Category ryzom

Ryzom website gets a makeover

The new Ryzom site, in all its glory

The new Ryzom site, in all its glory

It was about time Ryzom got itself a new website, since the old one was…well, old. But while it came as good news that Winch Gate were rolling out a new site for their game, I must say that the new one is not an improvement. The new one still looks old.

I hate to say it, I really want to do nothing except praise Ryzom, but the new site looks unprofessional. It does not, in any way, convey trust or give the impression to be made by a company that deserves your money, or can be trusted with your credit card. Had I not been playing Ryzom already, I’d probably would have decided to not even give it a try based on the website.

It’s not only the general design – it’s also about the language used. The game itself is originally in French, and at times the GMs and event managers have had problems with English, but to have the official English version of the site sport such weird language is not a very good idea. How about this wonderful quote?

The MMORPG Ryzom is the best FRENCH 3D role playing PC game playable online. Ryzom is a role-play game of science-fiction, fantasy and adventure, massively multiplayer, named RPG, MMORPG, MMO or virtual world. Ryzom MMORPG is set 30.000 years in the future. Ryzom won the MMORPG Awards of Best RPG role-play story game and is a reference in the MMORPG’s virtual world. Ryzom is downloadable online FREE, with 21 days of FREE TRIAL.

Eh. OK. Even though Ryzom is an actual MMO, that makes it sound more like a scam – or a game as serious as Evony. It might be the “FREE”, and “FREE TRIAL”, that does it. The next logical step would be a flash banner advertising the game as a new online game that can be PLAYED FOR FREE! PLAY NOW! FREE!

Yuck.

Winch Gate, please update it as quickly as you can. Or even roll back the site to your old one, which actually looked better. This one is a pain to look at, the typography is horrible, and not using enough padding makes the whole site look cramped. Did you develop this in-house? If not, I’d suggest getting your money back from whatever design studio you hired. At least take a long, good look at the 96 errors in your markup.

I love Ryzom, it’s a great indie-MMO that I hope survives for a long time to come. Anyone that’s been following this blog or read my Twitter feed should know that by now. But this website, it’s just not good enough for 2009. Please, pretty please with sugar on top, Winch Gate. Update it.

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Screenshot love: Play dead, doggie! Please? For me?

Ryzom celebrated its 5th anniversary this week, which the devs celebrated by spawning this guy/gal and his/her three guards and trying to kill us all. We were victorious though, still running on the fumes from the mini-mek race we had enjoyed earlier.

I have a lot of frapsed video from the anniversary event which I’m trying to edit together, but Windows Movie Maker (which is the only editing software I have on this machine) refuses to play nice and keeps blanking out certain clips without giving a good reason for doing so. It annoys me to no end. Anyway, happy birthday Ryzom! Here’s for another five years!

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Back in the sandbox

I’ve been praising sandbox MMOs before and it slowly dawned on me that I should put my money where my mouth is and resub to Ryzom. I always knew I would, so why not now? I activated my account, patched the client to 1.5 and logged in. And there my character stood, in the same place as I left her. Wearing her focus gear, pick in hand, with the two mektoub packers who spawned with her filled to the brim with gear and materials. No one in my guild was online, so I ran around Dyron for a bit, gathering some stray materials while trying to remember how I had configured my skills and stanzas. Then I logged out, since I mostly felt confused and didn’t have a proper reason to play.

Instead I turned back to Final Fantasy XI, since I’ve been meaning to play it for what seems like ages. I wasn’t sure when the free play time that came with the box ran out, but it turned out I still had a few days to go before billing kicks in, so I patched it up and got comfy in the sofa, 360 controller in hand. And just like my character in Ryzom, my tarutaru was still where I left him – near the fishers’ guild in Windurst, where I had logged out after doing a bit of fishing. I took a stroll down to the Auction House, cleared out old sales that ran out several weeks ago, then I sat down near the gate to the East Sarutabaruta plains. I was confused, alone and had no idea what I had been doing when I stopped playing. So I logged out.

