Free Online RPG Games

While it's plain to anyone that normal retail games like World of Warcraft and DDO are holding most of the market, there seems to be a growing segment in free MMORPGs. Second Life rates high among these, being free to download and play, and since it's getting mentions in news sites, significant coverage on Terra Nova, and gaining ground in blogs, I figured it was worth looking at.

I think I must have an unreasonably high quality threshold for these things - if I'm going to play a game, I expect to be impressed by it in the first hour. Ideally, I should still be playing three hours after starting it for the first time if it's an online game (or a computer game in general, really), and I should be looking for players if it's a tabletop or card game. Second Life didn't make it on this criterion. The interface is clunky at best, and the animation looked, well, awful. When the character on screen takes two minutes to fully resolve, and then lurches forward like a prop from a zombie movie, I've already lost interest. I tried wandering around a bit, and the way in which you can modify the appearance of your character is interesting - particularly since other characters in the main area after the starting one had all kinds of weird appearances - but I don't think that tinkering with avatars and objects is going to grab me.

There are free trials for a good few MMO games - Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, City of Villains, EVE, and many more, but they're all for limited periods. I'm discounting them as free games.

There are a few more I'm intending to try soon:

The Reunion is a German game that looks like something related to EVE.

I'm not at all sure even what kind of game Odyssey Classic is, but as soon as I do know, I'll post about it.

Phantasy RPG claims to be a web-based MMORPG - I'm not sure how that would work, but again, I'll look into it.

And finally, Aegis looks a touch more professional than the others, and will probably be tried first.

Posted by Drew Shiel at May 9, 2006 7:36 PM

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