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AdventureQuest

AdventureQuest (also referred to by its website name BattleOn or simply as AQ) is an online single-player RPG developed by Artix Entertainment in 2002 and released on October 15 of that year. It is implemented in Flash and uses vector graphics, some of which are animated. The game follows the adventures of a character tied with the town of Battleon (the player) as he or she explores the game world while engaging in combat with various enemies. As of July 22, 2008, aq.battleon.com, the game's hosting website, has an Alexa rating of 938. AdventureQuest and all related games are set within the world of Lore, formerly a tongue-in-cheek reference to the game's original title, Lands of Rising Evil, which has since been explained to refer to Lorithia, a name of the goddess of creation in the game's storyline.

Guardianship, a measure introduced on February 22, 2003 to manage the costs of running the game, added a one-time fee-based character upgrade service. Ownership of the game transferred to the newly-formed Artix Entertainment in 2004, and a server population cap was added for non-Guardian players in May of that year. In June 2004, players of AdventureQuest reached 1 million in number.

By June 2005, the game had 5 million users, an amount which rapidly grew to 40 million by September 2007. As AdventureQuest grew, Artix Entertainment added new methods to pay for in-game content, such as X-Guardianship (in October 2005) and purchasable Z-Tokens (in June 2006), and released other related games, such as DragonFable (on July 26, 2005), MechQuest, ArchKnight and ZardWars.

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Gameplay

Much of AdventureQuest's game play revolves around fighting monsters. On the players turn they may attack, equip a weapon shield or armor, drink a potion, cast a spell, call a pet or equip a miscellaneous item. Changing armor, weapon or shield does not use up a turn but equipping certain items, changing pets or drinking a potion does. On an opponents's turn it may attack, though some monsters have special attacks such as healing. Pack monsters and a few other monsters can summon reinforcements, which doesn't take up a turn.

As players defeat monsters, they gain Experience Points (XP), gold, and possibly Z-tokens. The XP is used for leveling up your character for more Mana, Health, etc. The gold is used for buying stronger items. Z-Tokens, not always dropped by monsters, can be used to buy special weapons from Valencia or to buy a house.

A more in-depth Gameplay description under Combat Mechanics.

Combat Mechanics

The most basic fights are started through random encounters (by clicking the "Battle Monsters" button), and after winning such fights, characters return to Battleon and can be fully healed by an NPC.

Several things can affect the outcome of a battle. Both characters and monsters have a "defense modifier" for each of the eight elements; a higher defense modifier means an attack of that element does more damage. There is also a defense modifier for each of the three methods of attacks: melee, ranged and magic; a lower number means greater vulnerability to that element of attack. Players can change their character's weapon, shield and armor according to the monster's defense modifiers. Also, some of the stronger bosses have defence modifiers to the Void element. There are a few other "Hidden" elements that are not shown, but still exist (Confirmed by the KoO, the game's balancing team. Void is an example of such a hidden element.)

Six stats affect the amount of damage inflicted and taken, as well as the probability of an attack being resisted. In addition, pets and guests assist the character in doing extra damage. Strategic use of spells and items will give a character an advantage in combat. The combat system also uses luck as you attack a random number based on your weapon and stats.

When a battle begins, either the player or the monster goes first mostly depending on whoever has the more Luck. When it is the monsters turn, they do their own attack that can inflict different damage and sometimes effect the player's own defenses. The player's turn then would come if it hasn't already. The player could then equip the appropriate armor, shield, etc. The battle would then go on with consecutive Monster then Player turns. The player can have numerous types of attacks depending on what armor is used or if they decide to use their magic attacks. These Magic attacks cost a player MP (Mana Points which is the base of all magic in AQ). Sometimes, the attacks could also vary on what weapon is used. The weapon, depending on what one you are using, can sometimes release its Special attack that does not cost the player MP or HP. The battle would then continue until a monster's HP drops below zero or if the players drops to zero. If the monster dies, the character is awarded with experience and gold. Sometimes, they will also be rewarded with Z-Tokens. If a monster is a pack type (Junior Zard Pack, Orc Horde, Drakel War Party, etc.), sometimes they may summon reinforcements until they run out. Most pack monsters have a pre-determined amount of reinforcements, and will not die until all of them are killed. If a character's HP drops below zero, the character dies, and has to speak to Death to return to town without any penalties. The death is saved in the game's database.

