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Asheron's Call
Asheron's Call Coverart.jpg
Boxart
Developer(s) Turbine Entertainment Software
Publisher(s) Microsoft (1999–2004); Turbine (2004– )
Designer(s) Toby Ragaini, Eri Izawa, Chris Pierson, Chris Foster
Engine Turbine Engine 1.0
Platform(s) Windows
Release date(s) November 2, 1999
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: T (Teen)
Media CD-ROM
System requirements Intel Pentium CPU, 32 MB RAM, DirectX 7, Internet access
Input methods Keyboard, mouse

Asheron's Call (AC) is a fantasy MMORPG for Microsoft Windows-based PCs developed by Turbine Entertainment and published by Microsoft. Asheron's Call is set on the continent of Dereth and its surrounding islands on the fictional planet of Auberean. The game is played in a large, seamless 3D world that can be occupied by hundreds of players at a time. Released on November 2, 1999 it was the third MMORPG to be released and was developed at the same time as Ultima Online and Everquest.[1] After initial success its subscription numbers dropped as newer MMORPGs moved into the market. Its servers are still online ten years after it first began.

Contents

Gameplay

Set in a heroic-fantasy world[2] Asheron's Call allows players create a character, or avatar from one of four in-game races. The player initially allocates a limited number of attribute points (such as 'Strength', 'Coordination', and 'Quickness') and selects skills (such as 'Unarmed Combat', 'War Magic' and 'Melee Defense') for the character, with those base skills starting at a level determined by the character's attributes. Unlike many other games of the genre characters are not locked into a specific class, and can even reallocate previously selected skills to acquire other skills later in the game.

Gameplay involves earning experience points through a variety of activities, including engaging and defeating monsters in combat, fulfilling quests, and interacting with NPCs. Those earned experience points can then be invested to improve the character's abilities by spending it on attributes or skills. Additional skill points are awarded after the character reaches certain levels, and these skill points can then be used to acquire a new skill. In addition to earning experience, questing and combat yields 'loot', such as armor, weapons, health potions, and spell scrolls. Many types of loot can be improved or imbued with special spells and effects via Asheron's Call's 'tinkering' crafting system.

It offers "episodic narrative content, period new quests, and events that visibly affect the entire world.[3]

Unlike most other games of the genre that draw upon existing fantasy fiction, most of Asheron's Call's creatures are original, unique creatures. Instead of elves and goblins there are the insect-like Olthoi, the cat-like humanoid Drudges, the giant grey-skinned humanoid Lugians and the reptilian Sclavus, to name a few.

Many elements of Asheron's Call are radically different from most other MMORPGs. For example, Asheron's Call does not divide its world into different level zones. While some areas are much more dangerous to players than others, there is nonetheless a mix of different creatures types that creates much more unpredictability than is present in other games. Another key difference is that Asheron's Call does not use character level as the major determinant in the outcome of a combat. Level simply determines what skills are available, and it is the skills and equipment of players and creatures that determine the outcome. Whereas in many games a player will be able to move a cursor over an opponent and instantly know from their level whether they will be successful in combat, in Asheron's Call a character might be able to defeat much higher level foes or lose to much lower level ones, again depending upon one's skill choices and equipment. As with the absence of specific level zones, this creates a higher degree of unpredicatability than in most games of this type.

The game's currency is the Pyreal. It is an alloy of precious metals found on Auberean combined in some ratio with pure mana. Pyreal is also the chief constituent of the powerful Atlan weapons, named for Asheron's father, their inventor.

Combat system

Vitae, the Latin word for "Life Force," is the vital statistic penalized temporarily upon death. A "vitae penalty," known colloquially as "VP", "vit" or simply "vitae" describes the effect of a temporary reduction in character strength upon death. This penalty results from the (intentionally) imperfect link between Isparians and the Lifestones which resurrect them. Said "imperfect link" refers to the magic Asheron has employed to siphon a portion of every Isparian's life to keep the trapped Empyrean alive, which happens with every death to the Lifestones. If a character is not bound to a Lifestone, they will still accrue vitae from death. As the character increases in levels, so too does the Vitae Penalty.

