By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley
Week in Review
Due to a death in the family, my gaming time was practically
non-existent this week. I am working on some 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 this week. So I won't lie,
when I played a game this week, I did it to unwind and have some fun.
My game of choice was href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1303"> style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica Online
of course, which is the best free-to-play game available--and could
rival many subscription games for quality.
NDOORS has released several bits of news lately worth mentioning. I am
first struck by all of the cash and prizes the company is giving away
to players who try the game and participate in the player-vs-player
(PvP) combat. Prizes include things like a Nintendo Wii. Then the
company announced that auto-move will be a permanent part of the game
without becoming a cash shop feature. There is a brief discussion href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=36819">in
our forums, but the auto-move option allows players to move
to a non-player character (NPC) automatically. I used this feature just
two nights ago to get some tea from the kitchen while running to turn
in a quest. If a player needs to move through a safe area, this is a
great feature and removes some of the tedium of questing.
That same thread that talks about auto-move also addresses
stamina, as NDOORS has made it so that all characters regain 1 stamina
for every ten minutes not engaged in combat. This addresses a chief
concern about stamina, which is a system aimed at preventing botters,
encouraging community, and preventing deaths at the keyboard. Gamers
need stamina to fight, and each fight takes one stamina. Groups gain
stamina back depending on whether two or three players are in the
group. Players can also regain stamina by mentoring lower-level players
or giving gifts. Now everyone can gain stamina while turning in a quest
or shopping on the market.
My final Atlantica
note is the href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=36890">satisfaction
guarantee, which promises to pay gamers $20 cash for their
level 50 characters if they decide to quit style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica. No other
game is that confident. It's a huge statement.
As I apply my metric of long lasting appeal to the games on my list, I
find I am very happy with slots one through four. Numbers five through
seven are problematic for me. I feel they are good games, but they have
their problems. DOMO and Rohan
are heavy grinders the longer you play, especially DOMO. style="font-style: italic;">Magic World Online
has the legal botting system that removes the grind, but...it just
feels weird to me.
Regardless of how I feel about botting, I have adjusted the
ranks of these three games to reflect how fun they are as I approach
level 35. Magic World Online avoids a drag because of the quests and
the bot (bleh). Rohan's
great early quests thin out a little bit (as does the population), and
DOMO practically forces players to find a group or set up their
merchant shops in a town and go AFK.
My sights are still set on
style="font-style: italic;">Cronous. Look for
my first impression on that soon.
Here are my Top Ten Free-to-Play Games for this week.
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.
October 16, 2008
has implemented a "satisfaction guarantee" for players who try the
game. Those who aren't satisfied with the experience can sell their
characters. Somebody get Stephen Colbert on the phone; he's got
competition in the arena of href="http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/24040/october-17-2005/stone-phillips---gravitas-off"> style="font-style: italic;">gravitas.
KingsIsle Entertainment, Inc.
style="font-style: italic;">Wizard101 does a
good job of keeping the magic houses balanced so that any wizard is
useful in a group.
style="font-style: italic;">Mabinogi has just
enough tactical elements to its combat to keep it feeling like the
button mashers so many other games turn out to be.
( target="_blank">http://www.dungeonrunners.com style="font-weight: bold;">) NCSoft
Runners gives players the "I must finish one more quest"
feeling that a good dungeon crawler should. style="font-weight: bold;">
- ( href="http://mwo.enjoymmo.com/" target="_blank">http://mwo.enjoymmo.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Magic World Online
feels a bit like a dungeon crawler at times. It crawls (boo)
up two spots in the Top Ten this week because of the detailed storyline
in the quests.
turns into a grind in the 30s because groups get scarce and people just
focus on random PvP. If this game had a supportive player base, it
could be terrific. style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;"> style="font-weight: bold;">
href="http://domo.aeriagames.com/">http://domo.aeriagames.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Aeria Games &
Dream of Mirror
Online becomes a grind for solo play by level 15 or so,
making it a very group-heavy experience. While interacting with people
is the point of massively-multiplayer online games, this trait
sometimes makes me choose other games when I am short on time.
( href="http://www.runesofmagic.com/">www.runesofmagic.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Runes of Magic
promises quest-centered development. The idea is that players will be
questing for levels instead of grinding. I like the sound of that.
is ver charming with its combination of land and sea adventuring that
make it different for most other games on the market.
- ( target="_blank">www.perfectworld.com style="font-weight: bold;">)
Beijing Perfect World
International may be a tad grindy, but I think it is worth
a shot for anyone. In particular, I feel this game could appeal to
anyone who wants a very unique avatar because it has a deep character
Please refer to the Top
Free-to-Play Games Portal to find out how to get a game you
make or like on this list.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Dungeon Runners Game Page.