Players may also inflict status effects on monsters such as Freezing and Paralysis using different weapons and other methods with a random chance of inflicting the effects.

Skill Points

In an update on September 10, 2007, the green SP bar was added. This SP (Skill Points) bar is much like MP (Mana Points) and is primarily used for certain class abilities, but is also used by some armors and in the activation of certain items. The SP is used for some classes including mage, fighter, rogue, and scholar (the base classes).

When the SP bar appeared, potions started to cost SP. Now you can use two potions at once using less turns to heal.

The amount of SP for a player starts at 50. The player then gains 5 points of SP every time he/she levels up. During a battle, the player starts with how many points he/she had at the end of the last battle. However, if a player just logged in, you start with zero. The player gains SP every time it is their turn during battle until the bar is full.

Another feature of having SP is the ability to flee from battle. There was escape before SP was enabled but no price was paid for escaping. The player would have to have enough SP to flee from a battle. The higher the monster's level, the more SP would be needed to flee.

Further more, if a player loses to a monster, their SP is drained back down to zero regardless of the player's level.

The Elements

While there are 8 primary elements (Earth, Wind, Water, Energy, Ice, Fire, Light, and Darkness) This game is balanced so that no one element is more powerful than another element.

Sometimes certain species will be weak to an additional element. For example, the monster "Undead Horse" has a light modifier of 120% and an Energy modifier of 130%. This is not very typical of undead, as most are weak against Fire as well as Light. There also exists another element, Void, previously known as Element X. Some weapons, when triggered, deal Void damage (such as the Dragon Blade), or in their special attacks (such as the Gauntlet of The'Galin), the vast majority of monsters in the game have a Void resistance of 100%, however, there are handful that have a lower modifier. These monsters are known as the "Unbeatables", and they are coupled with a 0% Modifier to the Element "Death", currently used only by a very strong special in the Weapons of Awe known as PowerWord Die. Its symbol is a question mark. There are other secret elements that certain monsters use but, they are not available to players.

Guests and Pets

Pets are the second party member a player can have. Pets are obtained by buying them from shops, except for Cudgel, who joins you temporarily during the Drakel vs. Elf saga. Pets can cause status effects like Paralysis, can attack, and some can heal you such as the Fairy Godmother. Pets do not always attack though.

Guests are the third party member a player can have. Guests are obtained during quests, wars, and can be summoned using Summon Spells, completing the "beasts of legend" challenge in the guardian tower and class skills. Some guests can inflict status effects, and a few can even trigger against some enemies. Guests attack rates are also affected by Charisma, unlike Galrick, Diviara or Giliara who attacks 100% of the time regardless of the player's Charisma amount. The player attacks first, then the guest, then the pet.

Stats

Characters have six statistics which affect their success in combat. To upgrade one stat by 5 points, the player must use 5 stat points and a Gold or a Z-Token payment:

  • Strength (STR) increases the random damage of melee and ranged attacks, and the accuracy of melee attacks.
  • Dexterity (DEX) increases the random damage of ranged attacks, the ability to dodge attacks, and increases the accuracy of all three attack types.
  • Intellect (INT) increases the random damage of magic attacks, the accuracy of magic attacks, and the character's maximum MP.
  • Endurance (END) increases the character's maximum HP.
  • Charisma (CHA) increases the damage, the random damage of pet attacks, and attack frequency of pets and guests.
  • Luck (LUK) increases a character's chance of going first in a battle, finding a treasure chest, and dodging monster attacks, as well as affecting accuracy for all attack types and increases chance slightly to block an attack. Though other than that, LUK does not affect your chances as much as other stats.

When characters level up, they are given 5 stat points. They may use these stat points to train their stats by paying a stat trainer and defeating them in combat. There are three different stat trainers in the game. The first is Sir Lanceler. Sir Lanceler can increase all six stats but to a max of 75 points for each stat. Neberon the Mage can train you in intellect, charisma, and Luck. Grimweld the Warrior can train you in strength, dexterity, and endurance. Both Neberon and Grimweld can train each stat to a max of 200 points each. A good thing to note that unlike Sir Lancer, Neberon and Grimweld give specific scenarios in a fight to increase the stat (i.e. training Strength with Grimweld restricts you to only using the attack button)

If a player regrets training a stat, they may un-train their character's stats by doing the "Death's Domain" quest and losing to Sir Pwnsalot in combat. However, the money spent in training the stat will not be refunded and therefore will be lost forever. Once Pwnsalot is found, Guardians and X-Guardians may visit him freely in the Guardian Tower by selecting the Un-Trainer in the teleporter room. The cost of training a stat does not increase each time you level up, rather it increases each time you train a stat.

