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Ryzom: At A Glance: Ruins of Silan

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

In the return of our At A Glance feature, Donna Desborough takes a look at Ryzom's "unlimited trial area", Ruins of Silan.

In every MMO's life a few changes must come. This is a fact of life. The Saga of Ryzom is no different than any other MMO. One can always hope the changes are for the best, and in this case that just might be true. The Ruins of Silan is a starter area for new players to familiarise themselves with Ryzom. It is a place dedicated to the new player complete with tutorial missions and special rewards.

Missions in the Ruins of Silan are a bit different than everywhere else on Atys. The missions you'll encounter here aren't just for shiny rewards; they're here to teach you how to play. Ryzom's game system has always had a steep learning curve that could sometimes put new players off. This need not be a problem anymore with these new missions.

You can read the whole article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • ClattucClattuc Alphaville, DCPosts: 163Member
    Silan is a good starter area and the missions there give you some items that are useful for the Mainland.  Also, the grind for a low level player is much more gentle than it is on the Mainland.



    As far as using it to learn the lore and how to play, all I can say is that Ryzom (formerly Nevrax, now Gameforge) could and should do a better job of documenting the ins and outs of the game online.  There is a lot of stuff from beta days (two years ago) and very little since.  There are very few reliable external sites with guides and such.  There is too much of the "well, just get in the game and ask someone, they will help you" thing.  Lore shouldn't have to be pieced out on some other player's dime.  The business with Stanzas and Actions, for example, is elegant, mathematical, has a structure to it and can be understood... but it takes a little work.  Guides are much better for that stuff than the chat room.



    Ryzom is gorgeous and fun and I'm not knocking it, but I would love to see some more support materials emerge.
  • BeeryBeery Boston, MAPosts: 184Member
    I agree.  The lore is one of the biggest disappointments with Ryzom, and a tutorial would be a good thing.  Personally I never saw anything to draw me into the game - no lore, no backstory, and my favourite race was the least popular in the game, so I was afraid to join and go to the mainland in case I found no one around.  The starting area is a good fun experience, but there's a lack of depth - the sort of depth that lore can bring to the game.  Also, although the combat and crafting systems are good, there's really very little to do apart from killing creatures and crafting - this also comes from a lack of attention paid to the lore aspect, as a bit more attention to the history of Atys might have prodded the devs into spending some time developing a real culture for players to roleplay, but there's nothing.  It's a shame really because the game has tons of potential and good solid gameplay elements, but from a roleplaying perspective it just feels flat.  Maybe the starter island is different from the mainland, but somehow I get the feeling that the mainland suffers from the same problem.
  • GRIMACHUGRIMACHU AndoverPosts: 528Member
    Er? Huh?



    There's tons of lore...



    http://www.ryzom.com/game-lore

    Postmortem Studios
    Roleplaying games to DIE for
    Shop here

  • KostikaKostika Staff Writer HampshirePosts: 84Member
    Go play the Ruins of Silan area with a new char. The missions are the tutorial. If you actualy read the message windows that pop up then you'll get detailed instructions and explanation on how to do all of the skills and how to handle things like stanzas.

    Donna Desborough
    Staff Writer
    www.mmorpg.com

    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com or its management.

  • BeeryBeery Boston, MAPosts: 184Member
    There's tons of lore in the sense of stuff written down, but I guess what I meant to say was that none of it means anything in the game.  The races have no culture - nothing for a player to use to develop gameplay-strategies or roleplay character.  What I mean is that the lore doesn't affect how a player plays the game - it's the same no matter what race a player chooses.  The only effect is in terms of the accessible missions, but there's simply no culture - the races don't worship, they don't have any rituals or rites and we can't even own a home, play music, eat food, or do any of the day-to-day things that make a game seem like a living world.  It's even hard to get together in-game to just shoot the breeze with one's fellow players.  Everything is geared to the hunt, and it's just too one-dimensional.
  • GRIMACHUGRIMACHU AndoverPosts: 528Member
    Then you're missing something. All of that sort of thing comes from players, it could be better supported in some instances (food, clothing etc) but players DO do all those things you mention and taken from the lore.

    Postmortem Studios
    Roleplaying games to DIE for
    Shop here

  • KostikaKostika Staff Writer HampshirePosts: 84Member
    Have you actually played Ryzom?



