style="width: 581px; height: 130px;"
style="background: rgb(57, 65, 76) none repeat scroll 0% 50%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial; overflow: hidden; float: right; display: table; width: 300px;">

style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Top
Free-to-Play Games

of Mar 14 - Mar 20, 2010

1.  target="_blank">Black Prophecy href=""
target="_top"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

and Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited
href="" target="_blank">

href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">3.  href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="">Runes
of Magic

4.  href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">FreeRealms href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

5.  href="../../../../DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/"
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank">Vindictus

6.  target="_blank"> href=""
Chronicles of Spellborn
target="_top"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

 7.  href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

8.  target="_top"> href=""
target="_blank">Sword of the New World

9.  target="_top"> href=""
target="_top"> href=""

10.  target="_blank">Perfect
World International
style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""
target="_blank"> href=""
target="_blank"> href=""
target="_blank"> href=""

style="text-decoration: underline;">

It has been over a week since we returned from GDC 2010, and with the
hype and PR blitz behind us we can finally settle down and analyze the
best bits of what we saw there. As I reported last week, one of the
major focal points this year was free-to-play gaming and its rise to
prominence. While I had hoped to hop down from the pulpit this week and
focus on some of the more technical aspects of the games we were privy
to, a recent spate of posts in our own forums has prompted me to hop
back up on the soapbox and proselytize some more. 

While the stigma of making free-to-play games has been successfully
removed from the developer and publisher side of the equation (Turbine
and SOE can attest to this, href="" target="_blank">and
maybe Blizzard would too if they would
comment), the gamer side of the problem has been the harder
nut to
crack here in the Western market.

So what does it take to get MMO gamers to finally see the light? What
will ultimately convince them that free-to-play isn’t a low quality
scam? While I’ve frequently attempted to spotlight and recognize the
games that buck the sad tradition of poorly made knock-offs in an
attempt to show you all that there’s more to free-to-play games than
meets the jaded eye, it seems more convincing is in order. With that
thought in mind we present a look at some of the titles that are
dispelling the misconceptions and shifting the paradigm of free-to-play
games in the alliteratively titled: Microcosms – Mythbusters.

Myth #1 – Free-to-Play Games are Graphically Inferior.


href=""> src=""
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;">

Pushing the boundaries like few other current MMOGs, style="font-style: italic;">Black Prophecy,
from German-based developer Reakktor Games, may be the first title
since Vanguard to
prompt users to upgrade their computers to play it properly. While this
strategy has proved risky in the past, it may work here as gamers have
been very vocal in their desire for non-fantasy based games. Featuring
ship-to-ship combat in the vein of Wing
or X-Wing
vs. Tie Fighter
, Black
has more going for it than just slick graphics.
Real time physics based combat with realistic damage that allow
pinpoint attacks to disable your opponents at their most vulnerable
plus modular ship design give this game amazing depth.

World International

This Chinese based import finds its way into our top 10 list week after
week and its no secret why: with gorgeous graphics and a world that
feels alive, this game world is one that draws in players and keeps
them coming back for more. Steeped in Chinese Mythology and lore, the
game has eight classes, four races and many features that add a lot
depth to the game. One of the more interesting features allows players
to marry each other, for a small cash shop fee of course, and grants a
special title that binds the players together. Be warned, though--just
like the real world, divorce is expensive. PWI has flying mounts, large
scale PvP, day and nighttime graphic changes, and plenty of GM events
for players to enjoy.

Allods Online, Takiodom,
and Runes
of Magic
also feature excellent graphics but these are
certainly not the only titles in the free-to-play world to do so.

Myth #2 – Free-to-Play Games Are Cheap Knock-Offs of Existing


This Russian import from developer Astrum-Nival has been at the
spearhead of publisher gPotato’s recent assault on the North American
market. Allods Online is a big budget affair that mixes elements of
fantasy, sci-fi and steam punk in a faction-based PvP slugfest. Part of
what makes Allods Online
unique in the free-to-play world is its massive budget, which is said
to be in the 5 to 7 million dollar range. Besides the large budget, style="font-style: italic;"> Allods has a lush
world to explore, a cast of interesting and unique classes to play and
offers players the chance to pilot their own starships through the
cosmos. Another departure the game makes from the current crop of MMOGs
is the lack of auto attack option, which forces player into remaining
engaged and active in combat. The game has recently received some
fairly negative press over some unpopular moves regarding the death
penalty and the cash shop, but moves by the publisher and developer to
keep the North American market happy have so far been well received.

style="font-weight: bold;">

href=""> src=""
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;">

Cars? Check. Post-apocalyptic world? Check. Mixing it all together in a
bloody fast paced MMOG? Check. Victory
takes the traditional idea of what an MMOG is and throws it out the
window…at very high speed. Set on post-apocalyptic earth, style="font-style: italic;">Victory allows
players with the need for speed the ability to customize their vehicles
in an almost infinite array of visual configurations and then unleash
them upon tracks modeled off of real world speedways. While this may
not be every player’s cup of tea, fans of both traditional racing games
and MMOGs may find heaven in this game that blends the two genres.
Graphically the game looks fantastic and driving controls are smooth
and responsive. Future plans for Victory
include allowing steering wheel controller support to
further enhance gameplay.  

Takiodom, Black
Prophecy, City of Eternals, EpicDuel, Divine Soul
s and
many other games are also innovative in their approach to the genre.

Myth #3 Pay-to-Play Games are More Expensive Overall than
Subscription Games

While the ability to spend more in microtransaction games may exist,
the need to certainly does not. Jon-En?e Merriex of mega publisher
GamersFirst revealed recently during an interview session at GDC that
approximately 90% of the players in their title style="font-style: italic;">Sword of the New World
have never used the item shop and Ohai Games' Susan Wu commented that
their target per player revenue was $20.00 to $30.00 per year. In the
past many of the free-to-play games were hastily assembled money pits
that required players to spend money to see anything beyond the bare
bones of the game, but that trend has reversed recently as the new
generation of microtransaction games have adopted a time vs. money

“Basically anything in the item shop will be attainable in game with
the appropriate time investment,” said Falko Böcker of Gamigo’s style="font-style: italic;">Black Prophecy
team. These thoughts were echoed by every developer we sat down
with--make compelling games with characters players will develop a deep
bond with and never handicap those who don’t want to use the item shop.
This formula, if followed, will prove to be a winner in my opinion. 8
million in-game pets for World
of Warcraft
certainly can’t be wrong.

alt="" style="border: 0px solid ; width: 600px; height: 450px;"

style="font-style: italic; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">

style="background: rgb(57, 65, 76) none no-repeat scroll 0% 50%; -moz-background-clip: initial; -moz-background-origin: initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: initial; overflow: hidden; display: table; width: 632px;">

style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Hot
off the Press!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Sword of the New World Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016