Ryzom is a science-fantasy MMORPG where players forge their own path in a sandbox world, by leveling skills in one of four schools: Magic, Combat, Harvesting, or Gathering. Or players can mix and match skills to become a versatile character. Ryzom is an MMORPG incorporating elements of both science fiction and fantasy. Players create their character by choosing between one of four races, with customizable sliders to distinguish their appearance. There are no classes in Ryzom, but players level skills by performing corresponding tasks: the more time spent crafting boots levels up player’s crafting ability. Ryzom features a complex skill system, where players craft their own techniques by balancing abilities and resource costs, leading to an unrivaled level of customization in the way actions are performed. There is no clear direction in Ryzom’s sandbox world; players are tasked with forging a path however they choose. Explore a vast dynamic world where seasons, weather, and the time of day is constantly shifting. Immerse yourself in a dedicated community that has been supporting Ryzom’s distinct spin on MMORPG’s since 2004. https://ryzom.com/
Free for All: Ryzom might still be the most original MMO there is. Ryzom is a highly original game with a great community and brilliant game play experience, worth your time to check it out!!
- Dynamic Environments – night, day, and weather cycles are cosntantly changing, from bright sunny days to darkness drenched in sleet.
- No Classes- level up by practicing whatever skills you prefer from one of four schools: Magic, Combat, Harvesting and Crafting.
- Open Source tools – utilizing Ryzom’s open source engine players can create their own worlds.
- Complex Skill Customization – every skill is made up of stanzas, that can be customized to cater skills to particular tactics and play styles.
- Intricate Crafting – become a master of crafting through perseverance to create the best gear in the game.
I have been reluctant to play Ryzom for quite some time. It wasn’t it’s age, it’s Western style, or science-fantasy theme that made me leery. Something nebulous tugged at my thoughts; perhaps it was Ryzom’s dated web-layout. Setting aside my preconceptions to the best any critic can hope for, I installed the 2004 sandbox MMORPG, and the portents dissipated—but I won’t be playing Ryzom past this review. also an impressive weather system which not only looks good, but also affects what materials a harvester can gather where and when!
Many of the bugs mentioned in earlier reviews were ironed out ages ago and the game is not ‘unfinished’ but simply evolving, as the developers experiment with different things, many of which are suggested by the players themselves. The AI is great and animals will travel in herds, be docile or aggressive, and fight in groups or alone. The seasons in Ryzom change and with them the animals migrate to different areas.
Ryzom is the BEST online game I’ve ever played and I recommend it to anyone seeking a fun and original online game with a great community! Currently you can create a free account and play for free so check it out at www.Ryzom.com
A true Virtual World
Ryzom is from the school of design that says a game — a virtual world — should invite you in, make you go “whoa,” and then leave you alone. There are actual mysteries in Ryzom, little bits of stuff that no one ever figures out. A particularly brainy player decoded a lot of the in-game symbols once, and I remember being amazed that they all actually seemed to mean something. To this day, there are entire skills and chunks of lore that I have never learned about, only heard of or seen in action. I like that mystery, and it’s pretty amazing when an MMO, a digital space with limited boundaries, can still achieve that feeling. Maybe I’m just an older, grumpier gamer here, but I’ve realized that most of the new titles I play these days can’t afford to take the time to confuse me. Developers don’t want to leave out anyone, so they open everything up to everyone. Almost anyone can raid, achieve max level, or do well in PvP. Ryzom, with its multiple sandox skill sets and immersive environment that offers features like weather systems that actually affect gameplay, cannot be tamed even after years. For a casual player like yours truly, the game is never-ending.
An Older game ?
Of course as this game is of an older generation it would be unfair to simply dismiss the game on the grounds of outdated visuals, but Ryzom still packs a little graphical flare and beauty for a game of six years. Ryzom has a unique charm that is again presented through the visuals and the game world of Atys is a joy to behold at times as landscapes change from desert to tropical with great beauty and color. The art direction verges on flawless as the game becomes unlike anything you have played before, the world flows effortlessly from one temperate to another and it really can leave the player in a state of awe at the time and care obviously gone into crafting such a playing terrain. As the game is of a certain age it is ultimately pleasantly surprising to find such visual appeal and truly disconcerting when compared to the somewhat lackluster imagination of some of the newer games on the market.
The main thing I’d like to get across in this article is how important art design is. Besides the few creatures that resemble standard, sci-fi, or fantasy monsters we’ve seen before, the vast majority of the sci-fantasy mobs on Atys are like nothing I’ve seen before or since. It’s a bit upsetting that many games just don’t take many chances when it comes to mob design. Many of the greatest budgets turn out some of the most unoriginal creatures and settings, and here Ryzom sits, with its impossible giant-tree planet, sky-roots, and player abilities and skills that you can’t find anywhere. Where else will you find a creature that looks like a cross between a crab and a praying mantis that blows its mating call out of tailpipe-like appendages? I remember when I first heard the Kipee make that sound. It about scared me out of my chair.
A Sandbox Game
Ryzom is ultimately a sandbox style affair with almost no linearity and with as much creative freedom afforded to a player this side of Eve Online. Ryzom takes a very unique approach to its class and level system in the way that there really aren’t definitive classes as such and levels are achieved in specific skills- of which there are hundreds to choose from, ranging from archery to flame magic. To the freeform player, Ryzom is a very exciting prospect as the game allows you to mix and match might and magic and crafting in any which way you see fit.
Ryzom’s approach to leveling is a little different to anything you may have played before; the mindless slaughter of beasts to achieve experience is accompanied by a rather creative method of allocating said experience to whichever skill was used to emerge victorious. It is simple and yet rather ingenious in its madness, the mindless grind is replaced by a form of micromanagement and in effect, an illusion of choice. To further this individual trend, when a character progresses so far within a certain skill level, they are awarded with points which can be spent on a number of different skills which adds another layer of choice as well as character progression.
The community of Ryzom has got to be the best I’ve ever seen. Whether in game or on the forums, the players are always willing to give a helping hand to new and old players alike. I’ve been playing MMOs for about 5 years and I’ve never seen a community that inspires such greatness in people. Need help getting to another land? Need help getting some nice armour? Got a question about those confusing stanzas? Just ask and pretty much any player will be right there helping you out. The helpful spirit of the community is infectious too. It makes the game come to life. It is what keeps a lot of players coming back again and again.
Perhaps the originality of the environment and the mysteries of the world explains why, after I logged in a few minutes ago to take screenshots, I found players who have been in the game for years and years. When you ask even the grumpiest Ryzom player why she sticks around the game, she will tell you that it’s “hard to explain.” The world and its art are just not found anywhere else, especially in newer titles.
Final Verdict – Very Good
Even after twelve years in business, it’s still the most original MMO I can think of and the best MMO I’ve ever played with such a great community. The combat is original with skills being fully customizable. Fairly regular PVP and a whole bunch of PVE mobs and bosses.
I don’t know what Ryzom’s intentions are in the long-term, but I sort of enjoy the mystery. Perhaps the mystery of where Ryzom is headed, on top of the fact that the world and art itself is something wonderful and a bit confusing, adds to the allure of the title.