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Order and Chaos Surprises With New Content in iOS 6 update, Hints At Future Direction

On Wednesday, many apps pushed out updates to the App Store, adding iOS 6 compatibility and support for the iPhone 5′s wider screen. Order and Chaos, the top MMORPG on iOS, was one of these apps.

But instead of just updating the display and other minor OS tweaks, Gameloft slipped some new content into the mix. Completely unexpected and unannounced, the new material carries some interesting hints as to the future of the game.

What’s New

The most interesting change is the addition of the Hanging Gardens, a sub-zone of Sinnskald Rift. It features a chain of quests for characters near the level 60 cap, and it really helps round out those last few levels, which previously got a little grindy. It’s a pretty plot-heavy zone, featuring a storyline that has you seeking out the former ruler of the Rift.

The zone also has what is probably the most annoying bit of terrain in the entire game: a series of stone platforms that must be jumped across, the first time ever that the jump button is actually necessary to complete something. It’s an amusing little moment, though one that exposes how loose both the jump button and the camera angles really are in OnC.

Gameloft also added content to both Saithon dungeons, Lower City and The Palace. One of the first I heard about, by way of the MP community over at the Massively Portable Facebook page, was a craftable mount! Check it out:

Originally posted to the MP Facebook page

The mount requires the purchase of a new wolf mount for runes (i.e. real money), but the “sand wolf” above can only be gotten by using a recipe dropped in the Saithon dungeons.

A more significant addition to the Saithon dungones are the final pieces of the Tier 2 armor sets, which I’m thinking should now be called the “Saithon Sets.” Unlike all the other Tier gear in the game, these items are not dropping off of bosses, but off of the regular mobs in both the Lower City and The Palace. In addition to the Tier 1 “Rune Gear” and the PvP Gear, that makes three complete sets of Level 60 armor available in game.

What It Means

I think that some of these changes really do signal where Gameloft is taking OnC with the next big update. The addition of the final Tier 2 gear is the biggest clue, to me. When the PvP Update hit and these items weren’t in the game, everyone assumed that it meant we’d soon be seeing a sixth dungeon with those items. But now that they’ve dropped them into Saithon — on trash mons no less! — there’s no need for the next update to bring us yet another dungeon.

The Hanging Gardens is an intriguing addition, as well. On the one hand, it could simply be a beefing up of the quest chains in the Rift. But it could also be a way to smooth the transiton to another new zone … and a new set of levels. In other words: level cap raise!

Think about it: wrapping up the Tier 2 sets kills the obligation to launch another dungeon. Meanwhile, the Hanging Gardens opens up some of the final quests in the final zone — such as the Umbra Rift — to be retooled as a transition to a new questing area. It has long been speculated that the Umbra Rift, which featured a portal to another plane that the players fight to close, could instead be “opened” to allow access to a high-level questing area (think Wow’s Burning Crusade expansion).

Is this where Order & Chaos Online is going? I can’t say for sure. But this surprise update certainly seems to point in that direction.

What do you think? Let us know over at the Facebook page. 

For more about pocket-sized MMORPGs, check  out the Massively Portable podcast. 

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