Singapore server is closing on April 27, 2017 (Thu) at 12:00 hours (UTC+8).  

Using the downtime for Sword of the New World, the sGE family finished the Katovic quests to recruit Gavin, Chaos Requiem quests, and Selva's recruitment quests. I was quite surprised at the size and toughness of Huge Avalanche Apparition, summoned after using 4 Ghost Nuclei. Luckily, other families came along, and nailed it together.



So finally, the family received Gavin and Selva cards, but there is no room left in the barracks. Bah. Cash shop items still cost more in sGE than in SNW (e.g. EB/UA 2.5m vs. 1m), and the family only has 100m+ vis. So poor.

Sword of the New World went on a 24-hours maintenance for hardware upgrade... and it has been almost 36 hours since the servers went down. Even the forums are down with "IPS Driver Error", which is kind of a smart move, since nobody can QQ about it this way.

So instead, I login to sGE and tried to do the quest to seal Novia. After a few failures due to inability to use buff potions (double-clicking on them just refused to work due to lag or whatever), Alicia (veteran f/ele) finally managed to spam lightning skill on Novia enough to force her retreat with 9.04 minutes left. See also Seal of Novia.


Last week, I opened several thousands Bellem's Boxes (2,000 boxes per purchase; made several purchases over a few days) and got 142 keys. The following is a pie chart for the distribution of key types.



Out of 142 keys, there are only 4 keys for Barrow de la Muerte, also known as Room of the Dead and Sea Cave of the Revenant (see here). The Key [Prison de Joaquin, Corridor of Assize] is needed for Selva's recruitment quest, and the respawn timer is 2 hours (see here).

The other 3 keys summoned the dungeon bosses (channel 1 only) with a reported level range of 41-66 (absolute upper/lower limit is unknown; see here). I tested with AQM Hollow keys, and found the reuse timer for keys to be about 10 minutes. All 5 types of keys also drop from mini-bosses in the respective dungeons.

For other analysis of Bellem's Box drops, see Journeys Through GE: Bellem's Boxes and Fontessa's Bellem's Compendium.



Arondight is the sword of the legendary knight, Sir Lancelot. He is one of the greatest Knights of the Round Table and contributed greatly to King Arthur's victories. He joined the quest for the Holy Grail and was granted a vision of the sacred artifact. His adulterous affair with Guinevere, King Arthur's wife, contributed to Mordred's betrayal of King Arthur and the fall of Camelot.

The family returned to Los Toldos yet again, using up 83 Mystery Powders to farm 98 Pure Otites. With the Pure Otites left over from the previous visit, the family crafted 3 Elite Beam-Guns and 1 Elite Scythe.

The family recruited Barret (Jose) and Maimonides (m/mus). While training at Gigante Beach, they looted Ararat Summon Ring. The experts recovered Elite Camisa de Soldado, Elite Laranja e Preto, Elite Graciegote, Elite Robe of Uranus, Elite Elementalist, Elite Finisher, Dragon Hunter Bayonet, and Elite Mystic Knife from Bellem's Relics. They also hunted a few Swamp Anglers and looted Elite Albaes.


Grinding and farming were becoming boring, so instead more time was spent spamming Bellem's Boxes...

Every so often, I see forum topics asking about the differences between Sword of the New World and the English version of Granado Espada. Granado Espada is an online game with many different localized editions. (I won't use the word "version" to avoid confusion with game content versions, like v3.2.) For localization, see sGE's Localization Insider: In-Game Text and Capturing the Character.

There are currently 2 English editions of the same game, i.e. Sword of the New World (SNW) and Singapore Granado Espada (sGE). Since I have played both editions before, I will write on the similarities and differences between them.


