Video Game: Ryzom

The protectors of Atys.
The Saga of Ryzom is an MMORPG, which takes place on the tree-world of Atys.

Some 40 years ago, a nest of giant insects (collectively known as Kitins) was discovered, triggering a massive invasion of the Atysian surface, and forcing the four races to seek shelter in the Prime Roots, under the protection of the Karavan and the Kamis. Not much is known about either of these latter groups, except that the Karavan worship Jena and have some really cool technology (including teleportation and resurrection), the Kamis worship Ma-Duk, have yetis as bodyguards, and are resistant to almost all forms of Karavan technology. Neither group likes the other much.

After two years of fighting, the Karavan and the Kamis cleared out the surface world, allowing the Homins to retake it; so now the proud warrior Fyros live in the desert, the regal and expansionist Matis live in the forest, the happy-go-lucky Trykers live on the Lakes, and the mysterious, blue, masked Zoraï live in the jungle. The races maintain an uneasy peace and trade relations, which is not helped by the fact that every race figures every other race are all idiots, but the Kitins are back and everyone is basically screwed if we don't all work together.

You are a refugee; you've made the difficult journey from the Prime Roots to the camp outside the Ruins of Silan, where you can learn how to fight, use magic, craft goods, and harvest raw materials from a representative of each race before you go to the mainland.

The selling point for the game is the amount of customization involved in getting yourself ready for combat. All of your moves are customizable in some way; you can cast spells and use fighting moves from hit points instead of Sap or Stamina, if you want. And the crafting system involves harvesting any of 5 different grades of material, with a quality rating of anywhere from 1 to 250, of any type from seeds to jewels to bark (and there are several different kinds of each) but no metal, and crafting them into jewelry, weapons, armor, and guns. Yes, you can make automatic rocket launchers from the bones of your enemies and sap you dig out of the ground. Mix in some surprisingly detailed herd AI for realism, an entirely-player-run economy, and an almost universally friendly community, and you've got a really good game.

The game's homepage is here.

