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Helbreath

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Helbreath is a MMORPG developed by Siementech Co. Ltd and launched first in South Korea in 1999. An International version and an USA version were introduced in the subsequent years and were both met with moderate success. The game was previously pay to play, but is now a free-to-play cash-shop game.

History

Open beta

As of 2003, the Helbreath International open beta had more than 125,000 North American players.[3]

Gameplay

The basics of Helbreath include player versus player (PvP) combat, leveling, questing and socializing.

New players begin as a neutral traveler in the Beginner Zone allowing them to familiarize themselves with core mechanics of gameplay. A player may not exceed level 19 until obtaining citizenship in either Aresden or Elvine. Once a player has gained citizenship, they may choose between status as either a Civilian (enemy town members can not attack you however monsters can attack), or Combatant (enemy and monsters can attack you). This choice will reflect their PvP status amongst other players in the world.

For the first 19 levels, a character is given gold every time they level up to help them out. Each level gained allows the character to increase their stat points, which determine their skill levels. Upon reaching the maximum level of 180, it is traditional that the player will receive a special-issue set of gear, otherwise known as Dark Knight or Dark Wizard equipment. This gear can only be equipped by the player that earns it. The character is also given a weapon or wand depending on their stats, this item can be upgraded with Majestic Points. Majestic Points also allow the person to get other items and change their stats.

Helbreath's standard chat filter is affected by the Scunthorpe problem.

Helbreath has an open player versus player setting, allowing and encouraging enemy Combatants to attack at-will. When a player kills an enemy combatant, an Enemy Kill point is gained. These points may be eventually exchanged for Hero Armor. Like Dark Knight or Wizard items, Hero armor may also only be equipped by the one that earned it. It is also optional for combatants of the same nation to attack each other. However, if a friendly player actually goes through with killing another friendly player, a penalty is incurred by the offending character being given a "criminal count" and being made an enemy to everyone until their criminal kill count is 0. Killing people from the same town gives "negative rep" which has an impact on righteous and kloness weapons.

"Civilians" are players that will not be afflicted by PvP attacks, "Combatants" may openly engage in PvP with any enemy combatant and fellow town members. "Heroes" are players which have killed a great number of enemies. They receive special armors as a reward.

"Crusades" are full-scale wars between every player of both nations. Some servers such as Helbreath USA do this weekly. The objective is to destroy the shields protecting the enemy town while building a base in the Middlelands (map) to create a "meteor storm" that attacks the enemy town. The winner is determined by the town that successfully destroys the enemy’s town.

"Castle Sieges" consist of 3 battle grounds that alternate. Battlefield, where both towns are against each other and have to destroy the enemy’s buildings before the other town. Castle, where the winning town from the previous week has to defend the Castle map form the attacking town.

Setting

Game locations include two hostile countries, Aresden and Elvine, and between them Middleland and Promiseland. Aresden is the country which is built by people who worship the mighty god of creation, Aresien. The colour that identifies Aresden is Red. The nation of Aresden is composed of the town of Aresden, a farm, the Eternal Field, the Silent Woods, and the Aresden Garden. Elvine is the country which is built by people who worship the powerful god of equalibrium, Eldiniel. The colour that identifies Elvine is Blue. The nation of Elvine is composed of the town of Elvine, a farm, the Rocky Highland, the Death Valley, and the Elvine Garden. The Middleland is a perpetual battlefield for both nations. Promiseland is located between the farm of Elvine and the farm of Aresden. Both towns are connected underground by the Dungeons, which extends four levels underground.

Items and economy

The economy of Helbreath varies from server to server. In general, all items may be freely exchanged between all players, allowing for a great level of diversity. The only exceptions to trading are Dark Knight, Dark Wizard, and Hero items. Many items that are dropped by monsters include both a primary and secondary attribute, allowing for a variety of uses. Whether a player can equip an item depends on its weight or its stat (skill points) requirements.

Barter is primarily used for rare objects. However, gold is used for common items and items purchased from NPC's (Non-Player Character). Gold can be earned in many ways; completing quests, killing monsters, mining, fishing, alchemy or farming.

Development

During the beta phase of Helbreath, the developers organized a "game team" comprising of volunteer players. The game team are creative writers who contribute towards the game's story and history, moderate the forums and maintain the webpage.[4]

Critical reception

In a 2004 review conducted by Mark Schembri of MMORPG.com, Helbreath was rated 6.8/10. Schembri compared the game to early Ultima Online.[5]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Helbreath USA - Download
  2. Helbreath USA - Purchase CD
  3. "iEntertainment Network Releases HelbreathUSA, Role Playing Game, to US Market; Over 125,000 Players Already Playing This Game Online". Business Wire. 2003-01-22. "Helbreath USA Online is the US version of the well-received massively multiplayer role playing game developed by Korea's Siementech Corporation. The Helbreath International game already has over 125,000 dedicated North American players, who currently play on servers in Korea." 
  4. Helbreath -- Volume 1: Community. GameSpy (2002-02-18). Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
  5. Schembri, Mark (2004-03-27). MMORPG.com's exclusive review of Helbreath. MMORPG.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-13.

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