World Online (MWO) is a free-to-play massively-multiplayer
online game (MMOG) development by Goldcool Games in Closed Beta Phase
II. The story tells of the struggle of humanity against the encroaching
demons of Hell. Readers who think that description sounds a little like
in the right frame of mind about much of the rest of the game.
The central story
of Magic World
Online is not the most original, but it gives players a
The Download and
Installation: Bring a Book
The MWO downloader barely breaks 1 MB, but the client itself is 2.2 GB
Don't expect to download this game in a hurry and start playing. During
peak time, I got between 67 K/sec and 330 K/sec on my download with my
DSL connection. It took roughly two hours to finish the download.
Installation wasn't difficult. One aspect worthy of note is that the
MWO installer does not choose Program Files as the default location of
the download. It instead chooses whatever folder the downloader resides
in. If your browser or Windows happens to point to some place in your
My Documents folder (or Documents in Vista) or on the desktop for the
downloader, and you let the game install to that same location, you may
experience to some ill effects, such as lengthy wait times at Windows
login due to the operating system resolving a profile with over 2GB
worth of data. This does not pose a real problem; simply be sure to
choose your install directory carefully. I just thought it was worth
Installation took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish, so I'd
invested roughly two and one-half hours in MWO so far. It was finally
time to play.
Arpad looks like
every other Dynasty Mage.
Character Creation: An
Exercise in Minimalism
Magic World Online features two factions (Empire or Dynasty) and four
classes: Archer, Warrior, Mage, and Summoner. Honestly, I did not look
into the differences in the factions. I inherently don't like the sound
of the "Empire," so I chose Dynasty. Good thing I wasn't interested:
there was no data to be found in the client. Of course, I could always
go read the extensive wiki on the official MWO site. As for my class, I
knew I wanted a distance fighter and that I preferred magic. I assumed
the Mage was the class with more raw magical power, so I chose
that for the first of my three character slots.
Customizing Arpad (the name I gave my Mage) was a snap. I had no
customization options. I later found out that I could find dyes and pay
a non-player character player (NPC) to change my hair color. Also, by
the time I got to level 9, I had enough cash to purchase a robe that
made me look slightly different.
The User Interface and
Graphics: Humble Beginnings
The user interface (UI) was familiar enough. A skill bar at the bottom
of the screen serves as the placeholder for skills and items tied to
the F1-F12 keys. A character portrait at the top of the screen has with
red and blue bars represent hit points. Later, when I tried my hand at
combat, I saw that the monster I targeted got its own portrait and life
bar on the screen, too. I noticed that the text could be a little hard
Speaking of graphical issues like reading the text, I expected some
pretty flashy images on my screen when I started playing with a client
of 2.2 GB. That was not what I got. Character models were small. The
backgrounds were simple. And many things had a somewhat grainy look.
While this surprised me, it wasn't a deal-breaker. I wanted to see some
action before I made any snap judgments.
what the combat in Magic
World Online is like. Keep reading.
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