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Asheron's Call: Can It Deliver Today?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,619MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Like the Energizer Bunny of fame, Asheron's Call is one of those games that keeps going and going. We have put Asheron's Call through its paces to see how it stacks up all these years later. See what we think and then leave us your thoughts in the comments!

Asheron’s Call is a fantasy MMO set on the island continent of Dereth, in the world of Auberean. You are an adventurer who answers the call of the mighty wizard Asheron to come to Dereth and fight the evil that lives there. This fight takes place in a seamless, persistent medieval fantasy world full of unique monsters; you won’t find an elf anywhere! The game’s immersive storyline, extensive lore, and unique questing system create an interesting gameplay experience. We’re going to look at this venerable classic today through the eyes of a first-timer, and as someone who wants a new MMO home. Can Asheron’s Call stand up against other games in this day and age? Read on to find out what we think!

Read more of Krystina Balogh's Asheron's Call: Can It Deliver Today?

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • kirak2009kirak2009 fredericton, NBPosts: 541Member Uncommon

    played this until wow came out, Loved every minute of it. I have gone back and tried to reclaim the old magic but it wasn't there for me. AC will remain a fond memory in my gaming stable

    "All expectation leads to suffering" Buhhda

  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    i disagree with your assessment of combat.  once you get the hang of combat and learn how to use the keyboard instead of a mouse combat is simply awesome.  after playing that game for years i find combat in modern mmos such as wow etc to be boring and unintuitive and slow.  combat in ac was very fast paced and you had to stay on your toes especially in the tusker dungeons when sometimes you would have 50 tuskers (big apes)  at one time.  its truly the only game ever that allows you to fight that many mobs at one time and survive. 

    you also forgot to mention the hub which is a new player experience.  basically its a portal that takes you to a hub quest location that has alot of the lowbie quests with portals to the quest area.  its designed to get a new player to level 50 so they are not completely lost.  I also noticed you lamented the fact that you had to buy quest directions from a barkeep.  you must have started around wow because back in the old days quests were adventures, not exp pinatas with a arrow saying hit here for exp.  they were adventures, something you went out and explored and found and figured out.  yes mmos have been dumbed down for morons but hopefully one day some company will put out a up to date game that is like ac that made the game a world to live in, not just a place to visit and ride the rides. 

    too bad turbine invested time and money into crap like ac 2 and ddo and lotro instead of updating ac to todays standards.  they had a rare gem and they forgot to treasure it, now its like a tarnished old piece of jewelry.  you remember when it used to shine but it just doesnt have it anymore.  turbine needs to get off their butts and make ac3, same gameplay just updated graphics.

     

  • Cuppett5Cuppett5 Cross Lanes, WVPosts: 76Member

    AC is my favorite MMO of all time, any game created like AC today with updated graphics and a bigger population would put everything else to shame.

  • makiimakii noPosts: 280Member

    i dont think so sir. Acutally it was retty bad and 2 hardcore . Even with u dated grahics it wont survive.

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,762Member Uncommon

    AC is a game which has far more features than any modern MMO. But because of the graphics it will be a non starter for most new players.

  • PyrateLVPyrateLV Las Vegas, NVPosts: 1,096Member Common
    Originally posted by Scot

    AC is a game which has far more features than any modern MMO. But because of the graphics it will be a non starter for most new players.

    ^^^

    This

    Turbine should really concider doing a Graphics Overhaul on AC

    Tried: EQ2 - AC - EU - HZ - TR - MxO - TTO - WURM - SL - VG:SoH - PotBS - PS - AoC - WAR - DDO - SWTOR
    Played: UO - EQ1 - AO - DAoC - NC - CoH/CoV - SWG - WoW - EVE - AA - LotRO - DFO - STO - FE - MO - RIFT
    Playing: Skyrim
    Following: The Repopulation
    I want a Virtual World, not just a Game.
    ITS TOO HARD! - Matt Firor (ZeniMax)

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,750Member Uncommon

         You'd think with the f2p success of both LOTRO and DDO that Turbine would look at doing the same for AC, but for some reason they havent......

  • FireRunnerFireRunner Washington DC, DCPosts: 6Member

    Asheron's Call was my first MMO and I loved every minute of it.  I cannot believe not one MMO company has created another MMO in similar style.  AC was the only game with:

    1. True open world.

    2. Perfect PvP system (you can go PvP server or go Perma Red on PvE server).

    3. No level restrictions or "zones".

    4. Abiliy to drop items on the world.

    5. True massive world, you can hide for days.

    6.  Alliance system is great as is the housing.

    If Turbine recreated AC with today's graphics and a bit more refinded questing, it would blow WoW out of the water.

     

    MMOing since 2000

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member

    Thanks for this post. Like many others, Asheron's Call was my first MMO. Started playing on May 6th, 1999 and enjoyed every minute of it. Didn't actually uninstall until around 2006 and still hop in from time to time.

