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Wizardry Online

Wizardry Online 

General Discussion  » My thoughts on Wizardry Online

20 posts found
  dotdotdash

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/01/11
Posts: 348

 
OP  12/02/12 11:43:03 PM#1

As the NDA has been lifted, or abandoned, or whatever, I thought I'd take the time out to share some impressions I have gathered from Wizardry Online.

I should start out by saying that after only a short while playing the game, it has utterly charmed me. It's mixture of modern MMO combat with an old school RPG twist is, frankly, brilliant. Wizardry may not be anything new (certainly the franchise itself is quite old), but the novelty of an MMO that doesn't pander to the type of player looking for easy access or an easy ride is pleasant in and of itself, and makes me keen to progress through the game yet further.

That isn't to say that Wizardry is perfect, because it isn't.

Character creation is a breathe of fresh air for an MMO. Over the years, homogenisation has led to a character creation process scant on hard decisions. We tend to see this more as a chance to "pick the race we like the look of", rather than the first set of crucial decisions that we will make to shape our character. Wizardry Online unashamedly brings back decisions making with vengeance. Certain races favour certain classes, as the base stats for each race differ wildly. Humans, for example, are a neutral class with a fairly balanced distribution of base stat points. Elves however come with high Int, making them ideal Mages but not-so-ideal fighters. Obivously this decisions is largely rudimentary; most of us will pick the race that best favours our class, but you can always pick a race that doesn't favour a particular class just to see how you get on. The point is that your very first decision has an active impact on your character.

Once you've chosen your race, the game will then roll a random number of bonus stat points for you to spend. That's right; a dice roll! You may get 7, or 4, or 8, but regardless of how many you get, where they go is entirely up to you. You may choose to stack a particular stat (such as me stacking int on my elf mage), or you may choose to spread the points out amongst stats that are underpowered (such as balancing int stack with some vit, for example). The stat system is fairly easy to understand, as it runs on the same style as any DnD ruleset. Again, it's nice to be able to have a choice here that allows you to tweak your character to favour whatever style of play you're going to attempt.

Next in the character creation process is your alignment. Alignments come in the form of Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, and your choise of alignment has far reaching implications for your character. Some items in the game, for example, enjoy alignment restrictions, and alignment also dictates which classes you may roll; you cannot, for example, create a Lawful Thief.

The actual customisation options for your character's look are limited at best, but as a stat fiend I really don't mind this at all. The fact that the few decisions you do make have such impact on your characters actual and tangible performance in the game is more than enough to make the character creation process involving and compelling, without the need for endless aesthetical options.

The tutorial element of the game requires a LOT of patience; the inability to skip cutscenes, combined with snails-pace text scrolling during cinematic and in-game conversations is off putting, to say the least. You will find yourself leaving the machines - as I did - for pretty significant periods of time whilst you wait for whatever boring and uneventful cutscene to play out to its end. You'll also thoroughly enjoy the tediousness of the tutorial missions, which will see you running around, talking to vendors who will explain to you what they do and how you use them. As if that wasn't enough, the game will then pop up a tutorial window re-explaining what the NPC you just spoke to has already explained. I personally found myself spam-clicking through the conversations in favour of reading the tutorial panes. After playing through the tutorials and getting to the post-tutorial content, I really don't think the opening cinematics are required. Clearly it's designed to give the game some sort of context, but - and much like Dark Souls before it - the story is so loose and flimsy that I couldn't really care any less about why I'm doing what I'm doing: I just want to get on with it. Whatever it may be. That said, the tutorial IS required; Wizardry Online isn't your commonal garden MMO, and the time should be taken to thoroughly absorb the information provided to you. Perhaps it could have been executed more succinctly, but the information the tutorial imparts is well worth know (and will save a huge amount of head scratching later on).

