Saturday, June 23, 2012

RaiderZ interview

We saw a little of RaiderZ back at PAX East and were taken aback by the quality behind the game and even more so by its business model: free-to-play. It's clear Perfect World and MAIET Entertainment want to shake up the typical free-to-play garbage that permeates the bulk of the internet. With something so involving and accessibly different, RaiderZ looks to be something gamers simply have no reason to pass on.

RaiderZ interview


The land of the MMO is changing fast and games like RaiderZ are paving a way for the new age. Arguably you can say that TERA was the first commercial step in the transformation of the MMO with its combat system, but RaiderZ is upping that by implementing several key factors. As I said, being free-to-play usually isn't anything to boast about and typically regards a game that's lower quality or pay-to-win. RaiderZ isn't any of these things and that's surprising.

When I first got my hands on the game, I immediately felt at home with the format. It plays like any action game, but occasionally you press a number on the keypad and your dude does a move. Whether it's trash you're slaying or a giant monster, you always need to keep moving in RaiderZ. Failure to become that nimble adventurer usually results in a low health-pool, which is something I fully embrace. You see, unlike pretty much every MMO out there, RaiderZ doesn't have any form of regenerating health. That means being evasive is key and utilising your health potions is more important than ever.

Spoilers: You will not survive that fire.

Of course combat is the heavy focus here, but hunting monsters also shares the spotlight. Again, the comparison to TERA comes forth and like their BAMs (Big Ass Monsters), RaiderZ will throw cascades of them at you. Following your quest chains, all roads will eventually lead you to that huge monster terrorizing the local populace, but there's more to it than just that. Sure, you'll need to have your wits about you to take down certain guys, but as you're bringing a monster to its knees you'll occasionally knock bits of armor, limbs and all manner of debris off of them. What's so important about that? You can sometimes use these items to your advantage in battle.

Say some huge rhino demon is attacking you. Hit him enough and the horn attached to his skull could break off, which you could use against him for a limited time. This adds to the strategy of the fights and could make encounters more beneficial by rewarding the player who's doing well with some kind of boost. There might not be any regenerating health, but some bosses can drop parts of themselves that act as a makeshift potion. Whoever said combat can't reap its own rewards? Yeah, probably no one.

You can actually manually play the guitar as well as bash monsters over the head with it. No, I'm not kidding.

I should mention that the combat doesn't tie you down to one specific class either. RaiderZ explores the basic four class principle gamers are used to seeing (Cleric, Berserker, Sorcerer, Defender) with skill trees and armor slots, as usual. However, RaiderZ never makes you permanently choose a class because you can shift them at any time. It's kind of weird at first, but by changing your weapon you change your class and you can do it right in the middle of a massive fight. Certain skills can only be used by those wielding specific weapons, so you can literally customize your character in whatever way you'd like. Pretty exciting right?

RaiderZ is expected to get a closed beta sometime in Q3 of this year. If all goes well you can bet the game will hit open beta before the end of 2012. Do yourselves a favour and check it out because there's a lot to be excited for.

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