Player Killers (PKs) are those who choose to change their status to enable them to attack another PK in Player vs Player combat. On death they drop some of their items and the winner of the fight is allowed to take them. One server, Darktide, is dedicated exclusively to this style of gameplay. The lore reasoning behind this mode of playstyle is attributed to Bael'Zharon, the Hopeslayer. In swearing allegiance to him, the character sheds Asheron's protection from attacking each other and devotes themselves to warfare serving (preferably) the Hopeslayer. In many instances, people have shed Asheron's protection solely to stand against those who attempt to do evil. Examples of this include the destruction of the Shard of the Herald and the coming of the Burun Kukuur.

Allegiance system

Asheron's Call features a unique allegiance and fealty system that creates formal links between players and rewards cooperative play.[4] Vassals can swear allegiance to a Patron and the Patron gains a small percentage bonus of experience points based upon what the vassal earns. The idea is that the higher level Patron gets experience point bonuses from his Vassals, and repays his followers with money or equipment. In the words of one reviewer: "At worst, the allegiance system is a multilevel marketing scheme, whereby greedy, uncaring Patrons enlist as many Vassals as possible in order to gain large amounts of bonus experience. But at best, the allegiance system can provide a tightly knit companionship for players genuinely interested in helping others and developing an organized assembly."[5]

Magic system

The magic system as originally designed was far more complicated than in any other such game, with specific formulae for each spell that the caster had to discover through painful trial and error. While this had the original effect of making magic challenging and somewhat rare, this element disappeared with the introduction of third party programs that would compute one's spell formulae without most of the experimentation. The system of spell components was later phased out and replaced with a simpler system wherein magic casters would carry a "focus" stone for each of the magic schools they were trained in (creature, item, life and war) and a series of taper candles. Each spell is learned from a scroll, either purchased or found as treasure. The old system was left in the game as an alternative, but spell research was eliminated and most players quickly adapted to the new system.

The four magic schools allows players to alter nearly any stat in the game. War Magic offers projectile-based attacks that bypass a player or creature's base armor stats and come in the form of all three physical attacks (piercing, slashing and bludgeoning) and all four elemental attack types (acid, lightning, fire and frost). War also features multiple types of each attack, including arcing projectiles, wall spells and extremely quick blasts, which are more difficult to dodge. Creature Magic allows a player to alter skill stats and attributes, both on themselves and on others. Life Magic allows for heals and direct damage drains, as well as spells which made creatures or players more resistant or vulnerable to the seven attack types. Item Magic allows players to alter the physical properties of armor and weapons. It also includes portal magic, which allows the summoning of teleportation portals to a limited number of other locations. Due to the vast size of the Asheron's Call world, portal magic became viewed as nearly essential to gameplay by the vast majority of players.

Upon its launch, Asheron's Call also featured a Spell Economy system which, coupled with the game's complex spell-learning process, caused early players to jealously guard the formulas to the spells. The Spell Economy looked at the global use of each spell and made more commonly cast spells less effective, making it a wise move to protect lesser known spells. This system was removed from the game after the release of "Split Pea", a third party program which allowed players to instantly figure out the progression of spell components.

Crafting system

Asheron's Call features a dynamic crafting system that has evolved over the years. The four major crafting skills, Alchemy, Cooking, Fletching, and tinkering, are interrelated; items created using one skill can often be utilized by the other skills to create advanced items.

Alchemy

Characters can create many useful items using the Alchemy skill. They can create special oils that can be used to imbue missles with oils that increase damage or bypass certain types of armor and resistance. They can create gems that increase resistances to different types of damage. Alchemists can create infusions that can be applied to food items to increase the amount of stamina recovered, or recover health or mana.[6] Alchemy also can be used to brew potions that increase health, mana and stamina.

Fletching

Players with the fletching skill can create arrows, bolts and darts for use in bows, crossbows, and atlatls.

Cooking

By using the cooking skill players can create a wide variety of foods. Those foods can be combined with oils to increase health, mana and stamina.

Tinkering

Players can enhance Armor, Weapons, and Items with a process called tinkering. Unwanted items can be salvaged for raw materials and those materials can be applied to other items to augment the player's attributes or imbue special abilities to weapons to increase their effectiveness.

