Asheron’s Call

Asheron’s Call (AC) was a fantasy MMORPG for Windows- based PCs developed and published by Turbine Entertainment Software . Though it was published by the Turbine team (with Microsoft’s extensive assistance), it was published as a Microsoft title until 2004. Asheron’s Call was set on the island of the continent and several smaller islands and archipelagos on the fictional planet of Auberean. The game was played in a large, seamless 3D world at which characters (or avatars) at a time.


Released on November 2, 1999, it was the third major MMORPG to be released [1] [2] and was developed at the same time as Ultima Online and EverQuest . [3] MMORPGs moved into the market. Its host servers remained online for over 17 years after the game’s original launch.

It was announced on December 20, 2016 that Asheron’s Call would close on its servers on January 31, 2017. [4] Despite several attempts to buy the IP, the game closed at 12 EST on that day.

Gameplay

Set in a heroic fantasy world [3] Asheron’s Call allows you to create a character, or avatar, from one of six in-game races. The player 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 their character, with those basic skills starting at a level determined by the character’s attributes. Unlike many other games of the genre 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(‘XP’) through a variety of activities, including engaging and defeating monsters in combat, with questions about interacting with NPCs . Those earned experience can be used to improve the character’s abilities by ‘spending’ them on attributes or skills. Additional skill points are awarded after certain levels, and these skills can be used to acquire or ‘train’ new skills. In addition to earning experience, questing and fighting often yields recoverable ‘loot’, such as armor, weapons, health potions, and spell scrolls. Many types of loot can be imparted by Asheron’s Call ‘ s’ tinkering’ crafting system.

With their monthly updates, including supplementary content, and occasional live ‘world events’, Asheron’s Call offered “episodic narrative content, periodic new quests, and events that visibly affect the entire world.” [3] The game’s currency is the Pyreal. [5] The world itself is wide at over 500 square miles (1,300 km 2 ). [6]Unlike many other games in the genre, there are no areas or ‘instances’ on the world’s surface. This means players can cross the world, with or without barriers, and any terrain that can be seen in the distance is a real object in the world. The world is also dotted with a system of one-way portals which expedite travel. Some of the portals also lead to intricate dungeons. Many of the dungeons are part of quests and contain unique treasures. The original magic system had specific formula for each spell that the caster had to discover through trial and error. Magic was challenging and rare. These creatures have been trained in (creature, item, life and war) and a series of typing candles and scarabs. Each spell is learned from a scroll, or purchased or found as treasure. The old system was left in the game as an alternative.[7]

Players connect their avatars to ‘lifestones’, where the avatar will be resurrected if killed. Resurrected characters lose their pyrenees, and (a) percentage of their constitution-their primary and secondary strengths and characteristics-a known “vitae penalty”. [8]The player may then bring their resurrected avatar to the place where the death occurred and recover the item (s) from their own lingering ‘corpse’. In player-killer (‘PK’) battles, the victor is allowed to take the drop items from the vanquished. Regardless, the resulting ‘vitae penalty’ is removed by gaining a modest amount of additional experience, or ‘XP’. Player Killers (‘PKs’) are players who have chosen to change their characters’ status in order to enable them to attack, or be attacked by, other PKs in Player vs Player combat. On most servers, they are voluntarily changing their status to ‘PK’. citation needed ] Asheron’s Callfeatures a unique allegiance and fealty system that creates formal links between players and rewards cooperative play. [3] A player of equality or lower level can swear allegiance to a player of the same or higher level, becoming a vassal of a boss. The boss earns a small percentage of bonus based on what the vassal makes, while the vassal is motivated to seek a boss in exchange for money, items, game knowledge or protection. [9] Players can also join together in fellowships, to help them gain self-esteem. [9]

Miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss miss. Alchemists can create infusions that can be applied to food items to increase the amount of stamina recovered, or recover health or mana. [10] Alchemy also can be used to brew health, magic, and stamina potions. Players can craft ammunition and cook foods including cake, beer, nougat and rations. These can be combined with oils to increase health, mana and stamina. [11]

