Atlantica Online is a Korean MMORPG from Ndoors. Like many of its kind, it is free-to-play as opposed to the subscription-based hits like EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Centered around the myth of Atlantis, the stage for this unique game is a Crossover Cosmology version of good ol' Terra.All major continents (as well as the fictional continent of Atlantica) are accessible and provide various quests and classes based around the respective mythologies, fairy tales and the like.Gameplay wise, it is completely different from other MMOs, instead of controlling a single character, players command up to nine in a Turn-Based Combat system. The main character may choose one of eleven classes (largely defined by their weapon) and recruit slightly less powerful mercenaries to fill his ranks. While the classes themselves are fairly simple, the combination and teamwork opportunities make for a deep and varied combat system.Also, with an update a new combat system, the Turn-Based Strategy was introduced.Outside combat, guilds can take control of various cities and form alliances.The game was widely recognized as the most innovative game of its kind the year it arrived, and is still a very unique MMO with no real alternatives. Despite it's age, it still enjoys a fairly large and dedicated playerbase.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
Action Bomb: Tons of enemies do this when at low health, especially wild animals. If they destroy themselves in this manner, not only do they do a ton of damage, but they don't count for Kill X quests, nor do they leave a corpse you can loot for your Loot Quest. Casting Silence on suicide prone enemies about to enter their turn with low health or Holy Guard on your front row helps stop this.
Actually Four Mooks: Rare MMO example where there can be up to nine monsters in a formation and you only see one before you challenge them.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: There are some NPCs that will buy your "unneeded" items for 10 Gold each. Even potions that NPC Shops sell for over 25.000 Gold. Another NPC will instantly buy any low-level equip you might have, at half of its value: all of this is to encourage player-to-player trades.
Subverted with two systems: the Atlantis Coin currency, which can be converted to and from spendable gold tax-free and can be held without fear of losing it in battle, and the Trading Post, which allows you to buy Vendor Trash in a town that has an abundance of them and sell them in a town with short supply.
Anachronism Stew: It's been done and expected in the genre. Drilling robots in the Old West, Spartan hoplites rubbing shoulders with Shinto shamans, and Istanbul being called Constantinople.
Ancient Egypt: Plays a vital role in three major quests: The main story quest involving a feud between Isis and Seth, a sidequest which gives you the Anck Su Namun (Oracle), and Necropolis, which provides the player with a valuable accessory upon completion.
And Your Reward Is Clothes / Nice Hat: Some Item Mall boxes have a chance of netting you alternate outfits for your character. They are pretty functional though, as each either adds about 1500 HP, or increases other stats.
Annoying Arrows: Averted; while the bow is weaker than most melee weapons, it's still the strongest ranged one, and several archers in the formation can prove lethal for sniping, especially if buffed by the right teammates.
The Princess and Punisher mercenary have magic that severely weakens bows, making them annoying at best if they fire often enough to stun the target.
Anti-Magic: Holy Guard. It will also remove any existing effects on the targets, such as Freezing Axe.
Anti-Poop Socking : The stamina system, until it was removed. It allowed players a set amount of battles against normal monsters without penalties, but it became marginalized to the point that it was recently removed completely. Instead, there are now various other limiting factors as well as some actions and bonuses that can only be used a certain number of times each day.
Arrow Cam: There's a feature where, at random, the game's camera will get close up to a character as it's attacking or, more often, casting magic.
Artificial Brilliance: More like Monster Placement Brilliance, but monsters in Lerna's Labyrinth have Poison and Lightning-element magic (which sharply depletes AP) and Mana Trap, which dispels and prevents you from casting Will spells, the most common way of restoring AP in battle.
Also, heavily injured monsters will try to hide behind others if possible. If there is a boss, other monsters will move in front of it when possible.
Artificial Stupidity: You can let an AI control your characters, but it only works well for the ones that just attack. You can expect characters like healers healing fighters with barely a scratch on them ignoring their almost-dead companions, powerful mages wasting turns casting low-power spells and warriors wasting potions when the enemy would go down with one more attack. Luckily, you can choose which skills they can and can't use when AI-controlled.
Awesome, but Impractical: The Bursting Beam is the most powerful magic in the whole game, which deals huge damage and stuns a whole formation of enemies bar bosses.But to pull it off, first three players with different attributes (Melee, magic, ranged) must join the same party.Then they must cast three skills in a precise order.And lastly, by level 100/120 the skills needed to cast it become obsolete as more powerful variants are made available.
Two-handed weapons possess huge attack power and give some bonus to partially balance the lack of an off-hand, but a 1-handed weapon+offhand usually outmatch them, also considering they tend to be rare and expensive.
Awesome yet Practical: Mercenaries get thicker in this aspect as their grade raises: A-Grade mercenaries not only have strenghtened attributes, but also possess a wider array of skills to quickly change strategy in mid-battle.
Badass Beard: The Viking, General, Artilleryman and Champion all sport a good one.
Badass Normal: While most characters naturally have or have acquired magical skills or divine protection, there are some who stand out for having little to no such magic, and still kick ass. Prime examples are the Knight, Tarkan, Patriot, Janissary and Sheriff.
On the enemy's side we have Catherine, who is among the few enemies who didn't get their power from Oriharukon. She holds her ground against a team of warriors wielding the power of Atlantis with nothing more than a few bartenders and a batch of dynamite hidden in her gown.
Bad Future: The pure-blood Atlantians come from Antillia, a reproduction of Atlantis from a time where Riederan is too strong for any warrior to be a decent match. The whole plot is retroactively set in motion with them going back in time and working with the Descendants of Atlantis to defeat Riederan's allies one by one.
Big Damn Heroes: The climax of the Troy arc has you and your units defending a camp with no backup while enemies pour from many sides. Eventually Athena comes down and joins your side, wiping out all the enemies except for the bosses.
Booze-Based Buff: One sidequest has you collect 100 bottles each of Vodka, Whiskey and Airak as random drops, craft the "Ultimate Bomb Shot" out of them, and chug it. The reward is the power, usable once a day, to greatly increase your Attack Power sacrificing your Defense.
Boring Yet Practical: Healers, you need them, they most of the time are support roles, but they keep your group alive.
Items that are both in constant demand and can be crafted from purchasable materials (such as Fused Devil Stones or Multi-Hued Jewels) always return quite a bit of profit, provided you have the patience to craft them yourself (or have powerful guild mates that can contribute for you).
Owning a resource facility can start off pretty slow, but tending to them every day and investing some money in them can return a hefty revenue (20-30 millions per day) after a certain point.
Boss in Mook Clothing: Starting from Bran Castle, special enemies appear randomly in ordinary groups that are almost as strong as bosses. Unsurprisingly, many players call them minibosses.
A Boy and His X: Naruk and his/her bear as well as Rin and her chainsaw-wielding doll, Zhu Rong and her tiger, Attila and her eagle...
Breast Plate: Though this is rampant in most MMORPGs, many players are quick to note for some bizarre reason, ONLY the female melee characters are Stripperiffic. Ranged mains have fairly modest armour, and the robes for staff mains cover from head to toe.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: As a free-to-play MMO, AO makes money by offering various items that make the game much easier for real money.
It is not game-breaking, though: most items in the Item Mall simply make grinding faster or easier (by temporarily granting teleporting ability, AI for the main character to fight on their own, and so on and so forth) or give novelty mercenaries whose upgrades are however much more expensive than those of regular ones. They can however be bought ingame from other players, depending on supply and demand.And most of the IM items are boxes with random rewards anyway, so you still need some luck to actually get very powerful or valuable items.
Atlas Ore is one of the various Unobtainiums of the game: it can be used for a variety of purposes, from exceeding the daily cap on experience bonus, to enlarging one's house, to repairing and upgrading equipment free of charge, to learning skills without books, and so on and so forth. It's also the "safest" item to buy on Item Mall, since you get exactly what you buy.
In-game, many quest items can either be collected by the player or bought from the market or nearby NPCs.Some quest givers even question the player on whether they got it themselves or bought it off.
Played straight with the Crafting system: you can either fight to complete your crafts, ask your guild mates for help, stay in Auto-Crafting mode (which is the slowest of the options)...or just buy high-level crafting books off the market or a certain NPC to complete it instantly.The highest level book is extremely expensive, and five of them are needed to craft one piece of the highest-tier equipment.
