SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online (Also known as SD Gundam Capsule Fighter or SDGO for short) is a free-to-play, massively multiplayer online third person shooter video game developed by South Korean game developer Softmax. The game began public online service in the summer of 2007 for South Korea, and as time went by new versions were licensed for service in other countries and regions. Versions of SDGO were localized for China and Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, North America and parts of Europe, and Australia and other parts of south-east Asia.
On April 28, 2015 the native Korean server, which was published by Netmarble, announced that it would be shutting down service of SD Gundam Capsule Fighter on May 29, after an eight-year run. By that date most other servers had either already officially ended service, or announced that they soon would. The Chinese server revealed that they would conclude their operations on July 31, 2015. On June 16, 2015, the Taiwan Server revealed that they would shut down the same day as the Chinese one, on June 30, 2015, OG Planet revealed that it, too, would shut down that same day before being revised a week later to be July 26.
In SD Gundam Capsule Fighter, players can take control of super-deformed versions of units from all Gundam eras, with missions and content based on events from the Universal Century until the latest Advance Generation (depending on the server). The most up to date server is certainly the original Korean server, as they create all of the new content, while the other servers usually lag several updates behind. The game's main theme is the use of gashapon capsules and capsule machines.
There are two main modes of gameplay in SDGO, PvP mode and Mission mode. PvP mode is a traditional player versus player game in general with up to 12 players per match. This mode rewards players with in-game points and experience, with more value for the winning team of players. PvP mode has six different styles of play - Normal, where two teams of up to six players fight it out and whichever team has the most points at the end is the winner; Death, where players are given a set stock and fight until the last team is left standing; Boss, a variation of Normal in which a random member of the teams will grow to larger, boss sizes and earn five times the points for destroying opponents or being destroyed; and Single, where up to eight players can fight in a big free-for-all with no set teams. There last two styles of play are Tag and Grid, which must be played with a battleship full of units, and thus is restricted by rank. Grid is similar to a reverse version of a Normal match where you have to knock down your opponents' score from 300 to 0 to win, and you must swap to a different unit on your battleship each time you are shot down. Likewise, Tag is a version of Death match where each of the mobile suits on your battleship is one life, and you can 'tag' out your current unit for others on your ship, and your ship can even perform attacks, all to try to eliminate the other teams compliment of units.
The other mode is Mission mode, where the players must work together (up to 4 players) to complete the mission provided by the game. The rewards are randomized, and may sometimes include additional items. These items range from extra points to stickers and paints to even unit plans and actual units. There are two types of Missions - normal missions, which require players to complete certain requirements such as destroying certain units, and Scenarios, which recreate popular events from the various Gundam series and offer unique unit Blueprints from their respective series.
There are five ways to obtain the Mobile Suits in the game: purchase or rent them with real money or in-game points from the Shop, spend points to roll capsule machines for a shot at a unit, complete certain quests and missions, through crafting by Blueprints, and through the Research Laboratory. Blueprints are the most complicated method to obtain a unit, first requiring the appropriate Blueprint item -which is usually purchased from the shop, or dropped from a mission- then a highly leveled primary Mobile Suit that acts as the 'key', and then several other specific suits that will be consumed during mixing. Although it is relatively more difficult, this method will result in a unit with a higher specification than the two previously mentioned methods, and will frequently be cheaper to do in the long-run. The Research Laboratory is also another good way to make units, and it is quite inexpensive, however it is very time consuming. Players have two laboratories, and may choose what to develop from a list of units that changes frequently, and then the labs slowly build the unit over a period of several weeks.
Units in SDGO
Mobile Suits in SDGO are divided into four different letter categories as rankings which describe their relative power in relation to one-another. The four ranks in descending order are: S-Rank, A-Rank, B-Rank, and C-Rank. In battle, each rank is symbolized by colored spheres beneath the health bar, with the number of spheres corresponding to its rank: 2 for C's, 3 for B's, 4 for A's and 5 for S's. Some ranks also have up to three sub-categories: xS, xR, and xU. U's ("User") are special variants of certain units, mostly C-Ranks, given different color schemes chosen by the players of the Korean server and, while they are usually weaker than their standard counterparts, they usually have skills that make up for it. S (most likely "Special") are units that hold unique abilities and skills, as well as different weapon sets (sometimes repair tools); they are always built by Blueprints. The last one, R's ("Rare") are rare units that are frequently quite strong, but are often difficult to obtain by chance from specific capsule machines.
Units in SDGO were previously categorized into rock, paper, and scissor types, but with the Generation Six ("G-Generation") update, the rock, paper and scissor archetypes have been phased out in favor of focusing on just melee, mid-range and long range. As well, the original "over-custom" leveling system was replaced with a stream-lined variation using levels. When you reach a certain level, your unit gains special parts that can be installed. These parts can boost up a certain aspect of your unit, but degrade another; for example, you could have a part that reloads your unit faster and make it hit harder, but trades it off for how fast you can shoot.
Each Mobile Suit has a static weapon set (there is no way to customized their weapon set) while some transformable units have the option to change to an alternate mode with a different set of weapons. As well, each unit has three skills it can use: a high-damaging special attack and two stat-boosting abilities. The game also features some limited unit customization, where the players are able to equip skill parts to a unit which will effect the unit's performance in a number of ways, or apply new paint and decals to them. Because Mobile Suits have a static weapon set, many suits actually come with different variations of them. For instance, the RX-78-2 Gundam comes with three forms - with beam saber and beam rifle, with double bazooka and with Gundam Hammer.
The following are the Mobile Suits available in SDGO:
These "special" units, which are denoted by the letter S after their primary letter rank, are almost all entirely obtained via crafting from Blueprints. Several of the units under this category are a variation of other units, often with a different set of weapons, added transformations or purges to alternate forms, differing skills, or more unique capabilities. They are usually slightly more powerful than regular Mobile Suits of the same rank. also divided into 4 rank; SS rank, AS rank, BS rank and CS rank. The following are the Special Units available in SDGO:
In rare occasions, a player rolling a capsule machine may be lucky enough to receive a rare unit. Rare units in SDGO are particularly sought after for all of the same reasons that special units are, only they are frequently seen as even more powerful yet. However rare units can only be rolled for in capsule machines, which have their portrait blacked out with just a silhouette visible to add to their mystique, so it takes both luck and points to win one. It's common for it to take large amounts of points to finally roll a sought after rare unit, so players that receive one for little points or by accident often feel very lucky. Units under this category are also divided into SR rank, AR rank, BR rank and CR rank. The following are the Rare Units available in SDGO: