||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (July 2013)|
|Release date(s)||KOR January 21, 2010
Vindictus is an ORPG (online role-playing game) created by devCAT, an internal studio of Korean free-to-play game publisher Nexon. Vindictus is a prequel to the popular MMORPG Mabinogi and is known as Mabinogi Heroes (Korean: 마비노기 영웅전) in Asia.
Vindictus takes place in the same setting used in Mabinogi, but is placed chronologically several hundred years prior to the first game during a period of war and strife. Vindictus follows Nexon's traditional free-to-play model. The game itself is free to download and play and charges no purchase price. The game contains a virtual item shop to purchase in-game items with Nexon's virtual currency called NX (or Karma Koin) to enhance the player's character's appearance and abilities.
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Gameplay follows an episodic format, with new episodes added every six months. Upon completing an episode, a player can receive gold and/or items for quests, and will also receive extra Health Points. The health increase and items are especially sought to help one's chances for later episodes.
In Vindictus, "classes" and "characters" are one and the same. When beginning the game, players will have a choice to play as one of eight characters, each of which has different combat skills and abilities. Players are free to alter certain aspects of their character's appearance, but basic abilities and combat styles are set at character creation. All characters are gender-locked. Though the game was originally intended to have five characters, there are now currently eight.
- Lann is a male character described as "An intrepid warrior with a passion for weapons." The character specializes in Dual-Wielding weapons, specifically Swords. His main role in the party is DPS (Damage per second) and relies on speed and evasive maneuvers to win battles, but lacks any form of self-defense. His alternate weapons are Twin Spears, which comes with increased damage and higher critical hit rate along with constant attacks but has less abilities and poor dodging. He starts off with the ability of wearing light armor, but later gains the ability to wear heavy and plate armor as well.
- Fiona is a female character described as a "balanced warrior who wields a sword and shield." Fiona is an all-round melee character, using a single one-handed Longsword to fight while using a Shield to block and defend from heavy attacks. Her true potential comes from the combination of her two arsenals, allowing her to parry and counterattack to create openings in enemies. Her alternate weapon is a Long Hammer which causes more burst damage at the cost of attack speed. She starts off with a Small Shield, but later gains the ability to use a Large Shield, increasing her blocking ability with the inability to use certain counterattack skills.
- Evie is a female magician who uses different types of magic to help the player and the party. Her main role is burst damage (dealing high damage in one hit) and DPS (Damage per second), but has several support abilities available (healing, crowd control, etc.). Unlike other characters, Evie mostly wears Cloth and Light armor that contribute to magic damage. Evie's main weapon is a Staff, which is used for burst damage and support, and her alternate weapon is a Battle Scythe, increasing her DPS at the cost of her healing abilities.
- Karok is a giant male character who utilizes Brawling (engages with powerful physical combat while maintaining damage resistance) within the battlefield. He can do impressive but slow combos with a Battle Pillar, but he can throw the pillar and switch to Hand-to-Hand Combat which causes more damage at the cost of defense. He uses many physical special moves against monsters and bosses, using his skills and stature to dominate the battlefield, such as his ability to grab and intercept most bosses regardless of size and can crush and/or rip apart smaller enemies that would otherwise be ungrabbable to other characters. Though Karok lacks the ability to dodge, he can nonetheless reduce all damage dealt to him and then use self-regeneration abilities to recover the damage he received. His alternate weapon is a Cestus, greatly improving his Hand-to-Hand Combat style.
- Kai is a male character who plays the Archer role (sniping enemies from a distance using bows and arrows). Kai is very agile and has many burst damage and DPS tools at his disposal. Unlike other characters, Kai's bow has two forms: Short Bow and Long Bow, the former utilizing quick automatic aiming and strafe firing while the latter using power and distance at the cost of decreased rate of fire. He also has a couple of melee attacks when fighting at close range, and can also use bow techniques to slide far away from the enemy and resume attacking at long range. Kai also has special moves against enemies and bosses, such as chaining the enemy to the wall/floor or mounting and delivering a powerful blow to a boss. His alternate weapon is a mechanical crossbow known as the Cross Gun, greatly increasing his rate of fire and grants him access to explosive weaponry, but sacrifices evasiveness and has lesser abilities.
- Vella is a female swordsman who, like Lann, uses Twin Swords. She exhibits the power of wind, using it to slip directly through enemies, deflect most projectiles, and pull enemies into one spot, bolstering her counter-attacking ability. Although her play style seems identical to Lann, she has a much more proficient dodging ability but much less damage potential through normal and smash attacks, as her whole play style revolves around counter-attacking. Her alternate weapons are Chain Blades, a pair of chain whips with blades attached to them, allowing her to attack from great distances, restrain enemies and increasing her damage output, but at the cost of counter-attacking abilities and decreased survival.
- Hurk is a male berserker, using constant and hard hitting attacks without tiring, and is armed with a Greatsword. Hurk's power stems from his slow but powerful attacks, as well as the ability to increase his damage reduction and then self-regeneration. He can also counterattack to knock his enemies off balance, and can also keep enemies, especially bosses, off balance using sheer force. He currently lacks alternative weapons.
- Lynn is a female character that utilizes Glaive along with quick, well-timed attacks. While Lynn's damage output is slightly lower than the other characters, her ability stems from placing "marks" on her enemies and then detonating them to rack up huge amounts of damage. She also has great evasiveness, able to move around quickly with great distance and even slide directly behind her enemy from far away to resume attacking. She currently lacks alternative weapons.
There is a dyeing system that allows players to dye clothing and weapons for an entirely unique appearance. At character creation, people may customize eye and hair color, hair style, height (which affects gameplay) etc. There are some customizations that require NX (in-game cash), but they do not use Premium character cards; instead, the player must buy them during customization. These customizations give players a boost in the LUK, or Luck stat, which increases the chances of dropping more Evil Cores.
Each playable character has unique skills making game-play different across each character. In addition, each character has two sets of skills for their main and alternative weapons (I.E. Lann has Sword specific skills that are only usable when the player equips swords and Spear specific skills that are only usable when the player equips spears). Skills can be upgraded by using AP points which are rewarded by completing battles and overtime, even while offline.
Transformations are special skills that allows players to take on the form of a Paladin or Dark Knight, each of which gives significant boosts to stats. Transformations can only be activated once on the hour and resets every hour (i.e., a player can transform at 09:58 and again at 10:00). However, a player cannot transform more than once during a battle run. When battling in transformation mode, transformation experience is rewarded to the player in which they can increase their transformation level and put points into specific transformation skills. However, not all skills can be attained thus each player can vary in transformation abilities whether it be a supportive or offensive play style. Both transformations increases Health, Stamina, Defense, Physical and Magical Attack Power, SP Gain, Knock-down Resistance, Strength, Intelligence, Willpower, and Agility. Paladins tend to focus on Defense while Dark Knights possess higher Physical and Magical Attack Power. Players can achieve a higher degree of transformation completely changing the appearance of the character as well as abilities. Players attain a more powerful arsenal of abilities and stat boosts when undergoing this second transformation. However, this second transformation costs at least 10 AP and 2 SP Bars (500 SP) to activate. Transformations last for two minutes, while the second transformation lasts for one minute. However, if the first transformation's time goes beyond the second transformation's time, the remaining time for the second transformation will be that during the first transformation (i.e., engaging second transformation with thirty seconds left will have the second transformation lasting thirty seconds).
Titles can be attained by completing stories and battles, defeating specific enemies, collecting items, or performing specific actions. Some titles (previously all titles did) offer bonus statistics to enhance a player's character in the following categories: STR, AGI, INT, WIL, and HP. Titles are automatically accumulated and stacked on the character; all increase statistics are automatic. Players can choose which title they want to appear above their heads to show off to other users. Selecting a title does not earn one the specified statistic increase as it has already been permanently added the moment the player earned the title; having the title appear and having no title appear gives the same effect and is true to all titles.
One can only go to dungeons to gain Experience or complete quests (although quests can be sometimes be completed just by talking to NPCs). One can do either venture to dungeons alone or go with some other people. If one goes in a party with other people, monsters will become stronger, but there is more chance to survive a battle with a friend. Also, when in a party, the health capacity of bosses will increase. One can do dungeons on Normal, Hard, or Hero modes. Hero mode can only be unlocked from lvl 50.
