Wizardry Online Impressions: No Magic, Just Disappointment

Wizardry Online desperately wants to be Dark Souls. It craves to be like From Software’s surprise hit. It positively bleeds Dark Souls from its pores. But expectation and execution are two very different things, and based on the time I’ve spent with it so far Wizardry Online fails to execute on its promise in every conceivable way.

Wizardry Online
Platforms: PC
Developer: Gamepot
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Released: January 30th, 2013
MSRP: Free

Wizardry Online is an affront to my gaming sensibilities. It pitches itself as a “hardcore MMO,” and while that is technically true in the sense that it is “hard,” it lacks the sort of excellent emergent interactions that are the hallmark of good hardcore titles. Titles like Star Wars: Galaxies (pre-NGE) and EVE Online built entire communities based on the concept of player interaction. Wizardry Online is not like them. Instead, it is a slog of linear dungeon grinding and tedious fetch quests. It just pretends to be something else.

Disclaimer: I played Wizardry Online until I reached Soul Level 3 and had a character at level 8, and that’s all I could take. The following impressions are based on game content accessible to players in that level range.

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3 Comments on Wizardry Online Impressions: No Magic, Just Disappointment

Kevin

On February 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Someone actually mentioning Star Wars Galaxies in a positive light? Hot damn, that’s nice to see.

quicktooth

On February 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Not to nitpick, but Dark Souls also has grinding. I found that it was REALLY helpful and appreciated at first, but as costs rose and grinding rewards stayed the same (and were boring as HELL to get), then I was driven to do more of the plot. Perhaps this is okay? At any rate, I really enjoy playing Dark Souls (sans grinding), and if that weren’t true then I’d never put up with the very hard difficulty and super gritty atmosphere. If Wizardry online has the difficulty and grind with no rewards, I can instantly see that it’d be something to be actively avoided.

ben

On February 12, 2013 at 1:05 am

huge dark/demon souls fan here. just tried out wizardry and most of your points are pretty spot on if perhaps harsh. what dark souls does with brilliance and skill, wizardry appears to flop and poke new players in the eye with a dildo.

I’m sure the game is nostalgic to some and the throwback to old school gaming, but to most other players I believe this type of old school represents tedious and inconvenience instead of being difficult per say. and honestly, i dont think most people care for permadeath; especially in an mmo style game where you spend some decent time on a character. spend time building your character and grinding, then eff it up and lose it. soul level or not, that wasted time is a pure incentive to go play a better-crafted game where the time you spend doesnt increasingly attempt to erase your save file.

honestly the controls are clunky and it reeks of micro transaction fraud. oh look, youre dyyyying, how bout spend some cash in our RMT shop to prevent losing allll that time you spent? buy an item, oh but you still lose it if you die so u better stay alive, forever, while we constantly try to sucker punch you into losing it.