So there I was, sitting in a pile of my own feces I like to call ``the couch'', and bored out of my skull, surfing the game lists/indexes when I found something which had promise.
A NEW GAME.
Of course most of what I found was just a bunch of pretty pixels (there is no ``game'' in that ``game''), so I kept looking. Man alive! Doesn't anyone make games anymore? I see oodles of pretty pixels which are nothing but PvP-fests. A game of Infantry[SOE] is fun (I really loved Crater of Eol because the turf-wars were lively), but only in moderation. At least Infantry ran fine even on a 500MHz, which meant there were scads of people to blow up with my bazooka. But eventually I'd like some ``game'' in my game and I do something else for a while.
99% of what is available in these so-called ``games'' won't even run on my work-supplied laptop (sorry, but my server-class home unit is not for games), so so much for that. Then I saw it.
NEW GAME - Regnum Online
This thing actually has some ``game'' in it, and the high-level is definitely geared for PvP, and it is *FREE*. FREE to download and FREE to play. It is both ``free as in beer'' and ``free as in speech''. Cool.
On starting up the first thing I did was set the graphics waaaaaay down, and then slowly turned them up to the limits of my rig. Those of you with 1GHz computers will have no trouble playing this game (and those with faster computers will enjoy something on par with LoTRO, graphics-wise).
The game is derivative of stock fantasy when it comes to characters. Fight/Mage/Thief and Human/Elf/Dwarf are the combinations. I opted for an Elven Mage. I then happily went out and beat up the little creatures of the planet.
The first thing which seemed strange to me was that in the Regnum world, ``bears'' are a lot like our ``squirrels''. They were all over the place, and really unchallenging. Reminiscent of iRO, they would rematerialize out of thin air after a few moments and begin their wandering around. There is no aggro in the newbie-zone (which sucks, because I was really hoping to do some serious training). After completing the first few minor quests I was ready to move on to the Intermediate Zone.
Unfortunately for me, I did not transfer to the middle-zone via the prescribed method. Oh no, the usual means is to go to a special monument which teleports you over a channel to the main continent. Instead I found a hidden teleporter and landed smack-dab in the middle of a bunch of mobs, who instantly started beating the green stuff out of my health-o-meter (later on, I made good sport of showing newbies this hidden teleporter). After much fleeing I was able to (barely) get into a town where the guards (NPC's) made short work of the mobiles. Here I then began some questing, getting the levels up, forming parties and teaming up with others (and receiving the ``join my clan'' requests).
In the intermediate zone is where one also begins to specialize. My Mage is now a Conjurer, which means I can summon pets. Very cool. ``Have you met my friend, Lenny the Mummy? No? Lenny, introduce this man to your fists.''
My room-mate (started as a thief) is now a Marksman (but could have selected to become a Hunter). As you can see it is very iRO inspired. But the play is good, and the quests are mostly fun. But wait! There's more!
After the intermediate zone, the game focuses on PvP. Yes, Priscilla, after a week or two of fluffing your character, you're next mission is to give other players a rim-job. Like Infantry[SOE], there are objectives, but AFAIK, actually capturing and holding them don't really do much except stroke your ego.
All in all, I had a very good time over the last few days with this game because it has ``game'' (for those who want it), has pretty pixels (for those who want it), and is free (for those who want it). It suffers from ``grind the treadmill'', but all games seem to have that (like Rock 'n' Roll it's here to stay). The skill diversity isn't as broad as some would like, but it does offer enough which will require one to use tactics and thought when engaging the various mobiles and most especially when in PVP.
All in all, I had a great time playing a game. Imagine that! I found a game, and it's pretty good looking too. There are no ``instances'', there are no ``shards''.
I think my only complaint would be how deathless death is. You don't lose any lootor experience/skill; you just simply respawn at a special ``resurection'' alter which is usually only a few minutes of walk. AFAIK, one can't even loot corpses, which is like trying to get drunk with Kool-Aid. Not the red kind like Jim Jones had though, oh nos not thats! Just the regular powder you get at the supermarket which contains no booze, just sugar and red dye #7. To be noted, the game also offers ``premium content'' which one can only acquire if one pays Real World money. Those who play any of Iron Realms' MUDs will know what I'm talking about. In a ``premium content'' model, there are certain items which only subscribers may posses.
In the ``mixed bag'' front, there is no way to ``kill steal'', and no way to ``ninja loot''. Loot is modified by ``contribution''. I saw a dude who was getting his ass handed to him, so I quickly healed him (I'm a mage, remember?), and then buffed his Dexterity. After a few more seconds I healed him again, and then he won the fight. Even though he and I didn't form a party (fellowship to those in LoTRO, party to those in iRO), my status window indicated I received X experience points some loot. Pretty sweet! So I went on walkabout and looked for other ``free rides'', and was saddened to learn that random acts of kindness aren't rewarded unless they are meaningful. Ex: I found a dude who was in complete control of the situation and didn't need my help, and so I didn't get jack for healing and buffing.
A good game that has ``game''. I hope to see a strong FoH presence on server ``Ra''. Just look for ``Doctor Fred Mbogo''.