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Top Ten Free-to-Play Games

Posted Fri, Oct 24, 2008 by Ralsu

By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley

Week in Review
This week, I uploaded my video footage of Florensia to accompany the first impressions I published earlier last week. Look for that soon.

I spent some time mulling over the question posed by Ten Ton Hammer's Medeor: Is Warrior Epic a massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG)? In case you missed it, after spending several weeks in various spots on this Top Ten, 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 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 did get paid to cover Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) for roughly a year after all. I often told readers in 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 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 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 Warrior Epic and Rakion a second chance? In the meantime, I have uploaded the latest teaser video for 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 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. 

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.


Top Ten Free-to-Play Games
October 24, 2008
Rank Previous Game

1

1

Atlantica Online - (http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/)
NDOORS
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. Atlantica's groundbreaking gameplay is what makes the game terrific.

2

2

Wizard101 - (www.wizard101.com)
KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc.
Been looking for a solid first impressions piece on Wizard101? You'll find it over on the Hamster. Meanwhile, check out the Halloween video.

3

3

Mabinogi - (http://mabinogi.nexon.net)
NEXON
Mabinogi avoids the grind by giving players things to do around town and other avenues for adventure outside of combat.

4

4

Dungeon Runners - (http://www.dungeonrunners.com) NCSoft
Dungeon Runners gives almost nothing but combat, but its sardonic wit keep the story fresh.

5

5

Magic World Online - (http://mwo.enjoymmo.com)
Goldcool Games

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

6

Rohan: Blood Feud - (www.playrohan.com)
YNK Interactive
Rohan seems dead at times. But when I get groups, it's still a lot of fun.

7

7

Dream of Mirror Online - (http://domo.aeriagames.com)
Aeria Games & Entertainment

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

8

Runes of Magic - (www.runesofmagic.com)
Frogster

Runes of Magic is ready to accept more beta testers. Ten Ton Hammer is giving away 1500 Closed Beta invitations. Enter by October 27, 2008.

9

9

Florensia - (http://en.florensia-online.com/) Burda:ic GmbH
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

10

Pefect World International - (www.perfectworld.com)
Beijing Perfect World

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.


About This List
Please refer to the Top Ten Free-to-Play Games Portal to find out how to get a game you make or like on this list.



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