|Armored Nexus Online|
|Romaji||Āmādo Nekusasu Onrain|
|Genre||RPG, Mecha, Model Kit|
|Usable Hardware||Nexus Model Terminal|
Armored Nexus Online, abbreviated as ANO, is a VRMMO created in collaboration with all the major model kit creators in the world. The premise of the game revolves around players building their own custom Armor Models and using that model kit to interact with the game world. This game is a standalone title, with little to no connection to previous Nexus Theory titles.
Registered players known as Aces scan in their custom model kit armors at designated Nexus Model Terminal consoles with their Ace Profile Package (APPs), bringing them and their consciousness into the Nexus Dimension virtual reality. Aces can band together and form temporary Squad parties or guild-like Corps to participate in larger-scale missions or other assorted team-based play. The game's world is based on the world, recreated from Augmented Reality tech and modified to fit with the game’s semi-futuristic setting much like Hazard ReBurst.
Players are designated “Aces” when they enter the game, initially assigned F-Rank due to their inexperience in the game. They can choose their appearance based on the in-game character creator, which has an incredible depth to it; some players spend literal hours customizing their character, though preset designs and the option to retain their real life appearance is always available. Players are not allowed to copy each other’s appearances unless they share appearances in reality or have special permission from the game administration.
Guest players are known as “Visitors.” Since they aren’t long-term players, they are allowed to choose their appearance based on 10 different presets for each gender, resulting in 20 total presets, or use their real life appearance. They have the same general access to playability as registered Aces, but they will receive a survey at the end of every guest game asking players to rate and explain their in-game experiences to administration. If a Visitor wishes to become an Ace, they can transfer all their accumulated guest data to a personal APP and continue as a full player.
Ace Profile Package
The Ace Profile Package (APP for short) is a player’s method of logging into the game. It stores all their player data, and acts as a medium between game and reality when not at a terminal. Players can scan various model armors through the APP and find that armor’s in-game data, allowing them to inspect other players’ armors. It can also display a holographic terminal that allows the player to check their in-game messages and manage their armor data without having to log in. It also records the player’s log-in data and allows for playback at any computer through a wired connection.
Armor Models are the main feature of Armor Nexus Online. Players build up their own plastic model kit based on whatever designs they want and scan it through their APP to register and log into ANO. Model kits can be given their own backstory and powers through the in-game Lore Builder system. The in-game STATUS system rates the Armor Model based on the following criteria:
- Strength - The armor’s physical attack power. This determines the armor’s maximum punching/kicking force, how powerful their attacks are, et cetera.
- Technology - The quality of the armor’s energy supply and internal components. This helps determine the Armor Model’s operating time and efficiency, displaying the armor’s energy reserves and determining how fast these reserves exhaust themselves. It also determines the armor’s flexibility and how well the internal components of the armor react to the user’s movements.
- Armor - The quality of the armor’s defenses. It rates how strong the armor when defending against multiple types of attacks, including:
- Slash damage (Bladed attacks)
- Impact damage (Blunt force attacks)
- Ballistic/Puncture damage (Stabbing/projectile attacks)
- Beam damage (Beam-based attacks)
- Energy damage (Miscellaneous energy attacks)
- Elemental damage (Resistance to elemental debuffs)
- Technique - The armor’s build quality, which determines how well the armor will perform overall. It can help determine what the build is specialized for, or tell the user what the build is not suited for; i.e. an armor that was hastily built without much attention to detail will perform poorly in all situations, but an armor that was built with lots of time and care to minute details can perform in incredible situations.
- Uniqueness - The armor’s uniqueness compared to other models. Generally, the more in-depth and well-developed the armor’s Lore Builder story, the higher this stat is. Uniqueness usually determines how well the Ace can use their armor’s unique abilities.
- Speed - The armor’s movement speeds. It determines the armor’s top speed, maneuverability, and other such statistics.