A token system was implemented as a means of preventing people from playing excessively. Higher leveled or excessive battles cost "tokens" to enter, which gradually increases as more battles are performed. Tokens are restocked on certain days of the week. Alternatively, special tokens may be purchased from the cash shop which provides slightly better benefits than normal tokens. The token system was eventually phased out in the North American version, was not released directly in the European version, and had been replaced with a Fatigue system in the Korean version.
The time period of Vindictus is set several hundred years before the era of Mabinogi: Fantasy Life. In this war-torn world, the Humans believe that if they can destroy the Fomors —monstrous humanoids— they will be brought by their black-winged goddess, Morrighan, into the land of Erinn and be enriched in paradise. As a result, the land has suffered under endless war for hundreds of years, and many people are beginning to give up hope that the legend of Erinn is real.
Through the ten "episodes" of Season 1, the player, commonly referred to as the "Rookie" by various NPCs, tries to carry on Humanity's goal of bringing forth Erinn's descent. They battle numerous Fomorian forces, but also encounter severe conflicts with their own kind as well as themselves.
- Prologue - The Rookie comes to aiding the Crimson Blades in defeating a rampant giant spider, much to the oracle Tieve's protest. However, a mysterious character watches from the sidelines.
- Episode 1: The Crimson Blades - Living in the town of Colhen, the Rookie allies with the Crimson Blades, the human mercenaries, in defeating the Gnolls that patrol the Perilous Ruins.
- Episode 2: Shadow of the Fomor - Continuing to adjust, the Crimson Blades dispatches the Rookie into Hoarfrost Hollow, where Kobolds are preparing to attack Colhen. Meanwhile, a humongous polar bear patrols the cold cave.
- Episode 3: Piercing the Crescent Moon - The Rookie is urged by Cadet Ellis of the Royal Academy to explore Ainle, a town ruined by Fomors and no one of the Royal Army is supposed to go there. However, constant visits results disastrous results: the death of Ellis. The Rookie learns that Goblins and Vampires inhabit the ruins, and the vampires are being pulled from their world into Ainle.
- Episode 4: King of the Gnolls - Initially taking on a request to head to the Fobellow Prairie's Entrance and the Ruins of Sanctity, another off-limits area, the Rookie discovers that Fomorian-allied Gnolls inhabit the area. Upon reporting to the Crimson Blades, they decide to take action.
- The Pact - Upon learning that Tieve has fallen into constant sleep, the Rookie must join the Silent Brotherhood, an organization who was once said to have cured the oracle from such illness. However, the Rookie must come to a decisive action: to become a Paladin who protects others, or become a Dark Knight who only serves the goddess.
- Episode 5: The Lost Holy Artifact - The Rookie is once again dispatched to Hoarfrost Hollow, but this time, its Depths, while obviously encountering Kobolds along the way. The Royal Army soon arrives upon learning that the Kobold have taken a special artifact from them. Meanwhile, the Rookie also stumbles upon an ancient creature: the Yeti.
- Episode 5 Extra: Aodhan - Lord Ingkells of Ortel Castle and an old friend of the Crimson Blades Leader Aodhan arrives in Colhen and requests the mercenaries to eliminate the Trolls around his castle and in Hilder Forest Ruins. Meanwhile, pieces of Aodhan's past and interaction with his deceased family come to light.
- Episode 6: Colhen in Flames - The Rookie, now having risen the ranks up to a Royal Army Cadet, is welcomed to Rocheste. They, along with the Royal Army, are diverted to the Fomorian Base where Goblins and Ogres lay while their leaders lead a siege on Colhen.
- Episode 6 Extra: The Titan - A behemoth ogre known as the Titan has awakened from its slumber, and the Rookie, the Crimson Blades, and the Royal Army must band together to defeat it.
- Episode 7: The Second Oracle - The Pontiff's Court has staged a gathering of oracles, but Ratmen and Lizardmen from Rocheste's Sewers have been making unexpected appearances.
- Episode 8: Not Even If You Kill Us All - Part 1 - The Pontiff's Court declares the citizens of Ortel Castle traitors after suspecting them of rebellion. However, there is another true traitor in the midst.
