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Old 11-12-2000, 06:40 PM   #1

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I don't intend to speak for all W&W players, but offer my own perspective. When I first read about W&W some time ago, I was very excited to learn that DWB would be working on another RPG classic. I thoroughly enjoyed the Wizardry series from the beginning (W1 was in fact the first computer game I had ever owned, back in the Apple II days). As a matter of fact, I wore the W1 5.25's out!

In any case, it's probably safe to say I had high expectations for W&W.

I haven't been disappointed in its content... I enjoy the story told thus far, and the openness of the game itself, and the complexities of the character system. I will say that the game does lack some of the richness of W7... the world of Gael Serran doesn't seem to be as fleshed out as the previous installments. Maybe it's the lack of the little flourishes, or easter eggs... I have a theory as to why this is, which will be explained below. I'm also willing to admit that maybe my perceptions have changed, and become jaded over the years. But my point is that the story being told is excellent.

HOWEVER... I am extremely disappointed with the game mechanics itself. First, the interface itself seems rushed and unpolished. Take for example the confusing presence of the 'dragon breath' button for beginning characters... this has been reported as a 'design feature' on the Activision support site. How difficult would it have been to leave the 'orb' blank, such as unavailable options in certain shops? It simply seems like a lack of attention to detail... As well as the poor 3d-Acceleration support. The software renderer is quite incredible when you take into account what its accomplishing, but allowing legible text in a D3D environment is not a lot to ask. Additionally, if the video aspect of the game could be handled by a piece of HW dedicated to that purpose, possibly there wouldn't be so many issues with the swap file.

Let me explain why I am so upset. I have a group I have carefully created, and have spent roughly 25-30 hours playing. I had been saving the game about every 15 minutes, to deal with the constant crashes (seeming to revolve around stacking spells [bless, illuminate, armorplate]). After an important turning point in the storyline, I went to return to town... and as soon as I clicked on the gate I received the tell-tale 'crash' sound, notifying me that I must now reboot my PC. Upon reloading, I soon found that I could not enter the western gate of this town under any circumstances! This held true for all of my saved games! I just happened to have a save on the opposite end of town, entered through the east gate, left to the west and immediately tried the western again, only to crash once more. My only hope is to try to return to the beginning town, remove the characters, reset the game data and try again, with no guarantee that this will not happen again!

I had heard before that Activision wants to leave the PC-Game market, and move to consoles only... If this is true, I'm sure there was pressure to finish this project so that the PC division could be closed. I think the W&W finished product reflects this. Even if this is the case, Activision still has a responisibility to its customers for this game. I hope we will see a patch soon to address these constant and consistent crashes, as well as improved 3D support.

I am still a loyal fan to DWB, and will most likely purchase anything he does in the future. However, I hope that something can be done to improve this situation, and prevent it from happening again.
Old 11-12-2000, 10:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: January 7, 2001
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I think you make some valid points; I too, enjoy the ambiance, the story, the characters; however, it does have that rushed feel about it. Today I experienced my first game-crashing bug; had a nice debug script error pop up. That's a bad sign when the debug code stills pops like that in the final version.. heh.
Whatever the case, I hope you decide to continue, as it is quite a rewarding game once you limp past the mechanics. If you need save game files (if yours become corrupted) , let us know and someone can surely help you out. I've played about 20 hours so far, and only just finished the serpent's temple; this game does appear to be pretty massive. If you get mad at the game, why not enjoy a nice tale at the story archive for a change of pace? (shameless plug.)

Peace and happy gaming!
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