Tropes used in Ryzom include:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Players can reach level 250 in every field of expertise, which includes Crafting, Foraging, Magic, and Fighting. Doing it in one part of one of those trees is daunting enough, but doing it in all four can take years.
  • Alien Sky: A giant planet in the sky, a nearby nebula, and a sun whose flares you can see sometimes (implying that it's a Red Dwarf), as well as all of those branches that extend out into the sky just emphasize that this isn't Earth.
  • Alliance Meter: The game has a "Fame" system that determines whether a Race, Religion, Faction, or Tribe will let you join them, trade with them, tolerate you, or attack you on sight. It's negatively affected by killing members of a specific Faction, Religion, Race, or Tribe and positively affected by doing missions for them.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Zoraï are, as a race, blue. Every single one of them you encounter in the game is blue. The other races have more natural skin-tones.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Magic Amplifiers.
  • Anachronism Stew: Technically averted, but guns in a world without metal invoke the feel of this trope.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Kitins, who resemble large insects and shellfish and are responsible for the Homins evacuating to the lands they now reside in.
  • Bug War: The Great Swarmings, one that serves as part of the backstory of the game and another that occurred during the game proper, were events where the Kitins came up from the Prime Roots and invaded everywhere. Both were fought primarily by the Kami and the Karavan, who evacuated the main Homin populace to a safe haven in the meantime.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": We have Yubos which function as hairy pigs, Ybers are basically toucans, Bodocs are basically stegosauruses without the spikes, Kitins are all modelled after some kind of insect or shellfish, and the list goes on.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Easily possible, and technically more cost effective than casting using Sap or Stamina. Typically makes you into a Glass Cannon, since you can attack hard and fast at range, but you die faster if anything manages to hit you.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Justified in the case of Light Armor, which is designed largely for Magic users, but played straight for most other armors (Zoraï Heavy Armor averts this, though).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Fyros want to invoke this by killing The Dragon, which irritates the Karavan to no end since they believe waking it up will bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Elemental Crafting: Very, very yes. What kind of material you use to make an item out of, along with its grade and quality, will determine its stats. Different kinds of wood have different stats, for instance. The skill of the crafter is still important, of course.
  • Elemental Nation: Four main races have strong hints of these: the Fyros enjoy Playing with Fire, the Zoraï's Shock and Awe powers come from water, the plant-based technology and poison magic the Matis use require a connection with the earth, and the Trykers rely heavily on the winds.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Dragon... according to legend.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: There are four ape-like "Primitive" variants of the Homin Races (Gibbaï for the Zoraï, Frahar for the Fyros, Cutes for the Trykers, and Momos, which are extinct, for the Matis) that like to carry jewelry on their body and attack Homins on sight. There are also tribal variants for three of the four variants (Gibads for the Gibbaï, Fraiders for the Frahar, and Cuzans for the Cutes) that are more friendly and intelligent than their aggressive cousins.
  • Expressive Mask: An Informed Attribute among the Zoraï; their racial animation in the Character Creation screen shows them hamming it up with their masks, in gameplay, however, their masks are fairly static.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Notably averted. Since Kitins wander the world and the local wildlife are badass enough on their own, guns of several kinds are sold in stores in all major cities.
  • Fantastic Racism: Oh, wow.
    • The Matis figure that the other races are lacking in ambition, that the Fyros are hot-headed idiots, the Trykers are too jolly and carefree for their own good, and the Zoraï are nature freaks.
    • The Fyros think the Matis are too expansionist, the Trykers are too unfocused, and the Zoraï are too pansy.
    • The Trykers think the Matis are too pretentious (the Matis had enslaved the Trykers at some point in the backstory) and are idiots for doing their experiments on Silan, that the Fyros are too hot-blooded and inquisitive (having unleashed the Kitin horde while looking for the Dragon), and that the Zoraï are too reserved.
    • The Zoraï basically think everyone else should respect nature a bit more.
    • Also happens between the Karavan (who believe the Kamis are obstructive nature-freaks) and the Kamis (who believe the Karavan are blasphemous intruders).
  • Five Races: Well, four. The Fyros (Stout), the Matis (Fairy), the Trykers (Cute/Mundane), and the Zoraï (High Men).
  • Global Currency: With the exception of Civilization and Faction vendors, most vendors take dappers.
  • Global Currency Exception: The Civilization and Faction vendors, whom you pay with points from delivery quests and pvp, respectively.
  • Hammerspace: You can carry 10 autolaunchers in your inventory. These babies are roughly 8 feet long. It's even more noticable for Trykers, who are half as tall as anyone else.
  • Healing Factor: Did you just get mauled by a giant crab? Sit down for a couple minutes, you'll be fine.
  • Healing Potion: There is an Occupation dedicated to making these.
  • Higher-Tech Species: The Karavan.
  • Hobbits: The Trykers as a race are about half as tall as most of the other races (barring the Zoraï, who are the tallest race) at their tallest; they're also the most fun-loving, energetic, and childlike of the four races.
