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General: Looking for a F2P Love

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 23,001MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

After several long term relationships with MMOs over the years,'s Isabelle Parsley might appear to be "lookin' for love in all the wrong places" as she haunts what some would call the seedier, F2P, side of town. See what Isabelle has discovered in her journey to the F2P Side and then weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.

I don’t know if this is a general MMO-gamer thing or a specifically Western MMO-gamer thing. F2P has been around a lot longer in the Far Eastern MMO market and, from where I’m standing, appears to be relatively well accepted. But here in the West, those of us who were brought up on a steady diet of monthly subs still seem to have a strong resistance to that payment model. It’s made me wonder if F2P will ever make the transition to serious respectability here, or whether we’re always going to think that paying for something means you’re getting more.

Read more of Isabelle Parsley's Player Perspectives: Looking for a F2P Love.



  • DubstepticonDubstepticon Pineapple, HIPosts: 1Member

    Try Ragnarok Online. It's under some f2p thing at this point, but it used to be strictly Gravity. I've enjoyed this game since my early teens.

  • hardiconhardicon jackson, MSPosts: 358Member

    Ive been playing world of tanks for the last year.  You didnt mention it and it is free to play and alot of fun.  its just not fantasy and you strike me as a fantasy player.  not certain if tanks qualifies as a full mmo but it is fun enough it has kept me interested for a year now and only two other games have done that for me, asherons call and city of heroes, so it is doing something right.  

    good luck on your search.

  • TelondarielTelondariel Ottawa, ONPosts: 1,001Member

    "there are a few games out there that have always been F2P to some degree and that do it very well – Guild Wars and Wizard 101 to name but two. Both those games have revenue options and real-money shops, but neither of them bashes you over the head with the need to pay anything if you don’t really want to."


    Uhm, Wizard 101 is a F2P demo.  You can only access very limited intro content and then they joyfully bash you over the head to pay for each little crumb of content so you can progress.


    Why jump into F2P at all?  I was bored as heck with what is currently offered in the sub model MMO list and thought I'd try a small handful of F2P games.  Not my style of gaming, business model, or community at all.  The only one I'd suggest, if you really wanted to go that route, is LoTRO.  That one, at least, is a quality, polished game to sink your teeth into.  I hear EQ2's F2P model is $medley's greasy wet dream of nickle and diming greed, so I'd avoid that one.


    I'm playing Oblivion until the Open Beta for GW2 comes out, then I'll see what I play next when the new year starts.


  • MayadevaMayadeva romaPosts: 21Member

    I've been back to LOTRO in the past months, and being F2P now is not a big issue: you can easily buy quest packs, and for other stuff there's not a real need. No discrimination now for F2P :)

    Is always a good old solid game, maybe a bit dated for something, but there are a lots of things to do.

    good luck:)

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon

    I've very recently begun a F2P odyssey while waiting for all the "real" MMOs to launch. I've tried Luvivia, Forsaken World, Dragon Nest, AoC....yadda, yadda. Right now giving EQ2's free version a go.

    They all disappoint compared to P2P. There is a lack of content and expansiveness even in the games designed for F2P from the get-go. And the freemium games are just an exercise in frustrating resource management, whether that be lack of bag space, limited questing, or inability to chat or auction.

    I may give Fallen Earth another go . I had such anticipation for that game, but it never lived up to my own hype. I don't have very high hopes though.

    TOR, GW2, and TSW can't launch soon enough for me. Ah well, back to single-player for now.

  • SanelessSaneless Posts: 36Member Uncommon
    What about vindictus? I just started that myself and the gameplay seems good and the graphics are pretty nice too. The cash shop does not break the game and is all appearances.
  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,700Member Uncommon

    I would say Fallen Earth, but with recent changes in their updates I suggest you closely look at the patch notes and the forumposts about them. Some fundamental things have changed with resource gathering and npc merchants. Devs are pushing gatherers to PVP areas, and if you were used to play a toon specced for crafting (so gimped for PVP), then have fun with the gankers :p But as guild it can be fun to fight for those rare resources I guess.

    Another thing is the change to the resource nodes. They dont spawn in clusters anymore in known spots. They now spawn in rare places all over the map and not in clusters. So if you set out to find certain specific resources, good luck with that. The whole exploring to find clusters of good resources is gone now. Next time they wont spawn there anymore.

    On the other hand it offers I think the most for F2P players.

    Vindictus and Dragon Nest are fun F2P games too if you like more twitched based combat. Im normally not a fan of the graphics style like in Dragons Nest, but the combat totally made up for it.

