Jade Dynasty is a 3D Asian fantasy MMORPG with a martial arts theme. Much of the geography and mythical monsters in Jade Dynasty are based on Chinese legend which gives the game a unique feel. All players start as initiates but must chose between five factions, each with its own fighting style.
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Graphics: High Quality
EXP Rate: High
PvP: Channel Specific / Fort Battles
Filesize: 1440 MB
Pros: +Auto-walk feature makes questing easier. +Land based and flying mounts. +Great environment and water effects. +Marriage system, pets, and fort Battles. +Good variety of skills. +Daily Events
Cons: -Limited appearance customization. -PvE feels very easy. -Must wait until level 15 to chose class.
Jade Dynasty Overview
Jade Dynasty is the third MMORPG to be published by Perfect World International. Like their previous titles, Jade Dynasty has an oriental setting. Much of the game’s environments and monsters are borrowed from Chinese mythology, which help it stand out from the crowd of fantasy games. New players in Jade Dynasty do not select a class right away, instead they start the game as initiates and must wait until level 15 to chose between five factions. All five factions have a different set of skills and a unique play style. The five factions (classes) in Jade Dynasty are:
Jadeon - The premier ranged damage dealer in Jade Dynasty. Jadeons have powerful AoE (area of effect) spells that make them effective levelers. High cast times and low defense make them vulnerable at close range.
Skysong - The only class that is capable of healing and buff other players. Skysongs have low defense and limited offensive capabilities early on but make powerful allies in late game PvE and PvP.
Vim - The primary tank class. Vims have high defense and deal powerful blows to single targets. They lack ranged attacks and become less effective during the later levels.
Lupin - The rogue faction of Jade Dynasty. Lupins deal heavy melee damage but suffer from low defense. Their high critical rate makes them dangerous assassins but they are less useful in group fights. Ideal class for beginners.
Modo - Modos are the main offensive spell casters. Their physical appearance and spell arsenal which includes curses, DoTs, and nukes mark them as formidable Warlocks. The Modo faction is the most difficult to play, especially since they are rather weak during the early levels.
Balo - The faction of brute strength. The Balo prefer axes and many of their skills focus on their physical power. They make excellent front line warriors and can stun, paralyze, silence, and weaken their enemies.
Arden - Elegant being that combine the best aspects of mankind and the animal kingdom. The Arden are masters of the bow and their affinity with nature allows them to summon beasts and plants for assistance.
Jade Dynasty Screenshots
Jade Dynasty Featured Video
Jade Dynasty Review
By, Erhan Altay
Jade Dynasty is the third MMORPG to be published by Chinese publisher Perfect World International. Best known for their first and still most impressive title, Perfect World. PWI is rapidly ramping up their North American presence, first with the release of Ether Saga Online and now with Jade Dynasty. What sets Jade Dynasty apart from Ether Saga is a return the a more realistic graphic style. But even with the more realistic visuals, Jade Dynasty is still much more similar to Ether Saga Online than it is Perfect World.
Lacking in Style
Perfect World was one of the most polished free-to-play MMORPGs ever to be released. It especially shines in the field of character customization, with an elaborate character creation process. With the release of Ether Saga Online, many fans expected a similar experience, and felt let down by the limited number of choices. Unfortunately, Jade Dynasty is a similar let down in this area. The only options players have during character creation is a choice between genders and seven face and hair styles. All players start out as the initiate class, and must wait until level 15 to chose between five factions to join. Each faction acts as a class and includes the standard spectrum of archetypes including warrior (Vim), healer (Skysong), rogue (Lupin), warlock (Modo) and archer (Jadeon.)
New players start their adventure in Sunstream City where helpful NPCs are scattered around with small, green icons hovering above them. While there is no formal tutorial, talking to nearby NPCs offers players quests that introduce them to the game. One of the first quests asks players to walk around town and have a chat with the Blacksmith, Tailor and Merchant. After completing this and several other run-around quests, players will have several pieces of gear including a new weapon. Oddly, players can also accept a full set of armor despite its level requirement being 45. Backpack space in Jade Dynasty is rather limited (though it can be expanded) so I would recommend not accepting this armor just yet. The game’s controls are generally smooth. Movement can be done with either the mouse or keyboard and both methods work well. The interface is similar to that of most MMORPGs. The quest log is well organized, and quest descriptions have certain bolded words that can be clicked on to activate auto-walk.
