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«ALfheim Online» (アルヴヘイム・オンライン, Aruvuheimu onrain?), usually abbreviated as "ALO", is the VRMMORPG successor to «Sword Art Online». It is compatible with any version of the FullDive technology. The game features nine races of fairies, whose goal is to reach the top of the giant World Tree, in order to meet the Fairy King Oberon. It was said that Oberon would turn the first starting race to reach the top of the World Tree into the legendary race of ALFs, with the ability to fly for unlimited time, but this later proved to be a lie. After ALO is acquired by Ymir, after the events of the Fairy Dance arc, unlimited flight is now granted to all fairy races (though it is still impossible to fly in dungeons).
It is the setting for the Fairy Dance Arc of the series as well as the setting for Mother's Rosario, Caliber (and its alternate ending, Caliber SS) side stories. Instead of the level system that Sword Art Online emphasized, ALfheim Online pursues skill development and encourages killing other players. This kind of system tries to eliminate the enormous gap that exists on level-based games between new and old players.
After Argus went bankrupt due to the SAO incident, its servers and data were acquired by RECTO Progress Inc. and used to create the VRMMORPG ALfheim Online. ALfheim or ALO is loosely based on both fairy lore and Norse mythology, drawing elements from other legends as well for its setting.
The system makes the player choose one of nine races of fairies for their avatar, each one with different abilities and affinities toward magic. Unlike Sword Art Online's system, the player apparently will have their game avatar set up randomly, the player just needs to input their Avatar name and select the race of the character, however, for an extra fee, players can reconstruct their characters to their liking. The gender of the player's avatar will be the same as the player in real life by default, and the player cannot change it no matter what.
The skills are developed by the player's own abilities and by repeating them over and over, so a new player with good skills can match a veteran player almost evenly in battle.
- Hauptartikel: Flug System The game is famous for being the first game to allow the player to fly for real. It uses a flight engine to enable the player to fly. The flight system also focuses on the player's own ability. It has a "controlled flight" mode, in which the players make use of a controller to fly, at the cost of being able to use only one hand to fight, but, with enough experience and ability, the player is able to learn «Voluntary Flight» and, with it, can use both hands while flying and gains more maneuverability and speed.
Virtual Reality ExperienceBearbeiten
As ALO is based on the core programming of SAO as a complete virtual reality MMORPG, the ALO system is capable of rendering the entire ALfheim environment with incredible realism, extremely similarly to the level of SAO. By stimulating nerves in the brain, it is possible to taste food, feel the wind and weather, move one's body, and live in ALO as if it were an alternate reality. However, there are several major differences that set the ALO environment apart from the real-world experience.
First, no pain is actually felt in any situation due to a feature called «Pain Absorption». As a result, gamers can undergo severe injuries and still only feel a tingling sensation. Though certain stimulation, such as magical explosions, can result in negative feedback, like headaches and dizziness that last for several hours. Second, there is no blood; in its place are orange virtual gashes that are seen in the place of damage. Third, magic is implemented to produce a variety of effects, with the incantations being based on strings of words.
While playing ALfheim Online, gamers still feel fatigue and hunger (even if their real bodies are not hungry), yet they can also eat in-game to dispel hunger in the real world, which has developed into a form of dieting for some people as a result.
Death or deletion in the game is visualized by fragmentation into thousands of polygon shards. All monsters and items go through such a process. However, players go through a different death scenario: they are engulfed in flames and then leave a Remain Light which lingers for a set amount of time, during which the player can still observe his or her surroundings and be revived with magic or special items.
According to Yui, the environmental data is much like SAO in its code, but the only primary differences are the overlay of changing appearances of creatures, character data, and altered programming of AI's as navis (navigation pixies).
The original ALfheim Online was set in the continent of Alfheim, which was divided into territories, the main ones consisting of racial territories and the minor or smaller ones being controlled by neutral players. At the center of the land was the neutral city of Alne, which was at the base of the World Tree.
Upon the release of New ALO after the scandal generated by Sugou Nobuyuki, a patch was later included to introduce New Aincrad, the floating castle, to ALfheim.
The original basis of ALO is that of a land of faeries, which seek an audience with the king, Oberon. The naming of the fairy king, Oberon, and his queen, Titania, suggests that it holds its roots in the Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night's Dream. Aside from that ALO seems to draw from a wide range of mythologies, including the Arthurian Excalibur, and the naming of the nine realms of Norse mythology like Jotunheimr. The influence of Norse mythology is more emphasized in the evil gods of Jötunheimr and the quest related to them. Yet the appearance of the deities, or Aesir, from the Norse forum is also present such as Thor, Urðr, Verdandi, and Skuld.
Initiation and Character CreationBearbeiten
Upon opening signing in to ALO, a player must first select a race, each of which has special attributes and skills unique to their race; however, the appearance of the selected character is randomized. Customization of the visual aspects of the character are allowed later on, but every change requires an additional fee. After the race is selected, they will be spawned in the race's hometown.
- Der folgende Abschnitt ist ein Abbild der Hauptseite Rassen in ALfheim Online/Arten der Rassen. Der Inhalt kann nur dort bearbeitet werden.
| Cait Sith|
|Der Lebensraum ist westlich vom Weltenbaums, Cait Sith haben besondere "Beast Tamer"-Skills (Tier-Bendiger), mit dem besten Sehvermögen und hoher Geschwindigkeit. Sie sind durch ihre Katzenohren und den Schwanz erkennbar.|
|Bewohner der Frost-Gebiete des Nordens. Die braun gestyleten Gnome sind die größten der Elfen-Rassen und sind spezialisiert auf Erdmagie.|
|Das Leben in den Alphine-Gebieten des Südostens. Die lila gestyleten Imps sind die Meister der Nacht und sind mit großer Nachtsicht ausgestattet.|
| Leprechaun (Kobolde)|
|Wohnen in den Frost-Gebieten des Nordens, Kobolde sind der Schmiede-Rasse und sind mit mechanischen Flügeln ausgestattet.|
|Die Pookas aus dem Nordwesten sind spezialisiert auf die Anwendung von Musik im Kampf um Gegner zu verwirren und Verbündeten zu unterstützen.|
|Bewohner der Wüsten-Gebiete des Südens. Die rot gestyleten Salamander werden als die stärkste Rasse, in Bezug auf Angriffskraft, bezeichnet und sind Meister der Feuermagie.|
|Aus dem "Alte Runen Gebiet" des Nordostens. Die schwarz gestyleten Spriggan sind Meister der Illusionsmagie und sind auf die Schatzsuche spezialisiert.|
|Von der Grünlandfläche des Südwestens. Die grün gestyleten Sylphen gelten als die schnellste Rasse und sind Meister der Wind Magie.|
|Aus dem Feuchtgebiet des Ostens. Die blau gestyleten Undinen sind Meister der Heilung und Wassermagie.|
|Alf||Von den Alf wurde behauptet, das sie die legendäre Rasse des Erhabenen Elfenkönig Oberon mit unbegrenzter Flugzeit sind. Es wurde angenommen, dass die erste der verfügbaren regulären Rassen, die die Spitze des Weltbaums erreichen würde und eine Audienz beim Elfenkönig bekommen würde, zu dieser besonderen Rasse aufsteigen würde aber das war eine Lüge. Die Alf haben nie existiert.|
|Navigations-Elfen||Pixies (auch als Navigations- oder Private-Pixies bekannt) sind eine exklusive Rasse für KIs (NPCs), die als unterstützendes Navigationsprogramm für die Spieler dienen. Diese Elfen sind in einer begrenzten Menge an Spieler vergeben worden, die sie in einer Lotterie zu Beginn des Spiels gewonnen hatten.|
Basic Game InterfaceBearbeiten
In a player's display, without accessing any skills, one can see several interfaces.
The health bar is located on the upper left corner of one's field of vision. It displays the health of the player, name, numerical HP (e.g. 400/400) and MP (80/80). It also shows the health and names of all other members in the player's party in a smaller bar.