Call Back: In the Tatami Battlefield, the manager Daka will give you additional quests (and rewards) if you took your time to help Miyamoto Musashi, the Mute Shaman and Momotaro about 30 levels earlier.
Also, Pasiphae, who you help in the level 60 quest line, can be encountered in Rome at level 115 and over, panicking about the Minotauros you killed back then being resurrected more powerful than ever.
Calling Your Attacks: every character's method of using magic includes shouting "[Target's Name]!Take This/Here![Magic's Name]!"
Cap: The level cap is 150. Skills can be raised up to 80. You can do five random guild quests per day. Advanced Mercenaries have a limit of one per group. And so on.
There is also a level cap every 10 levels from 19 to 79 until you complete a specific quest in the main storyline.
Caps are so commonplace that the game now features a Diary that keeps track of them for you.
Cash Gate: among the requirements to unlock quests and content beyond level 120 there are three items that cost about 800 million coins altogether.Players who are strong enough to tackle quests past that point will have no problem collecting them in the span of a few days, so it also doubles as a test.
Cast From HP: The Pirate has an attack magic that is cast from one of her companions' HP. Hwarang and Punisher have such skills too.
Combat Medic: Any staff user except the Witch and Elementalist. The Monk mercenary has healing, but he is there for stun prevention more than anything else.
Combination Attack:Some skills interact with each other, unleashing powerful attacks if cast in sequence on enemies. Most notable the Champion's Disarm skill, that doubles the secondary effect of other sword magic, and the Sorceress' Retribution, who completely transforms her other magic.
Cool Bike: One of the cash shop mounts that can be obtained resembles a giant motorcycle.
Contractual Boss Immunity: All except the first bosses (and, past a certain point, mini-bosses) are immune to the Silence and Stun effects.
Crossover Cosmology: The myth of Atlantis is the thread that connects all the myths together here. Since mercenaries are also themed after them, a player's formation is often a good example of this, too.
Crutch Character: The D-grade mercenaries: they are pretty much the slightly underpowered version of 7 of the 9 hero's classes, but eventually more powerful mercenaries with their same abilities are unlocked.
The Monk is this as well: in spite of his poor fighting abilities, he can counter enemy stuns and magic, but the same effect can be obtained from high-tier, more offensive-oriented characters (Empress, Punisher, Puppeteer, Goddess).
Cute Bruiser: The Witch, Druid and Puppeteer are about half as tall as most other characters and all look like kids. The former can devastate large areas with Meteor Strike, while the latter control, respectively, a bear and a puppet.
Death from Above: Staff Main's Flame Blow, Witch's Meteor Strike, Bow Main's Arrow Cascade, and Punisher's Powersaw Raid.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Usually. Before level 120, a player only stands to lose several hundred XP upon death (for reference, your average *attack* is worth more than that, and a kill will easily recover more than enough.) The aversion to this trope, however, is gold. You lose 10% of whatever gold you had on you, so you better not be taking hundreds of millions into dangerous areas. Further averted after level 120, when XP lost goes up over a million per death (though by that time, killing a single party of monsters will make up for it).
Also, upon losing a battle you are booted back to the nearest town. If you don't have a Teleport License and the dungeon you were in is several minutes away, you'll have to backtrack there. And there are some rooms in dungeons that require one-use keys to enter: lose against the boss there, and you have to fetch another.
In TBS, the only way to lose is by either the enemy meeting their Instant-Win Condition, or being on the receiving end of a Total Party Kill. Unlike normal battles, where reviving characters involves using certain scrolls, any fallen character can be revived without penalty by regular healing spells.Failing that, they can restart from the start of the map with half HP and zero MP -easily fixed with Elixirs-.
Die, Chair! Die!: Many quests, sidequests and treasure maps let you find treasure chests around the world.How do you open them? By whacking them with your weapons, of course!
One particular quest pits you against a chest that actually fights back.And how!
In TBS mode, you can break tents, topple pillars and break walls even if they're not essential to completing the mission.
Distressed Dude: You have to save Kim Ju Shin from the wounds he received battling the Thousand-Year Python, and spare James the Pretender certain death in a duel by sabotaging his opponent's ammunitions.
Dodge the Bullet: With high enough Evasion or Accuracy debuffs, it is possible for a gunner to miss the target in front of them but hit the ones just behind.
