How did you hear of Illarion, what made you decide to make a char and play?
Again, I found it on an online list and it fit what I was looking for.
-I was looking for something that was free (free forever, not "free with paid options" (ie: if you want to be competitive you have to pay) or "free for a time" (ie: free for a month and then pay or start completely over)). While I do appreciate this game enough to want to pay for it, I simply don't have much money and so can't afford to pay.
-I was looking for a roleplaying game with a true skill engine (not just a system to create theoretical abilities, but one to actually compare and test those abilities against others characters). I wanted a roleplaying environment but I had gotten fed up with things that left every ability up to player discretion (god-mode sue, anyone?) or things that had a skill engine but no true interactive roleplay (the typical, "if you want story talk to the NPCs rather than a character", environment).
-And I wanted something that was reasonably pretty to look at. If I was going to spend hours and hours in a game than I wanted something that wouldn't make my eyes water. The graphics looked good and, while the movement almost enough to send me looking for something else, I still gave it a try and liked the other things enough to continue.What was your first impression whether negative or positive about the game?
My first impression was at how pretty the graphics were (especially for how resource un-intensive the game is), and how unpolished the game engine was. The whole thing seemed like an unholy merge between a text based game with a graphics engine uncomfortably shoved into it. (no offense intended) Noobia did help out a lot in terms of figuring out how things worked and the unexpected combinations needed to work the system. If it hadn't been for that then I would have probably given up the game assuming that it didn't have a real working engine (since I wouldn't have been able to figure it out through random clicks before boredom took over). The next thing that I saw was that even the "introduction area" (noobia) had a lot of obvious glitches and lack of functionality (certain NPC teachers were non-functional, a number of the starting item packages were non-selectable, etc.), something that did not indicate well for the rest of the game. I only continued because Wiki had enough information and background that I convinced myself that there must be more to this game than what I had seen.
Once I got into the game the more normal roleplaying aspects took over and I was able to overcome a lot of the weaknesses of the engine. I enjoyed my first bit of time there with quite a few varied interactions over those first few days. There were a number of people seemingly didn't want to roleplay with my character because they recognized that he was not "well built" (from a powergamer's perspective) and so assumed that I would either get fed up with not being able to keep up or else that I would rebuild the character and they would have to start over with him (yes, I was told these things (usually in more kind terms) by multiple people and surprised at least one when I continued playing). Those who did roleplay were fun to interact with and quite good at following an IC environment with character motivations beyond "get rich, get powerful, slay the bigger beast". Since this was the majority of the people whom I met, the good roleplayers, that was the majority of my impression of the roleplay aspect of the game.If positive, was that the defining factor that made you decide to stay?
The defining factor was the fact that there was a true and workable skill and ability system (that was dynamic and yet still worked in character specific restrictions (jack will never be a crafter, for instance, though he will certainly try
)); and the roleplay is character interaction driven between real people who react in real and sometimes unusual ways. If I wanted a better skill system alone than I would go to runescape or something, if I wanted character interaction alone than I would go to a RP board; but if since I wanted both I came here.What is your most exciting time in game, something that keeps you coming back?
My current main isn't one for "exciting", so exploring the map and helping others chase down creatures that would likely kill us all if we didn't run are the most exciting things that I have done. Though talking certain characters down from certain actions using IC dialogue to deal with IC motivations is always a big high.
The thing that keeps me coming back is first, the combitanion of RP and Skill based elements; and second, the inclusive and dynamic community. Even though it isn't perfect, the skill system is very excellent; especially when you compare it to what else is out there. And the strict IC rules and mindset of people make it easy to be a character, even one without a PGer's abilities, and actually be relevant. There are other games with both of these aspects, but they usually fall very quickly into elitism, either of those with the power to use the engine to their advantage ruling with a +5 platinum fist or those who have been roleplaying long enough to have a character with a lot of history and connections who cannot be bothered to take time to interact with someone with so little IC power as a newby. Some games have both types of elitists warring against each other, and that just isn't fun to play with or to try to break into as a new character with no history and an average/newby skillset.
So I come back because this game is fun and, in many ways, very unique in how fun it is.Do you think you will continue to play and why or why not?
I don't see any reason I would stop. The lack of new people (and therefore characters) is the only thing that would likely kill the game for me (that I know of), but that would be long after everyone else had given up the game for dead. By this point it is safe to say that Illarion will always hold a place in my heart and memories. It is the type of thing that I will come back to.Do you feel comfortable with roleplay, had any experience before Illarion, or feel still learning?
I have a lot of experience with roleplay, everything from the lowliest forms of writing (fanfics, a guilty pleasure) to some of the highest levels of pen and paper gaming (I have been invited to GM groups at conventions). So I guess my answer to all three questions is "yes"; I am comfortable with roleplay, I have had experience before Illarion, and I do still feel like I am learning.Anything else to add?
Shorten Noobia and make sure that everything works. That almost put me off at first. Fix movement so it is more predictable, easier to use, and less jerky (single click to look at a location, double click to move there? would that be simple and doable to start with? I don't know). The movement issue really was the biggest problem with character immersion, and even now continues to be.
Beyond that, don't worry about the engine too much. While improvements can pretty much always be made, it really is one of the best systems out there just as it is. Get more players, even if that means putting up one of those annoying banner advertisements on the main page so that you can afford to advertise with other groups. Maybe the game could do a link trade with some webcomics circles or some other fairly cheep options. However you do it you need to remember: players make this game what it is (in my opinion) and so the success of this game comes down to that one thing more than possibly everything else combined.
While my opinion may be somewhat biased, as someone who plays this game fairly regularly, I do want to finish by saying that this is a really great game and I look forward to playing it for a long time to come.