|Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor|
|Designer(s)||Mark Buchignani, Ken Eklund, Sarah W. Stocker|
|Platform(s)||PC (Windows 95/98/ME)|
|Release date(s)||September 27, 2001|
|Mode(s)||Single player, Multiplayer|
|Rating(s)||ESRB: Mature (M)|
|System requirements||PIII, 500MHz, 128MB of RAM, 16MB D3D video card, broadband internet, DirectX 8.0a|
|Input methods||Keyboard, mouse|
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor is a Forgotten Realms Dungeons and Dragons computer role playing game released in 2001 by Ubisoft. It is the sequel to the 1980s gold box game Pool of Radiance.
Ruins of Myth Drannor is based on the AD&D module of the same name, but with rules updated for the third edition of AD&D.
Ruins of Myth Drannor takes place from a top-down third-person perspective, similar to the Baldur's Gate series. Unlike Baldur's Gate and other Infinity Engine games, Ruins of Myth Drannor features turn-based combat rather than real-time combat. The game uses three-dimensional characters over pre-rendered two-dimensional backgrounds.
The game is a dungeon crawl, with focus on hack and slash combat and exploration of large dungeons with many bare, similar-looking rooms. Story progression and interaction with other characters is a minimum part of the game, although there is some interaction with NPCs and other in-game characters.
Sales for the game were initially low as it received lackluster reviews and was plagued with bugs, especially in the multiplayer aspects. One major bug would cause the player's system files to uninstall when the game itself was removed. The majority of complaints about the game focused on the lack of activity: as the AD&D module it was based on is intended for a large player group, the module was somewhat 'boring' for single players. This misstep, in combination with the initial lack of multiplayer support, were primarily responsible for the game's lack of popularity. In addition, complex and confusing dungeons, and a single mode of play — hack'n slash — further contribute to the game's decline. Later patches fixed some of the stability issues, but by this time stronger competition such as Bioware's Neverwinter Nights had been released, and Pool of Radiance sank into obscurity.
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Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor was criticized for a number of bugs, such as a very serious issue in the unpatched version that would delete the Windows's System Folder if the game was uninstalled.
Besides the various bugs, complaints arose that the story was too slow, and that the game was too large and complex to play properly. The lack of true character development (feats and skills were handled by the game itself) prevented players from creating characters for a specific playstyle. Early battles were also felt to be too difficult and time consuming, and the hack-and-slash theme quickly grew stale. The pace of gameplay caused some players to forget where important items were, even though the in-game map could be adjusted and marked with notes.
The difficulty of the game, coupled with the pace of the plot and the size of the world itself, caused the creation of a fan-made 'game editor' that would allow a player to complete the game within a reasonable span of time.
UbiSoft has stated that they will not be releasing further patches for the game.
A dracolich and his sorcerous queen have seized control of the Mythal, the ancient magic that once protected the long abandoned elven city of Myth Drannor. Once the elven ruin is completely in their thrall, the cult intends to expand its domination one city — and one soul — at a time.
Four heroes are sent to Myth Drannor by Elminster to stop the dracolich and the sorcerer queen from using the power of the Mythal to conquer Faerûn. They must travel to all areas of Myth Drannor, from the dungeons below the city, to the city itself, the catacombs beneath the city, et al, in an attempt to stop the evil from taking over the region.
A novel based on the game, written by Carrie Bebris, was published by Wizards of the Coast and also included with the collector's edition of the game, except in Europe. Despite the many criticisms of the game itself, opinions on the novel have generally been positive.