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Shadowbane is a game that really appeals to a far different crowd of gamers. Shadowbane is one of those games meant for people who don't seriously play many games. For Example- my friends and I don't play games very often- very little time. But the whole lot of us are hooked on Shadowbane.
Most people look for depth and play time in an MMO. Thats understandable. They want a game they can easily spend hours upon hours playing, create a great character who has gathered a wonderful and vast reputation of the many years this person has played, and has become the best there is. If that is what you want- avoid Shadowbane. <G>
Shadowbane is good for one thing- basically: PvP. Almost no one fights mobs anymore. The fact of the matter is, 90% of the players get on, make a character, get powerleveled up to 40+, then go on to PvP their lives away. Whether Ubi likes it or not, it seems this has become the #1 thing to draw players to the game. This is both good and bad. Its good (and part of what draws players to it) because you don't have to worry about leveling. The players who play shadowbane are, 9 times out of 10, those who probably invest money into buying an account off the net so they don't have to level. Does this make them a bad person? Not at all. Most of those people simply do not have the time to keep up with gamers who put in 5 to 10 hours a day into their games. Some of us can spare 1 or 2 at the most. In Shadowbane, leveling consists of finding a group, finding a safe spot to sit, and then going on about your daily business. Maybe you leveled, or maybe your whole group got rolled by a pk squad. =-P
The bad thing about this? It gets old... quick. I myself have 2 r5s, 3 r4s, and an r2(rs are Ranks. you get a rank every 10 levels. R1 = 10. R2 = 20. etc, etc...). That is after a month of playing. Is that something to brag about? Oh no, that's actually the normal character selection for someone who has played as long as me. =-P The thing is, when you don't play a character through and level him yourself, you don't feel any particular attachment for it, and basically you start out using your level 40+ character as a n00b. Most of the time this results in a gimped character, and then yet another character to be made and gimped. =-P (of all my characters, only 2 aren't gimped to an extreme extent. The others I don't play. Those two would have been deleted and remade correctly, but I joined Evil Bastages and decided I'd just take the time to make enough money and use a refiner to ungimp them instead)
On to the interface. This is probably the number one thing to be bashed about this game. The interface of the game is not near as complex as everyone screams about. It took me all of 2 hours to figure it out. Yes, that is a long time, but it's not impossible. The thing is, because there is so much complexity that comes along with this game, you end up finding things later you never knew existed, making you like the game again. =-P The entire interface is customizable as well. I personally love it. The original layout is teh suck, so I set my own way up(status bar in the middle on bottom, chat window with combat on left the of it, chat window with talking to the right. Both chat windows at 60% transparency, locked, and click through Attributes window right above left chat window, along with effects window. both at 60% locked clickthrough. and then group goes wherever). =-P
Overview- If you are looking to escape a horrible social life and replace it with the social life of a great knight on a large white steed who is loved by all and lives by the name of Bob... you're out of luck in Shadowbane. If you are looking for a game that will let you run around and mercilessly kill everyone around you, burn cities to the ground, and either be a hero, villian, or lazy bum who runs around looting after the battle, yet requires no real effort to get to a decent level to have fun- come play Shadowbane. =->
Shadowbane tip of the day- Shadowbane is a fun game, but it can hit its moments of extreme boredom (as does any RPG). Sometimes sitting around gets old. The cure? A faster paced game. Keep one handy. Anything except for another RPG will do. I use Planetside. When I get tired of making money and PKing people just to watch em get mad and cuss me out, I go play Planetside and blow up tanks with my reaver. =-P Alternate between the two and you'll be fine.
Shadowbane N00b Tip of the day- If you start playing Shadowbane, make sure to join the Vengeance Server. Its the largest one up so far, usually with about 1,000 players or around. Smallest Ive seen is 800. The other servers are tiny. =-P (300-600 normally)