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The Original Microvolts Logo
|Release||August 12, 2010|
MicroVolts is an Online Multiplayer Third Person Shooter developed by Korean developer SK iMedia and published by Toronto-based publisher Rock Hippo Productions for Windows (PC). MicroVolts released its first closed beta phase on August 12, 2010 and launched its second closed beta on January 28, 2011. The game’s open beta phase began on March 10, 2011. Rock Hippo Productions announced that the official release of the game would start on June 9, 2011. It was shut down on 9. September 2017 9AM GMT.
The game is set in the real world where toys have come to life behind closed doors. A secret battle began between nine original figures, code-named MicroVolts. Naomi, Knox, Pandora, C.H.I.P were the names of the original prototypes, but they were soon joined by other modified versions (Kai, Simon, Amelia, Sophitia, $harkill Khan). The toys now battle it out in an all out war for valuable battery resources and ultimate supremacy of the Micro World.
Unique to MicroVolts is the fact that players have access to all 7 types of weapons within a given match, unrestricted by class. The 7 types of weapons include: Melee, Rifle, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Gatling Gun, Bazooka and Grenade Launcher. Each player starts out equipped with a basic weapon of each type and can and purchase more weapons through Micro Points from the in-game shop.
New players receive a set of Trial weapons for a week. These weapons possess much better stats than the default stock ones. Unlike weapons bought with RT, these need no repairs. This helps the player to build up an amount of MP before he levels up.
There are 17 game modes in MicroVolts: Team Death Match, Free For All, Item Match, Capture the Battery, Close Combat, Elimination, Zombie Mode, Arms Race, Invasion, Scrimmage, Bomb Battle and Boss battle. Each mode requires the player to use different skills in order to succeed. While some of the modes rely on team play and cooperation such as Team Death Match and Elimination, other modes require a player to play offensively such as in Free For All and Close Combat and Arms Race.
Boss Battle is a special mode where 1-4 players have to fight an enormous robot and mini-robots. These robots are called "Trackers". On the mission to defeat the robot players must avoid the attacks and destroy the mini-robots in order to survive. Successfully defeating the Boss and winning the mode will give each player a gift box of Diamond, Gold, Silver or Bronze. While Diamond gift box is the rarest Gold, Silver and Bronze gift boxes come next. Each box will contain a random gift and getting a better gift depends on the rarity of the box. Completing the mode won't give the player any experience points or micro points(MP) as in other modes.
There are 27 different maps in-game, each featuring a different theme, layout and size. The 27 toy-like environment maps include: Junk Yard, Castle, Neighbourhood, House Top, Model Ship, PVC Factory, Chess, Battle Mine, Toy Garden, Magic Paper Land, The Studio, Toy Fleet, Academy, Hobby Shop, Bitmap, Wild West, Rumpus Room, Cargo, PVC Factory (Night), Forgotten Junk Yard, Beach, Tracker Factory, Bitmap 2, Rock Band, Rock Band W, Rock Band S, Foosball and Championship Castle siege. The Reactor map is only for Invasion. Academy invasion is the only map for the Boss battle. Some maps are exclusive to certain game modes.
Battery Charge is the game’s reward system. By completing certain activities, players are able to unlock new rewards in the form of Micro Points, forum signature, image/video posting privileges, Poll creation, and for a 25% charge earn a "RockHippo" set playable for the Knox character. The Battery Charge System is currently removed but developers are planning on a new and better system similar to this one.
By completing certain objectives in-game, players unlock achievements. Completing achievements allows players to gain a really low sum of Micro Points to spend in-game. The achieve system however is left in an early stage, and it never plays a serious role later on. There have been no updates to it since it was first introduced. A player can simply "track" these achievements with a button available from the achievements page, and complete them with a second account in a few hours. However, this is a one-time-only chance to get Micro Points.
Community events and forum
MicroVolts regularly hosts game tournaments, social media and forum events for their players to participate in. Past events have included a Splash of Colour Event, which invited players to colour-in a wallpaper design and submitted as an official MicroVolts wallpaper and a CrossVolt Contest which quizzed players on their MicroVolts game IQ. The game also hosts large scale game tournaments periodically.
The game engages with players through their social networks on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and MySpace. Their website also features a Club House area which grants players access to unique community features. A Clan Feature was introduced to the game upon its Official Release. Players are able to create, manage and challenge other clans in-game for domination of the Micro World. At one brief point RockHippo offered a free lollipop melee weapon for connecting your Facebook account to your MicroVolts account.
MicroVolts is released under the free-to-play category of games where the game itself is free to download and play, and where revenue is generated from micropayments. Players are able to buy the in-game currency, called Rock Tokens (RT), to purchase exclusive items to customize their characters. Hair, face, top, bottom, hands, shoes and accessories for each character can be made to upgrade the character’s abilities such as faster run speed, additional health points and extra weapon bullets. Additional weapon upgrades can also be obtained.
Customizable options, however, can also be purchased through in-game points called Micro Points (MP). Micro Points can be earned by players by playing the game. Within a given match, the amount of Micro Points given to a player is determined by their kill/death ratio, their mission accomplishments, a win or loss and the duration of the match itself. Micro Points are also given for accomplishing certain objectives in their in-game Achievement System, completing objectives in their Battery Charge system or by leveling up their characters. Gaining levels has no impact on gameplay, but serves as a useful indicator of skill. The game keeps track of individual performance with every weapon and character as well.
A comprehensive update of MicroVolts, (11/11/11) introduced a new "Capsule" icon, which is generally a gumball machine that you can get all those items mentioned beforehand. The capsule machine can currently be used with RT. Rock Hippo Productions introduced MP mode too, for the capsule machine, but they removed this feature soon after. Most likely because people exploited it with creating thousands of new accounts, and spinning the machine endless, until they hit an MP Jackpot, resulting in millions of MP points. Most capsule weapons do not require repairing, and MP weapons are less powerful than RT weapons.
Players level-up their characters through gaining experience points within a played match. Experience points are determined by a player’s kill/death ratio in a match, a win/loss of a match, mission accomplishments and the duration of the match. When a player levels-up, additional customizable options also becomes available to a player. This only applies to lower levels, which the player can reach easily and fast.
Reception and recognition
The gaming community welcomed this third-person shooter as something new and different, as most shooter MMOs are from the first-person perspective. The ability for characters to carry 7 weapons at once, freely switching between each, "makes gameplay feel varied and unique".
Reviews have highlighted the game’s larger-than-life environments as giving the game a "different feel and approach to the online-action genre" and having a distinct fast-paced gameplay.
Upon release of MicroVolts, it was also noted by some gamers as baring similarities to Team Fortress 2 as an early trailer for MicroVolts had comparable graphic styles. All the weapons in the game are equivalents of TF2 weapons.
The capsule machine
The capsule machine (released November 11, 2011) features 'rares' that are unique and cannot be won anywhere else in-game (On rare occasions players may be given the opportunity to compete in tournaments to win temporary version of these items). Rares include a gold, silver, and bronze form. All 7 weapons have versions of their 'rares.' There are also rare clothes to be won for each character as well as a few sets. Some have since been retired. The Capsule Machine costs 1,000 RT (roughly $1) a spin where the user spinning is guaranteed an item. The chances of winning a rare based on an 100k RockToken / Weapon experiment are roughly expressed in a 1 : 75 ratio (or a 1 in 75 chance of winning a rare). Clothes are easier to win and have a rough 1 : 25 ratio per rare. Whether or not the clothing won is HP or Speed is completely random and determined on the spot.
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