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carrie01's mmorpg blog

I will use this blog to express my insight on the mmorpg industry.

Author: carrie01

Game breakers - The MMORPGs I played and why I quit them

Posted by carrie01 Friday November 25 2011 at 3:24AM
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Greetings. This blog entry is about the various MMORPGs I have played and ultimately, why I quit them. In this post I go over each game and reveal what feature or flaw was a "game breaker" for me.

 

MapleStory - At first, I really loved MapleStory. I liked the fun, upbeat music and the bright and colorful graphics and the fun side-scrolling action. But the further I got, the more difficult the game became. There are plenty of quests but the game gets to the point where the GRIND is too much. At this point, around level 30, it takes way too long to level and continuing to progress in the game seems like an uphill climb. GAMEBREAKER: LEVEL GRIND.

Forsaken World - my jaw dropped when I first launched Forsaken World. I thought the game was absolutely stunning for an f2p. Not only did I appreciate FW for its eye candy, but I thought the quests were fun and some of the professions were interesting. So what killed FW for me? The combat sucks. It is one of the worst combat systems I have ever experienced. It plain sucks. FW is a shallow button-masher. What a waste. GAMEBREAKER: Shallow combat.

Perfect World - I played Forsaken World first but knew of Perfect World. I didn't decide to try it out until I heard many people claim that FW is just a "reskinned Perfect World". I wanted to see what they were talking about for myself. My initial thoughts of the game where that the character customization was great and the different races were intruguing. Like Forsaken World, the game is beautiful. But I hated the controls, camera, and the ridiculous floaty jump. These things prevented immersion. GAMEBREAKER: clunky controls.

Dungeons and Dragons Online - OK. So I haven't actually "quit" this game for good. But the truth is, I haven't played in awhile. I know that I will return in the future, but I feel like this game has one problem that keeps me from logging in more regularly.... You can't do a damn thing without a group. But it is DDO, you say? It doesn't make sense to solo in a D&D game? Well, I agree with that. It's just that DDO has a shitty community. Dang. GAMEBREAKER: shitty community in a game where grouping is essential.

Eden Eternal - a neat little Asian MMORPG with an art style similar to Zelda: Windwaker and a few unique features: the abiltiy to change jobs on the fly and guild towns. I didn't make it far enough to be part of a guild with a town. The guild I was in was fundraising and questing to get there, but I quit before that happened. The game is also structured nicely.... World maps are small and there are instances everywhere and plenty of people to group with. It was actually the best grouping experience I ever  had in an Asian F2P mmorpg! Most of the time, I can't find anyone to group with in those type of games. But this game has a stellar community and is structured in a way to make grouping essential and easy. So why did I quit? In the end, I kept hearing about other MMORPGs on the horizon and Eden Eternal just wasn't special enough for me to stick around. It is fairly grindy, though less than other games of its kind, and has a few unique features. But it is just not enough. GAMEBREAKER: same ol' same ol'.

Allods Online - like Forsaken World, my jaw hit the floor when I loaded the client up for Allods Online. I was impressed with the playable characters' looks and animation and impressed by the nice variety of races/classes. The setting was also a winner: a traditional fantasy vs a steampunk totalitarian empire. The promise of Astral Ships at the end game was also exciting. At one point, I thought Allods was hands down the MMORPG for me. But I realized.... I just couldn't do it anymore.... The combat is horribly slow. It takes forever just to kill one mob. Health and Mana are extremely inflated for both the PC and mobs. Because of this, combat is a very slow and it doesn't have to be that way. GAMEBREAKER: Very slow combat.

Spiral Knights - a cute, Zelda like MMORPG sounded fun and the fact that SEGA is the publisher lead me to give Spiral Knights a try.  What can I say? I didn't find the hack 'n slash gameplay very exciting. It's very dull... I can't explain it... Maybe it is the animation, or attack speed but I just don't find swining my weapon in this game very satisfying. The game also has crappy WASD movement, which was the real gamebreaker for me. Action-oriented games have got to be fluid. GAMEBREAKER: Gameplay not fluid enough for the type of game it is.

A Mystiacl Land - this isn't a bad game at all. It's kind of like Runescape with improved graphics. The game features an emphasis on crafting and runs in the browser. But in the end, I probably only checked it out because of its extreme accessibility - no download, just sign in with Faceboook, and youre in the game! While that got me into the game, there was nothing to keep me in the game. In fact, the lack of original music in this game was giving me a good reason not to continue playing the game. The games soundtrack is all classical music tunes that we have heard a million times in cartoons, movies, etc. GAMEBREAKER: A little TOO casual.

Neo Steam - this is an interesting one. This was my third f2p mmorpg after MapleStory and Runescape and the one that lead me to WoW. Before finally trying WoW, I countered the hype by insisting that there are free options worth playing. I liked Neo Steam at the time but it was the first MMORPG of that type I had played so I did not have much of a perspective then. I originally downloaded the game because I googled "steampunk MMORPG", trying to find something unique that I would like. After having some fun with the gameplay, my interest for MMORPGs increased and I saw a advertisement offering a 10-free-day trial for WoW. I played through the trial and ended up in wal-mart buying the Vanilla/Burning Crusade bundle and a WoW time card. That was $80 gone due to impulse spending! GAMEBREAKER: It lead me to a subscription MMORPG. 

