No Tears for Wizardry Online?

I am sure somewhere out there, somebody is angry, sad, or otherwise feeling an emotional effect because Wizardry Online closed its doors yesterday.

I am sure because I have found that even the worst, most widely despised feature in any MMO ends up being somebody’s favorite feature.  And you find out exactly who they are the moment it goes away because they show up on the forums wanting to know what happened.


So I feel quite confident that somebody, somewhere loved SOE’s imported Wizardry Online MMO.

It just wasn’t me.

But I pretty much guessed that was going to be the case before the game showed up in the SOE lineup back in 2013.

For me, this is Wizardry:

I am sure I'll never use this picture again...

Somewhere in 1983…

Wizardry is something that exists in the context of the distant past along with a lot of hand-drawn graph paper maps and things I described in a post.

So Wizardry in MMO form… or at least in Asian import MMO form with anime style characters… never had a chance with me.  I wrote me feelings about it, acknowledging that my assessment was unfair in the title.

Some find me... disturbing

Porkul… so disturbing

Unlike my previous post, where I eulogized Vanguard and tried to describe its place in the history of the genre, I cannot really place Wizardry Online.  Why SOE chose to publish it, why they decided to close it down after a year and a half, and all the questions in between are unanswered for me.  And, unlike Vanguard, I do not see any posts out there in my corner of the blogesphere mourning its departure.

Who will speak for Wizardry Online?  Who has some final words?

Where is PoliticallyIncorrectJessica now?

[And why won’t that link go to the right comment. Some dwarven magic I bet.  You might have to scroll down to see the comment from her.]

Addendum: Oh, hey, Joseph Skyrim cares!

11 thoughts on “No Tears for Wizardry Online?

  1. pkudude99

    For me Wizardry was played on my good old Corona 286 IBM-compatible computer with a monochrome green screen. We’d really gone whole hog on that computer and had gotten a full 1 MB of RAM (256K was normal, 512 was big, and 1 MB was insane!) and a 20 MB hard disk (where even 10 was considered big).

    Character stats i na single line across the bottom, inventory to the upper right, and the awesome 3D wireframe showing me moving through the maze was in the upper left. It was so awesome! Especially after I figured out how to dupe not only my items but my characters as well. . . . . . . . Even the Amulet of Werdna which sold for a lot of gold so I could buy all the best gear… and then dupe it too. . . . .

    Oddly enough, I didn’t really care for Wizardry 2 and haven’t ever played any Wizardry title since then.


  2. seanxxp

    Rarely have I known a game so uniformly unloved and seemingly unwanted. Then again, I don’t really remember hearing anything about it after it launched.


  3. Jenks

    Was this post an excuse to link back to that rant by PoliticallyIncorrectJessica? Because if it was, it was entirely worth it and well played. Very few things in life are that confusing while also brightening my day by that much.

    I hope she’s out there somewhere, playing an Asian MMO that hasn’t been disneyfied for some barftastic liberal feminists.


  4. Joseph Skyrim

    Hehe it certainly wasn’t for everyone, but I’m one of those who actually enjoyed it. Despite having open PvP anywhere it strangely had one of the best communities I’ve come across too.


  5. carson63000

    I can’t recall ever hearing even one single person saying that they were playing Wizardry Online.

    Personally I poked around in it for an hour or two in beta, and never returned.


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jenks – I had actually forgotten about that comment, I just make a habit of linking back to old posts because, hey, I wrote something, go read it again. And then I read the comments and knew I had to make a special link to PoliticallyIncorrectJessica.


  7. NetherLands

    Didn’t SOE keep the game for Asia :?

    Personally I liked the Porkul, but then again I like playing ‘small races’ (sorely missed in ArcgeAge) and one of the reasons I like playing Gnomes is their deathsqueeks (a sure sign of playing too many RPG’s ;P? ).

    The game itself required getting used to, the first Dungeon was actually scary fun but the second one (and probably further) was indeed so much ‘you have to kill qucikly and keep moving’ that at least I couldn’t solo beyond the entrance. While some love mandatory grouping, for me personally having no real soloing alternative (killing beetles at 4 xp a pop in the thousands to outlevel the dungeon? I think not)/play means I stop playing a game.

    I do think it was balsy of SOE to at least give the game a chance, though I hope they don’t see it as ‘proof’ that ‘hardcore games’ don’t ‘work’ . Games can be hard without relying on forced grouping , imo (ie accept that grouping make a task easier, just as getting more gear).


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @NetherLands – Gamepot, a developer in Japan, created the game and still runs it there. SOE just licensed it for the US and worked with them for the localization.

    The whole Wizardry series evolved from its US roots to a Japanese franchise over the years, so bringing it back here was fraught with a danger of people not getting where the series had gone.


  9. ultrviolet

    I played WO for maybe 10 hours. (A good run compared to many in my Steam library.) It had a very old-school single-player RPG style, so it gave me a nostalgic feeling for a while. Then all the reasons that old-school RPGs were upgraded to modern RPGs became very apparent, and I stopped playing it.


  10. Summer Reliqae of Illfalo Port

    I enjoyed Wizardry Online and am sorry to see it go. It was the second MMO I ever played. Before it, I was more of a console stealth (Metal Gear, Tenchu,…) and horror (Resident Evil, Silent Hill,…) genre gamer. The only issues I had with it were the scarcity of party members if you weren’t on the most recently released dungeon and the amount of grinding required. Because of that first issue, I ended up running dungeons solo a lot….as a Mage. It was incredibly difficult, but it was…exciting as well given the dangers of open-world PvP/looting (lost a good staff to some ganker when my connection failed) and the threat of permadeath (even if the permadeath was really no threat). Also, no. Sony and the rest of you game makers, just stop it. I will not give you my hard earned real world money for virtual goods.

    In closing, I intend to pay the ultimate respect to Wizardry Online. I’m a 31 year old developer. I’ve never worked in games before, but have recently expanding into that area in my spare time. Somewhere down the line, I intend to make an RPG (not necessarily an MMO, however) and Wizardry Online will be noted as one of its influences.


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