I am not a huge fan of quest based MMOs, I prefer a sandbox to play around in. But quests are not always a bad thing, they only become bad when it is the only real activity the game actually offers. It’s not all clear cut, it’s not black and white. A perfect mix between a wide open world, such as Ryzom’s dangerous wilderness, and some form of quest driven play, is probably what I would have needed today. If I knew that I could do what I felt like, including hitting up a quest hub for a quick infusion of cash or a sense of direction for a few hours, I would have spent the whole evening in Atys or in Vana’diel. Now I spent it in Blood Bowl instead, pitting my Skaven team against a friend’s Orcs. The ball needs to go in the end zone to score a point. The team with the most points at the end of the match wins. Easy and clear.

I am glad that my Ryzom account is active again, absolutely. Seeing Windurst gave me a sense of happy nostalgia, just like returning to Dyron Oasis felt like coming home. I look forward to digging around in those two sandboxes. But if I don’t figure out exactly what to do, where to go, or what project to immerse myself in, I have a feeling that the MMO burnout will come much faster than I’d want it to.

September brings both Fallen Earth and Aion. Two completely different games, but both have peaked my interest. Let’s see if the sandboxes of old can stand up against the roller coasters of the near future.

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The “revolution” has already happened

A constant hot topic in the MMO-blogosphere is how we can improve future MMOs. That’s a good thing, it’s a genre that could easily stagnate (even though I am not 100% convinced that it has) if the things that worked in older games keep getting copied until we only have a bunch of different WoW-clones to choose from. But it’s also interesting to see certain points being dragged up again and again, despite there actually being a game that manages to address them to a large degree. It’s not the perfect MMO in any way, but if there would be a new game that would include similar features, I am certain some would herald that new game as “revolutionary”.

Crimson Starfire just summed up some of the points that he (she? Sorry if that’s the case, Crimson) thinks should be addressed before we have a “MMORPG 2.0″. I could go digging after more similar posts, but I like how that post manages to distill a lot of the criticism that’s been flying around for a long time. Here are the points, all copied and pasted from World of Shadow:

  • Static worlds: Player actions have very little impact on the world. Kill something and it respawns moments later.
  • Everyone is a hero: Everyone follows the same quests and story lines.
  • NPC and monster AI: It’s laughable at best. Aggro bubbles? Seriously…
  • Balance: How do you make completely different classes equal in strength?
  • Grind: These will always exist but the disguises need some work.
  • Economy: When you get 10 silver for killing the same rat that respawns every 20 seconds, you know the economy will have issues.

Luckily, Crimson doesn’t just complain – he/she/it (“he” from now on) has a couple of solutions and suggestions for how we could address and solve those six points. And constantly, while reading the post, I am reminded by a small MMO from France. A MMO that a lot of people constantly overlook and that was way before its time when it launched. And, obviously, still is in many ways.

The game I am talking about is Ryzom. Poor underachieving Ryzom, fighting against constant financial trouble instead of getting the praise it deserves. Still going, getting a flurry of patches that includes updates to both game and storyline…yet no one seem to notice (except Massively, when you bug them enough – check the “thanks” at the bottom of that post…). Poor Ryzom, the kid in a classroom filled with fighting bullies, overlooked by both teachers and the other kids in the schoolyard. Yeah, you get my point by now. I think it deserves a lot more publicity and a lot more credit.

So, back to the list, and Crimson’s solutions (some of them paired together when appropriate, quotes in italics, check the original post to get their full context)…

Static Worlds & NPC AI:This brings me to the ‘world without a player’ scenario, where the world is ever changing on its own. Players should only ever speed up or slow down this process” and “If they can get away with adding an aggro bubble to a monster with a trigger to attack, then they will. There is nothing stopping NPC and monster AI from improving except the game budget“.

Now, Crimson does suggest that “[f]or every player action there needs to be an equal and opposite server reaction in order to maintain a dynamic equilibrium”, which is not present in Ryzom. But the world is certainly alive with or without the player. Ryzom has seasons and the wildlife migrates depending on which is active on the server at the time (every season lasts four days, replacing each other in a 16 day cycle). The creatures also have a primitive AI. Herbivores will react to players passing by, coming to sniff them or in some cases beg for attention. Sometimes they even break off from their herd to check out things, i.e. players, that make them curious. Also, carnivores hunt the herbivores, attacking and trying to kill them.

Depending on the season, certain materials might not be available. Since materials are the blood that keeps Ryzom ticking, players usually spend a lot of time mapping out where they can be found and at what time. Dangerous creatures have set aggro bubbles that does not change depending on player level, which means that you also have to learn how close you can go before being attacked (which can be very important when digging for rare resources). Since the wilderness of Ryzom is filled with dangerous creatures, going from one city to another is not something done without planning ahead – and preferably not alone. All of this creates at least the illusion of a world that exists on its own, without players being around or not.

Everyone is a hero & Balance: “[T]he only thing blocking this from happening is problem number 1: static worlds. Fix that and everyone can follow their own story to heroism” and “The balancing process can be sped up with better tools and analyzing techniques, but essentially it will always be a problem“.

I very much agree on the “everyone is a hero”-issue. I shall return to that in the near future, since I have a whole post about it planned. But it is a problem, but it’s far from happening in all MMOs. EVE Online is a perfect example where everyone is a super-human pod pilot. In City of Heroes everyone is a hero (it’s in the title!). And in Ryzom we are all refugees, we are all trying to re-build Atys and our society, while protecting what we’re building against the wildlife and the Kitin invaders. There is no raid boss to kill in order to save the world which we, and hundreds if not thousands just like us, will be back to kill again next week. There are world bosses, and named creatures walking around, but I always felt like they were more part of the world than in almost any game I’ve played before.

That does not mean that everyone is equal, though. Crafters especially can gain quite a lot of fame if they have self-discovered recipes (not drops, recipes they’ve researched themselves by putting together various pieces of materials to see what stats the equipment they are making will get). Guilds become famous through their deeds, through warfare against other guilds and for their trading or generosity. Since server population in Ryzom is still quite small it doesn’t take long before you start to recognize most guild names and what kind of play style or faction you associate them with.

The balance issue in Ryzom is, just like in EVE Online, quite easy to deal with. Certain skills might be better than others (even seen ranged DPS in Ryzom PvP? Ouch.), but everyone is able to learn all skills. It will take a long, long time, but it is theoretically possible. And, just like in EVE, a player can only reach a certain level in a skill, which means everyone is always able to catch up. All this while still allowing players to customize their characters and their builds as they see fit. The variety in looks, builds and equipment can be simply stunning. A game does not need classes to allow players to explore different ways to play. Classes are inherently restrictive and I for one would be happy to see them go.

Grind & Economy:If you give the player a different experience each time, the grind with be less prevalent” and “[t]he solution lies with getting a balance of currency generated with currency destroyed“.

I’m not going to go on record saying that there is no grind in Ryzom. Hell, there is a ton of grinding in Ryzom. It can be made a lot better, and a lot more fun, in groups – even resource gathering can be done by groups, where one player digs while the other is trying to keep the resource from blowing up in their faces (called “careplanning”). But the grind is quite prevalent at times, there’s no denying that. Hopefully, as time goes by, the developers will be able to address this part of the game.

Ryzom does take a whole new angle when it comes to economy though. Dappers, the “gold” of Ryzom, is more or less worthless. Sure, there are things that only dappers can buy (including mounts, banking animals and apartments), but when you have all that there’s nothing for you to spend more on. The “economy” of Ryzom is more or less based on trading and quid pro quo – you do me a favor, or get me a piece of armor that you can craft, I’ll help you in the future. Guilds trade constantly and anything from rare materials to experience catalysts gained from outposts change hands every day. The system, all built on trust and the concept of “you scratch my back, I scratch yours”, works. No economical back end that the developers need to keep constant track off.