World of Warcraft - before I tried WoW, I was a hater. But after playing the 10-day trial (at the time), I started to see what the fuss was about. It was also the only MMORPG that I could get my boyfriend to regularly play with me (I cant convince him to this day that non-WoW mmorpgs are worth playing). However, after a few months of fun... I just stopped playing. I would log in, but log out 5 minutes later. I just simply was losing interest. I was also at a slow part of the game, in my opinion, at level 58. I felt like I explored most of Azeroth and that I would need to get Wrath of the Lich King so I could change my character into a Death Knight and renew my interest in the game. But... I wasn't ready to drop another $30. Too bad I never saw the end game. GAMEBREAKER: Gets boring and costs too much money. Dungeon finder sucks and soloing is lonely. 

Glitch - I was in love with this game for about a week and thought it was unique and had a great communtiy. I may return it this summer when I have more free time. As I said before, the game is unique and in fact doesn't have any combat. It is good for what it is, but I can't see it as my primary MMORPG. So, only going to play this one when I have more free time. GAMEBREAKER: too niche.

Graal Online - I log and get PK'd. I join a guild and have a duel, and lose. PK'd again. Damn I want to enjoy this game but I keep getting PK'd. GAMEBREAKER: I give up.

EverQuest 2 - EQ2 is gorgeous and has a huge choice of races and character classes. It also has voice acting for most NPCS and the quests aren't too bad either. The game also has a TON to do and a lot of content. The problem? It just feels like the devs threw in everything including the kitchen sink in this game. I think there might be TOO MANY features! I also don't like how the world feels like a bunch of zones with teleports between them... oh wait, that is what it is! Combat is fast paced but a bit shallow... GAMEBREAKER: Looks good on paper but lacks authenticity.

Dekaron - It sucks. Nuff said. GAMEBREAKER: bad game.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - VG fanboys are at least partially successful at getting people to try the game. I would know because I tried it after hearing about how much of a diamond of the rough it is. The fact is, I love Vanguard and was seriously addicted to ti for about a month. At level 30 though, I found it difficult to level up while soloing and found it nearly impossible to group at this level. At the earlier levels, I had no trouble grouping.... It is the mid game that is lacking in population. Things are looking up for VG though as it finally received a content update recently. I know that someday I will sub to this game again (or play again if it goes f2p!). GAMEBREAKER: low population.

Istaria: The Chronicles of the Gifted - I played this game a lot because I love the multiclassing system and crafting. There are some major problems with the game though. The first is that most of the population are high level dragons and interested in chatting with you, but not interested in playing with you. Its difficult to find someone to adventure with in Istaria as everyone that playsthe game does it for the crafting. I can't really blame them though because combat is laggy and buggy. That is the second reason - the combat is laggy and some skill/abilities are broken. This game has been around since 2003 and while it has some unique and distinct features, it also has its share of problems... GAMEBREAKER: essential part of the game is extremely flawed. 

Ryzom - I can't say too much about Ryzom. I heard it was underrated and a sandbox. I tried it out when it went f2p. It didn't hold my interest past the starter level. I didn't like the UI or the aesthetics of the world and characters... GAMEBREAKER: Not my personal taste.

Mabinogi - this game is neat in a lot of ways. There is so much to do in the game and even the combat is different from your run-of-the-mill MMORPG combat. It's a good game but it has obviously aged. Mabinogi was released in the US 4 years after it was released in Korea! GAMEBREAKER: Out with the old, in with the new.

RIFT - I played the trial and decided not to subscribe. I have seen the game heavily discounted on Steam and still didn't buy it. RIFT is a good game, but it's kind of boring. Azeroth has bigger, more detailed zones and Star Wars: The Old Republic has a much demanded sci-fi theme while the fantasy theme is getting stale with fans. People are smart enough to see that Rifts are the same concept as Warhammer's Public Quests. It's playable and polished but it's kind of generic. GAMEBREAKER: generic.

Aion - I also played the trial of this game. It just wasn't fun for me and I can fly in Flyff and do it for free. GAMEBREAKER: pay to fly.

Darkfall - There is a lot I like about Darkfall - the way character models look, the huge detailed world, and the enemy AI. What I hate is the UI and crap animations and getting ganked for refusing to join a clan. It also seems like it could be a time consuming game... I played the trial. GAMEBREAKER: too hardcore and low budget.

Flyff - although I said I could fly for free instead of pay to fly like in Aion thanks to this game... I likely will never play this game again. I'm guessing this game has a merchant vendor system instead of an auction house because when I played, cities were crowded with bots spamming the crap out of  the chat. But since these merchant NPCs were usually crowded in one place, it was impossible to see where you were going because of all the speech bubbles polluting the air. I uninstalled immediately. GAMEBREAKER: bots.