    A majority of my days are spent RPing and talking to my fellow player. We have worship, stories, culture. The difference in Ryzom is that it isn't spoon fed to you. Go read the site's lore. Then go play. If anything, Ryzom is the least combat heavy MMO I've ever played. No raids here.

    Donna Desborough
    Staff Writer
    www.mmorpg.com

    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com or its management.

  • BeeryBeery Boston, MAPosts: 184Member

    Yes, I have actually played Ryzom.

    Roleplaying stuff only comes from players if it has at least SOME support from the software.  In Ryzom there's none.  You can't expect players to roleplay eating a meal together if there's no way to show a table, chairs and plates with food, or a picnic laid out on the ground.  There's just nothing to work with in Ryzom.  Imagination is all well and good, but I think it's a bit futile to try to use your imagination when you're pretending to have an evening in a tavern and you're hampered by the fact that there's no tavern, no chairs, no tables, no food, no drink, no entertainment and no way to provide entertainment even if a player wanted to (okay there's one dance move, but do it more than a few times in a row -as you'd have to in order to look like a dancer - and you could get booted for spamming the message that's tied to the move).  Similarly, I'm sure some worship goes on, but what there is is severely constrained by the fact that there are no real temples that feel the part.  I mean sure, we COULD pretend to do these things without support from the devs, but I don't think it would be much fun - and that's why it's so rare to see such things in Ryzom.  Players can only supply so much in terms of imagination, and it soon loses steam if the devs don't choose to build support structures for such playstyles.

    If Ryzom is the least combat heavy MMOG you've played then you've never played SWG.  It has a class (entertainer) that's entirely non-combat and mostly non-crafting.  Sure, SWG may have a bad reputation, but for non-combat playstyles it's way ahead of the competition.

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member
    Originally posted by Beery


    Yes, I have actually played Ryzom.
    Roleplaying stuff only comes from players if it has at least SOME support from the software.  In Ryzom there's none.  You can't expect players to roleplay eating a meal together if there's no way to show a table, chairs and plates with food, or a picnic laid out on the ground.  There's just nothing to work with in Ryzom.  Imagination is all well and good, but I think it's a bit futile to try to use your imagination when you're pretending to have an evening in a tavern and you're hampered by the fact that there's no tavern, no chairs, no tables, no food, no drink, no entertainment and no way to provide entertainment even if a player wanted to (okay there's one dance move, but do it more than a few times in a row -as you'd have to in order to look like a dancer - and you could get booted for spamming the message that's tied to the move).  Similarly, I'm sure some worship goes on, but what there is is severely constrained by the fact that there are no real temples that feel the part.  I mean sure, we COULD pretend to do these things without support from the devs, but I don't think it would be much fun - and that's why it's so rare to see such things in Ryzom.  Players can only supply so much in terms of imagination, and it soon loses steam if the devs don't choose to build support structures for such playstyles.



    Although this thread has been very interesting to read with lots of good points, I have to agree with this post.  If players can conjure up RP in Ryzom without support from the software, I think its great.  However, there are other mmorpgs that do  fine job of supporting RP and making it more of a part of the game.  I don't mind being spoonfed, especially when it comes to RP, something which is still only practiced by a minority of players in mmos. 

    I hate to refer back to SWG, because of what it has become, but I always do because even still, it offers a lot to players in terms of RP.  With that and with players imagination, it has been a far more fulfilling experience than I ever had playing Ryzom.  Right now the most common playstyles are supported by most mmos - Fighting, exploring, crafting, etc. but there still isn'treally a mmo that supports the RP playstyle, and perhaps that's because they rely on the players for this.

    I don't mind that responsibility.  I will always do my best to make do with what the game has to offer, but the more the game creates opportunity for RP, the more we'll see it happen, and it will only lead to a richer experience.

  • GRIMACHUGRIMACHU AndoverPosts: 528Member
    There are temples.

    There was a whole (destructive) plot arc around their construction.



    I think you're also underestimating the power of The Ring.

    Postmortem Studios
    Roleplaying games to DIE for
    Shop here

  • green13green13 SydneyPosts: 1,340Member

    I haven't tried this Ruins of Silan thing, but I don't recall the learning curve being terribly steep when I tried the game.

    There were tutorial missions which did a good job of explaining how everything worked.

    The main reason I didn't stay was the lag.

  • BeeryBeery Boston, MAPosts: 184Member
    Having said all of the above, I should say that I do think that Ryzom is probably THE best game (or at least the best I've seen) for players who are completely focused on crafting or fighting.  But for the rest of us there's just not all that much to Ryzom.  I wish it was different, but it isn't.
  • ClattucClattuc Alphaville, DCPosts: 163Member
    Originally posted by Kostika

    Go play the Ruins of Silan area with a new char. The missions are the tutorial. If you actualy read the message windows that pop up then you'll get detailed instructions and explanation on how to do all of the skills and how to handle things like stanzas.
    This is absolutely true, but with a major problem: Those detailed popup windows full of instructions and explanations are gone forever once you close them.  You can't look them up again, you can't re-ask the question that triggered them, they're not in your chat backscroll, and there's no "Journal" as in other games where you can reread the details of what you've been taught along the way.  Nor is any of that neat new stuff echoed in the in-game Help system or the web-based Documentation tree.



    This is just a basic example of the gap between the marvelous imaginations behind Ryzom and the nuts and bolts of software support that translate imagination into usability.  It's fixable.  They just need to do it.
  • KostikaKostika Staff Writer HampshirePosts: 84Member
    Originally posted by green13


    I haven't tried this Ruins of Silan thing, but I don't recall the learning curve being terribly steep when I tried the game.
    There were tutorial missions which did a good job of explaining how everything worked.
    The main reason I didn't stay was the lag.
    The Ruins of Silan has actually been for quit some time now (since June/July). So depending on how long ago that was, you may have done Silan and not the original starter area since before there were no tutorials and the starter missions were rather useless.



    (not saying you don't know what you area you did, but alot of people don't realise the area is called The Ruins of Silan)

    Donna Desborough
    Staff Writer
    www.mmorpg.com

    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com or its management.

  • KostikaKostika Staff Writer HampshirePosts: 84Member
    Originally posted by Clattuc



    This is absolutely true, but with a major problem: Those detailed popup windows full of instructions and explanations are gone forever once you close them.  You can't look them up again, you can't re-ask the question that triggered them, they're not in your chat backscroll, and there's no "Journal" as in other games where you can reread the details of what you've been taught along the way.  Nor is any of that neat new stuff echoed in the in-game Help system or the web-based Documentation tree.



    This is just a basic example of the gap between the marvelous imaginations behind Ryzom and the nuts and bolts of software support that translate imagination into usability.  It's fixable.  They just need to do it.
    Good point there. Being able to review things in a journal would be useful. The help info in game could do with some love for sure.

    Donna Desborough
    Staff Writer
    www.mmorpg.com

    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com or its management.

  • jakinjakin somewhere, ONPosts: 243Member Common

    Good idea for a column - but I fail to understand the reasoning behind having the review done by a staff writer that actively plays the game.  I would think that would be the last choice if the aim is to get a view on the "trial experience".

    I mean, I wouldn't regard myself as a good choice to review the EVE trial experience having played the game for years now.  It's entirely probable that there are things that are second nature to me now that would boggle a completely new player.  Likewise, I'm sure that there are elements of the UI that I've simply gotten used to over time that would be completely unintuitive and hindering to someone on a trial.

    It just seems that the purpose of the column would be better served if the reviewer was coming from the same perspective as a prospective trial player.

  • KostikaKostika Staff Writer HampshirePosts: 84Member
    I went through Silan with a fine tooth comb, from beginning to end (I'd only poked around with it prior). I hit it like any newbie would. I know how horrible the original starter lands were. I know what is good and bad in a starter area. Just because I actively play the game doesn't mean I can't discover an area like a new player since the area pretty much was new to me.



    Please tell me, is there something wrong with the article.

    Donna Desborough
    Staff Writer
    www.mmorpg.com

    Notice: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMORPG.com or its management.

  • CereneCerene Austin, TXPosts: 14Member


    Originally posted by jakin

    Good idea for a column - but I fail to understand the reasoning behind having the review done by a staff writer that actively plays the game. I would think that would be the last choice if the aim is to get a view on the "trial experience".


    If the point of the article is to review the "trial experience" from the viewpoint of someone completely unfamiliar with the game, then clearly it would be a bad idea to have it written by someone who plays the game.

    On the other hand, only someone who has played the game can evaluate the trial with respect to the game itself - in other words, how closely the trial prepares you and is representative of the real game.

