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The New Hardcore - Hands-on with Wizardry Online - Page 2

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.

Wizardry Online preview

Heads up! If you're not careful, traps can put you in a world of hurt.


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.

This game seemed to have some promise when I first heard about it. I wouldn't mind a return to some hardcore mechanics at all. But, after testing it, I had to pass. It's crap right from character customization (ugly character models much?) and just gets worse as you go. And the griefers were out in force when I was playing, so...yeah. Griefer's paradise. Not much more to it.

Oh, and calling the graphics "dated" is an understatement.

The game was designed and produced in Japan first off so it will have an asian mmo feel and look to it as it does. What the first poster is talking about is low lvl area griefing. Something that was not mentioned in the review is when pvp starts. As a new player you character has not only levels but also soul levels, the latter gives you increases to gear which go off a soul level not a experience level and access to different npc merchants and other little things. For your character to be attackable you have to have reached soul level 2 now you can take your character all the way to experience level 7 before you increase your soul level. The trick is to hold off raising it till 7 which will give you more hp and also give you more abilities to help with pvp attacks when you do unlock.

In beta the griefing was very rampant on low level areas which i think had a lot to do with higher level people hitting the dungeon cap and getting bored. My personal opion is that we wont see it that bad in release because people will be more worried with leveling then cruising low level areas to harass people.

From reading what the first poster stated i don't think he leveled out of the first few level, once you hit around 13 the areas you are in have very few if any criminals to attack you.

The main thing about this mmo is that it was designed in japan and has been up there for awhile. The aspects of the game have all the markers of an eastern mmo, anime styled environment and 1 player race of course that is anime styled :) and the mechanics of operation also have an asian feel to it.

There will be a learning curve to it, it doesn't have the same feel to it as a western mmo but its not a bad thing, the dungeons are something we are not ust to puzzle wise, i hear later on that monsters actually take items off you and experience from you if you are killed and there is an insane respawn rate for monsters. The reviewer stated there isnt a story line really which he is wrong, having been gifted a level 20 character he bypassed all the story line which is pretty good from what i have seen to the cap so far.

The review stated there is no regen, you have to use camps, which are 1 time use items that regen health and mana. Also inventory is very limited so you have to manage your items in your inventory very carefully also the items that you are wearing take up inventory slots so there again you need to watch what you carry and make sure you take what is important. With later quests you will get back packs as rewards which will help but its nothing like we are ust to in other mmo's. Also once you reach soul level 5 you are able to mix your class with another like a fighter/priest/mage combination.

To sum it up, the game isnt so hardcore to me but to a generation that has been rasied on wow and wow copies i dont see it appealing to them. The game will involve a learning curve to get ust to, the dungeons are very imporant to this game also you will NEED a paper and pencil to take notes to complete them, there is no open grinding areas like in other mmo's, you have a town hub that leads to dungeons and thats pretty much it so far anyway. All and all its not bad for a f2p game so if you are a fan of the older genre of games that dont hold you by the hand you should give this a shot.

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