A Newbie’s Review of Saga of Ryzom

Sorry I have been absent for a while, but after returning from spring break, I have had a lot of things to deal with that have taken most of my free time, and the rest of my free time has been spent playing MMO’s, in this case, Saga of Ryzom. When I got back, I was feeling very fed up with WoW, so I figured I would try the 14-day free trial of Ryzom. I was intrigued by the fact that it was skill-based, which I have always enjoyed more than gear-based games like WoW. I just think its more of a “get out what you put in” kind of thing, where you don’t necessarily get punished because you have a small guild or can’t raid for 6 hours at a time, and can still progress effectively. Anyways, more about the game. I used the trial for two days, and found that the community, graphics, and skill-based systems were all excellent, so I purchased the full version for one month. Everyone is very mature extremely helpful with questions or missions, which is a point of the game that I feel is not so great. I was lucky enough to talk to a few really good people about the “mainland” who informed me that the missions were nothing like those found on the trial island, which were put there to learn the mechanics of the game.

The missions found in the main part of the game are, for lack of a better word, “bitchwork.” Even the developers say the missions are put in place because the NPC’s don’t want to do it themselves. I think this is a horrible approach to missions, and a lazy one at that. It’s as though they wanted to put the content in and work some missions around this as easily as possible. While the game is very open-ended and you are free to do what you want, I don’t think this should give you the right to put in junk for missions. That said, there are some great elements to this game.

The landscape graphics are excellent, and quite frankly, the most interesting and beautiful of any game that I’ve played. In the zone that I went to begin on the mainland, the ground is lush with swaying plants and trees that really bring it to life. I was a bit disappointed with the creature models, which are rather boring, but I believe this is to cut down on lag when huge battles take place for real-time events, which from what I’ve read occur somewhat frequently.

Another aspect of this game that I really enjoy is the Ryzom Ring that they have recently implemented. While it doesn’t look like it’s even close to it’s potential, the idea behind it is that players can create their own scenario’s, using any type of landscape in the game (desert, forest, jungle, etc.) and implant creatures and NPC’s as they see fit, and allow other players to access these. This is the first type of player-generated content that I have seen in any MMO, so for that I give the developer’s props, but as of now it’s not a very big part of the game, so it will be interesting to see how that develops.

Crafting and harvesting are also very big parts of this game. While I haven’t tried crafting yet, it sounds like every piece of armor or weaponry is crafted, which really helps the economy as money is constantly going to players, rather than just giving it back to the game itself, and really gives players a lot of power. As for the harvesting, I have tried this. It is a very elaborate system, in which materials might blow up in your face as you try to harvest them, and if you harvest too much in a specific area, you may be attacked, which is an excellent way of preventing farming. As you get better, you find ways to harvest more of a material from a source, or to help prevent it from exploding, or to find more a source in an area. This is very well done, so good job on that.

One last area I want to touch on is the community, which is far and away the best I have seen in my MMO experience, which spans eight years and nearly a dozen games now, with the possible exception of Asheron’s Call. Within a day of joining, I had joined a guild who had probably answered 50 questions of varying importance, given me a whole set of new armor, 3000 of these things called catalysts which double your experience earned, and who I just chatted with about totally random things as well. I am looking forward to getting to know these people better, as well as other people on my server (Arispotle I believe).

So there you have my very loose and by no means official review of Ryzom. In a general statement, I am certain that I am going to give this game at least a full month of attention, and make my final decision then as to whether I will keep playing it. In the meantime, I’m also being distracted by Titan Quest, which I recently purchased and have enjoyed playing.

Be back soon.
~Kanthalos

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3 comments so far

  1. Thomas Grömer on

    Thanks for the review! Maybe i test it as well!

    best regards Thomas

  2. http://yahoo.com on

    “A Newbies Review of Saga of Ryzom | MMOre Insight” seriously got me simply addicted on ur
    internet page! I actuallywill certainly be back again alot more regularly.
    Thank you ,Shelli

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