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Author Topic: PAGE: Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE (Read 10296 times)
yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « on: January 08, 2009, 04:19:24 PM »
I'm working on a page for Imagine. I figure some games around here I'll just have to do myself. Another on that comes to mind is Giten... possibly MT2 someday.

Nevertheless I don't particularly fancy myself a capable writer -- basically because it's something I've never been much interested in or much enjoyed.

I don't think I suck, but I basically lack confidence in my own opinions/judgment. Also beyond editing, I could use any factual input or otherwise. I feel like our articles should offer something above and beyond, otherwise they're really not providing anything new other than a certain level of organization/centralization.


I'm expecting the basic IMAGINE article will be quite lengthy even without going into detail. Sub pages could provide even more detail perhaps. But there is a lot to cover with IMAGINE, and I also intend to somehow shoehorn all the prerequisite knowledge of where the universe is coming from, and even throw in some fairly obvious speculation about the plot in the end. Stuff no one would see coming without an encyclopedic knowledge of Megaten (especially because pretty much all of IMAGINE dates back at least as far as SMT2 and goes all the way back to MT2 and even jumps clearly into Giten territory -- Giten is essentially the same game only not online frankly)



At any rate here is what I've so far...

Quote
女神転生IMAGINE プレミアムパッケージ (Premium Package)
Official Website: megatenonline.com
Official Developer Journal: megatenonline.com/blog/
Japanese Release: 2007
Retail Price: ¥ 5,229 (or a free version for download)

The debut of Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE is Megaten’s first foray into the online gaming experience. Imagine is described as an MMORPG, or “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Play Game,” which means that players all over the world† are able to engage one another online via the internet in ways previously unavailable to the Megaten enthusiast. This monumental feat appears to be subcontracted by Atlus, Co. Ltd. through a Japanese partner and Megaten virgin known simply as CAVE. Aeria Games & Entertainment, based in California, has announced it’s intentions to deliver Imagine to an international audience with plans for servers in North American and Germany limited to English and German in-game presentation respectively.

Before Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE present many incarnations of Imagine are recorded to have exist since Atlus announced it's intentions to bring an MMMORPG (Megaten MMORPG) to market. <"A very brief history">. For a year after public Beta testing had ended until roughly around Imagine ’s celebration of it’s own one year anniversary, the working title was simple Megami Tensei Online IMAGINE. The absence of the hallmark Shin[J] created a space for ambiguity interpreting the place of Imagine within the wider Megaten multiverse. Officially however Imagine is now presented as if Shin Megami Tensei canon of one form or another.

Borrowing from themese more directly attributable to the classic and somewhat sacrosanct Megami Tensei II, yet sandwiched between the canon timelines of Shin Megami Tensei I & II - according to opening cinematics - Imagine presents a rich tapestry of Megaten possibilities and arguably probabilities. A brief jaunt through Megaten history is enlightening.

I'll basically edit stuff into this as it comes together, and post highlights as necessary. Any rewrite suggestions are helpful, but if you wanna argue about it then write your own version ok smug


PS: This first page will focus on the Japanese game with only a mention of Aeria up top. There will be another page for Aeria's handling. Either a sub page or game page, I'm not sure, just depends on how far Aeria deviates.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 02:11:53 AM by yksehtniycul »


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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #1 on: February 04, 2009, 02:16:07 AM »
Here is some more I've worked out shortly from my outline basically covering matters of economics virtual or otherwise...

Quote
Getting started. The IMAGINE community you’ll interact with along with in-game presentation will depend on the client, that is the application you will play, which you download. Playing is as easy as registering with the official website where you downloaded your client - fulfilling registration requirements - and seeing that your personal computer meets the minimum hardware specs made available on each respective website. The hardware requirements are thankfully fairly flexible and overall shouldn’t put a dent in your pocketbook - just make sure your graphics card supports the Microsoft DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 specifications. Likewise it is possible to play IMAGINE successfully with the lowest grade of broadband internet access, however to a large extent “lag” and “ping time” can benefit from faster connections, especially if connecting to overseas or overburdened servers. Alternatively at times boxed versions of IMAGINE have been made available to offline consumers, along with certain promotional coupons promising the chance to win exclusive one time only in-game items. These coupons are exchanged via promotional codes entered from within the game. Buying a boxset does not guarantee a rare one-of-a-time prize, but even consolation prizes will be of certain value. A boxset might also gift back a certain amount of CP†, which is an in-game currency which may be purchasaded via domestic currency, that is “real world” money, from your client’s official website.

Once you’ve registered and downloaded a client, it’s time to login and setup your initial in-game character. Future characters can be bought with CP but are non-refundable upon deletion. The most important decision to consider when creating a character is which “server” - or world - you will play in as this character. Each world is named after a certain Devil unique to each client, and choosing the wrong world will mean you might be unable to interact with a friend or even your own characters in much the same way players on different clients cannot interact - on the other hand alternative worlds might offer smoother connections and a wider array of unused names, for your character to be. The worlds themselves to some extent also dictate the current state of the in-game economy and fashions available to players, otherwise at this time there is no distinguishing difference between worlds - events are staged simultaneously and rarely if ever cross the boundaries of worlds.

