In a sea of free-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, finding ones that are truly worth the amount of time invested is like looting an epic weapon from a bunny. We have seen the rise and fall of hundreds of MMOs trying to bank on the free-to-play model, with few actually achieving any real success. So what makes a new MMO special enough to succeed? There are countless factors involved but I’d say the most important factors are that it has to be fun and unique. I got some hands on time with RaiderZ at PAX and decided that unique fun is something that RaiderZ has in spades. Why was RaiderZ impressive enough to receive Twinfinite’s “Best MMORPG of PAX” award? Hit the jump to find out!
RaiderZ is one of the newest titles from developer MAIET Entertainment, Inc and MMORPG-publishing veterans Perfect World Entertainment. RaiderZ just finished a successful closed beta testing phase, which I was fortunate to be a part of. It’s kind of funny; go look at any post made by the RaiderZ team on their official Facebook page or their site and you will see tons of comments regarding how badly they want the next beta phase to start. Such love and dedication is normally absent from MMOs in beta phase. This desire for more time with the game is not unfounded either. Simply put: RaiderZ is one of the coolest MMOs I’ve ever played. It just has so much personality, and there are many cool and funny things you can do that really set it apart from your run-of-the-mill MMORPG.
RaiderZ is a beautiful action-MMO, which means that combat happens in real time and involves more actual gameplay than most MMO’s. The game’s slogan of “Hunt Together, or Die Alone!” could not be more appropriate. You will be facing a variety of nasty monsters of all shapes and sizes. With some larger-than-life raid monsters walking around, you’re going to want to team up with like-minded hunters or you’re going to get eaten. Fellow hunters are not the only tools at your disposal. Some monsters can drop weapons they’re holding after they’re defeated, which you can pick up and use. Picking up a club from a deceased creature replaces your skill bar with a completely new bar unique to the club. You can now use this club to seriously crack some heads. One of the most satisfying experiences in gaming I’ve had lately was using a club dropped by an enemy to just completely obliterate everything in my way. It’s not limited to weapons though; you might have a crab-like monster drop some of their meat which grants you an appreciated temporary healing buff.
Since we’re on the topic of unique action bars, I’ll talk about the new feast system. Feasts are not new to MMOs. Usually, someone will create a feast and all nearby party members can partake in the feast for a buff. RaiderZ does it a bit differently. Once a feast is plopped down, lets use the vegetable feast for example, players can click on the table and pick up a plate of veggies. Doing so will bring up a unique action bar for that particular feast. If you’re in a safe area (which isn’t likely at any given moment) you can just hit the key and consume the veggies for the buff. Should you happen to catch the ire of a wandering enemy, teach them not to interrupt your dinner by uppercutting the shit out of them with the veggie plate. Yeah RaiderZ went ahead and weaponized food, because awesome.
Additionally, guitars have been implemented as well. This is more of a neat social feature; you can equip a guitar with it’s own chord-filled skill bar and form a band with friends and put on a show! Should some uninvited concert-goers not appreciate your Danzig cover band, feel free to be your own bouncer and bash their face in with your guitar.
Another rad feature that was just implemented is the transformation system. I’ve not played another MMO that has allowed you to do transformations quite like RaiderZ. I checked my bag and found a bunch of colored crystals. I double clicked on one and was transformed into a ghoul, complete with ghoul-specific action bar. These transformations, apart from being just a neat feature, give the player access to tons of new abilities that only monsters can use. I was instructed to double click on this white transformation crystal and was transformed into one of the most intimidating creatures in all of video games: a cute widdle bunny wabbit. While not particularly effective against high-level monsters that I was near, I was still able to do a flying ninja kick and deal some damage. This transformation would obviously be more effective against lower level monsters… but the bunny’s action bar had two little bunny dances you could do, so that was adorable.
I also found out that some boss monsters can drop transformation crystals of their own. Boss monsters usually have some ridiculous abilities that players are never given access too. The RaiderZ team clearly wants to keep their game fresh and exciting, and giving players the ability to straight up turn into a boss monster is totally rad and something I would like to do. Like right now.
I was also able to briefly check out the Grand Wall of Silence, a new zone that was previously inaccessible in closed beta. The Grand Wall of Silence is the dividing wall between humanity and evil, and it’s been doing a pretty great job at it for a while, but it has been starting to weaken and monsters have started seeping in, and could really use some assistance in protecting the country’s borders. Also, a giant Chimera has been spotted in the area.
So… you know… good luck with that.
There are so many creative features with RaiderZ that make it a most radical MMO experience. You are able to create your own customized class by utilizing over 350 different skills. You’re no longer tied down to the class you picked when you first started, which is a welcome feature that more MMOs should look into. Tearing apart enemies and using their own weapons or body parts to combat them or craft new items is super satisfying. Smacking enemies around with your plate of yummies, your guitar or as a little bunny add personality to a genre that is incredibly stale. The amount of features the team has added between closed beta and now just shows how much love they have for the game, and that love is apparent as soon as you log in. RaiderZ was more than deserving of Twinfinite’s “Best MMORPG of PAX” award; even staff who aren’t really into MMOs were impressed with how much creativity and uniqueness RaiderZ offers.
Open beta is scheduled to start “soon” so keep an eye out on their official site for details on how to get in on the action. Don’t forget to invite your friends too! After all, you don’t want to die alone.