Vindictus, known as Mabinogi: Heroes in the original Korean version, is the Prequel to Mabinogi produced by DevCat Studios and distributed by Nexon USA. The storyline takes place during the period of Mabinogi's history referred to in-game as the "Fomor Wars", which forms the backdrop for most of the original game's storyline quests. The land that the Vindictus storyline takes place in what becomes the dark, hostile "Another World" of the original game.While set in the same world, this is a darker and bloodier version, using Valve's Source engine. Although it maintains some of the original's skill-based system and titles, gameplay is far more combat-oriented — it is being promoted as an "Action RPG" — and the game mechanics are simplified. The gameplay is like a mix of Dynasty Warriors and Monster Hunter, with just a pinch of Demons Souls. Also differing from Mabinogi, Vindictus is far more story-driven, and at least half of the missions advance the main story. There is almost none of the Wide Open Sandbox quality that dominated the original game, and most of the side missions are in some way related to the main storyline, typically providing more detail, character development, or a different perspective.While absent up to this point, as of the the "Rocheste Royal Cadet" expansion some of Mabinogi's "life skills" have been added to the game. These are predominantly crafting skills such as blacksmithing and tailoring, and are only available in the city of Rocheste, where they are obtained and trained similarly to combat skills. Despite this, combat is still the dominant focus of the game, and the crafting system is rudimentary by comparison to the original game.Unlike the first game, and most MMORPGs for that matter, there are few common areas outside of towns, and no common combat areas. All fighting takes place in instanced dungeons that allow only small player parties of 1-4 to enter (though there are also raid instances such as the White Tyrant mission in Hoarfrost Hollow that allow for parties of up to 6-10 people).
Provides Examples Of:
The Alcoholic: Fergus. There is an entire side quest revolving around his heavy drinking. This actually goes a long way toward explaining his character in the original game.
An Adventurer Is You and Common Character Classes: Unlike the original game, Vindictus uses the common game character tropes. All players use one of 5 standard archetypes, slightly modified, as noted below. Some skill customization is possible, but primarily regarding weapons and armor, with a few exceptions. Each one will branch into one of two or three paths, depending on which skills are emphasized. Similar to the original game, all characters are capable of maxing out all skills available to them, effectively building a limited sort of hybrid character. This takes a considerably larger amount of time and effort, however, and most players concentrate on a more traditional build.
Fiona: A versatile warrior type, heavily to very heavily armoured, wielding a sword and shield. Essentially a Paladin, but with a strong counterattack replacing healing. Fiona eventually develops the ability to wield a warhammer instead of a sword. Her shield remains extremely important regardless of what weapon you choose. Can emphasize damage and Counter Attack skills (Jack), or defensive skills (Tank).
Evie (Evy in the Korean version): Probably the most flexible character. A mage who barely escapes being a Squishy Wizard by virtue of a strong magical shield. Although theoretically capable of heavy armor, building the necessary skills is quite difficult, and she is typically barely to lightly armored. Evie starts out wielding a staff, and later on has the option to wield a Sinister Scythe. Depending on skill build, typically functions as a long-range, small AoE Nuker and Healer (staff-wielding and emphasis on magic skills), or a short range, wide AoE Nuker (scythe-wielding and emphasis on damage and defense skills). As of the "Labyrinth" expansion, Evie's staff powers were changed, putting more emphasis on magic attack and defense, and somewhat nerfing her healing ability.
Karok (Kalok in the Korean version): Karok is a large humanoid, who functions as a Tank. He prefers very-heavy armor, and wields a battle pillar. Slow, but capable of absorbing a great deal of damage, and is a badass when it comes to grappling attacks, even putting the moves on bosses! Skill builds can emphasize damage-dealing abilities, or grappling and defense. Word is that some of his flashier skills are rather weak. He can also wield a battle glove, which intersperses punches with flashy, ranged blast attacks.
Kai (Kay in the Korean version): Kai is a lightly to heavily armored Ranger wielding a bow. He starts with a fast, low-powered, short-range short bow, but can alter it to longer-range, higher-powered, but slower long bow. His arsenal consists of multiple-arrow-firing, rapid-firing, and power-damage skills similar to certain bosses (Jagged Tooth and Singleshot). In the Twilight Desert update, he gained access to his second weapon, Crossgun, which is a sort of a cartridge-loaded repeating crossbow.
Vella: The Hotter and Sexier dual-wielding girl who can counterattack projectiles even Fiona can't block, and has an attack style reminiscent of a cross between Lann and Fiona, where she dash attacks around the enemy. A bit slower and more durable than Lann, Vella is still a Glass Cannon DPSer. In a future update she will also be gaining a pair of chain weapons called "Dual Blades", reminiscent of another special weapon.
Hurk: We don't know much about this guy yet, except that he is a heavily-armored Berserker who primarily wields a big whacking two-handed sword. He's more of a DPS tank, as he is able to effectively counter ANY attack launched his way, even from bosses while taking no damage, after a skill up even his normal attacks don't consume stamina.
Animated Armor: Knights in Ortel Castle. Quite a few players have trouble fighting them in groups.
Anti-Hero: Due to the setting's Black and Grey Morality, player characters are definitely anti- rather than traditional heroes. At early levels, they appear to be somewhere around Type III, but as the story progresses, it's quite clear that they're much more Type IV, and leaning toward Type V. Most of the NPCs range from Type III (Kirstie) to Type V.
Anti-Poop Socking : Originally, "silver tokens" were required for all missions outside Perilous Ruins. Players received a very limited supply of "silver tokens" per real-time week, and after running a certain number of missions in one real-time day, the token requirements start increasing. This was partially subverted by the availability of "crimson" and "platinum" tokens in the cash shop, which were used in place of silver tokens, allowing players to continue playing (platinum tokens granting boosts to experience gain and drop rates). The token system was phased out with Karok's release; people with remaining tokens were compensated with NX cash.