Classes

Classes are special groups that the player may join that use unique armor pieces of increasing power based on quests completed to use skills. Each class has ten skills, but adventurers may only access five of them. Many classes are organized into tiers, as listed below.

Note: After the Sweep (a large game update), classes will have level requirements depending on Tiers. This level requirement is not implemented yet.

  • First Tier: Level 10-30 requirement, after level 30, armor abilities will decrease in power.
  • Second Tier: Level 30-70 requirement, after level 70, armor abilities will decrease in power.
  • Third Tier: Level 70-90 requirement, after level 90, armor abilities will decrease in power.

Base classes

A player can choose between one of the first three classes (with Scholar being unavailable) when he/she creates his/her account (the only case in which the "starts with" entries in the table below are applicable). All base classes are of the First Tier.

Class Name Role and Stats usually Used Trained By
Fighter Base melee character; begins with Steel Plate and Long Sword (Guardian Plate and Guardian Blade if Guardian) and uses Fighter Armor to access skills; starts with 10 Strength and primarily uses Strength, Endurance, and Dexterity, though they may elect to use Charisma Blackhawke in the upper floor of the Battleon Inn
Mage Spellcasting character; begins with Cloth Robes and Wooden Staff (Guardian Robes and Guardian Staff if Guardian) and uses Mage Robes to access skills; starts with 10 Intellect and primarily uses Intellect, Dexterity, and Luck, though they may elect to use Charisma Warlic in the Battleon Magic Shop
Rogue Specialized ranged character; Begins with Leather Armor and Short Sword (Guardian Leather and Guardian Dagger if Guardian) and uses Rogue Outfit to access skills; starts with 10 Dexterity and primarily uses Dexterity, Strength, and Endurance, though they may elect to use Charisma Valencia in Krovesport
Scholar Recently-implemented character class; begins with Students Robes and Short Sword (Savant Robes and Guardian Dagger if Guardian) and uses Explorer's Outfit to access skills; primarily uses Intellect, Charisma, Dexterity and Luck Nel in Deren

Advanced classes

Advanced Classes are classes that require existing levels in other classes and are of the Second Tier or above.

Class Name Role Requirements and Tier Stats usually Used Trained By Storyline Significance & Other Notes
Knight Defensive melee fighter; uses Knight Armor Requires Fighter level 5; Second Tier Strength, Endurance, and Dexterity Sir Tathlin in the Kingdom of Rennd Non-player knights typically serve a King, and choose one of the eight Elemental Realms to join.
Beastmaster Minion-based controller of beasts, animals and critters; uses Feral Garb or Primal Garb if Guardian Requires Rogue and Fighter level 5; Second Tier Charisma and Dexterity Vephoma and Wandy in the Dark Jungle Inhabitants of the Dark Jungle, Beastmasters strive to overthrow their tyrant king.
Wizard Element-wielding caster; uses Wizard Robes, though it has been stated that other elemental versions will be released: Pyromancer (Only released one; available only to Guardians), Cryomancer, Hydromancer, Dynamancer, Geomancer, Aeromancer, Lumenomancer, Tenebromancer Requires Mage level 5; Second Tier Intellect and Dexterity Jackel Sano in the Ethereal Realm Wizards draw the powers of one of the eight Elemental Realms from the game's Ethereal Realm.
Paladin Beneficial magic-wielding melee fighter; uses Holy Armor or Golden Holy Armor if Guardian Requires Mage and Knight level 5; Third Tier Strength, Intellect, Endurance, and Dexterity Artix von Krieger in the Paladin Order Paladins are warriors of holiness and enemies of the Undead and their Necromancer masters, with whom they were once engaged in a war.
Pirate Seafaring adventurer; uses Pirate Garbs Requires Fighter and Rogue level 5; Second Tier Strength, Dexterity, Luck, and Charisma Captain Rhubarb in the Pirate's Cove Non-player Pirates may be friendly adventurers or evil mutineers
Necromancer Minion-based wizard with power over the undead; uses Necromancer Cloak or Obsisdian Cloak if Guardian Requires Wizard level 5; Third Tier Intellect, Dexterity, and Luck Obsidia in Obsidia's Lair Though regularly evil, certain necromancers under Obsidia (and Obsidia herself) are not; Necromancers were once involved in a war with those of the Paladin class
Berserker Damage-geared melee fighter; uses Berserker Hides; does not normally use spells Requires Fighter level 5; Second Tier Strength, Endurance, and Dexterity Eselgee in the Dwarfhold Mountains Berserkers are known as wild warriors of the Northern Mountains and dangerous if confronted
Martial Artist Versatile melee fighter; uses White Gi Requires Fighter level 10; Second Tier Strength, Charisma, and Dexterity Master Dadric in the School of Crouching Zard Martial Artists are trained in the fighting art of the Crouching Zard. They are then able to learn 4 advanced abilities which gives even playable characters 25 possible outcomes of abilities

