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Rise and Shiny recap: Crystal Saga

There's a lot to be said for automation. Thanks to automated processes, our society hums along more nicely than it ever has. But should we include our playtime on the list of things we want to automate? Is it possible to enjoy something like an MMO if we really don't control it at all? If we assemble our army men and wind them up, is watching them go as much fun as controlling what they do?

Ah, such deep questions stemming from such a simple game. Crystal Saga is a browser-based, free-to-play, Flash-based MMORPG (there's a mouthful) that allows players to do a lot of things, including fully automate the grinding process. I can hear the potential comments already, so click past the cut and let me explain it more.

I need to clarify what I mean when I say "fully automated." It's not as though you can tell your little on-screen character that you want it to go here, attack this, and rescue that. It's not quite that in-depth. Basically the developers have added in a system that allows you to place your character into "AFK mode." How much time he can remain in AFK mode depends on a special item that you can get from quests or from the cash shop (I was AFK for hours and hours and never spent a dime), and what happens during that AFK time depends on what specifically you told your avatar to do during that time.

You're essentially telling your character which mobs to attack, when to heal or use a healing potion, and whether to loot or not. As I say in the livestream, you "set it and forget it" like the Ronco Rotisserie. You can also click a link in your quest to auto-walk back to town or to a specific NPC, and you can auto-walk to any number of quest objectives. In fact, you can play this game and level up without ever really using more than a few buttons.

Gaming purists needn't worry; this system is not new or uncommon. In fact, if you have ever played EVE Online, Alganon or a few other titles, you have automated your play. Yep, if anything, the offline skill training that EVE popularized is much less labor-intensive than Crystal Saga's AFK mode. While I AFKed in Crystal Saga, I had to at least watch for enemies in case I was overwhelmed. Clicking "learn" in a game like Alganon takes no work at all. Hours or days later, you log in your character to find him or her smarter than before! The wonders of science!

[Source:admin] [Author:admin] [Date:11-12-14] [Hot:]