Microcosms - GDC 2010 - The Year of the Free-to-Plays

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 7 - Mar 13, 2010

1. Dungeons
and Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited
href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

of Magic

href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">3.  href="http://www.freerealms.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">FreeRealms href="http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/center/default.asp"
target="_blank"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://us.runesofmagic.com/us/index.html"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

4.  href="http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/center/default.asp"
target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://www.freerealms.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

5.  href="../../../../DOCUME%7E1/ADMINI%7E1/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/www.global.4story.com"
target="_blank"> Sword of the New World href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://atlantica.ndoorsgames.com/center/default.asp"
target="_blank"> href="http://cabal.ogplanet.com/Reloaded.html" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

6. target="_blank">Black Prophecy href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/581"
target="_top"> href="http://www.freerealms.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="http://rappelz.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

 7.  href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/581"
target="_blank"> href="http://heroesofgaia.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

8.  target="_top">Perfect
World International

9. target="_top">The
Chronicles of Spellborn
target="_top"> href="http://allods.gpotato.com/" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

10. target="_blank">Alganon href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/581"


Well GDC 2010 has come and gone, and
while this year’s
iteration may not have provided any stunning reveals or long awaited
announcements, it was a coming of age party for free-to-play games.
you went this week the prevailing theme, in the MMOG genre, was that
the next
Big Thing was going to be microtransaction based free-to-plays. What
accentuated this point wasn’t the usual self promotion of the companies
these games, but the comments made by some of the biggest names in the
heralding it as the wave of the future. Everyone from href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/82155" target="_blank">Cryptic
to target="_blank">Turbine to
target="_blank">Lucas Arts was singing the same
refrain, that the quality gap has been bridged,
that free-to-play is the way of the future.

While Asian
markets have completely accepted this business
model and actually revel in it, we here in the west still have the
misconception that the games are of poor quality and the payment method
is more
scam than potential savings. While several recently released titles
already begun to remove the stigma that has been placed on
free-to-plays, the
vast majority of games that we previewed at GDC proved that those games
an anomaly but just the first in a growing trend of great games that
require a subscription to play. Read up on some of the highlights in
this weeks
feature .

We here at Ten Ton Hammer remain
committed to covering and
chronicling these games and this column will strive to be the focal
point of
that coverage. Look for some exciting changes coming soon, and as
always let us
know what you like, dislike or would like to see improved in our

As gaming continues to grow at a pace more rapid than the expansion of
Kevin Smith’s waistline, so too grow the number of conferences and
special events that are dedicated to it. While we here at Ten Ton
Hammer would love to attend every single one of them (and we do attend
the vast majority) concessions must sometimes be made in terms of how
many people we can send to any given event.  When the initial
assessment was made of GDC in San Francisco it was decided that we
would be able to get the stories that mattered most to our readers with
but a single representative, but as the conference grew closer it
became evident that a larger contingent should be dispatched. The main
reason that the away team was able to triple in size was due almost
exclusively to the number of requests we got for meetings from
free-to-play game publishers and developers, which means I had to don
the red shirt and set off on my fact gathering mission in a hurry.

During my short stay in the bay area I managed to cram in four meetings
with free-to-play publishers in addition to other duties I had to
perform, and I was able to check out some very cool games in the
process, read on for a highlight of those titles and click the games
title for a link to the full
article from GDC

of the New World

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81952"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/81952"
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;">

Sword of the New World
is truly multi-layered with players
participating not only in combat, both PvP and PvE based, but also in
politics as the game centers on a political PvP system that features
players running for office in an effort to control the
colonies.  Jon-En?e Merriex  stated that “Many people
view it (Sword of the
New World
) as an MMORPG, but really there are so
many more strategy elements to it and the Political PvP system is the
crowning point of the strategy elements.“ Merriex also piqued our
interest when he expanded on the weekly faction based colony battles;
these skirmishes take place every Saturday and the winning faction is
rewarded via a percentage of the game’s auction house sales for that


