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Dream of Mirror Online

Rise and Shiny recap: Dream of Mirror Online

Fantasy, Screenshots, Video, Events (In-Game), Reviews, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Dream of Mirror Online, Casual, Humor, Kids, Rise and Shiny

Each week Rise and Shiny asks you to download and try a different free-to-play, indie or unusual game, chosen by me, Beau Hindman. Some of the games will be far out of your gaming comfort zone, and some will pleasantly surprise you. We will meet each Tuesday and Friday night at 9 p.m. EDT (8 p.m. CDT), followed by this column the Sunday after. I welcome any suggestions for games, either in the comments or at beau@massively.com or Twitter me @Beau_Hindman.

At some point in his life, every man has to attempt to grow a beard. I am not talking about a finely chisled goatee, or one of those odd looking Robin Hood-type deals. I am talking about a full beard, a substantial mound of hair rooted in our face -- an escape-attempt by the very testosterone that makes us a man in the first place. I knew I had a chance this time when, after suggesting to my wife what I would attempt, she only shrugged. Normally she pulls on any scruff that pops out of my chin and says, "You look homeless. Shave."

As you grow this beard, there will be times when you will be very conscious of it.
  • When you first step out of the shower
  • When you are eating and food falls into it
  • When you are playing MMORPGs
Some MMOs are better suited to a beard: EVE Online, for example. EverQuest II will feel all right. World of Warcraft? Only while PvPing. If you're like me, though, and spend most of your time within balloon-bright cartoon-fests like Dream of Mirror Online, then you might be surprised at how it feels while playing bearded .

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A look at Aeria Games and their social network

Sci-Fi, Screenshots, Free-to-Play, Browser, Dream of Mirror Online, Casual

When I was asked to do a write up about Aeria games, I smiled. Not only do some of my favorite FTP games come from the developer, but I have always liked how they present their products. While social networks are anything but brand new and uncommon, Aeria does theirs in a way that makes you want to play their games and to dive into their world.

I decided to take a broad look at the two major areas: First, I wanted to try out the social network area of their site. It's standard stuff, really, but works well and is fun to fill out. I also wanted to try out some of their mini-games that are hosted on the site itself. Next I wanted to look at one of their games, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online. There are a total of 16 titles to choose from, so I decided to go with one that I had enjoyed the most. It's been fun so far, and I'm glad I am going to be able to shine a little light on one of my favorite publishers!

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DOMO gets new bosses, race-change scrolls and more

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

Before we get into the contents of the latest Dream of Mirror Online patch, we should point out that this is currently just for the European (Gametribe) version of the game. Players of the European DOMO will be able to pit themselves against a couple of formidable new foes:

Two dreadful instance bosses are infesting BigBeam region! If you have the title "Champion of BigBeam" you can challenge boss Bone Fish King and boss Black Magic Tree Fiend. Great rewards are waiting for fierce warriors!

As the Aeria Games version of DOMO only just received the BigBeam area within the last week, it will probably be a little while before these bosses make their way over. Other additions for the Gametribe patch include scrolls that can change your character's race for 30 minutes, new boxes to store items, a high quality saddle to increase the speed of Special Riding Pets, and a goodie bag with a Firefighter costume inside for all your extinguishing needs.

Witch Doctor on the way to DOMO

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

GameTribe, the free to play MMO portal, have announced that Aeria Games' Dream of Mirror Online will be receiving an update that adds a new class to the game on May 27th. This will be a Witch Doctor, a mysterious class that usually does not show up in public and is only known through rumors a guesswork.

Also being added are several new in-game shop items, including several storage boxes for the various types of items, as well as a new Leather Goodie Bag which when opened contains leather clothing and sunglasses which last 15 days, 30 days or are permanent. Until May 27th there is also a Crimson Mecha constume, helmet and jetpack available. These are all permanent items.

Dream of Mirror Online welcomes a brand new city

At a glance, Fantasy, Expansions, Patches, PvE, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

It's not that often that a brand new region gets added into a game's patch, but Dream of Mirror Online has brought a whole new area to their game. Enter BigBeam City and the greater BigBeam region, where players can engage in a variety of new quests all for the low, low price of free. The region is targeted for players of level 30 and above, with quests starting as early as level 25 and going up to level 60.

However, players of the Aeria Games American version of Dream of Mirror Online will not be enjoying these new areas, as they have not yet been implemented. European players playing with GameTribe do have access to the new areas, as well a slew of new items added to the item shop, like the item de-leveling items that lower the level limit on equipment when successful.

It's currently unclear as to when Aeria Games will be adding BigBeam to their version, but time will certainly tell. Until then, we can all go invade the European servers.

Aeria Games: "If you don't have fun playing, we'll give you a refund"

Last Chaos, Business Models, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online, Stone Age 2

There aren't many MMO publishers out there who would actually offer refunds for gamers who don't have fun in their titles, but this is exactly what Aeria Games is doing. We did a double take when hearing about this but it's legit. Superman0X is a USA Gamemaster for Aeria Games, and has declared "April is Fun Month at Aeria... GUARANTEED".

That's a bold statement. But what does it mean for players of the various Aeria Games MMOs? Superman0X writes, "We are so sure you will have fun we are going to put our AP [Aeria Points] where our mouth is. If any player does not have fun we will refund all their AP purchases for the entire month up to 5000AP." Players who didn't enjoy themselves in April will have a window of opportunity to request a refund from May 1st to May 10th . You can check out the full details in the announcement but we're guessing Aeria has a lot of faith in their titles if they'd even consider making such an offer.

DOMO embraces same-sex marriage in game

Culture, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online, Roleplaying

While they're certainly not the first game to offer same-sex marriage, Aeria's Dream of Mirror Online announced today that they're embracing the once controversial topic with their new and improved dynamic in-game marriage system. The same-sex aspect of this marriage system is simply one of the many features, but it hasn't been added as just an afterthought. It's been a popular topic of discussion among DOMO players since the game's launch in Fall of 2007.

This marriage system allows couples to embark on a series of challenging quests where they can plan their in-game wedding, complete with dream locale, wedding outfit and even a perfect set of rings. Once married, the couple will be granted unique features which include the ability to summon their significant other to their location, as well as special healing abilities during battle.

Dream of Mirror Online takes it all the way to 64 in their new patch

Fantasy, Patches, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

Most games choose to stop their leveling content at round numbers, like 60, or 70, or 80. Dream of Mirror Online, however, doesn't feel bound by those limitations. They're pushing their content all the way to level 64, and we can't blame them. We've always felt that 64 was a good number that brings back good memories. 64-bit game consoles, Nintendo 64, GoldenEye...

We see what they did there. They wanted to bring back our fond memories of GoldenEye as we played their game.

Anyway, today's patch adds two new major quests to the game, as well as a few new items for everyone to collect. We're looking forward to grabbing the samurai goodie bags ourselves. If you're interested in getting access to level up to 64, then talk to the Tiger Demon in Eversun suburbs. Once that quest is completed, your character will have access to level up to the brand new cap of 64!

News from the Wider MMO World: September 30th, 2008

At a glance, Fantasy, Dofus, Knight Online, MMO Industry, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, News Items, Free-to-Play, Chronicles of Spellborn, Dream of Mirror Online

The MMO genre is more than World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, and Warhammer Online. Here's what's going on in the rest of the world.

Ankama Games launches new Dofus Heroic Server; includes permadeath
As of September 23rd, there's a new server dedicated to Ankama Games' Dofus. Called the Heroic Server, its most notable feature is permanent death for all characters. Once dead, the player's opponent is allowed to take the character's items, and the deceased becomes interred in the Cemetery of Heroes, a worldwide ranking that can be consulted via a dedicated website. To offset the permadeath penalty, all skill and professions leveling will be much easier, allowing players to rise in rank much more quickly. To the brave and the bold: the Heroic Server calls!

Atlantica Online begins open beta; offers prizes
For their open beta launch, Atlantica Online's NDOORS is offering players of its Free Leagues -- the PvP system -- a variety of prizes, including a Nintendo Wii, an iPod Nano, or $10,000 in cash. Interestingly, these prizes become available only once the player population hits certain landmarks: 5,000; 10,000; 20,000; and 30,000. "NDOORS created something unique in the MMO world when we designed the deep turn-based, strategic world of Atlantica Online. So we decided we needed something just as original for our open beta," said Peter Kang, CEO, NDOORS Interactive. "This is going to be unlike anything anyone has seen before."

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Dream of Mirror Online update changes tax rates

Fantasy, Economy, Patches, News Items, Dream of Mirror Online

Dream of Mirror Online's version 7.5 update has gone live, and it's accompanied by a new issue of the micro-faux newspaper the Eversun Times. The news: economic hardship has stricken Eversun City, and its leaders are under intense scrutiny. As a result, a new 10% tax rate has gone into effect in the city.

Darkdale and Collington saw tax rate changes as well -- to 4% and 1%, respectively. New quests have been added in both of those towns. And that's it. Okay, so it's not the biggest patch in history. We're not even sure that we like a patch that pretty much just changes the tax code, since we don't like taxes to begin with! But there you have it.

