I had been looking for an MMO sandbox game for the Mac that was free to play. I found Ryzom just a few weeks after it became available on the Apple Store (2011). It is free to play up to level 125 (of a total of 250) so I thought I'd try it. It seemed like an incredibly generous evaluation period. After a few weeks I was hooked and became a subscriber.
Ryzom is hard - it is most definitely not just a point and shoot game. There is nothing really like it in terms of gameplay. It is not an FPS shooter, nor is it mission-led. It is a true sandbox. There is no endgame. You can play Ryzom for years and many have done.
Ryzom has several features that are unique or unusual.
- A skill tree that allows you to explore all skills (Magic, Melee, Forage, Craft) with one character
- Weather and seasons that affect gameplay
- Animals that hunt in packs or migrate in herds
- Actions that can be customised by combining building blocks to suit your style of play
- A crafting system that uses hundreds of foraged or looted mats in combination to give gear with hugely different characteristics
- A levelling system that forces you to explore the landscape in search of bigger and nastier things to hunt
- A mature and friendly community
In other MMOs the new player is at a disadvantage in competition with established players - in Ryzom we help each other.
I personally know players who have been playing since Beta in 2004 and they are still learning. I also know of a very few players who have mastered all 63 skills in the full skill tree, which takes years. Even then you are not done with Ryzom - you have simply finished your training. There is always something more to do.
Ryzom is a gorgeous game. What I do like about the game is the advancement as it is.
It is nicely done: the setting is different from most modern on-line MMORPG. The world is set in the future, thus the costumes are unusual and arouse interest in playing further. I have just created a character, but I'm eager to know what awaits for me in the game world. By now, everything I saw I liked.