SIMILARITIES

  • Both editions get their updates from IMC, so the game contents are mostly the same. A lot of decisions seem to require the approval of IMC.
  • Both editions use English language for game interface. However, it is common for some sGE players to communicate in Tagalog or Mandarin. SNW players tend to stick with English, although sometimes Spanish and other European languages are used.
  • Both editions do not have IP restrictions, so anyone from anywhere in the world can play.
  • Both editions are free-to-play, supplemented by cash shop.
  • Both editions have 2 PK servers and 1 Non-PK server (i.e. Orpesia in SNW, Rembrandt in sGE).
  • You may not transfer stuffs (e.g. characters, items, cash shop credits) between game editions or between servers of the same edition.


DIFFERENCES
  • Different companies run the game services. SNW is managed by K2, while sGE is managed by IAHGames. Both have their own websites and forums. See Sword of the New World and Singapore Granado Espada.
  • The game servers have different locations. SNW servers are in USA, while sGE servers are in Singapore. This also means they have different server time: PST (SNW) and GMT+8 (sGE), as well as different weekly maintenance periods and server stability. Also, SNW servers are apparently powered by hamsters (see here).
  • SNW targets players in USA and Europe, while sGE targets players in Southeast Asia and Oceania. However, both do not restrict players from other regions.
  • The two editions use different voice actors/actresses for the characters' sound effects. (The sound effects files are replaceable, but doing so is technically illegal.)
  • SNW is currently still v2.9.1, while sGE is currently v3.2. A higher version means more game content (e.g. items, quests, maps, raids, UPC/RNPC). See sGE's Version Updates.
  • Names of characters, monsters, items, maps, and concepts are sometimes different. For example, Fengling (sGE) = Soso (SNW), Swamp Frogfish (sGE) = Swamp Angler (SNW), Bracelet of Three Kings (sGE) = Bracelet of Great Soul (SNW), Bahama Swamp of Darkness (sGE) = Bahamar Marsh (SNW), and Faction (sGE) = Clan (SNW).
  • Personal shop (both vis and feso types) has been removed from in-game menu in SNW, but is available in sGE.
  • A new SNW family starts with 15 character slots, while a new sGE family starts with 9 character slots in the quarter/barrack.
  • Emilia the Sage is nerfed (INT 7) in sGE, but not in SNW (INT 8). Other characters are the same, not accounting for version updates.
  • Both editions have their own in-game events, e.g. Christmas events. For 2008 Christmas events, see K2 Christmas Gifts and GE Christmas 2008.
  • Bot Report function is currently disabled in SNW, but not in sGE. (This function has caused frustrations for some legit sGE players who do not have the correct firewall/router/anti-virus settings, since they are faced with a verification request when the alpha-numeric picture failed to load. See sample screenshot.)
  • The AM in SNW announced themselves with server-wide notices when they come online or go offline periodically, so players can message them with issues (e.g. botters, server not found). The GM in sGE usually do not do so, except for in-game events.
  • The cash shops use different cash credits, i.e. G-Points (sGE) and Gold (SNW). The cost of items are also different. See Cash Shop Comparison. Some items and packages are not available in the other edition, e.g. Pet Bonding Package (sGE).
  • The feso shops also have different items for sale, but most of them are the same now.
  • Microphones and megaphones are no longer available for purchase from NPC in sGE (moved to cash shop instead), but are still available in SNW.
  • Adelina's Booty Search (essentially a cash shop gambling service) is available for sGE. SNW has no ABS-equivalent at the moment.
  • SNW players can pay for premium services, which used to provide Mystery Boxes. The boxes however were tentatively removed due to duplication problems (no ETA on restoration as yet). There are no such boxes in sGE at the moment.
  • The markets have different prices due to in-game economics. Currently, Rembrandt server (sGE) is having vis shortage, so in-game item prices have dropped a lot since I last wrote about it here. On the other hand, Orpesia server (SNW) is having inflation, so prices for most items have doubled or tripled. However, cash shop items are still cheaper in Orpesia than in Rembrandt, although the opposite is true for other items (e.g. Lv.100 weapons, enchantment chips). For prices in Bristia server (SNW), see Journeys Through Granado Espada: Economy. No information is available for other servers.
  • Family name, character name, and character gender can be changed in sGE via the Royal Service by using cash shop credits (G-Points). This is not yet available in SNW.
  • EXP rates are different. See Beth EXP Test.
  • Internet Cafe Premium Buff is available for sGE players who play at selected CyberCafes. The buff grants 20% more EXP and item drop rate, free access to Forgotten/Ancient Territory maps, and special access to Hidden Ancient Territory located in Ustiur Zona Tres (near the entrance of Skeleton Dungeon). This buff is not available in SNW (perhaps due to no participating cafes), although the warp gate to Hidden Ancient Area is there in Ustiur Zona Tres.
  • In SNW, +5 upgrade has a 1% fail rate even when 20 upgrade accelerators are used. See here. In sGE, 20 enhancement boosters ensures a guaranteed success. See Power of the Glow. (I don't think 1% fail rate is a feature, since IMC never designed a lacquer/impervium for +4 to +5. It is probably a bug that K2 refused to fix.)
  • Character levels are publicly displayed above the character names in SNW, but not in sGE.
That's all I can think of for now...

