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The Launch That Faced Thousands of Ships - Page 2

Updated Fri, Oct 02, 2009 by Ralsu

It was a weird news week in F2P gaming. ArchLord announced the return of its "flesh sac" monsters while Combat Arms unveiled the new "nut shot." Aiming slightly above the belt, CABAL Online revealed its expansion, Lost World. Like the Pioneers of Iria expansion Nexon recently introduced for Mabinogi, ESTsoft is packing in as much content as it can for CABAL fans. CABAL spent a brief time in this Top Ten list, and the expansion is a sign of the game's popularity.

Meanwhile, Nexon might just be the next company I praise for following the suggestions I have made for chipping away at the Western distrust of F2P games. Ten Ton Hammer's Cody "Micajah" Bye has scored an interview with Nexon that emphasizes a new approach of focusing on delivering fewer titles at higher quality. I won't spoil the whole interview (look for it soon), but I strongly encourage all developers to follow suit. If the economy continues to make money tight for everyone, F2P gaming stands to see an influx of players. As I have said before, resist the urge to pump out games like an Alien queen drops eggs; make sure you support the games you have on the market and you'll draw more long term customers.

In other news, Warrior Epic released some new screens at GDC. Some people will be pleased with the hand drawn backgrounds and oversized armor while other won't. In particular, I like the shot of a warrior and a spirit that we snagged. Normally, a picture is worth a thousand words, but it's go time where Warrior Epic is concerned. The fan base needs to see the next stage of beta begin soon before their confidence and patience wear thin.

Moving ahead, look for further discussion about the hybridization of revenue models in MMOGs next week and what that means for this column.


Top Ten Free-to-Play Games
March 30, 2009
Rank Game

1


Last week: 1
Atlantica Online - (http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/)
NDOORS

Atlantica is a squad-based fantasy strategy game that breaks the mold. Players can control up to nine characters at once in fast-paced turn-based combat. A lot of the systems in Atlantica are different from the standard fare on the market.

2


Last week: 2
Mabinogi - (http://mabinogi.nexon.net)
NEXON

Mabinogi provides so many things to do that it earns its self-appointed moniker of “A Fantasy Life.” Players can farm, play music, hunt, craft, go to school and more in this fantasy land. In Mabinogi, combat is not the only way to advance.

3


Last week: 3
Runes of Magic - (www.runesofmagic.com)
Frogster


Runes of Magic is a traditional fantasy game that uses a Dual Class system to inject a little strategy into character planning and a lot of flexibility into grouping. RoM has all of the features gamers want in a subscription-based game, but they’ll enjoy them for free here.

4


Last week: 4
Dungeon Runners - (http://www.dungeonrunners.com) NCSoft

Dungeon Runners is a hack and slash fantasy game that infuses every aspect of gameplay with humor. DR makes fun of other games, the genre, and even itself. This is the perfect game for a player looking to blow off steam after a rough day at work.

5


Last week: 5
Requiem: Bloodymare - (www.playrequiem.com)
Gravity Interactive

Requiem: Bloodymare is a horror-themed game that blends the traditional elements of MMOGs with the visceral feel of a gore film. Requiem is worth a look because of its fresh take on setting in MMOGs.

6


Last week: 6
Dream of Mirror Online - (http://domo.aeriagames.com)
Aeria Games & Entertainment


Dream of Mirror Online puts the player in the starring role of a classic Chinese myth. The eastern-based lore provides a refreshing twist on MMOGs, and the multi-class system makes character development in this fantasy game fun.

7


Last week: 7
Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine - (http://megaten.aeriagames.com)
Aeria Games & Entertainment

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online brings the popular RPG to life in the MMOG sphere. Players can use friendly persuasion or aggressive coercion to get demons to fight by their side. The dark subject matter and modern setting of the game is a welcome contrast to the enchanted glens filled with pixies we often find in MMOGs.

8


Last week: 8
Neo Steam - (http://neosteam.atlusonline.com) Atlus Online

Neo Steam is a steampunk game set in a world where warring factions compete for a limited supply of the resource Neo Steam. It was above average in most categories during closed beta for the US, but it had multiple translation problems. Atlus Online should iron out the kinks.

9


Last week: 9
Free Realms - (www.freerealms.com) Sony Online Entertainment

Free Realms is a a 3D fantasy world designed to encourage exploration and support casual play. With graphics similar to WoW and all the gameplay of a standard MMOG, Free Realms could appeal to adults. Its many minigames and events are designed to please teens.

10


Last week: 10
Warrior Epic - (http://warriorepic.com) Possibility Space

Warrior Epic is ready to begin the next round of closed beta soon. It provides a fantasy hack and slash dungeon crawler experience with some very innovative features, including the ability to choose different character classes for each dungeon and a Warrior Hall that grows with the player.


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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