Wizardry Online fans hope to ‘resurrect’ the permadeath dungeon crawler

    
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This took some work.

Despite an impressive RPG pedigree that stretches back decades, the Wizardry franchise faltered when it came to breaking into the MMORPG market. Wizardry Online lived barely a few years in Japan, and even less than that during its western 2013-14 run under SOE’s leadership.

But the title did have a very small but dedicated fanbase that saw potential in the hardcore, permadeath dungeon crawler, and it’s these fans that hope to bring Wizardry Online back for another try. Over on Reddit, someone has posted all of the game files with a plea for experienced engineers to take and run with a possible emulator project. It doesn’t look like there’s a groundswell right now, but with the files out there, it’s still a possibility.

“I’m looking for people motivated to restore the game, if you have any reverse engineering experience, or skills tracking down information, or files, or know someone who does, please assist us. I don’t want to wait years and years to see something like Wizardry Online again,” the OP said.

Source: Reddit
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kapier
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kapier

Yes please! I didnt play the original Wizardry games, but i played Wizardry Online and of all the MMOs i played which finally sunsetted this is the one i miss the most.

Though i really hope for it i dont see a bright future for the game, players abandoned it because it was too hardcore and should it be ever revived, it will have a very small playerbase.

P3lli
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P3lli

I’ve seen quite a few people ask for the game files to make a pserver, glad to see someone has finally shared them. If there is a TalesWeaver pserver I’m quite sure we will see a Wizardry one in no time.

My only concern is the hackers since the game has no shield against them whatsoever due to the way its coded//made//sends client input to server. So I wish hackers learned the lesson and this time they stay away, don’t wanna see the game being killed twice by a bunch of morons.

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Danny Smith

I liked this game for its late ps2 early ps3 jank feel but boy did fans of the single player wizardry games never stop letting you know how [angry] this game made them. It just felt like the closest thing to a Demon’s Souls mmo at the time and i kind of miss it.

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IronSalamander8 .

Wizardry will always be a single player RPG to me going a long way back. Heck, I think the first one may have been available on the Atari 800 and Apple IIE as well as the Commodore 64!

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Bullwraith

I played the original Wizardry on my Apple ][+ in 1982. It was released in 1981 and programmed in Apple Pascal.

I tried the MMO and quickly deleted it.

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Madd Overlord

It’s unfortunate that you were so quick to delete the game. I myself grew up on the original Wizardry games, starting with Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord released in 1982 and played every release of the game through Wizardry 8.

The one thing I felt that many of the Sir-Tech-Wizardry players didn’t do was get past some of the things that the developers did wrong with this game in order to see what they actually got right. Because there was so much that they translated in this game that truly captured the essence of the original games, but you had to be patient enough for the payoffs.

I’ve documented them numerous times on other threads and will not do so here, but for all the things they got wrong they did so much more right by both MMO and Wizardry standards.

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Bryan Correll

Sigh. I remember playing Wizardry. The first one.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I cast Tiltowait on the Creeping Coins!

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Bryan Correll

I’m more concerned with the Vorpal Bunnies.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Well aye, those are nasty beasties but I Tiltowait Creeping Coins on the whole of it cause they make me think my treasure is attacking me.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Good luck to them. I’m not seeing very much interest in it right now, and I still don’t think there is much interest in a game with perma-death AND open PvP, but still, good luck to them.

I briefly was wondering why I didn’t play this game back then. I was pretty young, and perma-death definitely didn’t interest me a lot, and the games I like are story based so I wouldn’t play this long term, but still it sounds interesting to try out so I was trying to think back why I wouldn’t have tried it. Then I remembered, it was Open PvP and perma-death. Yeah, still not interested, not even a little bit. Yikes.

We recently had an article that asked us what systems would make us pass over an MMORPG completely. I was thinking how I’d basically try anything, but I forgot about this game when answering. Any game that is perma-death and open pvp together, that is a major pass for me.

I realize that there is a criminal system and all that, but still it just takes any one person that doesn’t care or a group of griefers to wipe out your character permanently. And please don’t try to tell me that wouldn’t happen :P Griefers always grief.

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Link Elahrairah

you won’t permadie like that, also the criminal system is very well thought out, if someone is really so toxic, people will take notice, he will gain black aura, landing him in jail, then have to really work for a while to get out cus black aura does that, meanwhile anyone can see on a bounty board he is imprisoned, and they can all group up outside the jail blowing him up over and over, he has no way to town warp away, or revive at first resurrection statue and leaving zone.

I would most definitely say a bad griefer is much more at risk of being erased than you are.

iv seen 1 person permadie in 3 years, and that was due to major neglect and alcoholism.

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Madd Overlord

@Mewmew – This is where I believe that SOE did themselves a disservice. They heavily promoted the Permadeath aspect so much so that they frightened people away from trying a “free” game! I mean how crazy is that. They scared the crap out of people enough that they weren’t willing enough to try a game that would have cost them only a bit of time and no money.