Some of the higher level Raid missions limit players to a single victory per day. Even low level missions have a max limit to the number of daily runs, but this is so high as to be effectively unlimited for all but the most serious grinders.
The ability point system also discourages extended grinding, at least at low levels. The number of ability points received from completing missions is reduced each time the mission is completed — to zero for the Perilous Ruins beginner missions, five for the lowest-level post-beginner missions, and continuing upward as the mission level increases. Early on, players obtain a skill called Meditation, which awards ability points after a certain amount of time. At the starting level, this is 1 point every real-time hour (the time interval can be reduced by levelling the skill, though this could be considered Awesome, but Impractical as ranking it is extremely AP-intensive. Rank A would take a little over a year to pay off.).
Awesome, but Impractical: Karok's boss moves (Boss Bash and Clash), while they are damned fun to pull off in the earlier boss battles, are considered garbage by the fanbase due to gradually losing their effectiveness in comparison to normal attacks and smashes and many later-game bosses being immune to them.
A number of high-powered or unique skills seem to fall under this trope for all character types. However, all skills are capped well below maximum. The current highest rank achievable for any skill is 6 (skill ranks range from F at lowest to 1 at highest, in what appears to be reverse hexadecimal notation), with many of the flashier skills capped much lower (typically A, but as low as C in some cases). New episodes are expected to raise or remove the caps, allowing many of these skills to move from Awesome, but Impractical to Awesome yet Practical, or at least Difficult but Awesome. For example, raising the skill rank on Karok's Boss Bash may allow him to use it on some higher-level bosses which are currently immune.
Awesome yet Practical: Two mutually-exclusive transformation skills are available to players: Paladin, which turns the character into a scion of holy strength, emphasizing defensive ability, and Dark Knight, a demonic engine of destruction that emphasizes damage.
Paladin and Dark Knight have been nerfed with the coming of Karok, but Awesome yet Practical is still in effect. Taken Up to Eleven with the Second Forms (called White Knight and Black Knight respectively) which not only makes you look more impressive, but gives you access to even more devastating skills that look even cooler.
Bag of Sharing: A minor form in the basic loot drops, known in-game as 'evil cores', which will not disappear until every party member has had their chance to grab from it. Cash shop users who buy items which increase their Luck will have a chance to get 'lucky cores' which are white as opposed to black and are only accessible to the person who triggered the drop (excluding bosses).
Bait-and-Switch Boss: The White Tyrant battle starts off with a small battle against few of the Kobolds you've been fighting in previous missions. Once you defeat them, a group with a big boss-style Kobold sitting around a campfire appears, which looks at first like a typical mini-boss fight (at least half the missions have mini-boss battles). When you approach him, however, the camera zooms in on the group, they give a battle roar, and then a giant bear crashes through the wall and mauls the Kobolds.
Barrier Maiden: Tieve is initially set up to be this. After all, she is an oracle maiden from the starting town who greets you after passing out, and is worried about the fact that she has never heard the goddess's voice. However, in Chapter 7, we learn that another oracle by the name of Seanna is supposed to be the chosen maiden, who we rescue from the Absurdly Spacious Sewer. This is a Double Subversion, as it seems the clergy are working against the prophesy. If they actually achieve the prophesy, they won't be needed any more and will no longer have the power they have now.
"White Tyrant Challenge", an unlockable mission in Hoarfrost Hollow, turns this Up to Eleven.
"Appearance of a Small Bear" in Hoarfrost Depths pits the players against two (albeit smaller) bears, plus a Kobold boss.
With the Armies of Colhen update, Stribog has entered the fray in a 24 player raid.
BFS: While none of the characters available at this time have one as a default weapon, some bosses do use them, and drop them when killed, allowing characters to pick up and play with them. Karok the Giant wields a massive Telephone Polearm as his default weapon.
Bishōnen: All Lann characters. Kai also qualifies to an extent, although he appears older than usual versions of this trope.
Bifurcated Weapon: Lann is eventually able to wield what's called a Twin Spear, a double tipped spear (though for some reason, most look like swords) that has been separated down the middle, but is able to be reattached for most of his Smash attacks.
Bloodier and Gorier: The dev team makes full use of the physics engine to render realistic blood splatter effects. Killing mooks, and especially bosses, often leaves persistent blood splatters on the scenery, and some parts of Ainle have large bloodstains already. Achieving a critical hit with certain skills can cause temporary blood splatters on your screen, literally Painting the Medium.
Bowdlerized in the North American release. While the blood isn't quite gone, it's turned into a black stream, so as to not quite resemble blood.
Which quickly becomes pointless, seeing as everything else, from the splatters and pools of blood to the wounds on the monsters themselves, remains an untouched crimson.
Boss Rush: Several missions in several regions. Notable mention goes to Prepare for Counterattack in Hoarfrost Hollow, as it is the first Boss Rush mission. Other notable Boss Rush missions are The Blood Prince (Ainle), The Unveiling Truth (Ainle), and Proof of Courage (Hoarfrost Depths). More common as the game progresses, and epitomized in Colru the Golem.
Also includes all Gauntlets, which pit your team against bosses from the region until you face the end boss. The bosses will have a random "title" prefix which adds special characteristics — such as extremely high resistance to magic attacks, dealing more and taking less damage from either males or females, inflicting poison, moving several times faster, or the ability to spawn mooks from that zone which also have a chance of getting randomized prefixes of their own.
Breath Weapon: The Blood Lord and Irukul are the most notable early examples. All of the endgame Dragon bosses have a unique breath weapon (fire, ice, electricty, poison).