    The biggest issue that plagued me, and a lot of friends who used to play, when we tried returning was always the router issues. Couldn't connect to the damn servers half the time with certain routers, or Turbine said it was the ISP and blah blah.

    My brother recently told me that issue was fixed, so we debated jumping back in. Just waiting for all my current beta access to die down to other titles and plan on checking things back out in Dereth.

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  • rdrakkenrdrakken Gotham, FLPosts: 426Member

    If Asherons Call was rereleased with modern graphics and NO gameplay changes I doubt I would be playing a different MMO for at least 3-4 years...

    Open classes...shame on the genre for abadoning this because idiots complained about gimping themselves with poor choices...skill resets fix this.

    Actual, original mobs outside of Golems or giant apes(tuskers!).

    A story that was NOT ripped off from something before it.

    And 30 minute long one on one PvP fights...lol

    Yeah, I would even welcome back the buffing system if it meant I had to relearn the 1000+ spells with the original taper system.

    True action combat with massive amounts of spells and being able to take on 30+ mobs and living!

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by Synthetick

    Thanks for this post. Like many others, Asheron's Call was my first MMO. Started playing on May 6th, 1999 and enjoyed every minute of it. Didn't actually uninstall until around 2006 and still hop in from time to time.

    im assuming you mean the beta because AC didnt launch til Nov 99,  6 months after EQ

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by Theocritus

         You'd think with the f2p success of both LOTRO and DDO that Turbine would look at doing the same for AC, but for some reason they havent......

    I agree not sure why they havent

  • sirphobossirphobos Ames, IAPosts: 614Member Common

    I have great memories of AC and would love to play a modern MMO in the style of AC.  That being said, usually about once a year I go back and play AC for nostalgia's sake.  Despite being a fundamentally great design, some things just make the game near unplayable today for me, such as the poor user interface, the lack of players, and the fact that there has been over 12 years of updates and it's very hard for a new or returning player to pick up on everything.

    One of my favorite MMO memories ever has to be making the run to Fort Tethana on my first character back in November/December 1999.

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Synthetick

    Thanks for this post. Like many others, Asheron's Call was my first MMO. Started playing on May 6th, 1999 and enjoyed every minute of it. Didn't actually uninstall until around 2006 and still hop in from time to time.

    im assuming you mean the beta because AC didnt launch til Nov 99,  6 months after EQ

    Uncle had beta access, but due to his guild on EverQuest on Veeshan, I got to play with that beta access. You're right, tho, I was a day off. Because the Microsoft Game Zone page for it didn't launch until the 7th. And that day, I took a boatload of screens. You caught me.

    Title launched November 2nd, 1999 officially. Zogblaster (Turbine's) beta page went up sometime in mid-March. First beta event party was on 6/2/99.

    image

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member
    Originally posted by Nadia
    Originally posted by Theocritus

         You'd think with the f2p success of both LOTRO and DDO that Turbine would look at doing the same for AC, but for some reason they havent......

    I agree not sure why they havent

    Turbine recently put out on article stating why they were no going to migrate Asheron's Call into the F2P closet. They said the game just wasn't developed with that goal ever planned, and the mechanics of the game just didn't compliment the F2P system.

    Does that mean they won't ever do it? No idea. Developers say one thing and do another. But they recently said they had absolutely no intentions. I believe I seen the article on Massively or Kotaku.

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  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member

    AC is a great game but today most gamers wouldn't play it. Requires you to build your character including stat distribution which is one of the staples of being a true MMO but is gone today but to much customization makes the game to difficult for the standard gamer.

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member
    Originally posted by Thorbrand

    AC is a great game but today most gamers wouldn't play it. Requires you to build your character including stat distribution which is one of the staples of being a true MMO but is gone today but to much customization makes the game to difficult for the standard gamer.

    I never got the feeling of too much customization with Asheron's Call. Now, when I logged into Anarchy Online for the first time coming from Asheron's Call, I was absolutely overwhelmed. 

    But with the original system, it was fairly simple. The amount of stats and skills weren't excessive. There weren't a lot of filler, useless, or fluff skills. Mostly everything had it's use, save for the gimped weapons. But my favorite two characters was my Creature/Bow/Magic Defense specced character, and my OG Staff. Just loved all the extra points.

    They really nailed character advancement with Asheron's Call. There wasn't too much, there wasn't too little. And once they added the slow respeccing process, you were never completely gimped. And even if you had a gimped toon, it wasn't the end of the world. Most of my allegiance were full of characters specced every which way. The only people intent on perfect builds in my experience with the hardcore PVP crowd. 

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  • PigEyePigEye campbellsville, KYPosts: 78Member

    I loved AC/DT back in the day... but that was then.