All of the STATUS criteria are rated out of a maximum of 10, with 5 being the average baseline rating. In addition to these stats, the overall design of the Armor Model helps determine how it functions in-game. If the user has a heavily armored Model, their Speed stat will be very low, but they have a higher Armor stat to compensate. Different coatings applied to the Armor Model can help raise its defense against a certain attack type; most players add an anti-Beam or anti-Energy coating to their Models since it’s the easiest damage type to defend against without extensive armor modifications or additional equipment. Creating a sleeker Armor Model with less shielding results in a high-speed, low-defense build which requires the user to take advantage of that speed and maneuver their way around the battlefield. Raising one’s Strength stat requires a strong structural foundation for the given Armor Model and a focus on specific joint modifications optimized for enhancing the Model’s strength.
An Armor Model’s build quality also determines if it’s capable of performing certain tasks. If the Model has a unique power-up system, the Model’s build quality/Technique stat must be high enough to withstand extended use of this system so that it can be effectively wielded. Additional equipment can be added to the armor if the Model’s Lore Builder system allows for it; one such modular armament system is the Mikoto System wielded by Hiroto Myoukouin. Weapons can be constructed in and out of the game, allowing the user to print out a weapon and build it for use in an alternate armor configuration or store it in an in-game armory for retrieval at another time.
Remote control weapons/drones can also be deployed, though they require a great degree of skill to wield effectively. They can be used for reconnaissance, attack, defense, transport, or limited objective retrieval. Hiroto Myoukouin’s Mikoto System also makes use of remote-control units, which carry his additional weapons/armor when not directly equipped to his Armor Model. Nanite or nanotech-based equipment is possible, but incredibly rare within the game due to the sheer skill required to build an Armor Model with such an advanced system. Normally, nanites and nanotechnology act as a rapid repair system used for emergency on-field repairs or as a part of player health kits, but a nanite/nanotech Armor Model can use these Nanite Supplies to enhance their weapons, armor, and other such functions. Due to the high potential for power abuse with nanotechnology, players usually request permission from administration to create a nanotech Armor Model; they will then be given a unique series of tutorial missions to prove they will not abuse the nanotech, and will receive authorization to use this tech if they successfully prove themselves.
Ranks increase in alphabetical order depending on the player’s gathered experience, the quality of their armor builds, combat performance, and general behaviors. From F-Rank, one can graduate to D-Rank, C-Rank, B, A, then S-Rank; SSS-Rank being the highest level an Ace can achieve, though it has very strict requirements that few players have met. Ranks primarily grade the player’s skills in game, and do not directly upgrade their equipment with any bonuses.
Armor Nexus features a standard HP health bar mechanic, but it lacks a level system in favor of its alphabetical Rank system. Armor Models run off of their own dedicated energy reserves, which can be refilled or recharged with small usable items or at dedicated resupply stations scattered throughout the world. There is no dedicated class system, allowing Aces to develop their skills as they please. The game’s unique Lore Builder system allows Aces to add a personalized backstory to their Armor Model and provide a better explanation for any distinct abilities, equipment, and in-game performance enhancers.
As its name suggests, the Lore Builder system allows a player to provide personalized data and info to their Armor Model. For instance, Hiroto Myoukouin’s Armor Model, the MC-016A Mikoto Astray, has incredibly detailed lore for his Armor Model and its supplemental Mikoto Core equipment modules. Players can choose to add as little or as much additional detail as they like, but the more specific one’s Model Lore, the more precise they can tune their armors and its functions. Provided there’s a logical explanation for each and every ability, an Armor Model could reach incredible levels of power that rival even the strongest of ANO’s monsters and enemy Aces.
Armor Nexus encourages player versus player (PVP) combat through organized tournaments and player-on-player duels. Players cannot rely on premade techniques and must create their own weapons and fighting styles to suit their gameplay style. To begin with, players are always considered “unaffiliated” with any existing Faction when they begin. Once a player joins/forms a Corps or Squad unit, they become “affiliated” with that Corp or Squad. Players can fight anyone who does not share their affiliation, allowing players of warring Corps or Squads to fight freely with minimal penalty.
Players fight using melee weapons or firearms with different damage types. Damage types are as follows:
- Slash - Damage dealt from cutting through a target’s armor with some kind of blade. Shock damage can enhance Slash damage through a High Frequency oscillation upgrade.
- Impact - Damage dealt through blunt force to the target’s armor. Additional elemental effects are recommended for enhancing impact damage.
- Ballistic/Puncture - Damage dealt from piercing through the target’s armor, whether it be from a bullet or a spear/lance.
- Beam - Damage dealt with Beam-based attacks to the target’s armor, whether it be a beam rifle or saber. This is essentially highly-compressed energy released through a firearm-type design or continuously emitted from a saber-type design. It can be used to augment and can be augmented by other Damage types.
- Incendiary - Fire damage, which will slowly chip away at the user’s health with a burning sensation. It can be used to enhance melee weapons by superheating their edges/surface so that it can melt armor while attacking.
- Boreal - Ice damage which inflicts the "Stasis" debuff, slowing a player's movements. This damage type can stack, slowing a player down until they cannot move. If combined with a temporal damage buff, it can increase the time spent frozen.
- Shock - Shock damage can range in effects, determined by the Shock damage output of a player's equipment. It inflicts the "Shock" debuff, disabling advanced weaponry or even causing random weapon discharges; at a high enough concentration, this damage type can act as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. Some bladed weapons have a powerful electric oscillation effect to easily slash through enemy armor.
- Erosion - Erosion damage acts as if the earth itself was dealing damage to the user. It mixes incredibly small, sharp rocks to erode the target’s armor, hence its name. Erosion can also be used with high-pressure water/air weapons that hyper-compress the chosen element and release it as a powerful stream.
- Poison/Venom - Poison or Venom (if injected) damage will slowly decrease a player’s ability to function, acting just like a poison/venom. It can be secreted by a player’s armor, or it can coat a player’s weapon.
- Dark Matter - Dark Matter damage utterly annihilates whatever it hits, dealing immense amounts of damage. However, Dark Matter damage is hard to successfully harness, and will most likely destroy the weapon trying to use it before it destroys anything else.
- Radiation - Radiation damage acts on both the target and anyone surrounding them. It slowly damages the target and anyone around them little by little, with each additional hit of Radiation slowly increasing its intensity.
Physical weapons include traditional firearms with bullets, swords, axes, spears, halberds, hammers, and other such weapons. Energy weapons include Beam Sabers, energy rifle variants, etc. These weapons come in various different forms, with the ability to customize their stats in-game and their appearance outside of the game. Additional weapons can be stored in lockers in-game, and can be deployed through supply drop drones. Level requirements are not a feature of ANO, with the user’s skills and dexterity determining how well they wield their equipment. Players can create their weapons and customize its cosmetics in-game, then print it out as a physical piece to build and equip to their Armor Model in reality; or, they can take an already-existing weapon model, scan it into the game, and alter its in-game performance through ANO’s customization system.
Player vs. Player Combat
PVP is authorized when players of opposing Squads or Corps are fighting each other. If players of similar affiliation wish to fight, they must engage in a duel. Once the request has been sent and accepted, the two players in question will fight until winning conditions are met. Several types of win conditions exist, such as:
- Full HP Depletion - Also known as the Zero Health Condition, duels of this type require one of the duelist’s health to reach zero. Loser is the first to reach zero HP.
- First Contact - This duel type’s win condition is being the first person to land a strike on the opponent with either a firearm or melee weapon. Similar to SAO’s First Strike Duels.
- Shield Break - Win conditions require the winner to break the opponent’s shields, whether they be physical or energy-based.
When duels end, both players return to whatever state they were in prior to the beginning of the duel. Duels against unaffiliated members are normally considered one-on-one engagements that are not meant to be interrupted.
Faction-based combat comes in multiple different forms, such as:
- Team Deathmatch
- Team Survival
- Capture the Flag
- Bomb Run - Each team has one bomb to place in a specified location. To win, the team must plant and successfully arm the bomb, then make their escape. Defeated players respawn one minute after death.
