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The Saga of Ryzom plays out on a distant planet, whose future is uncertain and whose past was forgotten long ago. Gamers create a character of the "homin" race, to enter this world and seek adventure alongside thousands of like-minded role-players. The game's setting, a planet called Atys, is populated by four different species of homin: the Fryos, the Matis, the Trykers, and the Zoraïs. Each racial line is genetically predisposed to a certain region or climate on Atys, and the four tribes have grown to claim their territories and develop their civilizations based on these instinctual preferences. Two other major factions — the Kamis and the Karavan — also exist on Atys. These superior beings seems to watch over the homin population, rewarding those who act in concert with their mysterious purposes, and punishing those who cross them.
One way in which Saga of Ryzom is different from many earlier persistent world role-playing games is in the manner and methods of character customization it offers. Many of the most powerful items in the game, for example, are player-crafted, often from materials found in remote regions or won in battle against rare creatures. A character's special attack moves can also be customized. Players can design their own set of swings, kicks, or spells that their characters will perform in battle. Another distinction is the game's "RAID" ("Real-Time Army Invasion Deployment") Engine, which promotes large battles through its capacity to create and manage invasions featuring hundreds enemy NPC characters. A number of more common second-generation MMORPG amenities are also featured, including player-owned housing, player-run guilds, and the opportunity to keep different animals as pets, mounts, or beasts of burden. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide