Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

MMORPG Clones are Getting Better

Posted on: January 13, 2010

It seems like every new World of Warcraft clone is getting closer and closer to the real things. The first WoW clone I remember playing is Talisman Online. Even though the graphics were quite poor the game’s skill icons were copied and pasted directly from Blizzard’s game. Of course, things got better. Gates of Andaron was the next big WoW clone. The graphics and interface were very similar to World of Warcraft, except a tad bit worse. Next comes Runes of Magic, the ultimate WoW clone. Both in terms of gameplay and graphics Runes of Magic did a phenomenal job copying World of Warcraft. I would say its safe to call Runes of Magic a free to play version of WoW. The only real difference is that WoW has a lot more content than Runes of Magic, but I’m sure Frogster, Runes of Magic’s developer, will be releasing more content in due time. It’s really not too surprising that all of these games have copied World of Warcraft. The game is after all the most popular pay to play MMORPG of all time.

World of Warcraft isn’t the only MMORPG spawning clones. MapleStory, which basically pioneered the free to play MMORPG genre, has quite a handful of clones as well. The game does boast over 100 million accounts world – so even a small piece of that 100 million user pie is pretty big. Right now there are three big MapleStory clones and they are Wind Slayer, LaTale and WonderKing. Out of these three MapleStory clones, WonderKing is definitely the best, as it actually has many unique features that MapleStory doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a MapleStory clone as the game both looks and plays almost exactly like MapleStory.

Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery. So long as there are successful games there will be clones. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing though. Runes of Magic is an extremely high quality game and it brought the high quality ‘pay to play’ feel of World of Warcraft  to the free to play world. WonderKing took a popular game and enhanced it by adding new features. All of these  clones also give gamers additional choice. Anyone who liked MapleStory but became burnt out of it should definitely enjoy playing WonderKing, as it’s a bit different. All of these ‘clones’ will also force the original game developers to keep updating their games and releasing new features. If MapleStory wants to keep retain their players, they’ll need to start competing with all of these new ’similar’ games. All of this may be trouble for game developers, but it’s a great thing for gamers.

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January 2010
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