Wizardry 8 - All News
Wednesday - June 24, 2015
Wizardry 8 - A Samurai, a Valkyrie, and a Bishop walk into a barů
A samurai, a valkyrie, and a bishop walk into a bar…
That’s either the start of a really lame joke, or a regular play session of one of the definitely non-lame Wizardry games. Although the Valkyries didn’t appear until Wizardry 6. No matter…
Ye Olde Day (and Night) Job gave me Sunday off, so I managed to pour a few hours into playing my new acquisition, Wizardry 8. Yes, all this talk of new RPGs hitting the store shelves, and I’m thrilled about getting my hands on a seven-year-old game (Editorial note: Now it’s been almost as long since this was originally posted. Time flies!).
I am just a few hours into it, but I’m mighty pleased. Why?
#1 – The world and storyline are intriguing. I was never a huge fan of the mega-epic plot-line of the power to create and destroy the entire universe and all that from the previous two games, but I’m not minding it so much here. The game starts you out with a trite imperative (you are the sole survivors of a crashed space ship, and have to survive and save the universe), but the monastery section was focused and felt a little like unfolding a mystery, full of hints and clues to a bigger picture. I love that.
#2 – TACTICS! Holy cow, this game reminds me of how fun turn-based, party-based RPGs can be. Granted, Wizardry 8 probably takes it a little overboard, with party movement and positioning, party formations, and everything. But still, I’m having a great time with it. I got clobbered in a combat on the road to Arnika last night, and found myself considering all the things I could have done differently to have won. Too often, in RPGs these days, it really comes down to having been too unlucky, too slow on the healing-potion button, or not having saved during the middle of the battle often enough. Here, it was a case of me encountering a new monster type and underestimating their capabilities.
#3 – The monastery – the first “dungeon” – was not a run-of-the-mill miniature bunny-slope dungeon. I spent three hours of playtime in there, and dealt with multiple “boss monsters” and lots of exploration. Maybe I’ll get sick of similar dungeons with the same graphics set in the future, and I did play through some of this in the demo, but for now, I enjoyed it. I’m really a dungeon-crawler at heart, I guess.
#4 – I’m also a sucker for first-person perspective RPGs. Chalk it over to being more “immersive” or whatever – I’ve always preferred it. Not that I don’t love other perspectives, too (Ultima VII remains, to this day, my favorite RPG), but I love seeing the world through the eyes of my character(s).
#5 – STATS! Lots of juicy, geeky numbers. This might be a detriment for many players, but I really like the customization opportunities and being able to numerically compare my characters and my improvements as I level. Seriously, I get bugged by RPGs that seem to say, “Don’t worry your pretty little head about these big, scary statistics… just look at the eye-candy and you can see your character get cooler special effects!” Give me crunchy numbers, please. As much as I get into story and roleplaying and all that jazz, I’ve got repressed power-gamer tendencies that need to be exercised. (...)
Wednesday - November 05, 2014
Wizardry 8 - Hardcore Gaming 101 Updates
Forum Member Dark Savant sent in news about a few updates for Wizardry 8 on
Hardcore Gaming 101. Here is the information direct from the e-mail.
Hardcore gaming 101 updated their Wizardry site with page 11 featuring Stones of Arheim and Wizards&Warriors.
and page 12 with Wizardry 8 review including lots of screenshots. Particularly interesting are comparison screenshots between preview and final versions.
Monday - December 16, 2013
Wizardry 8 - Retrospective @ Matt Chat
This episode is a retrospective of Wizardry 8 by Brenda Brathwaite.
Get Wizardry 6-8 from GOG using my affiliate link:
It's only $5!
Thursday - September 12, 2013
Wizardry 8 - Night Dive Studios Trailer
Night Dive Studios has released a new trailer for the recently released Wizardry 8 on Steam.
A New Wizardry for a New Generation
The universe is in the throes of violent upheaval and change. Vast and mysterious forces are preparing for the final confrontation. A small group of heroes from distant lands must plunge into the heart of the maelstrom, to uncover long-forgotten secrets, and bring about a new era. Should they succeed, they will gain the powers of the gods themselves. If they fail, countless worlds will fall into the grip of darkness.