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Mostly averted during the Beta period, compared to the first game. Use of this trope has substantially increased for the official release. The main exception during beta was the "Goddess Grace", which is free only up to level 10, not available through an in-game source, and still the only option for solo players to revive in dungeons. Since then, a number of additional items have been added that provide boosts to player or equipment stats (the former expiring after 30 days). Other items are available which are greatly improved versions of in-game items (such as healing potions), protect equipment from breakage during upgrading/enchanting, or give ability points for improving skills.
As of Episode 8, a new item has been released which really plays up this trope: "Blessing Stones". There are 4 types, and they are available mainly through the cash shop, although there are ways to get them in game with much more difficulty. Used for "missions" (aka dungeon crawls), three different types increase your experience point gain, ability point gain, and item drop rate; a fourth increases all three.
Though almost all of these things can be gotten by any player, they just have to work a bit harder. The only exceptions are "Goddess Grace" (since you can just keep on paying to revive 'til you win) and the NX cash tokens. Fortunately, the token system was removed.
Broad Strokes: The game chronicles the Back Story of Mabinogi. The legends probably don't mention the heroes having hundreds of identical clones running around town or completing the same battles dozens of times...
Call Forward: Being a prequel to Mabinogi Fantasy Life, there are quite a few of these, such as blacksmith Fergus. Players of the first game will also recognize Tieve's Oracle dress as the goddess Morrighan's dress. Also, when you fight a Glas Ghaibhleann late-game in Vindictus, its 'break-off' point is its right wing, and when you break it, it rips the wing off to keep it from getting in the way. Attentive players of Mabinogi may have noticed that the summoned Glas Ghaibhleann fought in the Generation 9 storyline has both wings intact, yet the revived one fought way back in the first storyline had a messed-up right wing.
Chainmail Bikini, Thong of Shielding, Stripperiffic, Bare Your Midriff, Cleavage Window: Unlike Mabinogi, Vindictus fully embraces these tropes, especially for its female characters. Not so much with the early equipment, but increasingly with higher-ranking gear. This is turned Up to Eleven with the premium shop "inner armor" (aka. underwear) for the female characters. Some of the high-level cloth armour sets for Evie look far more like lingerie than any sort of practical combat apparel.
As of "Labyrinth", inner armour no longer grants stat boosts, but while it did, it fully invoked this trope. For example, one set of female underwear consists of a full shirt and pants that resemble a padded motorcycle suit, while another set consists of a skimpy bikini top and bottom. Guess which one gave the higher stat boosts.
Charged Attack: All characters receive "Special Points" (SP) skills which can be used to use powerful attacks caled SP skills. These are of the "Collect" type, and require damaging enemies and stealing their life-force to fill up an SP gauge, either partially or completely. Once the gauge has been filled to a certain level, SP skills become available. Using a SP skill depletes a certain portion of the gauge, requiring it to be re-filled. Evie, Fiona, and Lann also can also aquire skills that give them "Hold" type charged attacks.
Evie, when wielding a staff, has "Focus" skills. There are four progressive charge levels, each requiring longer charging times, with different skills avaialable at each level. The time it takes to charge her most powerful skills makes them vary between Difficult but Awesome and Awesome, but Impractical, depending on the particular Boss, and whether she's in a party or solo.
Most of Kai's moveset involves the use of SP skills, resulting in an increased SP gain for him.
Cherry Tapping: Some of the bosses have bonus quests to finish them off with a kick, your weakest attack. A number of titles also involve kicking things to death.
Climax Boss: Glas Ghaibhleann, the final boss of Ainle.
Clothing Damage, Breakable Weapons: Armor can be damaged after taking successive hits, lowering your defense. It can be repaired using a repair kit, and automatically restores after the dungeon is completed, unless the damage is too great. Weapons can also be damaged, but do not break until after the dungeon is complete. All equipment has a "durability" statistic, making armor more likely to break the lower this stat is; any equipment with 0 durability must be repaired before using.
Combos: Lann, Fiona, Karok, and Vella all have combo attacks, known as "Smashes", which enables a special, high-powered attack to be triggered after a sequence of normal attacks are made. The type and power of the smash attack depends on how many normal attacks are made before triggering the combo. Some of Evie's "focus" magic attacks, and Kai's high-powered ranged attacks, also effectively act as smashes (and are treated as such for game purposes).
The friendly fire actually seems to have some kind of logic system. Mobs of the same species and average size (such as gnolls) will not be able to hurt eachother with melee attacks, but ranged attacks can still hurt. Small Ankle Biter mooks like spiders and toads will not hurt one another, but larger enemies can accidentally hurt them. This entirely averted with bosses, though, which hurt everything smaller than them regardless of species. Bosses in multiple boss missions can also hurt each other, mainly with ranged attacks.
Continuity Nod: Fergus, the clumsy blacksmith that players of the first game loved to hate, is the blacksmith in the starting town of Colhen, and the only option for upgrading equipment, and crafting certain materials, namely higher-grade Ores, for players lacking the crafting skills to do so. There are a number of side-quests involving him, and especially his penchant for iced strawberry brandy.
Counter Attack: One of Fiona's key skills, allowing her to unleash a powerful attack after guarding against an enemy's attack. It eats shields for breakfast, meaning that raising your Campfire skill is essential for using this against bosses.
Critical Hit: Par for the course, considering this is an RPG, but it's worth noting that Lann gets a powerful followup attack whenever he scores one (and he gets to do it again if that attack crits!). This is the main reason Spear Lanns are so powerful - they have a move that boosts their crit chance, and their smashes make heavy use of Death of a Thousand Cuts, so they get to do this a lot.
There's even a skill that allows you improve your chance of a critical hit, including Magic Critical Hits for Evie's magic.
Cut and Paste Environments: All combat is in instanced dungeons, known as "missions," set in specific regions. Each region has a limited number of landscape/room/landmark features. Each time a dungeon is generated, it uses a semi-random selection of available features. Certain missions will invariably have certain features every time, and the boss rooms are always the same for each mission, but there will also be a few randomly-generated features as well.
