February 3rd, 2013

Wizardry Online and Elminage

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these two games considering my whole website is based on their idea.


First off is Elminage from UFO Interactive. They’ve been mostly busy with in house stuff, probably to drum up the money for stuff like this. However if you need a traditional Wizardry fix, this game is it and now it’s in English thanks to UFO Interactive. So go and buy it i you want to see more like this.
Elminage as most don’t know is Starfish‘s “Wizardry”. It uses some of the same races and most of the same classes and is basically a Wizardry game for all intents and purposes. Starfish no longer has rights to the license I don’t think, and it’s now bought up by Aquire, thus this might be the answer to that.
What is cool about Elminage is that you can use your own icons for the faces. They have to be BMP and edited a certain way, but you can customize it further. Later games in the series even allow you to import character graphics for the profile page. This has led people to use characters from other first person dungeon crawlers.
You can buy it form the new PSN Online store here. It works on the PSP and the PSV.

Elminage screenshot

Wizardry Online

Next is an actual Wizardry title, Wizardry Online. It just launched a few days ago and it takes MUCH from the Wizardry formula. First is the “YOU CAN DIE FOREVER” you can die, then ash and then gone… time to reroll a new character. You however can get some of the stats from the old character and use them on the new one. However everything that character was carrying is now GONE unless you put it into a bank.

Being a criminal is pretty brutal too. If you get in prison you have a few way to escape, one of which is talking to a rat. Talk to the rat too early and you reset your sentence….AND EVERYONE ELSE’S. They basically made this game super tough on criminals so being one isn’t any good. Also if you are a criminal in prison, you can’t play any of your other characters. Wizardry brutal.

Wizardry Online – View from Tavern

Overall the game is an action RPG. Mash the mouse to attack, rather than auto-attack and mash skill keys. This means there is some skill involved in side stepping, jumping back and guarding so you take no damage in an attack.
My brief playing with it was enjoyable and the world has a nice feeling to it, however the town music is terrible so it’s good you can groove out to something different in shops.

Overall it’s good to see new entries into the First Peron 3D Dungeon RPG genre.

July 24th, 2011

When the Server Goes Down: Death of a Character

Recently I wanted some nostalgia, so I wanted to pick up playing Phantasy Star Universe. I didn’t know that the server was offline, but found out after it wouldn’t connect.

Dannie the male CAST on PSU that I can no longer play.

Lest to say I was sad, but it bring up a good point about MMO games. What of those characters that get left behind?

Most MMO games people pour hundreds if not thousands of hours into them and don’t even think that the server will ever get axed. Most can see it coming when the population dies down and servers get consolidated. However there’s always the “I put money into this, it can’t die.” Then find out, it does and it did.

So, what happens after the server is gone. That character that became your life is gone for good, you can’t visit them anymore, or visit the land in which they reside. You can’t get back all the frustration and accomplishments you experienced together.
Some people would want some form of compensation. “I spent X hours in here and you do this to me?” Some would beg, plead, and petition to reopen the server or to have the code transferred into a private server.

With Phantasy Star however, SEGA has usually been good about giving the server code to people so they can open up again. The GOOD thing was that in PSO (Phantasy Star Online), characters are stored locally, the offline character was the online on. In PSU however the single player and online player are different. Meaning I will never, ever be able to play THAT Dannie again. Everything I achieved with him is gone. I was also one story mission away from a complete story.
There have been attempts to create a private server, however the Japanese server seems to be online (could be offline) and the 360 servers are definitely online. The PC servers were regionally separated (which lead to the demise) while the 360 ones are combined.  Which is why SEGA probably isn’t releasing the code.
However the new private PSU server is buggy and certainly doesn’t have all the missions up yet. Which is what you have to put up with when these things happen.

Another MMO server went down for a game I played however briefly. Kitsu Saga. The difference here is that Kitsu was a Free 2 Play VS Phantasy Star’s Pay to Play Online. The difference here is that you bought items on Kitsu Saga. You can no longer now play with that item or interact with that item. It’s GONE. That thing you specifically paid for. GONE.
Aeria Games DID give refunds for prior 60 day purchases however, before that, gone. This strikes me a little differently. Before I was paying to just play the character and access the server. Here I was paying for a specific item and now that item is gone. I’d probably want compensation in the form of “points” if I bought ANYTHING, considering the attachment I would have had. However that is not to be so. They can’t make money constantly giving away free points.

Overall Losing my PSU character was a heartbreaking experience and it’s one that people need to keep in their mind when playing MMO games. That their hard work and the money put into them, can vanish at any time. It might make some people think twice about playing such games, or it might make people support the game more just to keep the character around.