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Reader Comments (9)

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 8:35PM Agnaro said

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I played Tales 1,2,3 and a bit of 5 and my favorite part of the game was the crafting systems, still the best of its kind I have found in any game. I think the main reason for this is, for much of the crafting, there is no set recipe. It is up to the player base to do research and discover how the system works (cooking and beer brewing as two examples).

Making an item usually requires much more interaction than just hitting the create button. For instance, to create charcoal you must add wood and water to a furnace at the correct times to keep the heat of the furnace at the perfect level.

Additionally there are aspects of crafting that actually require genuine skill to create the best items. Blacksmithing and glassblowing are two that come to mind. Making a perfect hatchet or shovel is a very difficult task and this encouraged trade as these items became highly valued.

Some of my best memories from ATiTD were from doing research to discover how certain systems worked. For those looking for an incredibly in-depth crafting system, I would recommend trying this game.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 9:16PM Greymantle said

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If they were to update the UI that also added a built in macro system I would play this game. Without the macro system there is to much mouse clicking to get anything done.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 9:32PM h4ngedm4n said

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I suspect one of the reasons this works out, is that with a subscription fee and short trial period, they create a sort of gated community. While this could be said of any subscription mmo, I think it is great that they seem happy to keep this status quo and working with their loyal playerbase rather than selling out in an attempt to get more market share.

Posted: Sep 13th 2011 9:46PM Delvie said

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The trial period is 24 hours of in game time - not 24 hours of real life time.

Biggest problem with ATITD is UI - I can only play for a month or two until my wrists just die from all the clicking. It also doesn't have WASD or Arrow Key movement (though they might have done something about that - they've been working on it a while).

My other complaint is the stupid cricket test or whatever it's called - where you have to go find a cricket by listening for their calls and pinning them down through some kind of triangulation. Each tale I tell myself I am not even going to attempt it and each tale you'll eventually find me with head phones on muttering to myself about stupid crickets.

Oh and talk about a social game - every player starts out knowing one acrobat move - to pass the acrobat test (or whatever it's called) you have to learn a lot of moves. Guess who are the only teachers - other players - and you aren't guaranteed to learn from just any old teacher, you have affinity to certain teachers.

Just thought I'd point out that there is more than politics and crafting in the game though both of those are excellent.

Posted: Sep 14th 2011 8:06AM Jeromai said

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Oh man, I am fanatical about this game. I could expound in huge wall o' texts on all the sexy differences and innovations of each system, and the surprising amount of conflict and competition and "PvP" in a game with no-combat. Are you really sure you want memories and screenshots? :P

The "official" political system is far less interesting than the kinds of communities that form. Some are cliques of old players - some of which very competitive, some very insular, and some very open and welcoming to newbies. Duos are very common, either good friends, RL spouses, or alts. Regions tend to take on specific community traits, etc.

Multiple guilds have been mentioned some time ago. ATITD really showcases it as a working system.

The Test of the Obelisk is one of the most fascinating events to observe at the early part of the game. I've seen it 2-3 times now in various Tellings. Cooperative personalities, competitive personalities - social harmonizers, achievement or challenge-oriented people bash heads against each other with incredible drama over chat channels and via actions. It's such a deviously designed Test.

Beetles.I wuv beetles. The beetle breeding system captivates me with the various unique fractal-like patterns and colors that form, over the long-term with considerable patience and not a little bit of OCD.

(In fact, a number of ATITD's systems involve considerable patience, over the long term, and somewhat OCD repetitive behaviors. *wry grin* )

It also brings back oldschool memories to see how people master/program helpful macros to combat some of the repetitive clicking. Macro programming is a separate (optional) minigame, pretty much.

Flaws of ATITD... With the level system, fewer systems become optional. One has to learn them in order to progress on, or fall in with a helpful community that pretty much dumps the items on you. And vets don't really need much from newbies - they've already mastered/macro'ed all the basic systems/tasks in order to explore the more advanced stuff.