Of course, that kind of economy does not fit into every MMO, even though I would love to see what would happen in World of Warcraft if you took out the AH and all the gold sinks (mounts, bank space, the Dalaran rings, etc). It’s very interesting to see in action though. It might not have been what the developers intended from the start, but if not it makes it so much more interesting.

As I said before, Ryzom is not the perfect MMO. It has a lot of issues, including the fact that it was never fully developed, that needs to be dealt with – hopefully it has a big enough paying community these days to at least make some of the old goals reality. We shall see. But what it does have can be amazing at times. Play it for a while and you will never play another MMO the same way again. You will miss the freedom, the community. You will curse at animals that just wanders around aimlessly and ignores you despite you jumping in a circle around them. You will miss the way the economy works, how players seem to help their friends in the knowledge that it will benefit everyone in the end.

Most of all, you will realise what a small revolution Ryzom was and, in many ways, still is. And it all happened back in 2004, when we all were busy staring blindly at Azeroth…

(Did I mention that Ryzom has a free trial? It does. Go download it and give it a try. I also didn’t mention the Ryzom Ring, which preceded CoH’s Mission Architecht with 5 years.)

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Ryzom gets dedicated roleplay-site

Roleplay, for nubs or not? I don’t really know anymore. I started out on a roleplay server in World of Warcraft and it became quite obvious rather quickly that Blizzard do not care one bit about roleplayers and have no intentions whatsoever to actually enforce their own roleplaying rules (that document is a joke). I’ve seen the roleplay, at least on my server of choice, erode away and now nothing remains. We had some really good roleplaying guilds that gave a lot of flavor to places like Stormwind and Aerie Peak. Those days are gone and I got the feeling that most roleplaying servers have seen the same development.

So it amazing to see certain MMO-companies not only encouraging roleplaying, but also helping the roleplayers out. One game which has had a strong RP-element to it for a long time is Ryzom, and the company behind the game is now launching a dedicated roleplay-site. Even though the site is still rather barren, it is such a great idea that it makes me want to log in and never log out again, even though I don’t actively roleplay anymore. This is how you build a loyal customer base from at least one of the subgroups that play your game. It’s not that much work and if you put some effort into it, it can yield amazing results. Add a team that only works on live roleplay events (called “Animation” in Ryzom) and you got a winning combo.

The full e-mail is quoted after the jump. Now go give Ryzom a try.

Read more

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Don’t fear the future?

Today I realised that I’m stuck in a rut in the MMOs I currently play. I have no idea what skill path to go down in EVE, I generally just train whatever I can stick into the daily queue and then add a longer skill at the end of it, and even though I still enjoy Ryzom and completely adore my guildies there I don’t have a project in it except leveling and trying to make enough dappers to buy an apartment. Having projects is very important to me, it’s a great way to keep my interest up.

I also realised that I have another problem with Ryzom. Even if I do find a project to keep me occupied, I’m not really sure that the game will be around for much longer – I guess the pessimism that’s so rampant in the community finally managed to rub off on me. A few days ago the team behind Shadowbane announced that the game was shutting down and reading the official thread on the subject was quite depressing (I do recommend reading at least a few pages of it though, it’s fascinating while being incredibly sad) and I really don’t want to end up in a similar situation any time soon. Every MMO will, sooner or later, go down the same route, the only question is if I actually want to get 100% involved in a game that is standing on what just might be the brink of disaster.

It’s a tricky situation. If I look at the MMOs that interest me at the moment, almost all of them can be considered dangerous territory – Vanguard has always teetered on the edge of the abyss, Star Wars Galaxies might go the way of the dodo when The Old Republic launches, Ryzom has had a very bumpy ride since launch…I managed to get two of my friends to try out Runes of Magic, but they’ve both gone back to Warhammer Online now (I’m personally holding out until Land of the Dead drops). World of Warcraft is the most stable game on the market, but I have no interest in going back.

