Sunday, December 9, 2012

Broke Video Gamer: RaiderZ Review

I didn’t have high hopes for originality when I first fired up Raiderz. In fact, I was anticipating another World of Warcraft clone before I even installed. While being similar to a massively popular and genre-breaking game can be okay, a game like Raiderz needs something really special to stand out from all the other magical hack & slash games out there. Making the game free is a good start -- Who wants to pay for not-WoW? I put on my robe and wizard hat and ventured out into the Kingdom of Rendel in hopes of grand adventure in this uncharted land.

Raiderz is a free-to-play MMORPG developed by MAIET Entertainment. The open beta release was made available on October 24, 2012. It is published in North America by Perfect World Entertainment. The client download can be found on Perfect World’s website:

Click through the jump for the full review!

So, do you like hopping from waypoint to waypoint and being somebody’s bitch? If so, then you need to make me a sandwich and install this game. I went through the early levels with a deluge of quests in my queue. These early quests taught the game dynamics, map layouts, and how to navigate through the menus. However, being directed from one NPC to the next and attending to the chores they give you makes for a very linear game. This approach in gameplay puts an open-world environment to waste. This might be forgivable if original and unique missions can be undertaken. Instead, the player is burdened with the standard fare as far as WoW-type MMO’s go: gather things, kill things, go talk to or find NPCs, rinse, and repeat. On the bright side, there are a lot of quests in this game. This gave me plenty to do. So much so that the cascade of assignments became almost unmanageable. It got to the point where I was just clicking [Accept Quest] without reading the flavor text. To decide what to do next, I simply followed the helpful arrows on the minimap and figured out what needed to be done once I got there.

Storyline? What storyline? I am a little bit at fault here. Without reading quest details, I wasn’t sure if I was on a side quest or taking part in a major plot point. I was alerted to something big happening because gameplay would be interrupted by a cinematic cut scene. As long as I picked up the clearly marked quests on the map, I could be fairly certain I wasn’t missing anything. I have a problem with this dynamic.

The overarching story is very simplistic. It can be summed up in one paragraph (culled from the Raiderz Wiki):

The once prosperous and powerful kingdom of Rendel has finally crumbled. Vicious beasts, awakened by the contamination of the Prime Stone, roam the lands with an insatiable thirst for blood and a desire to claim Rendel as their own. The horde has grown too strong and endless waves of mutated creatures continue to slowly claw away at the last remaining barrier between beasts and humans. There is still, however, a small glimmer of hope for the ill-fated kingdom. A team of champions with weapons and armor forged from the contaminated beasts has risen to slay the marauding monsters.   

When coupled with storyline quests that everyone has to go through, it is very hard for a player to care about the world of Raiderz. There is no sense of ownership with regards to the world because it doesn’t feel like the player is doing anything that truly affects it. It doesn’t make for a very dynamic world when all anyone has to do is go from Point A to Point B to get by. This was one reason why I quit playing WoW: Being an armed bystander and reliable gofer through a story that can unfold with or without you isn’t very engaging. There are games like Eve Online and FireFall where player actions affect the world in major ways. The concept isn’t new. If implemented into Raiderz, it might be enough to keep players for the long haul.

Aside from some of the names being changed, the class selections are exactly the same character classes from WoW. Most disappointing. Raiderz has six classes to choose from, two of which are not yet playable. The four available classes break down into the traditional roles of MMORPG groups: Berserker for heavy damage, the Defender acts as a tank, Cleric for heals, and the Sorcerer is there to deal ranged DPS. There are two classes still in development and little is known about them: Assassin and Hunter. There are no races to further differentiate characters from each other. The lack of diversity is a little disappointing, but since the game is still in beta, it makes it easier to balance the available character options.

