Sony Online Entertainment and Gamepot just announced that the beta signups for the free-to-play fantasy MMORPG Wizardry Online are now open at http://www.wizardrythegame.com/.
Wizardry Online will offer five races to choose from (Human, Elf, Porkul, Gnome, and Dwarf), four different classes (Fighter, Priest, Mage, and Thief) and 10 dungeons with 40 floors and 99 levels. However, one of the main distinctive features of Wizardry Online is permadeath, making it the hardcore MMORPG player’s dream, as the official website announces. We’re thinking of it as the Dark Souls (or Demon’s Souls, for that matter) of the free-to-play MMORPG.
You have to defeat imposing monsters and countless challenges, with permadeath frequently looming over. Each victory will be worthy of a celebration, each death possibly sending you back to the beginning – if you fail the second run, which even gets hard at higher levels (once again, think Dark Souls), you’ll lose your character and items forever. There are some items to avoid this, however you have to buy them with real money.
There’s also PvP for characters of roughly the same experience level, although player killers will face some bans (shops and guard attacks) but will be granted access to an area they otherwise can’t explore and where there’s a rare item. Player killers will also get a bounty on their heads, making them an enticing target. Parties can be comprised of up to 100 players.
Wizardry Online is based on the classic Wizardry computer games, the first being originally released in 1981 for the Apple II by SirTech. Wizardy’s innovative features established the future of RPGs, with ideas such as enemy hit points and gaining experience points still the standard of today’s games.