What to do, what to do? Should I just bite the bullet, take a chance on Ryzom, hope that everything works out? Or should I try to find a more stable game that might just save me from the general rut I’m in right now? Or should I just give up on MMOs for the time being, spend more time with my Nintendo DS, and just wait for that perfect game to launch?

I’m bored and grumpy.

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The Atysian Subscription – a bit too much, too soon?

So the nameless and faceless owners of Ryzom decided to post on the official forums, asking the community to answer a poll to find out if anyone would be interested in what’s currently called “The Atysian Subscription”. At the price of €199, you get a lifetime sub to the game and give the company behind ‘Zom (thanks for that nickname, Nysha) a quick, needed fix of income to be able to keep up development.

Considering the rather low monthly price the owners plan to implement in the near future, €199 means a 30% price drop if you plan to subscribe to Ryzom for the next three years.

Yup, that’s more or less paying them three years of sub in advance, hoping that the game will still be around for that long. It’s hard not to be a bit of unpleasantly surprised by this idea. It’s not finalized, it’s good to see the devs polling the forums before implementing it, but isn’t this going a bit too far, too soon? Ryzom has not been the most stable game in the history of MMOs, with financial problems already shutting the game down once. The community, or at least the vocal parts of it, is already screaming for more news, more information about the future. Where is Ryzom going? Who are the developers? What kind of content can we expect to see?

As much as I love Ryzom and want to pay a subscription fee, I don’t really see myself – or many of the people I know on Atys – paying that much money to a faceless developer who we don’t know if we can trust or not yet. It’s a lot of money and bringing this up at this point in time might prove to be a big PR-mistake on the devs’ part.

“So far we have been working without any incoming funds, imagine what we could finally do with your support”, the thread says. We know, start up billing already so we actually can give you the funds you need. Because right now, I’m not paying for more than a few months at a time, tops. €199 is going a bit too far.

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A WoW-player’s guide to starting out in Ryzom (part 1)

Boom!

I thought I’d put together a quick guide for players that might be interested in checking out Ryzom. When first starting up the game it can be quite confusing, as the system is quite different from those of other MMOs. This guide is mostly aimed at World of Warcraft-players, frankly because there are so many of them and it’s a language that most people can understand.

In future parts I will get a bit into harvesting, crafting and how you travel around Atys. If you are interested in trying out Ryzom, I truly recommend that you do. Hopefully this article will help you a bit on your way to making sense of it all. If you already play Ryzom and got something to add, or point out any mistakes I’ve done while writing this, feel free to do so in the comments.

1. Where are the classes? And what race has the most imba racial abilities?

Nobody told you? Ryzom doesn’t have classes. You get to choose from a specialisation when you create your character, but trust me – it will make no difference when you finally get to play. Every character can level everything – fighting, magic, healing, harvesting, crafting…everything. It will take forever, and most people will choose one thing to focus on first after a playing a while, but you potentially could level all of those to level cap. Alts are usually put on a separate account and used for storage, or for having a personal healer around when you go out hunting, since you can use your main for everything you might want to do.

There is no real difference between the races, except for their looks and their initial fame (i.e. reputation) with factions like Kami and Karavan. It doesn’t really matter right now, but even if you choose the “wrong” race it’s not the end of the world – you can be a Kami-aligned Matis or a Karavan-aligned Fyros. It will just take you a bit longer to get there. Don’t worry, pick a race you think looks cool. You’ll be fine and can worry about stuff like that later.

