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RPGDot 2001 Awards
Best Graphics in an RPG

The RPGDot Team, 2002-01-07

In the last weeks of December 2001, you had the opportunity to vote for the best RPGs released in 2001. Nobody knows better what these are then you the player and as such The RPGDot 2001 Awards will look good on any game receiving one.
We thank all those who entered their votes and helped us in making it possible to select the best games.

Best Graphics in an RPG

Graphics, the eye candy of a game. It's a topic of many debates. There are those who don't give a game with mediocre graphics a second look, even if the quality of gameplay is great. And then there are those who can see beyond that. But without a doubt, great looking graphics add much to a game and can make a great game even better. There have been several new releases in 2001 that showed a high quality of gameplay and graphics and from these games you, our visitors, have made their choice.

The winner: Everquest - Shadows of Luclin
Shadows of Luclin is the 3rd expansion of Everquest. The game now requires DirectX8.1 and the graphics have alot of 3D eyecandy to show for it. Creatures and players can make facial expressions. Worn equipment is seen distinctly as body pieces. Most of the adventures zones in the old world have been given a terrain texture upgrade. There are 25 new adventure zones for all levels one thru sixty. Walking through the zones you will find a variety of colorful landscapes and dungeons.

The downside is that Everquest now has beefy memory requirements if you want to view all the new racial character models. Fortunately you can configure game options for what Gender/Race PC model you want to see, facial animations on or off, etc

Verant has been producing an Everquest expansion every year.
With the new support for DirectX8.1 and XML, the Everquest World is more dynamic than ever.


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Runner Up: Dark Age of Camelot
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I didn’t like MMORPG’s anymore. I used to play Ultima Online for a year or so, then switched to Everquest, just to quit the game within two weeks. Everquest was nothing that attracted me. Then I played Asheron’s Call, and while I enjoyed it for about a month, I didn’t stay with it. Since then, I avoided MMORPG’s like hell. Until DAoC.

I am recently taking part in the European beta test – and I can understand why people are enthusiastic about the game. Besides good to great visuals, game mechanics are interesting and awarding. DAoC encourages roleplayingthrough quests and tasks and through its general setting. The hours I have spent with the beta test showed me a lot of roleplayers – more than I have seen in Everquest or Asheron’s Call. Character advancement is well structured, and while I think that player interaction could be easier (you often forget to start your conversations with <enter>), there’s a lot of talk going on between the players.

Dark Age of Camelot from Mysthic Entertainment will possibly be the new king of the hill of this genre. I tries to be as true to roleplaying as possible, and it has some new, clever ideas built in. The rank it gained in our poll is well earned, and you can bet you’ll see me as Rendelius on the servers from time to time…

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Second Runner Up: Gothic
This one is THE Surprise RPG of the year. Created by, the before unknown German studio Piranha Bytes, Gothic is often claimed to offer what Ultima 9 did miss. The massive and complex 3D world looks just as good or even better as the final Ultima part, to say the least.

The escape from the magic prison did keep many gamers busy, but often it was mere fun to walk around in the beautifully rendered gaming world.
Music & Sound are very well done as well and the story is quite good for an action RPG.


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The Numbers
To make it complete we now give you the top 10 (out of 27) as voted by our visitors:

Everquest: Shadows of Luclin
Dark Age of Camelot
Wizardry 8
Baldur's Gate 2 - Throne of Bhaal
Anarchy Online
Arcanum - Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Diablo 2 - Lord of Destruction
Pool of Radiance - Ruins of Myth Drannor
Fallout Tactics - The Brotherhood of Steel

And 11% of those who participated were unable to select one of the games.

We, the RPGDot team also voted to create our own top 3:

Blade of Darkness
Wizardry 8

Only one or two RPGDot team members played online games in 2001 (which will definitely change in 2002), so this accounts for the absence of these games in our top 3. Taking away these from the top 10, results then in a similar score, with the exception of Blade of Darkness.

Note that percentages are rounded to the nearest number.

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