Wednesday, May 20, 2020

New You : Auteria

Back in April 2018, I wrote a first impressions piece on Auteria, a ten-year old MMORPG I'd found through a reddit thread. It took a while, like a couple of years, but eventually that post got a comment and from someone who'd actually played the game, no less.

In my original piece I'd noted that, although Auteria had been running for more than a decade, it didn't seem to have had an update since 2010. According to LexiAtel that's changed. Today I finally got around to taking another look.

The website, which is quite detailed and informative, includes a handy patch history. There were twenty-three updates between 2007 and 2010 and then silence until 2019, when the game received patches in March and April. With the first of those it also moved from Release 1.97.3 to Version 2.00 which has to mean something big happened!

Having read the patch notes on the forum, I'm not exactly sure what that was. When I said in chat that I hadn't logged in for a while someone asked me if I'd seen the new map yet. So I guess there's a new map. Whether they meant a new zone or the change to the on-screen map (Pressing "M" does now open a map!) I'm not sure.

I also mentioned in chat that I hadn't seen much outside the starting area and someone said something about using "port stones" on the map to go on a tour. Maybe that's new, too. I couldn't figure out how to do it so it's a moot point.

Before I began I needed to re-download and re-install  the client. That took just a few minutes. My login details worked fine but there was a surprise waiting for me when I got to character select.

When last I wrote about Auteria I made much of the quirky fashion sense the game displayed. I described Lisa, the NPC who gives you your first quests, as looking " like she's about to go for a nice dinner at a fashionable beach-side restaurant sometime in 1986" and said of my own character "I quite like the idea of fighting evil in blue jeans and a skintight blouse".

Well, I guess it was nice while it lasted (more than ten years) but all good things come to an end. Auteria now has a choice of races, although nothing seems to tell you what they're called, and my first task before I was even able to log in was to pick one.

I went for something that looks like Grobb's entry for Miss Norrath. Either that or a cross between She Hulk and an Asura. There was plenty of choice. I could have had a plain old human, a dwarf, a gnome/halfling, a lizardperson, some kind of crystalline elemental or several flavors of goblin/orc/troll/ogre. They all look pretty spiffy. And no elves that I could see, which has to be a bonus.

Before (never saw my face)
I'd write something about the couple of hours I spent playing but reading back what I wrote in the first impressions piece it would be almost exactly the same, minus the sightseeing tour by dragon.

It was incredibly dark and stayed that way for almost the entire time I was logged in. I had the same trouble working out how to fight and how to heal myself. I had another run-in with an insanely tough ant. I made the same trip to the same nearby town and was as just impressed with the lighting effects as I was the first time.

The sunrise, when it did finally arrive, was spectacular. More like someone let off a mini-nuke just behind some mountains, really. I literally stood and watched the sun come up for about five minutes, it was that amazing. Screenshots don't do justice to the way it throbbed and pulsed, nor how my shadow suddenly leapt across the sand, making me actually start in my chair.

One thing that was new to me was the cat family. I met a bunch of kittens, all with names beginning "Me Me", which is a little on the nose. They had me killing mice (mice the size of pigs, I might add) and carrying messages back to their sisters and mother.

It's probably a breadcrumb quest to lead you to the next town but in the pitch black night there's really no choice anyway, since that's the only lit path. Well, other than the big wooden bridge. I went that way too, to try and kill a bandit, but I hadn't figured out how to handle a sword at that stage so I came back pretty quick.

I took a look at the website while I was healing up in the hut. There's obviously far more to Auteria than I've been able to see, pottering around in the starting area. The Screenshot section shows lots of interesting places in seven regions, including a capital city called Renvale.

I hear it's the manufacturing center of Tegratia. Maybe I'll see it one day although I certainly wouldn't put any money on it. Auteria's an endearing game with an old school feel  but I suspect its moment may have passed me by.

I would like to make some armor though, I need something to wear, now I don't have my blue jeans and blouse any more...

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