2. Where are my special abilities? Killing these small dog-like rodent-thingies takes forever.

Right. Levelling in Ryzom doesn’t really work as in other games, even though the basics are the same – you gain XP when you kill things/harvest/craft and you gain a level when you have enough XP. The thing is that you don’t only have one level that is applied to everything, instead you got separate levels in magic, fighting etc. When you use melee or ranged weapons to kill a mob, you get XP in fighting. If you use magic to kill it, you gain XP in magic. If you mix them during a fight, which you usually don’t, the XPs are divided between the two.

ryzomguide_stanzasWhen you ding a new level you gain 10 skill points in that particular tree. These SPs are then spent on buying “stanzas” from which you will put together your own talents or on stat upgrades (like extra strength, constitution or intelligence – good old roleplaying basics). Building your own talents and abilities is one of the more complex and deep, but also incredibly rewarding, parts of Ryzom. You have to learn how to balance the pros (a certain ability might do more damage or hit easier) with the cons (that ability might drain stamina, health or even wear out your weapon faster). Think of it as a puzzle, where each good part has to be balanced against a bad one. The more powerful the spell or ability you want to create is, the more it will cost for you to use it.

And the rodents are called “yubos”. Learn to love them, you’ll see a lot more of them once you leave the starting area for the mainland…

3. Gah! I wasted 10 skill points on a pointless upgrade! Where can I respecc?

First of all, you can’t respecc. Those 10 points (or more) that you spent on a new stanza are gone forever. But don’t panic. There really aren’t any “useless” upgrades. You might not have a use for all of them straight away, but you will at some point. Early on, SPs can be a bit scarce, but sooner or later you will be swimming in them.

ryzomguide_levelsWhile the different trees do split after a while – fighting becomes melee and range, which later splits even further – all the SPs you gain in a tree can be used in all its branches. You might gain 10 fighting SPs when you ding a level in ranged, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend them on ranged abilities. You’ll have tons of points to waste, making respeccing completely unnecessary. Just gain a new level in the same tree and you have 10 new points.

Confusing? Take a look at the picture on the right and it will probably make more sense.

4. Fair enough, I think I get it. Where are my quests?

Missions, as the quests are called in Ryzom, are everywhere and most of them can be repeated (after a short cooldown). But after you leave Silan, the starter island, there isn’t much point in doing them. They don’t pay well and you don’t get any XP from completing them. To be honest, many of them are really badly designed as well. The only reason why you would do missions on the mainland is to gain fame with a faction. Leave that to later, until you know if you actually want to choose one or if you just want to stay neutral. It also depends on what kind of guild you join – if the guild has chosen a faction, you usually will want to go with the same faction as your friends.

Factions are mostly about PvP, and will have an impact on your future travels through Atys. You probably won’t PvP in a while anyway, so just leave the missions until your guild asks you to start doing them. Doing the quests on Silan is recommended though, as they teach you how to play the game and give you a good introduction to all the stuff I’ve written about above.

5. But…what am I actually supposed to do?

When you decide to leave Silan, you’ll get to choose which capital city to go to first. If you don’t have friends that are waiting for you in a particular location, make it easy for yourself and choose your own race’s capital (Zoraï to Zora, Fyros to Pyr, Tryker to Fairhaven and Matis to Yrkanis). There will always be a safe spot for you to dig and level your harvesting to at least level 50, and loads of mobs to hunt for in the wilderness around the city. Make yourself at home, because it’s on the main continent of Atys that things start to get really exciting.

ryzomguide_peopleWithout quests, it can be quite easy to get confused early on – especially if you get used to doing them on Silan. Don’t worry, there’s a lot of adventure to be found on the mainland without having to do any quests. There is some grinding involved, as that’s how you level up, but try to find yourself a nice and social guild and you’ll probably end up with tons of stuff to do, places to go and things to see. Ryzom is a very social and community based game. Not only is Atys a very deadly place, it’s also a big sandbox. Without any friends, building sand castles just isn’t very fun in the long run.

If nothing helps, and you feel lost and confused about the rather weird system that Ryzom uses, don’t hesitate to ask any questions you have in Universe chat. More often than not there’s a lot of off topic chatting going on there, but people will always stop their idle chatter and answer any questions a new player might have. That’s what the channel is actually for, after all. It might not always be used the way it was intended, but it’s a great place to get answers and get to know new people. Don’t be shy, we’re all happy to help. Game masters and community service representatives hang out there fairly often as well, so if no one else can answer your questions, they can.