The main menu is based on Sword Art Online's original interface but with minor key differences, such as the status of the player no longer incorporating experience, but rather skill mastery instead. However, the main menu is called out using the left hand instead of how SAO's menu was opened with the right hand.
- Inventory/equipment: The icon for the category is a character icon. This is the default screen when opening the Menu interface. The left screen is an image of the body, with multiple points that allow the gamer to equip items or clothes. The right screen has three sub-menus:
- Equipment: Selecting this sub-menu will open another three sub-menus:
- Weapons: The icon for this category is a sword like the one used in Equipment.
- Equipped: The icon for this category is an armor.
- Accessory: The icon for this category is a necklace.
- Items: Selecting this sub-menu will open an additional scrolling screen on the left that lists all items. When an item is selected, it materializes in front of the player. The inventory turns red when a player has too many items..
- Equipment: Selecting this sub-menu will open another three sub-menus:
- Friends/Guild: The icon for the category is two character icons together. The right screen has three sub-menus:
- Party: Selecting this sub-menu will open three additional options. The first is "Create", the second is "Invite", and the third is "Dissolve".
- Friend: Selecting this sub-menu will reveal a list of a player's friends. Selecting a single friend will produce three additional options: "Message Box", "Position Check", and "Profile".
- Messaging/Chat: The icon for the category is two chat box icons together. The icon flashes automatically whenever a player receives a message. Apparently, messages cannot be send to a player who is currently in a dungeon.
- Maps/Quest: The icon for the category is a balloon location icon. The right screen has three sub-menus:
- Field Map: Selecting this sub-menu will reveal a map showing the player's location on the field.
- Dungeon Map: Selecting this sub-menu will reveal a map of the dungeon that the player has explored.
- Quest: Selecting this sub-menu will open the player's quest window, displaying all the quests that the player has accepted and their description.
- Settings/Main-menu: The icon for the category is a gear. The right screen has three sub-menus:
- Help: Selecting "Help" will call a GM (Game Master) in the left screen.
- Logout: The logout button is available with a quick log-out in safe area and a 15-minute logout in a soulless state, in which the player can be attacked, if the player attempts to log out in the field.
Combat in ALO contains multiple elements and strategies. With the introduction of flight, it allows for duels to take place in aerial battles or on the ground. In the original incarnation of ALfheim Online combat was either between players or monsters, and, since there were no Sword Skills, combat consisted of either sword swings or magical attacks. It was noted that general combat involved just the trading of strikes and that high-speed battles, like the one observed between General Eugene and Kirito, were uncommon.
In the newer version of ALfheim Online, the introduction of features such as sword skills and the creation of the Original Sword Skill system allowed for combat to diversify, and duels could be set to be either flying or ground duels. Duels, like in Sword Art Online, are of three types: first strike, half-life, or total victory. Total victory being the kind where one player loses all his life to the other player or if one of the players resign.
Monster Battle MechanicsBearbeiten
Monster battles are the same as those in Sword Art Online, with the difference of including magic and the absence of Sword Skills in the original incarnation.
- ALfheim Online is loosely based on Norse/Viking Mythology, for example, the Yggdrasil, or rather, The World Tree, supported the entire cosmos in the actual myth. Another example is Jötunheimr, actually Jötunheim in the myth, is the icy home of the Frost Giants. And, of course, "ALfheim" is a reference to "Alfheim" in Norse Mythology, for the land of fairies/light elves. In the alternate ending of the Caliber story, Caliber SS, it is also speculated that, lore wise, the castle of Aincrad, which was implemented into ALO at the end of the Fairy Dance arc, is designated as Midgard, the world of humans in Norse mythology, by the NPCs of the game, as all characters in Sword Art Online were humans.
- ALfheim Online, unlike Sword Art Online, does not have a marriage system, though former SAO players who have kept their SAO avatars and had married in SAO do retain a hidden "married" status, though this does not have an effect on gameplay generally.