Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

Archive for August 2010

I’ve always been a fan of fighting games. I remember playing Tekken games in the arcades back in the day and more recently I remember playing rounds of Soul Caliber 2 on my gamecube with buddies hours on end. Luckily for me there are a boat load of free to play fighting MMOs out there. One of the oldest ones being Rumble Fighter. Another being Splash Fighters. One of my favorite fighting MMOs though is Lost Saga from OG Planet because of its incredible variety. The game has a lot of characters to choose from. They also each level up in a persistent world, so you can actually advance the characters you want to play and switch them around if ever get bored.

Aside from Lost Saga though, there are a bunch of other fun fighting games. OG Planet recently released Zone 4: Fight District – which is a fun cage wrestling / fighting style fighting game. It’s much different than Lost Saga, but I think Lost Saga is a bit more fun. When I get bored of playing traditional MMORPGs like 4Story, Runes of Magic and Grand Chase – I like to mix things up and play some random MMOs. I actually play a lot of MMOs from sports MMOs like MLB Dugout Heroes and FIFA Online to MMOFPS games like CosmicBreak and Battlefield heroes.

But enough about that! This is supposed to be about fighting MMOs! GetAmped 2 is a neat little fighting MMO by CyberStep. Unfortunately the game shut down for nearly 6 months in early 2010, but the game is back into open beta finally. It’s cartoony and plays a bit like Splash Fighters, except with much more variety. Between Splash Fighters and Getamped 2 there’s no argument. GetAmped2 is much more fun. Some MMORPGs – mostly action brawler MMORPGs like Dungeon Fighter Online, Vindictus and Soul Master actually feel like fighting games, as the gameplay is action packed.

If you’re looking for a fun fighting MMO to check out – I would probably recommend Lost Saga over anything else. Fighting MMOs are always a good fun distraction when you’re bored of playing traditional MMORPGs or browser games. Personally, I like browser games like War of Legends, Grepolis and Deepolis – but I like to mix things up and play a bit of everything.



Some MMO genres are just more popular than others. That’s just a fact. We see tons of MMORPGs like Aika Online, Battles of the Immortals, Kingdom Heroes, and Heroes of Three Kingdoms. But another genre has been getting a ton of attention lately. That genre is the free to play MMORPG Brawler.

MMO Brawlers come in many shapes and sizes. Some are mainly fighting games like Rumble Fighter and Splash Fighters. Others have strong MMORPG elements, but more arcade style gameplay like Dungeon Fighter Online. Indeed it was Nexon’s DFO that sparked the latest trend in MMO brawlers. A Slew of similarly themed games have seen relase since Dungeon Fighter Online was first announced. First it was the 3D Dragonica Online by THQ Ice, then WarpPortal. Then it was Fists of Fu, by Outspark the same publisher behind Fiesta Online. Outspark is actually on a roll with brawlers since it also released the 3D Divine Souls. Now Divine Souls is a little different than Dungeon Fighter Online or Fists of Fu. It has fully 3D environments, plenty of combos, and a PvP arena where players can test their skills against one another.

There is one brawler even older than Dungeon Fighter Online and that’s Lunia: Record of Lunia war by ijji. Like so many other brawlers, it makes use of instanced stages filled with monsters with a boss waiting at the end. Lunia has anime inspired graphics and varied classes to chose from. Players looking for an anime inspired fighting MMO can try out the chibi inspired Mini Fighter Online. Think of it as a mix between MapleStory and Street Fighter. With plenty of characters to chose from, combos to master, and even a persistent world to explore, Mini Fighter Online by Netmarble has it all.

Even Cartoon Network is getting a slice of the action with Hero:108 Online. Based on the popular animated series, Hero:108 Onkline mixes instanced dungeons, persistent environments, and action packed gameplay all into a single package. It’s a fun game that can be played alone or with friends. With a fast experience rate and varied characters to try out, its one of the best free to play games of the year.

One of the latest brawles is OGPlanet’s Zone 4: Fight District. It has anime inspired graphis and makes use of real life fighting styles like Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, and Judo. It consists of a persistent world town with instanced cooperative stages and an area for lobby based PvP. Players can fight it out in team matches or free for alls. There are plenty of moves to master, including powerful special attacks that are capable of nearly 1-shotting opponents. It has more MMORG elements than Lost Saga, but the actually fighting gameplay is not as diverse. Remember, Lost Saga was filled with crazy classes like knights, and had an almost super smash brothers like feel.

The one free to play MMORPG Brawler everyone has been waiting for is Vindictus. Originally it was titled Mabinogi Heroes, but Nexon changed the name for its Western release. It has recently entered closed beta testing and is set to take the free to play market to the next level. Built on the source engine, it supports destructible terrain, versatile maneuvers, and great graphics. The action packed gameplay makes it appealing to a large audience that is generally put off by the slow paced nature of the MMORPG genre. I can’t wait to play Vindictus and I hope to see many of you join me.

A lot of MMORPGs and MMO games have seen delays lately. I remember Aeronauts was available on the GamenGame portal like a year ago, but it disappeared and hasn’t been available since. Altis Gates – the turn based MMORPG from IGG, has been delayed three times already and the latest one being “indefinitely”. As a fan of turn based games, I was looking forward to Altis Gates. Legends of Qin from Gamigo has also been delayed several times now. Priston Tale 2 from Suba Games has been “Coming soon” for OVER a year now. The game is available to play on the European server over at GamerKraft, but the North American version seems to be on hold forever for some odd reason. These delays suck.