Once you get into the game, you'll realise that Wizardry Online is really just a dungeon crawler in the same category as titles like Diablo 2 and Dark Souls. Every mechanic and system seems to have been built around the idea that the game is supposed to be hard, and you're supposed to think about what you're doing. Fighting monsters isn't simply about spamming a particular ability to the inevitable end point, but also about environmental awareness, strategic decisions making, and learning. There are techniques to dealing with particular types of monsters, and you will learn these techniques as you fight. This, again, is a breathe of fresh air in a genre that doesn't enjoy huge variety of game play from game-to-game; whilst Wizardry may not totally depart from that formula, it does add a lot of novel ideas to the mix to make things a little - sometimes a LOT - more interesting and entertaining. One such idea is the lack of health and mana regen, something you can only accomplish by leaving the dungeon you're in to rest at an inn. A point about the combat that is worth noting is that it isn't too hard at the start, but it is apparent that the game is building to being quite difficult. I look forward to that, as the combat system lends itself to hieghtened difficulty.

The itemisation in the game is also great! Items that drop in the field are generally unidentified, and you have to return to town to identify them. The nice thing is that you can still equip these items, and gain from their stat points (even though you don't know what they are). There's a flip side to this, however: some items are cursed, and will negatively impact your stats or abilities in a myriad as well. Wearing unidentified gear is a gamble, one that may pay off or backfire... but yet another important choice the game gives you.

Having to return to an inn simply to level up - where we are used to levelling in the field - may seem like an obstructive mechanic, but it's actually quite charming... especially with the "room" mechanics it has in place. Basically, there are several different rooms you can rent at an inn when you rest. The more expensive the room, the better the benefits you get to health regen and mana regen and - if you're levelling up - stat gains. The game encourages you to make yet more decisions: do you go for the more expensive of the rooms you can afford, or do you scale it back a little so that you have cash to spend on something else? The choice is important, and it yet again prompts you to think about what you're doing.

And now to the sticky issue: permadeath. Permadeath in Wizardry is always in the back of your mind, and you're aware that it CAN happen. Again however the game utilises some well placed RNG to make things a little different. Instead of simply dying when you... die... you are turned into a ghost. As a ghost, you must make your way to a Guardian Stone, where you will be given the chance to perform a resurrection roll (more dice!). At the start, you will mostly find yourself rocking a 100% res chance by default, but as you move through the game this will lower. Eventually you will actually have to start spending items and currency from your inventory to increase your res chance. I've been told that this isn't that hard, but it CAN and WILL catch you out. If you fail the roll, this is when you'll suffer permadeath. Permadeath is an ever present threat, but it is tactly handled and presented. You yet again have choices and decisions to make that can favour or hamper you, even in death.

The running theme here is this: Wizardry Online is all about choice and decision making. Instead of taking the approach that players don't wish to make the hard decisions, and simply want it all done for them, Wizardry Online sets out to make you think about what you're doing all the time.

Frankly, it's a great addition to the MMO genre. Even with some clunky combat problems, I'm having a HUGE amount of fun with the game... and I think I'll continue to have a huge amount of fun with the game. The guys at Gamepot have succeeded in delivering content and mechanics that SHOULD be infuriating and frustrating, but are actually well designed and implemented.

Right now, in its current state, I'd give it 8.5/10. I'll be playing this for a while. 

  dotdotdash

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/01/11
Posts: 348

 
OP  12/02/12 11:45:01 PM#2

Oh and... I've encountered many, many PvP players in my adventures. They all stuck out like a sore thumb, and spent most of their time running away from mob groups of PvE players. I've been killed once by a PvP player, but I largely deserved it. From what I can tell, PvP players seem to get the loose end of the stick 90% of the time.

I've not encountered any gankers or griefers, and no huge PvP zergs. The PvP system seems to be well thought out, and the restrictions and costs they've put in place for being a criminal seem to be working (which is surprising considering that we're in closed beta here).

  Scalpless

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1290

12/03/12 2:27:26 AM#3

If I understood correctly, this isn't really a beta. This game has been out in Japan for a year. This "beta" just tests the translation and the new servers.