- Episode 8: Not Even If You Kill Us All - Part 2 - The Rookie, along with Royal Army Officers Gwynn and Keaghan, takes a much closer inspection of Ainle at daylight and discovers a hidden Catacomb, revealing the Royal Army's and the Pontiff's Court true heresy.
- Episode 9: The Song of Doom - With the Pontiff's Court announcing that the Rookie and Royal Army Officer Keaghan are wanted fugitives, they retreat to Colhen and seek aid from the Silent Brotherhood where they reveal that the masterminds of the Pontiff's Court, the Fomorians, and the Lizardmen are devising a much more sinister plan in the depths of Rocheste's Sewers: Albey, a place where time stood still.
- Episode 10: God Slayer - With Tieve's ascension to Erinn draws near, her best friend Keaghan grows desperate and tries to stop it. He attempts to bring forth Erinn by killing the Fomorian Dragon Gods in Heide in order to break the seal that separates both worlds, but becomes an uncontrollable God in the process. Episode 10 marks the final piece of Season 1, with the descent of the Goddess finally arriving.
- Epilogue: Memories - With Tieve and Keaghan gone, and paradise finally arriving, time reverts to the beginning of Season 1 as if no one had ever met the Rookie or ever knew the existence of those who died or had disappeared. "Wouldn't it be great if time really did stop? No more wars... no more broken-hearted farewells... Just quiet peace."
Season 2 is an alternative storyline that branches off from Season 1. The player, still getting acquainted after triumphing Perilous Ruins, is told of a distant island named Malina, where they can relax in luxury. However, this relaxation isn't so relaxing as it seems, for they must rummage through pirates and new bands of monsters.
- Episode 1: Coffer Chasers - The Rookie is informed by Colhen's Treasure Hunter Shayla of a magnificent island named Malina where they can engorge themselves on pirate riches. They then get acquainted with Shayla's old friends on the island while trying to enlist in the Treasure Hunting Guild known as the Coffer Chasers. However, in order to do that, they must overcome Jungle Trolls of Crescent Moon Island and the Sirens and Cursed Pirates of a Ship Graveyard, all while facing the Jungle Troll's Snake God Lakiora and the Siren's Sea Devil Kraken.
- Episode 2: Twilight Desert - The Rookie's next adventure leads them to the Twilight Desert, a once former kingdom that had disintegrated into this vast wasteland, now filled with Grim Reapers and Guardian Soldiers. However, the desert and its secrets are much more than it appears to be. The Rookie must stop Iset, princess of the desert who awakened after several hundred years long slumber, from restoring the former kingdom while facing her lover and guardian Havan, who was resurrected by Iset using the magic of a death mask.
- Episode 2 Extra: The Grim Reaper - Following the events of Twilight Desert, the Rookie is informed of a powerful grim reaper called Pantheum who didn't fall to rest even after the defeat of Iset and Havan.
The name was changed from Mabinogi Heroes to Vindictus in North America and Europe. Vindictus is said to be derived from two words: "Vindicate" (maintain, uphold, or defend, or clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting proof) and "Vindictive" (having or showing a strong or unreasoning desire for revenge). Nexon America, Nexon's North American division, announced the new name on March 12, 2010, at the Game Developers' Conference.
Vindictus uses the Source engine to allow players to interact extensively with the environment. Environmental objects can be destroyed or picked up and wielded as weapons. Combat was described as "kind of brutal, like a bullfight, or Monster Hunter" and requiring a lot of teamwork.
On July 19, 2009, a Mabinogi Heroes Open Beta promotional video was released in South Korea, followed by the release of Mabinogi Heroes itself. The Mabinogi Heroes open release page has been launched and the game itself was "premiere launched" (e.g. accessible to the Internet café users only) on December 16, 2009. The game was opened to the home user/player on January 21, 2010.
