Saga of Ryzom – Review
Saga of Ryzom is one of the few mmorpg’s out there that wasn’t created to sell all over the world in millions of units, or to be as simple as possible; this way you get as many players as you can. Saga of Ryzom was based on the idea to bring something new to the mmorpg market, and they did. This game isn’t for everyone, but it can get quite addictive as long as you give it a little patience.
After playing most of the mmog’s on the market I came across this game and it was a pleasant surprise. Even more now, the game is free while you are on the newbie island, until you want to proceed further to the main continent, so you can explore the game further and make up your mind if you want to subscribe.
In Ryzom you can choose between 4 races, each with their history and goals. The skill tree is very flexible, and your development is defined here. Even after you have gained experience and levels, you can be whatever you like: a fighter, crafter, forager or even a magician, or all four, but you can’t be the best at all. You need to specialize if you want in one or two, but you can do it if you have “the time”. The more you craft, forage or fight with a weapon, you get experience and advance in the specific skill tree, learning new actions, recipes etc, when advancing in these skill tree.
On Planet Atys, where everything happens, you will find different creatures with their various behaviors. Each has an enemy, some will travel in small packs and attack anything they can eat, some will travel in herds, and defend only if attacked, some creatures will migrate naturally and some will choose to remain in an area. What is nice about these creatures is that they don’t drop “weapons, armors or complete items” like you see in most of the mmorpgs out there (I always wondered where the hell that wolf had the uber sword from…and where he stored it – in his stomach? ). Here you get raw materials for crafting which you can sell for money, or use them to craft items. For example, a carnivorous creature may provide sharp teeth that are appropriate for spearheads, while a herbivore may have a soft skin that makes excellent light armour padding. The other way to get materials is by foraging them, extracting them from the lands, after you find them with your prospecting skill.
There are two powerful factions that claim to be the guardians on the planet. Eventually you will have to join one or the other and do deeds for them, and get into faction pvp also. There a different types of pvp in Ryzom, and you can choose to participate or to avoid them. You can duel any player if he accepts or get in Arena to get some taste of pvp. A more complex type of pvp are the Outposts Wars, where guild fights for outpost take-overs, and get some rare materials while controlling them.
On newbie island, where you can play for free as long as you want, the game teaches you the basics of Ryzom. On the main island where you will have to subscribe to get there, the game is more based on group then solo play in order to defeat monsters, and lesser based on quests. On mainland there are the groups that bring you the fun, guilds, and the pvp.
The latest add-on for Ryzom is named Ryzom Ring. It provides tools to create your own content and scenarios, and share them with the community.
With a pretty decent and mature community, great game-play elements and atmosphere, Saga of Ryzom, is one of the most interesting mmorpgs on the market, but on other side is lacking some content for the last 2-3 years, besides the Ryzom Ring, which is not liked by all, but a nice addition afterall.