While I have been more diligent at leveling my horses in Star Stable lately – I finished my third and now I’m working on my original starter horse that had been woefully left behind – I’ve been really bad about not leveling my rider.
Star Stable isn’t your typical MMO in that while there is leveling, everything is done without battles. That means that quests are your talk, fetch and escort types. There’s a bit of story sprinkled in here and there, but nothing earth shaking.
Keep in mind this is a game aimed towards young girls. While I don’t find the language talking down to kids/teens or too kiddish, concepts are kept pretty simple. That being said, for a game aimed towards a younger audience, some of the quest directions and instructions could be a bit more clear.
One of the progress markers in this game is unlocking new areas as you quest along. The game forcefully blocks your ability to visit areas outside of the starter town until you complete the quests that clear the way. The world of Star Stable is sizeable – especially given its audience – but this is also a way to limit content for free to play folks. If you want to see the wider world and get quests beyond level 5, you need to be a star rider.
Building a Bridge
One of the more interesting quests I’ve run across was one that rewarded you with a new area. You discover a bridge that’s fallen and you must work through the stages of rebuilding it. You get several construction quests over time to do this – from curing lumber to mixing cement. These are certainly not your average “girly” activities – and I appreciate that!
This could take a handful of days to complete, depending on how much gold you want to invest in it (I went the free route and did all the work myself). Though I was very lazy in working on bridge construction, I finally finished it this past weekend. I liked the idea of the project – it wasn’t too long or tedious – and felt like the payoff was nice!
Once I was able to finally cross into this new area, I was greeted by a broken-down inn that needed some sprucing up. They hadn’t seen any customers for a while due to the bridge being out, you see, and there were quite a number of chores to do – especially if I wanted information on how to find the next town/stables.
Again, my rider was tasked to do very non-girly things such as chainsaw down overgrown brush to make the inn look nicer.
Star Stable makes some use of visual instancing here – once you clean up the place, it remains nice and clean for the player. So while it may not always be the most technologically advanced MMO (I wish it would remember quests after logging out), there are some things that it does!
Once it’s all cleaned up, the inn looks right nice, too!
All of this helped to boost my rider level to 7, whereupon I got an emergency text from an NPC from a previous town. Heading back there, I was whisked along a quest line to find out why the local lighthouse hadn’t been working as of late.
Again, while the story isn’t deep, I found myself interested in figuring out this mystery. The first step was finding and fixing a boat to make the crossing to the island. This was quite a series of fetch/find quests, and the outcome was opening up a new area.
And once again, my rider was right in the middle of doing un-girly things like a champ. There was even a point where an NPC made a comment about these things like: “Of course you know how to fix a boat motor.” I had to chuckle about that.
I really do love the empowering theme of “girls can do anything” that this game continues to support. It’s a nice positive vibe.
Anyhow, new area, new NPCs, a mystery to solve through simple quests. A good chunk of XP without having to partake in fighting or violent activities. Not to mention, I ran across what I felt was a pretty impressive piece of music for the south island.
The music to Star Stable is generally nice, but every now and then, I’ll hear something that really surprises me. Riding along questing to this tune was very laid back and enjoyable.
I’m at the point where I have quests branching out in all kinds of areas in Star Stable now. I certainly don’t have a lack of content, even if I’m not leveling super fast.
I would like to finally reach level 9, however. Not only are there some nice Celtic style cosmetics that I’d like to claim and use, but it seems like most tack with stats require at least level 9 to use. Also, some horse breeds you can’t purchase until you’re level 9 – not to mention that you need to be level 9 to open up the city.
Seems there’s races and other daily activities in the city, which I could use to help boost my daily progress on horse training. Then again, I’m in no rush. Just enjoying the ride.