I don't know what to say.
Yes, yes, it isn't THAT big of a deal, but it certainly gives me hope.
Essentially, the new Ryzom team put out a new patch today and it shows that they are not only working on new stuff, but are attempting to bring Ryzom up to "modern standards." In case you didn't know, Ryzom is a skill based system set in a sci-fi fantasy type world called Atys.
Atys is a giant rootball, and the four races all look very unique. They ride around on elephant/horsey things, and fight giant bugs in the underground areas of the world.
It's great, trust me.
Go below to see the patch notes (crafters can put a lil message on their items! YAY!) One of the great things they did was to add better missions, or newbie intros into the Island of Silan. Silan is the "newbie experience" for Ryzom, and the beginning missions were a little bland and didn't have much life. Now, the NPC's talk to you and really explain things. I am all for learning curves in a game, but this is a new age. Players get bored within minutes, last thing you want to do is confuse them, as well.
I ran through some of the fighter missions, and they were interesting, easy to understand and gave a little glimpse into the lore and world. I really loved how it gave hints about mob movement, and even had you go examine some mobs to see how they move. It actually asked you not use your sword, but just to observe.
The mob AI in Ryzom is well known for being some of the best out there. The mobs migrate, hunt each other, defend each other and generally act real. Every time I go into a game and the mobs just sit there (most MMO's out there) I think of Ryzom. I am still floored to watch a huge line of Bodocs migrating to grazing land.
It's nice to see Ryzom acting like a "normal" MMO in some ways. Granted, I like the game for it's uniqueness, but it has to take some steps into modern times. Many players claimed that mission or "quests" would lessen the game, and I agree to an extent, but they do not have to be silly or "standard."
Also, they added some new things (buildings and NPC's) to the newbie island that gave it more life. Granted, the NPC's already moved about, but now there are two of them dueling near the combat trainer. Also, they seem to have more to do there, more interactions with the environment. Also, small icons near NPC's indicate who might have a mission or some answers. Many players might scoff at this, but new players might be lost in game or might feel they are playing a "dated" game without these little modern touches. If there's one thing I am, it's a purist, but a few icons do not break my immersion at all.
The most important thing with these new patches (in my opinion) is the way they make current players feel, or especially older players. I have been involved with the game for 2 and half years, even hosting a Ryzom podcast at one time, and we have been waiting for (what seems like) forever for SOMETHING new.
It makes me feel like the game might actually, in all reality, become a "normal" game that gets updated, changed...one that stays exciting for more than just the lore and friends. A game that can attract new players and one that brings new and exciting things to the table. Ryzom already has, but it could always bring MORE.
This is going to sound hokey, maybe a lil cheesy, and perhaps a lil chick-flicky:
But I dream about games like Ryzom. I don't just play them, I let them excite my imagination. As a creative person, an artist, I can't just play according to the rules. I need to weave my own story into the story of the game. If I am going to play in someone else's sandbox, I have to draw it, paint it, write it, become it.
I dream about Ryzom doing all the things it could do. Things like:
1) Add cooking. The game is PERFECT for that. Everything else is organic, but we have no kids or FOOD.
2) Let us climb to the top of the Roots. There they are, sitting there. We want to see them.
3) Host mass invasions. That's what this game's engine is MADE for. Right now I am sitting on 50 gigs of footage from last nights invasion event (but it was down in the Prime Roots) and I want to see the Kitin come above, to bring the fight TO us, to take over a city. Those things build community.
4) Let us NAME OUR MOUNTS. By the Roots!!
5) For me, this last one. Please. PLEASE: Let me get a GUBANI MOUNT. I WILL PAY YOU LOTS.
This might sound like a stretch, but I think some of my dreams for the game might come true. Surely we all lay there at night dreaming of different things before we close our eyes, and one of those things is our favorite MMO's.
New Patch Notes:
Tuesday, March 10th 2009
Feisty Kitins, Weeping Homins
Soon the actions of the Fyros spread. Carried by the wind, across the New Lands. Panic-stricken at the thought of another great swarming the leaders of the four nations summoned their people immediately to combat this threat. They were summoned to the Agora Stage in Pyr, the stage in Yrkanis, Frogmore place in Fairhaven and the big stage in Zora. They arrived with their stomachs full of fear, clutching their weapons in hand, determined not to lose their homes to the Kitin again.
Tuesday 10 March 2009, 9PM GMT
PATCH NOTE 1.4.0
. We reworked a lot of the Silan missions. They are now easier to understand and to play. We invite you to create a new character, play them and tell us what you think! The goal is of course to create a better experience for new players.
. Very great news for all crafters; you can now customize your crafted items with a unique text. Use your imagination to put some additional information about the item or create a nice message for the buyer, or even just to sign it...
. You'll be happy to see that your team members should now be back on the map.
. We fixed lot of bad texts in English, French and German thanks to your posts on the forum and with the help of testers. If you see any more then please continue to post in the threads :)
Other features and fixes :
. Added cut/copy/paste actions in the hands bar.
. Added icons on the radar and next to names of NPCs who have missions for you.
. Added a confirmation dialogue when deleting a macro.
. Some spawn zones of Kami/Kara teleports were placed incorrectly and could end up getting you stuck; they should now be fixed.
. The background picture during Resurrection should now always depend on your cult (Kami or Karavan fame).
. You'll see a new welcome text when you enter your apartment.
. Fixed a crash when using special characters in a macro title.
. When you now create a new character, all chat channels will be enabled by default.
. Alt+F10 now takes PNG screenshots, they'll be saved into your base Ryzom directory in the usual place.
Now go log in!