How to Play: Gameplay
So what's going on in the world of Gaia?
In a nutshell, things that used to not be alive (inanimate objects like alarm clocks and boat anchors) are coming to life. Gaians have started calling these newly-alive creatures "the Animated". The worst part is that the Animated seem to really dislike the "naturals" in the world and that means that they generally attack Gaians on sight.
Theories are rampant about what caused the Animation and what can be done to stop it. Currently, the main towns of Gaia are cut off from each other, each dealing with their own emergencies in their own way. Investigations are constant as everyone tries to find out more about what's going on, but the Animated are aggressive and disruptive, and most citizens are busy defending themselves and trying to keep some semblance of normality in their lives.
Perhaps you'll be the one to find out what's happening and how it can be stopped. It's certain that all of Gaia would be thankful if you could do so. As the zOMG! world continues to grow, so will the plotlines, each new story arc building on the others to evolve the world of Gaia far beyond where it stands now...and you get to be an active part of that evolution as you explore the world and aid its citizens.
About the Rings
As players play through the world, they will find many treasures and items of value. Some of those items are special rings that can be worn to give the wearer unusual powers. These powers can include anything from moving a little faster, being a bit luckier or healing faster, to more extreme examples, such as creating self-animated swords that fight for you, projecting movable force fields around allies, to even crazier things like wrapping an opponent in duct tape or throwing an angry hornet's nest like a grenade.
Players can easily shuffle their character abilities around after receiving them by simply taking the rings off and wearing different ones. This flexibility of character skill sets makes for a very convenient and fun advancement system for your character.
Every time you use a ring, you use a tiny bit of Stamina. If your Stamina reserve ever depletes completely, you won't be able to use other rings until you've rested for a bit. You can rest (slowly) by simply not doing anything, or you can Kneel and regain Stamina more quickly. Of course, you're completely vulnerable while Kneeling, and if you're hit, you'll suffer a lot of damage...so be careful.
The Agony of Defeat - "Death" Penalties
So...what happens when you are defeated in combat?
Every character has a Health reserve. When your Health goes to zero, you are knocked out (or "Dazed" as we say in-game). When you are Dazed, you can't use any ring skills, but you can move around (slowly).
You can only recover from being Dazed by releasing your life energy to reform within the Null Chamber, or by having an ally use a ring with the Awaken ability on you. (One such ring is the "Defibrillate".)
Are there any other penalties for being Dazed? Yes. When you first recover from being Dazed, you will only be able to use a couple of your rings (out of eight). The other slots unlock over time as your lifeforce (G'hi) energy recovers from being Dazed.
As you adventure through the world, speaking to characters that are not players like yourself (usually referred to as "non-player characters" or "NPCs"), you'll learn bits of their stories. Some of those stories are true, and some are not, but the world of Gaia is filled with excitement and opportunity, and those NPCs will almost always have something they would like you to do for them.
You can choose to do the tasks they describe, or you can just keep going, looking for something that interests you more. It's entirely up to you.
However, quests are generally lucrative. Some NPCs will reward you with gold, some with information or valuable charge orbs, and others still might have coveted recipes that can make items never before seen in the world of Gaia.
In addition to Tasks, you may also earn Badges as you journey around the world. Badges are accumulated for lots of reasons. You can get a badge for being a supreme destroyer of a particular type of monster, for exploring various parts of the world, for getting great (or lousy) scores in mini-games, and more!
Badges are (optionally) displayed on your Profile page (for bragging rights), and your favorite badge can be chosen so that it shows on your Character Info window within the game, so that everyone else can see your favorite accomplishment.
There is a short list of character statistics for each player in the game. Those "stats" include:
- Accuracy: Basically, how accurate are your attacks?
- Dodge: Can you avoid incoming attacks? This stat defines that ability.
- Willpower: Are you a victim of "crowd control" abilities (like sleep or root)? If so, this is the stat that helps you resist those attacks.
- Speed: Basically, this is how fast you move.
- Weight: Increased weight helps you resist knockback.
- Health: If this goes to zero...then you're Dazed. So keep this up nice and high.
- Health Regeneration: This is how fast you recover health when Kneeling.
- Stamina Regeneration: If you stand still (not doing anything), you'll slowly regain Stamina. Kneeling regains it even more quickly.
When you wear your rings, the lifeforce ("G'hi") energy within those rings becomes bound to your body and spirit. The more powerful your rings are, the higher your base statistics become. If you keep all your rings at a similar power rating (Charge Level), then you will maximize your stat bonuses. If some of your rings lag behind, then they drag those bonuses back also.