    I think the former though is covered by the usual game reviewer, who picks up a new game, tries it for a while, and then writes about the experience. The latter requires someone who has played the game extensively.

    Personally, I found the trial area fun and well thought out. The two issues I had with it were the problem of help text disappearing and the heavy emphasis on quests which give good rewards. I didn't really have a problem with the help, the community is very friendly and helpful, and I always got quick answers if I was confused. The quest thing I think is more of an issue, you can be really disappointed if you expect a quest-driven game. There are only a few rites that provide you with useful plans, upgrades, etc. and they are nowhere near as clear as the island quests, though there is enough information from other players and on the web to find and complete them if you want.

  • jakinjakin somewhere, ONPosts: 243Member Common
    Originally posted by Kostika

    I went through Silan with a fine tooth comb, from beginning to end (I'd only poked around with it prior). I hit it like any newbie would. I know how horrible the original starter lands were. I know what is good and bad in a starter area. Just because I actively play the game doesn't mean I can't discover an area like a new player since the area pretty much was new to me.



    Please tell me, is there something wrong with the article.

    The article as written is fine, it's a good review of the new area - I was just questioning whether it was meeting the aim of the column.

    Editor's Note: At a Glance is a new feature at MMORPG.com that asks our writers to examine their first few hours of gameplay within an MMORPG's free trial."

    Given that it's not actually the reviewer's first hours, but a review that comes after many hours of gameplay, I don't see the logic in promoting the column as such.

    It seems most of the reviews and re-reviews on this site are written (appropriately) by people who have been in game for a while, which is pretty much a requirement to get a balanced and informed view on an MMO.  At first glance would (at first glance) seem to be the companion to this usual practice - being a review closer to what someone just picking up the free trial could expect.  Having both types of columns done by experienced players seems redundant.  May as well just expand the scope to a full review at that point.

    IMO, having the "At First Glance" review done by someone who actively plays the game doesn't meet the stated aim of the column.  It's not a value judgement on the piece at all, simply a comment for any future articles.

  • shezombshezomb GrimstadPosts: 65Member
    Originally posted by Beery


    Yes, I have actually played Ryzom.
    Roleplaying stuff only comes from players if it has at least SOME support from the software. (....)
    shortened down the quote a bit as this is pretty much a reply to all your posts that i read ^^



    Ok, while I do agree that there are many things that could be made easier and that could be improved and so on, I haveto say that if you had explored a bit more you might have found out that every town has its own bar complete with barman and tables. Also there are two temples in each land, one fore the Kami and one for the Karavan, though in some lands they're only building sites due to the fact that there weren't enough supporters to build a full temple there.



    With the new emote system you can dance without spamming ;) just type /dance none , and the animation will run without the text o/



    Also hopefully they will add more working rites soon, those are pretty neat for lore ingame ^^ And I'm thinking that one of the reason you haven't seen any much rituals and stuff is because alot of players in ryzom are just playing for the game and not the world, and they don't really rp as such, as a guildleader, I have my own rituals of brining in new wares from the merchants to stock up the guildhall, wishing various people (and some npcs) g'morning and so on (not gonna list'em here ^^) Anywho, it all depends where you look for the stuff and how, if you look at it with your "geez this could be so much better if it were more like <put in game there> eyes" then ofc you'll be seeing all the bad things, you'll be looking for them, not just a bad thing, but it'll propably make your day-to-day life a bit less enjoyable :)



    *fishes a thermos outa her packers sidepocket and crashes on the floor of the fairhaven bar* I like to try and look at things as half full ^^



    *hugs from lil me* enjoy!

    *Brain down for upgrade, don't try to understand my logic, I don't...*

  • GetizGetiz manchesterPosts: 6Member
    Once more a great article by Donna. I demand, nay I need, more.
  • TyilinTyilin SouthamptonPosts: 104Member

    With regards to the writer having activly played ryzom prior to the review:

    The Ruins of silan only came out 6 (ish) months ago. Lots of players (like Myself) Have NEVER steped foot on the Ruins Of  Silan. (As the Mainland is NOT missions based.) If i was to step into the Ruins of Silan then i would probably feel a bit out of my depth, sure i may know how things like stanza's work. but at that level its so much simplir than the levels my char is on atm. I dont read anything in the review thats "fanboy" like. I can understand having a problem with a review if it only said "OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!! COME PLAY MOFO's LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOL" (thats not a literal, its figirativly speaking)

    Nice overview of the ruins of silan.

