The Quest For Wizardry Online Revival


By Cord DeBlois, Guest Writer

 

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The MMO version of the classic Wizardry series by Sir-Tech, Wizardry Online. The game that was barely given a chance. The game that was ripped away before it’s time on July 31st, 2014 from the North American and European servers provided by Sony Online Entertainment, while flourishing in Japan. While it may have had its flaws during its brief, but infamous time it was available, it is certainly not a game to be swept under the rug. The community contradicted and answered common questions found on various MMO forums and reviews. Below are a few examples are such complaints coincided with veteran players’ responses.

 

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“Unfortunately, most of the time it’s a lumbering beast of a game with interesting ideas cloaked behind layers of frustration that only dedicated players will surpass.”

Wizardry the franchise, even during its days as a solo RPG experience, has always been a grindy game with much depth, so it stands to reason that the developers would carry this legacy into the online edition.

 

While this game may be tedious and grindy at times, the payoff is very rewarding and encourages a strong sense of community. Your first experience in Wizardry Online might seem daunting, but once you get further into the experience, you begin to understand the developer’s innovation, making you work hard for achievements and rewarding you along the way, creating a thirst for what lies around the next corner.

 

 

Unfortunately said online edition came with the typical pitfalls most devs new to the territory suffer, namely a rough buggy launch. However, such issues did not define those games and should not have defined Wizardry Online either. Though its short lived lifespan in the west blocked us from ever seeing the shining polished version it could have become.

 

 

The game lived on in Gamepot’s Japanese version, teasing us with what could have been, including some major features designed to address some of the primary frustrations players had. Two key examples were a “Story Mode” to make progression more engaging, as well as a PvE oriented server known as the “Liberal” server.

 

 

 

“First, the interface is somewhat unintuitive, combining odd movement, tiny and indistinct inventory icons, and controls that do different things depending on if your weapon is drawn or not.”

Coments like this were in the forefront of player and press criticism coinciding Wizardry Online’s launch. ‘Outdated’ in graphics and game controls, players uninstalled without second though. Those that stuck around recognized the developers’ goal of capturing a classic feel of gameplay, rather than cinematic styles commonly seen today. It is part of the Wizardry series, and is a wonderful representative of the classic RPG players get nostalgic over today. Legacy Wizardry employed turn-based combat with linear actions. Many of today’s players are used to controls that sometimes require extremely dexterous movements and combinations that defy logic. Wizardry Online developers stayed away from this trend and modernized the turn-based play that Wizardry was known for, resulting in gameplay that forced you to remain mentally sharp while emphasizing perfectly timed one button blocks and dodges rather than rapid MOBA level button mashing.

 

 

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Wizardry Online is not an open world game, which also sets it apart from its rivals in the PVP niche.”

The fact that it is not an open world game, but a dungeon crawler, makes no negative changes to the player vs player aspect. The close quarters make exciting and intense PvP experiences, with a one of a kind combat style that is different than what is seen in open world MMO’s today. It is understood that dungeon crawlers are not for everyone, and that’s alright! Each has their own style and preference in their personal gaming experience.

 

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“It’s nothing like the old Wizardry series.”

It goes without saying, Wizardry Online had to make several changes going from a single player RPG to a multiplayer MMO. However, it did keep a lot of the original aspects. There were a total of five races and eight classes available in Wizardry Online (Lord, Ninja, Samurai and Bishop were released in late 2013), the same exact set of races and skills as Sir-Tech’s Wizardry 1-5. In Japan they also are planning to release the Bard and Alchemist classes. They also kept many similar story lines, such as from Wizardry Labyrinth Of Lost Souls, adding new, entertaining twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, while making it fit to a multiplayer/MMO style of gameplay.

 

 

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“The lack of polish also stands out right at the start of the game.”

This could mean a variety of things, seeing how everyone has a different opinion on what they like in a game. However, once you put some time into the game, you really feel like you’re delving into an ancient world of lore and magic. The simple, yet intricate graphics and detail add to the effect, making it feel like you are truly in a medieval, dark world where adventure and horrors are waiting to meet you around every corner. Sometimes even in town!

 

 

“Third, it is seriously overrun with gold spammers and other repugnant creatures.”

Yes, we will not deny that in the very beginning, there were several gold spammers, along with the majority of MMO’s that have been released in the last decade. Luckily, with the PvP player looting system in Wizardry Online, gold spammers ceased to exist due to players killing them, and looting their things. Without the ability to make money, the gold bots quickly dissipated. Wizardry Online has all the capabilities of the community governing itself, and that is what it did.

 

 

 

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“It’s an okay MMO, but the hardcore PvP and perma death isn’t there. “

Ah yes, the old perma-death paranoia. We will admit it has been talked up, and was made into something it really wasn’t. At death, a player will resurrect at a goddess shrine, and be presented with a scale. As a young player your scale is normally 100% resurrection rate, as you progress into the game, your scales lower. There was only the potential of losing your character. Wizardry’s former publisher had over-exaggerated the aspect which leads potential players astray as a marketing gimmick gone wrong.

 

 

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“With the ‘Free to Play’ title, it’s most likely to be Pay to Win.”

In this age of the MMO market, the majority of games available fell into the “Pay to Play” category, or the relentless “Free to Play” but is “Pay to Win”. The argument is the publisher has to raise money for server costs by adding an in-game cash shop filled with buffs, armor, avatar costumes, and more. Though there are few select things in the Wizardry Online cash shop that would give extremely minimal boost, such as health potions and forge guards, it was mostly avatar costumes and other personalization items. The creators of the game made it obvious you are on your own in your gameplay.

