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MMORPGdot: Independant MMORPG Showcase #3

Ekim, 2004-02-04

As the mmorpg genre evolves, MMORPGdot brings you a series of articles showcasing the independant makers of mmorpg games. These lesser-known games are often more revolutionary than their commercial counterparts, sometimes cheaper, or even free, and they are always and forever will be a sign of the creativity that the people working in this genre are capable of. This series of features exist to allow the makers of these games to have their moment in the spotlight, and also allow gamers to see what is being made outside of the more traditional commercial arena. Today we present you a profile of Illarion, an intricate mmorpg with a M.U.D. feel.

A feature that is very important to Illarion is the depth of real role playing. The developer strives to make it stand out from every other RPG, that mainly puts focus on hack and slash monster fighting. In Illarion, it should be possible to live your whole life without ever killing a monster. Illarion tries to ensure this with the Vocations system. The different crafts available supplement each other, so that craftsmen need to work together to be truly successful. Also, it is possible to knock players unconscious instead of killing them. This way you can be a robber instead of a murderer.

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Illarion lets role playing run the course of the game, as the character interaction is very important to the game. Most games underrate roleplaying and instead focus on technical detail, where as in Illarion it's the other way round (even though Illarion is not the worst game of it's genre technically either). In most other games in this genre, you can always see the other characters' names, which often leads to conflicts. In Illarion, you have to introduce yourself to someone if you want them to recognize you.

The magic system is very complex: There are different runes, each with a specific meaning. Players must explore spells by trying out meaningful combinations (with a total of 4 billion possible combinations). They must learn about each rune from masters of the arcane arts. The chance of success in casting spells is determined by the mage's skill with each of the combined runes. Druid magic consists of potion brewing. Once a wise druid has explained the herbs to you, you can set out to find them in the places they grow. Potions are made by experimenting with different mixes of herbs.

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Your rank in the social system will depend on the amount of money you spend on luxury goods (expensive cloth and food for instance), so you can reach powerful positions in politics. This enables you to play a feudal lord, that protects his people in court and war, taking money from them instead. Other graphical online games often have no races. Here you can pick from several races with their own graphics and cities (e.g. the elves live in tree houses, the dwarves in caves, lizardman in the ocean, ...).

Many actions will change your alignment. If you kill a unicorn or summon an undead, you will drop in alignment, if you hunt vampires or heal players it will rise. This will influence your spell successes since each spell has an alignment value (i.e. an evil sorcerer casts evil spells easily, and is bad at healing magic).

Now, why should you give Illarion a chance (beyond the fact that it's free)? The main reason would be the fact that only those players who are good role-players are selected to play the game (no griefers allowed). Illarion strives to offer a really good RPG atmosphere for its players, and that is enforced through careful selection of potential new players. Because of this it may take some days before you are accepted after requesting an account. But what follows is a much safer experience for those who really want to play with like-minded people.

For more information, visit http://illarion.org

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Average Reader Ratings: 7.9 (48 votes)
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