Unfortunately, MMORPG delays are normal in the industry. Usually when a game gets delayed three or four times, it means the game is never going to come out. Just look at Huxley: The Dystopia from ijji. The game has been delayed like 8 times now and it’s showing no sign of ever being released. Blackshot and Dance Groove Online from Outspark are on the same boat. Both games are now removed from the Outspark homepage, which basically means both games are dead. OutSpark actually has a pretty bad reputation with their upcoming games. They just never seem to actually release. One of their newer games – Erebus Travia Reborn ended its closed beta on April 25, 2010. It is now August 8, 2010 and not one new update from Outspark. I think it’s safe to say that Erebus is also a dead MMORPG.

It seems like major game developers like Perfect World Entertainment and Nexon have been a bit more “on the ball” with release dates. Perfect World and Jade Dynasty from Perfect World Entertainment both released in a timely fashion. I know Battle of the Immortals was delayed once for a shirt while. Forsaken World is on schedule to release soon. Though from what I’m seeing, Kung Foo! Is sort of meandering. I’ll be surprised to see it actually release. Nexon has been pretty good with their release dates too. Vindictus is beginning its closed beta testing phase soon. Dungeon Fighter Online and Combat Arms both released on time. It seems like the more obscure companies are the ones having trouble meeting their release goals.

Does anyone still think Huxley is actually going to release? How Final Quest or Dreamland Online?

Yesterday the German MMORPG publisher GameForge announced that they agreed to purchase 60% of Frogster Interactive in a deal that valued the company at around $80 million. That’s a lot of money. I’m not even sure if Frogster Interactive is profitable. It’s sort of hard to tell though because both GameForge and Frogster are private companies – meaning they don’t release their financial statements to the public.

Source: GameForge Buys Frogster

What I found interesting about this deal is that Frogster at the moment is a one trick pony. They have ONE game on the market – Runes of Magic, which is extremely popular. If the game fades away in the next 2 years GameForge will have gotten burnt on the deal. GameForge itself is a pretty large company and they can afford the risk. They’re big on browser games like Ogame, Ikariam and Gladiatus. They also publish a bunch of 3D MMORPGs like 4Story, Gates of Andaron, Metin 2 and Ace Online.

I’ve actually been playing Runes of Magic for the last few months and I absolutely love the game. I just hope with GameForge at the helm, Runes of Magic doesn’t go south. From what I’ve heard GameForge’s MMORPG Gates of Andaron is “pay to win”. I’d hate to see Runes of Magic become pay to win, as it would ruin the game for me. The most likely scenario will be that the two companies merge and Frogster ends up doing its own thing while GameForge ends up doing its own thing. Frogster will run independently as a subsidiary of GameForge.

Last I remember Frogster was supposed to be relaunching The Chronicles of Spellborn as a free to play game, but I think that project got axed recently. Sucks to see a game like TCOB disappear, but at least people will be able to enjoy it for a few more months on the Acclaim Games portal. I’m pretty sure Playdom, who bought acclaim games recently, will be shutting down many more games on the Acclaim portal. 2Moons, 9Dragons and Dance Online will likely all shut down in the coming months. Playdom already shut down RockFree – which was one of the most popular MMORPGs on the portal.

So what’s next for GameForge? Who knows. Maybe they’ll acquire another big MMO in the future.

Should classes in MMORPGs like Fighter, Mage, Thief and Archer be balanced? Well, balance is important, but know what’s more important? Having LOTS of somewhat balanced classes. Example. I prefer games like EverQuest II and Vanguard from Sony Online Entertainment which each have over 15 playable classes to more “balanced” MMORPGs like Florensia from Alaplaya and Fiesta Online from Outspark which have 4-5 classes. Sure balance is good, but again, I’d rather play a game that gives me more choice. This is ESPECIALLY true for PvE MMORPGs like MapleStory and Cloud Nine which have very limited PvP options. When a game isn’t too PvP intensive, why should you or I even care if say a Warrior is over powered a Mage is a bit weaker? It’s not like it’s a competition or anything. I can see a need for balance in highly competitive PvP MMORPGs like Aika Online, Metin 2 and 4Story.

I’m not saying that MMORPG developers should TOTALLY ignore MMO class balances, as that would be stupid. I’m suggesting that game designers try to make the classes as balanced as possible, but instead of trying to achieve “perfect balance” through time consuming and expensive testing, they should simply let the dice fall where they may – even if one or two classes are a bit more powerful than others. If any class is TOO weak, they can get buffed in future patches. The point is to make all the classes “somewhat” balanced, while focusing on introducing new classes to the game regularly. The only two games that takes this approach, I feel, is League of Legends and Avalon Heroes – two aion of strife MMOs which each have 30+ playable characters. Sure, they aren’t all balanced, but who cares? Both games are fun, and their respective game designers are tweaking the classes as they go while also introducing new ones regularly. I think League of Legends is actually up to 40+ heroes now.

What I want from a game is constant variety, which is why one MMORPG just isn’t enough for me. After I play through all of the archetypes in a game, I move on to the next. Perfect World only has like 8 classes, so after trying each class and leveling them all up to 20 or so, I went ahead and downloaded Battle of the Immortals and played that for a while. Then I moved on to Heroes of Three Kingdoms. MapleStory kept me occupied for over a year because it has 15+ classes and many different job advancements. By the time I got done with fully trying out one character, Nexon would release another one! Which is why I love Nexon games. They’re on the ball with updates. I only played Valkyrie Sky for a short period of time, as it only has a handful of classes, though I loved it. It’s an original MMO.

Anyway. Anyone here agreew with me on the whole “wanting more classes” thing? Or is that just me?