Free MMORPG & Free MMOs

Posts Tagged ‘Free MMORPG

By Cody ‘Neramaar’ Hargreaves

It could just be me, but I’ve begun to notice lately that in MMORPGs, character customization is a bit of a sliding scale when it comes to face, hair and body options. On the one hand, you have games like Perfect World and Runes of Magic that offer amazing customization across a wide variety of fields. On the other, there’s Last Chaos and Atlantica Online that offer practically none. Last Chaos in particular, along with several other games I might add, doesn’t even offer a choice of gender.

To put my point in perspective, the core feature in an MMORPG lies in the ability to create an alter-ego, and for however many hours a day you choose to play, become that alter-ego. Of course, single-player games have been giving us this option by way of an engaging protagonist for years, MMORPGs however were the first to really allow us to craft our own.

When I fist created LynianWinderfall, a quiet and selfless Elven Archer in Lineage 2, I had a feeling of accomplishment that surpassed any I had ever felt before. Lynian wasn’t simply another character in the game, he represented me (more accurately, everything I wanted to be), and I was solely responsible for his actions. Asking for a turn while I was playing was on par with stabbing me in the arm and asking if it hurt. No-one played LynianWinderfall but me, simply thinking such things was punishable by an in-game arrow barrage resulting in death.

My friends at the time, having created their own alter-egos in Lineage 2 felt exactly the same way. They were hand crafted by them personally, and they may as well have been real people as far as they were concerned. Now days, I’m finding it hard to find a game that simply allows me to play as a male! Sure, female Rogues probably look better than male ones, I’m not going to deny that, but that’s not us to you! It’s up to me! Surely allowing players the option to choose their damn sex can’t be such a hurdle in game development. I mean, okay, if there are story elements involved that limit such things I might be able to allow some leeway, but since when did an MMORPG have a consistent storyline? Well, that’s another rant for another day I suppose.

When it comes to choosing the shape and size of your body, or the color of your hair, not even Lineage 2 offered any real form of customization. From memory there were only six different types of hair and face options available. Do the math and you’ll soon find that there are a lot of people running around that look the exact same as you do. I don’t know about you, but bumping into a look-alike in the middle of an open plain ends my freakin world. The façade I have created for myself, the tale of an adventurer exploring the world is all but entirely ruined, and I am sent hurtling back toward the real world – no more than a guy in an arm chair sitting in my room playing computer.

Bottom line is, character customization allows us to be different. It allows us to assume the role of someone else for a while. It’s the very reason why so many people, perhaps even you, enjoying playing that brand new MMORPG so damn much.



By, Omer Altay

Awesome… another lame item shop
Every time I download a new MMO, I’m usually disappointed to learn that the game’s store only has a handful of items for sale. After I finished racing through a few games of Outspark’s exciting new snowboarding MMO, Project Powder, I was excited about the game because the gameplay was incredibly fun and it had a fairly sized community. After I learned that the game’s store only had a handful of t-shirts and pants for sale, my earlier enthusiasm had quickly died down. How on earth could the developers of Project Powder spend so much time and effort creating a marvelously addicting and fun snowboarding game, but fail to create more virtual t-shirts and accessories? I mean come on, how difficult could it be to add more t-shirts and pants to the game? What’s the point of spending countless hours playing a game and earning virtual money that can only be spent on five different t-shirts and 3 pants? If I play a game for hours on end, I want to at least buy some stylish clothes and snazzy accessories.


No Excuse.
There’s simply no excuse for Project Powder or any other MMO to offer anything less than a hundred articles of clothing / accessories at the game’s store, because if they don’t, players are going to starting quitting and moving onto games with more customization and things to do, like Exteel. That game really nailed the concept of having a lot of things to purchase in the game’s store, as it literally has hundreds of different items to buy. 5Street did the same thing, as the store has countless different t-shirts, pants, hats and goodies to purchase. I shouldn’t be picking solely on Project Powder, because even other games like Tales Runner and Project Torque also have this same issue, in fact almost every MMO game does.  Developers and publishers need to get their acts together, as the free MMORPG and MMO genre is starting to get competitive, so they’ll need to start appeasing players if they want to stay in business.


Hurrah! Playing housing… oh wait….. This sucks.
A lot of newer games are starting to include the very basics of player housing, where everyone gets to own their very own home in the game’s virtual world. The concept itself has limitless potential, but so far I’ve yet to see any free MMORPG really put any effort into developing the concept. Games like Runes of Magic, Pi Story, Nostale and 5Street all have player housing, but players can’t really do anything with their homes, as customization is usually extremely limited. So what SHOULD player housing have to make it better? Well, here’s a freebie for all you game developers out there, player housing should have almost limitless ‘upgrades’. When I say almost limitless upgrades, I don’t mean an elaborate system of complex customization; I mean a boatload of house size upgrades. Imagine playing a game like Runes of Magic, but instead of having nothing to spend your money on, you every let’s say 100k gold makes your house physically bigger, and after a thousand or so upgrades, your house transforms into a multi-story flying castle with huge cannons and tons of awesome cosmetics. This may sound pretty ‘useless’, as it wouldn’t affect the actual gameplay, but simply having another way to spend money in an MMORPG would only enhance the enjoyment of that game and add a whole lot more playability to it.