Once you’ve chosen your world and satisfied the character creation dialog you will be thrust into the universe of IMAGINE. Unlike previous Megaten offerings, IMAGINE promises a social experience and the opportunity to express yourself via character customization. Though some items can be obtained in the field or dungeons, the vast majority of IMAGINE’s fineries require a certain familiarity with the in-game virtual marketplace. A number of items can be purchased directly via aforementioned CP, however still yet a much greater variety are obtainable only via the Fortune Card lottery and Bazaar System where players setup autonomous kiosks from which to sell their wares at going rates. Also available amongst IMAGINE’s listings system is a trading list, where players can post “haves & wants” for all online to see worldwide - the in-game world that is. The lottery functions very similarly to the aforementioned boxset promotional prizes, however instead players purchase Fortune Cards from the various in-game “NPC” vendors with CP. The vendor-specific prizes available change from update to update generally one vendor at a time, but sometimes more. Like a convenience store lottery, the Fortune Cards are exchanged on spot for your prize. Generally even the least valuable prizes are of considerable in-game value, though it is arguable whether or not they’re worth the real CP cost of the Fortune cards themselves, which normally range from 30 to 60CP. In this way new fashions are distributed throughout the worlds as players opt to keep, sell, or trade their winnings.

Because it is not possible to trade CP in-game - though it might be possible to gift CP to other accounts registered with the same website as your own - CP items must be sold for macca, the traditional Megaten currency. Fortunately the Bazaar System runs entirely on macca. Accounts are limited to one active Bazaar kiosk apiece, which is shared by characters on the same account. The amount of items a Bazaar may display is normally about five, but sometimes this number raises considerably during different events and could change in the future. Players can purchase items from a kiosk with their macca on-hand, the maximum amount a player may carry being 2.5 million minus the one inventory slot which must hold the purchased item - so the maximum an item can sell on the Bazaar is no more than this, though items can be priced at higher amounts. Alternatively larger trades can be made directly with the Bazaar owner or via the trading list. For more than a year players could not hope to manage more macca than this at a time, but now special 50 thousand macca notes may be purchased from the many Yagi shops which dot the IMAGINE landscape. These notes “stack”, and may be traded, but are still not compatible with the Bazaar system. On the plus side, players need no longer leave money in their Bazaar holdings as a makeshift bank account. Bazaar kiosk time and location can be purchased within the confines of in-game towns, cost varying with the profitability of each limited spot. Once a player buys your item you can normally expect to receive 5/6ths of the transaction, where the remaining 1/6th goes only YHVH knows.

For more than a year or so, macca was not overly easy to come by. However an eventual update introduced a game-play element called Plasma. As designed players play a mini game locating balls of Plasma on the overworld field, which spawn not unlike free roaming Devils - and a timed clicking feat is required of the player in exchange for otherwise useless items which may be sold to NPC vendors or converted into Elements which are required by certain more advanced in-game skills. The “useless” items fetch a fairly lucrative price from NPCs and the easily obtained elements sell even better to players who need them. So it is - now any player inclined to monotonous and relatively thoughtless feats of endurance may in short order rack-up a fairly vast store of macca compared to alternative means of supporting oneself. Whether or not “farming” Plasma in this way is a sustainable prospect for IMAGINE is yet to be tested, however the introduction of Plasma was followed by a steep macca inflation further limiting the longterm viability of the Bazaar system.

Finally, as a convenience players may store items away in their Terminal locker, which may be accessed from any of the Terminals found about the various towns regularly spaced throughout the terrain of IMAGINE. Each storage allotment is identical to each character’s inventory. Additional such allotments might be temporarily obtained with the aid of CP in the form of item storage tickets, which can then be exchanged for approximately one month storage, after which items may be removed but not replaced. Incidentally characters occupying the same account share this storage space so that it is never overly difficult to transfer items from character to character. Similarly one such allotment may be purchased for storing Devils at a slightly greater cost, 60CP to be exact, only that you’re able to store as many Devils as your inventory can hold items, which is several times more than can be carried  into battle or managed at any one time. Though too numerous to enumerate, many advanced skills exist from which industrious players may generate considerable profits, some of which utilizing Devils themselves - nevertheless these month-to-month storage opportunities are priced dollar-for-dollar as a monthly subscription plan might be if only IMAGINE offered one.

It seems like a lot of information to not have it's own article, but I don't feel like it is unabridged or necessarily inappropriate for a main article given the uniqueness of IMAGINE. I reckon if it doesn't get broken up into sub-articles probably WordPress' multi-page feature will be employed so that the pages themselves will not be overly long sweatdrop

At most this is 1/5th of the article I reckon rolleyes

« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 02:33:16 AM by yksehtniycul »


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yksehtniycul
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yksehtniycul says,
 « Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 03:05:54 AM »
I'm cross posting this up on gamefaqs, as that's about the only place people talk about IMAGINE:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=921999&topic=47984292

I might also put a work-in-progress page up in the Under Construction pages, considering how long it might take me to pull this article together geno



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