Can you handle it?
Published on January 12, 2005 By Kobrano In MMORPG
My shortlist of best games of all time include Shadowbane, I played it for about 2 years, but haven't been back since early last year when I gave it up. However I think about it often, in this day and age of watered down MMOs with weak PvP-Lite, and crappy experiance grinds, Shadowbane really spoiled me to how things should be in these games. Shadowbane was a huge commercial success early on, selling 170,000 copies, however overcrowding, and sales exceeding the technical ability of their servers, and the bugs, practically killed off that entire population of gamers within a few short months.

Time has passed, dozens of patches have been released, and there have been two large expansions. Shadowbane now, is what it was always meant to be, it has achieved 90% of the original vision of the developers. All of this culminated this week with their announcement of a new server coming online. This server will have a full realm conquest based system in place, a resource system, accelerated experiance and city building, as well as many other elements. I've ordered two copies of the game, and will be returning to Shadowbane due to these changes. Well, another reason is they added "Vampires" as a race, and well, I think Vampires are cool. Bonus!

Anyway, if you aren't familiar with Shadowbane, it basically is the only MMO that does most things right. The balance is great, the world is huge and conquestable, you can build your own REAL cities and castles - and design them from scratch. There are no rules, there is no law, the PvP is unrestricted, open, and unfriendly. But isn't that how these games were meant to be played? After all this genre started with MUDs, and the earliest MMOs did it how it was supposed to be done. Later, is when they decided to turn them all into a bunch of sock knitting simulations filled with carebears and crybabies, and PvP-Lite. Contrived rules, rediculous experiance grinds, and lackluster combat are the rule now. Not so with Shadowbane.

You won't find any quests in Shadowbane. There is no crafting - you hire NPC craft people to do your crafting for you. You won't find rediculously stupid treadmills and experiance grinds, Shadowbane is about the endgame, and getting there fast. What you will find is a hostile environment, rife with strife, rich in lore, unbelievable in its scope and majestry, and full control and destiny placed into the hands of you - the player. The feeling of accomplishment in a game is something that someone playing World of Warcraft just wouldn't understand, the community is deep and strong, and the bonds you make with other people in Shadowbane will last a lifetime.

Shadowbane is more than a MMO, its a Realtime Strategy Medieval Castle Simulation Conquest Engine.. Thats the best way to sum it up. You won't find cookie cutter characters in Shadowbane, in fact, its mostly a skill based system and characters are so complex in design, you'd be hard pressed to find a clone of yourself in the game.

Think you can handle it?

on Jan 16, 2005
No comments, huh? I'm sure that's just a fluke.