Jade Dynasty (also known as Zhu Xian) is a Free To Play
MMORPG game created by Perfect World Entertainment. The game is currently in its fourth expansion, Regenesis. It is based on a popular Chinese internet novel called Zhu Xian.
Jade Dynasty's plotline revolves around the conflict between six human factions called Jadeon
, Modo and the Incense Mages
, and their eventual goal of attaining immortality - which they have through a process dubbed "ascension", thus the name of the 2nd expansion, Ascension - and six factions from the Athan race, known to be demigods, Rayan
that are trying to prevent the Humans from becoming too powerful. Human characters choose which faction to join at level 15 (there are 150 levels total.) while Athan characters choose the faction they wish to play at character creation. Each faction in Jade Dynasty has different skills, strengths, weaknesses and styles of play.
As of the recent expansion (titled "Jade Dynasty: Regenesis") a new group of factions has been introduced: Etherkin, survivors of the catastrophe that basically crashed their dimension into that of JD's own. They are currently represented by the Kytos
Characters can get items called Espers (Not to be confused with the other
kind of espers, these are powerful items that provide a bonus skills and extra attributes to the owner. These attributes and skills can be increased both with special items or leveling up the esper. Every time the player uses an Esper skill, the Esper's proficiency increases by 1. When the Esper has enough proficiency, its level is increased, which empowers the bonuses that it grants. The Esper also changes its appearance every 10 levels and allows the player to use a function known as "invigorate" (which is commonly known as a "bot" a program, illegal in most MMORPG's used to make the character automatically attack enemies.)After level 90 a character requires esper energy to bot, items such as Lunarshade stones provide this energy. Espers have different sections that allow the player to place Health and Mana potions in them and select how often the potions are used. There is also a section to add skills other than the Esper skill, allowing these to also be automatically used and another section to decide what items your esper picks for you.
Character classes are one of the main appeals of Jade Dynasty. While the game does have some of the more usual types, about half of the classes are fairly unique and incomparable to the majority of MMOs. There are currently 3 groups of factions: Humans, Athans (demigods created with the purpose of opposing humans and their constant lust for power), and Etherkin (dwellers of the neighboring dimension). Humans and Athans both currently have 6 factions each, while recently introduced Etherkin have only two, with four more likely to be introduced in future expansions.
- Human factions
- Jadeon: The first major good faction. Jadeon are styled in almost classic Chinese fashion, donning robes and wielding Chinese longswords. They, however, are not melee fighters, as they use their swords to cut the enemy from a distance, and also as conduits for their prominent lightning powers. Jadeon playstyle mostly relies on either quickly offing a single enemy before they get close, or using area-of-effect attacks to deal large amounts of damage to groups of foes.
- Skysong: The second major good faction, Skysong are buddhist monks who place emphasis on cultivating their spiritual strength rather than corporeal power. Skysong also wear robes - although more spacious and flowing than those of Jadeon - and use staves. Their combat style relies on high defensive capabilities, resisting enemy debuffs and status ailments, and attacking while restoring their own health.
- Vim: The major evil faction (or so they are considered in-game). Once a faction of good, Vim have been condemned because of their choice of methods in achieving their goals. Vim don heavy armor, and use aptly named Duoblades, chopping away at the enemy with circular moves. Vim playstyle is mostly reliant on straightforward assaults which deal serious damage along with various status ailments. Also, they can turn themselves invulnerable for a time, giving them an edge in combat before the enemy can start hitting back.
- Lupin: A not-so-evil faction of supposedly assassins. "Supposedly" because Lupin do not have any skills one would usually associate with assassination: stealth, poisons, backstabs, etc. Instead they rely on attempting to kill the enemy with one powerful attack, and even have skills that guarantee that the attack will be as powerful as planned. Lupin wear very light armor (instead relying on their high Evasion scores) and use large chakrams (called Glaives in-game), which they throw at the enemies at point-blank range.
- Modo: A neutral faction of mages who study the secrets of Yin and Yang, life and death. Modo signature weapon is the Fangclaw (though worn on only one hand), and their armor is adorned with various ominous-looking decorations. Modo is a unique faction in that their combat style fully depends on what form they are currently in. Human form utilizes area-of-effect attacks complete with various status ailments. Modon Form uses long-range poisons and bleed effects (and ultimately, a huge area-of-effect attack) which quickly drain enemy's health. Demonic Posture uses melee attacks, and relies on heavily boosted health pool for survival.
- Incense Mages: A good faction of flame-themed sorcerers. Incense Mages also wear robes, and use twin swords (named Kristocs in-game) in their hands (and also seven more additional swords that float behind their back) to singe and incinerate thir foes. Incense Mages' playstyle relies on dishing out as much damage to multitudes of enemies as possible, summoning powerful fiery assistants, and creating arrays that grow in power depending on how many allies enter them.
- Athan factions
- Arden: Rangers of the Athan race, Arden combine human ingenuity with animalistic grace and cunning. All of them have animal ears and tails, wear light armor with nature-like ornaments, and use bows. They also have control over animal and plant life, and can summon a number of animal (and vegetation) companions to aid them in combat. Arden were the first faction that could charge up their attacks, as to increase the attacks' damage and critical strike rate. Arden playstyle is very similar to other ranger / hunter classes in other MMOs: let the companion distract the enemy while charging up, and then unleash a devastating shot.
- Balo: Warriors of the Athan, Balo wear heavy armor and hack their enemies to pieces with large, short-handled axes. Balo playstyle is very straightforward and relies on single-target skills which produce a singular status ailment. The main appeal of this faction is that their Tier 5 skills combine the damage and effects of the previous skills in the same skill branch, basically allowing you to whack the enemy with everything at once.
