RaiderZ – Real MMORPG Freedom Goes F2P



RaiderZ – Real MMORPG Freedom Goes F2P

By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalist

RaiderZ is an MMORPG developed by MAIET Entertainment and published by Perfect World. MAIET is best known for GunZ: The Duel. With this new game, they bring the fast-paced combat they are known for and combine it with traditional RPG elements. With its combination of colossal monsters and a very interactive combat system, this game is sure to be epic. If you are tired of the monotony of the point-and-click combat that most MMORPGs offer, you may find yourself enjoying this exciting title.

Features

Questing. Enter a world with a deep and rich story. Help its inhabitants with their problems to receive rewards and experience.

Mounts. Craft, buy or rent mounts. Current available mounts are the Moa and the Lycian. The Halloween event made a floating broom mount available.

Interactive Combat. Mouse aim mixed with dodging and blocking make for a very interactive experience when it comes to the combat in RaiderZ.

Colossal Monsters. There are numerous creatures and monsters of massive sizes to fight.

Combat Styles. Rather than classes, RaiderZ features four combat styles. You can mix these styles to get your preferred combination of skills and abilities. The styles are Defender, Berzerker, Cleric, and Sorcerer.

In-depth Character Creation. There are dozens upon dozens of options to choose from while creating your character.

Dungeons. The world is full of dungeons to raid with your friends.

Crafting. Use the loot you have collected and the resources you have gathered to create equipment.

Item Upgrades. Use looted or bought upgrade items to increase the stats of your weapons and armor.

RaiderZ has a bunch of awesome features packed in to it though where it truly shines is in combat. It really is fast-paced and you won’t get bored of it any time soon. Which is good, as combat plays a role in just about everything, even crafting. Though the crafting system is the one element of the game where I feel they aimed high but haven’t quite figured out all the kinks yet. Overall, the features available make for a great experience that you won’t be disappointed with.

Graphics

RaiderZ looks good. The landscapes are beautiful and vibrant. Little touches, such as boat sails flapping in the wind or a lantern sitting on the side of the road, truly bring the world alive. The animations, especially in combat, were amazing. The maps were well designed but, while not too small, were not that big. I have got to say I really liked the slightly cartoonish graphics-style. I do not have a single complaint about this area of the game.

Controls

RaiderZ offers a control scheme that is suited to its style of gameplay. WASD movement with locked-by-default mouse to look around. Everything can be interacted with using the keyboard alone, so there is no reason to unlock your mouse if you do not want to. Like most MMORPGs, you use the 1-9 keys to activate your abilities. The game does however support point-and-click movement if you prefer it. You just have to press the Ctrl key to unlock your mouse and enable this control style.

The combat controls are very nice. You use your default attack by clicking the left mouse button. Right click will block. You can either double-tap a direction key, or hold shift while pressing a direction key to dodge. You can lock on to a target (to keep better track of their health) by aiming at them and pressing the Y key. And tab will switch between the two sets of weapons you can have equipped at any time. The controls work very well in all areas.

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User Interface

The user interface (UI) was easy to use and pleasing to the eye. It was really fun to interact with, thanks to some well-designed animations. A majority of the UI was moveable, so you could customize it to your liking. The only problems I had were with the chat box. Due to some extra language packs installed on to my computer, the game would for some reason insert spaces in front of my messages. This made it impossible to use any slash commands. I had to disable the language packs to resolve this problem. Doing that was a bit of an inconvenience to me. Besides this, I had no other problems with the UI.

Customization

Customization in RaiderZ is delightful. It starts with character creation, where you get lots of options. 12 face types, 30 skin colors, 18 hair styles and 30 hair colors, 10 eye colors, and 25 tattoos are available to you. You can choose between three voices for your character. Also in the character creation, you get to choose your first combat style.

Combat styles are basically classes. You are not limited to one combat style, as at level 10 you can start to pick-and-choose abilities from the other styles. An example being my character: I chose sorcerer as my main style and mixed it with abilities from the cleric style. Each style itself has several different skill trees to go down such as fire and ice for sorcerer.

This is an area where RaiderZ is definitely NOT lacking. I really liked all the options available to me while creating my character. I was even happier about what I could do with my characters skills. A lot of the fun is figuring out what skills best fit your style of play. This part of the game was a pleasant experience.

Community

The first thing I saw when logging in was constant gold seller spam. That made it hard to actually get a feel for the community. I had to ignore several spammers before I could begin to see the chatter of other players. This gets better in other areas, as the spammers tend to stay near the newbie zone and the big towns.

After cutting through the spammers, I found the community to be mostly friendly. A lot of people stepped up to help me with problems and I got a bunch of helpful whispers. Of course, there were the occasional idiots. The ones who would insult anyone who asked a question, randomly curse you out for no reason, tell you to kill yourself, etc. The people who were willing to jump to your aid more than made up for that, in my opinion.

On the forums, you will find lots of guides to help you out with any question you could have. And if you cannot find the answer to your question in one of the player-made guides, you can usually get an answer pretty fast by posting on the forums, thanks to the game’s popularity. I noticed that the community manager was very helpful and dealt with players very well. I saw a couple of threads praising him while I was searching the forums. I am pretty sure he has played a large role in the game’s success.