Elemental Crafting: The game is pretty realistic about the materials used, but there is still a distinction of armor types even though they are usually crafted with the same materials.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Players can cheaply change their mercenaries' names, but since it would cause lots of confusion, they usually refer to them with their class (Witch, Swordsman, Gunner) or default nickname (Odysseus, Guan Yu, Rin)
Everything Fades: Enemy corpses stay around for four turns after their death. If they haven't been looted or resurrected by then, they will vanish.
Exact Words: The Carmilla event for the international version. The company promised to give players a way to get the newest player created mercenary as an event. It required a huge quantity of an event item (777 just to get the mercenary with no upgrades or skill books included) that dropped quite rarely during random battles. Also, if players managed to get her books with event items they would be a no trade event item, which means it couldn't be used for anything else and were Lost Forever at the end of the event. Two weeks later, the same mercenary was made available in the item mall... for 50 USD (plus another 100 for the books and upgrade items). Players were, suffice to say, less than pleased.
NDoors has had a history of events that promised the chance to get something that can normally only be gotten from the Item Mall... neglecting to mention that the chance was so slim to be completely irrelevant. In many cases, a good chance could only be achieved using items from the Item Mall or buying them off other players. One particular example was the fishing event. Using special bait, players could catch various items, mostly tickets, which in turn could be used for various rewards. The big reward advertised took 1400 tickets to purchase. Without items from the Mall, players could fish for these items exactly once per day.
Fallen Angel: The Exorcist is actually the Archangel Michael, sealed in human form.
Fetch Quest: Quest NPCs will often ask for more or less common materials to make something, or even ask you to craft them. If you happen to have the materials on hand at the time, all the better. The next town to buy it usually isn't far either. The game even goes as far as asking you to do things as simple as selling an item on the market or looking up information. These quests serve as a reminder of the different things you can do.
Gaia's Vengeance: The Elementalist and Druid use the power of nature to their advantage.
Genius Bruiser: The Inventor Da Vinci, who can not only shoot a gun, but also summon massive siege engines to lay waste to the enemy.
The Champion is none other than Odysseus, the mastermind behind the siege of Troy and a character renowned in Greek Mythology for his wits.And he is a Stone Wall which is almost impossible to take down.
Gone Horribly Wrong: The migration from Ndoors to Nexon was suppose to be "smooth", but as it turns out not the case. To begin around 1/2-6/10 of the people who did this couldn't do so because they never got the verification e-mail, it was resolved later on but the game started to act erratic for things such as missing item mall pickups, dropping down in PvP divisions for no reason, freezing item mall pickups etc...
Guide Dang It: All TBS missions that don't include simply destroying targets can be this: without prior knowledge, predicting where ambushes and traps appear is impossible, which makes it even worse if you have a NPC to protect.
One such missions has a soldier suddenly appear behind you, and the objective change to "Protect the king from the pursuit party". Trying to kill him only makes him capture you, netting an instant mission failure.What you're supposed to do is to completely ignore it and run away. In a gamemode where pretty much everything has to be killed.
Hand Cannon: The Artilleryman, Cannoneer, and Cannon Main all use literal hand cannons.
Haunted Castle: Bran Castle, home to Dracula, as well as the Shogun Castle of Death.
Healing Hands: The Shaman and Oracle are designated healers (though they do have other skills); the Minstrel and Monk also have healing skills, but are used mostly for their abilities to remove debuffs.
The Hero: Your main character has a pair of spinning circles around him indicating he is the Main Character, or Hero. He/she is a slightly stronger version of a class of mercenary. He tends to be a better fighter, and in most cases, with a good setup of hired support, can even tank under most circumstances, even if he's not a class known for tanking (any non-melee class), though this is risky: If the main character dies, even if other allied units are standing, you lose the engagement and are considered dead.
There is one exception with a repeatable quest (in order to obtain a mercenary, it has to be done twice) which involves merely fighting a boss instead of killing him. The boss *is* beatable, but chances are you are a good bit too weak the first two times around. Eventually, the same boss has to be killed during the main storyline.
And unlike other MMOs, we can't snark back at the NPCs.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Female mercenaries tend to be smaller than males, though player characters of either gender end up in the middle. The most extreme examples are the bulky Viking and the Token Mini-Moe Witch.
