Saturday, July 20, 2019

On Some Faraway Beach: Riders of Icarus

One of the many things I like about Riders of Icarus is the way special events and holidays seem to run continually, even overlapping on occasion. There are so many it's hard to keep up, although since most are clearly aimed at high-level characters it hasn't presented much of a problem for me - yet.

The current event is Summer Festival (aka Summer Event Festival according to the official website). I almost missed it completely. I didn't see anything on the login screen or the Steam page. The main reason I found out about it was that I knew the previous event had ended and there was a patch, so while the game was updating I went to the News section on the website to see if I'd missed anything.

Although there's nothing obvious in-game to let you know the event is happening, most players are going to run into it eventually. It's based, as all events seem to be, in Victory Plaza, the central square in the capital city, Hakanas. The main questline sends you back there periodically and all the special currency vendors are there so it's a hub for everyone.

When I ported in and flew to the plaza I did a comical double-take. The entire square has been flooded and tons of sand imported to make a pop-up beach. It's spectacular and extremely well-done.

I flew around taking screenshots, thematically appropriate in my shades, riding an inflatable porpoise. I particularly appreciated the game not forcing me into beachwear like certain other MMORPGs I could mention (actually, I couldn't, or not with any accuracy, because I can't remember which game did that. I seem to remember it was FFXIV but I'm not sure...).

As far as I can tell, Riders of Icarus doesn't have any underwater content but it does have some of the best swimming I've seen since Landmark. The animations and particularly the splashing are weirdly satisfying. I like the way that front crawl sends frenzied fountains of water in all directions while backstroke is sedate and splashless.

There are bright yellow duckie rings in the water. I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to jump on them and sit down in the middle to get a screenshot. Sadly the game considers you to be "jumping" when you're in the the ring so that didn't work. It was fun though.

You can, however, sit on the edge of the ring. I did that and tried to get a decent shot, only to be confounded by the huge Radiant Aquavirios that was swimming nearby. These appear to be tameable although I haven't seen anyone try. You can buy a Mark with Watermelon Slices, the event currency, to make taming the Aquavirios easier but it costs 750 slices, which seems like a lot.

All RoI events seem to involve heavy grinding of special currencies but they also come with some much easier options. Summer Festival has a special login campaign with a reward of one hundred Watermelon Slices. Unfortunately, the rubric to the offer on the website is confusing:

Stay login during this hours 19:00 UTC to 22:00 UTC to receive a Watermelon Slice x100 as a reward from July 17 to July 30. Once login, you will be able to receive the rewards automatically after a minute.

Apart from being poorly translated that's quite confusing. Do you have to stay logged in for three hours or do you get the reward for logging in at any time in the spread? Is it a one-off or can you do it every day?

Since that's 8pm to 11pm my time I can easily test it, and I will. I've already missed three days because I have a habit of logging in to RoI in the mornings but that's easily changed. If it really is a hundred slices per day then I could still collect a thousand, which would buy me both a Heroic and a Legendary mount - and the legendary is a Watermelon Banana Boat!

Finally in the "get stuff for doing nothing" stakes there's yet another Special Login Event, for which you literally have to do no more than be there. If you manage that for seven of the possible ten days you win a Legendary mount - and the rewards for the daily stages aren't too shabby either.

There are also plenty of quests and tasks that actually require you to play the game. I took a few of those, the easy-looking ones. There's also a "secret" storyline that can be discovered although I have no idea how. All the game has to say about it is "One Summer, Bernadette lost her diary and she wants us to find it. This is her story, Secret within the summer". Good luck with that, Bernadette.

Lots to do, then. Whether I'll manage much more than turning up to collect my freebies I wouldn't like to say, especially since, if I was going to play properly, I'd be miles away in Sea of Hakanas, not in the fields outside the city.

Very nice to have the option, though.


  1. So I am playing this and only level 14 - just a question - is there a point where the player population picks up? And is it just the bog standard quest hub-fetch/kill - proceed to next quest hub the makes up this game to whatever level you've achieved? The combat is fun, graphics amazing, but waiting for some hook...

    1. I'm only a few levels higher, in the low 20s, so I have no real idea what the population is like at the level cap. The server I'm on seems reasonably busy at my level, considering it's a North American server and I'mplaying EU hours. I see plenty of people around. I've had to wait several times to try and tame specific targets because there were people already there, for example.

      As to gameplay, I think the main thrust is taming all the things and then upgrading them and your character to the max. I said in one of the first posts I wrote about it that it's a very gamey game, not so much of an RPG with a story. There is some kind of main storyline - the cutscenes are quite good, I think - but the plot is vague and generic. I haven't really tried to follow it.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide