Posted Wed, Nov 28, 2012 by Shayalyn
Todd Carson kept urging us to move on through the dungeon, which made me notice one thing early on--mobs seem to respawn in a hurry. Whether solo or grouped, efficiency is of the essence if you want to avoid the wrath of respawn pops and continue making forward progress. For better or worse, though, dungeons are not instanced. This means that if you get overwhelmed, and there are others in the area, they can, and often will, pitch in to help. Of course, there are also those players who simply want to kill you. More on that in a moment.
As you might expect from a D&D-type game, the dungeons in Wizardry Online are laden with traps. Open a chest without a decent disarm trap skill level and you’ll be in for a rude awakening. I disarmed my first chest by pure luck, but my second attempt wasn’t quite as fruitful--I sprang a poison trap that hit me and my group for massive damage. (A nearby player did the same thing as we were adventuring; one disadvantage of the non-instanced dungeon format.) We also encountered random flame and poison traps, and the damage they caused if you failed to avoid them was significant, especially in a game with no automatic health regen. Owning dungeons in Wizardry Online will require a keen eye for danger, as well as a good memory for how to avoid it in the future.
The items dropped in Wizardry Online are plentiful, but they do come with a caveat--you’ll need to have them identified in town before equipping them, not because you can’t equip them, but because you probably shouldn’t. Unlike almost every MMO, where equipping an item is merely a case of measuring its quality against that of what you already have, in Wizardry Online you’ll encounter cursed items that will actually hinder your character. Consider yourself warned.
That said, going back to town is something you’ll need to get used to, anyway. You may gain the XP necessary to level up while dungeon crawling, but you won’t be able to apply it until you go back to town and complete the level up process by resting at an inn. What’s interesting is that you’ll be able to choose the type of room you want to level up in, and the quality of the room will have an effect on your random rolls for stats. If you skimp on the equivalent of the cheap-o room, where the bed has a sagging mattress and Magic Fingers, you might not get as lucky as you would by going all out on the room that offers turn-down service and a mint on your pillow.
And, finally, there’s PvP. It’s not optional in Wizardry Online, so players who simply want to dungeon crawl are going to have to endure random player attacks and potential griefing. Fortunately, there are some mechanics in place to give PvP consequences. Attack other players, and you’ll be flagged as a criminal. Once you become a criminal, other players can attack you without affecting their own status--it’s okay to kill a criminal. Not only that, but it can be rewarding. If you’re a criminal who pisses off another player sufficiently, that player can place a bounty on your head so that the first player to kill you will claim a reward. Further, if you’re a total jackass and your criminal level gets high enough, NPCs in the good part of town will stop interacting with you, forcing you to seek out the seedier types in the slum areas. Will these elements help stop the griefers? It remains to be seen, but consider this: since when has a griefer ever been concerned with the consequences of being a dick?
My time with Wizardry Online was brief, but it offered enough of a glimpse into the game to see that, given a fair chance, it’s likely to appeal to a certain type of gamer. Is it the right kind of hardcore to appease the tough love gaming crowd? You be the judge. Since Wizardry Online is free-to-play, you’ve got nothing to lose. The game is in beta at the moment. Although Ten Ton Hammer’s recent stash of beta keys flew out the door in a hurry, you can take apply as a tester at wizardrythegame.com.