Top Ten Free-to-Play Games Week 6

By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley



style="font-weight: bold;">About This List

Please refer to the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/Top10F2P">Top Ten
Free-to-Play Games Portal to find out how to get a game you
make or like on this list.



Week in Review

This week, I played more Dungeon
Runners
and Mabinogi.
I was trying to get a feel for how well these games truly support free
players, and I came to differing conclusions on the two games.



In the case of Dungeon
Runners
, NCSoft does everything in its power to remind
gamers that they are free-loading. First, the game places a banner ad
at the top of the screen at all times and occasionally displays a full
page ad while loading a dungeon. The good news is that the game runs at
a smooth 30-40 FPS on maximum graphics for me even with these ads.
Also, an icon depicting a warrior with a sword in a wheelchair sits
atop your screen. It reminds players to buy a subscription so that
developers can eat. A multicolored phrase at the bottom right of the
screen encourages players to sign up to turn off the ads. Finally, some of the gear and a good number of potions players loot can only be
used by subscribing members. I have yet to level high enough to find
out how not being able to use the second tier and higher potions
inhibits players. I suspect it will really start to matter at some
point.



Mabinogi,
on the other hand, doesn't seem to be as over-the-top with trying to
get players to spend money. Nevertheless, Nexon really wants you to,
and you'll likely end up spending more than a monthly subscription for
another title if you do. I checked out the Nexon Shop just to see about
increasing inventory space. I found purchasing options that let players
increase inventory space. 30 days of increased space would cost a
player 9500 NX Cash, the currency of the shop. The player could buy
10,000 NX Cash in the shop for $10. So, just to increase inventory
space for the month costs two-thirds of a subscription for a
pay-to-play game. It's a good thing you don't have to buy anything.



NeoSteam
went into Open Beta last week. I am really enjoying myself in it so
far, but it has translation issues. The good news is that it looks
pretty good and has fun combat. I'll be publishing my second preview of
NeoSteam
next week.



Finally, I
downloaded and tried Exteel,
the mech game from NCSoft. The graphics in style="font-style: italic;">Exteel are awesome.
just the right blend of rendering and cartoony looks. I was having a
ton of fun in the tutorial despite the fact that I could not pause it
and some parts were timed. Sadly, when I got stuck on a particular area
of the tutorial due to my poor play skill (I could not use the light
guns to kill enemies without dying first), I had to skip the rest of
the tutorial. There is no option to skip a certain part it would seem.
I decided to jump straight to the campaign and have some fun. Only
problem was that I could not find the campaign. It looked like the
whole game was about PvP on random maps. I could not find a persistent
shared land area to make me think of the game as massively-multiplayer.
It just felt like Call of Duty online multiplayer mode with mechs. So, style="font-style: italic;">Exteel won't make
this list even though it looks pretty cool.



The List

Coming up, I will be trying Requiem:
Bloodymare

and Holic.
I'll be playing more Fiesta
and NeoSteam,
too.



Here are my Top Ten Free-to-Play Games for this week!


cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2">
style="text-align: center; width: 75px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;">Rank style="text-align: center; width: 75px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;">Previous style="text-align: center; width: 105px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;"> style="width: 334px; background-color: rgb(114, 105, 62); font-weight: bold; color: white;">Game style="text-align: center; width: 75px; color: rgb(188, 188, 188);">

1

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4

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2

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5

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3

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6

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8

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9

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7

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N/A

colspan="4" rowspan="1"> style="color: white; font-weight: bold;">Top Ten
Free-to-Play Games

May 29, 2008

1

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30839"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30839/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Mythos
- ( href="http://www.mythos.com/">www.mythos.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Flagship Studios,
Inc.

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/329">Mythos
    Portal

Mythos
is in a lull while the design team puts the finishing touches on the
open overland areas. I think the next update will solidify the game as
a terrific choice for anybody.

2

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/31567"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/31567/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Mabinogi - ( href="http://mabinogi.nexon.net/">http://mabinogi.nexon.net)
NEXON

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/856">Mabonogi
    Portal

I finally got the hang of combat in style="font-style: italic;">Mabinogi. I just
needed to toggle on auto-attack. This makes the game much easier for me
to learn, and I am having a lot of fun interrogating NPCs to learn
skills.

3

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30840"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30840/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Wakfu - ( style="font-weight: bold;" href="http://www.wakfu.com/"
target="_blank">www.wakfu.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Ankama

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1017">Wakfu
    Portal

Wakfu
is ranked on the laurels of Dofus
and the fact that I am a nut for turn-based strategy. I dig
 the art style and the classes, which are not the cookie
cutter archetypes of most games.

4

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/32333"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/32333/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Dream of Mirror Online - ( style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank"
href="http://domo.aeriagames.com/">http://domo.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Aeria Games &
Entertainment

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/997">DOMO
    Portal

With deep character customization through the class system that lets
players mix and match skills and diverse crafting roles, DOMO is a fun
game.

5

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/32065"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/32065/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Fiesta -
( href="http://fiesta.outspark.com/" target="_blank">http://fiesta.outspark.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Outspark

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/720">Fiesta
    Portal

Fiesta
is really fun early when you can solo. By the mid-teens, you start
needing a group. Sadly groups can be a real gamble in this game.
Players are on for such short bursts and often seem to have no clue
what they are doing.

6

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30838"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30838/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Magic World
Online
- ( href="http://mwo.enjoymmo.com/" target="_blank">http://mwo.enjoymmo.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Goldcool Games

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/983">Magic
    World Online Portal

It will take a lot of good free-to-play games to knock style="font-style: italic;">Magic World Online
off of this list. Goldcool did so much right with the story and
character development.

7

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30847"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30847/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">NeoSteam -
( href="http://www.neosteam.com/">www.neosteam.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Hanbitsoft

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/963">NeoSteam
    Portal

NeoSteam
is in Open Beta now, so anyone can check it out. If you can overlook
some shaky translation here and there, it is a lot of fun.

8

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/33602"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/33602/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Dungeon Runners -
( target="_blank">http://www.dungeonrunners.com style="font-weight: bold;">) NCSoft

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/110">Dungeon
    Runners Portal

Dungeon
Runners
will bug you incessantly to upgrade to a premium
account.It's quirky attitude and solid, polished game play probably
make it worth it. I still have reservations about how viable it is to
play for free at the upper levels when you can only use Tier 1 potions. style="font-weight: bold;">

9

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/30841"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/30841/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Warrior Epic -
( href="http://warriorepic.com/">http://warriorepic.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Possibility Space

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/691">Warrior
    Epic Portal

Warrior Epic
is running a lot of contests right now to get people into Closed Beta.
Maybe the marketing push has begun.

10

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/33603"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/33603/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Shaiya - ( style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank"
href="http://shaiya.aeriagames.com/">http://shaiya.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">) Aeria Games &
Entertainment

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1138">Shaiya
    Portal

Shaiya
sits in the ten hole for another week because I did not really try many
new games last week. I cannot imagine it will last much longer, though,
as the quests are repetitive and the translation is poor.



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    Free-to-Play Games Portal
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