Synopsis

The story of Asheron ‘s Call spans across several worlds and thousands of years. The primary worlds in the story are Ispar, the world where the human characters in the game originated, and Auberean, the gigantic world where Dereth, a small island continent and the game’s setting, is located. The game’s monthly updates compose a story. The history of Auberean spans back 35,000 to 40,000 [12] years. A race of Empyreans dominated the world for most of its history. They were tall slender humanoid with lifespans of 1,000 years [13]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. A Yalaini and member of the royal family, Asheron Realaidain, was born approximately 2,500 years ago when the story starts for players; when they ‘arrive’ in Dereth. Shortly after Asheron’s birth, a creature of darkness and chaos, Baal’Zharon, the Hopeslayer. The war with the Shadows lasted over 500 years and the Yalaini, were pushed back to the island of Dereth. As a last resort, Asheron and the Yalaini Council of Five Mages were able to stave off their doom and finally defeat Bael’Zharon through the arts of planar magic – magic 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. But Asheron survived, protected by Falatacot Blood rites performed by his mother and Falatacot-blooded ‘witch’ named Adja, just prior to the explosion. With Bael’zharon banished, the Shadow Armies retreated and the Yalaini people were saved. Zharon through the arts of planar magic – the magic of 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. But Asheron survived, protected by Falatacot Blood rites performed by his mother and Falatacot-blooded ‘witch’ named Adja, just prior to the explosion. With Bael’zharon banished, the Shadow Armies retreated and the Yalaini people were saved. Zharon through the arts of planar magic – the magic of 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. But Asheron survived, protected by Falatacot Blood rites performed by his mother and Falatacot-blooded ‘witch’ named Adja, just prior to the explosion. With Bael’zharon banished, the Shadow Armies retreated and the Yalaini people were saved. Falatacot Blood rites performed by his mother and Falatacot-blooded ‘witch’ named Adja, just prior to the explosion. With Bael’zharon banished, the Shadow Armies retreated and the Yalaini people were saved. Falatacot Blood rites performed by his mother Falatacot-blooded ‘witch’ named Adja, just prior to the explosion. With Bael’zharon banished, the Shadow Armies retreated and the Yalaini people were saved.

Asheron continued to research planar magic. Eventually, the Yalaini mastered this art of magic and was able to use it. They used these portals to explore all of Auberean, exploring the world, including the world of people known as Ispar. In their explorations, the Yalaini came to a world dominated by numerous giant insect species. One of these species has been known to the Olthoi, which killed one of the explorers. The Emperor of the Yalaini asked 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. The Olthoi rebelled and the Yalaini lost the war. After 100 years, all surviving Yalaini were driven back to the island of Dereth, and almost 80 years later, 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 feels the Yalaini people in a space of stasis. After sending his disciples in Asheron, the Asheron retreated to the last place of safety – his castle on a small island – and alone was working on a way to defeat the Olthoi.

More than 500 years had passed when the first humans arrived on Dereth. These humans were quickly enslaved by the Olthoi. Many tried to escape, but few survived. One group did, led by Elysa Strathelar and Thorsten Cragstone. Empyrean catacomb, which has been known to the Underground City. An ancient text in the city of Asheron and his castle’s location. Their leaders left for Asheron, who gave them a poison to kill the Olthoi Queen, which they did at the cost of Cragstone’s life. The Olthoi retreated and the humans began to thrive.

Originally introduced Dereth as one of three “Isparian” races: the Aluvians, the Sho, and the Gharu’ndim, based largely on medieval Britain, Japan, and Egypt. The second expansion added Viamontians (based on medieval France) as a playable race. Later updates added form enemy breeds Shadows, Tumerok, Empyrean, Undead, Lugian, and Gearknights, along with native Empyreans. Olthoi were also added as a special PVP only race.