 

 

In essence, we all strongly believe if given the chance, Wizardry Online will make a strong and reliable gaming experience for the lost gamers, who are craving adventure, friendships, and a healthy challenge.

 

Best regards and hope to see you soon,

The Wizardry Online Community

Social Media :
  • Wizardry Online is the best.

  • Krimsin Dia

    So much awesome here congrats for the community=D I hope to see this game back!!

  • Ipa

    Awesome article!! Most under rated game in the history of MMOs.

  • Krimsin Dia

    Everytime I see that video again makes my heart beat quicken This game brings so much to the table that is missing in the MMO world right now…

  • Juan Salto

    Omg this is awesome 😀 hope it comes back!!

    ~Oreos

  • Soulshini

    I loved wizardry online, make friends grinding, enemies farming, and family boss fighting over, and over, and over again…

  • Cool Sal Magna Carta

    Amazing this game is the best Horror, Action, ect love it

  • Brain Peters

    Goddamn the video brought all the memories back >_<.

  • Thrundir Andrkhan

    Best MMORPG EU TR EAST WEST SOUTH NORTH lol

  • GoreJess

    Wizardry Online ROCKS and so does the community! This game is so unique in comparison to many others.

  • dracon85

    Have yet to find a replacement for this game. I mean, I still play other
    games with my friends but it isn’t the same as playing something I truly
    enjoyed playing. It even inspired me to write a book inspired by our adventures as players: https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1160480
    https://www.createspace.com/5064637

  • Juan Salto

    Wizardry Offline.. the feels of that video >. <

  • watermelon123

    This game is as awesome as watermelon.

  • Batman

    What’s this? MORE WIZARDRY!! This game needs to come back. There are thousands of people who never got to even learn about this game. It needs to be advertised, supported, and brought back. Great article for a great game!

  • Wizardry Online thrives with content and extraordinary game play. However Wizardry’s light was dimmed by the ignorance of gamers who are more interested in modern MMO’s rather than the classic ones.

  • Kaylei Rae

    Wizardy was the first game Ive ever played. And not only were the friends I made on there amazing, the game was too! I miss it so much. :c
    I still have not been able to find a game I like half as much as I liked Wizardy!

  • Zenkato

    Wizardry’s a great game, I like the fact that it’s unforgiving at heart like the unforgiving tree at my new home[That smacked me in the face] and also it had a dark and gloomy tone to it. I love it!

  • King Roxas

    Best game ever!

  • Klesh Kinsly

    Ahh, the good ole days in WO!!! The game was truly unique and sucked me in several hours a day!

  • Nathan Williams

    Suba games will be my favorite company if it revives Wizardry. This game is one of a kind and great! Think Legend of Zelda dungeons, combined with Dark Souls atmosphere / suspense, and turn that into an mmorpg.

  • Soulshini

    Wizardry may not have mercy with players especially for criminals like myself (in game) but hard things are always the best things and the experience (besides for lvling) was well worth game living.

  • Taragon

    Nice work on the article. This game is truly epic. Hope its back in US and EU soon.

  • RogueVI

    I for once enjoyed this game even tho I got killed and looted…the best part of this game was actually making friends and finding the right people who can easily solve the puzzle in a certain dungeon or people who can easily kill the mobs in that dungeon…the guild war was also awesome, I really hope this game gets revived from ashes 😀

  • dongs

    long live WizOn

  • Dhregin

    I’ve been playing mmos Since 1999, with Everquest. I’ve tried all the triple A’s, and a majority of the f2p’s, including the entire steam library.
    Nothing, and I mean nothing, has been more enjoyable to me than Wizardry online. As the community learned to down bosses and move on to the higher dungeons, so did you, and there was a huge sense of collective progression on top of the individual/guild progression we see everywhere else. Then, the constant wars between criminals and the innocent, or between criminals and criminals, kept the community alive and bustling. Never a dull moment.

  • Shawn McLaughlin

    I love the game it is fun I made some friends their I had fun in the dungeons I remember when it was a single player for the Nintendo I had a lot of fun with it as well I would hope someone would pick it up started up again

  • Shawn McLaughlin

    Soulshini • 12 hours ago
    I loved wizardry online,

  • ~kiv

    Wizardry Online used to be not user friendly, no use denying that. First impression matters a lot for players. But i can’t stop being surprised of what jp version getting to reverse the pattern. Players up to Soul Rank 6 should really feel care now. There are arrows now to show key npcs to talk to and you are now teleported just next to your goal after talks. Each time you go to dungeon you are given 5 stacking potions restoring 100 hp and 50 mp. Invisibility are given away so that you always have 5. In order to put on better gear instantly there two easy hunting quests to momentarily arrive at Soul Rank 3 and Soul Rank 5. Just after solocontent there are two six-player subdungeons that give immense amounts of experience, gold and items. Joining a party here is easier and if not there are ways to solo get that exp. Without changing difficulty devs put much effort into letting new players appreciate at least mid-game content before taking out judgement of the game.

  • baaron7

    Nice writing, I hope this game comes back
    -gazsi

  • French Fry

    Why not just make the game come back with magic, I like magic, magic is nice. Let’s make the game come back now, that way we can be super scrubs again.

  • PauloValverde

    I wish I could play the game again, I loved Wizardry Online and still.

  • Drac

    One of the best games i have played! Very social game.

  • Calvin Oei

    There was an MMO with a very similar gameplay called Pandora Saga. Its fate is also quite similar: although it was very enjoyable, US server was finally closed while Japan server keeps going on for 7 years.