Calling all Gaians!

    After years in the making, has finally announced a beta version of their MMO. Players create Gaian versions of themselves and adventure through the virtual world not only to complete combat-oriented challenges, but to do favors for NPCS, play games, attending dances and meeting up with friends in towns, watching movies together, racing cars, or just simply to explore the environment. This MMO, combining the elements of socializing and battle, is FREE TO PLAY with NO DOWNLOAD required.

    When players travel about the world, they’ll come across many valuable items, the most crucial being rings. These special rings can be worn to give the wearer certain powers, including anything from moving faster, being luckier, or healing faster. Some of them conjur up animated swords that battle for you, some project movable force fields around allies, and some rings can do even crazier things like wrapping an opponent in duct tape. Players can shuffle through abilities by taking off rings and putting new ones on. Each player can wear one ring per finger, (excluding the thumbs) eight rings at any given time. However, your ring inventory is infinite. These Battle Rings, in comparison, are powers or skills for your character. Some skills are passive, meaning they’re always on. Other skills require activation, such as rings that can be used when you attack a monster. Rings can be changed, but only when the player is within a null area in the world (a.k.a. a Null Chamber”). They can’t just be swapped out at any given moment.

    Battle rings can be acquired from loot. When you defeat an opponent, they’ll drop treaure items (loot) that usually DON’T contain Battle Rings, but you may get lucky very now and then. Defeating powerful opponents, such as Bosses, as well as completing major quests may also present you with new Battle Rings. Rings can be traded between friends, but you can’t buy them from in-game stores.

    Rings can get better and more powerful over time. When you capture energy orbs from defeating opponents or for completing quests, that energy can be charged into a ring – powering it up and making its effect stronger. Most rings can be used at any of the four “Rage Ranks”. Rage is accumulated in teh game by using rings and taking damage from opponents. The rage you gather can be released through a ring to enhance its effect by charging your attack before it’s released. Rage Ranks can be used immediately after the ring is put on, as long as you have accumulated enough Rage already.

    Everytime you use a ring, you acquire small portions of “Exhaustion”. When you rExhaustion bar fills completely, you won’t be able to use other rings until you’ve rested a little. You can rest by simply not doing anything, although it will take a lot longer. When you Kneel, you reduce Exhaustion more quickly. On the downside, you’re completely exposed while Kneeling, and if you’re hit, you’ll take a ton of damage. Every character also has a health meter. When the health meter gets down to zero, you get knocked out (“Dazed”). When you’re dazed, you can’t use any of your rings, but you can slowly move around. You only stay dazed for a number of seconds, but it’s long enough to be a pain, especially when your friends are nearby getting obliterated ^.^ When you first recover from being dazed, you will only be able to use a few of your rings. Over time, one ring will become activated again, and then so on and so on.

    The world is also full of NPCs who, when spoken to, will give you the opportunity to take on quests, missions, and favors. You can choose to do do favors for these NPCs, or you can opt out and keep searching for something that interests you more.  Quests, however, are generally highly profitable. Some NPcs will reward you in gold, some with valuable information or energy orbs, and others may have secret recipes that can create never before seen items. 

    By traveling around the world, you can also earn Badges. Badges are earned for many reasons. You could get a badge for being a supreme destroyer of a specific type of monster. Badges may be rewards for exploring various parts of the world, making items from recipes, participating in special events, or even from sticking around long enough to earn yearly “veteran citations”. You can display badges on your profile page, and your favorite badge can be selected and displayed on your Character Info window within the game, so that everyone can see your favorite accomplishments.

    Character Stats include:

  • Accuracy – …how accurate your attacks are, Captain Obvious!
  • Dodge – your ability to avoid incoming attacks.
  • Willpower – are you a victim of “crowd control” abilities, like sleep or root? This stat helps you resist those attacks.
  • Speed – how fast you move.
  • Weight – increased weight helps you resist knockback.
  • Health – you want to keep it high…when you hit zero, you’re Dazed.
  • Health Regeneration – how fast you’ll recover health when Kneeling.
  • Exhaustion Dissipation – this determines how quickly you stop being Exhausted.

    As Gaia’s MMO world keeps evolving, the plotlines will continue to grow and shape the world even farther. If you’re interested in signing up for the Beta to help Gaia’s developers and give them your input on the game thus far, here’s the link:

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