Edit: Added 1% fail rate for +5 upgrade in SNW. Added displayed character levels.

For foreign players of sGE, you can buy cash shop credits online at OffGamers and MOL. These are the more reputable sites often recommended in the forums. For example, see here and here. You can also use VISA to top-up directly at IAHGames.

The Coimbra Shuffle!! for jGE has updated its loot table for 19-26 May 2009. You can view close-up screenshots at the website itself during the promotion period. JavaScript must be enabled.



Dragon Rapier is a AR32 rapier with ATK 201 and Fire ATK +30. Dragon Dagger is a AR32 dagger with ATK 190 and Fire ATK +30. Elite Capybara Saw is a AR30 great sword with ATK 418 and +20% ATK vs. Wild Beasts. All 3 weapons are Veteran Exclusive.

Other loots include Serpent Revolver (AR32), Golden Damascus (AR32), Silver Striker (AR30), Elite Bone Frame Armor (DR28), Elite Dragon Coat (DR28), and Devil Wings (30-days).

Anahita (f/sco) found her 16th Fire Isle Treasure in Zone 1: Assassin Dagger, Elite Imperial Shooter, and Elite Bracelet of Pluto. She stayed on to train Visca (Bernelli) and loot some Lv.84-88 chips. Another treasure hunt failed, as Erisia family found it... and it was Bracelet of Behemoth.



The experts entered Bellem's Relics several times and retrieved Elite Kaladbolg x2, Elite Sniper Rifle, Elite Broinac x2, Elite Imperial Shooter, Dragon Hunter Bayonet, Sword Breaker, Elite Graciegote, Elite Plate, and Elite Striform x2. After using 8 chips on one of the Elite Striforms, it became enchanted with Evasion +10 Mental RES +13 DEF Rating +3.

The family dismissed Gracielo and recruited Candide (Lorch), Mirajane (Lisa), and Daedalus (Yeganeh). During his recruitment quest, Yeganeh gave the family a Lv.24 Yeganeh's Greatsword. The irony is that Yeganeh cannot use great sword at all.



Since the family needed more fake uniques for Lv.92 elite weapons, Jack led a team to do several low-level missions alone. They acquired Pollux Guard x2, Castor Sword, Blue Rough-Stone, Covering Fire Ring, Penta-Train Ring, Sasha Control Ring, Golden Coupon x2, and Key [Tetra Treasure Chamber] from 5 Lv.1 Interchange missions. They also completed 10 Lv.2 Highway missions and acquired Beam-Gun, Takion Summon Ring, Slash Down Ring, Mission: Highway Lv.2, Golden Coupon x2, Bellem's Box, and Key [Porto Bello St. Catherina Saloon].

