Hardcore Makes A Comeback

I have to admit, I'm just a little bit giddy about getting to write a post about Wizardry Online. You see, I grew up in the era where games like Ultima ruled the pixels on my Apple //e 80-column screen. Long before I spent countless hours roaming dungeons in MMOs, I was doing it in Wizardry.

Now that Wizardry has become an MMO thanks to Sony Online Entertainment, it's a privilege for me to bring news to you on what is the rebirth of one of the most beloved video game franchises of all time!

Wizardry Online: Underground Dragoon Ruins


Spooky is one word to describe the Underground Dragoon Ruins featured in the latest glimpse of Wizardry Online. With the game due to launch on January 30, SOE has released some screenshots and the video below to give a glimpse of this high level dungeon.

Wizardry Online: Hands On Preview

From the intense response to Wizardry Online (WO), not only are there a lot of rabid fans of the original Wizardry around, but there’s a definite desire in the MMO community for a game with a little more bite.

With the promise of engaging PvP, the chance to take your opponent’s loot from their mangled/electrified/flaming corpse and actual permadeath; WO has a number of elements which sets it apart from the crowd.

Recently I had the opportunity to play through the game accompanied by devs such as Todd Carson, Wizardry Online’s Senior Producer, to gauge just how hardcore it really is.

Wizardry Online Unveils New Info

Wizardry Online is currently in Closed Beta, which means an NDA still stands! The Wizardry Online Wiki at Wikia however has some new information for all of you clamoring for fresh details on the hardcore MMO.


The most recent push of information to the wiki went live this afternoon. Some of the new information is a little mundane, with information on the Chat window including the different chat channels and emotes available to characters, but the information on the game’s classes and server population management gives players a little more insight into the game.

Beta Key Giveaway: Wizardry Online

Wizardry Online is a hardcore MMO. From insane difficulty, puzzles and traps to the risk of permadeath, this MMO is going to offer a challenge for any RPG player.

There are four classes available, Fighter, Priest, Mage and Thief, but a unique class change ability unlocked later in the game will allow you to keep some of your previous class's skill to mix and match. For example, you can switch from a Fighter to a Priest (or vice versa) to create a pseudo Paladin class.

Players are used to the standard MMO leveling system, with a max level cap of 99, but there is also a Soul that is shared across all characters on an account. This Soul Level takes a little longer to increase than the character level and unlocks different abilities, including the class change and open world PvP -- available at Soul Level 2.

Yes, that's right. Open world PvP and Permadeath. But don't worry too much, permadeath is not something that always happens. Upon death you will be brought forth in front of a death statue that will weigh the value of your life and death. Sacrificing loot to this statue will improve the likelihood of survival. However, fail the life roll and you can kiss that character goodbye.

PvP has its consequences. Killing other players will increase a bandit reputation, which will eventually make the guards hate you and arrest you on sight. The kicker? Guards surround the NPC who upgrades your Soul Level, which gates character leveling. Kill too many players and you will be blocked from further progression until your bandit rep slowly fades away -- unless you can sneak in. This sets up a nice Risk/Reward. Do you kill a player to steal his loot or leave the other players alive and keep leveling?

PvP Bounties, 10 dungeons with 40 floors, 5 playable races, and a game that fans of the original Wizardry will be excited for. Can't wait to check out this F2P MMO? ZAM has you covered. We have partnered with SOE to bring you a Wizardry Online Beta Key Giveaway. Grab a key to gain access to the closed beta that is running now!

Matt "Mattsta" Adams

Wizardry Online Revives Classic RPG Series

Japanese game publisher Gamepot announced at E3 this week that it's reviving the classic Wizardry series of RPG games with an upcoming free-to-play MMO called Wizardry Online. The first Wizardry game was released in 1981 for the Apple II and was one of the first Dungeons & Dragons-style RPGs created for the computer. With that history in mind, Gamepot hopes to bring "an updated flare for modern gamers" with Wizardry Online.

Developed by Japanese game studio Headlock, Wizardry Online will feature party play, PvP combat and complex dungeons. The game will also include permanent death to create a "more immersive experience" for hardcore players. According to the official site, "one false move can make the difference between resurrecting a character or losing it forever." It looks like Gamepot and Headlock really want players to feel a sense of accomplishment as they progress through the game.

The Japanese language version of Wizardry Online will enter private beta this month. The game will launch in North America and Europe in 2012. Be sure to watch the teaser trailer below and check out the screenshots in our gallery.