Crafting systems have become a sought after feature in MMOs by players and I was happy to see one available in Raiderz. Acquiring equipment is heavily reliant on a crafting. Raiderz’s execution of this game concept differentiates it greatly from Blizzard’s game. Through my travels, the only immediately usable gear I’ve found are potions and weapons that can be used only for a certain amount of time before they vanish into thin air. The more permanent gear need to be crafted using the components gathered from looting dead monsters or taken from the environment using gathering skills. Crafting is done by searching out artisans at different locations who can provide recipes for whatever you’re trying to make. Once all the components are gathered for a desired piece of gear, those same artisans can put them together for you.      

I was taken aback by the distinct lack of a rival faction. With the exception of arranged duels, there is absolutely no PvP available in this world. Again, the game is in beta so things could change. However, an MMO’s success can be directly tied to the existence of an “other.” In WoW, Horde vs. Alliance provided a platform for arena and world PvP. Eve Online, notable for its long-enduring player base, is mostly a PvP arena.  Killing monsters with your merry band of friends can be fun to a certain extent. However, there will come a time when you just want to pwn some real humans. Can’t do that here but hopefully, that can change. Those who have played World of Warcraft can attest to this. In fact, some players continue to play just for the sole purpose of making the life of the other group miserable.

This game doesn’t stand out graphically, either. The areas I’ve been to are quite generic. There’s a shoreline full of mobs, a pirate ship surrounded by pirates, open fields with wolves in it. I found some ruins with animated stone statues. While the larger mobs have some nice movements and attacks in their arsenal, the rest of the world just kind of fell flat.

I’ve seen this all before...on WoW. The only reason I can see anyone play this is if they’re unwilling to shell out the cash for other MMO’s that aren’t free. However, there are quite a few others adopting the free-to-play model with superior game play where players can waste their time. After ten levels of this tedium, I gave up. Perhaps I’ll pick this up again after it’s out of beta. Five years ago, this would’ve been a great game! These days, it just comes across as another WoW clone adopting the F2P model for some quick cash.


  1. Hadn't even heard of this one but I'm a sucker for MMORPGs. Might have to give it a look if only to get a feel for it.

  2. Not actively playing any right now but I have WoW, Old Republic, Tera, Secret World, Guild Wars 2, DC Universe. Might even have Conan somewhere!

  3. I didn't bother with GW2, WoW account is currently defunct. Been meaning to try DCU and Old Republic.

    I've been playing a lot of Firefall lately. It's so awesome.

  4. Well for one when this game first came out it was pretty fun, but now a days its nothing but a lag hole central game, they kinda cured the gold spammers, but there are still hacks and stat stackers on the game, not to mention bots all over the place using 3rd party programs that they can't control, This game uses GameGuard as its security, and there are tons of constant cheats, and hacks that this company can not protect from. Not to mention 0 new content. The games forums are run by Nazi moderators. Anytime you post something they don't like they edit your post, or just delete it, because they don't want new players to know what kind of issues the game is currently having, and most times their standard reply is contact support, so you waste time contacting support for them to do absolutely nothing.

    I have played this game since Open Beta and you can tell this was rushed into Live Play, since nothing was fixed before they released it. This game is free to play, but they only really care about making money via the cash shop. At the start of Live Release this game was hit with a dupe hack where players were duping in game items along with cash shop items and selling them on the market, totally saturated all servers, and the company did nothing about this, they let these players remain on the game with out penalty. So with the constant hacking still going on the game play of this game has degraded, and in my honest opinion is not worth the time.

    Over the last 2 months it has only gotten worse, and I am currently looking for another game to play because of this. You can try the game out if you want, but you will be about as disappointed after the hype has worn off and you realize all the time you have wasted.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I think it should take at least a month to properly evaluate and review an MMO and a veteran player's point of view is much appreciated. I only put a week's worth of game time into Raiderz (about three to four hours a day for five days, to be exact), so I didn't feel right slamming it. I did find several things missing with this game and I felt the urge to just totally lay into it. =P

      If you are looking for a new time-sink in the F2P arena, I suggest checking out Firefall. I lose so many hours playing that game.