Top Ten Free-to-Play Games

By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley

Week in Review

This week, I uploaded my video footage of style="font-style: italic;">Florensia to
accompany the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=37022">first
impressions
I published earlier last week. Look for that soon.

I
spent some time mulling over href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/47112">the question
posed by Ten Ton Hammer's Medeor: Is style="font-style: italic;">Warrior Epic a
massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG)? In case you missed it, after
spending several weeks in various spots on this Top Ten, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/41118">I removed the
game from the list after a gameplay trailer revealed a chat
lobby where players got together to form games. You can view a still
from the movie showcasing the lobby href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/41117">here.

For me, the important parts of any MMOG are that it is always
online (persistent) and that the number of people I can encounter in
the game is massive. But does it matter if I have to go through a lobby
first? I mean, isn't the majority of my time in most MMOGs in a single
party with 3-5 other players?

My knee-jerk reaction to my questions in the paragraph above
are to say
that it does matter that I have to go through a lobby. And it means
something that my party can encounter other players in the game world.
Some of favorite gaming memories come from nights of exploring an
overworld and bumping into random adventurers who join me on my quest
to get lost in a strange land and killed by something I have never seen
before.

Maybe I am being a little too quick to judge, though. I style="font-style: italic;">did get paid to
cover Dungeons
& Dragons Online
(DDO) for roughly a year after
all. I often told readers in href="http://ddo.tentonhammer.com/#OpEd">my editorials
that DDO was the only MMOG I subscribed to. Why would I consider DDO, a
game with a lobby and fully instanced dungeons, any different from style="font-style: italic;">Warrior Epic? Some
might argue that DDO is different because its lobby is rendered as a
full 3D town and that hundreds of players can interact there at once.
But it's not really that different.

I once wrote a blog about the millions of rabid fans who buy
and play the latest iteration of Madden
NFL
video games across multiple platforms each year. If
even a quarter of those fans go online to play the game, the online
player base would be a healthy number that most subscription MMOGs
would love to claim as its own. Just a few weeks after I wrote that
blog, Bungie released the latest Halo
game, which boasted a steady 250,000 players online for months after it
hit store shelves. Can I really dismiss lobby games so easily?

I have my final opinion ready, but I want to hear yours, too.
Drop me a line href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=37476">in
our forums and tell me what you think about lobby games. Can
they be considered MMOG? Would you like me to give games like style="font-style: italic;">Warrior Epic and style="font-style: italic;">Rakion a second
chance? In the meantime, I have uploaded the latest teaser video for style="font-style: italic;">Warrior Epic, made
in the new partnership between Possibility Space and True Games
Interactive. I hope to publish it for all to see soon because the
quality is fairly high and speaks to the team's dedication to the title.

The List

I continue to replay some of the games on my list with the intention of
hitting the tough grind levels. I really want to see which games in the
middle of my Top Ten have lasting power. Last week, I noted that DOMO
slipped because of how hard the grind becomes, especially for players
who like to solo. I am still creeped out by the sanctioned botting in style="font-style: italic;">Magic World Online,
but it definitely helps reduce the feel of the grind.

My list of games to play is long at this point. I keep getting
sidetracked. I prefer to keep this list going each week so that I can
react quickly to changes, but I may have to consider trimming it to
biweekly to keep readers from becoming bored by a nearly static list.
On the bright side, I feel confident about a lot of the games on the
list. I'm so confident about the first 4-5 that I could not imagine
them dropping off of the list any time soon.  href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=37476">

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

Disclaimer:
The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of
the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.


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2

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3

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4

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5

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6

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7

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8

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9

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10

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

October 24, 2008

1

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/38580"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/38580/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;">Atlantica Online - ( style="font-weight: bold;"
href="http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/" target="_blank">http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/)

NDOORS

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1303">Atlantica
    Portal

Atlantica
gets a fair amount of criticism for having bland graphics. I just don't
see it. I'm not telling you it's awesome, but I think it's just fine. style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica's
groundbreaking gameplay is what makes the game terrific.

2

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/41097"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/41097/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Wizard101 - ( style="font-weight: bold;" href="https://www.wizard101.com/"
target="_blank">www.wizard101.com)

KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc.

  • href="http://tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1186">Magic101
    Portal

Been
looking for a solid first impressions piece on style="font-style: italic;">Wizard101? You'll
find it over
on the Hamster
. Meanwhile, check out the href="http://www.tentonhamster.com/node/2664">Halloween video.

3

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;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 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

style="font-style: italic;">Mabinogi avoids the
grind by giving players things to do around town and other avenues for
adventure outside of combat.

4

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;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 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
gives almost nothing but combat, but its sardonic
wit keep the story fresh.

5

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;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 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

Magic World Online
has much more to it than I have ever been able to experience. I'll bet
veteran players of the game could say more about it.

6

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/35119"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/35119/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Rohan: Blood Feud - ( href="http://www.playrohan.com/" target="_blank"> style="font-weight: bold;">www.playrohan.com style="font-weight: bold;">)

YNK Interactive

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/906">Rohan
    Portal

Rohan
seems dead at times. But when I get groups, it's still a lot of fun. style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">

7

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;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 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

Dream of Mirror
Online
has a
very dedicated and friendly player base. I have had numerous offers for
groups and guilds from readers of this column. Thank you all.

8

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/36886"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/36886/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Runes of Magic -
( href="http://www.runesofmagic.com/">www.runesofmagic.com style="font-weight: bold;">)

Frogster

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1234">Runes
    of Magic Portal

Runes of Magic
is ready to accept more beta testers. Ten Ton Hammer is giving away href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/RoM">1500 Closed
Beta invitations. Enter by October 27, 2008.

9

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/45940"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/45940/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Florensia -
(http://en.florensia-online.com/)
Burda:ic GmbH

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1647">Florensia
    Portal

Florensia
does so many things
that seems aimed for the young gamer, but it can be brutally difficult
at times even with a fair amount of hand holding. I am a bit puzzled by
the intent.

10

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/44038"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 100px; height: 100px;" alt=""
src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/44038/preview">
style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">Pefect World International
- ( target="_blank">www.perfectworld.com style="font-weight: bold;">)

Beijing Perfect World

  • href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/771">Perfect
    World International Portal

Perfect World
International

has a bit of a cult following, and they don't take kindly to criticism
of their favorite game.  It's a good one, but it's not
flawless.



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