It is funny how one day after I posted about Rainbow Shield in my previous blog entry Toy Hammer, Rainbow Shield, sGE updated its ABS loot table to include the shield as a top loot, along with Phoenix Wings (365-days) and Baphomet Horn (365-days). The prized booty are Panda Pet, Naginata (AR 30 polearm), and several costumes. For screenshots, see Black, White, and Rainbow article.





Rainbow Shield debuts in sGE about 8 months after jGE.
Will Toy Hammer and Elemental Bracelet be in ABS next?

I spent my last 15 searches in sGE and got Le Blanc costume, Ancient Damaged Glazium, Yellow Ore, Ring Box (Centella Ring), and other crap. Curious about the "drop" rate, I tried again with 100 free trial searches. Of the featured items, these 100 searches got La Ventisca costume, Le Scarce costume (ele), Le Scarce costume (mus), and Cronian Thanatos costume (m/sco) x2.

SGD 60.00 (i.e. USD 40.87) gives you 70,000 G-Points, which can all be converted to 700 ABS. Someone here used 600 searches and still didn't get the top loot... I don't know. I wish they would place at least some of the items in Feso Shop instead, especially things like pets which are supposed to be there originally. As it is now, the Feso Shop is bloody useless in sGE. Paying with real money for virtual items is one thing, gambling for it seems to be going a bit too far. You can end up spending lots of cash and still not get the thing you wanted. I'm not sure if it is worth it, but then, I'm just not a big spender on games, plus I never like having a random element when real money is concerned.

Edit: Added stats of Rainbow Shield and Naginata.

I was digging through jGE's website and found a few items I haven't notice before. Here are three of them...


Toy Hammer
Blunt • Veteran Exclusive • Stun 7%
Available in jGE's 6th Coimbra Shuffle (Sep 2008).


Rainbow Shield
Shield • Veteran Exclusive • Fire/Ice/Lightning/Mental RES +10
Available in jGE's 6th Coimbra Shuffle (Sep 2008).


Elemental Bracelet
Special Type (Lord of Elements) Bracelet • Veteran Exclusive • Lv.92 • AR 29
Available in jGE's 7th Coimbra Shuffle (Oct 2008).

K2-Raiden released some more information about Sword of the New World current status in The Dark Ages forum topic. (No. The Dark Ages is not a patch, although it sounds like one.) Most of the posts didn't really say much, and the rants and QQ didn't help either. But I managed to distill some notable information out of pages 1-12:


It sure is possible to release 2.9 and 3.0 at the same time. But there wouldn't a point to that. Instead we have decided to release 2.9 first followed by 3.0 soon after so that our QA guys will have enough time to test and fix all possible bugs with the patch. [...]

I have no clue as to what happened 7 months ago. But I do know that they found a game breaking bug in the second half of 2.9. Due to circumstances that I am not going to reveal here, the rest of the patch was held back. [...]

The sword team has kicked everything in gear and the wait is almost over. In fact one clue that I can give is that there will be a neat update even before the release of 2.9. [...]

Between 2.9 and 3.0...our current estimate is 45 days depending on what bugs Guinn and the QA team sniffs out. [...]

Let me reprioritize things in there.

1. Unban the legits
2. 2.9/3.0
3. Forum bugs
4. Illier compensation?
5. myst box recovery


The previous statement from K2 was that v3.0 will be available sometime in late May to late June. So, if assuming v3.0 will be in late June, we should expect the rest of v2.9 in mid/late-May, which is, um, from this week to 2 weeks later.

Hm, that is probably a bit too optimistic. I won't be surprised if they have to delay a bit. So instead of v3.0 by late June, maybe it is more reasonable to expect rest of v2.9 by then? I hope other players won't be too harsh on K2-Raiden/Raven/Guinn. I mean, they are humans after all, so long they are making the effort, there is no need to go "Hulk smash!" on them. As for how things will be... Well, we will see...


The family continued to stay in Bahamar Marsh to kill snails. They hunted a few Swamp Anglers, but no good recipe drops so far. While doing so, the family had their first encounter with the Swamp Silurian (aka Swamp Merman Eater), which dropped a few chips.



