Thursday, February 21, 2008

Linux Free MMO Roundup Week Two: Stendhal

Continuing onward with the theme established last week, this week's game is another open source 2D MMO that draws inspiration from the console RPGs of yesteryear. I present to you: Stendhal.

I'll say it right off the bat: I can't get into this one at all. Everything about it just plain feels awkward. You talk to NPCs by, well, actually talking. For example, you type "Hi" and they say a bunch in return. Do you want me to continue talking? Yes?


This can get annoying pretty fast can't it? Yes?


I'm sorry, but something about that just feels wrong. It's just as monotonous as clicking a button labeled "more", but now you have to type three letters to achieve the same effect. And that's not all: most of Stendhal has this feeling. Is it a novel approach? Sure, but it also leads to less-than-fun gameplay.

Instead of the tried and true MMO combat, i.e. you click on the enemy then watch the combat play out until one of you dies, Stendhal makes you right click, then select "attack". Can't that just be the default? I mean, what else am I going to do? Pet them? Offer them food? Invite them for a night out on the town filled with drinking and dancing? No. I'm going to attack them. That's why they're there.

So now you've finally downed an enemy. How do you pick up any loot it might have dropped? Well it's certainly not done by simply clicking on the corpse. No, instead you have to right click on the corpse and select "look". Again, what else was I going to do?

Everything about Stendhal feels like this: drawn out for no particular reason. Hell that may appeal to you, and if you think it might, it's only a 16mb download for the client without sound. Give it a try. Me, I'll stay far, far away. Yes?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a neat little thing: It is called double click. And it works like this:

1st) You move your mouse pointer above the creature you want to attack or the item you want to loot.
2nd) You quickly press the mouse button twice.

There is a new tutorial that just displays small pop ups while you play and encounter situations that may need explaining the first time. So you can skip those 4 boring NPCs without missing vital information. And spend more time on the quests offered by all the other NPCs.

And in case you ever wanted to repeat your last sentences: Shift + Up arrow is your friend.