Third party software

Asheron's Call is also known for its friendly stance toward third-party software, particularly Decal, which allows the creation of gameplay-altering plug-ins. At first, plug-ins were only used by the most computer-savvy players, and were well guarded between allegiances. Several public 'macros' eventually became an extremely popular and defining point of Asheron's Call, such as unattended combat macros and buff bots. Using a bot script for unattended combat is highly frowned upon.[7][8]

Synopsis

Setting

The story of Asheron’s Call spans across several worlds and thousands of years. The primary worlds in the story are Ispar, the world from which the human characters that players play originated on, and Auberean, the world where Dereth, a tiny island and setting for the game, is located.

Auberean and the Empyreans

The history of Auberean spans back 35,000[9] to 40,000[10] years. A race of beings known as the Empyreans dominated the world for most of its history. They were tall slender humanoids with lifespans of 1,000 years[11] and were divided into several cultures including Falatacot, Dericost, Haebrous, and Yalaini. These cultures had many conflicts over the years, but eventually the Seaborne Empire of the Yalaini became the dominant society.

Asheron Realaidain and Bael'Zharon

Asheron's Realaidain, a Yalaini and member of the royal family, was born approximately 2,500 years prior to the game's release[9], where the story starts for players. Shortly after his birth, a war begins between the Yalaini people and an army of Shadows, creatures of darkness and chaos, led by Bael'Zharon, the Hopeslayer. The war with the Shadows lasted over 500 years[9] and the Yalaini were nearly defeated, having been pushed back to the island of Dereth. Asheron and the Yalaini council of five mages were able to defeat Bael'Zharon through the arts of planar magic - magic pertaining to the planes of existence and the space in between them known as portal space. Using a crystal array, the council was able to seal Bael'Zharon in another plane. The sealing caused a great explosion, and all members of the council were killed. Asheron survived, protected by Falatacot Blood rites performed by his mother and a Falatacot-blooded 'witch' named Adja, just prior to the explosion.

With Bael'zharon banished, the Shadow armies retreated and the Yalaini people were saved.

Yalaini Exploration, the Olthoi, and the Sundering

After the defeat of Bael'Zharon, Asheron continued to research planar magic. Eventually, the Yalaini mastered this art of magic and were able to use it to create portals from one location to another. They used these portals to explore all of Auberean, and eventually began exploring other worlds, including the home world of humans known as Ispar.

In their explorations, the Yalaini came to a world dominated by numerous giant insect species. One of these species were known as the Olthoi. The first encounter with the Olthoi resulted in the death of one of the explorers and nearly the death of Asheron. The world would have been left alone, but the Emperor of the Yalaini demanded that Olthoi be brought back for research and possibly used as weapons for the empire. This action, along with the mistake of a wizard named Gaerlan, would be the doom of the Yalaini.

An Olthoi queen was brought back, and soon the other test subjects began to respond to her commands. Eventually, the olthoi broke loose and the Queen began to breed. The wizard Gaerlan had not properly closed a portal to the Olthoi's world, and countless more Olthoi were able to pour into Auberean and serve the captured Queen.

The Yalaini fought a losing war with the Olthoi for many years. Though the Yalaini were masters of magic, the Olthoi had the unique ability to weaken the flow of mana, reducing the power of the Yalaini's spells to nothing. After 100 years[9], all surviving Yalaini were pushed back to the island of Dereth. After almost 80 years[9] on Dereth, one single Olthoi Queen arrived on the island and began to breed.

With their last place of safety invaded, the remaining Yalaini retreated from the world. Asheron and his disciples cast a powerful planar magic spell known as The Sundering, which sent the Yalaini people into portal space in a state of stasis. After sending his disciples in as well, Asheron retreated to the last place of safety - his castle on a small island - and alone began working on a way to defeat the Othloi.

Arrival of the Humans and the Olthoi Rebellion

More than 500 years[9] had passed since Asheron sent his people away when the first humans arrived on Dereth, drawn there from their homeworld of Ispar by mysterious portals that seemed to almost beckon them to enter. The first Isparians to arrive were the Aluvians, in the year later known as P.Y. (Portal Year) -15. The Aluvians arrived in a ruined world ruled by the Olthoi. These humans were quickly enslaved by the Olthoi, forced to work in their catacombs preparing the fungus soup that the insects use to nourish their young.