This is played straight/averted with some later areas. The Ruins of Sanctity are pretty much the Perilous Ruins, with noticeable changes. Same with Hoarfrost Hollow and Depths, Prairie Entrance and the Fomorian Base. Some of the other areas are truly unique, namely Ainle, The Sewers, and Ortel Castle, but each of those reuses features for their individual missions.
The Catacombs copy Ainle. This is justified, as plotwise, you're supposed to be heading back to Ainle during the day. The Perilous Ruins and the Ruins of Sanctity are supposed to be a part of the same general structure, Hoarfrost Depths is obviously just Hoarfrost Hollow but further underground, and the Fomorian Base is in the same region as the Prairie Entrance, but a ways beyond it.
Cute Witch: Evie, particularly if you deck her out in the Scarlet Witch or Sweetie Bear cloth armour sets.
Dark World: The entire game takes place in what Mabinogi refers to as Tir Na Nog. The game focuses on the struggle to escape this hellish world and reach the promised land of Erinn, where the original game takes place.
Daylight Horror: The first region of the Catacombs is just Ainle during the day. The possessed goblins are still around, but no vampires spawn.
Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Mostly, anyways. The only actual penalty for dying in a battle and not resurrecting is having to start over (and most battles are 10 minutes long or less). You don't lose EXP or gold and get to keep anything you've already found.
Deflector Shields: The magical version of this is Evie's main defense. The shields only seem to extend to the surface of her skin, however, since attacks can still damage her armour. (Underwear still can't be damaged, but that's most likely a result of the developers aiming for a PG-13 audience.)
As of the "Labyrinth" expansion, Evie acquired a skill, Mana Amber, that creates a large, octahedral, crystalline shield that offers complete invulnerability for a short time. Casting time is instant, but casting cost is high. Unlike most personal shields (and her normal magical shield), the character is fully immobilized inside (curled up in a ball), although the shield itself can be knocked around by enemies. It can also be shattered by higher tier enemies.
The Paladin skill Conviction does this, complete with cross design
Spear-using Lann characters can use the "3960 Hurricane" skill, becoming a whirling dervish of death, and gaining the highest DPS in the game. The skill is highly effective at clearing a room of mooks, but against challenging bosses that aren't easily stunned, the skill is considerably less effective.
Evie's high-powered Focus skills, such as Blind Arrow, can deal a great amount of damage at longer range than her lower-level skills or basic attack. However, the long charging time makes it very difficult to use against higher-level Lightning Bruiser bosses, unless in a party with a Tank to draw aggro, or combined with a "trap" skill to hold the boss long enough to set up the skill.
It should be noted that the charge time can be reduced to about half of the norm by letting go of the charge button when the bar flashes and pressing it again. You can reach level 3 Focus in about a second and a half that way, then use Ice Spear to freeze whatever is bothering you long enough to charge up Blind Arrow.
Difficulty Spike: The game stops playing around once you hit Ainle. The first two regions, the Perilous Ruin and Hoarfrost Hollow, are filled with slow, inagressive and predictable enemies. The Goblins you encounter early on in Ainle are the epitome of this, but the Vampires you see later are very aggressive and fast, and each new boss Vampire will throw some new trick at you to screw you up. The next areas just get worse. It becomes important during boss battles to hold back and observe how the boss fights before charging in, or you'll get yourself killed.
Doppelgänger Attack: The Labyrinth has increasingly powerful doppelgangers as the end bosses on each floor.
Double Unlock: Sort of the way equipment works, after the first boat. Defeating a certain boss the first time unlocks the crafting recipe with NPCs, then you need to visit them with all the materials and enough money to craft it.
Drop the Hammer: Fiona can use a hammer upon hitting level 24, and the Gnoll Chieftain uses one roughly the size of a telephone pole to bring the pain in the first really tough boss battle in Perilous Ruins.
Ogres are a fan of hammers in this game as well.
Dual Boss: Several, of the independent-attack variety. A few missions have as many as three very powerful bosses. There are even random dual-mini-bosses on some of the multi-boss missions.
Gauntlet missions spawns several bosses at once, and replacement bosses after one is defeated.
Either-Or Prophecy: The heroes are fighting to take the humans to Erinn once all the fomors are destroyed. It turns out the fomors have a similar prophesy.
Elemental Crafting: While mostly averted in Mabinogi, Vindictus adds a few elements of this. While most equipment is made with realistic materials, magical items and precious metals are used in crafting higher-level gear.
An Entrepreneur Is You: While players cannot hold individual businesses as in the original game, they can make a lot of gold by selling high-quality-crafted, upgraded, and enchanted armor and weapons, food, and high-demand drops at the marketplace.
The Faceless: Marrec isn't seen without his helmet, even as a child.
Also Shakarr who has an imposing helmet in all his appearances.
Advancing a transformation skill (Paladin or Dark Knight) uses an odd mechanic. Every real time hour, you are allowed one transformation. Upon exiting your transformation, you get 75 EXP for your Path Skill and 1 EXP, up to 25, for every 1000 damage you deal. To level up a Path Skill once, you need 2000 EXP. So since it's possible to get a maximum of 100 Path EXP per hour, it takes 20 hours minimum to level up your transformation once.
Crafting skills (known as "Talent" in-game, formerly "Expertise") used a similar mechanic prior to the Season 2 release. Aside from the grinding required to earn sufficient experience and randomly dropped items to level the skill, certain special items (known as "finishes") were required for the final "test" crafting. These items were available only from specific NPCs, who provided a maximum of 2 per real-time day, and only in exchange for a number of quest items. 20 of these special items were required for the first level alone, with higher levels requiring more. This was dropped in favour of a simple "recipe" unlock system.
