Wynncraft: A Throwback to a Classic (with Archer Torture)

Anybody from a respectably older audience has probably heard of the game RuneScape, a wildly popular MMORPG that took the gaming industry by storm in 2001, where you effectively tried maxing out your character to the best of your abilities.

Even though it’s been so long since then, RuneScape still has a player count of over 100,000. In around 2013, when player counts were a much 10,000, Minecraft—then a fairly new game—saw a new multiplayer server known as Wynncraft open on April 29. Its founders, Grian, Salted, and Jumla, had aimed to make the game like RuneScape, but on the new hub for gaming creators.

You start the game in the center city of Ragni. Here, you get your first few quests along with some gear and tips, and you can find plenty of players scurrying around here trying to sell stuff, complete quests, buy a horse, and so on. After you leave the city walls, you start to see some enemies (all with custom weapons, of course), and you follow various paths until you find a region that’s way too high-level for you. So you go back to Ragni and train and spend skill points from your levels, and you find out that they have an online map, so you head to some nearby ruins and you find your first dungeon. It’s locked and you have to obtain a key from the key guardian.

First dungeon: the Decrepit Sewers.

You take your first trip through the sewers, and you find yourself struggling by yourself because of the boss, so you invite some friends and now you have five people all working together for victory. You all eventually make it through, so you head back to Ragni . . . and find out that you’ve got a whole lot more to do. You end up taking trips around the world, fighting hordes of enemies, taking part in events, skipping a whole lot of dialogue, and fighting your way through many dungeons, all because you want better stats. (You forget that there’s an actual plot line for the game.) After weeks or months of playing, you finally make it to the end and you don’t have anything else to do, but then you remember that there’s multiple other classes that you haven’t even tried.

The game features many classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, some with high health, some with high damage, and then there’s my class: the archer. They also have their own systems of progression, many quests, and dungeons to fight many enemies and obtain new gear so you don’t suck at the game. The main issue for us archers is that we don’t start with any kind of advantages. Our health? A funny joke. Our damage? The shaman does six times more. Our mobility? Well, that isn’t so bad. You start the game doing some practice to see what each individual skill does and how you can level it.

Archer classes’ base stats.

So you may be asking, “What’s the complaint with those stats?” Well the issue is, they’re a complete lie, except for defense and range. As you can see, we don’t have any health, so one hit and it’s game over for us immediately, especially in the early game when you don’t have any gear. If we look at damage, we can see that archers have a lot, right? Wrong. So incredibly wrong. We can only use bows, which seem to never drop from anything, nor are there many that come from dungeon shops. Shamans, on the other hand, have plenty of reliks (maces) that out-damage an archer’s bow. We also rely on performing critical hits, which have a small chance to happen, but they increase damage by a ton when they do.

Just one small problem: we can only increase our critical chance with weapons and skill points from levels, but critical chance scales way slower than pure strength. And there’s yet another issue! (I know, right? That’s crazy!) We don’t do elemental damage. We technically can, but there are so few bows that have room for elemental runes that it just doesn’t work out for us. So, from the start, we’re at a disadvantage in almost everything damage-related, but at least we have range. Let’s move onto our spells. Our first unlock is a cheap spell that launches us backwards away from danger. This one isn’t that useful beyond the early game, when arenas are typically pretty small, but that’s pretty irrelevant for any other class. Our next spell is a flurry of arrows that we send out, each of which does less damage than our individual shots from our bows. Did I also mention that we can only use this once every few seconds? Yeah, it’s a pretty bad method of doing damage except for that one time before you die of old age. The last one is our explosive arrow. This one actually does pretty good damage relative to everything else we do. Again it’s fairly expensive, but it’s more manageable than our flurry. It synergizes well with elemental damage when you get a chance, but again, that doesn’t happen often.

Kinda cute, isn’t it?

You see this guy on the right? This will one-shot you, and it will not die to any elemental damage you do. You just have to pray that it doesn’t hit you, and your sorry self can maybe get it to half health.

It’s a rough life for archers, but it’s not that bad for everybody else. If you really want a good time, get yourself some friends (even though you can’t), everybody choose a different class, try making up for each other’s “skill issues,” and maybe you can get through it. It’s a thrilling experience that takes you back to an age of simplicity rather than overcomplicated garbage. Also, if you’re reading this, Wynncraft dev team: please buff the archer. (And nerf the shaman.)