  • eddieg50eddieg50 Tolland, CTPosts: 1,727Member Uncommon

    you said that Atlantica is on your list, give it a try , it is a mmo twist on heroes might and magic.  Perfect world? a bit confusing , very nice graphics.  I wojld try Ryzom although if you did not like Vanguards graphics (absurd in my opiinion, tht graphics and animations are certainly better than wow) you may not like Ryzoms

  • ArkainArkain Tampa, FLPosts: 490Member Uncommon

    I would say, Age of Conan. That would give you a better understanding of Funcom sence you are waiting for TSW like me.

  • TorvalTorval Posts: 11,901Member Legendary

    Well, I'll comment on LotRO and try and give you an update.

    If you're mostly concerned about class division and being labeled a second class player, then I think most of LotRO players have gotten over that.  I have old characters on Nimrodel, and started a new bunch on Crickhollow when it launched last year, and I can say most just don't care one way or the other if you're VIP, Premium, or FreePlay.

    With LotRO you're still not going to get far unless you spend some money on quest packs and some unlocks, but you're not at a huge disadvantage once you do spend a little money and upgrade to Premium.  The main disadvantage I see the presenting, and the direction development is taking, is that more and more neat stuff is becoming store exclusive.  This is mostly true if you want really nice cosmetics, newer mounts, or are heavily into "end-game" progression.

    So LotRO is a mixed bag right now, but if your main concern is labeling of F2P then I would say that isn't a problem.


    I have been in a similar situation as yourself and have looked for an engaging F2P game, but they all end up disappointing especially when I find out where the gouge lies.  It's not that you can't find a F2P that might be fun, but I don't think you'll find one that offers the quality game play experience P2P offers.  I was subscribed to RIFT alongside LotRO (both sub status) and what RIFT offered just in terms of the game play experience, as a P2P game, was so superior to LotRO.

    If you expect to have full access to the game in a non-intrusive manner (ie: always shopping in their store) and a first rate game experience I don't think you're going to find a F2P game that will deliver.  That just isn't part of their model.  If you don't mind a limited, second rate game experience, then most of them will deliver some amusement and diversion for a while.

    Centuries ago, in primitive times, before the dawn of civilization, there were things that would be inconceivable to us today; such things as poverty, disease, violence, senility, and love.
  • wildtalentwildtalent Huntsville, ALPosts: 380Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Arkain

    I would say, Age of Conan. That would give you a better understanding of Funcom sence you are waiting for TSW like me.


    I totally agree.  Plus, their free to play model is one of the best on the market.

  • UzlebUzleb Windsor, ONPosts: 162Member

    Simple, GW's, you have just enought time to make a name for yourself in GW1 before the launch of GW2.

    I'm sorry but my opinion means nothing so I can say this.

    (putting Guild Wars and Wizard 101 in the same sentence is just wrong on so many levels, so i won't even comment further, since you obviously don't know JACK about ArenaNet)

    If you haven't put any thought into GW then your not worth the bytes this forum is using.

    Looking over the past 15 years of MMO history, if you can't see what Arenanet is doing, has done, and continues to do for the industry, then your MMO tastes are that of a person who just arrived on earth and you are forgiven.



  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INPosts: 5,035Member Uncommon

    My favorite by far is a moderately small game run by Aeria Games by the name of Shaiya.


    First off.  It runs on any hardware.  For real, it's fully D3D DX9c but it runs sweet.  It's rock solid in terms of operations.  No crashes, no weird fits, and no complaints about drivers.  Absolutely not bug-infested.  Keep in mind I program, and impressing a programmer with solid code isn't easy.  It really does run that well.


    Second, it's rather old school.  There is quest progression, but grinding kill XP is very normal here also.


    Another old school characteristic is the community.  Yes there's an occasional twit on the trade channel, but nothing terrible.  It's not huge in terms of population, but it does this very well.  An MMO where people are polite and don't run around like egotistical jerks?  Go figure!  And beyond that people actually group together, like even with strangers. *gasp*


    It has a few unusual quirks.  One of the most visible is that it's designed for younger mid-teen males.  It's sort of over the top (or topless depending on how you look at it) with the art style.  Ready to tackle an army of Undead Zombie Strippers?  Heh, or maybe the giant snake-lady thingies who arch way back letting the world know they were well endowed at birth?  Or the giant harpies who... well you get the idea.


    On the bad side, it's cash shop driven and from the looks of it this game takes a rather large credit card to fully enjoy.  I don't mess with it, I'm not out to be a PVP god and I've got nothing to prove in game.