Other side quests involve collecting items from creatures (typically minibosses) that also spawn extremely rarely. Few of these are necessary for advancing the main storyline, but some are the only way to acquire higher-level equips.
Advancing the next dungeon sometimes require getting a certain amount of "Battle Points" (BP), which requires completing the mission under an oath or completing bonus missions in the dungeon. Some of the bonus missions depend purely on luck, to boot.
Fanservice: Both male and female characters get to be this once they start earning higher-level gear. Particularly strong with female characters Fiona, Evie, and especially Vella. Further, armor can be (temporarily) destroyed in combat, leaving characters to fight in their underwear until it's repaired.
Underwear sets available in the cash shop really ratchet up the fanservice levels.
Fiery Redhead: Marrec apparently had red hair, though you never see his face.
Subverted with Marrec's fellow mercenary Ceara and the redhaired merchant Kirstie, who is overtly compassionate and later turns out to be an ally of the Gnolls.
Five-Man Band: Deconstructed. There are six very different hero characters to select from, but very little personality is known about them. Aside from Karok being The Big Guy and Evie being either The Chick or The Smart Guy, the other three characters don't fit the classic five man band definition. Plus, all non-raid missions have a four player limit.
Flavor Text: Prior to the Season 2 update, Vindictus had flavor text for all items. Oddly, the text often described effects that should have had an effect on the gameplay but did't, notably curses. These were removed with the update, and now most equipment no longer has a description of any sort outside their stats and set bonuses.
Flunky Boss: The game runs rampant with this. A good example being Black Scar in The Fleeing Gnoll King; he's a Lightning Bruiser that will not let up and he comes with a small squad of mooks that are all damage sponges. Finding a way to kill them without getting murdered by Black Scar is no small challenge.
Foe-Tossing Charge: One of Karok's smashes does this. Later on, he also gets a skill that allows him to damage enemies simply by sprinting into them.
Fiona's Shield Charge also does this.
Fragile Speedster: Lann starts out as the Glass Cannon version of this, having the highest DPS in the game, but he relies almost entirely on his dodge skill for defense, as he lacks the defensive/escape skills the other characters enjoy. His dodge skill's invincibility frames can make survival easy with practice, but he still remains fairly fragile. With the right skill build, can develop into a Lightning Bruiser at high levels.
From Bad to Worse: As the Vindictus storyline goes on, this is one of those things you can very much count on, especially later on.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Unlike the first game, which manages to creatively integrate the necessary gameplay mechanics into the story and avert this trope, Vindictus plays it completely straight, not even attempting to explain it.
The description of the title: "You know you're a Master Baiter when you choose to spend Valentine's Day baiting your own rod on a boat in the middle of nowhere."
Giant Spider: Your tutorial fight is against one of these, and you also fight another big spider in Ruins of Sanctity in order to find a replacement for the original one. After that one, you fight two giant spiders at the same time in the same region. Also as of Episode 5 there is yet another spider boss, the Weeping Queen. She's likely to make you weep without a good party however.
Taken Up to Eleven in Ep.10 where you get to fight three of them. At the same time.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: The final main boss of Ainle, the Blood Prince, has these. And if you craft a specific piece of equipment, your character can as well!
Griefer: Although the game is designed to prevent most forms of it (you can't attack other players, and Ninja Looting is impossible,) one particularly insidious design oversight is the inclusion of instant death traps that can be activated by monsters or players. In theory, players can activate them to kill the monsters, or their fellow group members who have foolishly run under that spiky ceiling, thinking it's safe now.
One type of secondary weapon, small bombs, can also cause harm to players. Only a small amount, but if you're already low on health, they can be... annoying.
People will join dungeons and sit there the entire run, sometimes magically appearing at the boss, to grief experience. It's especially aggravating if they press F12 because you know that they're sitting their ass down doing nothing, and/or if you're running a higher level dungeon that you're worried about getting your ass kicked in. It doesn't help much if you're the only person other than them in the party.
Certain oaths, like the Timed Run, X times incapacitated or X armor items broken by all party members cause the mission to instantly fail if it occurs. While people rarely try to intentionally fail this, it can be annoying if a player wasn't aware of the oath, especially in timed runs.
Grievous Harm with a Body: You pretty much can pick up the the petrified corpses of your fallen enemies and use them as a weapon against other enemies if you don't feel like your current weapon or magic is doing enough. They don't even have to be petrified.
For added fun, Evie is fully capable of smashing if you choose to take the Sinister Scythe route with her, but Kai must always shoot.
Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Early-game archer enemies and bosses have terrible accuracy; they can literally miss at point-blank range against stationary players. Later enemies improve on their aim.
Improbable Weapon User: Evie develops the ability to wield increasingly large and elaborate scythes as her primary weapon. Karok starts out wielding a club the size of a tree trunk, with some versions nearly as tall as he is, and/or covered with lots of spiky bits.
Improvised Weapon: Pretty much every object can be picked up and used as a weapon to beat your opponents with, including brooms, amphorae, pitchforks, barrels, and chunks of stone columns. They also stun bosses quite easily, a very unique ability in terms of skill.
Evie can create golems made out of lose items around the area you are in, and if a piece of them gets destroyed they will just pick up another item if they can. So you make another weapon out of improvised weapons.
Also, picked up weapons may do more damage in a strike depending on your weapon and character. It's not too much of a stretch to see a player go from item to item as they seem to disregard the fact that they have their own weapon.
Inventory Management Puzzle: Partiallly subverted. The sheer variety of loot and secondary items is balanced by expansions to your storage chest and quickslots, gradually unlocked as you progress in the main story. Further storage slots can also be purchased, either temporarily or permanently, through the premium cash shop. However, if you're doing any crafting, the sheer volume of materials needed can quickly fill the available space.