Special classes

Note: Special classes do not have tiers due to the fact they have no class requirements and are not used as a requirement of another class; however, after the Sweep (a "sweep" through the game to update old code and balance items and monsters), they will become Second Tier classes.

Class Name Role Trained By Storyline Significance & Notes
Dragonslayer Fighter with primarily anti-Dragon abilities; uses Dragonslayer Armors Galanoth in Dragonstone Dragonslayers once killed dragons indiscriminately and were at war with the Dracomancers; they now only slay malevolent Dragons
Dracomancer Fighter with various Draconic powers; uses Dracomancer Armor Lord Cyrus in the Dragonspine Mountains Dracomancers are the guardians of the dragon eggs of the Dragonspine Mountains and have been known to transform into half-Dragon creatures themselves; they were once involved in a war with the Dragonslayers
Ninja Stealthy fighter with various damaging attacks; uses Shinobi Shozuku Elizabeth at Mount Dajin Ninjas are known as warriors of the night, attacking unexpectedly from the shadows.
Vampireslayer (After The Sweep, this will be known as ShadowSlayer) Warrior with various anti-Vampire and anti-Werewolf abilities; uses Vampireslayer Armors Vampireslayer E in the Darkovia Forest Vampireslayers hunt Werewolves, Vampires, Werepyres, Dracopyres, and Dracowolves.

Unreleased classes

  • Assassin (Confirmed to be the next Third Tier class.)
  • Archmage
  • Ranger
  • Treasure Hunter (As seen in the 2008 preview)

Subraces

In AdventureQuest, players may visit the ruler of a subrace to become part of it. Once a player has become a subrace, it can be removed (if desired) by accessing the "The Cure" quest in Darkovia. Subraces do not alter a character's base appearance (although the armor available makes the player appear as such during battle), and generally are only applicable when the appropriate armor is equipped or if the player is involved in a subrace quest.

Subrace Name Acquired From Description Notes
Vampire Queen Safiria in the Vampire's Castle of Darkovia Forest Players with the Vampire subrace and Vamp Armor equipped can steal health during battle and randomly engage in a special attack in which they transform into a batlike humanoid and hit the enemy multiple times, both of which are improved based on Vampire quests completed. Queen Safiria, the leader of the Vampire subrace, may also be fought by player werewolves in the game's fourteenth "Epic Quest". Vampire players may receive the temporary "Firebat" guest.
Werewolf The Werewolf King in the Werewolf Lair in Darkovia Forest Players with the Werewolf subrace and Lycan Armor equipped can regenerate health during battle and randomly engage in a special attack in which they transform into a full-fledged werewolf and hit the enemy several times, both of which are improved based on Werewolf quests completed. When fighting a non-Vampire quest werewolf, the player has a chance to temporarily become one, his or her default armor being replaced with Lycan Armor, making normal Werewolf mechanics applicable. Werewolf players may receive the temporary Brightwolf guest.
WerePyre WolfWing in "The Secret" quest in Darkovia Forest WerePyre players, though not receiving most of the normal Werewolf/Vampire benefits, have a higher chance of inflicting their special attack, which drains ten hitpoints from the enemy. Only Guardian and X-Guardian characters may become a WerePyre. Upon the completion of the "The Secret" quest, players may also choose to fight Wolfwing (leader of the WerePyres), though this fight is fixed against the player to be near impossible, due to Wolfwing's regeneration capabilities.