The population is very healthy. Which has its ups and downs. It is good because there are always people to group with and help you out, but at the same time, everything on the ground can only be had by one person. So if you are doing a collection quest, it’s race against everyone else doing it to get the item. I cannot tell you how many times I killed a group of monsters, only to have some random guy run up and take the item I was trying to get to.

Gameplay

Let me start off by saying that RaiderZ reminds me a lot of Guild Wars 2 and Tera. More Tera, though. It offers a fun experience interacting with the world, while also giving you a “living world” to quest in. I wish it would have taken a bit more from Guild Wars 2, but you can only ask for so much.

The questing is very easy and very traditional. It has easy-to-see markers on your map for every quest location and objective, so there is no guessing as to where you should go. You just press M and you can plainly see. The objectives are your usual MMORPG objectives. The, “Go kill fifteen hogs” type quest. There are some collection quest thrown in. Sometimes they will spice things up a bit by having you transform in to some kind of neat monster that gives you a bit more fire power. A majority of the quest arcs end with a battle against some colossal monster that often requires teamwork to take down. While not impressed with this system, I only had one complaint. I would often get a random ten to fifteen second lag while trying to take or turn in quest.

Combat is very fun. I did not notice one negative thing with it. Difficulty seems perfectly balanced with a nice scaling challenge that forces you to up your game to the next level every few levels. Fighting was a very satisfying experience. You can almost “feel” the impacts when an enemy charges in to you, or you slam his head in with your staff. A lot of enemies can have their armor or horns broken. You can then pick them up for a temporary buff. Sometimes an enemy will drop their weapon as well, which you can then use to kill his friends. What I really liked was that combat is not as mindless as past MMORPGs have done it. You need to pay attention and actually take part in the fight if you want to live.

The combat is made even better thanks to the fact that enemies are “solid”. What I mean is, if a massive wolf charges at you, you and anyone behind you are going to go flying. If you swing your huge two-handed greatsword and there are a bunch of enemies in a tight group, you are going to hit them all. Something I noticed that I did not like was that if you are not in a group, you won’t get any sort of credit for helping someone kill something. If someone hits a quest NPC before you do and then you jump in the fight to help, you won’t get credit for the kill and cannot loot it. This is an archaic system that I had hoped would have been killed with the release of Guild Wars 2.

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Despite being able to mix and match the skills from different combat styles, I found that certain things dominated and made other combinations not an option if you did not want to hinder yourself. An example of this is mixing sorcerer skills with cleric skills. This was a very over-powered combination that I saw a lot of. And honestly, you need to invest in cleric skills no matter what you want to do, as the only other options for healing is potions and eating food. These can only be labeled as minor supplements compared to healing spells. So a heal spell is usually the first thing you grab after reaching level 10.

I did like the combo system. A lot of spells and abilities require that you have used a certain ability prior to being able to use it. As a sorcerer, I had an ability called Awakening. It would reduce my cast times by 100% for ten seconds, as long as I had cast one fire spell and one ice spell beforehand. It was stuff like this that added to the overall interactivity of the combat.

One of my favorite things in a game is PvP. Unfortunately, the game fell a bit short in this area. Currently, the only option for PvP is dueling. This is where you fight another player one-on-one. Duels can happen anywhere, and fighting against another player in this game is just as exciting as the PvE fights. I did read that more PvP options were planned for the future, but the developers wanted to focus on PvE content for the time being. I think this is a good choice in the long run.

The main way to get new gear is through crafting. To craft, you have to gather materials. These are usually gained from killing monsters. Which brings up the really odd loot tables. I was pretty surprised when I killed a hog and got some rags. Nothing bad, but it makes you scratch your head. After you have gathered the materials, you take them to an NPC and choose the item you want to craft from a list. Simple as that. No creativity or discovery involved. There is also an upgrade system that consisted of putting gems on to equipment, and there is an enchant system which has a bit more chance involved. You can also craft mounts. There are currently two to choose from – the Moa and the Lycian. This is definitely the weak link of the title at launch.

Sound

I usually do not mention this part of the game unless it really stands out to me. Which in RaiderZ, it did. The sounds were wonderful and really added to the atmosphere. Even the combat was made better thanks to the sounds. The music fit well with what was happening on the screen, too. The voice acting could be a bit funny at times, due to the occasional odd voices and the cheesy-ness of the lines. But they did a great job overall with all the sounds.

Final Verdict

RaiderZ was a fantastic experience. It brings a new way to do combat and mixes it with a lot of the good things from other games. Added with the fact that it is free to play, there really is nothing you can complain about. While I wish there was a little more taken from games like Guild Wars 2, such as better crafting and a more dynamic quest system, I was happy with what was there. I do have a small fear concerning end-game content. I am not sure if there is currently enough for it to hold your interest for long. But, the journey getting to the end game is a blast. And this is one of those games where you make a bunch of characters to try everything out. So there is re-playability. If you are looking for a more action-filled MMORPG, I fully suggest you give RaiderZ a try.

Graphics: 4/5

Controls: 5/5

Customization: 4/5

Community: 2.5/5

Features: 3.5/5

Overall: 4/5

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