As of the Season 2 update, all three storage chests are unlocked to begin with rather than over the story. However, you still need to buy any extra expansions.
Item Crafting: Since gold dropped from enemies is negligible compared to loot drops and quest rewards, the vast majority of weapon and equipment aquisition revolves around giving your hard-earned leather and ores to NPCs. As of the Labyrinth expansion, players can craft their own equipment. The cost (in items and gold) to craft individual pieces is lower than for NPC-crafted gear, but takes a whole lot more of both to improve crafting skills enough to make higher-level gear, making it more expensive in the long run. Player-crafted gear does have the advantage of being higher quality (better durability and stats), so YMMV whether it's worth the effort.
As of the Season 2 update, there are now three grades of equipment. Broken equipment drops commonly from most bosses and gives pitiful stats (as well as looking broken), normal equipment is more rarely dropped and gives better stat bonuses, and exquisite equipment is almost always made via crafting, gives the best stat bonuses and is the only type to have set bonuses. Safe to say working on those crafting skills is worth it these days.
Jerk Ass: Gallagher, mixed with a heavy dose of Ted Baxter. His "quests" generally involve him trying to scam you out of money, or challenging you to impress him and then insisting you still suck when you meet the objectives.
As the story progresses, other NPCs start calling Gallagher on his Jerk Ass behaviour, and effectively start treating him as The Scrappy in-universe, to the point that your choice to become a Dark Knight or a Paladin depends on whether or not you choose to kill him (Dark Knight) or spare him (Paladin) (either way, you don't actually kill him.). Though, as an odd observation, a very early quest to go fishing has him acting entirely out of character, almost as if the dialogue was meant for another NPC. Perhaps he really, really likes fishing.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Brynn. He comes off as aloof and always asks why you insist on bothering him all the time. However, according to Tieve he's kind and gentle and once when she accidentally used salt instead of sugar when baking cookies he ate the entire plate without letting her have one so she wouldn't realize and be embarrassed by her mistake.
Evie's quick evasion skill, magic shield, slow-but-powerful ranged magic attack, and healing ability make her the strongest starting character against the early game's Mighty Glacier bosses. Later, once Lightning Bruiser bosses begin to dominate, the slow casting time of her more powerful skills becomes a major handicap, as does her inability to wear heavy armour when faced with bosses who can destroy half or more of her magic shield in a single blow. She does have some skills to compensate, but they're tricky to use, and cost a huge amount of stamina.
By contrast, defensive characters Fiona and Karok are harder to solo with at low levels, particularly once bosses start using powerful "smash" attacks. Once they've had time to gain and level-up their defense and counter-attack skills, they can stand up to later game bosses much more easily than Evie, and Karok's special attacks can cause massive amounts of damage. Lann and Vella are pretty much the only linear characters in the game.
Magnet Hands: Played straight. Even if your character is "incapacitated", and blown halfway across the map by a particularly strong attack, your weapons will stay with you. In another, more humorous example, if Lann crosses his arms in an idle animation, because his swords are mapped to his hands, the "sheathed" swords will go inside his hip, and come out the other side.
A twist comes into play with Karok. He can learn a skill called "Pillar Toss", which allows him to do just that. At that point, he has the option to either keep fighting barehanded or pick it back. Every so often, that pillar will respawn on Karok's location so it doesn't get left on the other end of the map. It's also back in his hands by the next map.
Multi-Mook Melee: The boss battle of the "Friends?" battle quest pits you against more than a hundred gnolls, 100 of which are Veteran Gnolls, plus one (fairly weak) boss near the end.
No Indoor Voice: Krunk, who will fill up the whole dialogue box with just a few words.
Not So Different: There are a few examples of this throughout the story, with both sides wanting something and war breaking out. One of the main ones is the gnolls you grind on in the first chapter. They were defecting from the other gnolls (who have thrown in with the Fomors you are fighting) and trying to avoid war, but some misunderstanding started one. A lot of characters struggle when they learn this.
Nostalgia Level: Mabinogi fans are greeted by a quite familiar enemy in Episode 8. One of the raid bosses of the episode is none other than Glas Ghaibhleann, Generation 1's final boss from the original game. The Succubus also returns, although there's only one of her this time.
One-Hit Polykill: Heaving a big rock at a cluster of low-level mooks. Nearly all of Evie's magic attacks can do this, and at higher levels, some can take out large groups of more powerful mooks. One of Karok's smash attacks can do this, as can one of Kai's special attacks.
Only Sane Woman: Shayla is a definite Type 3, being the only one who truly understands what's going on, and isn't obsessed with politics, religion, conspiracies, personal issues, or booze. Rather than fighting to change things, she just sits back and uses the situation to her own financial advantage.
They also qualify as Most Annoying Sound because they constantly scream like crows with severe asthma. And unless you're Karok, you can't grapple them.
Although an Ainle Raid Boss, the Blood Lord, appears to fit the Nosferatu idea of a vampire.
Palette Swap: Although common in Mabinogi, it is mostly averted in Vindictus. Low level mooks in Perilous Ruins and Hoarfrost Hollow are divided mainly into melee, strong melee, and ranged damage types, but there are significant differences in their AI patterns. From Ainle onward, additional mook types are added, with substantially different attack styles (including suicide bombers). By contrast, spiders and wisps are essentially identical throughout the game.
Power Fist: Karok's Cestus weapon class are all massively huge, one handed stone or metal fists that deal less damage then his pillars, but have faster swing and recovery.
Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: A passive form available in the motto you can give your character, which appears above your name as your party sails off toward their next mission. A few titles earned from quests or combat count as well.
The Promised Land: Erinn, Mabinogi's original setting, is this to the people of this particular setting. It's a Type C cynical example though, because of the war against the Fomors in order to reach it.