I played this game in Closed Beta, Open Beta, NA Markets until it closed and then moved to Japan and started over to continue playing this game when it sunset in the NA/EU markets. The point of telling you this is that I know how much permadeath played a role in this game. Near zero!

The “threat” of permadeath was greater than the realty of it.

Here are the facts:

  1. Until a certain Soul Rank, it was impossible for you to perma-die.
  2. Once you achieved a Soul Rank where you could perma-die, the percentage chance of revival was extremely high, by default.
  3. As you achieved higher levels (soul and class) your percentage chance of survival would drop but not significantly.
  4. Each time you would revive you would have the option to make a donation of items from your inventory that would affect the chance of revival. It was very easy to get this up to 100% every time.
  5. You would get two chances to revive your character before losing them. Most people would take their chances without donating the first time and would only donate to the scale of souls on the 2nd attempt making sure it was 100%.
  6. In soul form you could be caught by a walker with a scythe. This was the only impediment between you and the scale of souls. Some people incorrectly believed that getting caught by a walker would also make you lose your character, but this would require you to be caught 10 separate times by a walker. The only way this would ever happen is pure negligence.

Bottom line is that it was absolutely, 100% nearly impossible to perma-die without an extreme form of in-game negligence on the part of the player.

As far as Open PvP and griefing were concerned, they were both prevalent. It has been argued (and still could be argued) that “griefing” helped to also kill this game, but that could be said about any game with open PvP. That is not unique to Wizardry and still is a problem in almost any game with open PvP.

That being said, with a little bit of effort on the part of the player, this too could largely be avoided. There were 9 channels of play in the town and many of the newer dungeons had as many as 10-20 channels themselves. Channel 1 was the primary channel used by the majority of the players in game. It was very simple to change to another channel and you could almost literally have the games entire map to yourself. The same could be said for dungeons, which also had multiple channels.

Smart players partied together, changed channels frequently and joined guilds that were PvE oriented. I, myself, ran a guild that was both PvE and No “reds” (non-criminal) throughout the game. We lived and played on alternate channels while other guilds and factions fought each other senselessly.

This is not to say that we never encountered PvP or griefers, however, as in-frequent as it was we also never ran away from it either. If confronted the guild would be sure to take matters into hand to squash it quickly and concisely. Often times just running enough interference for a player who was “solo farming” to escape, etc. We were always a shout away to helping.

It’s unfortunate that these fears kept so many away from trying what was truly a revolutionary game. This game should be lauded just for it’s “Soul” system alone, which was extremely in-depth and powerful (a discussion for another day).

The above record being set straight, it’s all a moot point because the game is now gone globally now. Which is unfortunate because I would start over in a heartbeat!

Long live Knights of Trebor (KoT)!

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TheDonDude

I liked Crusaders of the Dark Savant, but man oh man, Wizardry Online made no sense to me. Who looks at Wizardry and thinks ‘yes, hardcore perma-death is what defines this franchise’?

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PanagiotisLial1

the perma-death part is what I didnt like on the game too, but overall it was fun despite its rough edges

Mewmew
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Mewmew

It’s the perma-death mixed with Open PvP that turns me away. Perma-death by itself I could deal with (probably not long term, but I’d give it a shot!). Perma-death on an Open PvP game, that’s a hard pass.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Not only that, but as far as I’ve seen Wizardry was an older famous game around the time of Bard’s Tale stuff and was basically close to the same kind of thing as Bard’s Tale was. I haven’t tried Wizardry stuff yet or anything (I have played remastered Bard’s Tale stuff!), but from what I can see this game didn’t look anything at all like the old games. I’m looking at videos and it was super cute Japanese characters like from Final Fantasy Online. I honestly don’t know what connection it has to old Wizardry, but it doesn’t look visually that connected.

It’s not even the perma-death that got me. I’d play a perma-death game that kept something (you level your “soul” here so there is something you keep). It’s that the game is OPEN PvP and perma-death. Meaning every time you’re ganked, you start over from the very beginning. Yikes. No thanks.

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Madd Overlord

@Mewmew – I will give you that. The graphics were not my cup-of-tea either and did not resemble the art that I think of when playing any cRPG. My preference is definitely with a more western look and feel to a medieval MMO/RPG. Personally I love the look and feel of Dragon Age over Wizardry when it comes to the characters for sure. That being said, if you’ve ever played the original Wizardry games (the Llylgamyn series not the Cosmic Forge Series), graphics isn’t what grabbed and kept your attention anyway.

It was the dark and eerie feeling of not knowing what lurks around the corner. Not knowing if you are making a big mistake taking one more step further into the dungeon or high-tailing it for the stairs to heal and level your party! This is what made Wizardry a fantastic game, among many other things. This is what WizOn did a great job of capturing from the original series. That nerve-wracking feeling of should I push on or should I take the progress I’ve made and go back to town.

