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Ryzom: Ryzom Re-Review

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com's Adam Tingle writes this week's review of Ryzom, a game launched in 2004, and plagued by numerous issues that still has some kick left in it, even after six years.

In 2004 the MMORPG genre saw a revolution; a golden year of hope and glory; conventions were redefined and adventures started afresh in lands unexplored and wild. In this orgy of online role-playing newness two figures cut a strong impression, sadly neither were the game of topic; EverQuest 2 and World of Warcraft fought for our attention and all those in their bloody path perished to obscurity. Six years on we catch up with the woefully ignored Ryzom to examine the game in its current state.

Ch-Ch-Changes

Due to numerous reasons, Ryzom has had somewhat of troubled life span. Throughout its six years it has seen several houses of ownership, a name change and also a prolonged closure. In short, Ryzom is like child of divorce; neglected but tragically full of dreams and aspirations of a better time. Naturally when it comes to taking a second glance at this game, one cannot help but feel a little apprehensive. While the Blizzards and SOEs of this world may not be celebrated and popular in their ethics, there is something in their hugeness that creates a feeling of safety and warmth; while playing Ryzom you can't help but feel that the shaky fabric of the game world may slip away forever at any moment. The games turbulent history can only inspire a sense of uncertainty in any loyalties you may impact on it and while it is stable for now you cannot lose that resounding feeling that you may just be wasting your time on a game that could slip into silent death at any point.

Read the Ryzom Re-Review.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 664Member Uncommon

    If There was ever a game that should follow DDO's Subscription model change it is this game... It would expand the population and make it a more visible product.

    What are your other Hobbies?

    Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  • Toquio3Toquio3 LisbonPosts: 1,074Member

    Its weird that you had problems running the game. I run it on a 5 year old machine, a true pos and it runs fairly well.

    Agree on the population. Although being in a guild helps finding people to do stuff with, the game could use more people. But some just nitpick so much that they end up not enjoying a game that would totally suit their needs.

    image
    If you stand VERY still, and close your eyes, after a minute you can actually FEEL the universe revolving around PvP.

  • Methos12Methos12 Maladis 46Posts: 1,234Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Wighty



    If There was ever a game that should follow DDO's Subscription model change it is this game... It would expand the population and make it a more visible product.

    I find that hard to imagine, mainly because Ryzom is very very niche in it's design. Sure, it has most of the standard MMO elements, but what it's focused on are primarly crafting and exploration... and there's a part of the problem - what do you introduce into that game via item shop without disrupting it? I mean, what can you add? Stanzas are custom built, crafting is very deep and could be disrupted easily with some uber recipe or kit and exploration would be completely ruined if they added mounts for the player.

    It's just too niche if you ask me.

    Nature without Technology is little more than animals running about.
    Nature without Magic is without wonder or miracle.
    .........
    Magic without Technology is fantasy.
    Magic without Nature is formless and useless.
    .........
    Technology without Nature is application without understanding.
    Technology without Magic is repetitious and uninventive.
  • CodenakCodenak HullPosts: 418Member Common

    mm- I still like playing, even with an occasional lagspike, but those have become increasingly rare for me.

  • sekrogsekrog Smalltown, IAPosts: 261Member

    This is an excellent review of my new favoritist game!  Hard to argue with the faults that Adam mentions, but he adequately balances that by mentioning so many of the endearing features that this MMO has.

    The thing about population?

    Well, although it's been mention a time or two on these forums, population is the hidden psycological element that continues to make this market so skewed.

    Most gamers play MMO's to see other players...sometimes even to play with them!  Regardless of how great a game is (in their minds), most of them will quit if the gameworld is desolate.  After a while, most gamers tend to move to the game that has the best population, even if it isn't their favorite game.

    Simply put, that's the main reason that WoW will never lose it's grip on it's domination of the subscription-based MMO model. 

    Back to Ryzom.  With a 21-day free trial, I would suggest that anyone who is looking for a totally unique MMO experience that hasn't tried Ryzom lately...come take a look!  If nothing else, it'll give you a chance to go back in the histry of MMO development to 2004...when the gaming world chose Themepark over Sandbox, and dancing Night Elves over Zorai.

     

    image

  • astoriaastoria Silver Spring, MDPosts: 1,681Member

    Have to agree with most of this despite my being a Ryzom fanboi.

    Except the performance issues, I've played Ryzom on shabby airport connections on my non-gaming laptop and never had lag. Must be something unique to that notebook.

    Lots of good and serious guilds though. Only game I've ever seen real public role play political meetings.