Wizardry 8 raises the standard for fantasy role-playing with a vengeance. Prepare yourself for a new level of excitement, immersiveness and depth that made role-playing games one of the best-selling, best-loved genres of all time.
Prepare to experience the culmination of a prestigious RPG series. Enter a vast world of intrigue and wonder. Unravel a gripping, non-linear storyline. Battle your way to victory using your swords, your magic, and your wits. Compete with rivals or align with allies as you struggle to ascend to the Cosmic Circle. Take the battle to the dreaded Dark Savant in Wizardry 8, the phenomenal conclusion to the Dark Savant trilogy, one of the most extensive and challenging stories ever told in classic role-playing games!
Friday - October 05, 2012
Wizardry 6,7,8 - Video Walkthroughs @ Sorcerer's Place
Taluntain let us know if you're replaying some old classics, Sorcerer's Place has video walkthroughs for Wizardry 6, 7 and 8 now available:
With today's release of our Wizardry 8 video walkthrough, we now have the last three parts of the Wizardry series covered. If you've missed the Wizardry 6 and Wizardry 7 walkthrough announcements, follow the links.
Wizardry 8 is the fourth guide that Beren has integrated gameplay videos throughout. A big thank-you as usual goes to Montresor for a good deal of editorial and technical work on getting the guide online.
We believe that the guide is complete and free of (major) errors, but as with any other new feature, something may have slipped our attention. If you spot any such problems, please report them to the author.
Enjoy the Wizardry 8 Walkthrough!
Tuesday - February 24, 2009
Wizardry 8 - Parting Shots
Jay 'Rampant Coyote' Barnson ponders his recently completed Wiz8 playthrough, making some observations about the game (spoilers apply):
One thing I appreciated was how so many of the quests allowed alternative approaches. Even the alliance between the Umpani and T'Rang was completely optional - though extremely satisfying. And I managed to muscle through it without first completing the apparently pre-requisite Al-Sedexus quest. I came back and did it later, just 'cuz I could... but I liked that the game was flexible enough to allow this.
I also think it's sad that this is noteworthy. Not that this sort of thing is in notoriously short supply. I think it pretty much made Oblivion for me. But I think we've all played those games where objectives must be completed exactly as the designer intended - though sometime with one or two variants, sometimes... usually with lame "total jerk" and "neutral apathetic" options.
Monday - February 23, 2009
Wizardry 8 - Luke, I Am Your Daughter
Jay Barnson finally reaches Ascension Peak (no, really this time) in his Wiz8 wanderings, with bonus points for this entry's title of Luke, I Am Your Daughter.
Thursday - February 19, 2009
Wizardry 8 - Return of the Demon Godess
Jay Barnson's Wiz8 adventures continue in part 16, Return of the Demon Godess. Nearly there.
Wednesday - February 11, 2009
Wizardry 8 - Can't We All Just Get Along?
Fifteen parts later, Jay Barnson has finished Wiz8. Read about the final encounters and some thoughts about multiple solutions in RPGs:
Part of the problem, I suspect, is the script-based approach to handling "quests" or missions. I'm struggling with the same issues in Frayed Knights. To make things interesting, the entire sub-story and path to accomplish the quest is scripted out in advance, and any alternative approaches have to be similarly designed, tested, debugged, re-written, polished, and perfected.
But is this really necessary? Couldn't the Lord British approach still be applied to modern games? So you've got the glittery orb quest item stuck in some room. Is it really necessary to dictate how the player obtains the orb? Must all events and approaches be deliberately scripted into the game, or is it possible to set up a more generic event system and let things proceed more as a simulation? Would it be just as exciting? Just as interesting?
Yet even as I say this, I loved the hand-scripted resolution to the subplot where I acquired an alliance between the Umpani and T'Rang, and nuked the Black Ship. I'm a junkie for hand-crafted, well-designed plot and story development.
I'm sure I chose the most tedious, least interesting path to freeing the two prisoners, so would I be wrong in criticizing the game for allowing such tedious gameplay? Wouldn't I have enjoyed the game more following the nicely-scripted path?