They returned to Frozen Wastes and ran into another Silurian... this time, the arctic version. The beast killed the family while AFK. And when the team returned, Core clan was engaging it. Again, it dropped only a few Lv.92 chips. Pathetic. (Apparently, Lv.92 chips are the best thing you can get from them, until v3.0. See here.)



As the team continued to AFK-grind there, they looted a Concentration Ring, Bronze Whistle, and Silver Controller: Attack x2. Then finally, Gilgamesh (Claude) became the family's 4th expert.



More pathetic drops followed after killing an Elmorc for a Lv.80 clean armor, 1 pure gold bar, and good beef... But at least, an entry into Bellem's Relics yielded Elite Laranja e Preto and Elite Arondight. With Erisia's help, the family farmed another 2 Amethyst Fragments, leaving another 15 more to go. K2's servers seem to be having a fit again. Bellem's Relics was inaccessible a few days ago, and according to other players, so are certain maps/channels.

Tetra Treasure Chamber can be accessed by giving 1 Platinum Coupon to Ivan Popovichi at Coimbra Nimrod Bridge (J9). You will be warped into a room with lots of Treasure Phobitans where you can kill and loot for 3 minutes. The first room contains a warp portal to the 2nd room, which in turn contains a warp portal to the 3rd room. Each use of the warp portal requires 1 additional Platinum Coupon. This is essentially a higher version of Al Quelt Moreza Treasure Chamber.



The Lv.50 monsters in the 1st room drop Refined Ionium and Lv.52 equipment. The Lv.60 monsters in the 2nd room drop Refined Aidanium and Lv.64 equipment. The Lv.70 monsters in the 3rd room drop Bulk of Silver and Lv.72 equipment.

Although used in some quests and mid-level elite recipes, these ores are easily available in Gigante Beach or Fire Island Free Zone. So, Platinum Coupons are not really useful.



P/S: Yes, this is a very old feature of the game, but I got nothing else to write about, so meh...

To recruit Garcia (aka Gavin, in sGE), you must find the trigger spot in Ferruccio Wall (F2), after completing Bahamar Quests. Some players mistook it to be near the fireplace inside the camp, but the trigger spot is actually just outside the camp.


After this, you will eventually have to seal Novia. See Seal of Novia quest. I uploaded the screenshot to answer a forum question, so might as well post it on the blog too...

Gilgamesh (Claude) gained another 3% EXP in Skeleton Dungeon Ancient Area for the last few hours of the 7-day pass. The family ventured into Caebolan (aka Tierra de Putrefacta) to start on the quests, farming 3 Amethyst Fragments and 1 Silver Earring Recipe. Active farming for amethyst is a pain due to low drop rate, while AFK farming is almost impossible since the characters tend to die fairly quickly if left on their own. Getting stuck at the quest is starting to make me bored of the game again. I wish they would stop making quests dependent on end-game equipment.



In any case, they also spent some time in Bahamar Marsh and looted their 8th Snail Shell, Death Blow Ring, and Hill Giant Summon Ring. The family tried to buy a wizard Le Noir for Alustriel (ETS), but couldn't keep up with the bid. The extra Elite La Ventisca was traded to an ex-clan mate who seemed to want it desperately, although it ended up being more trouble than it was worth, since the traded items have to be sold off individually again. (Note to self: Don't get pressurized into unwanted deals by acquaintances, especially when sleepy.)

After spamming 15 keys, the family looted Bracelet of Great Soul, Grim-Wraith, Shaft Hammer x2, Pizarro, Elite Plate, Elite Ring Mail, Elite Alegrias, Elite Albaes, and other assorted Lv.84 elite weapons. Two keys however were wasted. Thanks to a mass disconnection from server and a power failure caused by a lightning strike... both happening on the same day. Lame. Also, Anahita (f/sco) failed at the treasure hunt this week. In fact, everybody failed. Nobody found the damned thing... twice.