At the opposide side of the scale we have the not-so-macho Hwarang and the towering Tarkan barbarian.
Hyperactive Metabolism: Eating food istantly heals everyone in the party for a certain amount. You need 10 points of Will to consume food, but since Will goes up to 125, a player can eat up to 12 full meals in few seconds.
Infinity+1 Sword: of several types, with different effects. The Wrath-eater Minotaur Axe inflicts huge fire damage, the Sealed Dragon Fang petrifies enemies on hit, the Lucifer Rifle has piercing bullets that damage the back row greatly, the Dragon Long Spear increases the efficiency of Critical hits, and the Immortal Bow empowers single-shot attacks.
Interface Spoiler: in the Summer of 2012, by looking at a staff or an orb in the inventory, it would list "Goddess" as the equippable classes.Some weeks later, the Goddess Roro mercenary was announced to be released in October.
You can find many hints at what NPCs and dungeons are related to a quest simply by opening the Quest Book.
Averted with one of the central characters of the late Atlantis quest arcs, Aaron.Looking him up on the NPC book returns no results. [[spoiler:That's because the NPC's name is abbreviated as A.R, and he only reveals his true name a couple of quests in.
An Interior Decorator Is You: You can purchase a (rather expensive) house, where you can hold parties, store items and party members, rest to gain buffs, send raiding squads and much more.And of course you get to pick from a variety of furniture to decorate it.
Item Crafting: Atlantica Online offers a large number of different crafting skills. Guilds can also set up guild crafting, which allows all guild members to work on an item (or several) together. The crafting process is presented by a workload attribute. Workload is created primarily through combat.
Immune to Bullets: There are a few enemies, such as the Ruler of Evil and Chief Prison Guard in Devil's Forest, that are inexplicably immune to basic attacks from guns and bows (but not cannons). Also, the cannon is the only non-melee weapon unable to hit flying units with its standard attack.
Implacable Man: the Tarkan has a skill that lets her shrug off Stun and Freeze effects.
Keystone Army: Bosses and main characters (both have a special circle around them) act like this, with any remaining units either running away (PvE) or dying instantly (PvP) when the leader goes down. Also, most Turn-Based Strategy missions are accomplished by killing the enemy boss.
Oddly enough, averted for players in TBS mode. Some missions have you protect an NPC or building instead.
Kill Sat: The Summon Machine skill becomes this in TBS, with a huge cannon appearing above the target and firing a laser at the ground.
Leaked Experience: While new recruits start out at low levels, this trope comes in various forms. Group play causes all experience to be divided rather evenly over all combatants, and new people arriving in a guilds town reward experience to all guild members formations. Quests also award experience evenly when completed, regardless of whether the active mercenaries actually had anything to do with completing the objective.
Level Grinding: As stated above, new recruits always start out at lower levels and require some training (or experience by other means) to catch up. Otherwise, completing quests too fast may require a few extra levels of grinding before you can continue with the main quest line.
Made interesting by the fact that you and up to eight (not counting inactive ones) mercenaries have separate EXP bars. All newly-hired mercenaries start at level 1, meaning not only is it possible that your team is going to not be the same level across the board, it's extremely likely. This is okay, to a certain extent, but if a player lets his team levels vary too wildly the lower levels will get butchered in combat. The interesting part is that it inspires a careful balancing act, making sure never to deprive any one mercenary of kills/EXP for too long. It also forces careful consideration before adding a new mercenary later on, especially more than one at a time.
Light 'em Up: Staff main's Evanescent Scud, and Lady Knight's Light Slash.
Lightning Bruiser: thanks to the Talent system, a high-level Axe main can leap from Mighty Glacier to this, being able to recharge AP faster than any other melee class.They still have a glass jaw for magic attacks, though.
Loading Screen: Get ready to see this a lot; every area requires a loading screen upon entry.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Basically every few months we get one more mercenary, that most people might just add to their formation just for the hell of it.
As of the Rin patch here are your choices
main characters (staff, sword, axe, spear, powersaw, gun, cannon, bow, and instrument)
Sword mercenaries( swordsman, pirate, lady knight, champion, valkyrie, and warlord)
Luck Stat: When failing to enhance an item with the Atlas Ore, you gain a temporary increased chance to do multiple enhances with only one process.These points carry over failed attempts and are consumed upon a successful enhancing.
