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Author: beauturkey

Mabinogi: Friendly to disabled players?

Posted by beauturkey Wednesday April 22 2009 at 2:00PM
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Mabinogi does a lot of things really well, from character development to actual game-play. It is a game of choices that allows for all types of gamers to come together to play in their own way.

But I wonder how a disabled gamer or a gamer with limited time (for a number of reasons) might fare in the world of Mabinogi?

Before I get started, be sure to check out for game reviews, articles and networking for all types of gamers. I would like to say that even though I am not disabled, I find this conversation fascinating. Do games do enough for the disabled? Or is it a question that many of the developers never even think of?

Next time you are playing your favorite game, ask yourself how you might play if you had an issue that limited your would you play it? But on to Mabinogi. Let's look at some of the features that I think should be looked for, and how Mabinogi might be used to tackle those issues:

1) Color Blind: I am not as familiar with this issue, but I know that some games (WAR) actually have setups possible for color-blind users. Mabinogi, as far as I know, has no "setting" for that, but I would like research this one more to find out how the game does with color blind players. Branching out from this could be sight-impaired players, from players with very poor eyesight to players with NO eye sight (yes, that is an actual subject I have seen come up in this discussion. Think about's a legitimate question in many ways!)

2) Deaf/Hard of Hearing: We tend to forget how much of our gaming relies upon sound. There are many audio triggers that tell us that something is going to happen. While Mabinogi has these, the game really gives many visual cues as to when something might happen. When you are fighting a mob, for example, you can see the fighting position it will use in a thought bubble over it's head. You can counter that position with a move of your own, also shown in a thought bubble over your head. Also, it's good to see that all NPC interactions have text (voice acting would be nice, too) and can be navigated using a small book that indexes certain subjects to talk about. The cut scenes use sub-titles, too, and you can get a good idea of the lore from these missions/npc interactions/cut scenes.

3) Limited control issues: I looked at this from the viewpoint of someone that might only have the use of one hand,  or of someone with chronic pain from anything from tennis elbow to arthritis. It is more common than you think, and if you play games for years like me (along with painting and drumming, which doesn't help) you will more than likely suffer from some kind of discomfort due to over-use of your wrists. There are many gamers that can only literally use one hand, or only a few digits on those hands. In any of these cases, the less mouse clicks and manipulations of the mouse, the better. Camera control is often an issue, and Mabinogi allows for the player to simply push the cursor to the edge of the screen to move the camera, or to zoom in and out. I love this feature and have grown so used to it that I wish other games had it.

Also, the game can be controlled entirely with one hand and very few clicks. I can right click on a monster, tell my pet to attack it and click on it again to attack it myself (or choose attack in the right click menu.) There are also options for auto-attack/manual attack, and shortcuts accessible from the keyboard or from clicking with the mouse. Everything is laid out in a classic Windows style menu, and is very easy to navigate.

Chatting is the only issue, and I wish that the pop-up keyboard (used to block a key-logger from getting your information) that you sign in with could be accessed in game, for chatting and sending messages. That would be brilliant. I am sure, however, that there are programs out there that allow players to do this already.

4) Limited time: When I say limited time, I am talking about players that might have chronic pain issues or issues that prevent them from playing for hours and hours like average gamers do. Luckily, Mabinogi moves as fast or as slow as you want it to. Also, being that it is Free to Play, there is none of the "urgency/deadlines" that many pay-to-play games have. You can also buy potions and items that will speed along the process of leveling or items that will at least make the time you can spend in game much more productive. It is ironic that many pay-to-play games (that already charge you per month, no matter how much or little you play) mostly don't feature cash-shops that will allow you to buy items that will allow you to gain more experience or to be more effective in many ways.

These are only some small points that I can think of, and I am always looking at games to see how a disabled player might play them. Think about it: how would someone play a game that required constant camera movement? How would a player chat if they had limited use of their hands?