I mostly agree with you, though I found this game's combat a bit on the tedious/simplistic side, but maybe that's because I was playing a cleric and didn't really have any interesting abilities. Maybe that changes later on. The thing that bugged me the most was how limited your options are class wise. Four classes compared to the options you got in Wizardry 8... well, maybe it's not fair to compare, but I still expected a bit more.

  asmadeous

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/13/06
Posts: 63

"I forgive, but never forget."

12/03/12 7:41:26 AM#4
Originally posted by Scalpless

The thing that bugged me the most was how limited your options are class wise. Four classes compared to the options you got in Wizardry 8... well, maybe it's not fair to compare, but I still expected a bit more.

As you progress and reach a higher soul rank, you will unlock the option to swap classes. Later on you get a limited number of slots which allows you to skills from other classes.

  bcrankshaw

Novice Member

Joined: 1/12/08
Posts: 555

12/03/12 2:06:36 PM#5
Originally posted by dotdotdash

As the NDA has been lifted, or abandoned, or whatever, I thought I'd take the time out to share some impressions I have gathered from Wizardry Online.

I should start out by saying that after only a short while playing the game, it has utterly charmed me. It's mixture of modern MMO combat with an old school RPG twist is, frankly, brilliant. Wizardry may not be anything new (certainly the franchise itself is quite old), but the novelty of an MMO that doesn't pander to the type of player looking for easy access or an easy ride is pleasant in and of itself, and makes me keen to progress through the game yet further.

That isn't to say that Wizardry is perfect, because it isn't.

Character creation is a breathe of fresh air for an MMO. Over the years, homogenisation has led to a character creation process scant on hard decisions. We tend to see this more as a chance to "pick the race we like the look of", rather than the first set of crucial decisions that we will make to shape our character. Wizardry Online unashamedly brings back decisions making with vengeance. Certain races favour certain classes, as the base stats for each race differ wildly. Humans, for example, are a neutral class with a fairly balanced distribution of base stat points. Elves however come with high Int, making them ideal Mages but not-so-ideal fighters. Obivously this decisions is largely rudimentary; most of us will pick the race that best favours our class, but you can always pick a race that doesn't favour a particular class just to see how you get on. The point is that your very first decision has an active impact on your character.

Once you've chosen your race, the game will then roll a random number of bonus stat points for you to spend. That's right; a dice roll! You may get 7, or 4, or 8, but regardless of how many you get, where they go is entirely up to you. You may choose to stack a particular stat (such as me stacking int on my elf mage), or you may choose to spread the points out amongst stats that are underpowered (such as balancing int stack with some vit, for example). The stat system is fairly easy to understand, as it runs on the same style as any DnD ruleset. Again, it's nice to be able to have a choice here that allows you to tweak your character to favour whatever style of play you're going to attempt.

Next in the character creation process is your alignment. Alignments come in the form of Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic, and your choise of alignment has far reaching implications for your character. Some items in the game, for example, enjoy alignment restrictions, and alignment also dictates which classes you may roll; you cannot, for example, create a Lawful Thief.

The actual customisation options for your character's look are limited at best, but as a stat fiend I really don't mind this at all. The fact that the few decisions you do make have such impact on your characters actual and tangible performance in the game is more than enough to make the character creation process involving and compelling, without the need for endless aesthetical options.

The tutorial element of the game requires a LOT of patience; the inability to skip cutscenes, combined with snails-pace text scrolling during cinematic and in-game conversations is off putting, to say the least. You will find yourself leaving the machines - as I did - for pretty significant periods of time whilst you wait for whatever boring and uneventful cutscene to play out to its end. You'll also thoroughly enjoy the tediousness of the tutorial missions, which will see you running around, talking to vendors who will explain to you what they do and how you use them. As if that wasn't enough, the game will then pop up a tutorial window re-explaining what the NPC you just spoke to has already explained. I personally found myself spam-clicking through the conversations in favour of reading the tutorial panes. After playing through the tutorials and getting to the post-tutorial content, I really don't think the opening cinematics are required. Clearly it's designed to give the game some sort of context, but - and much like Dark Souls before it - the story is so loose and flimsy that I couldn't really care any less about why I'm doing what I'm doing: I just want to get on with it. Whatever it may be. That said, the tutorial IS required; Wizardry Online isn't your commonal garden MMO, and the time should be taken to thoroughly absorb the information provided to you. Perhaps it could have been executed more succinctly, but the information the tutorial imparts is well worth know (and will save a huge amount of head scratching later on).

Once you get into the game, you'll realise that Wizardry Online is really just a dungeon crawler in the same category as titles like Diablo 2 and Dark Souls. Every mechanic and system seems to have been built around the idea that the game is supposed to be hard, and you're supposed to think about what you're doing. Fighting monsters isn't simply about spamming a particular ability to the inevitable end point, but also about environmental awareness, strategic decisions making, and learning. There are techniques to dealing with particular types of monsters, and you will learn these techniques as you fight. This, again, is a breathe of fresh air in a genre that doesn't enjoy huge variety of game play from game-to-game; whilst Wizardry may not totally depart from that formula, it does add a lot of novel ideas to the mix to make things a little - sometimes a LOT - more interesting and entertaining. One such idea is the lack of health and mana regen, something you can only accomplish by leaving the dungeon you're in to rest at an inn. A point about the combat that is worth noting is that it isn't too hard at the start, but it is apparent that the game is building to being quite difficult. I look forward to that, as the combat system lends itself to hieghtened difficulty.

The itemisation in the game is also great! Items that drop in the field are generally unidentified, and you have to return to town to identify them. The nice thing is that you can still equip these items, and gain from their stat points (even though you don't know what they are). There's a flip side to this, however: some items are cursed, and will negatively impact your stats or abilities in a myriad as well. Wearing unidentified gear is a gamble, one that may pay off or backfire... but yet another important choice the game gives you.

Having to return to an inn simply to level up - where we are used to levelling in the field - may seem like an obstructive mechanic, but it's actually quite charming... especially with the "room" mechanics it has in place. Basically, there are several different rooms you can rent at an inn when you rest. The more expensive the room, the better the benefits you get to health regen and mana regen and - if you're levelling up - stat gains. The game encourages you to make yet more decisions: do you go for the more expensive of the rooms you can afford, or do you scale it back a little so that you have cash to spend on something else? The choice is important, and it yet again prompts you to think about what you're doing.

And now to the sticky issue: permadeath. Permadeath in Wizardry is always in the back of your mind, and you're aware that it CAN happen. Again however the game utilises some well placed RNG to make things a little different. Instead of simply dying when you... die... you are turned into a ghost. As a ghost, you must make your way to a Guardian Stone, where you will be given the chance to perform a resurrection roll (more dice!). At the start, you will mostly find yourself rocking a 100% res chance by default, but as you move through the game this will lower. Eventually you will actually have to start spending items and currency from your inventory to increase your res chance. I've been told that this isn't that hard, but it CAN and WILL catch you out. If you fail the roll, this is when you'll suffer permadeath. Permadeath is an ever present threat, but it is tactly handled and presented. You yet again have choices and decisions to make that can favour or hamper you, even in death.

The running theme here is this: Wizardry Online is all about choice and decision making. Instead of taking the approach that players don't wish to make the hard decisions, and simply want it all done for them, Wizardry Online sets out to make you think about what you're doing all the time.

Frankly, it's a great addition to the MMO genre. Even with some clunky combat problems, I'm having a HUGE amount of fun with the game... and I think I'll continue to have a huge amount of fun with the game. The guys at Gamepot have succeeded in delivering content and mechanics that SHOULD be infuriating and frustrating, but are actually well designed and implemented.

Right now, in its current state, I'd give it 8.5/10. I'll be playing this for a while. 

Nice review and thanks for the details :)

I am more keen to try this MMO after your endorsement

"after the time of dice came the day of mice "

  BigCountry

Novice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 480

12/03/12 3:23:10 PM#6

+1

 

Solid.

:D

BigCountry | Head Hunters | www.wefarmpeople.com

  Scalpless

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1290

12/03/12 4:39:58 PM#7
Originally posted by asmadeous
Originally posted by Scalpless

The thing that bugged me the most was how limited your options are class wise. Four classes compared to the options you got in Wizardry 8... well, maybe it's not fair to compare, but I still expected a bit more.

As you progress and reach a higher soul rank, you will unlock the option to swap classes. Later on you get a limited number of slots which allows you to skills from other classes.

I know, but Wizardry 8 had 11 races and 15 classes in addition to free multiclassing. Very few games can compete with W8, so I didn't expect to see as many options, but 4 classes is a bit of a letdown.

I guess I wanted more of an old-school RPG with MMO elements, while we got an MMO with some old-school RPG elements. It's not this game's fault, but I don't think it comes even close to living up to its SP predecessors.

  asmadeous

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/13/06
Posts: 63

"I forgive, but never forget."

12/03/12 5:14:57 PM#8
Originally posted by Scalpless

I know, but Wizardry 8 had 11 races and 15 classes in addition to free multiclassing. Very few games can compete with W8, so I didn't expect to see as many options, but 4 classes is a bit of a letdown.

I guess I wanted more of an old-school RPG with MMO elements, while we got an MMO with some old-school RPG elements. It's not this game's fault, but I don't think it comes even close to living up to its SP predecessors.

I may sound like as ass, but here:   It is Wizardry Online, NOT Wizardry 8 Online.

The first Wizardry (Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord) only featured the 5 said races: Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome and Hobbit (WO: Porkul), 4 classes: Fighter, Mage Thief and Priest.

The "elite" classes were just a combination of the basic 4. (i.e. Samurai = Fighter + Mage; Bishop = Mage + Priest)

This game is holding true to the first game.

  CallsignVega

Novice Member

Joined: 11/28/05
Posts: 218

12/08/12 8:36:21 PM#9
Just tried the game for about 20 minutes and already deleted. Scrolling text at the speed of a three year old to read and inescapable crap cinematics? No thanks. Plus I hate anime. 
  Varlas

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/14/07
Posts: 20

12/08/12 11:08:10 PM#10
You mentioned something about inns and stat gains. Is it true you get better stat gains by using the more expensive room? Say the free one compared to the 3,000 gold one, how much different is it?
  Nonderyon

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/30/07
Posts: 171

12/11/12 6:26:28 AM#11
Originally posted by dotdotdash

"A point about the combat that is worth noting is that it isn't too hard at the start, but it is apparent that the game is building to being quite difficult. I look forward to that, as the combat system lends itself to hieghtened difficulty."

About the combat, way too far from perfect, wrong timed issues all around, like when you use hide attack and the enemy just walk away you hit the air with no dmg, or you see hitting the enemy but it isnt, because that just an animation (like when the Flys attack animation), and the other hand, enemies still hit you in mid air or not even front of them when they use some special (good example: useing the "dodge" direction+space, you are in mid air 2m faar away from enemy, and got dmg, dragged you back where you are before)...

Yes,i know, beta, but they have to work on this seriously.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6908

12/11/12 6:29:27 AM#12


Did anyone mention sounds in this game? :)

  Varlas

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/14/07
Posts: 20

12/11/12 9:29:35 PM#13

Well, I made a new character and tested out the inn and stat gains. I used the 3000 gold inn on my new character each time he leveled up. I compared my first character's stats (who used the free inn option) with the new one, both of them being level 8 and the same class. After comparing the stats, there was no difference in the HP/MP levels and barely a difference with the stats. In the end the stats both equaled to the same amount when they were added up. I don't know if it'll be different when the game goes into open beta, but as far as I can tell, the inn doesn't have any significant effect on your character's stats. 