The enslaved people were not content to live in constant fear in the dark tunnels of the Olthoi for the rest of their lives. Many tried to escape. Few survived for long, but one band of escaped slaves did. They were lead by the warrior Thorsten Cragstone.

Cragstone's band helped rescue other escaped slaves and provided some safety. One of these slaves was Elysa Strathelar, the daughter of a scribe. After rescuing Elysa, the rebels were chased by the Olthoi. They eventually found safety on a small island on a lake, the water forming a barrier between them and the insects. On this island, they discovered the ruins of an Empyrean catacomb, which came to be known as the Underground City. In the city, Elysa found Empyrean texts which she deciphered enough of to learn of Asheron and the location of his castle.

Leaving the safety of their island, Thorsten and Elysa went in search of Asheron. Elysa gained access to his tower and confronted the wizard. Asheron had spent his many years alone developing a poison that was deadly to the Olthoi. Seeing the harm he had placed the Aluvians in, he gave Elysa the poison and told her to kill the Queen.

Elysa, Thorsten, and the rebels, armed with poison coated weapons, assaulted the hive of the Olthoi Queen. With an Olthoi-slaying arrow, Elysa killed the Queen, but not before Thorsten had been impaled by the Queen's deadly pincers. Without the commands of the Queen the Olthoi went into confusion, the Aluvian people were liberated, and human civilization began to grow on Dereth.

The death of the Queen came to be known as the beginning of the Portal Year Calendar, P.Y. 0. After the liberation, Gharu'ndim and Sho, two other cultures from Ispar, also began to arrive on Dereth. During the end of P.Y. 10, a new surge of arrivals swept into Dereth.

Characters

Players originally entered Dereth as one of three races: the Aluvians, the Sho, and the Gharu'ndim.

Plot

The story for players began in Portal Year 10. Through the game's monthly updates the story unfolds. Not only do players experience the current events of the world, but as the months go on and they explore, they learn much about the past. Several monthly updates build upon each other, forming a story arc. Each story arc usually lasts around one year.

Development/Production

AC was developed by Turbine Entertainment Software and published by Microsoft. It had a multimillion dollar development budget.[12] It was designed by Toby Ragaini (lead designer), Chris Foster, Eri Izawa, and Chris Pierson.[13] The development team consisted of 30+ full-time developers, including 6 artists, 4 game designers, 15 software engineers and 5 QA testers.[14]

Critical development software included Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0, Visual SourceSafe 5.0, Lightwave 5.5, and Photoshop 4.0[15] Asheron's Call uses Microsoft SQL Server for persistent game data.

Asheron's Call was technically innovative for its time. It did not use zoning, a technique of partitioning the game world into zones that ran on different computers on a cluster. This caused delay when moving between zones. Instead Asheron's Call had a single seamless world. It used dynamic load balancing to determine which computer in the cluster controlled which location area. If one area became overpopulated and sluggish control of part of that location would pass to another computer with a lighter load.[16]

The finished product contained approximately 2 million lines of code.[17]

Asheron's Call took 40 months plus 8 months of beta to complete.[18] It was originally scheduled to ship during the fourth quarter of 1997.[19] Production was delayed over a year because of the inexperience of the production team.[20]

On launch there were six servers available. These were Frostfell, Harvestgain, Leafcull, Morningthaw, Thistledown, and one player-killer server, Darktide. Servers added later were Solclaim, Verdantine, and Wintersebb.

Marketing and release

Asheron's Call launched nine months after Everquest[21] on November 2, 1999. After its release Asheron's Call had 80,000 players by the end of its first year.[22] By the end of 2000 its subscription rate was third behind Ultima Online and Everquest, with 90,000 subscribers from 200,000 box sales.[23] While neither Turbine nor Microsoft have been forthcoming in releasing exact subscription counts, it is believed that Asheron's Call peaked in popularity in early 2002 at about 120,000 accounts and has since dropped to below 10,000.[24] Dark Age of Camelot had 200,000 subscribers in May 2002, taking Asheron's Call's spot as third most popular virtual world.[25]

In December 2003, Turbine purchased the rights to the Asheron's Call franchise from Microsoft and assumed full responsibility for content development, customer service, billing and marketing in 2004.[26]

In order to play Asheron's Call, one must first purchase the game or download the two week free trial. Asheron's Call is a subscription service with a monthly fee of $12.95. Discounts are available for multi-month subscriptions.[27]

Retail version

Monthly content

The Asheron's Call franchise is unique in providing complimentary monthly content updates and "Events" that added new quests, skills, landmasses, monsters, gameplay dynamics and bug fixes for all subscribers. Epic storylines link multiple episodes to form distinct "story arcs".