Other subraces also exist, such as the DracoWolves and DracoVamps, though will not be available to players due to Nightbane (the leader of both factions)'s inability to make more of his own kind. Being the joint leader of both Werewolf/Dragons and Vampire/Dragons, Nightbane is considered a "Dracopyre", which is a combination of Dragon, Werewolf and Vampire. In early 2007, there was war between Wolfwing and Nightbane (depicted by ingame "event" quests) which Nightbane eventually won.

Clans

In AdventureQuest, players may join a clan on the island of Paxia, and participate in Clan activities such as Clan Wars and Clan Challenges.

There are eight clans available for players to join, representing the eight elemental realms. The clan names and elements are as follows: Geoto (Earth), Aerodu (Wind), Nautica (Water), Dynami (Energy), Igneus (Fire), Glacius (Ice), Lucian (Light), and Nocturu (Darkness). The clan leaders in the same order as above are respectively: Geoto, Aerodu, Nautica, Dynamo, Igneox, Glaciar, Lucius, and Noctros. To become part of a clan, players may enter Paxia, click on the location of a clan's base and speak to the clan's leader, asking to join. The player is guaranteed entrance in any clan unless she or he is already in a clan, or if a Clan War currently ensues.

Only players that have joined a particular clan and those without a clan may enter a clan's base. Clan bases contain a shop which sells items of its element, as well as (occasionally) clan-unique items. Some of these items are more powerful when used by a member of the corresponding clan, such as the "Gong of the Wind" series of Pets.

Players may leave a previously-joined clan if no Clan Wars or Clan Events are currently active by speaking with the Negatus Statue on Monolith Island, which lies off the shore of Paxia. Also on Monolith Island is Paxus, who provides information about the eight Paxian clans and their creation.

There are a few Clans not available to the General Public. The AdventureQuest Team Clan is used to mark characters belonging to Staff Members. The Test Characters Clan is used to mark characters used by Staff & KoO (Knights of Order) for Testing purposes. Characters in the Test Characters, and the AdventureQuest Team Clans have their equipment hidden on their character pages to prevent normal players from gaining a sneak preview at unreleased items. There is also the C/A/T (Cheaters/Abusers/Time Wasters Clan) where a character, not an account, is sent. This clan however is to stop cheaters. They get items like steal plate, and they will face certain monsters that lowers their exp and gold drastically. Some C/A/T clan members may not be able to log in to that character at all.

Clan Wars and Challenges

Every so often, Paxia has challenges and wars. During these wars, players will fight random battles against opposing forces on Paxia, battling things such as Airships and other clan members in computer controlled PvP and can repair their bases to help keep ahead in the war. Eventually, the clans with the best health at the end of the war is awarded war spoils.

Challenges are given by Paxus, and happen in his personal arena which floats above Paxia. They can vary from guessing things to winning battles and so forth. Clans with the highest score gain prizes for this.

These challenges are done in the Octo-Paxi Arena which is the on a little island on the south of Paxia. Most of the time it is a question mark because there aren't any current events. The latest event was the "Chaos among the Clans" event.

Alignment

Players in AdventureQuest may take one of several alignments, similar to those of Dungeons and Dragons, which include the selection between Good and Evil as well as Unity and Chaos. These alignments are chosen by actions in-game, and will (for instance) give the player a selection of either good or evil items as a reward in a war. The game also includes a Chaos/Unity shield which will augment a player's stats based on chosen alignment. There are a couple of other equipment that have special effects depending on your alignment.

Also available in-game is a "Moral Compass", accessible by speaking with Twilly in the town of Battleon. A marker on the compass allows players to see where they currently lie on the Good/Evil/Unity/Chaos axis.

Towns

There are currently four towns available to players, one of which are Guardian-only but can be are accessible by non-Guardian characters by obtaining a "Travel Pass" from Valencia. They are:

  • Battleon is the main city of AdventureQuest and shares a name similar to that of the continent it is on, Battleonia (also known as Battleogna, more recently). All players begin here on login. In one in-game event, it became the Nightmare Battleon, a nightmarish version of the town itself, but has since returned to its normal state. On April Fool's Day event, the city became black and white .
  • Granemor is the darkest town on the continent of Battleonia, and can be accessed both by Guardians and Adventurers. In the town's center, a moon is visible which is actually a portal to the "Void", the game's world of death. The town's buildings were almost completely destroyed during an attack by an Undead army, though players could still access all its normal features by searching the nearby forest, in which reflections of all previous buildings existed as tents . Currently , Granemor was rebuilt as a fortified land that holds back the evil of the NoMan's Land , being protected by soldiers under General Herous .
  • Lolosia is a pirate city that may only be accessed by Guardian characters. The town was once destroyed by an in-game creature known as the "Sea Fiend", but has since been rebuilt. The town's main defense comes from Captain Rhubarb, with his ship/house armed with cannons. Though considered Guardian-only, Lolosia can be are accessible by non-Guardian characters by obtaining a "Travel Pass" from Valencia.
  • Frostvale is the coldest city of Lore. It is populated by frost Moglins, and is attacked nearly every Frostval (the holiday event that takes the name of the town, omitting the final "e"). Most of the events of Frostval occur here.

