I have to come clean with something. Back in 2006-09, I was addicted to MMOs. Started off with Maple Story, went over to BOTs from Acclaim, then I got stuck on Grand Chase for 3 years.

Yeah…. it looked gay as hell.

Grand Chase was an MMO that advertised itself as an “arcade-like” MMO… which meant nothing but having the game in 2D and treating it like an action game you’d see on the Genesis or SNES. Believe me when I said it was fucking good. Too fucking good.

I used a character called “Ryan”. In the pic, he’s the orange haired guy on the bottom wit the double spears or w/e. Used him primarily because he could transform into a wolf. Then as you got more classes, he could change into an overpowered “Nephilim”, and then into something called “Magnus” which was basically a Knight that could summon more monsters. Compared to all the other characters, he was a tad underwhelming without his Nephilim trans.

The environment of Grand Chase was nothing short of horrid. While the game itself was fun, the thing that made it a nightmare for the most part was the intense grinding you had to do in the game. It took MONTHS to gain one level past 30, and a lot of times grinding does nothing for you but give you access to shitty gear that amounts to nothing. But see, the was the benefit to using Ryan, see. Nephilim could kill bosses that were past my level. In any other case, you have to party up just to get through higher level’d dungeons, but Ryan’s Neph made that a non-issue. Nephilim transformation was just that mother fucking good. So why bother leveling and grinding? Well, because outside of transformations, Ryan’s normal abilities were… shit. So I wanted to do more than MP grind just for a transformation and rely on his regular abilities cause Neph spamming just wasn’t fun. of course, Ryan’s stats were purposefully shit just to say his real strength lies in Neph spamming.

This wouldn’t be so bad if Neph wasn’t so boring…. and if the game didn’t have a PVP environment. See, PVP is the worst thing you could put into an MMO, especially with characters that are unbalanced. Ryan’s MP gain is horrendous, so when it comes to PVP, he stands no chance most of the time unless you used his Sentinel class which isn’t that good because you have to work extra harder to compensate for short range and shitty attack power. And by then, everyone knows how to deal with Neph players and the Ronan fans are so overpowered themselves with Abyss Knights, and then you get to the Amy users who are equally as overpowered, you get a big mess.

This was a pain in the ass primarily because you cannot avoid the PVP mode even if you wanted to. If you wanted a class change (which was highly beneficial in Ryan’s case), you had no choice. And the problem with PVP is, despite all the idiots that say otherwise, it belongs entirely to the cash users who have gear that completely dwarfs anything you have from the ingame GP shops. It’s frustrating when games have a “pay-to-win” environment which preys on the hyper-inflated alpha male competitive environment to fuel it’s profits, which devolves the gamers into complete monsters.

In order to get job changes, you had to win at least 30-50 matches for the last 2 job, along with finding a certain number of 5% drops from tedious bosses. However, if you wanted a shorter job change, you had to pay for Cash quests. 5 wins, 1 100% drop. If that aint some bullshit, I don’t know what is.

Infact, half the content was Cash exclusive. You could get pets in the game (think Chao) that could assist you during battles. But you can only have one for free. Every other pet is cash, and they’re much more useful than your “goo” pet is in PVP. I haven’t even gotten into the lottery machines which require cash and…. the story goes on and on. The game just pushed you into cashing in for everything. Else, you suffer with a much more difficult game.

Once I got to level 50 with my Ryan, taking 3 years to do so, I stopped playing. There was no point to continuing with that senseless idiocy, the asshole community, the forced necessity of the Cash shop, the jackass mods who would ban people just for winning a PVP match against them, and simply holding out on Ryan’s 4th job gear for cash gear for one whole year, which made his Xenocider class completely worthless in the long run.

The game was published by Ntreev, later known as Ngreed because everything they did to their games was steeped completely in greed. When the majority of the game was dependent on the cash shop, it’s essentially a ruined game. They had essentially ruined another game called “Trickster” when they had some… idk “lolboxes” or w/e which flipped the community on it’s head of how they ruined that game for more cash, it’s a little fuzzy in my memory since I’ve never played the game and heard it from an ex-trickster addict.

Ntreev’s business strategy is…. a Skinner Box. In psychology, it’s the study of behavior modification based off of consequences. It’s usually done with a rat in a box where by it is at the mercy of the person who owns the box. Now, you have the choice of rewarding and punishing the rat based on it’s own behavior, of course if it stands on 2 legs, you give it food. So then if you wanted to stand on it’s 2 legs, you made sure to starve it. And so frequently, the rat would stand on it’s 2 legs over and over just to get food. If you selected a behavior to punish, like say the rat trying to climb out of the box, you would give it an electric shock, and you know, once burned twice shy. So in relation to Grand Chase, the players are essentially punished by having much harsher conditions for completing job change quests, having severely weaker gear to go into dungeons or PVP mode putting you at a significant disadvantage sans Nephilim (which then begs whether or not you actually like Ryan), and of course being denied access to many of the game’s perks like different pets. You will be rewarded with the complete opposite only by paying money. So looking at the community where everyone that is not a newb is fully cashed, the community is a colony of rats.