Expansions

The first expansion, Dark Majesty, was released in 2001. A second expansion, Throne of Destiny, which includes a graphics upgrade, new player race and new landmass was released on July 18, 2005. In addition to the expansion packs, the in-game story is advanced by monthly updates, which introduce new quests and gameplay dynamics as part of the subscription package. [28] Both expansions include the full version of the game.

Reception

Asheron's Call received generally positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Game Rankings, the game received an average score of 81% based on 26 reviews.[29] On Metacritic, the game received an average score of 81 out of 100, based on 15 reviews.[30]

Asheron's Call appealed to explorers and people who appreciated story arcs.[31]

Awards

  • CNET's Gamecenter Best RPG award for 1999.
  • Gameindustry.com: 1999 Best all around game.
  • Gamezilla: Editor's choice for best online/multiplayer title 1999
  • Gamersvoice: 1999 Gamer's Choice Award in the category of "best online/multiplayer game"

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 299
  2. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 299
  3. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 299
  4. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 299
  5. ^ Asheron's Call for PC Review - PC Asheron's Call Review
  6. ^ "Introduction: Basic Tradeskills". AC Vault. IGN Entertainment Inc.. December 29, 2004. http://acvault.ign.com/View.php?view=Guidebooks.Detail&id=27. Retrieved October 14, 2009.  
  7. ^ http://www.turbine.com/news/56
  8. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20050209213847/http://ac.turbinegames.com/index.php?page_id=181
  9. ^ a b c d e f http://asheron.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline_of_Auberean Asheron's Call Community Wiki - Timeline of Auberean
  10. ^ http://ac.warcry.com/db/text/110 Stormwaltz Developer Quote - On Historical Outline
  11. ^ http://ac.warcry.com/db/text/115 Stormwaltz Developer Quote - The Historical Overview
  12. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 300
  13. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 27
  14. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 300
  15. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 300
  16. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 28
  17. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 300
  18. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 300
  19. ^ Grossman 2003, p. 300
  20. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 27
  21. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 27
  22. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 28
  23. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 28
  24. ^ http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart3.html
  25. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 29
  26. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/news/6085702.html
  27. ^ "Asheron's Call multi-month subscription.". Turbine. http://ac.turbine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=466. Retrieved 2009-12-29.  
  28. ^ http://ac.turbine.com/index.php?Itemid=68
  29. ^ "Asheron's Call Reviews". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/188393.asp. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  
  30. ^ "Asheron's Call (pc: 1999): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/asheronscall. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  
  31. ^ Bartle 2004, p. 147

References

Further reading

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Asheron's Call
Box artwork for Asheron's Call.
Developer(s) Turbine Entertainment Software
Publisher(s) Microsoft, Turbine Entertainment Software
Release date(s)
Genre(s) RPG
System(s) Windows
Players MMOG
System requirements (help)
System RAM

32MiB

Network connection speed

256Kibps

DirectX version
Version 7
Website http://ac.turbine.com
Expansion pack(s) Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty
Asheron's Call: Throne of Destiny
Series Asheron's Call
This is the first game in the Asheron's Call series. For other games in the series see the Asheron's Call category.

Asheron's Call is one of the first generation MMORPGs and was originally developed by Turbine Games and published by Microsoft. The game was "officially" launched on November 1, 1999, hosting a grand total of 6 official servers at launch, Leafcull, Morningthaw, Thisledown, Frostfell, Harvestgrain, Darktide(PVP).

Asheron's Call features a seamless 3D landscape called Dereth in which players can adventure and seek fame, fortune and tons of uber loot. Asheron's Call focuses heavily on the development of the player character and allows complete customization of the characters attributes and skills, from adjusting a characters strength (so he may carry more & do more melee damage) to adjusting his focus (raising magical and healing abilities). Players can also design their own custom "templates" by specializing and training their character as they see fit using many unique skills such as War Magic, Unarmed Combat, Arcane Lore and Item Tinkering.

