Karma 2 - Install and Menus

Karma 2 is a newer first person shooter in Korea. It is developed by Dragonfly studios. Dragonfly studios has a game on Pmang, but Karma 2 isn't on a game portal site. It is hosted on its own site. It also doesn't allow foreign registration. So if you'd like to check it out you'll have to ask one of your Korean friends to set up an account for you. Account creation is pretty fast and since they've got to do it, they can understand it. On the off chance they just give you their KSSN and say you can make an account it is pretty straight forward and many of the options are similar to the pmang account creation and you can follow that guide on making the account. Karma 2 also got a little western press for their recent promotion in which they had some Koreans dress up in Nazi uniforms and run around some parts of Seoul to advertise.

The install is fairly straightforward. This is another one where you'll have to click the left text link under the game start icon to kick it off. It is around 830MB. Once it is all installed you can go ahead and start the game. I had to do a brief update even though I just downloaded it, and there was of course an activex control on the page that I had to install the first time I pressed game start.

Once you have it up and running, I believe you have to choose a nickname on first run of the game. It will immediately auto-select a channel for you and present you with a list of games. You can change your channel later if you want. This game continues the trend of "resolution only effects the game and not the menu". Which means your menu is stuck at 1024x768. Not a big deal, but it doesn't look that sharp on a 1920x1200 resolution. As to performance, I've played several maps at 1920x1200 with maximum settings for overall, models and 2x AA and still pulled from 50-100 Frames per second depending on where I am standing. Korean games seem to run fairly well on mid-range systems. Mine is starting to even flirt with the lower-end of mid-range systems and I can still play games that look great.

This menu is really easy and basic. We have the familiar settings button, exit, an inventory/store, a few stats in the lower left a list of games, channel, and players in the channel. The inventory/store consists of first an inventory screen where you choose your load-out and then a store screen where you can buy the items. Items here are mixed purchases. Some are permanent, like weapons and some are time restricted like gear. The time restriction on gear is in-game minutes. A previous game we played had calendar day purchases and time, this one has it based on in game time. Which means if you take a break for a week you won't lose your items, but if you play a lot you'll have to buy stuff more often. If you want to buy something choose "구매". This means purchase. You can choose how long you want to buy the item for, usually you're given 3 choices of time length. After you've bought the item go back to your inventory and equip it again. When the time limit of an item is getting close to expiring it will begin flashing so you can be alerted of it between games.

Games can be sorted by type, people in the game, room name, etc. Enter one by double clicking. In the game room you can see your inventory items, choose your class for the game, pick a team, etc If you need to there are quick links to the settings (most require the game be restarted), inventory, and item management. There is often no start button unless the game has already started. They just assume everyone is ready, it is a little strange but at the same time it does get games going a little faster as people don't have to sit around going "Hey guy, hit ready so we can start!". This game keeps track of your global ranking and how it changed with the experience you got in the last game.

There is one game type I haven't quite been able to sort out. I don't know what the name means. It is konglish of some kind but not obvious. The game seems to be a kind of deathmatch in the trenches with objectives, but most people seem to ignore the objectives. It is the unlabeled game type in the first annotated menu. By far the most popular game type in this game is Team Deathmatch. I'll chat more about the game types and gameplay in the next post.


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