Shops and Equipment

There are six types of equipment that improve a character's ability and survivability in combat and/or cater to miscellaneous purposes:

  • Weapons - Weapons are used to deal damage with the "Attack" command. Many have triggers, which activate on monsters of a certain type, causing the weapon to either deal more damage, seek the monster's weakness, weaken a monster, etc. Also, many weapons have special attacks that will inflict more damage than their normal attack (sometimes accompanied by an animation of unique use of the weapon, such as throwing it at the enemy). This is generally frowned upon by players with high-level characters who wish to utilize the full power of their multi-hit armor pieces. Weapons may inflict damage categorized by one or more of the game's elemental damage types (fire, water, wind, ice, earth, energy, light, and darkness).
  • Shields - Shields affect a character's defense modifiers, allowing them to take less damage from any (or a combination of) the elemental attacks of enemies, as well as giving them a higher chance to block attacks. Some shields also augment the player with "rewind" abilities, which allow the character to be healed once during battle, while others give the player a bonus in damage against a specific type of enemy. However, shields can weaken you against some elements and strengthen you against others, requiring an armor to compensate.
  • Armor - Armor, in addition to adding to the player's defense modifier, is the game's main way of giving characters choices in special attacks. The armor types provided by class and subrace leaders allow the use of special abilities, either chosen by the player after selecting the "Attack" (and sometimes "Armor Skills") option(s) or randomly triggering in combat. The skills provided by these armor pieces generally cost mana and are improved by performing quests for the subrace/class leader. Some types of armor grant the player a mounted animal/machine, and may attack in the player's stead (though inflicting the same type and amount of damage). However, some armors strengthen you against some elements but weaken others simultaneously, requiring a shield to compensate for the disadvantage.
  • Guests - Guests are friendly characters that join the player in combat, and are usually acquired in event-based quests or temporarily by randomly finding or clicking on specific items. Certain class skills allow the player to have more than one Guest at once. The damage output of a Guest depends on your Charisma. If you have high Charisma, then your Guest/s will do more damage and attack more frequently.
  • Spells - Spells are alternate, single-click attacks that are generally invoked at range and deal the damage of one of the eight elemental realms. Like class skills, spells generally cost mana.
  • Pets - Pets may be chosen by a player during combat (taking up, in that case, the player's turn) and thereafter will automatically appear alongside the character. Like guests, they fight and/or heal alongside the player, but are purchased at vendors and follow the character until sold (being stored as inventory items). Like any Guest, the damage output of your pet/s depends on your Charisma stat. If you have high Charisma, then your Pet will do more damage and attack more frequently.
  • Miscellaneous - Miscellaneous items provide various benefits, such as defending from attacks, boosting player stats, augmenting attack power, or even unlocking music. Potions that refill health or mana are also classified as miscellaneous, though they are given their own menu and do not take up inventory space. Miscellaneous items other than Potions must be activated before use. "Merchant Items" are miscellaneous items that are sold at varying prices based on a pattern in the game's internal clock.

AdventureQuest has many shops where players may purchase equipment using gold. Every piece of equipment has a level requirement which the character must meet to purchase it. Equipment may also be sold to any vendor at a defect. Many chests and quest-completion screens in the game offer rewards that must be purchased, and essentially act as a vendor with advanced items. A character may hold up to eight of each type of equipment at a time in battle, while they may purchase storage space with Z-Tokens to hold items outside combat. Most equipment specializes in one of the game's eight elements, but some specialize in more than one element or have no element at all. Not all types of equipment can be bought with gold, as there are equipment that need Guardianship or Z-Tokens to buy.