    "Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

  • dar_es_balatdar_es_balat Oakland, CAPosts: 438Member

    I tried this game.   Here's a run down:

    I found the game to be wonderfully thought out, but woefully group dependent.  With the population being what it is -- this was a tough selling point.   Also the combat is a little archaic, not quite click and forget, but not quite freeform.  You hit a key to start a stanza, and that stanza fires once.  Then you pick a different stanza.  You can cue them up.   The game likes to auto attack, but due to the lag I found myself charging up to a monster, only to have it be behind me and get a couple free shots before I could fire off my first hit.

    The lag.   I live in California.   I play a couple games located in Europe.  My average ping to these games is around 200 ms.   My average ping to Ryzom, located in France, was a staggering 400+ ms, and I often had spikes where the ping would skyrocket beyond 3000!

    My system.  I run Vista 64 bit Ultimate, on a Phenom 4 processor.   Ive got gobs of resources.  My system is virus and malware free, and runs a minimal list of applications at startup.   Performance hits it seems were native to Ryzom in some way, not my system, as other MMOs play well, and I even got The Chronicles of Spellborn (a known laggy game) to run on my system with a 64 ms ping time.

    In the end I just didnt see myself playing Ryzom.   I really wanted to.  The game offers quite a bit.   But it seemed like there was alot I would have to ignore to get to that.   Its like having a relationship with your friend.   You may have alot in common, and want the best for each other, but there's a reason why theyre your friend and not your soul mate, and that reason consistently nags at you.

    After 24 days I uninstalled.  3 days pondering whether I shouldnt just subscribe and keep it as a back burner game.

    Crappy, petty people breed and raise crappy, petty kids.

  • Toquio3Toquio3 LisbonPosts: 1,074Member

    about performance issues I'd like to share that I run Ryzom well with this system:

    Operating System: WinXP Pro

    Processor: Intel Pentium D CPU 2.80GHz

    Memory: 1GB

    Graphic card: Geforce 8500 GT

    It also runs Lotro (and ran Aion) just slightly worse than Ryzom, but still perfectly playable.

    Now, I live in Europe so cant really comment on the lag. I have a ping of around 200, more or less.

     

    image
    If you stand VERY still, and close your eyes, after a minute you can actually FEEL the universe revolving around PvP.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    The few times I tried Ryzom I had the same connection issues.

    when the game first came out it was apparenlty an issue with the router. I just couldn't stay connected.

    A few years later, and a different router later, I had no connection issues. I remember seeing this a bit and there even was a supposed work around.

    In any case, the mention of connection issues did ring true for me.

    I also agree with the poster above who mentioned that population is essentially a catch 22.

    Because it is. If there are few players and no "bright lining" on the horizon players won't play the game. No players playing the game and other players won't want to join.

    to a certain extent vanguard suffers from the same thing though it does have its own issues.

    In any case, the company who wons ryzom seems intent on developing it. If they are steadfast and make decent changes they might be able to make it grow.

    Who knows, there could be another eve type of thing where die hards keep subscribing until it is "the" place to be.

     

    I certainly hope so as it is a unique game.

     

    My one disagreement with the review was that I felt the avatars were fine. Their art design is very unique and dare I say "very french".

    There is something a bit surreal about them that reminiscent of Pierrot or the surreal grand guignol.

    Not exactly but if any one saw the olympics that France hosted years ago, the art design of their opening ceremonies seems in step with the avatars of Ryzom. Not quite as bombastic but something in the lines, in the faces.

  • GilgameeshGilgameesh NapoliPosts: 412Member

    I found your re-review enough fair, despite you focused mostly in the low population.

    I don't want to focus on what you said about your tech issues, i never got problems running ryzom, except some small issue common to the majority of mmo games around.

    I think your review can be summarized in this way: Ryzom is a great, unique, old-style and somewhat grindy sandbox mmo but the population is too low to be enjoyable.

    Is this a vicious circle?

    My opinion is that you, as most of actual mmo gamers, are doing the usual mistake: consider a mmo something that must be planned for the future.

    There is no difference between gamers and mmo gamers and there is no difference between games and mmos, being mmos just a type of game. Nerds are the minority part of the global mmo community and never should be taken as the example on how a mmo should be approached.

    So, my suggestion is: if you are just a gamer or a mmo gamer doesn't matter, give Ryzom a try. The trial has no constraints and it's 21 days long. You'll have plenty of time to move from the starting island to the mainland and try to catch the lonely homins wandering around wasting their time (but, maybe, having some of *actual* fun).

    image
    Nickname registered on www.mynickname.org

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member

    Originally posted by dar_es_balat

    My system.  I run Vista 64 bit Ultimate, on a Phenom 4 processor.   Ive got gobs of resources.  My system is virus and malware free, and runs a minimal list of applications at startup.   Performance hits it seems were native to Ryzom in some way, not my system, as other MMOs play well, and I even got The Chronicles of Spellborn (a known laggy game) to run on my system with a 64 ms ping time.

