Arcane Legends: Find companions no matter where your friends are

Arcane Legends preview
There's always one hang-up in particular whenever someone tries to sell you on massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). You've heard (and likely said) it before: "That's cool and all, but I don't have the time and dedication to coordinate play time with my friends."

With its fourth MMO for iOS and Android devices (and now on PCs and Macs with Google Chrome), Arcane Legends, Austin, Tex.-based Spacetime Studios has gone to some lengths to offer its own retort to the complaint. First seen in an hands-off video preview, this writer had the chance to touch the world of Arcane Legends during GDC Online 2012 in Austin.
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Arcane Legends: Find companions no matter where your friends are
We already know that Arcane Legends is designed to bring the best of Pocket Legends, Dark Legends and Star Legends into a single cross-platform, free-to-play mobile MMO. We've already seen the seen the warrior's descent into a mine infested with goblins and destroy them with devastating charge attacks and abilities. What we haven't seen until now is the touted pets system.

Billed to be as robust and important as the characters themselves, pets are integral to players' success in both solo and mutliplayer content, and they're more than mere stat boosters. (Though any MMO player will tell you that more stats are always nice.) Yes, pets will leap into fray with you, as we found out recently, thanks to a hands-on preview courtesy of Spacetime Studios director of marketing Fernando Blanco.
Arcane Legends screens
Blanco tells us that, while only a few will be available at launch to get new players acclimated, Arcane Legends will offer 40 different pets at launch later this fall. Each pet will not only look, sound, and move differently, but they'll each offer unique bonuses to players.

Take Guapo the Turtle, this writer's companion for his journey into a gremlin-ridden forest, for instance. Oddly enough, Guapo provides a 5 percent movement speed boost, which is useful for any of the three classes in Arcane Legends: Warrior, Mage and Rogue. That said, other pets' bonuses will be more useful when paired with certain classes, like the wolf's health bonus in conjunction with the beefy Warrior.
Arcane Legends screen shots
What's perhaps most exciting about pets isn't the stat bonuses, but the fact that they join you in battle. For the time-strapped adventurer, which may be the case more often than not on a mobile device, this could be a boon. Not only will solo players benefit from an extra set of fangs or claws, but they frankly be a little less lonely. You may play social games or MMOs for reasons like advancement or escape, but this writer plays them to socialize.

When pets aren't enough to feed to the need to connect with others, Arcane Legends offers the same pick-up-and-play mutliplayer options of its predecessors along with guilds and other group-forming techniques. Whether your friends or strangers looking for new ones, it seems as if there will always be someone to look in awe at your charged fireball attack.
Arcane Legends images
While the session played during GDC Online 2012 was solo, Blanco insists that it was played on a working server that simply had no other players in it, considering Arcane Legends is not yet live. But when the next step in Spacetime Studios's mobile MMO mission lands later this fall, see for yourself whether the developer's "industry-leading", cross-platform multiplayer technology known as Spacetime does the trick for you. If not, you could always have little Guapo tag along.
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