At the time of writing, Ryzom is still free to play. So don’t hesitate to give it a try, we’ll be there to welcome you and make your stay as pleasant as possible.

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Fight for your right

Tonight, me and my guild in Ryzom will aid what would under normal circumstances be viewed as an enemy guild, standing up for what we believe in. I’m looking forward to getting my ass handed to me by some veteran players in the name of the cause.

What’s that word I’m looking for? Oh yeah…immersion. Long time, no see.

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The kitin stirs…

Trekking is dangerous business, obviously.

Trekking is dangerous business, obviously.

A couple of days ago I got tired of digging on my own outside Pyr, so I quit my Ryzom-guild. My old guildies were very understanding and I quickly found myself a new, more active, home. The game changed character instantly, suddenly I found myself surrounded by people to do things with, and I also got to go on my first trek from Pyr to Zora (where our guild hall is located) that very night. Moving between cities in Ryzom is not something you usually do on your own, considering the amount of creatures that want to eat your face on the way, and without the security keeping me safe I would’ve never made the trip in one piece.

Ryzom has also seen some developer love during the last couple of days. This Monday saw an event where the players were gathered up to kill a demonic kitin, then the game got a nice patch which saw the starter area getting a revamp and crafters now being able to tag their stuff (Beau has written a bit about it at Spouse Aggro, I haven’t had time to check out Silan yet), and last night a new event took place where the kitins planned to avenge their fallen comrade. The various races were told to meet with their leaders in their respective capitals, so me and a few members of my new guild gathered in Pyr.

One of the fights against kitin patrols in Under Spring. The colors!

One of the fights against kitin patrols in Under Spring. The colors!

After getting a speech from the Fyros emperor, the gathered players teleported to Dyron from where we trekked up to the portal to Under Spring. It was my first time in the Prime Roots, mostly because my level in fighting is 52 and the mobs there are level 200+, and the area was really impressive. Once there, we were attacked by wave after wave of kitin patrols – I tried desperately to heal the people in my team without much luck, mostly because my healing sucks compared to the massive amount of health some players have. We wiped three times in Under Spring, while we were getting reports from the Zoraï about them also having some troubles standing up to the kitin advance.

In the end, the area had been cleared of kitin. We took a breather until it was time to move to the Wastelands, where the final boss of the event had spawned. Some of us, me included, had never been to the Wastelands before, so we had to make the short trek from Zora, luckily without incident. When we arrived we met with the other three races and our combined forces – after a chaotic wipe to a major kitin patrol – managed to fight their way to Middle Point, where one huge kitin awaited our arrival. That fight, the final one of the evening, was truly epic and the whole battlefield lit up into one giant display of fireworks as everyone nuked all they had against the boss. I kept healing, but the few experience points I should’ve received were all eaten up by the death penalties from the four wipes.

The last boss of the event. Look, mom, I'm healing!

The last boss of the event. Look, mom, I'm healing!

It was a spectacular fight. I don’t know exactly how many of us that were there, but with the combined forces I am guessing around 100 players in total. I am not sure how much fun I actually had, after all I didn’t make any difference and I couldn’t do much except spamming my pathetic heal during the whole event, and the writing and acting from the event team were hardly top notch. But it was great to see something like this happen in the game and that the new developers are trying to push the saga of Ryzom forward.

With the new guild, the new patch and the current storyline – with the increased presence of kitin patrols in the Prime Root-areas – it’s hard for me not to fall completely in love with Ryzom. The game that at first seemed like nothing but a giant grind fest is slowly becoming so much more. It is still free to play, so I recommend that you download it and give it a try. It’s totally worth it and since Silan seems a lot more friendly to newbies these days, it’s the perfect time.

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Virtual worlds, massive multiplayer games and assorted ramblings

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