    I do have some screenshots, but nothing that would get past the moderators.  It's listed here on and for real, it's worth a look.  It may not look like much initially, but it's got a lot going for it.


    Good luck on the search.

    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • WhySoShortWhySoShort KunmingPosts: 315Member

    "...because you’re currently disadvantaged in those games if you don’t subscribe..."

    I'm sorry free gaming doesn't come on a golden platter with free peanuts. 


  • altairraltairr SenecPosts: 81Member Uncommon

    I can suggest the Lord of the rings: online as the best free to play game :-) 


  • mizanyxmizanyx Mexico CityPosts: 70Member

    Well, I'm an avid F2P player...

    Games I could somewhat talk about:

    AIKA: Massive PVP battles between 5 nations almost everytime, good community, mostly quest driven, and you get a nymph with attitude to buff you in battles. Worth a try.

    Atlantica Online: When I played this game I felt like playing a Final Fantasy series, the game is very quest driven, you get in control of a whole team of legendary characters, the world map resembles actually our world.

    Metin2: Even knowing that its a classical grindfest, the skill system is original, many skills get raised by reading 'Books' that are randomly dropped, the combat is collision based and very action oriented, character levels are not as important as skill levels (a level 35 with 2 skills raised to Perfect can easily defeat a level 54 with 3 skills in Master).

    Cosmic Break: This game is not strictly a MMORPG, its a third person shooter with some RPG elements, is more probably in the same category as World of Tanks, S4 League and Savage 2, but with totally modular cute robots. The game lets you change totally the skin of any robot part to your heart's content, and even has a simple 3D modelling app that lets you to create custom heads for your robots. Its obviously, totally action oriented.

    Fiesta Online: One of the cutest MMORPGs out there. Even a dragon that is supposed to be one of the hardest enemies of the game looks so cute. A decent PvE experience, but somewhat lacking in teh PvP aspect.

    League of Legends: The most newbie friendly of MOBAs. Very good character design, the characters have attitude and this game squeezes basic elements of a RPG game (Leveling up, Crafting, Choosing a Build, Raids, Endgame) in about 45 minutes of frantic, tactic-intensive battle.

  • MadimorgaMadimorga Atlanta, GAPosts: 1,920Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by wildtalent

    Originally posted by Arkain

    I would say, Age of Conan. That would give you a better understanding of Funcom sence you are waiting for TSW like me.


    I totally agree.  Plus, their free to play model is one of the best on the market.



    Yep, AoC is pretty good, if you don't let the free play inventory space restrictions get to you.  Should you get in the mood for pvp again, APB Reloaded is kind of neat.  Not the world's best community, though, and they're still dealing with the hacker issue.


    As for giving your Sims free will, don't bother.  You can buy them the best of everything and put two toilets on every level of their house, and if you take your eyes off them for a second they're all peeing on the floor, missing work, and fighting.





    I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.

    ~Albert Einstein

  • KenFisherKenFisher Northwest, INPosts: 5,035Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by mizanyx

    AIKA: Massive PVP battles between 5 nations almost everytime, good community, mostly quest driven, and you get a nymph with attitude to buff you in battles. Worth a try.


    Played that too.  I got put off by the quest progression, but I agree it's quite top shelf for a F2P offering.

    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • KrakenAZKrakenAZ Tucson, AZPosts: 1Member

    Try City of Heroes, their new hybrid model is very flexible and has something for everyone.

  • opposedcrowopposedcrow Framingham, MAPosts: 55Member

    Try as I might, I just can't get into F2P MMO's as much as I have gotten into WoW and sadly I think it's because I kept fooling myself into thinking F2P was better. Don't get me wrong, I really like the premise behind games like LoTRO, City of Heroes, and DDO but the gated rules they have for experiencing content (either pay monthly for everything or pay in incriments for individual benefits) just doesn't mesh with me.

    Another reason is that since I play on a six-year old laptop, my options are fairly limited as I'd have no hope of running newer titles like DCUO or Age of Conan.

    I would recommend the one other MMO I've gotten into which is Guild Wars but even that game is mostly just a glorified single-player game these days. I'd say stick with the WoW free trial if you're desperate. There are some pretty restrictive limits on what you can do but it's better then nothing and can help if you're trying to wean yourself off of WoW without continuing to pay a sub.

