In a sea of free-to-play titles, anything that makes a game stand out in the cesspool of monotony is worth a look. Jade Dynasty's east Asian theme has some tentative potential, though I only had a limited time to play. The game is currently in closed beta; Perfect World Entertainment has a clock counting down to to the open beta launch on its site. Though I can provide a minimal amount of details, I'm hoping it's enough for readers to decide whether to pursue the game or not.
I was told the game was set in an Asian society reminsicent of the Middle Ages, where myth and lore are intertwined with realism. It is a free-to-play with accompanying cash shop, which is no surprise considering the game's origins. Though the only race available for play is human, it does seem there's a decent amount of customization that will set them apart from others. Currently there are six classes, each of which is loaded with a number of skills that are unlocked as the player progresses through higher and higher levels. The character I sampled was level 90 and was quite competent at cutting down any enemies that dared to attack me. There was an oddly large number of aggressive enemies and even running through a zone half my level meant having to deal with a giant train of enemies that had followed me from wherever I had been parked by the previous player.
Though Jade Dynasty is a purely PVP oriented game with no safe areas to speak of in other regions, the North American version will feature both PVE and PVP channels within servers. This gives players a broader spectrum of choice than simply mob-oriented and PVP-centric servers, and they can mingle between the two channels freely with the same character, making meet-ups with parties and friends considerably easier than in some other MMO titles available currently.
With a tentative release date this summer and an open beta in less then two weeks, those interested in the title shouldn't have a long wait before they can sink their teeth into this game. I was somewhat interested in the game myself before I discovered that the faster mounts were not available for purchase in-game. I've played enough MMOs with slow or poorly thought out transportation I don't think I could handle another one without going out of my mind.