[Ryzom] Once upon a time, I was in the Beta 2 of Ryzom. I tested and played. I really did not like the game much and put it out of my memory. When the announcement was made about the Ryzom Ring, I became interested again but was skeptical. Now that it is out, and after reading a lot about the game from Kwip, I decided to download the free trial and check it out for myself.
This post is mostly just an introduction and first impressions. I plan to post more down the road as I get more playtime in. But for now, let’s get started. The demo download took about an hour to grab off their website and get installed. There was also a small patch, about a minute’s worth. Registration was easy, no credit card required. All and all quite painless. The graphics displayed during the install showed scenes of space as well as fantasy. Hard to even know for sure what the game is going to be like from those shots.
The character creation process was quite easy, even with a pretty good variety of options. First you must pick a civilization. There are four to choose from: Fyros, Matis, Tryker and Zoraï. Descriptions for each are very lengthy so you know a lot about the background of each civilization. It was hard for me to see if there is any benefits or drawbacks for any of them, so I just went on appearance alone and ended up choosing a Tryker. After choosing my height, torso dimensions, arm and leg sizes I moved on to choosing hair, eye and face options. There was a great variety and I felt I could probably get a pretty unique character. After this, you choose an action specialization. The options here are fight, magic, forage or craft. Each choice gives you an additional skill in the direction chosen. For example the magic choice gives you the skill Fear 1. I chose magic.
There are four servers to choose from, two of them english speaking. I chose a server and little Ethic began his journey. I spent some time running around looking at the various scenery. It was really unique and well done. It was very refreshing to enter a world that is not based on traditional fantasy. Ryzom is more scifi than I expected. It is a whole new setting.
My first mission/quest was a bit disappointing. It was traditional KTR style, but in this case it was to Kill Ten Yubos. The combat was pretty traditional so far, but I found it very entertaining to watch. Nicely done spell effects. After the fight is over, don’t forget to loot the body. What’s this? No chainmail on the dead Yubo? So far so good. I tried some crafting, I had enough material and skill when I started playing to make some boots and so I did. Crafting looks like it might be pretty typical, but if the creatures aren’t dropping more than resources, crafting could be quite important. We’ll see.
I also spent some time foraging. Seemed pretty straight forward way to gather random resources.
So how do I feel so far? It looks good and I certainly want to play more. It’s more confusing than your mother’s MMO and I like that. I have some of the same feelings I had when I started playing EVE Online. Lots of things to learn, and it makes me want to learn them. I only died once, in my first Yubo battle. You get debt when you die and you need to work it off. At the beginning it is easy to work off anyway. I really don’t know if there are “levels” in the game at this point, but it appears to have a “skill level” instead of a player level. As you use a weapon, you get better at it. Cast a spell and you get better at it. Forage some resource and you get better at it. Craft some boots and well, you get the point.
To sum up in the beginning: very nice graphics, decent game play, interesting and unique settings and artwork. Sound, weather, lighting all works together nicely. And I have yet to even touch on the Ring – which is the most exciting prospect of this game to me right now. I’ll be back for more later. Until then, feel free to sign up for the free trial and look for Ethic on the Cho or the Arispotle server – I’m on both.
If you do plan to try it out, print this comic first and read it.