Development

AC was developed by Turbine Entertainment Software and published by Microsoft. It had a multimillion dollar development budget. [14] It was designed by Toby Ragaini (lead designer), Chris Foster, Eri Izawa, and Chris Pierson . [15]The development team consists of 30+ full-time developers, including 6 artists, 4 game designers, 15 software engineers and 5 QA testers. [14] Asheron’s Call was technically innovative for its time. It did not use zoning, a technique of partitioning the game world into zones that we ran on different computers on a cluster . This caused delay when moving between zones. Instead Asheron’s Callhad a single seamless world. It used dynamic load balancing to determine which computer in which cluster controlled which location. If one area has become overpopulated and sluggish control of part of that location would have to have a load loader. [16] Critical development software included Microsoft Visual C ++ 5.0, Visual SourceSafe 5.0, LightWave 5.5, and Photoshop 4.0 [14] Asheron’s Call Uses Microsoft SQL Server for persistent game data. citation needed ] The original Asheron ‘s Call client allowed computers to use 3D or software graphics acceleration. [6] The modern client requires a DirectX 9.0 compatible video adapter w / hardware T & L.

Asheron’s Call took 40 months plus 8 months of beta testing to complete. [14] It was Originally scheduled to ship During the fourth quarter of 1997. [14] Production Was delayed over a year Because of the inexperience of the producing team. [15] The finished product contained approximately 2 million lines of code. [14] There were six servers available at launch. citation needed ] Asheron ‘s Call launched nine months after EverQuest [15] on November 2, 1999. After its release Asheron’ s Call had 80,000 players by the end of its first year. [16]By the end of 2000 ict subscription rate Was third behind Ultima Online and EverQuest , with 90,000 from 200,000 Subscribers dirty box. [16] While neither Turbine nor Microsoft has been forthcoming in releasing exact subscriptions, it is believed that Asheron’s [17] Dark Age of Camelot had 200,000 subscribers in May 2002, taking Asheron’s Call as the third most popular virtual world. [18]

Reception

Asheron’s Call for positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator GameRankings , the game received an average score of 81% based on 26 reviews. [19] On Metacritic , the game received an average score of 81 out of 100, based on 15 reviews. [20]

Asheron’s Call appealing to explore the world. [21]

Awards included:

  • CNET ‘s Gamecenter Best RPG award for 1999. citation needed ]
  • Gameindustry.com: 1999 Best all around game. quote needed ]
  • Gamezilla: Editor’s choice for best online / multiplayer title 1999 citation needed ]
  • Gamersvoice: 1999 Gamer’s Choice Award in the category of “best online / multiplayer game” citation needed ]
  • MPOGD: Game of the Month February 2003 [22]

Post-release

A first expansion, Dark Majesty , was released in 2001. In 2002, the full-fledged sequel Asheron’s Call 2: Fallen Kings was released, which would be closed in 2005 but then reactivated in 2012. In December 2003, Turbine purchased the rights the Asheron’s Call franchise from Microsoft and assumed full responsibility for content development, customer service, billing and marketing in 2004. [23] 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 introduces new quests and gameplay dynamics as part of the subscription package.[24] Both expansions include the full version of the game. The Asheron’s Call franchise is unique in providing complimentary monthly updates and “Events” that added new quests, skills, landmasses, monsters, dynamic gameplay and fixed bug for all subscribers. Storylines link multiple episodes to separate form “story arcs”. quote needed ]

Asheron’s Call is actually a monthly subscription fee, which was eventually discontinued. The title becomes easier to maintain. No further content will be available and will be able to provide their own servers. [25] In February 2014, Turbine announced that the last patch would be released in March 4, 2014, and after that the patches would be limited to maintenance and bug fixes. [26] [27]

Closure

The game spent over two years in maintenance mode with no updates, the occasional server and account issues were dealt with by Turbine staff. The largest event in the world is still in the dark. [28]

On December 20, 2016, it was announced that Turbine would be developed with MMORPGs , with the servers and account system to be transitioned to a newly formed studio called Standing Stone Games. [29] However, the Asheron’s Call IP remains with Turbine and their owner Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment , the result of which is after 18 years, the game would close on January 31, 2017.

