Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

Celestial Destroyer MMORPG Review

Posted on: November 15, 2009

Having once been a student of Chinese culture and history, I’m all for a good Asian themed or martial arts MMORPG. Like many of its kind, however, Celestial Destroyer proved to be a generic grind fest. The game is actually an older version of the popular Jade Dynasty game released in North America. Produced by Cubizone, who runs such games as Soul of the Ultimate Nation and Battle of Destiny in Malaysia, Celestial Destroyer quickly proved it wasn’t worth its time.

A Confusing Start

Character creation in Celestial Destroyer is incredibly simple: choose to be male or female, and then choose one of seven hair styles and one of seven faces. Yes, that means at most, there are less than 50 unique looks for male or female characters. You’re not even responsible for choosing a class – that comes later in the game, via the use of clans. Believe it or not though – seven possible hair and face options isn’t too bad as many games have less.

You enter the game world with little tutorial besides basic game controls. It’s up to you to figure out how to accept or even find quests, although overhead markers at least make that task a little less daunting. The translations in the game are modest enough to make sense to English players, but that doesn’t mean the game itself will. Starting in the middle of a town with no clear objectives or back story makes the next few steps a blundering game of guessing.

Kill 10 What?

Eventually you’ll find your first quest, which is a chain quest series that consists of running to half the NPCs in town to say hello, and sometimes learn what their purpose is. This also gets you a little gear and experience, although you still don’t have a choice in what you’re going to specialize in yet – so I hope you like swords. Perfect World actually has a similar quest – except much better executed as players could actually pick what type of gear they wanted from the NPCs they met.

Gathering up a few beginning quests after this chain is easy. Quest Officer Fu Yinlong in town offers a job board of sorts to kill a certain amount of beasts outside town, including butterflies – which have the same death sound effect as the scorpids from World of Warcraft. Hmm. Yes, one of your first quests will be to kill 10 butterflies, because they’re disturbing the bees. You’ll also be killing a lot of other local fauna: Wild Boars, Wolves, and Frogs. Unfortunately, the killing spree became a lot less fun when I realized that quests didn’t stack – so if I had a quest for 20 frogs, and a quest for 10, I had to kill 30. The game picks which quest you’ll work on first too, which was pretty frustrating when killing wolves for a low drop rate item prioritized over my two other quests to kill a set amount.

It’s a Bad Sign When…

A lack of quest stacking, while annoying, is tolerable. After all, you do get experience for everything you kill, and lots of extra loot too. It’s grinding, of course, but it’s at least grinding for a quest objective, which gives it a little more purpose. Then you’re introduced to the Kozo system.

The Kozo, or talisman, is one of two pets you’ll gain in Celestial Destroyer. It is, for lack of a better description, a floating magical rock that hovers around your body. The Kozo gains experience when it attacks beasts, and does get its own skills depending on the Kozo. The real specialty of the Kozo is “amalgamation,” which is a big word for “bot.” That’s right – the Kozo can be programmed to use a combination of its skills and yours to kill enemies (any nearby or quest mobs only, within a set radius), automatically loot any goodies, and automatically rest for a set period of time. This time is determined by vigor, which is set to zero when logging in and when using the amalgamation process, but earned through manual monster killing. The Kozo can even answer anti-bot questions for you. Now, while I’m all for convenience, you know it’s a bad sign when the game itself makes it easy to grind enemies mindlessly. It isn’t the most perfect system, either – my Kozo would often have me running off after new enemies before I’d killed the last, and conveniently forgot to rest me, so I died after having a few frogs and wolves chasing after my character. Though the Kozo doesn’t make grinding as easy as the fully automated ‘botting’ system in Magic World Online – it still makes progression in Celestial Destroyer a bit too easy – provided you don’t get PK’d while hunting though.

Pet Number Two

As mentioned, the Kozo is your first pet, of sorts, and it takes little maintenance at all – fitting for a little bot in a rock. Celestial Destroyer has another pet system, however, one which will have you finding the essences of creatures amidst the world, taming them for a fee, and then feeding and equipping them so they can fight along side you or gather components – they are even capable of providing a protective shield around you.

A quest in the beginning town, Sly River, does give you your first pet – but the quest is deceiving. You’ll be sent to kill illusionary beasts that look like multicolored Foo Lions. Awesome, right? When you return to tame the essence of the animal you’ve received, however, you’ll find you’re given a boar – a cute little baby boar that blows bubbles out its nose and rolls onto its back. For all its lack of power in looks, it does serve as a more functional pet than the Kozo, and can be traded out for more powerful pets later on.

A Craftsman’s Touch

There are two methods of crafting available in Celestial Destroyer: Refining and Production. Refining allows you to upgrade an item using amulets you find as loot (and which are rather common.) This kind of upgrade is a rather basic upgrade at first – sometimes just boosting damage or defense by a few points – but becomes more potent later in the game.

Production, on the other hand, lets you craft items yourself. You’ll get a quest to learn crafting at level 12, and after bringing back a few red copper, you can now craft any item in the game if you have the plans, the materials, and the required crafting skills. There are no specialties, so the crafting demand is low as any player can theoretically make any crafted item.

The Clan For Life, and Death

Once you reach level 15, you can finally choose a class by joining a Clan through a quest. There are five clans to choose from: Ghost Lord, Joyous, Green Cloud Clan, Sky Tone Temple, and Ghost Trail. The Ghost Lord clan are defensive swordsmen capable of summoning and controlling demons. Joyous Clan uses chakram to kill enemies swiftly. The Green Cloud Clan is a Taoist order using swords and focused on ranged attacks. Sky Tone Temple Clan is a Buddhist group utilizing staves, and the Ghost Trail utilizes fist weapons and deadly attacks.

Level 30 brings a new challenge to the game – PvP, which is open in Celestial Destroyer. Although players can be in a “peace” status after not being active in PvP for a while, they can be forced to battle by another player, or force any other player into battle, thereby flagging themselves. Though death in PvP doesn’t cause experience loss, it does cause item loss, allowing other players to gain the spoils of war from you instead of from monsters – another good reason to not rely on Kozos to level you. It’s up to the player to be wary and cautious about traveling alone at this point.

Final Verdict: Poor

From the borrowed sound effects of World of Warcraft, to the intentionally implemented grinding and bot system, Celestial Destroyer is a poorly designed MMO. It caters more to those who enjoy grinding and open PvP than those who want a fuller MMO experience. Although it runs well, its empty and lifeless servers only reinforce the idea of isolated endless killing on a quest to top the leaderboards. Pass it up; there are better martial arts MMOs out there.

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