Thursday - February 05, 2009
Wizardry 8 - Storming the Castle
Jay 'Rampant Coyote' Barnson resumes his tales of Wiz8. This time we're Storming the Castle:
The main floor of the castle was largely the same story - infuriatingly long combats. Rapax are minotaur-looking beasts which have some of the most infuriatingly boring combat in the known universe. They are - tough. Very tough. Most magic barely touches them. They hit like a ton of bricks. They have hundreds of hit points. And I usually end up fighting them a couple dozen at a time. I blow through most of my magic in each combat. Usually the best spells are buffs, heals, and insanity spells - since if even one or two Rapax berserkers go nuts and begin wailing on their comrades for a couple of rounds, It can shave precious minutes off of an hour-long fight.
Friday - October 03, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Swimming with the Psi-Sharks
Can you believe this is the 11th entry in Rampant Coyote's Wizardry 8 adventure? We're up to the Psi-Sharks - some design comments:
Okay. I'm still loving Wizardry 8, but I got some real serious bones to pick with it at this point.
Number one - long, thin zones with lots of patrolling monsters. Like the water caves. And the road. And some other areas. There are monsters here EVERY time. Kill a zillion bandits, and a zillion more return on your return trip. The combats feel like just a way to stretch out the game - by a significant margin. When I'm spending an hour just "getting through" to someplace interesting, there's a problem.
Number two - scaling encounters. I'm actually not opposed to scaling encounters in principle, but it really robs the game of a feeling of progress. When every encounter is roughly the same difficulty level, it also robs the game of a lot of its texture. It robs the player of a chance to simply "come back later" to a too-difficult section, because said section of the game will simply be increased to an even greater difficulty level later. Wizardry 8 isn't quite as bad as Oblivion in this respect, but I'm still not thrilled with the approach. Psi-sharks are wicked-hard, and would be fine as major encounters. But spending forty-five minutes out of every hour fighting them gets really, really tedious.
Monday - September 22, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Missing Men and Mutant Frogs
Jay Barnson has upped the next entry in his Wiz8 diary, titled Missing Men and Mutant Frogs. From the design notes (spoilers apply):
The quest with the missing party member was another of those really memorable quests that make an RPG. Face it - in most RPGs (including this one), the endless combats get capital-B Boring. Yeah, they shouldn't, but they do. Lots of wandering around, lots of killing - and it all blurs together over time.
But the quests like this one really stand out, because unique and different things happen. The shake-up of party composition with the missing PC was a surprise. It was a great twist. Finding Brekek who was just "somewhere" in the swamp was not nearly as much fun. A few old-school gamers complained about Oblivion where you were always directed exactly to where your next quest would take you. Does that take the fun out of exploration? Well, yes, sometimes. But so does stumbling around the world hoping to stumble over your next quest objective, because you were (or were not) only given general instructions that you've already forgotten.
There's gotta be a happy medium in there somewhere.
Thursday - September 18, 2008
Wizardry 8 - My Duplicity Has a Price
Another entry in the Rampant Coyote's discovery of Wizardry 8 as Jay engages the T'Rang. Some quick design comments:
First off, it spite of my compaining - having NPCs note that I'm playing both sides or pulling fast ones in my quests is way cool. Any time NPCs can show recognition of the player's actions - particularly their more free-form, optional actions (not that these were - I'm convinced I'm taking the "preferred" approach) - it really helps the world come alive. This simple thing is probably a bigger deal than tons of advanced AI programming with neural networking or whatnot.
Monday - September 08, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Dances with Rhinos
Jay Barnson continues his journey through Wizardry 8, reaching the Umpani:
Unfortunately, while the trip along the Arnika Road has gotten a little easier, it has become no shorter. If I don't feel like running, I'm being engaged of groups of nearly 20 monsters at a time sometimes. Duking it out can take ten minutes. Running doesn't take much less time. Frankly, it's a long and annoying trip.