This is of course my own experience, if someone has a different outcome, I'd be interested in reading about it. 

  Jakdstripper

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/10
Posts: 2108

12/11/12 9:39:29 PM#14
i had more than enough "dice roll" frustration with Aion gem socketing....nice review though.
  Dibdabs

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/29/08
Posts: 2447

12/12/12 1:47:36 PM#15
The game feels and runs like an antique, but not in a good way.  Great for insomnia though.
  Uproar

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/19/04
Posts: 411

I was once Tailrot, Uproar, Bandage, Thus(tin) Hammered, Rock, and so many more. Aye gamerest.

12/12/12 1:52:31 PM#16
I love the basic game.  It is a charming throwback to my early days playing RPGs (which were with Wizardry and Ultima series at the very beginning).   Anyways, I will not play this game -- it's over catering to PVP ruins it.  Nothing else needs to be said -- don't play it unless you like to gank or be ganked (over and over and over again).

  Bloodaxes

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/03/09
Posts: 2604

12/15/12 3:38:45 PM#17

I'm trying it out today and I don't find it that bad.

Cutscenes are slow true but they seem to have made them all skipable or all I saw were skipable.

1 thing I really don't like and not only in this game even in others like gw2 is having to hold right click 24/7 to follow the flow with the combat..... If you are going to make a game action don't make people having to hold right click all the time for the camera!

It has a pretty good variety of weapons sadly they are class restricted hope I can equip some 2h weapon as thief currently I found cestus as substitue of dagger/shield which looks cool but makes you lose ability to block.

So pros and cons in each weapon style. (Very few games have defense on cut, pierce and blunt seperate, this one has it.)

I also like finding items and need to identify them as this gives a chance on having better items then usual. 

I really hope to buy/find a new bag tough as the bag is half full all the time because of your equiped items still taking space in bag which is something I also hate that some games has....

  patlefort

Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/08
Posts: 56

12/17/12 11:33:35 PM#18
The problem with permadeath is not that it can happen, it's that it WILL happen. Eventually. And it WILL be some bullsh** bug, exploit from gankers or inevitable human mistakes. The only way it can work is that getting another character up doesn't take too much time and that they don't make you grind for months for gear. No one wants to lose months or years of play.
  MaxwellSilver

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/02/13
Posts: 1

1/02/13 10:36:58 AM#19
Not impressed. If you're gonna dust off a title that's 33 years old, which was innovative and revolutionary in it's day, which the entire genre can source it's foundations from, then it should live up to it's predecessors.  To make a game with clunky combat and camera mechanics,  no "surprize" lurking around every corner, easily avoidable traps, childish riddles, and limited and unbalanced class/races is quite the dissapointment. I gave it till soul level 5 to make sure my observations weren't skewed, but it's a dog, and not worth the effort imho. Next...
  Dreme

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/17/13
Posts: 6

1/17/13 7:56:50 AM#20
Originally posted by Uproar
I love the basic game.  It is a charming throwback to my early days playing RPGs (which were with Wizardry and Ultima series at the very beginning).   Anyways, I will not play this game -- it's over catering to PVP ruins it.  Nothing else needs to be said -- don't play it unless you like to gank or be ganked (over and over and over again).

Well, let me start with cut scenes are now skipable. You don't permadeath by failing to rez, you get two chances, every time you die you get two chances. Escaping PK is actually extremely easy.. it is hard to kill a player who doesn't want to fight you. Unless you don't see them coming, you can always get away, and even then it only works once. General tip is not to play on channel 1 if you want to avoid PvP completely. The PKers are almost always on channel 1... of the 10 channels you have the choice of playing on. And again a PKer can only kill you once, fter that unless you are brain dead you can get away since after respawning you have 30 seconds of being invisable and invulnerable unless you draw your weapon or attack.

 

Great Review! +1