RaiderZ – The Monster Grinding MMO
September 26, 2012 Leave a comment
Tired of meaningful content and interaction? Then RaiderZ is for you!
A few kind words.
I feel that RaiderZ is a competent game at what it does, unfortunately what it does, is not interesting. The graphics and art style are decent, the animations are…decent, the questing is…decent, the gameplay is…decent.
It’s just so…so…meh, in its entirety.
Everything about this game is competent, all the singular elements seem to be absolutely fine.
The game falls apart when analyzed as a complete entity instead of singular elements though, especially if we take the tag line “The Monster Hunting MMO” into consideration.
RaiderZ – The Gear Grinding MMO
Gear grinding isn’t a bad thing, in fact I quite enjoy it in other titles like Torchlight, POE, Diablo, Monster Hunter or Phantasy Star Online.
The difference is in how the gear-grind is presented and perpetuated, how it is made “addictive”. Games like Diablo, Torchlight do this by giving the player tons of gear, lots of drops, lots of customization and decisions to make.
Who didn’t stop and think for two hours if +1% crit is better than +1% chance of lvl5 lightning on his sword. What do you mean nobody? Ok, I guess its just me.
Well those are the things that make my time with those game worthwhile, scavenging or working towards my build.
Now how does that look in games like Monster Hunter where you craft your own gear. Well here, instead of presenting your with shittons of loot, the game presents you with interesting choices in your gameplay department when you craft your gear.
Do you want to be more heavily armored or more agile? If you put on that plate, you are going to have less stamina, so you will dodge less, but you will be able to take a hit and survive instead.
Do you want to have fast and quick attacks with a short-sword or slow but heavy attacks with your two-hander? Not to mention your two-hander will hit multiple attackers in an arc, which can come in handy. But with your short-sword you can hit faster, dodge, run, and weave around enemies. And there were many more, different types of two-handers, each with unique attacks and swings,different ranged weapons, etc.
Monster Hunter gave the -gear- properties that defined your playstyle, that way you could switch and try other styles if you felt your style to either get boring or if it wasn’t working for you. The mastery of combat was directly in your hands.
RaiderZ however gives neither. The gear-progression for a class is directly linear and does not affect your combat in any significant way. After all whats the point of wearing cloth armor as a berserker if you aren’t benefiting from it one bit, you go for plate, all the way, all the time.
Additionally due to the class-system, hotbar abilities and talent/ability-trees the incentive to have multiple weapons for different playstyles is completely out of the question, as half your abilities stop working if you don’t have a specific weapon.
Hm, if only the abilities were TIED TO THE WEAPONS…
Also levels. Levels ruin everything. Why? Because you lock gear into levels, even if you could kill a LVL 12 creature as lvl9 (which is cake, the game isn’t exactly challenging) the material it drops is completely pointless to you, as the recipes for that weapon unlock at lvl 12. #dafuq
Why give me the ability to test my skill and prove my worth fighting higher level mobs if I can’t benefit from it?
More of a Hogger than a Taurus Demon.
RaiderZ – The Monster Whacking MMO
Hunting? You aren’t “hunting” you are hacking, maybe sometimes slashing.
Monster Hunter was a very methodic game giving you all sorts of interesting options like traps, grenades, target-painter shots that would tag a creature so you could actually -hunt- it across the zone if it ran away.
RaiderZ features no such thing. The “hunting” is in relation to the materials you gather to grind your next level gear.
There is no methodic component of hunting, there is going out into a field of mobs, killing a lot of them and then crafting your gear with it. There are around a hundred people running around competing for mobs at any given time, there is no challenge no depth. Oh you’re dying? Just run away and the mob will de-aggro, it will never catch up with you.
In combination with the linear gear progression, there isn’t a point in grinding mobs (unless unique) because there aren’t any sidegrades. Once you have your level-queal gear, you are done with that zone.
RaiderZ – The “Monster” Hunting MMO
Excuse me, what kind of “monsters” am I “hunting”?
During the first 7 levels of the game I killed trees (yes), pirates, lizard pirates, fish-people, statues, golems and skeletons. Why do I need the bone-dust of a skeleton to make plate armor? Its plate, metal, steel, it shines in the sun. What is “mysterious sand” and why do I need it for my leather headband, also why is it inside a lizard-swordsman?
At least in Monster Hunter I hunted monsters for a reason.
I didn’t wear plate made of steel, I wore plate made of dragon-scales, FROM THE DRAGON I JUST KILLED! The crafting was intimately tied to the logical materials you gathered. C’mon, this isn’t rocket science, Saga Of Ryzom figured this out for MMOs long ago. You get sap from trees, leather from creatures, wool from other creatures and combine it into leather shoes with wool lining glued with sap, it makes sense.