But I could tell I got to Umpani territory when I saw a very industrial-looking bridge with electric lights. Sounded about right. Past this, I found a fort at the base of Mount Gigas, with units of sometimes a dozen Umpani marching around it. The Umpani have changed a little since Wizardry 7, but they still resemble a humanoid rhinoceros. With military uniforms, swords, and black powder pistols. And computers and space ships, of course. Kinda steampunk.
...and Jay has also been interviewed at the Alley of Infinite Angles about indie game development.
Thursday - September 04, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Ratts!
The Rampant Coyote continues his trip through Wizardry 8:
So I'm at a place called Marten's Bluff. As I got there, Vi commented about how she used to play there as a girl - before the T'Rang moved in. I guess she was a real butt-kicker as a little girl, to get past all those monsters along the road and in the swamp to get there. Apparently, the castle was there before the insect-like T'Rang got there, but they went ahead and moved in - mostly in the underground warrens.
My initial meeting didn't go well. The castle entryway is blocked off by some transparent walls, and there's an elevator that takes me down to a room with some T'Rang that insist I'm going to work for them. I just have to agree to do that. The room's only exit is some kind of biometric lock that requires a T'Rang's hand-print to open. They drive a hard bargain.
Friday - August 29, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Designer Comments
Jay Barnson's Wiz8 articles have understandably touched on the pain of Arnika Road, so it's pretty nifty to see some comments from one of the developers, Charles Miles. Here's a sample:
People have screamed bloody murder about the Arnika road since Wizardry 8 was originally released. This is what the Arnika road was *supposed* to teach you:
- To avoid monsters by either using spells like Chameleon or by staying out of their line of sight. You could often sneak around the monsters if you were careful.
- To be smart about where you rested. If you rested in the middle of the road, monsters are much more likely to wander by see you, and ambush you while you sleep. If you rested in a hard-to-see place like behind a rock or behind the house at the T-intersection it was much easier to get a full rest in.
To use the disposable items--potions, bombs, wands, etc.--we constantly gave you as loot.
Wizardry 8 - Old School Goes Old School
The Rampant Coyote has to break out the graphing paper for this dungeon in Wiz8:
And found myself transported into a very old-school dungeon. Mind you, this is old-school as perceived by an old-school game, which is very old-school. We're talking about a 21 x 21 grid of walls forming a dungeon level here. The walls are textured, but also bear a white outline (reminiscent of the first 4 Wizardries) so you can see the grid.
One thing that came immediately to my attention was that there was no exit. I deliberately skipped reading anything in the walk-through about the dungeon beyond what I was supposed to do to get there. I stumbled along blindly, ran into some nasty spike traps, found a whole bunch of doors that were locked with some SERIOUS lock levels, and found out that the auto-map was virtually useless.
At this point I began to wonder if I shouldn't reload that saved game from before I entered the dungeon.
I decided to stick with it. And thus committed myself to about a four-hour ordeal that involved a LOT of reloading saved games from combats gone bad, and about six points of increase in my rogue-turned-bard's lockpicking ability.
The first couple of hours involved me wandering about pretty aimlessly, trying to make sense of what was appearing on the automap, unlocking doors, and getting into fights. I'd find mushroom rings which would teleport me to other locations on the map. I kept finding myself revisiting old territory in the maze, and not finding anything resembling a way out. However, old-school training eventually kicked in. I knew what had to be done.
Wednesday - August 27, 2008
Wizardry 8 - In Fear of Little Naked Winged Women
Bonus points to Jay Barnson for the great heading as he continues his journey through Wiz8 at Tales of the Rampant Coyote. Here's a bit on his current situation and read on for some commentary on the design:
Most of my party is now around 10th level. And I'm living in mortal terror of little naked winged women. Leaf Pixies, to be exact. But not all - they apparently spawn with different spell load-outs. The ones that were stalking me for hours may have finally de-popped after I spent an entire night hiding from them, huddled in a fetal position, praying they wouldn't discover me. I'd battled them about a dozen times, trying different techniques, and nothing worked. These things are FAST - once they spot you, they WILL run you down like the dog you are. And then they'll open up a can of fairie whup-ass on you.