Made of Iron: The main character outside battle. Some quests have him withstand explosions, soul-draining charms, the Mandragora's screams, poisoned/drugged drinks, and anoverly-spicy dish with little to no ill effects.
The Mafia: Paganini, aka the Minstrel mercenary, was formerly a member of the Detroit Mafia. You also fight Mafiosi in the Detroit area itself as monsters/bosses.
Magikarp Power: Playing as a Staff hero?You'll be stuck as the formation's healer and limited to cast some weak status-altering spells at the enemy...until you hit level 100 and unlock the ridiculously powerful Flame Blow spell, which can pretty much obliterate anything provided you survive long enough to cast it.
Mana Drain: The Witch's mana drain. Mana Trap is a wide-radius, drain-over-time effect, and the Exorcist's Mana Burn damages enemies by as much health as the Mana they lose.
May-December Romance: The Detroit quests end with your character match-making for a young engineer and a Henry Ford in his fourties.
Mighty Glacier: Vikings and Punishers in build and stats (though both are weak against magic). Most sword-users in stats, but not necessarily size.
Monster Compendium: The game practically has an in-game library of everything. The monster part is interesting in that fighting a particular monster gives you a chance of receiving part of its Info, divided into General, Location and Items. Parts can be traded between players and can be required for a quest. Owning complete information allows you to get extra items from slain monsters of that type. Monster information also allows you to deal extra damage while taking less damage from monsters.
Now there is an even further, 4th Origin Info for monsters, which gives bonus experience when defeating them.
Multi Shot - The Empress, Princess, Sheriff and some other mercenaries can shoot multiple arrows/bullets/magic missiles at once, though it's only due to their attack animation and it will still consume a single piece of ammunitions. You can tell this kind of attacks by the fact they have the exact same damage, which is actually the attack's total damage split in two or more "hits".
Murphy's Law: For every new patch that adds content there are always somethings that will go horribly wrong; the community seems to have adjusted to this.
My Death Is Just the Beginning: Staff mains and Shamans can learn Noble Sacrifice: When below 35% health they can sacrifice themselves to do a heal over time (and defense boost) for three turns to an entire formation. Works great sometimes for shamans... for staff mains it's either this or most of the time this.
The Hwarang has Hwarang's Fury, an offensive version that boosts attack power instead.
My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Monsters tend to have zero to one special magic per variety, so to even the odds, the game gives the AI some special powers. Different monsters have access to magic that the player does not, or if they have familiar magic, they get bonuses to it. For example, it takes the player three turns to charge up Brutal Will or Seth's Will, magics that your healers can cast that increases the attack power and combo rate of mercenaries affected, at the cost of lowered defense and being unable to control where they attack. Many animals, however, can use that magic on their first or second turn, giving them a distinct advantage in combat.
There are also cases where the very nature of certain monsters is strange, hindering the player's ability to fight it. For example, there's a high level monster that is treated as simultaneously an axe-wielder and a ranger, allowing it to strike the middle row of the player's formation, and strike the entire row; however, it's immune to the Elementalist's magics, which target melee characters. (Axe-specific nerfs do work, however.)
All bosses (and some other monsters) are also immune to stuns and freezing and mostly ignore the rules concerning action power, enabling them to act pretty much every turn if alone, even with poison affecting them.
There is one small weakness that they do have, and that is that their weapon, a Power Saw, does not come naturally from boxes. Therefore, they must be crafted or bought, which can cost quite a bit of money.
They're also weaker to magic attacks than other physical classes, but their high HP tends to make up for that in the long run
You act as an assistant to Rose the witch in an experiment which lets loose a small flock of time-distorting Gremlins. You then help her banish them to another world. Dozens of levels later, you find out they're still there, and much, much stronger...
While infiltrating a demonic hideout, a demon officer hands you a Hell Marble and instructs you to empower the demons in your care with it. After you oblige him, your ally Fei Yue informs you that you just turned the whole thing for the worse.
No Arc in Archery: Played straight; arrows fly directly to the target, through other (unaffected) enemies in the formation, if need be.
No Export for You: Inverted as the US version of the game introduced the Patriot mercenary, which is unobtainable in the Korean version.