MAJOR SPOILER: At the end of Episode 10, Keaghan eats Verafim's heart and gains insane amounts of dark powers that lets him fight with Elchulus, but also make him go insane. Though he is brought back to his senses after being defeated by the player character.
Rage Helm: A couple of the helmets have scary faces on them, notably the Beholder Mask. It's also the Trope Namer, but the trope naming helmet isn't actually an example.
Rainbow Pimp Gear: Unlike Mabinogi, there is no function for choosing colours for equips during crafting. All colours are generated randomly. There is a dye function that uses in-game currency, but it's also completely random, and gets very expensive to use for higher-level gear. Fortunately, there are limits on available colours for any particular equip, combined with Real Is Brown as noted below, which means you won't end up looking too clownish.
As of the Titan expansion, cash shop "dye ampoules" have been added. These provide a semi-random selection of colours, and include far more vibrant colour than the dye shop, partially averting Real Is Brown. One side effect of the brighter colours is that players can now deliberately look seriously clownish.
Rainbow Speak: This comes up in places. Words will sometimes be red or blue when they are key, but not with any real consistency.
Real Is Brown: This is more due to the Source engine than an artistic choice, although being set in a Crapsack World, this may be at least partially deliberate. And, in the case of Rocheste, real is apparently a sort of sickly green.
As noted above, the new dye options allow for much brighter colours, making some characters look almost cartoonish against the gritty background.
Revenue Enhancing Devices: Although all of the main game content is available for free, items granting stat bonuses, better-quality versions of game items, additional storage slots, and cosmetic items are available in the premium cash shop. Most of these are time-limited, expiring in 30 to 90 days, but a few can be taken permanently, for a higher cost.
Rewarding Vandalism: Nearly everything in the game is destructible, including large parts of the scenery. A large number of crafting items are available primarily or exclusively through smashing up everything around you, as is a small amount of gold.
There are even several titles available that depend on smashing a large number of certain items, or picking up a large number of drops from smashed items.
And let's not forget the side quests and bonus missions that require you to obtain a certain number of a certain item that can only be found by destroying everything you come across. Those cause headaches for almost everyone that tries to get them.
Schizo Tech: The entire world seems to be in a pre-medieval state, except for quite a number of suspicious examples, below. Possibly justified as A Wizard Did It and/or Magitek. Lampshaded, as the player is given several quests to investigate the various out-of-place technologies.
Carbon-belching motors in the Perilous Ruins, Ruins of Sanctity, Fobellow Prairie Entrance, and Fomorian Base.
Black powder grenades/bombs are used by both players and multiple Kobold bosses.
Harder Than Hard: Hero Mode which can be downright infuriating unless you have the gear for it. What makes it even worse is often times the gear you need for Hero Mode is... only dropped in Hero Mode.
Sex Sells: The built-in cash shop helps to provide players (mainly the female characters) ways to enhance their sex appeal (see Chainmail Bikini above) in exchange for real-life cash. Various styles of temporary and permanent underwear are available, with the cost around 2-4$ per set. Prior to the Labyrinth expansion, a permanent set could cost a mind-blowing 20$ USD.
For female characters, there are also multiple makeup styles available for real-life cash.
Squishy Wizard: Averted by Evie at low levels, thanks to her strong magical shield and fairly weak bosses. At higher levels, when bosses start using more high-powered special attacks, and Lightning Bruisers become more common, she gets substantially squishier. Building skills that allow her to use heavier armour reduce her squishiness, but she has to sacrifice attack power to do so, as she gets substantial boosts to her damage from her cloth armour, and she's still weaker on defense than Fragile Speedster Lann.
As of the "Labyrinth" release, her magical shield was made into a passive skill which can be levelled, dramatically improving her defense at higher levels, but still leaving her weaker than other characters, due to her reliance on cloth armour for stat boosts.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: So, what does the main character do after Gwynn bans him/her from going to Ainle? Why, go there with reckless abandon, of course! It gets one of the important NPCs killed. And what happens when Gwynn bans us AGAIN from going to the Prairie? Well, take a wild guess!
Luckily, the Prairie incident ends on a much more positive note all around and probably saved the war effort.
Suck Sessor: The Ferghus of Mabinogi becomes an example in reverse, in regards to his presumed ancestor; the Ferghus of this game. Unlike his predecessor, this Ferghus never damages your equipment, even if his hands do slip.
Taken for Granite: Dead enemies are turned to stone a short time after expiring. Also, one of the Paladin's Path Skills can do this to your enemies. Naturally, it doesn't work on bosses, but it can effectively tip a battle further in the favor of the Paladin.
The Smurfette Principle: Notable aversion: the first three characters released include two female and one male, so there were more female than male characters in the game. Further averted by the fact that the two female characters consisted of a mage who is easily the most powerful character at low levels, and a tank.
The release schedule of players has alternated boy-girl, and there are currently the same number of both; with Tanks, DPSers and Rangers/Nukers (much of Evie's magic is ranged attacks, and Kai has some area-of-effect special attacks) in both male and female forms.
Stat Sticks: Most of Evie's armor. As of the Labyrinth expansion, Evie can no longer use her staff as a melee weapon (magic attacks only), so the staff becomes a literal stat stick.
For Lann, Vella, and Fiona it's "Sticks to the Hip".
Super Mode: The Dark Knight and Paladin transformations give you more stamina for pulling off skills, and massively increases your damage, HP and stats.
Thigh-High Boots: The Succubus boss has 'em. Several female-specific equipment sets also feature these.
Turns Red: Played straight for Thor - the lower his HP goes, the faster his attacks fire off. Most of the other bosses zig-zag between inversion and straight play, as you can knock them down and they'll occasionally hunch over in pain on their own after a certain amount of damage. But some of the later ones have powerful attacks they'll only use once they're down to a certain amount of HP, and you do NOT want to get in the way when they use those moves.