GamersFirst is rolling out a new title that fits the bill of innovation
in the form of Victory,
a racing game set in post-apocalyptic world of
2062. With Victory,
players can select a male or female avatar to pilot
their vehicle, but the real avatar to identify with will be the car
itself. The vehicles will be fully customizable and will feature three
separate blocks that can be tailor made to the player’s exact desire;
going with the three distinct blocks allows for the customization to be
nearly limitless. The game will feature an item shop that will feature
some of the more advanced customization options but will not offer any
advantages to paying customers that non-paying players wouldn’t be able
to attain with an investment of time. Brian Konar ran me through a
quick demo video of the game that featured in-game action that should
easily satisfy players need for speed. The game features multiple
tracks that are all based on real world race tracks, but have been
re-imagined to fit within the post-apocalyptic theme.


href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81953"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/81953"
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;">

Continuing in the vein of non-fantasy based gaming, Joseph Willmon
introduced us to Takiodom,
an online space themed MMOG that features a
PvP centric style of play.  Similar to style="font-style: italic;">Black Prophecy,
Takiodom incorporates twitch based ship to ship combat
that can be
played with standard keyboard/mouse controls or a game pad. The game
world is large and complex with multiple systems in place to satisfy
everyone from hardcore PvP junkies to the economics major who is
running a commodities spreadsheet on their second monitor. 
There are no classes in the game which opens up the game to
customization as players can assign their skill points and build their
ship to fill the role they feel most comfortable in, such as a long
range sniper with limited mobility, a heavy bomber that can lay the
hurt on space stations or ground based targets, or a nimble and deadly
dogfighter that likes to get up close and personal.


Black Prophecy
is without a doubt one of the more exciting titles on
the horizon for release this year, combing all the hallmarks of MMOG
gameplay with a Wing
style combat system, but if you aren’t a
fan of the genre and space games don’t appeal to you don’t expect style="font-style: italic;">Black
Prophecy to convert you. “If you are only about fantasy
and traditional
RPG MMOGs, maybe Black
is not for you” stated Böcker. “It is
aimed at the action player who wants exciting combat and space
fighting.” While this may seem a harsh stance on the surface, it really
epitomizes why this will be a great game; a highly polished concept
that doesn’t attempt to be something it isn’t but rather revels in
everything that is, a beautiful MMOG with a whole universe of addicting
high speed space combat.



City of Eternals
is a browser based, free-to-play MMOG currently in
beta testing that features a highly social core and uses a player’s
facebook profile to auto populate both your avatar and your friends
list. City of Eternals
isn’t a facebook game however, it is flash based
clientless game that exists on its own web site and can be hosted
through HTML embedding by anyone who wishes to add it to their own
pages.  The game is set in a vampire themed world that blends
many core values of the popular vampire mythos, including the
uber-popular romance of Twilight.



href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/82063"> src="http://www.tentonhammer.com/image/view/82063"
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 250px; height: 188px;">

A title so new, it doesn’t even yet have its own website, style="font-style: italic;">Divine Souls
is an action packed game that combines elements of MMOGs and 3D
fighting games into an extremely fun package.  Players will be
able to choose from one of five classes at launch while our playable
version featured three classes, the Mage, Fighter and Slasher, to
either band together to defeat powerful NPC monsters or gang up on each
other in PvP action.



Originally launched in Asia as Travia,
Erebus: Travia Reborn
is pretty
true to its new title—a rebirth of the popular Korean Action RPG-MMOG.
Instantly recognizable by fans of
, this game has a similar look
and feel of the popular Blizzard classic, but with an MMOG style twist.
Players will have four basic combat classes to select from that can
eventually be expanded to one of 18 unique “master classes” as you
advance your character through a staggering 400 levels

The stars continue to align for free-to-play gaming and this year’s GDC
went a long way to confirm it. Stay tuned to Ten Ton Hammer and
Microcosms for all the latest news and articles on this exciting
segment of MMOGs.

alt="" style="border: 0px solid ; width: 600px; height: 480px;"

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!

Last Updated:

About The Author

Around the Web