User Rating: 3.4 | Shadowbane PC
Never has the sayings "nice guys finish last" been more true than in Shadowbane. You may start out trying to be a niceguy, but eventually you realize only the evil and treacherous will succeed in this world. This game will make you hate humanity. The entire game seems to have been crafted to promote hostility, killing and stealing -- a theive's and assasine's paradise, but not much fun for the noble palidan. Think I'm exagerating? Here's an example: My brother and I both started playing this game at the same time, he played a ruthless theif, I played a noble crusader. He's now level 48 with almost two million gold, me, I'm level 29 with just twenty thousand gold to my name. Nice guys really do finish last. All throughout the game the developer's seem to have done everything they can to promote anger and bitterness in the hopes that it will eventually lead to more player killing, which the entire game is built around. (Which it really depends on since there isn't anything else to do. No quests. Nothing to explore. Just random acts of violence against other players.) First, there's the looting system. When your party kills something the first one to loot the corpse gets the spoils. At first, you may try to be fair about it, but eventually you'll find that no one else is, and a first come first serve mentality quickly takes over. This really leaves the spellcasters (who are always in back, furthest from the corpses) with the short end of the stick. Of course this all usually leads to a lot of bickering, arguing and the occasionaly killing. Second, there's the fact that you are allowed to attack your own party members. All it takes is a simple double-click to attack something, and looting corpses is also done with the same double click. Combine that with the lack of an auto-split feature, where you have people racing to loot corpses, and you have a recipe for disaster. Then, there's the fact that when you die, everything you're carrying that's not equiped is dropped on the ground for any passerby or party member to take. This of course leeds to a lot more bickering, arguing, and killing. Next there's the rampant theiving problem. Theives are completely invisible, and can run around stealing and backstabbing without fear. There's only one class -- the scout -- that can see theives, and they can't even do it all the time, they have to be using there scouting skill, which only lasts for a short time, so theives can pretty much run around killing and stealing from whoever they want with complete impunity. I could go on and on. Everything in this game seems to have been designed to make people hate each other. Basing a MMORPG entirely around PKing seems to be a really bad idea to me, but then I've never really enjoyed PKing. Others may have diffrent feelings. One thing that I think everyone will agree on though, is that Shadowbane is butt ugly -- we're talking circa 1998 graphics here. Shadowbane's sole redeeming value for me was it's deep character building system -- which is actually the best I've yet seen in any MMORPG -- but it just wasn't enough to make me forgive all it's countless faults.

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