Monday, 31 October 2011

The Realm Online

I recently been poking around in my cupboards looking for my Unreal Tournament disc (I need some old school shooter gaming in my life) and came across the Realm Online.  This game was my first foray into the world of MMOs and I loved it when I played it.
It reminded me of school and the shitty games I used to play that I will still maintain were fantastic (Dragonball Z rpg on the SNES for example), and with that memory in mind I have payed for an old account on this game to be reactivated so I can enjoy some old school MMO fun.

A bit of background on the Realm, it is dated....I mean it.  It came out in the early/mid 90s and was one of the first MMORPGs and since then its not really changed.  There still is very little in the way of graphics and it can be buggy as hell in places but it is a very simple game (not too dissimilar to WOW) and doesn't take a lot of memory/cpu/input whilst playing (I was ratting on it whilst on Eve last night).

The premise of the game is the standard fantasy storyline.  Evil/Good/Neutral Elf/Giant/Human/Orc Warriors/Thieves/Wizards/Adventurers go around killing monsters and collecting goods for NPCs.  Its simple and easy and doesn't require a lot to get good at, the community is also very nice (Hard not to be when there is only a couple of 100 people playing throughout the day).

The Flaws

There are flaws to the game other than its dated graphics, it doesn't have much in the way of PVP.  This is mostly due to there being an on/off switch for PVP, this hinders this side of the game as everyone just sets it to off so they cant get jumped.
It doesn't have a large population, this can mostly be attributed to its age (nearly 20 years old) but also due to its lack of updates, it might be nice that it hasn't changed from a nostalgia point of view but its also a little sad that a game I used to love as a kid is still floundering in its mid-90s type graphics/gameplay.

The largest flaw, at least in my eyes, is the market.  Most of the standard items are available from NPC markets and as the population is small pretty much everyone has all the special items they would need meaning there is very little in the way of player trading.  Inflation is also rife due to this, an item that used to be only a couple of 100k gold when I played is now sold for millions due to everyone having an ever increasing hoard of gold.  Like I said most items are available from NPCs but the items everyone uses are from dungeons and now that everyone has these, very few need the NPC market items meaning there is little in the way of a gold sink.  Obviously this coming from EvE bugs the crap out me, going from a game with lots of sinks and a free market to a game with pretty much zero sinks and a NPC market is quite a change.

Despite the flaws though I have started a new character and I am going to at least play through the month for a bit of fun.


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