Summer update adds Merchant class to Dream of Mirror Online

Fantasy, Classes, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

Gametribe, the European carrier of Dream of Mirror Online (run in North America by Aeria Games), announced a new game update this weekend. The update will go live on the 25th, and it will add a new class to DoMO -- the Merchant. The Merchant "uses money to fight and create powerful attacks." Sounds cool, but expensive!

The update will also feature a handful of new quests, including a couple new steps to the main quest. The item mall will see the addition of greedy inventory bags. Unsurprisingly, those will increase a character's maximum inventory. Some new visual character customization options will be added as well.

We've given kudos to DoMO for its art style in the past. Brenda Holloway (one of the staff bloggers here at Massively) even wrote that it's better than World of Warcraft. Don't scoff until you've tried it! If you have an aversion to microtransactions, though, maybe you should just take our word for it and move on.

Aeria Games opens new DOMO server

Fantasy, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

We here at Massively are pretty fond of Dream of Mirror Online and its delightful graphics. We even think its superior to World of Warcraft in some respects -- plus also (duh!): Free -- and now? A new server!

If you, like us have been feeling the squeeze on Aeria Games' very popular (and honestly rather crowded) Onyx server for Dream of Mirror Online, you'll likely be pleased to hear that there's now a pristine new server available.

Starting right now, you can create fresh characters on Aeria Games' new DOMO server, Sapphire. If you've built up a group and would like to play and level together on a quieter, and less crowded server, Sapphire might just be the thing for you.

Five MMOs better than World of Warcraft - Part 5

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

Perhaps you play World of Warcraft just for fun? A casual game that you appreciate for its low system requirements and ability to either group or solo as the whim takes you? A game fun for you but as fun for your kids, one everyone can enjoy? One with some pretty unusual game mechanics and a very unique art style? WoW does all these things pretty well – but Aeria's Dream of Mirror Online does them better. Plus, it's free.

DOMO is built around stories – and you're in one, someone brought from our world to the Mirror World along with many others to save the realm from dissolution. Are you the One who will save it? The Mirror people are willing to take a chance on you. You will meet Mirror Kings of every description to help you on your way; you can battle monsters or befriend them; you can fly around on swords; you can have quests with full cinematics and if you want friends to come along, then they can.

If you don't want to grind your way to uberness, you can buy helpful items in their shops for cash or in the dozens of player-created shops for game currency. Instead of killing monsters, you can capture them and release them later as pets under your control. And the graphics! Some people consider WoW's strong art style one of its greatest features. Well, you haven't seen DOMO yet. Playing DOMO is like being the main character of your own anime. If you play WoW because you enjoy a casual, colorful game with the emphasis on fun all the time, exploring strange worlds, and being the star of your own story... you should give Dream of Mirror Online a shot.

World of Warcraft is an excellent game, but its very success is something of a prison. They have ten million players to please. They can't try anything radically new. Smaller games are freer to try things that are very new and go to places WoW cannot follow. You've played WoW. Is it time to give something new a chance? No matter what you like best, there's a game that does it better, and all of them are filled with fantastically helpful people who welcome new players. These games can be a little overwhelming to begin with; but you probably felt that way the first time you stepped into the world of Azeroth, too.

We don't expect everyone to agree with our particular choices. Have some better ones? Or is WoW truly the best game no matter what you like to do best? Let us know in the comments!

Dream of Mirror Online's cel-shaded look works for it

Fantasy, New Titles, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Dream of Mirror Online

Our own Tateru Nino has been covering Dream of Mirror Online pretty well (both with a nice hands-on and coverage of the problems with EU players), and now Keen (of Keen and Graev) has written up a few of his own impressions of the game as well. He doesn't go nearly as in-depth as Tateru's hands-on (just mentions that there are a few "kill x boars pigs" quests), but he does talk about how the cel-shading and stylization of the graphics is a real boost for the game, both in terms of playability (the low system requirements are great for pulling in casual players) and in terms of feel. Both Tateru and Keen felt that the world was really alive with characters and story.

My original concern with the game was that the gameplay would end up "as cutesy as the graphics are," but according to what we've heard, it's actually pretty in-depth. Anyone else given the world of DOMO a try?

DOMO: Divided dream developments

Betas, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Dream of Mirror Online

Late last month, we wrote about anguish among players of Dream of Mirror Online at a move by GameTribe to block IP addresses outside of Europe, and to have competing operator Aeria Games to block European addresses from their servers.

All in all, it's been quite a tangle of he-said/she-said - assorted forum posts, threads and interviews are no longer accessible, making it even harder to pin down what's going on, but we've put together a bit of a timeline, and there has been a new development that may make players saddened by the split rather happier.

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