If you make a resource-system for crafing, make the resources make sense, else you can just say “gather 30.000 gold” and have the item in a store.
Follow the arrows until you win.
RaiderZ – The 1,2,3 MMO
I know that this aiming-schtick is totally in right now with MMOs but if you are giving me the illusion of control with dodging, weaving, and hitbox-based combat, make it at least matter what i do.
90% of the time, as long as you wear level-equal gear, you can stand in front of a mob and whack it without any fear of dying whatsoever. Yeah sure, with unique mobs it gets more interesting, but then you are just spamming your prefered rotation of skills.
Your only controlled attack moves are a forward strike (W+LMB) or a backwards dodge slash (S+LMB). ingenious! Marvelous! EXCITING! Not.
You can’t control which way you are going to swing your weapon, its always the same animation. Abilities are what counts and what give you the versatility, but abilities are on the hotbar and not under your direct control. The game quickly devolves into spamming your 1-5 abilities instead of using tactics, positioning and timing.
I mean guys, Vindictus already had a pretty good combat-combo system in place that gave the control of execution to the player. Yeah the game was still too easy but at least you felt in control.
Oh no, I’ve taken 100 points of damage out of my humongous 1000HP pool at level 8. Woe is me. (This is a boss)
RaiderZ – The Filler MMO
So in comparison to Vindictus or Monster Hunter the zones are larger but still instanced. Usually you will have a zone with a quest-hub or two in it which are too small to be counted as “big” and too large to be counted as “corridor”.
There is a lot of running involved in getting where you want to be, making the game a chore to play at times.
It’s purely filler, there isn’t any reason to not have teleports to the sub-zones of a zone instead of dumping you in the center of it if you use the quicktravel.
Monster Hunter had some enjoyable filler like Fishing, cooking, farming as well as managing your cat-companions. The point is, all this filler actually contributed to the core gameplay. Cooking and Fishing was pretty useful for crafting your own medicine, food and other supplies that you -needed- on your travels into the wild. Running out of whetstones and breaking your weapon could spell failure for your hunting-trip.
In RaiderZ nobody gives a shit. Yeah food regenerates your HP faster, cool beans, except i can stack on instant healing-potions and just pop 10 of them on a 20s cooldown, w/e.
In MH your gear was limited, you couldn’t take 3000 HP-pots with you or you would run out of space for materials and loot that you needed to bring back to your camp.
Running missions from lvl1-17 I did not once use any consumable, nor did I die, or run out of crafting-materials. In fact, I never repeated a quest or grinded for materials in the first place. All the materials can be acquired without breaking a sweat from quests and I just couldn’t give a damn for “blue” quality equilevel gear from bosses because my character already felt like a god with green-quality gear and was eviscerating everything without a loss to his HP-bar.
Well at least I can play guitar when I get bored.
RaiderZ – The TL;DR MMO
The story is mostly forgettable and delivered by our old and well known narrative-device, the text-box (with sparsely applied cinematics with stock animations ca. 2005).
Somewhere between the Pirates and ancient monuments that transform you into Draenai, I stopped caring.
Apparently some sort of ancient evil has been unleashed, or will be, or something, thats why we stop everywhere, do every fetch-quest, run around in the forest killing spiders, etc. Needless to say, the narrative and plot is entirely uninspired and basic, ignorable, fantasy-fare.
At this point I’m wondering why the developer is even trying to create a semblance of story in their MMO when it obviously doesn’t have one.
Most people completely ignore your quest-text unless it’s read out to them or requires any input beyond selecting the rewards. Most Korean grinders have realized this and added an auto-travel function to go to the desired field of lvl15 wolves you need to slay by clicking the keyword in the quest-log. Alas RaiderZ keeps it old-school, presenting us with pages of “story” that nobody could force themselves to give a damn about, and no “modern convenience” of auto-travel.
It’s time to admit that if your MMO is about killing mobs and combat, your story will be largely forgettable and we can go without everything that gets in the way of actual gameplay (like running for 10 minutes to reach said field of lvl15 wolves).
Stop kidding yourselves, we aren’t here for the story.
If you like completely linear gear-grind, hotbar combat with “aiming”, ridiculous questing and translation as well as something “else” than tab-target MMO (seriously, its not that different), give it a try.
If you are expecting Monster Hunter, Darksouls, challenge, deep combat, tactics and method, customization or direct mastery over your character and skills, don’t.