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.
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