Top 10 Originally FREE original MMORPGs

Posted by carrie01 Thursday November 10 2011 at 1:39PM
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F2P games, especially the Eastern variety, are heavily scrutinized. Generally, users at mmorpg.com dislike f2p MMORPGs and particularly hate f2p Asian MMORPGs. While many f2p games are lacking in quality, or are designed to be cheap replacements (such as WoW clones), this was not the origin of the f2p MMO. In this list, I want to show examples of games that are both original in concept and originally free from conception. No freemium games such as EverQuest 2 extended, AoC: Unchained, or DDO: Unlimited on this list. There is also an absence of WoW, Aion, and Lineage 2 clones. Some of these games are new, but many of them are older and important to the history of f2p mmorpgs. These games are not only played because they are free, but played because they offer a unique gameplay experience (in fact, two on this list that were originally free switched to subscription! How often do you see that?)

10. A Mystical Land - A new MMORPG that plays in your browser. The game is filled with humor and has a medieval setting (not so much high fantasy). The game is filled with silly jokes, sound effects and the game does not use original music, but publicly owned classical music for its soundtrack. However, the game has decent graphics, robust crafting, mini games,  and a lot of skills to skill up! It is fairly polished and unique and while not likely to be phenomenally successful, it will have a strong following with casual gamers for a long time.

 

9.  Atlantica Online - There are no subscription games comparable to Atlantica Online. It offers unique turn-based gameplay and oldschool JRPG gamers eat it up. This is one of the most popular f2p games for a reason.

 8. Graal Online - although some may argue that this game is not "massive" enough to be an MMORPG, I still put it in on the list due to the fact that it was one of the few free options back in the early 2000s. This game started out free for players but moved to a subscription service. Today, it has a microtransaction model which allows you to buy in-game currency. You can also design your own world and pay to have it hosted and therefore accessed by Graal players. In the player-world that I normally played in, there was open PvP and graphics ripped from Zelda: A Link to the Past. Character customization was insane! I remember playing a blue haired princess wielding a pink light sabre... A game with a similar concept today is LinkRealms Online...

7.  Dofus - this unique French MMORPG is captivating and neat and definitely a game that has more going for it than being f2p. Unique characters, tactical gameplay, and a colorful world... and an optional subscription for those who want a little more.  This is the type of game that earns your sub and doesn't coax you into buying overpriced digital items. Watch out for the future as the makers of Dofus are putting out a new game with some very interesting ideas and will also be published by Square Enix. That game is Wakfu.

6. Vindictus - this game made such a splash that even people who only follow the AAA titles took notice. Vindictus is an f2p brawler with amazing graphics and intense gameplay. Vindictus is in a league in its own due to amount of polish and value. You need a good rig to run it though. Perhaps if you cannot run Vindictus or prefer something a little less bloody (and anime), then Dragon's Nest is the game for you.

5. Mabinogi - another Nexon game makes the list. Mabinogi is filled with features. There is so much to do, dozens of skills, and a ton to explore. You character ages. You can farm for food. There is a season and weather system. You can compose and play music. You can have a part-time job! This is on top of your usual crafting and adventuring.

4. Glitch - another newer game on the list and also a browser mmorpg. In Glitch, there is no combat! The game is focused on community, crafting, exploring, and world shaping. The actions of players in Glitch can have real effects on the game world. Want to use tree poison and destroy all the trees in an area? You can do it. Want to cure a poisoned tree that another player poisoned? Buy an antidote and do it! Want to own a viritual home and get to know your neighbors and make communtiy decisions? You can do that in Glitch too. Best of all, Glitch is truly f2p and items in the item mall are purely fluff. There is an optional subscription if you want to support the game, get a good deal on item mall currency, and participate in politics.

3. Maplestory - How huge of a success is Maplestory? Huge! Side-scrolling action, a bright and colorful game world, awesome music, and a lot of social features (like getting married). When this game came out for FREE in 2004, people could not help being excited about this unique game. In fact, there are quite a few MapleStory clones out there. That is pretty impressive as it is usually the AAA subscription games that get cloned.

2.  Ragnarok Online - this is the second example of a game that started out free and became so immensly popular that it changed to a subscription service. Graal and Ragnarok both went p2p around the same time, and that made me a sad teenager. My options were cut down to Conquer Online and Runescape (this was before the flood of f2p games, after all). Interestingly, it is hard to find proof that this game was originally free on the internet... but it was! So what made Ragnarok unique? Several job classes and abilities, isometric view, a "Final Fantasy Tactics" look.... Today, Ragnorak is f2p again (but still has a server for subscribed users that offers faster leveling and other perks).

1. Runescape - Many people may hate Runescape because they find the controls clunky or the combat unsatisfying. But hundreds of thousands of players have found that Runescape is the game for them. Open-ended gameplay, tons of skills, lots of crafting, and the ability to interact with the world around you... This was also the game that I played because I could not get my parents to pay for a subscription to Ultima Online (my uncle played it and I admried him for it).. But I think Runescape has more going for it than just being f2p and has been a great and convenient place for gamers to hang out and quest for years.

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