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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Blade Mistress' Adds Pet Dragons For Players

by Rainier on Oct. 3, 2002 @ 10:58 p.m. PDT

Blade Mistress Online has expanded its content to include pet dragons, creatures that hatch from eggs, eat, grow, and fight for their owners! Pet dragons have different colors, powers, and can be bred to produce even more powerful pets!

Blade Mistress is a server-centric, ultra-low bandwidth, persistent world, massively multiplayer, 3D graphical fantasy role-playing game. The latest version can be found HERE.

In a magic world filled with dangerous monsters and fantastic adventure, the Eight Great Spirits watch over a matriarchal human society. The heroines of the land include warrior Blade Mistresses, magical Enchantresses, and artistic Craftswomen. All three types of heroine protect and promote the small human population that exists in this fearsome and challenging world.

Blade Mistress currently has PvE combat, trading, crafting, chatting, character advancement, totem magic, and ritual magic. It also has dungeons that can be edited by the players themselves.

But the big new change is dragon eggs, which can be hatched by enchantresses, and nurtured into powerful fire-breathing pets. Like Pokemon or Monster Rancher, these pets start as babies and have to be fed regularly. They have a game lifespan, during which they get bigger and more powerful. They also respond in complex ways to the kind of monster meat you feed them. Three times in their life, they go through a major life change, and depending on what they ate last, they might change color, lay eggs, or get even more powerful.

The different colors of pet dragons also have different breath weapon powers. For instance, white dragons can blind the enemy, and black dragons can poison them. Enchantresses can own up to two pet dragons at once, allowing the enchantress to mix and match the best colors for her style of combat.

The pets themselves are very lifelike, doing tricks when happy, and flapping weakly when starved or sick. Players can name their pets, too.

The developers have also delivered on their promise to be guided by the community. "We've made so many changes because the players wanted it," said Frank Chang, Community Manager. "From color-coded inventory lists to changing the way skills like Dodge work, we've been listening and reacting. We expect to be
building, extending, and polishing this game for years, and our players will continue to dictate our development direction."

Blade Mistress lets each player create up to eight characters. Each character can be named, and can be customized with an array of faces and clothes. The hair and clothes can also be changed to almost any color. The creation process also lets the player distribute points among the Physical, Magical, and Creative statistics of the character. These statistics modify the different skills and actions of the character in the game.

What does "ultra-low bandwidth" mean? Thom Robertson, the game's designer, explains. "It means that bandwidth costs big bucks, so the only way our small shop can bring this game to the players is to design the game from the ground up with a commitment to using as little network bandwidth as possible.

"The most noticeable result is a game map that is divided into large squares, and you move from square to square, instead of just going anywhere you want.

"In testing, it took players a couple of seconds to wonder why they couldn't just move anywhere they wanted. Then a light bulb went on, and they got it, and
were happy with it.

"We think that our players will understand that we can't compete with the big boys on graphics and flash, but to compensate we're gonna strive for something
fresh and fun, and we're gonna listen to the players and take the game in the directions they choose."

The latest version of the game can be downloaded HERE. The web site also has instructions, a FAQ, and a forum.

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