Grand Chase, more than anything, turned me off from online gaming. When you get into a game that is surrounded predominantly by assholes who wish to make your life miserable by showing off how much better their stats were than yours (yeah, they literally taunt you for shit stats), it gives you a very bleak perception of the online gaming environment. And none of that has changed since getting a PS3.

Kratos and Fat Bitch. LOATHE ENTIRELY!

I tried not buying an online pass for Playstation All-Stars, but my roommate, being the jerkass he is, bought one himself, because he felt that “competition is good for building character” or some retarded philosophical bullshit who used as an excuse to fuel his own desires (plus the insults of “cheapskate” was like a downpour from his mouth). The very nature of PSASBR is similar to a Skinner box. The DLC is all on-disc, ofcourse, but I’ve never seen a game out of it’s way to advertise it’s on-disc faggotry so much as this game. When you go through arcade mode and fight one of those purple diamond clones that appear to be Kat and Zues, it’s a very subtle but devious form of advertisement because now you’re dealing with characters that re clearly more powerful than they need to be, and you have no familiarity with them because, if you bought it used, you would have no access to them eitherway. And Amma help you if you can’t get internet access either. Your content is locked on the disc and you have no means of prying it out. So, in skinnerian terms, you’re punished for buying used or not buying DLC at all which locks you out of the game’s 20% content. And of course, if you have no experience in dealing with characters like Zeus or Issac, then your ability to defend against them is severely hampered. So you’re punished for simply not paying extra. I personally wanna know why Capcom got heat for shit like this, but not Sony in particular. Most people have experience in fighting Blanka and Dudley from Street Fighter, how the fuck do you counter a super armor character?! It doesn’t help that the users online are just as dickish as anyone else.

The competitive environment in this game is actually worse than MK9s. Hell, MK9 was nowhere near this horrendous. Of course with Roomie begging me for help, I had to deal with getting bitched out for evading moves majority of the time, getting trapped in Cole’s infinite bullshit where you’re frozen in the air until they super your ass, and then you have Kratos, goddamn... you hear all about how powerful Kat and Issac are in combating these things, so roomie goes buying them up (and personally, I wanted Emmet for myself so…. yeah, there’s go my integrity.) and….we still get our asses kicked. But all that hype worked in getting him to buy a useless French thing with cat suit costumes that he’s probably jerking off to.

What I really hated was how deliberate the game was with it’s DLC (which probably explains why no one bought em). And not only that game. You also have Castlevania, Harmony of Despair which is, for all intents and purposes, Grand Chase lite. The issue of Chaos Rings. You have the ability to get these rings in Chapter 3 on hard more, but the drop rates for the rings are severely low. If you buy Chapter 11 which is some retro stage based on a game I know fuck all about, you actually have a higher drop rate for Chaos Rings to appear. So even in simple games like this, you are encouraged to buy the DLC for these items as well, or be punished with having to do more runs than need be just for one damn ring.

The issue of needing to buy everything new can’t be stressed enough due to the nature of online passes. As I’ve said plenty of times before, it’s to strong arm the consumer into paying full price. I don’t even know what “season passes” are, but I’m assuming it’s a time limited access to online features in which you have to pay again just to get back online. If that is the case, then I dread whole-heartedly the future of the video game console. The shit I had to deal with in Grand Chase is coming straight to the consoles…. or has been here since 2006 or so. I mean, I’m just now using a PS3 and there is so much bullshit you have to deal with on these piece of techno crap, you have to vacuum the goddamn thing just to keep it from burning up from dust. And then the amount of games I have with locked content is frustrating to deal with.

Thinking about selling PSAS because Roomie nearly lost his damn mind with the DLCs on that mess. He was considering buying those little…. bobble head things that pop up when you kill all the players in the match at once or something, I had to slap him off with a paddle. And then you think about all the hardcore over the internet who praise developers for their rampant DLC practices sans Capcom and I’m thinking…

Can’t you see… .that you are the rats?

One of the things I like though is that Free to Play is actually coming under fire. There’s some investigations or w/e going on in Europe over the legitimacy and legality behind the free-to-play model, which brings a smile to my face because I’m hoping those bastards over at Ntreev gets whats coming to them, but also because it would trace itself toward the console spectrum with the DLC madness going on. Everything that starts on PC usually finds it’s way on consoles. That would include the curses they bring with them.Then again, w/e blessings that grace the rest of the world hardly ever come stateside primarily because we are in a bureaucracy that supports capitalism above ethics.

What I find amusing is that there are so many debates and controversies about things that developers constantly do on the PS3 and 360 in regards to online passes, DLCs, DRM, interactive movies, digital releases, etc. But when you have the Wii that has none of that bullshit? They shit all over it because of a non-issue of catering to a “dreaded audience”. I’m fully aware now of all the butt-fucking these hardcore types have been getting, and I have yet to see why dealing with all of this was worth more than a Wii.

In order for gaming to be the way it is now, you literally have to be out of your mind.