    _____________________
    Played:
    Aion, All Points Bulletin, ArchLord, Champions Online, City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot, EVE Online, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Fantasy Earth Zero, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Metin 2, MU Online, RF Online, Ryzom, Silkroad Online, Star Trek Online, Star Wars Galaxies, The Chronicles of Spellborn and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

    Awaiting: FFXIV and SW:TOR

  • graillgraill erty, MOPosts: 257Member

    peronaly i wish they would finish alot of the stories and lore, 4 years? cmon now. hope the new company will implement this stuff.

    i still like the game i still play, i hope i still will play, it depends on a couple of things............

     on a darker note. ryzom billing is having problems apparently the records up to november 1st and to the billing shutdown are gone. right now i have gameforge telling me i have a 1 month sub when i paid longer. the credit card record doesnt lie, but these folks havent got a clue.

    so be very careful when that free playtime is up and you sign up for long or short term and have a problem, their records arent the best right now, hope they get them cleared up.

    and thats simple fact boys and girls.

    can you smell that?!!...............there is nothing quite like it.....................the smell of troll in the morning............i love that smell.

  • TyilinTyilin SouthamptonPosts: 104Member
    Originally posted by graill


    peronaly i wish they would finish alot of the stories and lore, 4 years? cmon now. hope the new company will implement this stuff. 
    i still like the game i still play, i hope i still will play, it depends on a couple of things............
     on a darker note. ryzom billing is having problems apparently the records up to november 1st and to the billing shutdown are gone. right now i have gameforge telling me i have a 1 month sub when i paid longer. the credit card record doesnt lie, but these folks havent got a clue.
    so be very careful when that free playtime is up and you sign up for long or short term and have a problem, their records arent the best right now, hope they get them cleared up.
    and thats simple fact boys and girls.



    Its been just over 2 years since release. there was an 8 year plan set up by nevrax. So they are 1/4 of the way through the lore. so i would say they are on par with how much they have given us. Gameforge will no doubt take things their way and we'll just have to see what else comes along.

    Erm. on your billing note. Its still the same physical poeple handlining the billing. they have experience "attacks" on their billing but most of the people who you say havnt got a clue have been doing it since release. prehaps you could send them your CC statement (obviously doctored) to them. as far as i know you can only purchase 1 month at a time (since GF took over afaik)

    "when your free playtime is up" ?! - Its an unlimited trial.

    _____________________
    Played:
    Aion, All Points Bulletin, ArchLord, Champions Online, City of Heroes, Dark Age of Camelot, EVE Online, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Fantasy Earth Zero, Guild Wars, Guild Wars Factions, Guild Wars Nightfall, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Metin 2, MU Online, RF Online, Ryzom, Silkroad Online, Star Trek Online, Star Wars Galaxies, The Chronicles of Spellborn and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes

    Awaiting: FFXIV and SW:TOR

  • SeirenSeiren OnlinePosts: 89Member

    I'm an active player in Ryzom and regarding the article I think it was well written. Silan is only a small part of the game with an excellent set up as tutorial. Yes, when doing the Silan missions one may lose the details after closing the tutorial windows but the Universal channel is very helpful and really nobody gets stuck unless they don't ask questions. I see it many times when even the new players in Silan are helping other new arrivals themselves, so not having a journal does not limit the ability to play and enjoy the game at all.

    As for the there not being a lore for role-players’ I disagree. There is a section on the main site that says Lore that expands into History, Races, Higher Powers, Atys and now a new section call Writtings featuring stories written by the players. Also you have to visit the Chronicles where you will read about the different rituals, weddings, death ritual, and the RP events the CSR team constantly implement.

    I do agree that it has been a slow run for the storyline and it is obvious that we are far from where we should be. But that could not be help. The former owners of the game had major financial problems and this forced them to focus on developing and improving the game in the best way they could. I'm glad that they were able to open Outpost, create Ruins of Silan, and even release the free expansion - Ryzom Ring. I’ll take that over an updated storyline any day. One of the reasons I still play is because Ryzom is not a quest driven game. I still enjoy it even with its minor flaws.

    I am sure now that the financial issues are no longer an obstacle in the development they can focus on what is missing. Just don't expect it overnight.

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