- Search and Destroy
Outer Space Combat
Players are capable of exiting the planet's atmosphere through several different methods and engaging in combat in space. Orbital elevators allow players to visit satellite stations where they can experience zero-gravity combat and obtain unique items or weapons that may not be available on the surface. Due to zero gravity conditions, players are advised to take caution when using ballistic weapons in space, as they may not perform as well as they would when on the planet's surface. As such, players often use beam or energy weapons in space, though ballistic weapons can be made for space combat. If a player's Lore Builder files have an orbital support platform such as Hiroto Myoukouin's Mikoto Support Satellite, that satellite can be seen from official in-game satellites, and players can even visit the Lore-Built satellite if its Lore permits it. If a player wishes to return to the surface, they can use the orbital elevators or attempt atmospheric entry from a satellite. However, the Armor Model must a build strong enough to withstand the atmospheric heat, or a player can use other objects to shield them from the heat; a popular item for atmospheric reentry being a Heat Resistance Film that disintegrates after the player has reentered Earth's atmosphere.
Major tournaments are held monthly and annually. Tournaments consist of solo player tournaments and team-based tournaments, with two players or Corps competing against each other one of the many different PVP combat styles offered in game. Rewards usually consist of unique prizes or additional currency, all depending on the player’s/Corps’ ranking once the tournament has ended. The annual Nexus Singularity Tournament held in December determines the strongest solo Ace of that year, while the annual Nexus Corps Competition acts as a Corps-based alternative.
Players who intentionally harm friendly affiliates will receive a notification about criminal activity. Other criminal actions include illegally selling equipment, harming players with malicious intents, theft, intentional destruction of property with malicious intent, and other similar acts. Commiting enough crimes marks a player as a “Criminal” or “Rogue Ace,” and subjects that player to being targeted by bounty hunters. Automated police forces exist within the game, but some players have taken law enforcement into their own hands, establishing their own officially-licensed law enforcement Corps. If a criminal is spotted in an area they are not meant to be in, police Corps will be notified and automated forces will be dispatched to attempt to apprehend the criminal while the players within an official police Corps are notified of the criminal’s presence and mobilized to intercept. NPC forces will attempt to use non-lethal force, but if the criminal is non-cooperative, they receive authorization to use lethal force.
NPCs exist all throughout the world of Armored Nexus. Known as Non-Ace Personnel (NAPs), ANO’s version of NPCs are incredibly versatile, ranging from simple companions to shopkeepers, to additional troops for bolstering a large-scale Corps’ forces. While they may have basic AI programming to make them easy to interact with, they are capable of producing simulated reactions depending on how they are treated. Furthermore, combat NAPs are competent enough to act as elite combatants; thus, most players do not treat them as simple cannon fodder to farm off. With enough of them, a Corps can turn the tide in whatever battle they may be involved in.
Ethics Code and 18+ Content
Mature establishments such as exotic clubs and bars exist within the game, mostly populated by NPCs with a few run by actual players. These establishments prohibit players under the age of 18 from accessing them, as per the game’s Ethics code. This Ethic code takes inspiration from several different countries’ laws and legislatures, and conforms with Japanese and United States laws the most since the company who developed this game has headquarters in both countries. If a player wishes to enter an 18+ area, they must first show identification. NPC bouncers/guards will then authorize or detain the player in question if they surpass or do not meet the age requirement. When an underage player attempts to access 18+ content, the game will lock that player's movements and have them transported to the nearest law enforcement Corps. They will then receive a notification from the administration warning them to dissuade any further attempts; should a player receive more than 3 warnings from administration, they will receive a temporary account lock. Intercourse and similar material is also restricted from underage players as a part of the Ethics code. Any underage attempt at intercourse will lock the participating players’ movements, reset their avatars to a previous checkpoint area, and a warning from administration will be sent.
- This game is very heavily influenced by Gunpla Battle Nexus Online, the VRMMO game featured in Gundam Build Divers and Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE.
- Alpha and Beta Testers for the game were rewarded for their efforts through exclusive in-game items and titles, such as an exclusive "Trailblazing Ace Alpha" title or a unique in-game weapon variant.
- Players can print out their in-game items or parts for their Armor Model at designated Nexus Cafes all throughout Japan, with similar cafes planned for construction worldwide at a later point in time.
- The Nexus Model Terminal required to play ANO are mostly set up at Nexus Cafes, but can be bought for at-home play if desired.
- Nexus Theory's biggest collaborators on this project were Bandai and Kotobukiya, though other lesser-known kit producers did jump at this opportunity to have their products featured in the game's system.
- Bootleg kit manufacturers attempted to collaborate with Nexus Theory, but were promptly ignored and deemed incompatible with the system.