I know that within my lifetime there will be actual "virtual reality" so that many of these issues will be forgotten. One day, we will look back at our limited access for all and laugh, thinking things like "You mean you actually displayed images on a screen, and not directly into your eyes? HAHA!" We are not there yet, so in the mean-time, games need to be aware of the millions of potential players that they could be cutting out of their game by not providing a few simple tools.

Beau Turkey


“The contents of this post do not necessarily reflect the views of and its management.”

Annwyn writes:

Mabinogi is certainly not friendly to none of "state" stated above.

People with a certain level of handicap (psychological or physical) will find paradise in Turn-Based MMOs as they are allowed more time and do not need to press and spam many keys at the same time. Mabinogi is the type of game were dungeons may take about 30 to 2 or 3 hours to run, need very good timing when fighting monsters etc which may cause a lot of trouble for them (like pretty much all the games on the market) . Note that we're talking about the upper body physical status and/or psychological as no one plays with his least I think.

As for color blind, I doubt they'd have trouble playing this game but as for people with very low eyesight..... I doubt it would work well.

Wed Apr 22 2009 2:26PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I don't know, I have been playing for a good while and dungeon runs, while they can take a while and require some timing, can be ran pretty easily as well.

 Also, there are a millions of things to do that are not fighting, and really only require basic mouse manipulation. Even moving can be accomplished by clicking on just clicking on the map, and the character will move around objects.

 So, while there might be some things that would be harder for certain levels of disability, Mabinogi is definitely, at the very least, friendly to those that need it. Remember, not every fight has to be won with perfection, and it is also possible that a player could let his/her pet do a lot of the fighting, too. I take down dungeons all the time. Granted, you might be referring to stuff that would be a challenge for any player.

 Also, there are players that pkay with their feet. I have seen it! :)





Wed Apr 22 2009 6:54PM Report
Annwyn writes:

Can we agree that if someone wants to play Mabinogi but due to certain condition, he is not able to fight properly, I think we can clearly say he's going to miss a lot of things even though they are still some things to do in Mabinogi (craft, harvesting, music etc) but this is very minor and player could simply play Second Life instead.

While pet does help, a pet cannot run a dungeon by himself (unless it's a low level dungeon). As for dungeons itself, they are about 5 easy dungeons (Ciar, Longa, Alby, Barri and Math) the others may require a party. Again, party requires even more timing to make sure your team mates don't get injured because you attacked too late etc.

I'm not saying that people with certain conditions are unable to play Mabinogi, but there's a certain limit here. Fact remains that in my opinion, they'd rather play a "skill spam" game as they don't require as much timing and teamwork as Mabinogi.

Wed Apr 22 2009 7:31PM Report
beauturkey writes:

 I see what you are saying, for sure. But I am just saying as someone that has played for quite a while, and spent some cash, that even taking away the high level stuff you still have plenty to do.

 Here's a question I haven't found out yet: how many dungeons are there? 5 or 7 dungeons is almost half of what there is to offer? (I think.)  But, even taking away dungeons, there are plenty of mobs out in the world that need a killin'! :)

 But here's we we really disagree: crafting alone isn't minor, at all. I make lot's and LOT's (hehe) of cash with crafting. I know blacksmiths that make millions and millions.

I have a good friend that has been working on just refining, charging players to refine their material. Music might be more just for pleasure, but cooking sells well and has plenty of benefits, and is a "career" for plenty of players.

 In other words, do not dismiss everything save fighting as something so basic that you can find it in any game like Second Life. Yes, fighting at higher levels requires much more interaction and timing, we agree on that. But fighting is by far not everything in this game, or any game nowadays.

 In fact, I would say that fighting is actually the minor part of the game, when you factor in harvesting, music, cooking, blacksmith, tailoring, mining, playing as your pet, going after non-dungeon mobs, questing, and many other things that players do in any MMO like socializing and role-playing, or participating in events.