  • Hot-Blooded: Player-Characters can get pretty loud in a fight as far as melee combat goes, even if their target is something that will usually go down in one or two hits. Lore-wise, the Fyros as a race are this, since they enjoy fighting and hamming everything up and one of their goals is going into the Prime Roots and killing The Dragon.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: You can easily carry one of each kind of gun, lots of ammunition, a second set of armor, and dozens of animals worth of raw materials in your backpack.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: There are a few of these in the game, both of fences that aren't much taller than you are but can't be jumped over and invisible walls that can occur in certain areas with inclines. It can get aggravating when you run into a wall on a hill that doesn't have a very sharp incline.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: Atys has day and night cycles (which are caused by the sun dimming and brightening, as opposed to rotation; nobody really knows how that works), plus the four Earth seasons. Sometimes the time of day, the season, or even the weather at that particular moment will influence what is available to harvest.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Kamis, yeti bodyguards notwithstanding, look kinda cuddly, but you will reverse this opinion of them very fast if you get on their bad side.
  • Mad Scientist: The Matis are known for doing all sorts of zany experiments with plant life, including at one point attempting to reverse-engineer a species of sentient plants known as Slaveni for resource extration that went as well as one would expect.
  • Magic Versus Science: The Karavan and the Kami don't particularly like each other.
  • Mass Teleportation: Used in the backstory. Apparently it utilized rainbows.
  • Master of All: Given that classes are nonexistent and that there are no penalties for leveling in a field you didn't specify in (e.g. Fighting when you specialized in Magic, Crafting when you specialized in Foraging, etc.), and if you actually take the time needed to max out every last branch in the incredibly MASSIVE skill tree (which has been calculated to take several years), you can become this.
  • More Dakka: Autolaunchers.
  • Mysterious Protector: The Karavan and the Kamis. The rumours are that the Karavan are Space Marines from another planet, and the Kamis are the embodiment of the planet's spirit, but who knows? And who cares? They help fight the Kitins and they do the teleportation and the resurrection stuff for us.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Unless you are extremely high level, try any creature whose name is prefixed with something like Lacerating or Vicious.
    • Any of the Aggressive Boss or Named Creatures count too, like Nymton or Clopperketh.
  • Nature Hero: Primarily the Zoraï, although every Player Character invokes this feel, since all of your gear is made from materials quartered from your enemies or dug out of the ground.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: This one sleeps in the Prime Roots, is responsible for the Goo, and will bring about The End of the World as We Know It when it wakes up again. And the Fyros want to kill it.
  • Quicksand Box: The mainland is huge. Like, really really big. If you want to travel between countries, it's recommended you sign on with a big guild and join in an organized expedition.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Fyros.
  • Red Baron: Players gain titles that reflect their level in one of the four fields. A player that's maxed out a field such as Elemental Magic can use the title "Avatar of Destruction" while a player that's maxed out something like 2-handed Axe Fighting can use the title of "Crimson Executioner".
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Every small area has a local Kami Tolerance rating; if you harvest too much from that spot, the Kamis will give everyone nearby a stern warning, and then you have maybe two minutes more harvesting at the outside before they smite you for all they are worth.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh, just go look around anywhere. Even the desert is serene in its own sandy way. There are giant flowers scattered around the world, the lakes have luscious plants beneath the surface, small birds occasionally dig their way out of the ground before taking off in a blue streak, and the night sky is always cool to look at.
  • Schizo Tech: You can buy bows, pistols, rifles, bowrifles, rocket launchers, and automatic rocket launchers from the same store.
  • Science Hero: The Karavan.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Dragon, according to the Karavan. Their policy is "DO NOT TOUCH".
  • Shoot the Medic First: As with many MMOs, whether or not your teams healers are still alive in a Player-vs.-Player fight can make all the difference in the world; thus, Magic users are a primary target for both sides of such an engagement (as Magic users can switch between offensive combat magic and defensive healing magic at any time).
  • Space Marine: The Karavan again.
  • Squishy Wizard: Magic users can be absolutely devastating with high-level spells, but have to wear light armor (which offers the least level of protection) if they don't want to have any sort of penalty to their spellcasting and may have to Cast from Hit Points if they want to not have to use too much Sap; thus, should their target actually survive long enough to get into attacking range... the caster probably won't.
  • Taking You with Me: Yelks, when killed, release poisonous vapours for a few seconds, so you are advised to kill them from a distance and wait a few seconds before quartering them.
  • The Corruption: The aptly-named Goo, which is a purple substance that spouts out of the ground. Apparently functions as an addictive psychedelic drug, and also makes the wildlife tougher. If you go near a goo-infested area, you'll take damage. The best place to find it is in The Witherings, where the Zoraï live; as well as the Blight Zone in the starting island.
    • As of recently, there are also Goo-Infected creatures that will Zerg Rush you on sight.
  • The Greys: The Kamis.
  • When Trees Attack: There are a few plants in the game that can be classified as "Intelligent"—as in, they can be attacked and behave similarly to most animals. They drop buds and moss when killed and rely largely on Magic to take down their opponents. Some look like bushy brains and others look like giant pitcher plants. When the Matis in the tutorial island of Silan tried experimenting on one of them—the Slaveni—they immediately killed everyone in the city where the experiments were occurring then destroyed the city for good measure, leaving the place desolate and filled with looters.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The mainland is so incredibly large that some players get overwhelmed, make a new character, and stay on the tutorial island of Silan for a while.
  • World Tree: The game's setting of Atys is a planet-sized tree.
  • Zerg Rush: There are animals in the game that have been infected by the Goo. If they see you, they will all attack you without question (and since they happen to be tougher than average, they can be dangerous even for a max-level player). Some non-Goo infected carnivores do this too, and there some herbivorous animals and Kitin that have a "Pack Herd" mentality that makes them swarm you should they spot you attacking one of their own.