Non-Combat EXP: The Experience you get by fighting is just a tiny slice of all the exp you can gain.Complete a quest, even if it just requires you to go from point A to point B?You get 10% closer to your next level, up to 3 times a day. You go fishing?Another bonus.Send your mercenaries on a quest on their own?They all gain exp.People arrive at your guild's town?Free exp for all the guild mates.Your guild finishes a collective crafting project?You watch two friends duke it out at the Colosseum?Make friends with a roaming mercenary?Go fishing?Dismantle equipment?All of these tasks give experience!You even get free experienceby going away from the keyboard and then coming back to the game!
Noob Cave: The short non-returnable Dream's Other Side is a tutorial level. After that is the returnable Forest of Spirits, which is a warm-up dungeon proper complete with a warm-up boss.
Older than They Look: By now most people should have mercenaries and characters who are stated in-game age to be 60+ , they still look the same as the day you recruited/hired/bought them.
You can also make characters age backwards with certain "Vials of Youth". How do you get them?By attending parties, of course!
It is somehow handwaved by stating that the main character not only is immortal as a descendant of Atlantis, but also has the ability to pass a fraction of his power on to his or her companions, not only allowing them to unlock their inner powers, but also granting them slower aging as long as they accompany him. This is only stated in the tutorial levels and some guides.
Also averted at the same time in the fact that mercenaries can be sent into retirement once they hit a certain level while still exchanging items with the main character via mail. Once old enough, the letters simply stop coming.
One-Hit Kill: In strategic battles, standing in the middle of a river when a flood comes means instant death. To anything. Including bosses.
One Man Party: Played in both versions; it's entirely possible for a single unit, or type, to either rocket ahead or fall behind in XP. There are ways of correcting it, but depending on the severity it can be rather expensive.
Also, wealthy players may create quiz rooms to share some of their riches with whomever gives the correct/wittiest answers.
Power Glows: Moderately enchanted weaponry glows orange. Highly enchanted weaponry glows blue. Maximally enchanted weaponry glows red with some other special visual effects.
Players under the effect of Blessing, which increases Experience gain, Attack and Defense, have a thin golden aura. Leaders of Nation stand out by having the same circle icon that highlights heroes in battle, in the overworld.
The Power of Rock: The Instrument Main and Minstrel use electric guitars as weapons, and can cast several skills revolving around music.
Powerup Food: Besides regular food, which serves as quick healing between battles, feasts can be held in one's house which will give every participant a temporary boost to Attack and Defense.
Powerup Mount: Horses, Tigers, Elephants, Velociraptors, Motorbikes, Mechas, Giant beasts...the list goes on.
PVP Balanced: Some skills which are incredibly powerful in PvE are given massive nerfs in PvP because they would be too powerful. Additionally, the damage done by skills and attacks in ranked PvP is very different from that done in war PvP.
The Quest: And how. The game is primarily quest-driven, which thankfully reduces (not eliminates) the need for painful grinding. Also, many side quests can be reset with the proper License, which provides extra XP, or something to do to keep your mind off of grinding at least.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Minstrel and Punisher mercenary were released at the same time. The former is calm and almost melancholic, and is a support character with good defensive abilities. The latter is an Ax-Crazy, Lightning BruiserScary Black Man capable of dealing massive damage to the enemy.Also, the Minstrel sports a trenchcoat with a blue angel motif complemented by little wing-shaped shoulder piecesm while the Punisher has a huge, flaming demonic skull tattooed on his back.
Revive Kills Zombie: Enemies of the "Cursed" type get hurt if hit by healing magic, and regain health if hit by dark-type magic (Silence, Dark Seed, Hex and such). The secondary effects are not reversed; Silence will still prevent them from casting magic and so on.
Riding into the Sunset: The main character does this at the end of every quest line. In the case of the main story, it's off to the next quest and NPCs, with side quests it's left open as to where you're going.
Scenery Porn: The game world is huge, and to unlock cities so that you can travel there with the Travel Office, you need to reach them on your own first. To give you something to see on the road, besides plenty of sidequests and NPCs, there are huge structures such as a transparent underwater tunnel in the English Channel, a view from the top of the Great Wall of China, huge pagodas in Japan and so on and so forth.
Shield Bash: The Odysseus mercenary can perform this as a magic skill. It incapacitates one enemy for a set period, acting similar to stun effects.