 Don't underestimate a player with a disability. Technically, (to save clicks and pain on my wrists) I always play with one hand. I have basically become ambidextrous (can use the mouse or paint with my left or right hand) in order to balance out the damage. I not only play the game, but with re-births (and now with exploration) you have so many opportunities to gain skill points that you can do so many things without really having to buckle down.






Wed Apr 22 2009 8:34PM Report
Annwyn writes:

I completly agree that Crafting is not minor :þ My point was that one can't just craft for the rest of his life. He will want to discover the game, the really good story line that most MMOs seems unable to achieve while Mabinogi does it very well, join parties and go through dungeons. I am a crafter myself but I just can't sit there all day :s

Concerning fighting: I have to disagree here, it is far from a minor aspect of the game. Fighting monsters out of dungeon barely brings any XP and are usually killed for quick drop (used in dungeon) or Kill Quest. Players are constantly in party to run through dungeon as it is pretty much the only way to level up and gain AP (aside from aging and/or exploring but even exploring sometimes involve fighting). The fighting is party-based too (after the first few easy dungeons, it's pretty hard to move on by yourself).

As for how many dungeons......over 12 for sure. There's about 2 dungeons per map in the first continent (aside from a few exceptions like Bangor which only has 1) and there's 1 per map in the New Continent.

As for underestimating players with disability, I am not. Sadly one of my friend tried Mabinogi but due to his left arm's condition he is completly unable to play "well" if I may express myself this way. Then again, it simply depends on how "badly" is a person condition.

Wed Apr 22 2009 9:42PM Report
beauturkey writes:

Good points.

 To me, it all comes down to Mabinogi especially compared to other MMO's. The fact that there is a right click menu for everything is enough to put it over other MMO's for accessability.

 Moving the camera can be done with one hand usually by holding right click and moving the mouse. In Mabinogi it takes one less mainupulation to move the camera. That one manipulation can make all the difference.

 While every game might have it's limitations for disabled players, Mabinogi has less of those limitations than any I have played, and I've played them all.

 My point is also that many players are very very happy by not worrying as much about leveling and being ok with leveling in a slower fashion. I have re-birthed once and have three skills at high levels. It did take me some time, but I am ok with that because I do not try to play harder than I can physically take.

 And if you take any other skill besids fighting, (say crafting) you can gain AP for those simply by gaining basic levels, aging, then rebirthing which is now free.

 In other words, the game can be enjoyed, for the most part, without concentrating on fighting that might require more coordination.

 And that's a lot more than most MMO's can say for themselves.

 Anyway, we'll agree to disagree. Thanks for the comments! :)



Wed Apr 22 2009 9:53PM Report
Annwyn writes:

[ My point is also that many players are very very happy by not worrying as much about leveling and being ok with leveling in a slower fashion. I have re-birthed once and have three skills at high levels. It did take me some time, but I am ok with that because I do not try to play harder than I can physically take. ]

I completly agree. One of the great things about Mabinogi is that you are not forced to level up. While I do not know your current physical condition, I know it is still possible for a vast majority of "disabled" (I hate this word) players to still enjoy the game. My comment was meant for those who are simply unable to.

If I take for exemple: Entropia Universe, a sandbox MMORPG different from Mabinogi, and it's much more "disabled person"-friendly. Simply because it doesn't rely on skill spamming or timing. It is also possible to become craftor, harvestor, etc without worrying about fighting (it is possible to fight without any problem).

I sort of compared Mabi and Entropia without mentionning it's name in my first post.

But yeah, Mabinogi is friendly in a way as players does not have to level up their characters to become stronger/better crafter which is indeed a huge plus for players under special physical condition.

I doubt we disagree. We simply mentionned the 2 different sides in Mabinogi listing their pros and cons, mixed with personal experience. Still, I completly agree with you on most points.

Wed Apr 22 2009 10:29PM Report writes:
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