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Anti-Aliased: My first 30 levels with AFK... er... Jade Dynasty


So I learned a few things since last week. One, writing an opinion column on how much I like Final Fantasy XIV can push people into a frothing internet rage, and two, people apparently forgot that I write an opinion column.

Therefore, because my column may induce emotional states similar to some drugs, I've been asked by the FDA to include a legible warning prior to each of my column topics.

The FDA would like me to tell you that reading Anti-Aliased can, in rare cases, cause extreme emotional upset, eye strain, monitor punching syndrome, a feeling of discomfort around Mithra, itchyness, nausea, resurrection sickness, paralysis of the eyelids, and carpal tunnel syndrome. You should stop reading Anti-Aliased and consult with a World of Warcraft priest should you develop any one of these symptoms while reading.

With that legalese out of the way, let's talk about Jade Dynasty -- dubbed by the illustrious James Egan as AFK Dynasty as it's the one MMO where you pay microtransactions to not play it. Yes, you heard me, it's more beneficial to not play Jade Dynasty than it is to play Jade Dynasty. EVE players, there is finally a game that puts your skill training system to shame.

A full walkthrough of the first 30 levels of Jade Dynasty -- really!

Ok, so, for those of you who don't know (which is probably many of you) we covered Jade Dynasty last week when Massively ran riot over E3 and stopped by Perfect World Entertainment's booth. Our managing editor, Shawn Schuster, grabbed a few interviews with the Ether Saga team, Perfect World team, and the Jade Dynasty team. When push came to shove and the staff was asked to write up these interviews, I ended up jumping onto the Jade Dynasty story.

About 10 minutes into the interview, I was incomplete disbelief as the game was described to me. Three of the main features of the game -- meditation, dreaming, and invigorate -- were basically systems that persuaded the user to not play the game. Meditation let you afk in cities and gain experience every 60 seconds, dreaming gives you three times the experience meditation gives you except you have to be offline to do it, and invigorate lets the game effectively bot your character. Yes, that's right, you click a button and the game plays your character for you. You can even set up lists of monsters you don't want to kill, skills you want to use, potions if you get too low on health or mana, and if you want to kill everything in the area or just quest monsters.

"Yes, that's right, you click a button and the game plays your character for you."

I couldn't believe it, so I had to see it for myself. I got into the beta, grabbed myself the client, and was soon on my way to making a character and starting out in the wonderful land of Jade Dynasty.

I wanted to level as fast as possible, so I got into the game and began to do a few of the quests. Besides becoming insanely tedious at level 1, I was able to quest up to level 5 in about an hour and half after doing a few "kill X" quests and some "mandatory quests," which are the game's way of saying that these are storyline quests.

Soon, I got curious and I checked into the cash shop. Lo and behold, they had given all of the beta testers some cash shop currency to use to buy some items. I ended up purchasing 24 dreamland scrolls, which allowed me to use the dreaming feature for 24 hours. With that I logged out, putting my character into dream mode so she would gain experience while I was logged off.

One day later I logged back in, only to find that I was no longer level 5 but level 30. Yes, that's right, level 30. And that's my experience with the game from 1 to 30.

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