One of the main features of Asheron's Call is that it contains an extensive and rich background of lore which supplements a huge cast of NPC characters and both unique and original monsters found within the lands of Dereth. Taking a step away from the typical fantasy cookie-cutter monsters such as "goblins & dragons" Asheron's Call has an enormous amount of original content, monsters range from the small cat-like Drudge to the mighty 9' tall Lugian to the mysterious and shrouded Virindi. In addition to the rich local flora and fauna the land of dereth features amazing geological detail in one of the largest, originally designed landmasses of any MMORPG to date (this is of course excluding computer generated terrain in other mmos such as SWG). The lands of Dereth feature many islands, including the recently discovered landmass from the Throne of Destiny expansion pack as well as a recently discovered island known as the Vissidal Isles. Many ancient structures dot the landscape of Dereth, from the Ithaenc Cathedral to the rugged Fort Tethana and the ancient and evil Aerfalle Keep. Players with a lust for exploration will find that there is always something new to discover in the land of Dereth, one never knows what they might find wandering the vast expanse of the Obsidian Plains or the rolling grasslands of the Valley Of Death!

Another great feature in Asheron's Call is regularly scheduled monthly updates complete with new content in the form of new quests and equipment as well as lore and often new monsters as well as the further development of the plotline. Asheron's Call is an ever-evolving land where new foes and new adventures await on a monthly basis.

One of the greatest assets to Asheron's Call is the atmosphere, with every new addition to the lore and landscape of Dereth the complexity and sheer amount of content within the world continues to astound and surprise even the most hardcore of old school players. The one thing that keeps players coming back and playing again is the sheer freedom that AC brings to MMORPGs, you could easily wander off in a random direction and run for an hour and discover wondrous geographical anomalies and other structures you've never seen that would amaze you, to put it simply, the game world is just beautiful (despite the now dated graphical engine, even with the recent rehaul).

There is only one way to find out if Asheron's Call is the type of game that you've been looking for, one that allows players to be free to create whatever character type they wish and travel to far off destinations conquering everything in their path to those who prefer to sit near a waterfall and bask in the meticulously crafted lore. There is always something to do in Dereth one need only to heed the call!

Table of Contents

Getting Started
Appendices

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Asheron's Call

Developer(s) Turbine
Publisher(s) Turbine
Release date November 2, 1999 (NA)
Genre MMORPG
Mode(s) Massive Multiplayer Online
Age rating(s) ESRB: T
Platform(s) PC
Media CD-ROM
Input Keyboard, Mouse
System requirements Windows® System 98/ME/2000/XP OS:

1.2 GHz CPU, 512 MB, 128MB 3D graphics card (GeForce 3 or better), 1 GB Hard Drive space, DirectX® 9.0c or above, Internet connection

Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Asheron's Call (AC) is a fantasy MMORPG for Microsoft Windows-based PCs developed by Turbine, Inc. It was released on November 2, 1999. Asheron's Call is set on the continent of Dereth and its surrounding islands on the fictional planet of Auberean. The game is played in a large, seamless 3D world that is occupied by thousands of players and NPCs.

Contents

Gameplay

Each character begins with a limited number of skill points, and base skills start at a level determined by a character's attributes. Gameplay involves earning experience points through a variety of activities, including engaging monsters in combat and fulfilling quests. The earned experience can be invested to improve the character's abilities by spending it on attributes (such as 'Strength', 'Coordination', and 'Quickness') or skills (such as 'Unarmed Combat', 'War Magic' and 'Melee Defense'). Every few levels, more skill points are granted, and if a character has enough skill points, they can 'buy' a new skill. Besides experience points, questing and combat also yield equipment such as armor, weapons, health potions, and spell scrolls. Many types of loot can be improved or imbued with special spells and effects via Asheron's Call's crafting system, known as tinkering.

Unlike most other games of this type, Asheron's Call rarely uses typical fantasy fiction to draw ideas from and instead creates its own, unique creatures. Instead of elves and goblins, a large majority of the monsters in Asheron's Call are completely original. Examples include the insect-like Olthoi, the cat-like humanoid Drudges, the giant grey-skinned humanoid Lugians and the reptilian Sclavus. Many unique races and creatures from Asheron's Call can be seen in Wikipedia's list of species in fantasy fiction.