- Rayan: Athan assassins, Rayan are much closer to a classic stealth-based backstabber than the above-mentioned Lupin. Rayan wear clothes which hardly even look like armor (although do provide the same defense level as with other light armor types), and use twin scythes. Their skills include stealth, usage of combo-points and finishing moves.
- Celan: Nobles of the Athan. Celan are white-skinned, overall pleasant-looking, and float above the ground. They wear frilly robes, and use their Zithers to produce a variety of attacks, heal and turn up shields that reflect damage back into the attackers. Celan have a unique mechanic called Musical Combo, which allows the player to set into a skill additional effects that he finds more suitable for his purpose.
- Forta: Athan brawlers, Forta wear heavy armor and use fist weapons (called Cetsuses in-game). Their skills mostly rely on multi-hit attacks which debuff the enemy while buffing the user, and have a chance to activate the same tier's ultimate attack (called Chain Skill), which is significantly more powerful than other skills in the same tier, and lower the enemy's skill levels, turning them much less potent.
- Voida: Athan clergy. Voida look similar to Celan, complete with the floating, but wear much more strict-looking robes and use weapons called Stardials, which basically only serve as the focus for their own power. Voida skills are clearly distinct between Dark, Light and Neutral styles (even their gear changes color depending on which kind of power you use most). Dark skills rely on single-targed attacks which heal the user, Light skills are mostly area-of-effect attacks which deal additional damage depending on the user's or enemy's mana (called Spirit in-game), and Man (neutral) skills are charge-up attacks with large damage output.
- Etherkin factions
- Kytos: An all-male race of large, muscular, sphinx-like monsters with blue skin. Kytos wear gear that only marginally counts as armor, as it only covers their waist, shoulders, hands and paws, and use enormous polearms (called Tridents in-game, although at higher levels they look anything but). Kytos are currently the only faction in the game with no Spirit whatsoever, casting their skills from Health. Instead, they receive a percentage of their supposed Spirit (the game mechanic will still show you an increase in Spirit when leveling up) as Health, and have a unique resource called Fury, which equals their max Health. Fury accumulates when you receive damage while under the effects of certain toggle skills (called Postures), and certain skills receive a percentage of your Fury as additional damage, skill accuracy or critical strike rate. Fury is only spent by two skills, both of which drain it completely. The first one adds a portion of Fury spent to its damage. The second one reflects damage back into the attacker, adding a percentage fo Fury spent to reflected damage. Kytos can either focus on heavy assaults on one enemy or damaging all nearby foes, with the third skills branch serving mostly as support for those two purposes.
- Psychea: A race of pint-sized arcane engineers. Psychea wear scholar-themed robes, and use brushes as their weapons to draw arcane symbols and attack enemies from a distance. Their skills focus on creating elaborate contraptions: either building a variety of traps to lure enemies into, summoning mechas to hop in, or summoning smaller mechas to act as (time-limited) companions.
Each faction has three skill branches, each one focusing on specific purpose. Skill points are awarded one per level, with some other effects awarding more skill points (for example, you get bonus skill points after Ascension, and some more when leveling Chroma tiers). There is always one skill per tier that must have skill points invested in it first before you can continue to other skills. Also, to start investing points in a tier, you must have a certain number of them invested in the previous tier (this number is indicated in the skill window). Most skills require more than one point invested in the previous skill in that branch.
Skills are complemented by talents (called Tomes in-game). Each skill branch has one Tome associated with it. Most Tome skills provide either passive bonuses to the character, or additional effects to skills. There are some Tome skills that are active, and appear in your skill list upon achieving them (only Humans have this kind of Tome skills). Tome skills are awarded irregularly. Until level 15 you don't get any at all. For levels 15 through 90 you get 1 Tome point per 5 levels, for levels 90 through 120 - 1 point per 3 levels, for levels 120 through 135 - 1 point per 2 levels, and for levels 135 through 150 - 1 point per level. Extra Tome points are also awarded for Ascension and leveling Chroma tiers.
Character customization does not end here, however. After level 135 you can do a quest that will allow you to Ascend. Ascending resets your level, stats, skills and Tomes to level 1, and gives you a considerable boost to stat growth, and some bonus skill and Tome points. However, each level you gain after 135 and before Ascending increases these bonuses, so characters that Ascended right after level 135 end up significantly weaker than those that waited all the way until 150.
And it still does not end here. After Ascended level 90, you can choose to join one of the three factions of immortals to further define your playstyle and gain additional skills and benefits.
- Dagos: An immortal faction of good that values balance and training of both mind and body. Dagos have good balance between active offensive skills and passive defensive skills.
- Fuwa: Another immortal faction of good that strives for enlightenment and purification of the soul. They rely more on the active and passive defensive capabilities, with some passive offensive bonuses.
- Felkin: An immortal faction of evil, Felkin propagate individuality and forgo any consideration of methods used towards one's personal goals. Felkin focus completely on offense, and can gain bonuses that allow you to use their faction's offensive skills much more often than those of the other two groups.
This game provides examples of:
- Blade on a Stick: Kytos' weapon.
- Luck-Based Mission: The Tier 4 quest can be done in a few minutes or a week if you are unlucky and need lots of items to finish.
- This has been toned down significantly in Regenesis. Now instead of finding numerous not-so-easy to get items, you only have to kill a fairly weak boss.
- Non-Indicative Name: The only class that is exempt of this is the Incense Mage.
- Petting Zoo People: Arden and Kytos. Arden only have two animalistic features: fox ears and tails, and can learn a skill that allows them to transform into a two-tailed fox for quicker movement. Kytos are large, sphinx-like quadrupeds with bluish-violet skin and prominent lion themes. At higher levels they can transform into a Quilen and even carry a partner on their back.
- Power Glows: Refined gears become more powerful and glow.
- Shock and Awe: Most Jadeon skills involve lightning.