Skills Trump Swings
The beginner initiate class isn’t too exciting. There are a total of four skills available in the initiate skill tree: a buff, a passive resistance boost, a self heal, and most importantly, an offensive move called Heavy Blow. Now, obviously activated skills are supposed to inflict greater damage than standard hits, but the difference between damage dealt is taken to an obscene level in Jade Dynasty. Even at level one, a regular strike does 8-9 damage, which is capable of killing weak monsters in several seconds. Heavy Blow at level one deals over 210 damage and easily one-shots anything within the players level range. Add to this the fact that similar monsters are clumped together and you get some silly looking gameplay; just watch the combat video in the videos section to see what I mean. The experience rate is moderately paced, but the repetitive gameplay makes the grinding process seem longer than it is. The only way to tell the level of monsters you’re facing is by the color of their name. Monsters that are higher level than you are have their names displayed in red, while weaker ones are displayed in blue, green, or gray. New players are encouraged to skip the creatures located just outside town and head deeper into the wilderness to find stronger monsters to one-shot. There are many kill quests available, but completing the first few are simply not worth the effort. Choosing a faction at level 15 requires the completion of certain quests, so keep your eyes open and be sure to accept any quests that come your way.
Tiers and Peers
Jade Dynasty entered open beta in late June 2009, and so far there is one server for each of three regions – US East, US West, and Europe. Each server has a multitude of channels, some of which are labeled PVE and others PVP. The population on all channels are relatively low; I saw several people in major towns but most of the time I felt like I was alone in a large world. I’m not sure if the population will ever fill up, but in the mean time, the game will continue to suffer some of the same problems as Ether Saga Online – mainly the endless fields of similar creatures bunched together. Things do get more exciting after level 15, though, when players make their faction choice and gain access to a whole new skill tree, one with many more options available. Players can actually see the skill tree of all the factions right from the start. Each faction actually has a total of five skill trees, each representing a different tier.
PvE is as Easy as One, Two Three
Leveling in Jade Dynasty is incredibly fast paced, mainly due to its “Esper system”. Espers are a kind of pet in the game which when equipped gives players access to the Esper’s skills, but the main purpose of these Espers is to allow players to bot in game. Players obtain their first Esper in Jade Dynasty early on, and once one of these Espers are equipped, players gain access to the game’s botting system, which allows players to have their character fight and loot monsters automatically. If this sounds a bit like the botting system in Magic World Online and Godswar Online, it’s because it is. An in-game bot like this makes PvE in Jade Dynasty feel a bit “throw away”, but since much of the fun in Jade Dynasty is derived from late game encounters and PvP, the botting system allows casual players to easily reach higher levels. Another positive aspect of the Esper system in Jade Dynasty, is that it actually adds an interesting dynamic to the game, as it’s not merely a botting tool. Each Esper has its own set of skills and can actually gain experience, so Espers act as another way to customize your character in Jade Dynasty, as different Espers grand players different skills.
Jade Dynasty has most of the standard features that gamers have come to expect of fresh new MMORPGs, such as pets and mounts (including flying mounts), but it also has some more interesting features to boast about. There is a marriage system where players of the opposite sex can tie the knot and earn special romance skills. Players can also form Alliances (guilds) and team up or declare war with one another. Alliances that are at war can engage in “Fort Battles”, with the winning side earning special skills and items. Like in Perfect World, there are some strange travel methods (like flying swords), but the most exciting feature for me was open PvP which was available on certain channels. PKing does come with consequences, so things aren’t out of control, but the knowledge that you could be attacked keeps you more focused on the game. Jade Dynasty has quite a high level cap (currently set at 150) but the game world is relatively small; there are just ten zones, but the one you start in is the smallest, and the world map shows plenty of unexplored land which may be added in patches to come. The game’s website and advertising describe Jade Dynasty as a martial arts MMORPG, but besides the oriental setting, it didn’t have the same emphasis on martial arts as Nine Dragons or Twelve Sky 2. That isn’t to say that this is a bad game, it’s actually much better than many similar Asian themed titles, such as Martial Heroes and Hero Online, but has a hard time filling the boots of its own predecessor.
Final Verdict: Good
Jade Dynasty has some impressive visuals but the gameplay is too simple, and has been done before far too many times. The limited number of classes and customization options make JD a difficult game to get into. Those looking for a more graphically realistic oriental game should give Jade Dynasty a try, but for the rest of us, there are plenty of better games around.
Jade Dynasty Videos
Jade Dynasty Cinematic Trailer
Jade Dynasty Character Creation
Jade Dynasty Combat Footage
Jade Dynasty Town Video
Jade Dynasty Gameplay Trailer
Jade Dynasty Links
Jade Dynasty Wiki [Excellent Resource!]
Jade Dynasty System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista
CPU: Pentium 1.5Ghz
RAM: 1 GB
HDD: 4.0 GB
Graphics Card: 128mb
OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista
CPU: Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
RAM: 2 GB
HDD: 4.0 GB
Graphics Card: 128mb or more