Stop Poking Me: The Empress delivers this line if you click her enough times.
Stripperiffic: As guilty as any other MMORPG. Just take a look at the default armor and Divine armour for females... and that's just the start.
Most costumes for both genders show off quite a lot of skin as well.
Sudden Gameplay Change: Normal gameplay involves you and 8 of your mercenaries fighting a battle against a group of monsters, 5 actions can be taken in one turn. Skirmish battles are more similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, where you have to move your units on a large battlefield, and certain rules such as spells' area of effect, statuses or commands change drastically.Then there is the Raid dungeon, where you can only fight with your main character.
Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Brought Up to Eleven. Pretty much every mercenary has his or her strong and weak points.Some strengthen ranged units, some can block the enemy mages, some can heal statuses, others just hit hard but are susceptible to magic, and that's only to name a few.
A simplified version is that in PvP, generally, melee and ranged fighters receive less damage from their counterpart and more from mercenaries of the same tipe, while magic attacks hit melees harder, but aren't as effective against other mages.
A Taste of Power: When hitting the first level milestones, players receive a temporary mount and decoration, which pretty much triple their fighting capabilities for 7 days.
Team Dad / Team Mom: Whenever the player interacts with his/her mercenaries, their attitude and dialogue options pose the player as this.
That One Guy: It has been noted that Hwarang is the only male archer mercenary (excluding main characters) and even then he looks a bit effeminate.
Token Evil Teammate: The Puppeteer Rin, who is the boss's dragon during the Empress quests. She is the only character whose skills all have a drawback: one of them prevents the enemy from receiving heals but also makes them immune to offensive magic, another buffs an ally but makes them lose control, and the last one sacrifices an ally to buff herself.
Tournament Arc: Every Saturday, there's a weekly tournament where the strongest PvPers from your server duke it out. On Sunday, it's in Titan where the strongest from all servers duke it out.
Turns Red: All fighters, both humans and monsters, start to stagger or otherwise show signs of weakness when they have less than one third of their HP left. Many skills can only be used in this state, and bosses tend to spam their most powerful magic when under 50% HP.
The Patriot and Axe Main also get a drastic increase in attack power when under a certain treshold of HP.Also, D-Grade mercenaries can unleash a Deadly Strike or Deadly Shot when they're in the Low HP animation.
Useless Useful Spell: Mana-Draining spells or weapon-specific debuffs can be a big help against bosses and certain formations, but useless against others.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: If you're a Power Saw main or have a Puppeteer in your party, you can kill one of your allies (Including other players in your team or friendly soldiers in a mission) to heal yourself and boost your offense.
Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In the Rescue quests, some battles have you fight strong monsters along with "hostages" that almost never attack you. Every hostage still alive by the end of the battle coutns as one point for the quest, but every hostage killed will decrease the quest completion, greatly slowing you down.
Violence Really Is the Answer: Many quests require you to "pacify" monsters, "steal" items from them of otherwise get them to stop fighting. Of course, this only means beating the crap out of them.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Boss monsters after the Bran Castle stage stop being vulnerable to stun or freezing, which prevent it from moving. Bosses after Yggdrasil become immune to regular silence (target can't use magic) as well, making it more difficult to prevent them from using their more powerful skills against you.
A far earlier example could be the Hellish Fairy at the end of the first dungeon. Up to that point, you could probably just continuously attack and win. While she's a rather simple boss if you know what you're doing, The Hellish Fairy has a powerful magic attack that targets the entire party. If you don't take her down fast, she can easily wipe out your team. She can be taken down quite easily with Scrolls of Vortex, but new players likely won't think of that.
Weapon of Choice: Nine to choose from, and every character except the hero has his or her favourite:
You Have Researched Breathing: After some quests, you are awarded the ability to sit down and rest. A bit later, you gain the ability to command all your active mercenaries to search for loot with one click, rather than ordering each one separately.
Also the ability to Auto-Craft, as opposed to generating workload through combat.
Younger than They Look: As per the Older than They Look trope up top, there are other times when mercenary ages do not match, such as how a monk is always an old man in appearance, but sometimes the age setting says they're 15-22, depending on how long he's been in the party.
Zettai Ryouiki: Most of the female mercenaries, especially the basic Archer mercenary.