In the original Wizardry, you could meet monsters around any corner and also other would-be adventurers (friendly group of monsters is what they called them) at any time while in the dungeon. In WizOn these were the mobs placed in the dungeons and the “friendly group of monsters” were replaced by the rest of us playing the game! Were they truly “friendly” or were they criminals looking to corner an unsuspecting player or group of players in a dungeon? However, even encountering others in the game was very much avoidable!

In the original Wizardry your dead players had to be revived by either a player character with a resurrection spell or the party had to donate in the temple to revive them, however even in the original Wizardry (murmur – chant – pray – invoke) there was a chance your player could be turned to ash. When this happened, you only had one more chance to revive that character or lose them forever. Sir-Tech received numerous floppy disks from frustrated players begging them to restore lost characters! When I played the game I would only try to resurrect a character who was in ash with my hand over the power switch of my computer, with the hope that I will be able to power off the computer before it had a chance to write the lost character to disk! This was the original Wizardry’s version of permadeath, which I would argue was more terrifying in the original games then in WizOn; primarily because it actually happened quite often in the original game compared to the MMO.

Anyway – I responded to another thread indicating all the facts about revival in WizOn, so I won’t go into that here but felt the need to add the above.

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Madd Overlord

One other thing I wanted to address is the following statement you made…

“Meaning every time you’re ganked, you start over from the very beginning. Yikes. No thanks.”

This is factually false and misleading. You did not have to start over every time you were killed in this game. You simply went to a revive statue and resurrected. I’ve already beat this one to death in a previous response (pun intended) but it took an act of significant negligence on the part of the end-user to experience perma-death.

As far as losing items, the only items you might lose might be stolen from your body while dead from a would-be thief. However, this was not as easy as it sounds either, as it took time to take an item and that time would vary by skill level of the thief and the quality of the item. BTW – They could only see the category of the item they were stealing but not the actual item itself. So they may have known they were stealing a dagger, but had no idea of the quality of that dagger.

As far as your soul, anything in your “cloak room” (player storage) was safe from being stolen off your person and would not be lost in the event of a very negligent player somehow managing to succumb to perma-death.

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Crowe

I played one or two of the originals and enjoyed them. However, Wizardry Online was pretty awful and I think I only put a few hours in before walking away.

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PanagiotisLial1

I liked it, it sure needed work and more dedication but it was fun. It had a weird sunset too as the announcement came a bit after we were given a sort of roadmap for future plans

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Greaterdivinity

Man…I feel like an asshole, but this is one game that I’ll say deserves to stay dead. I remember playing it back when SOE briefly published it and it was horrible. Like…good lord do I remember needing to fight not just the baddies, but the entire god-damn game from the settings to the basic UI and everything else. I can’t remember a single redeeming feature or “fun moment” during my brief exploration of the game.

Good luck to them, but I think this is one better left for dead.

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kvlt_vonnegut

I wanted to like it, but 2 of the 5 hours I gave it was just trying to peel through the UI to get to the game. Eastern imports almost categorically have terribad UIs but this was on a whole other level.

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Link Elahrairah

that’s harsh, the game offers so many unique very well done mechanics that no other mmorpg does.
I understand if it’s not your cup of tea, but your comment is very harsh for such a unique game that was developed with so much love by the vary talented Headlock.

1-5hours will not allow you to understand a game that operates so differently, but after you do, it is a really spectacular thing to have pvps outcome only determined by your skill, and not left up to stats, or gear or something.

There truly is no alternative for anyone who enjoyed that game, that is enough to make it.

All of these ideas surrounding peromadeath and open pvp is also a bit skewed here.

To clear things up, you will not load into this game and just get ganked by a player.
I was probably 10hours+ in before i even had the option to remove beginer pvp protection.

At this point you are starting to really understand how to control your character for precise technical combat, so you will be prepaired.

Pvp still not your cup of tea?
Don’t remove safety flag ever then, or there was a separated liberal server for those who don’t want pvp.

But truthfully with such solid balance to pvp, that’s such a huge feature for those who are tired of basic tab target, or game that depend so heavily on gear and levels.

As for permadeath, anyone who did more than dip their toes in, like played 10hours+ can tell you that the permadeath mechanic was to lenient!

There are allot of factors that come into play, that make this mechanic work perfectly in Wizon.

It’s not like your gonna dc, come back, and everything you did is gone.

More like if you continually neglect giant warnings, basically being shown to you over an entire screen for a very long period of time, then maybe, just maybe you could lose character.

But in this game Soul Rank is what is most important, and that does not go away for losing a character, and the soul is shared between all characters, as like a family all sharing the same last name.

Also soul rank will give you more flexibility for building your long term custom class.

Most importantly tho, even if you lose a character, your personal experiences have taught you to be more formidable, and knowledgeable not only in combat, but in ability to theorize potential classes to build.

I really hope that helped clear things a bit for those who had a brief experience, or never got to play

_______
also your not asuna from divinity, are you?.