Wednesday - August 20, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Vi Domina Tricks
Jay Barnson continues his run through Wiz8 at The Rampant Coyote. Spoilers might apply:
The big quest Myles had for us (though he's talked about robbing the bank) was to rescue some girl by a crashed space ship. We had to fight off a group of Savant Guards - robots with blades on their hands. Definitely challenging, and they don't scare easily. There were also some bandits - Higardi raiders - monkeying around outside the ship that we had to fight our way through. Fortunately, they do scare fairly easily. We had to use every bit of tactics I could come up with to defeat them without losing anyone in our group (I actually took them on before bringing Myles on board).
One bummer about fights in Wizardry 8 is that the enemy can flank and surround you, but you can't really do the same to them. You can, however, dictate a lot of the terms of the fight - maneuvering with your back to a wall (or better, a corner) to limit their frontage, force them to come to you while you pelt them with ranged attacks (especially magical area-effect attacks), and use temporarily disabling spells like fear spells or sleep spells to disrupt them from attacking.
Tuesday - August 19, 2008
Wizardry 8 - Running the Gauntlet
Jay Barnson has kicked up the second part of a Wizardry 8 playthrough (not really a retrospective, not having played it before). Here's a snip:
Scorpia refers to Arnika Road in Wizardry 8 as the "Terrible Road," and I now understand what she was talking about.
The previous location, the monastery. had a lot going for it. It was full of interesting features (including computers and an elevator), clues as to the "big picture" of what was going on and as to the history - ancient and recent - of the order that dwelt there and the world itself. While it had its share of empty tunnels (I guess the contractors thought they could ad lib a bit and get paid extra for making long corridors that didn't really go anywhere), it was worthy of exploration. And while it had a couple of challenging encounters, it had nothing truly punishing. It was a solid, exciting intro dungeon with lots of promise for the rest of the game.
Arnika Road was something of a let-down after that. And not just because I had my kiester stomped on the second encounter. And the third. And the fourth. More on that in a minute. For now, let's talk about the kiester-stompage. That pretty much defined my experience on Arnika Road, and that part isn't all bad. It's just unfortunate that it was pretty much the most interesting part of the journey.
A link to the first part is in the article.
Sunday - March 30, 2008
Wizardry 8 - New Mod
I should say "newish", because it was released a few months back. DoddTheSlayer wrote in to point out his unnamed mod for Wizardry 8, which is being discussed in this thread on our forums:
1: New monsters with new skins
2: Extended Storyline
3: New npc quest givers to support extended storyline
4: Reconfigured monster generators and monster toughness for more challenging battles battles.
5: Some new terrain graphics, but only for Arnika at this time.
6 New NPC custon item makers.
The purpose of this mod is twofold.
1: To extend the storyline and through new quests.
2: To make the battles challenging right throughout the game even up to level 50 because normally the game becomes too easy after level 20 and there is no longer reason to further develop your party.
I should warn you that magic is scarce in this game as certain things are now only available via generated traders which means that sometimes they are there and sometimes not.
For that reason the readme file contains info on their locations. This is a necessary spoiler.
Read the linked forum thread for screens, direct links to the files and further disucssion.
Monday - November 27, 2006
Wizardry 8 - Retrospective Review @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex has posted a pretty nifty retrospective on Sir-Tech's classic, Wizardry 8. Here's an excerpt:
Still, the diversity in character classes opens way to some very specialized parties. While it’s expected of games of this genre that you can create and combine certain character archetypes which result in several party concepts, Wizardry 8 gets into the thick of it by presenting an intricate character system. Since all races have their own statistical strengths and weaknesses, especially against certain types of spells, these must be carefully contrasted with some classes’ potential benefits and handicaps. Sure, a Lizardman Fighter might seem a good idea due to their Strength but the race is particularly weak against spells of the Mental magic realm so you may want to consider if you want the frontliner crying like a baby or being charmed into executing your spellcasters. On the other hand, having a Dwarf’s natural damage resistance stack with the Monk’s own damage resistance may provide good results. And since a Samurai develops both melee combat and spell casting, it’s up to the player to decide which he will focus on depending on what use he has to the party.