     

    Well your ping time isn't your framerate and given Ryzom's server is located in France and Spellborn has a NA server, you should ping better on Spellborn. Hardly anyone suffered with ping problems, even in the closed beta, with Spellborn. All the issues were engine related and ATI users (like me) had performance spikes that were like a roller coaster.

    Ryzom's performance has always been fine on every PC, my notebook included, I've tried to run it on. My ping was always high, but the server is in france, what do you expect? All the resources in the world won't fix a slow connection. I don't recall anyone having latency issues with Spellborn for the most part, tho. 

    image

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    It's a good game.  The graphics are 'atmospheric', and the crafting is interesting too. 

  • LiltawenLiltawen San Antonio, TXPosts: 245Member

    Very interesting re-review. I've been very curious about Ryzom for a while now.

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Synthetick

    Originally posted by dar_es_balat

    My system.  I run Vista 64 bit Ultimate, on a Phenom 4 processor.   Ive got gobs of resources.  My system is virus and malware free, and runs a minimal list of applications at startup.   Performance hits it seems were native to Ryzom in some way, not my system, as other MMOs play well, and I even got The Chronicles of Spellborn (a known laggy game) to run on my system with a 64 ms ping time.

     

    Well your ping time isn't your framerate and given Ryzom's server is located in France and Spellborn has a NA server, you should ping better on Spellborn. Hardly anyone suffered with ping problems, even in the closed beta, with Spellborn. All the issues were engine related and ATI users (like me) had performance spikes that were like a roller coaster.

    Ryzom's performance has always been fine on every PC, my notebook included, I've tried to run it on. My ping was always high, but the server is in france, what do you expect? All the resources in the world won't fix a slow connection. I don't recall anyone having latency issues with Spellborn for the most part, tho. 

     But again, it could be a router issue which was happening to some players when the game released, myself included.

  • drbaltazardrbaltazar drummondville, QCPosts: 7,987Member

    do a trace or such !america is one of the worst for this

    say one dude upgraded its security at a gateway but forgot to update the allowed in! you get issue

    and lot of net provider in the usa arent bound to a minimum speed so if you are going trough say att with your game and they have too many for their network you ll suffer big trottling

    governement will probably have to pass laws to get a garanteed minimum bandwith but until then

    all those outfit play the

    ITS NOT AT OUR END IT MIGHT BE SOMEWHERE ELSE!DID YOU CHECK YOUR COMPUTER?(beurk)

    its always easier to blame the player then the one between point a to point b

    but blizzard and soe showed this very often in the past

    lag issue are always between point a and point b

    the few time the player is indeed the culprit he find the answer way beforehe bother posting a note about lag

    hell some server still use 32 bit!dont know how they do it but in this days and age

    64 server and os are mandatory ,unless you are lucky enough to run game like flyff or maplestory

    then you could probably run those on a 10 year old +computer lol

  • EverSkellyEverSkelly AlytusPosts: 334Member

    Ryzom is quite an interesting game, i liked it even to my own surprise. The gathering and crafting system is good.

    I didn't like one thing - the char control is... i don't know can i say laggy...  If you're casting or fighting, you can't just suddenly click and run away - everything takes time - stopping casting or attacking, turning around, starting to run. Destroys the immersion to me.

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAPosts: 2,356Member Uncommon

    I had a connection issue with Ryzom where I would be running and a small computer icon would appear on the screen when going to newer areas, like a loading thing, but it was lag. I couldn't play it because of that it kept ruining the experiance.

  • katriellkatriell UTC-8Posts: 989Member Uncommon

    Small correction, but it is one way to point out the fact that Ryzom is science-fantasy rather than simple fantasy:
    There is no archery, there is gunnery.

    -----------
    image
    In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on August 13, 2008.

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,539Member Uncommon

    It has been a while since I tried Ryzom. The world felt more alive then in any other MMO. This was mainly because of the wildlife that actually noticed you were there. And also how the predators roam around herds. Herds that also move around. Ive never seen it to this degree in other games.

    The problem however is that although I like sandbox style games, I prefer it when its combined with some themepark stuff in the form of quests etc. EVE online is a good example for that. In Ryzom I got most enjoyment out of character progression, but combat (the action itself, not skillcreating) and lack of quests made it too boring for me.

  • kazhokazho Baudette, MNPosts: 50Member

    I have played Ryzom since the start of Beta.  I have played and tested many games since.  But none to me compare to Ryzom and the community.

