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November 3rd, 2006, 01:30
Saga of Ryzom is fantasy with a twist, rather than sci-fi. It's definitely different from the mainstream MMORPGs, and is a refreshing change from the standard high fantasy milieu.

I have to admit, however, that i found Ryzom's combat system incredibly frustrating. I lost count of the number of time that i'd defeat one creature with ease only to have the next creature of the exact same type and level wipe the floor with me for no readily apparent reason. Maybe there was something i was missing, but i just couldn't make head or tail of it. That said, many of the game systems (especially crafting) are really in-depth and engaging. Well worth trying it out to see if you like it.

World of Warcraft's graphics are a sticking point for a lot of people. Personally, i find a distinctive visual style (for example, Ryzom, the ill-fated SEED and FFXI Online) far more appealing than the usual run of the mill photorealism that so many RPGs and MMORPGs (yes i'm looking at you EverQuest 2) try to pull off these days. Photorealism only gets you so far. If every game were to take photorealism to the endpoint, they'd all look pretty much the same. To me that spells boring, not good graphics.

WoW's graphics (and W.A.R is looking good for the same reason), on the other hand, have a distinctive and cohesive style that really works in the context of the game. I don't once recall thinking, "that looks cartoony" while playing it. More often than not i'd be thinking, "man, that's impressive, and so right for the feeling of the Warcraft world." But, to each his/her own i guess.
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