New account creation was disabled in December 2016, the players were still playing the game. The closure affected not only Asheron’s Call , drank aussi icts sequel. In 2012, Asheron’s Call 2: Fallen Kings was resurrected, but would also close on January 31, 2017. [4]

The servers closed at 12 EST on January 31. Shortly after the servers were taken down, along with the official Facebook page.

See also

  • Dungeons & Dragons Online
  • The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar

References

  • Jump up^Asheron’s Call Game Review at mmohuts.com ArchivedJuly 12, 2014, at theWayback Machine.
  • Jump up^Asheron ‘s Call at GameIndustry.com [ dead link ]
  • ^ Jump up to:a b c dGrossman, 2003, p. 299
  • ^ Jump up to:a bBree Royce (20 December 2016). “Asheron’s Call and its part of the Turbine / Standing Stone split” . Massively Overpowered . Retrieved 21 December 2016 .
  • Jump up^Castronova, Edward (2008-11-11). Exodus to the Virtual World: How to Online Fun Is Changing Reality . Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN  9780230607859 .
  • ^ Jump up to:a b“Features” . Asheron’s Call . Turbine. 2005-2008 . Retrieved April 10,2010 .
  • Jump up^ “MSN Gaming Zone – Asheron ‘s Call – News – Letter to the Players . 2003-10-15. Archived from the original on October 15, 2003 . Retrieved 2016-01-02 .
  • Jump up^ “Gameplay” . Asheron’s Call . Turbine. 2005-2008 . Retrieved April 10,2010 .
  • ^ Jump up to:aFullerton B , 2008, p. 284
  • Jump up^ “Introduction: Basic Tradeskills” . AC Vault . IGN Entertainment Inc. December 29, 2004. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011 . Retrieved October 14, 2009 .
  • Jump up^ “Asheron ‘s Call Vault – AC – The Ultimate Resource” . 2004-09-13. Archived from the original on September 13, 2004 . Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  • Jump up^Stormwaltz Quote Developer – On Historical Outline [ dead link ]
  • Jump up^Stormwaltz Developer Quote – The Historical OverviewArchivedJanuary 5, 2010, at theWayback Machine.
  • ^ Jump up to:a b c d e fGrossman, 2003, p. 300
  • ^ Jump up to:a b cBartle 2004, p. 27
  • ^ Jump up to:a b cBartle 2004, p. 28
  • Jump up^com
  • Jump up^Bartle 2004, p. 29
  • Jump up^ “Asheron’s Call Reviews” . GameRankings . Archived from the original on 31 March 2008 . Retrieved 2008-04-04 .
  • Jump up^ “Asheron’s Call (pc: 1999): Reviews” . Metacritic . Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  • Jump up^Bartle 2004, p. 147
  • Jump up^Multiplayer Online Games Directory / GOTM
  • Jump up^com
  • Jump up^turbine.com
  • Jump up^Justin Olivetti (March 9, 2016). “Massively Exclusive: Turbine on the future of Asheron ‘s Call and the studio” . Engadget . Retrieved 2016-12-21 .
  • Jump up^Plunkett, Luke (March 3, 2014). “15-Year Development On An MMO Comes To An End” . Kotaku . Gawker Media . Archived from the original on 7 March 2014 . Retrieved 8 March 2014 .
  • Jump up^ “The Spring Update is now available!” . Asheronscall.com . Turbine, Inc.March 4, 2014. Archived from the original on March 8, 2014 . Retrieved 8 March 2014 .
  • Jump up^Snook, Jerry (16 June 2016). “Re: Request for Allegiance Chat on Darktide” . Asheron’s Call Forums . Turbine . Retrieved 20 December 2016. There are no plans to bring back allegiance chat on Darktide due to the issues having it caused both to players on DT and the game in general.
  • Jump up^Bree Royce (19 December 2016). “Turbine spins LOTRO and DDO teams out to new studio, using Daybreak as publisher” . Massively Overpowered . Retrieved 20 December 2016 .

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