Game Saturday: Wondrous Lands (Flash, online, RPG)
Wondrous Lands is an online roleplaying game in which you control a party of three characters to, you guessed it, save the world from an evil overlord.
The game begins on the party creation screen. You pick three characters from a random selection that may differ regarding race, stats, and abilities. Note that you cannot change the party after selection and that you can reroll to get a different list of available characters.
Characters are loosely based on the roles fighter, mage, priest and thief. Loosely, because characters are not restricted when it comes to the skills they can learn (there is one exception). While you can pick a team of three mages, fighters, or thieves, the initial playthrough may be easier if you choose different classes, say a tank, healer and a damage dealer, or a tank and two damage dealers.
Wondrous Lands: the game begins
Wondrous Lands loads the world map after character selection. You control movement either with the WASD keys on the keyboard or the interface buttons.
The first thing you may want to do is orientate yourself. Your party is always shown in the center of the screen; you may see monsters and friendly characters, inns, markets, treasure and more.
A click on any character on the map displays information in an overlay. This is a useful thing as it highlights whether a fight will be tough or not.
The main screen highlights the party experience and gold, the current quest, god that your party worships (if any), lives, and the number of times you can flee from battle (the latter recovery over time).
Once you have looked around you may want to start fighting some monsters and get some quests. This gets you experience that you need to level up your characters and better equipment to make your party stronger.
Fights are initiated whenever you move to a field that is vertically or horizontally adjacent to a group that is not friendly to the party.
You don't have any control over the fighting at the beginning other than pausing combat, changing combat speed or fleeing.
This changes later on though but is still limited. The options that you have are:
- Activate a global skill, e.g., regeneration, healing or attacks on monsters.
- Hire a mercenary to assist in fights.
- Donate money to gods for favors.
Your party members act on their own. What they do in a fight depends on their equipment and skills. A mage may summon an elemental in the beginning before using spells like fireballs or lightning to attack enemies or spells that boost party members.
You win a fight if one of your characters survives while all monsters or enemies are defeated. You lose a life if all your party members are defeated.
Open the list of skills once you level up. Characters have access to most skills and start with points in one or two skills already when you pick them.
A fighter may have skill points in attack, defense or two-handed fighting, a rogue in bows or stealth, and a priest in holy magic.
Each level up awards two skill points and one ability points. Skill points advance skills and unlock new abilities which you enable with ability points.
Magic is special as characters may train as mages or priests but not both. Each magic discipline offers access to four types of spells and skills. Magic for mages offers fire, water, air and earth skills and spells while priest magic holy, dark, law and chaos spells.
The system gives you a lot of freedom. You can create tanky mages, brittle fighters, stealthy and dodging rogues, or priests with lots of leadership that boost the party in manifold ways.
Equipment plays another large part. You get items after fights and may purchase them as well. Each character has five equipment slots which you may fill with weapons or armor.
Weapons and armor have stats that determine how good they are at damaging opponents and reducing damage. They give other benefits, spell power, elemental resistance or extra elemental damage for instance.
You have plenty of time to explore the map and level up but the game is time limited. You are informed about the evil overlord's progress of breaking free, and it is game over if you cannot stop the monster before that happens.
Wondrous Lands has a lot to offer for a Flash game. The game has three difficulty levels and you can try lots of different combinations of skills and equipment. If you are new to this type of game you may want to start with the easy difficulty level. Experienced players should start on normal as it is still quite challenging at first.
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