPC card only once and once a RNPC is inducted into the Barracks, it cannot be re-used. The tradable feature of some RNPC cards helps at this juncture. Hence, it is quite common that various teams have the same RNPCs.)

Barracks

Now that you have some idea about the characters, it is time to get introduced to the ‘Barracks’ concept. Quite like army garrisons, you are required to maintain your characters in Barracks in order to exercise a better control over your characters. The strength of individual barracks can go up to nine characters. Each player is allowed a maximum of eight barracks per account.

Clans/Factions

As a player, you can join hands with other players to form a clan/group/faction. The factions eventually join either the Royalists or Republicans to give the game (and hence the war) a befitting/logical closing by establishing unambiguous authority of any one among these two.

Levels and Stances

Your characters will start out at Level 1 and go up successive levels as the game advances. (RNPCs, of course, are exception to this rule and can begin at different levels.) Once your characters make it to Level 100, they are promoted/acknowledged as Veterans. Your characters can reach higher levels – if they are between Level 110 and Level 120, they are accepted as Experts and on reaching Level 120 and above, characters are acclaimed as Masters.

Stances (as well as skills) are essentially typical of the characters and the so you will never have everyone using all the skills or taking just any stances. Another basic thing about stances is that you will have to make your characters learn the skills/stances or else these cannot be put to use.

THE GAME

The Play-Zone

The play-zone or the play-area is spread across towns that have perilous dungeons separating them. The dungeons (that are divided into three to five levels, with mobs guarding the different levels) are discernible by innumerable boxes and barrels that lie scattered all over the place.

[The boxes and barrels are unique in that they act as anti-AFK features of the game (they do not let your characters stand at a place while the game is on) but then you will have to move your characters cautiously lest you will be inviting more trouble in the form of counter-attack if you hit a barrel/box accidentally].

Missions and Waypoints

Missions, so to speak, are ‘specific commands’ that you will need to follow as a player (with the help of your team of characters). Actually, the game is all about accomplishing the ‘missions’ (also known as quest-lines) – the missions bring to you a whole lot of rewards (currency, equipments, Glaziums*, RNPC** cards, etc.) and thus decide the course of the game centered on the continent of Granado Espada and the colonial Vespanola-regime. So the more number of missions you accomplish, the greater will be your gains as a player. Remember, your missions are definitely going to be different from your friend’s or just any others’.

[Glaziums* or Polishers are a recent addition to the game and are to be used as pioneer weaponry and armors in your quest for dominance over Granado Espada and its people.

RNPC** is an acronym for Recruitable Non-Player Character. RNPC’s help you inch towards your goal of establishing Vespanolan-supremacy.]

Waypoints, on the other hand, are ‘safety locations’ chosen by the player(s). To begin with, you can have as many as 5 Waypoints, to which you can add 5 more by making purchase from the Cash Shop. This Keyboard/Mouse game gives you access to Teleporters or Warp Scroll to ferry you to the safe-positions. Thus, you need not undertake exploration trips to find the key towns, but will have ready admittance to them.

Method of Operating your Team

Now we come to the method. You can implement any of the below mentioned methods to operate your team:

Defend

You can choose to defend or protect. This, of course, will involve attacking, chasing down your mobs/opponents/adversaries whenever they invade your territory. (In this case, there will be healers to auto-heal the teammates.)

Hold

Holding is much like defending, the only difference being that your characters cannot budge from their places.

Harvest

Harvest is no harmless reaping, rather some aggressive plundering and looting other’s territories.

Assault

Assault, as you can understand, involves overpowering your opponents by brute force even as you move your characters to a chosen/special position.

Ordering Your Team

Similarly, you can give orders in two ways – issuing common orders for all the characters at once or giving specific orders to individual characters.

Playing Granado Espada.

Granado Espada has evoked mixed reactions – while the game’s novel real-life setting and MCC features have been received warmly, the rather ‘tedious’ quests have had critics terming it quite ‘frustrating’. In spite of this, Granado Espada is indeed a unique gaming experience because of its extraordinary visuals and sound. If you would like to play Granado Espada, just download this free-to-play fantasy MMORPG. The System requirements are listed below:

• Windows 2000 or Windows XP and above
• Intel Pentium III 1 GHz or AMD equivalent.
• 512 MB or more of RAM
• GeForce 2 MX400 64 M
• DirectX 9.0c or above
• 4.4 GB (pre-patch) free hard drive space
• Internet connection

All you need now are your wits and dexterity with the keyboard/mouse!