Wizardry Online Announced

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Well this is good news for all the old school RPGers like myself who played or are familiar with the Wizardry series. Japanese publishers, Gamepot has announced that an MMO based on the series is in development. It’s being developed by Headlock, Inc, a developer probably best-known in the west for Radiant Historia. It is currently being tested with a beta later this month in Japan. Japan will see it launch this summer and it will come to North America in 2012.

Some of the information that Headlock, Inc released at E3:

Dungeons in Wizardry Online are no mere matter of running a gauntlet through trash mobs until you find an end boss. In fact, the party that runs blindly through it is likely to witness its members’ corpses decorating the hallways before too long. Traps abound in dark places, be they jets of fire, poison gas clouds, or razor-sharp spikes. Even the treasure chests, if improperly opened, may spell certain doom — a familiar scenario for any classic Wizardry player.

The faint-hearted need not apply, and the Headlock devs are blunt about your chances: “Wizardry is a very difficult game and delights in killing the player. MMOs today coddle the player, but we’re taking a different route. That said, this is a fair game that rewards the strategic and skillful player.”

 

But just how hardcore is Wizardry Online? One word sums it up: permadeath. “When you die, you become a ghost and have a chance to get your body back,” the rep said. “But if you should fail, you’ll lose your body forever.”

Wizardry allows you to create small parties or groups of up to 100 players to tackle dangerous dungeons.

However, one’s ally might quickly reveal him or herself as an enemy, as the game has a full-fledged player-killing system in place. Players can attack each other at any time and even raid each other’s corpses. If a PK happens in a town, the attacker is branded a criminal — but there are no such restrictions while in a dungeon.

On top of including permadeath and player killing, Okada’s team made the conscious decision not to hold players’ hands as they explored dungeons. By removing the minimap and giving players no explicit directions, he aims to encourage explorers to learn to examine their surroundings and actually look at the dungeons they’re traversing.

“In Wizardry Online, the goal is to have adventure,” he stated. “The players never know what’s waiting for them when they turn the next corner.”

Wizardry Online will be free-to-play with microtransactions. Headlock is also stating that the game will be playable on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 PCs with DirectX 9 or above.

So the question remains, how well will this game do with the drastic changes to the MMO format that North American players are used to? Also, with Gamepot already having two failed MMOs (Bright Shadow & Fantasy Earth Zero) here in North America will anyone even give it a chance? We will see when the game comes to our shores in 2012.



Sources:MMORPG.com, Massively

About Tiffany "CeissaDesiste" Toms
Long time female gamer who has been playing all genres since the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 days. Freelance Graphic Artist, Web Designer, Beta Tester, and studied one year of Game Design. I play games on PC, PS4, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, 3DS, Xbox 360, PSVita, and Android. Freelance Writer, Reviewer, and News Editor/Asst. Director for Anjel Syndicate since the site launched! Part time employee of a major video game retailer.

1 comment for “Wizardry Online Announced

  1. Warren C. Bennett
    06/24/2011 at 4:17 PM

    I really hope this actually reflects the old Wizardry series. I don’t want it to just be another quick Korean F2P cash-in…

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