Annual Events

The yearly "holiday" events in the game are:

  • Snugglefest, which takes place during Saint Valentine's Day.
  • Frostval, which takes place during the month of December and through Christmas Day.
  • Mogloween, which takes place during Halloween.
  • Harvesting Festival, which takes place during Thanksgiving Day.
  • Grenwog Festival, which takes place during Easter.
  • Blarney War, which takes place during Saint Patrick's Day.
  • Talk like a Pirate Day, which takes place during September.
  • Wizard Games, which happens twice every year with no known correlation to an actual month or holiday.
  • B.U.R.P. Invasion, which takes place every two years.
  • April Fools Day, which takes place on every April 1st.

Current Storyline

The Devourer The'Galin has passed his judgment on Battleon. The Final Battle was completed on Jun. 8, 2008 and is now available in-game in a special zone. Currently, the said "storyline" is focusing around Darkovia after Nightbane' Death and a new character, as well as aforesaid "mutants" In the No Man's Land, which was first seen after Granemor was rebuilt In June. The war, "Search for a Cure" is currently reachable via Event Button. On Sept 11, 2008, a new Quest, The Mutant King 2, was made available to players.

Ballyhoo

Ballyhoo is a character, introduced in late 2007, that allowed players to earn gold and temporary items (and, starting January 2008, a variable amount of Z-Tokens) by watching in-game advertisements. The limit to the amount of gold a player can earn through this system is limited, though this limit consistently changes.

Most adverts shown are those for Artix Entertainment's other online RPGs or the guardian aspect of Adventure Quest; other sponsors include entertainment aimed at a younger audience, such as the Cartoon Network or Space Monkeys, as examples.

Houses

Currently, players can buy houses using Z-tokens. They can also buy guards and pictures to decorate and protect their house. When one player visits another player's house, he/she must battle the owner's guards (if any)to gain access to that house (look inside). Some buildings yield various resources. Players can also take some potions if their number of potions is low.

A new feature was added in July of 08. This update is the estate. This allows the player/owner of the house to add various "add-ons" to their property (a garden, a farmhouse, etc.). These add-ons can be leveled up to strengthen it from monster attacks.

Upgrades

Guardianship

Guardianship is a "premium" version of AdventureQuest, which players can buy for a one-time fee. As AdventureQuest has grown, Artix Entertainment has raised the fee several times; as of 22 October 2006, Guardianship costs $19.95, which can be paid by using one of these 5 ways: Credit card; PayPal; Postal Mail; PayByCash; Upgrade Card. Players who have bought this premium version are called "Guardians," while those playing the free version are called "Adventurers."

This premium version offers players many benefits. It grants access to additional quests, events, wars and locations. Many weapons, armors, shields, pets and other items in the game are only available to Guardians, while some require the player to be a Guardian to fully unlock their power. Besides starting with two health and mana potions (instead of one of each type for Adventurers), as well as being able to receive five potions at strategic points during quests from a potion bag. Guardians also have more powerful starting weapons, and can train up to level 10 in each class (instead of 5 for Adventurers). In addition, they can log in at any time, despite the server cap which limits the number of Adventurers that may play simultaneously.

Upgrade cards

A new feature was added to AdventureQuest along with its counterpart games MechQuest and DragonFable Feb. 17, 2008. This new feature is the upgrade card. This card, which is only available at Target stores, allows a player to upgrade their character to a guardian account, purchase 3000 Z-tokens while upgrading to a X-Guardian if you're a guardian already, or to purchase 5000 Z-tokens without the risk of using their Credit Card online or the long wait that the Postal Upgrade brings.

You may also buy X-Guardianship for around $10 USD, which gives you 10% more experience points for each battle your character wins, and allows you to hold 35 potions, which is considerably more than the adventurer.

Guardian exclusives

There are some other exclusive things for Guardian Users. These exclusives include the ability to have an account for ArchKnight and ZardWars, which are side mini-games similar to AQ that Artix Entertainment created in their spare time. You must use your AdventureQuest Guardian account to log in.

Z-Tokens

Introduced in June 2006 to replace the former system of donating money for items, Z-Tokens are rare coins in AdventureQuest, which players (both Adventurers and Guardians) will occasionally find after winning battles. Guardians may also purchase Z-Tokens with real money, with various exchange rates. Players may use Z-Tokens to buy shields, armour, and weapons - these combat items, tend to be more powerful than normal items, and can be bought with a much lower, relative level. Other things you can buy include; player-owned housing, guards for that housing, and pets and spells which are generally more powerful than those bought with in-game gold. They may also purchase inventory slots with Z-Tokens (at the rate of 200 Z-Tokens per slot), or trade them for in-game gold (at the rate of 200 Z-tokens per 3000 gold). Some monsters give a random amount of Z-Tokens (1 to 8) if you defeat them in battle.