     

    *Shout out to all of my former "Blood" Brothers from Dark Disciple (Double D) ;)*

    PigEye McNasty
    DFOUW NA

  • GolelornGolelorn Hiding From Social Media Peeping Toms, ALPosts: 1,099Member Uncommon

    With updated gfx and updated combat(the melee is atrocious) I'd probably just quit life. Good thing no one would ever try this.

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member
    Originally posted by PK4TW

    I loved AC/DT back in the day... but that was then.

     

    *Shout out to all of my former "Blood" Brothers from Dark Disciple (Double D) ;)*

    Was only in Blood for a short period of time for mansion use + all the buff bots. But hai to a fellow Darktide'r.

    image

  • toljartoljar Elk river, MNPosts: 132Member Uncommon

    I still re-sub at least once a year to see all the new stuff. I wish I had a group of people to log in with and make freshies.

    IRONFIST Gaming community
    www.ironfistgaming.com

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,668Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Scot

    AC is a game which has far more features than any modern MMO. But because of the graphics it will be a non starter for most new players.

    ^^^

    This

    Turbine should really concider doing a Graphics Overhaul on AC

    They've considered it many times, but so far the graphics upgrade solution they've looked at would break the animations and freedom of movement that makes AC's combat what it is. The net code fits in there somewhere, but the specifics of why that was I've long since forgotten. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Scot

    AC is a game which has far more features than any modern MMO. But because of the graphics it will be a non starter for most new players.

    ^^^

    This

    Turbine should really concider doing a Graphics Overhaul on AC

    They've considered it many times, but so far the graphics upgrade solution they've looked at would break the animations and freedom of movement that makes AC's combat what it is. The net code fits in there somewhere, but the specifics of why that was I've long since forgotten. 

    Thanks for the elaboration. I've always kept my eyes out for an official statement but never seen one. Figured it was something along those lines and not just them neglecting it for the fun of it.

    image

  • rdrakkenrdrakken Gotham, FLPosts: 426Member
    Originally posted by Synthetick
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Scot

    AC is a game which has far more features than any modern MMO. But because of the graphics it will be a non starter for most new players.

    ^^^

    This

    Turbine should really concider doing a Graphics Overhaul on AC

    They've considered it many times, but so far the graphics upgrade solution they've looked at would break the animations and freedom of movement that makes AC's combat what it is. The net code fits in there somewhere, but the specifics of why that was I've long since forgotten. 

    Thanks for the elaboration. I've always kept my eyes out for an official statement but never seen one. Figured it was something along those lines and not just them neglecting it for the fun of it.

    Its like EQ1...the graphics can only be upgraded so much before it starts to break everything because the core game is designed around old coding. It would take recoding the game almost from scratch to use anything close to modern graphics. I mean, the original unreal engine was used back in 1998 and wasnt really open for other companies to use for a while after that...AC1 was already well under development...we are talking about DirectX 5 & 6 here.

    Once you start throwing in things like integrated rendering, collision detection, ragdoll physics, pixel lighting or dynamic shadows...the core code starts to go nuts if it wasnt designed with that in mind.

  • SynthetickSynthetick Portland, ORPosts: 977Member
    Originally posted by rdrakken
    Originally posted by Synthetick
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by PyrateLV
    Originally posted by Scot

    AC is a game which has far more features than any modern MMO. But because of the graphics it will be a non starter for most new players.

    ^^^

    This

    Turbine should really concider doing a Graphics Overhaul on AC

    They've considered it many times, but so far the graphics upgrade solution they've looked at would break the animations and freedom of movement that makes AC's combat what it is. The net code fits in there somewhere, but the specifics of why that was I've long since forgotten. 

    Thanks for the elaboration. I've always kept my eyes out for an official statement but never seen one. Figured it was something along those lines and not just them neglecting it for the fun of it.

    Its like EQ1...the graphics can only be upgraded so much before it starts to break everything because the core game is designed around old coding. It would take recoding the game almost from scratch to use anything close to modern graphics. I mean, the original unreal engine was used back in 1998 and wasnt really open for other companies to use for a while after that...AC1 was already well under development...we are talking about DirectX 5 & 6 here.

    Once you start throwing in things like integrated rendering, collision detection, ragdoll physics, pixel lighting or dynamic shadows...the core code starts to go nuts if it wasnt designed with that in mind.

    Hardware and graphics engines and things of that nature were never something I never really chose to get into. With that said, tho, EverQuest has received an absolutely amazing amount of graphics upgrades over the years. I'm not sure if they ever touched animations, but the updated models, world, and textures at this point are a complete class above the game when it launched. The only thing I've seen Asheron's Call have upgraded was the texture upgrade a little while back.

    I know some engines are probably easier to work on and modify, but there has to be a little more that could be done to squeeze some finesse out of the aging engine, right? Not a complete overhaul like people want, but definitely something more shiny then we have now, yea?

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