Many elements of Asheron's Call are radically different from most other MMORPGs. For example, Asheron's Call does not divide its world into different level zones. While some areas are much more dangerous to players than others, there is nonetheless a mix of different creatures types that creates much more unpredictability than is present in other games. Another key difference is that Asheron's Call does not use character level as the major determinant in the outcome of a combat. Level simply determines what skills are available, and it is the skills and equipment of players and creatures that determine the outcome. Whereas in many games a player will be able to move a cursor over an opponent and instantly know from their level whether they will be successful in combat, in Asheron's Call a character might be able to defeat much higher level foes or lose to much lower level ones, again depending upon one's skill choices and equipment. As with the absence of specific level zones, this creates a higher degree of unpredictability than in most games of this type.

The game's currency is the Pyreal. It is an alloy of precious metals found on Auberean combined in some ratio with pure mana. Pyreal is also the chief constituent of the powerful Atlan weapons, named for Asheron's father, their inventor.

Vitae, the Latin word for "Life Force," is the vital statistic penalized temporarily upon death. A vitae penalty describes the effect of a temporary reduction in character strength upon death. This penalty results from the (intentionally) imperfect link between Isparians and the Lifestones which resurrect them. Said "imperfect link" refers to the magic Asheron has employed to siphon a portion of every Isparian's life to keep the trapped Empyrean alive, which happens with every death to the Lifestones. If a character is not bound to a Lifestone, they will still accrue vitae from death. As the character increases in levels, so too does the Vitae Penalty.

Player Killers (PKs) are those who choose to change their status to enable them to attack another PK in Player vs Player combat. On death they drop some of their items and the winner of the fight is allowed to take them. One server, Darktide, is dedicated exclusively to this style of gameplay. The lore reasoning behind this mode of playstyle is attributed to Bael'Zharon, the Hopeslayer. In swearing allegiance to him, the character sheds Asheron's protection from attacking each other and devotes themselves to warfare serving (preferably) the Hopeslayer. In many instances, people have shed Asheron's protection solely to stand against those who attempt to do evil.

Races

Aluvian

ALUVIANS are a fiercely individualistic and warlike people, quick to anger but with a strong love of justice and fairness. Though often suspicious of things new and strange, they are friendly and always prepared with a little help if they can spare it. They are loyal to their feudal lords, but expect to be well-treated in return.

The first people to arrive on Dereth Island, the Aluvians, have settled in the fields and hills around Lake Blessed.

Gharu'ndim

Desert-dwellers who favor knowledge and trade over war and bloodshed, the GHARU’NDIM are an eminently honorable, formal culture, but they also have a reputation for being somewhat distant and proud. Preferring to talk before fighting whenever possible, they speak with great politeness and formality, peppering their speech with honorifics and references to their national hero, the poet Yasif ibn Salayyar.

Sho

The SHO are a people for whom duty and self-discipline are the highest virtues. Though generally peaceful, they have raised warfare to an art form and a philosophy. While they are slow to be moved, they make formidable enemies - or lifelong friends.

The Sho have long been geographically separated from most other cultures. Now, on Dereth, they find themselves in unexpectedly close quarters with the Aluvians and the Gharu’ndim.

Viamontian

As much as it is possible to generalize about the character of an entire nation, the VIAMONTIANS, to put it mildly, are a proud and aggressive people. They glory in battle and conquest, driven by the ambitions of their lords and by a widespread love of combat and all its trappings.

Their history reads as a litany of battles, great and small, from clan squabbles over a herd of livestock to their massive campaigns of foreign conquest. The sources of their eternal war can be found in their earliest history. Their successes in war can perhaps be traced to their semi-mythical "Blood-Father," a man named Karlun.

External Links

  • http://ac.turbine.com/: The official website.
  • ACC Wiki Home: A Wikia wiki dedicated to Asheron's Call.
  • http://www.thejackcat.com/ac/: Fansite
  • Asheron's Call Vault: Fansite
  • http://ac.warcry.com/: Fansite
  • http://ac.mystics.de/: German Fansite

Videos


This article uses material from the "Asheron's Call" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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