Critical feedback

Server cap

There is a limit on the number of free players which can play simultaneously. The limit was fixed at 4,000 during the early days of AdventureQuest, but it currently fluctuates from 7,000 to 30,000 according to time of day and server load. Once the limit is reached, only Guardians may log in, until sufficient players log out or the limit increases.

Because of the server cap, it can be difficult for free players to log in, especially because the server limit may occasionally decrease by nearly 50%, and all the available slots are usually taken moments after the server limit is increased.

Free players have tried various means to bypass the server cap. A web browser script that would immediately log a player in once it detected an available slot on the server was once available. In the past, there have been bugs which could be exploited by free players bypass the server cap, but these bugs have been fixed. Some fan sites offer server stats to give players a good idea of when to log in. Some free players, after successfully logging in, leave their computer on continuously to stay logged in (this does not, however, affect free players attempting to log in as any player that idles for more than half an hour does not count towards the server cap until they stop idling).

Free accounts start out with 24 free logins that are used once every time that account logs into the game. AdventureQuest provides a survey that upon completion grants users another 48 hours of unlimited free logins. Additionally, after confirming the account's e-mail address, they get 48 hours of unlimited free login time, to help them become familiar with the game.

Artix Entertainment defends the server cap as a way of controlling server load and covering the cost of running the game. AdventureQuest recently introduced sponsored advertising to allow more servers to be purchased. The advertising is limited to a row of icons on the side of the homepage as to not interfere with the game.

Lack of free content

About 30% of the content, quests and updates are only available to Guardians; therefore, the free version of AdventureQuest is somewhat limited. Some updates, such as X-Guardianship and Z-Tokens, entirely focus on new ways to pay for in-game content. The constant reminders to buy Guardianship are often perceived as a form of nagware, and these, combined with the server cap, lead some to perceive the free version of AdventureQuest as a free demo, instead of a free web RPG as advertised.

Monotony and lack of features

AdventureQuest has been criticised for its repetitive gameplay, which primarily consists of killing monsters to gain experience and gold. Critics say there is little strategy involved in winning battles (Many players who agree hope such will be fixed during future releases).

In addition, AdventureQuest has also been criticised for supposedly lacking basic features present in other RPGs. Artix Entertainment rebuts by reminding critics that AdventureQuest has weekly updates and is ever-changing. Originally intended to be a simple, single-player RPG, AdventureQuest has grown much faster than Artix anticipated, and rewriting the game engine to add extra features is not feasible.

Lack of in-game interaction

Being a single-player game, AdventureQuest provides no means of in-game interaction between players. This has been cited as a reason for its small market share in the online RPG genre. Several commonly-requested in-game interaction features, which Artix Entertainment has repeatedly stated will not be implemented, include:

  • Player versus player. Some high-leveled players find the monsters too easy, boring or tedious, and wish to challenge other players. DragonFable has a system which allows one to challenge other players' characters (AI) by traveling to the Aeris Battlespire PVP Arena. And Mechquest has Assault Mecha (AI) found in Star Captain's lounge as an Arcade.
  • Item trading. In the past, players were able to trade items with the approval of a staff member, but this feature was removed because the staff could not handle the backlog of requests.
  • In-game messaging and friends/block lists. The forums and the IRC chat server are avenues for players to meet and interact with other players, however, players must register for a forum account.

X-Boost upgrade and Z-Tokens controversy

The introduction of the X-Boost Upgrade and Z-Tokens have been met with some controversy. The X-Boost has been criticized for offering numerical benefits (such as 10,000 gold, 200 Z-Tokens and 10% more XP per battle) instead of useful features. Some regard the X-Boost and Z-Tokens as marketing ploys by Artix Entertainment to convince players to pay for in-game benefits. It should be noted that Z-Tokens are available to Adventurers via random monster battles, though it is in minimal amounts (ranging from 2-9) and with a relatively low chance each fight. This has been slightly alleviated recently with the house system which allows purchase of a house that grows in Z-Token resale value over time allowing you to gain interest on your Z-Tokens. This system adds 3% of the price per week to the sellback of the house.

References

External links

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