Moonlight Blade Online: Character Growth and Meridian System
Moonlight Blade Online is a martial art MMORPG developed by Tencent and it is currently in the 3rd CBT phase. The game introduces unique features for character growth to promote immersion into the ancient martial art world. The Meridian System which consists of Chi channels and nodes within the body is the key mechanics to strengthen your character in Moonlight Blade.
The 2 major aspects for character growth in Moonlight Blade Online are character level which increases with “Experience” and meridian system, which requires investment of “Cultivation”.
In conventional MMORPG's, players are required to grind or clear dungeon repeatedly to gain experience to level up their characters. However, Moonlight Blade Online introduces alternative approaches for character leveling. Players gain experience through a variety of means, including doing main quest, clearing dungeon, performing one of the designated role-play daily quest, or simply just meditate at respective school.
Questing is probably the main source of experience point for leveling a character. The main story line is very interesting as it is adapted from the famous novel (which this game is based on) by Gu Long. These main quests typically involve a lot of cut scene and voice acting. It is definitely worth reading and watching the story instead of just skipping through all of them quickly.
Experience can also be obtained through performing daily role-playing quest. Each player will be given a random daily quest which involves one of the role-playing experiences, including calligraphy/painting, wild animal hunting, goods delivery, robbery, treasure hunting or assassination. If you don’t like the quest given, you can request the game to change it to another random activity (once per day). These activities allow players to immerse themselves in the ancient martial art world. The details on these role playing activities will be covered in the next review articles.
Clearing instance/dungeon is the conventional means of leveling up in most MMORPG's. In Moonlight Blade, the number of times one can clear an instance to gain experience is capped. Certain instances are only accessible during day or night in-game; for example, the first instance which is a solo assassination instance can only be performed at night (in-game).
When you have reached the maximum clearance count for the particular instance, you can still access the instance through “Assist Mode”, if someone in the party has the clear count. You can only obtain the loots/items from the run in this Assist Mode but not experience. Killing mobs in the dungeon or world map does not grant you any experience at all. Therefore, there is no need to grind mobs to level up. This is good news for players who enjoy doing interesting activities in the game instead of grinding endlessly to level up their character.
The next way to gain experience is probably the simplest of them all: Meditation. Players can look for the instructor of their school and meditate near them to gain experience automatically. Fixed amounts of experience and cultivation points are provided by the instructors every day. However, you will need to meditate to absorb/convert these experience and cultivation.
Typically, it only takes about ~10-15 minutes to fully convert these “free” experience/cultivation points. If you are in a party, the meditation process is sped up by 5% per person. If someone nearby is playing musical instrument, the process of absorbing experience and cultivation is further speed up by 20%.
The whole meditation process happens automatically and does not require any input from players. The developer probably intends to give a base amount of experience/cultivation to all players through the meditation process, so that casual players can easily catch up with hardcore players in terms of leveling.
These “free” experience/cultivation point can be stored up to 2 days. For example, if you miss today’s meditation session, you can gain double experience the next day. If you miss the meditation for 3 or more days, the lost experience can be farmed back by killing mobs.