    It has had its hard times but it is trying once again to relive.

    As far as population goes, It is a very large area,   There is not a lot of people running into each other other than the town areas.  Well would not be.  Yes right now population is not what I would like to see, but I guess maybe I think wrong but if you try it and then say oh there aren't many people here and leave, it never will grow.  Stick around, and it will grow.  There are players, but many time zones are around.  Many helpful people, sometimes almost to helpful.  But much appreciated. 

    I love how the mobs will roam around and attack other animals.  It is a living world.  there is migration, and trying to stay alive.  You can just sit and watch life go about around you.  Watch out for the Yubos, tho they can surprise you :)

    So don't center on population as it will grow if you stay, and the next one stay  and the next.  Drag you family and friends in and pretty soon we will have many :)

    Just a thought

    Hope to see some of you in there. :)

  • WightyWighty Westbury, NYPosts: 664Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Methos12

    Originally posted by Wighty



    If There was ever a game that should follow DDO's Subscription model change it is this game... It would expand the population and make it a more visible product.

    I find that hard to imagine, mainly because Ryzom is very very niche in it's design. Sure, it has most of the standard MMO elements, but what it's focused on are primarly crafting and exploration... and there's a part of the problem - what do you introduce into that game via item shop without disrupting it? I mean, what can you add? Stanzas are custom built, crafting is very deep and could be disrupted easily with some uber recipe or kit and exploration would be completely ruined if they added mounts for the player.

    It's just too niche if you ask me.

     Ya I hear ya bro... But this review in of itself on a very popular site is more PR than this game could ever hope for at this time... I remember back in beta, and also when it went free... You had to be "in the know" to even know it existed... while the game is not particularly my cup of tea it certainly has some amazing elements such as the skill (Stanza) system, which is truly unique...

     

    With this positive PR, and perhaps a DDO type subscription model, can really give the game much more visibility and get people interested in the product and also open their eyes to the awesome skill system... it does have a pretty generous 21 day trial which should give people a chance to get the overall flavor of the game...

     

    For the record I am NOT a fan of F2P, it just situationally makes sense, considering what it did for DDO... but as you said, it would have to be implimented gingerly as to not upset the apple cart, considering how intense the crafting system is...

    What are your other Hobbies?

    Gaming is Dirt Cheap compared to this...

  • Rockgod99Rockgod99 Manhatten, NYPosts: 4,640Member

    Good rating, fun game.

    Thanks for the re-review. sucks that you had stability issues.

    I've been told ryzom runs really nice on older systems I guess thats why i hav no issues.

    image

    Playing: Rift, LotRO
    Waiting on: GW2, BP

  • olepiolepi Austin, TXPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    Don't forget the Ring. You can create your own scenarios, and publish them into the game. I've had a blast hosting other people in my scenarios. It is easy to create quests, for those that like them. I have not seen any other MMO game that allows this kind of freedom to create and publish your own stuff.

    Some of my best times in any game, ever, was to watch people solve my quests in the Ryzom Ring.

    ------------
    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  • angus858angus858 Mechanicsburg, PAPosts: 353Member

    We just moved our guild into Ryzom. So far we are enjoying the experience.  The world is amazing.  Every creature seems to be part of an AI-driven functional ecology.  The pve is very challenging compared with the games which have released recently.  Harvesting and crafting are better than anything I've played except the original SWG. 

    I've had no graphics lag although the high ping is sometimes noticeable (I'm in NA).  I've had no connection problems at all.

    This is not a game which caters to solo players.  The grind would be very heavy if you didn't have a guild to group with.  Fortunately there are many guilds to join.  I suspect PUG's are very rare due to the low population.

    The art style is truly unique and while some will love it others will not.

    Unfortunately new players will experience bugs in some of the quests in the starter area.  That probably ruins the first impression for many.

    Bottom line:  Great game, free download, 21-day free trial, and only $11/month subscription.

  • green13green13 SydneyPosts: 1,340Member

    Originally posted by Wighty



    If There was ever a game that should follow DDO's Subscription model change it is this game... It would expand the population and make it a more visible product.

    Nooooooo!

    Never that.

    If anything, what they might benefit from is something like the AO model. Allow players to play for free for an unlimited time but cap their skill level.

    The game is - as someone colourfully described it "woefully group dependent". But for some that's a good thing and once you join a guild you're set. With the open skill system you're not limited to finding someone your own level, either. Veterans and nooblets can play together quite effectively.

    Something the reviewer didn't touch on - and couldn't have been expected to know....

    To be fair, while the community is generally excellent (helpful etc. etc.) some aspects of it have turned very toxic and are driving off some players. It's one of the inevitable pitfalls of a real sandbox game.

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