Friday, May 15

The Saga of Ryzom

A few days back I received an email stating that Ryzom is alive again! It died twice, but it is back again. I had played it for a few weeks 3 years ago but got pulled back into City of Heroes. So when I got this email I decided download it and play the completely free trial account. Of course I twisted Lani's arm to join me as well. Somehow we missed each other, but yesterday evening we were both there. Despite not having seen Lani it was still a joy to make my first steps again into a once familiar territory.

The game does look its age, and despite being 3 years old it could use more polish on the UI. But the characters are looking good, and they move around very smooth. The wildlife is even better. A wide range of creatures occupy the world all with quite distinctive movement. And the whole futuristic/alien planet feel works quite well.

The character progress is set in four categories. Fighting, Magic, Foraging and Crafting. At time of creation you can give your character an edge in one of these four categories. But it doesn't really lock you in. In fact, the whole character set up / progression is very close to Geek's Towards a deep skill system. You can combine multiple powers into new ones, and with every 5 or 10 levels in progress in any of the four categories new 'powers' become available at the various trainers.

I don't know (nor recall) how it all worked. I think when I originally played the game I didn't get high enough to really figure it all out. And maybe I was just not hardcore enough to do it :)

The screenshots are not made by me since for some reason I can't figure out where the game is putting them, or whether it actually created them. So I just grabbed some screenshots from here. I am sure even better screenshots can be found elsewhere. But even better would be if you all just sign up and join us. You can do all that here.

I had already my moment of evilness. One of the first tasks I got send to do was to kill a few Yubos. They are cute little wombats. Like most creatures in Ryzom they are kind of curious. So when I was standing around in their area they started noticing me and a couple of came towards me and even went as far as standing of their hind legs begging me to be pet. But unfortunately I only had a knife and a acid spell. But the other yubos didn't mind so much I killed their buddy.

I haven't seen them yet, but I recall their are predators around as well. They will be hunting the poor yubos as bad as me. And probably think I am pretty tasty as well. Good thing there are things to look forward to :)


  1. Interesting. Maybe I'll give this free trial a shot. How much does it cost to play?

  2. Subscription is 7.95 Euro's which if you're lucky and the people behind Ryzom use the "special" Dollar/Euro rate for games (i.e. 1 euro = 1 dollar instead of 1.2 to 1.4 dollar) that's $8,- otherwise it might be $12 or $13 US.

    Oh and those predators are nasty. They hunt in packs too. Ryzom has a rather unique take on aggro. It uses line of sight for some odd reason... WHo does that these days? :-)

    Screenshots are stored in the root-folder of your running Ryzom install. You can take jpg, TGA and PNG screenies. I just use my sturdy Fraps :-)

    The Skill system is remarkably close to EG's concept. One maind difference, in my interpretation, is that Ryzom goes a bit further with the building block thing.
    This created a sense of detached abstraction for me, which didn't do my immersion any good.
    This may have been partially due to the fact I couldn't seem to get different Icons for different Skills. I.e. all 4 of my propsecting skills have the same icon. Naming them appropriately rather than pros#1-4 is also challenging.

    Graphics were actually surprisingly decent for a game that's 4 years old. I think it was a 2005 release, not 2006 but I could be wrong there. Didn't check really. They're comparable to WOW, but without the lengthened forearm mutation thing.

  3. Ok, got some self-made screenies up in my Fickle Friday Freenshots post, which I'd scheduled for auto-posting on SUnday and advanced two days.
    As I didn't mess with the time of posting, it's now "older" than this post, which is good as it's below Phe's post.

  4. According to wikipedia the release was already in september 2004. Which makes sense timewise now. I got the open-beta invite when I visited their stand at E3 that year. In 2005 I was too busy packing for London. Time is really flying!

    I think the problem with screenshots is that vista doesn't like users creating files anywhere in "Program Files (x86)". Maybe I'll go and try the official forums for some advice.

    And the free trial has no time limit on it. But is will restrict the places you can visit. The full (paid) subscription will give you an initial added 3 weeks. So that is 7 weeks of play for $10.95 (according to one of pages I saw).

  5. Yeah, Program files(x86) is kinda meant for apps run under the admin account. :-)
    If you move the entire Ryzom folder to Program Files and take ownership of the RYzom folder to boot, you should have no further problems.

    The main reason why I use Fraps is that I have one central spot where all my screenies end up. Of course I then bind in-game screenshot of every game to the same key as my Fraps screenshot so I end up with lots of duplicate screenies and a working knowledge of where those folders are :-)

    I thought my welcome mail said my trial ran till the 17th, or maybe it's because I had a regular freebie account and I can go to the mainland until the 17th. Who reads manuals? :-)