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TMC Player Reviews: DragonRealms


Review Submitted By: Gewthen
Author Status: Player
Started on DragonRealms: Seven years off and on
Submission Date: Mar 21, 2004
TMC Listing: DragonRealms

The following review is the opinion of the review's author [Gewthen] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff.

Well... what can be said for this game. One, I will tell you that it
is really not a game in my perspective even though you have dragons,
orcs, gobins and such that you can go around and kill. Before you
do such things you must spend much time training your character to be
able to hit that orc or goblin, as it is purely based off of skills.
If you want to learn a skill you are not prev2ented and in result in
order to 'balance' the game many barriers appear to be in the way.

In order to fight that goblin or orc, as stated above, one must know
how to fight. Once you join a guild you are taught some basic skills
that would help you to fight. But most likely it is not enough to
fight many of the nearby creatures of the main town you are places
in-- the Crossing. Therefore no matter what guild you end up joining
you will always have a steep learning curve before you can fight any
of the nearby creatures effectively. The only option is to go to a
website that lists for you the difficulty of each animal and which
ones to fight in order to get the skills you need in order to advance
to the next place in the guild.

This difficulty of needing to know something in order to do a
particular task is everywhere. Fletching, tanning, alchemy exists in
the game, but one must spend hours on hours training skills in order
to get at any significant place in in these crafts. In order to make
sure you don't make any mistakes in your fetching, alchemy, or
tanning one must learn a skill called Mechanical Lore. However, one
learns it best not by doing alchemy, tanning or fletching, but by
doing something simply as braiding grass into rope, or mashing things
with a mortar and pedestal. You simply type 'braid my grass' to make
your rope over and over again until you combine it to make the rope.
This is not entertaining at all!

The same kind of repeated command entry is required with many other
skills that are non-combat. If you want to be better at casting, then
you must spend hours and hours of casting the same spell over and over
all starring at the screen scroll the same repeated text over and
over. Sorry, that is not a game. To make things even more difficult,
automation of this is not allowed. You must, by all means, be
interactive with that repetitive text and actions, but for what
reason?

The reason has escaped me only to be replaced with confusion. If
typing a command over and over yields a proportional increase in one
skill, then I will not be sitting at the computer logged onto the
game typing that command over and over like some machine.

I've digressed a bit. I apologize. As you have seen I haven't
really concluded whether this game is good or bad, though most of my
comments have been negative thus far. The reason of their negativity
is based upon what I consider desirable in a game. This game tries to
mimic reality in it's skill system. In real life you learn how do a
particular task by doing/learning the necessary skills or steps. The
same is true with DragonRealms, In doing so, it brings a degree of
reality to the game. One must spend at least a month of constant,
mindless command punching to reach a significant development of their
characters. More is needed if one desires to master the game.

If you wish to master the game, expect command punching and many
hours of starring at the same scrolling text over and over, as using
any automation to attempt to speed something up.... okay I digress a
bit to explain...

The first few ranks of a skill are easy to get if you do the right
command or actions. However one you get up to rank 50 or so you start
getting in ranks at about one to two per hour of constant command
punching. When you need eight ranks of a skill among other skills that
need just as many it totals down to many hours for just a small
increase.

Therefore to make it humanly bearable, automation should be used. You
CAN automate the development of skills, but you must be looking at the
screen. Imagine sitting and starring at the computer do something
while you do nothing. Now, also imagine doing that starring at the
screen for hundreds of hours! Is that fun? Of course it is not fun,
nor it is it a good use of time. Therefore to save your sanity, say
you leave to do something else. In this case you would be in violation
of their policy, which says that one must be responsive to the game
environment at all times while one is gaining experience. This
translates into them requiring you to sit at a computer while your
computer scripts the commands for you ( typing all that repeatedly by
hand would bore anyone). Does that sound like fun? No and you are
paying for them to tell you that.

DragonRealms is far from a game. It behaves more like a simulation
(hence the name Simutronics, the name of the company that creates and
runs DragonRealms). Simulations themselves are the least gamelike of
all games. Dragonrealms just can't decide what is wants to be- a
roleplaying game, a simulation, or reality.

Submit Comments About this Review


Comment Submitted By: Brian
Author Status: Player
Started on DragonRealms: 2001
Submission Date: Apr 5, 2004

(The following review comment is the opinion of the comment's author [Brian] and in no way represents the opinions of this website or its staff).

While it is true that much repetition (or practicing) of skills is
required for certain things, especially crafting systems. It's not
like you have to do one thing for hours on end.

Each skill has a pool that fills up. Once you hit 'mind locked' in
a skill, you don't learn anymore in that skill until the pool drains
some. So you could take ten minutes to lock your mech lore, then go
hunt till your defensive and offensive skills are locked, and then
come train mech lore until your combat skills drain...

Anyway, I've been playing for three years and never found the game
boring. You can learn magic fine by casting in combat, and you learn
mech lore just fine from using crafting skills. The main drawback is
most crafting skills require a great deal of mech to begin. But
you can start fletching with as little as 10 ranks in bows an mech
lore. You'll make terrible bows, but you can make them.

No game offers this degree of flexibilty in training. A person cannot
accurately be judged either by guild or by circle (level) because
you do not know which skills, nor to which degree they have trained.