During the Penny Arcade Expo 2009, it was announced that Mabinogi Heroes, along with Dragon Nest and Crazy Arcade will be released by Nexon America in 2010. In early March 2010, Nexon America officially revealed the North American release of Mabinogi Heroes at the Game Developers' Conference in San Francisco. According to the announcement, the name of the game had been changed to Vindictus in North America. The game was scheduled for a Q4 2010 release (October–December). On April 28, 2010, the Vindictus teaser website was launched on the Nexon America portal site. An updated game trailer as well as summaries of the game's story, characters and gameplay were available. In April 2010, the game's revised logo for the North American release was revealed on the game's official Facebook page. The logo consisted of a stylized "V" done in a Celtic knot pattern over the word "Vindictus". The artwork for the logo is distinctive from the original Mabinogi Heroes and to date has not been used outside the North American market. The company also launched a "teaser" website that included updated information on aspects of the game including story characters, screenshots and various marketing materials. Closed beta applications from Vindictus began on July 1 and ended on July 19, 2010. Closed beta began on August 10 and ended on August 24, 2010. Early access open beta began on September 15 and lasted until October 5. Previous closed beta testers have been granted early access to open beta. Closed beta testers have also been sent two early access beta keys to distribute and spread the word about Vindictus. Full open beta began on October 13, 2010. The full launch of Vindictus occurred on October 27, 2010 which introduced the mage character Evie to the roster. As of October 2010, North American Vindictus has changed its Token System from a total of 100 tokens per week to 150 tokens per week due to complaints from the players. This change was brought out from meetings the Nexon Staff hosted in which players from Los Angeles were able to discuss the issues pertaining to the issue. In April 2011, the token system was removed for a month and promised another token-free month if the Vindictus Facebook page reached 100,000 fans by May 25. On May 27, the token system was removed "permanently – effective immediately" due to high game content and stable economy.
It was initially announced that Vindictus Europe (informal title) would be first released in Q4 2010, however the launch date has been postponed several times because of site management issues, insufficient funding and mainly because Nexon Europe did not have enough time to manage, maintain and update the game. It was finally revealed via a trailer at the official Vindictus Europe website in August 2011. Nexon Europe has stated that Europe would be receiving the eXtreme Edition of the game. Europe is the first region to not receive the Premiere Edition of the game, with a high percentage of European voters favouring the eXtreme edition shown during a poll set up on the official Facebook page of Vindictus Europe. The service area of Vindictus Europe covers all European countries except Russia, as was stated in the note of closed beta news. During September 2, 2011, closed beta keys were released on the Vindictus Europe Facebook page, which granted access to the Vindictus Europe Closed Beta Test. Closed Beta Test ran from September 16 to September 19, 2011. "Pre-Launch" of Vindictus began on 28 September. The game was officially launched on October 5, 2011. In October 2011, the game's Item Shop (also known as Depot) has opened. Players are now able to charge their accounts with Nexon Cash and buy useful things which help in the game.
The game is also available for China and Taiwan as Mabinogi Heroes, as it is originally in Korea. As of November 2012, the North American server opened to Australia and Mexico. There is no global English server, and people who are not in North America and Europe are IP blocked.
On July 15, 2010, an alternative version of Mabinogi Heroes was announced for Korea. It is known as the eXtreme Edition, and often referred to as Mabinogi Heroes XE and abbreviated MHXE. Based on existing high-quality movements in Mabinogi: Heroes Premiere, Mabinogi: Heroes XE presents splendid and unrestrained movements more in line with the public's taste. Moreover, it starts off from a new server instead of being an update for the original Mabinogi Heroes. Players can choose the normal server or XE server according to their interests. Only the Korean, Chinese, Taiwan and European versions have XE.
Compared with Mabinogi Heroes Premiere, Mabinogi Heroes XE has the following major differences: a combo system has been added: if players succeed in attacking the enemy continuously without being interrupted, they will gain combo points; on normal difficulty, Bosses are slower and are a lot easier to dodge; "hero" mobs appear in all difficulties; boss HP can be viewed in all difficulties as opposed to normal only in Premiere; players have a lot more stamina; players will automatically sprint with no stamina costs; normal attacks will use stamina as opposed to halting stamina regain; and certain skills had their function changed.
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- Vindictus(KR) XE Unveiled: Splendid + Unrestrained Movements, MMOsite.com, 2010-07-19
- "Best Free-to-Play MMO Game 2010 - Vindictus - Free-to-Play - IGN". Bestof.ign.com. Retrieved 2013-08-02.
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