Unusable Enemy Equipment: A whole hell of a lot of it. Only a tiny handful of enemy equipment drops are actually usable, and those are commonly weaker than similar-level crafted equipment. However, enemy equipment drops are necessary for crafting new player equipment.
When an enemy is defeated, their weapon can sometimes be picked up and used as an Improvised Weapon. The weapon will disappear after a while, though.
The Vamp: Shayla. The only overtly sexual female NPC, and she doesn't hesitate to utilize this to entice the player into doing her bidding. Interestingly, she seems to be the only one who knows from the start that the war is wrong and the "monsters" are really oppressed minorities. Not that she cares, as long as she's making piles of money off it.
Wake-Up Call Boss: If you go into the fight against the Gnoll Chieftain thinking it's going to be like the previous boss fights, you are going to get your ass kicked hard. He is the very first boss you face that makes extensive use of smash attacks, which deal a lot more damage than regular attacks, will lay you out on the ground if you get hit by them, and cannot be blocked by Fiona's shield without a special skill that you get only after defeating him for the first time, which makes staying clear of his giant hammer key to surviving the battle.
As of the Episode 5 update, we have the Irukul raid boss. It's notable for being the first boss where you genuinely NEED a strategy in order to complete the battle. Otherwise, even if you have unlimited revival items, you very possibly won't be able to deal enough damage before the time runs out. Even if you use a strategy an average run takes around half an hour, whereas previous boss battles could be wrapped up in 10-15 minutes. Also qualifies as That One Boss.
Wham Episode: Episode 3 has the firm real wham moment which the battle appropriately called "Wake Up Call": Ellis dies in a cut-scene just before fighting the final boss. This is a Wham moment for Gwynn, too, who deals with the fallout of this later.
Both halves of Episode 8 offer Wham moments, but for different reasons. In part 1, the allies you met in Episode 5.5 have turned into fomors, and are two of the bosses for this area. Part 2 ends with Gwynn dying to protect Keaghan, and both Keaghan and the hero leaving the Royal Army. Considering that Gwynn had been an important recurring character from the start right up to this point, this could be a real blow to the player losing the character.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Cosmetic?: Prior to Season 2, most of the titles earned by a hero granted stat boosts, whether or not they are equipped. Seasonal titles, though, were pure bragging rights. As of the Season 2 release, all titles appear to have become purely cosmetic.
Early on, cash-shop items like underwear sets and hair also granted stat boosts. These were made purely cosmetic as of the Labyrinth expansion.
What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Subverted with the Guardian Spider in the prologue, and Tieve's love for spiders in general. There is even a quest to aquire a spider egg for Tieve to hatch and raise as a pet.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Played straight. The goddess Morrigan has apparently mandated the genocide of all non-human sentient races, in order to bring about her version of Paradise. This causes quite a bit of angst for several NPCs, including the Oracle of the goddess, who don't understand why she would command such a thing (or even if she really did).
Subverted with Karok. He isn't technically human, but is close enough to fight on the same side as the goddess.
In Chapter 8, characters we already met, Ingkells and Silberin, along with their followers, changed from humans into fomors.
Wistful Amnesia: At the end of Chapter 10, a few extra missions reveal that while no one has any direct memory of Tieve or Keaghan anymore (along with most of the second half of the season 1 storyline), remnants of their existence (such as Brynn's photo of Tieve or an old friendship ring) stir up emotions in the Colhen NPCs.
Wolfpack Boss: Most notably, the "Revenge" mission from Perilous Ruins, which involves fighting two bosses, one melee and one ranged, at the same time. Another unlockable mission in that region has you battling Black Breeze and his two buddies, who are Lightning Bruiser werewolves that define That One Boss.
Also, the Red Sentinels, a pack of four gnoll archers that attack you at once. They all appear identical, making it difficult to focus on one for any extended amount of time.
Wreaking Havok: This game may be the first MMO to have a fully functioning physics engine (Valve's Source engine, in fact) and is quite proud of the fact. Many of the higher-tier weapons and armor are covered in chains and baubles that swing about as the player moves, and one of the highlights of the combat system is the ability to break certain parts of the environment, then pick up random objects and use them as Improvised Weapons, such as pots or chunks of stone or mid-sized trees. Hilarity Ensues.
World of Buxom: Notably averted with both player characters and NPCs. Even the bustiest characters, Shayla and Esyllt, are still well within the realm of realism.
A few armour and clothing sets noticeably enhance female characters' bustlines, most infamously the "Homebound" clothing set, putting them within reach of this trope. Most of these are uncommon, however, as they're essentially low-level gear that can only be acquired with high-level crafting skills or by paying exorbitant amounts of gold in the marketplace.
Wrestler in All of Us: Step 1: Grab an enemy. Step 2: Sidle over to the nearest wall or breakable item. Step 3. Watch as your character chokeslams, piledrives, or suplexes said enemy.
You Are Already Dead: A Scythe-using Evie's two most powerful special attacks, Death Spike and Invisible Loom, can tag multiple monsters with Mark of Death and Bloody Thread, respectively, that allow Evie to then snap her fingers later and deal a huge amount of damage to everything that was tagged. If done while standing still, she will take a regal pose and lift up her left hand to snap her fingers with her eyes closed. Mark of Death is weaker and can only tag 3 enemies of the same race, while Bloody Thread is at least twice as powerful and can tag 4 enemies of any type.
You Have Researched Breathing: A very literal example in the skill Battle Respiration. Truth In Gaming as developing learning proper breath control is very important to traditional martial arts, as well as many sports, such as track-and-field and archery.
Zettai Ryouiki: Evie's outfits frequently have short skirts or hotpants, often with stockings reaching from mid-calf up to mid-thigh (or higher). Some premium shop female underwear sets also have stockings, which can create this effect for armour sets that feature short skirts (common at higher levels for female characters).