And things slow down in the midgame, as player attrition drags on, people lose focus, the goal posts get too far apart, and it turns into a vicious cycle of not-enough-people-online for anything really interesting or fun. Sandboxes get boring if one cannot develop reachable goals within a reasonable period of time.

Posted: Sep 14th 2011 8:18AM Jeromai said

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Oh, and it is a surprisingly "hardcore" game in terms of time consumed. Twice now, I've had to throw in the towel after 6-12+ months because my real life turns to shambles or has gotten too insistent to ignore.

The sub fee is also higher than traditional MMOs when one realizes a good number (50%?) of players has an alt or a spouse or a really good friend they can rely in order to form a stable unit. Quite a number of Principles or Tests are easier with two characters whose timezone and logging on can be controlled. (Essentially $14 x 2 or so).

One can certainly get by solo on one character for a good many levels, but one has to be quite determinedly social to look for help / temporary partners, etc.

Posted: Sep 14th 2011 2:24PM Space Cobra said

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I've always wanted to try this out over the long-term, but only tried the trial.

I think it is best for the game to remain small. I don't think it's necessarily the sandbox element that equals a smaller base of players, I think it is many of the things the article points out combined (the sandbox, the politics, the social game, etc.).

I know this game isn't advertised too much and that does sorta hurt it, but I am unsure a very big community would really be good for it (but it would be interesting to find out). One possible way around it would be multiple server/shard/worlds, but that requires extra devs or extra dev attention/time.

Posted: Nov 1st 2011 9:06PM Boulderbolg said

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@Space Cobra Interesting that you say that about shards. Teppy actually tried that in T4. The problem is that the ATITD community is currently at a good size for one server. When he split off another server, that server was unable to advance.

If you have ever wanted to try this game, now is the time to try. ATITD 6 will be starting on Dec 3rd, at noon EST.

Posted: Dec 2nd 2011 6:50AM Mortality said

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A Tale in the Desert is an excellent game, I started playing during the end of Tale 3 and keep coming back for more.
Looking forward to tale 6 starting on Saturday !!

You start out as a new character and have to gather materials to pay the schools (Seven different types of school) to learn new skills, these skills allow you to say, build you home, grow flax, grow grapes, harvest herbs, cook, mine, forge tools, gradually it gets more complex and harder.

Then there are the Seven different types of Universities, they are were the more complex Technologies are lernt, the teachings from here are free once the technologie has been unlocked. Technologies require substantial material input to unlock and usually require several players working together.

A Tale in the Desert Egypt is usually split into regions with their own names, each region will have seven Schools and seven Universities. Players choose the area they wish to live in and (if they want) help out with getting university technologies open. This creates friendly competition between regions, where the race is then on to get developed the fastest. A well developed region generally has the highest population, but you can live anywhere you like and still learn from any other university/school.

Schools and Universities also provide player resources, certain schools provide Flax seeds, certain universities provide Vegetable seeds, Vine cuttings (for wine making and crossbreeding among other things) Barley seeds, and flower bulbs, etc

Universities also have Tests that you can start when you reach a certain level. Each player has abilities, Strength, Dexterity, Endurance, Speed, Constitution, Focus and Perception, these abilities are all set to 0 at the start. The university tests when complete can increase the ability levels. For example at Level 3 I can start the Test of the Acrobat, completing certain stages of the Test increases my Dexterity by 1 point upto a possible maximum of 7. (Note : each tale can have different tests or even completely new tests). Some tests require you to compete with other players, others require you to interact with other players, some give you puzzles to solve, some even require you to marry another player.

There are Guilds where players join together to work towards a given goal and Guilds that are purely social, there is no limit to the number of guilds you can join or make.

In telling you about this game above I have merely scratched the surface of what this game involves.

This game makes a refreshing change from all those MMORPGs out there that give you endless quests to go kill 10 beasties and come back.

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