  • GwilweringGwilwering PraguePosts: 1Member

    I'm actually passing through a very similar period in my life - being very busy both at work and personal life. It made me stop playing all games, but the less I play, the more I yearn to play simply anything, just to feed that hunger inside me. And yes, I even decided to reinstall my Sims 3 collection - I always do that when I'm bored with mmorpgs, just to find out it's a poor substitution, ending up uninstalling The Sims very quickly. I also face the same thing as you mentioned - I never make more than a couple, cause then my game ends up paused all the time, while I give commands to all the chars only to realise it becomes more like work than a game. Feels good to find out I'm not alone! J/k.

    When I'm done with Sims and also the work load subsides, I usually go check out few games I used to play some time ago - WoW (I never stay longer than my free trial expires), Knight Online (the first MMORPG I've ever played, outdated, not worth trying for a new player) and least but not last - Age of Conan. I'd say AoC is definitely worth trying, I love the graphics, combo system and the best thing is - raids are finished within an hour or two! There's 4 tiers in total and the first 2 tiers are doable in PuGs, no wipes at all. I really do appreciate this since I consider myself a solo player, avoiding guilds. And I most likely won't ever forget raids in the very beggining of WoW, when we spent 6 hours or more wiping at one boss. No thanks! So if you haven't tried AoC Unchained, I'd give it a go - it's quite alive and thriving, not like after it's release.

  • ThorqemadaThorqemada BerlinPosts: 1,282Member Uncommon

    PotBS is free to play and you can make really differently styled female captains.
    Even the man can look good in this game (one of the few games i have a male avatar i am ok with).
    The Shipcombat is really a nice break from the usuall stuff and the setting makes you smell the salty water.

    "Torquemada... do not implore him for compassion. Torquemada... do not beg him for forgiveness. Torquemada... do not ask him for mercy. Let's face it, you can't Torquemada anything!"

    MWO Music Video - What does the Mech say:
    Johnny Cash - The Man Comes Around:

  • PorallPorall portland, ORPosts: 11Member

    Two similar games you didn't mention are Uncharted Waters Online and PotBS.  Even though you noted Atlantica Online, in your situation it's a game to try also.  Here's my reasoning.  I'm also waiting for Old Republic to launch and done with the current "serious" MMO (Rift in my case).   UWO and Atlantica are completely different play styles than your typical MMO.  You'll find them refreshing and a nice change of pace.  Thus, when Dec 20th start date arrives you'll be ready to dive into another long term MMO. 

    I've done this routine for the past 7 years.  Play a great MMO for about a year, feel like I've beaten it, then search out a new play style.  After a couple of months searching and messing around with less popular games, it's time for a long-term endeavor.  Don't worry about what others say about a game, whether it's FTP, or how old it is.  Just find something that looks like it'll play in a different style and of course looks like fun.   You never know what little golden nugget you'll discover.  I ended up playing these 3 games much longer than originally intended.


  • JILogan11JILogan11 AdelaidePosts: 18Member

    Prius Online: Anima Redux

    ++Interesting character classes, models and animations.

    +++Very imaginative and well made creatures/monsters.

    ++Interesting and and easy to use concept of 3 characters working together (though I'm not high enough level yet to use the Gigas, the Anima system is very well done and enjoyable).

    ++Beautiful and varied environments and scenery.

    +lots of quets, some of which are actually interesting.

    +Quests divided into 3 types with different reward structures.

    ++Renders great on just about any machine. I'm on an old core 2 duo iMac with only 4 gigRAM and some old crappy ATI but the game gives me 40-50 fps with everything turned up to 11. The engine seems to work by not rendering what I can't/shouldn't see until I need to because it does seem to smack down to 3fps with hundreds of shadow characters for a couple seconds as I watch them pop into full render and then the fps bounces back up into the mid 40s.

    +Many other innovative features (though I'm sure many are also borrowed from other games I haven't yet tried).

    - Most quests are the same kill x to gather y and bring it to z.

    ---There are usually far too many of the creatures/monsters around. They respawn too quickly to give any sense of accomplishment and do pretty much nothing (most don't even wander in a small area) until you whack them upside the head. Their attacks are often very creative and beautifully animated but it sucks that they mostly only come to life with direct intervention. Same can be said about NPCs.

    --No group quests.

    ---Must be in group to even get into a dungeon and many of them are timed. I can't tell you anything about the dungeons and fun-to-playability of them because of the next big minus....

    --------------- (ad infinitum - ) Must buy and use a horn to say anything on ALL (global, world) chat!!!!! This bit is practically a game killer/deal breaker for me. There is (as far as I can tell up to this point of lvl 27) only the 1 ALL channel, no HELP or TRADE channel and you have to buy and use a horn (available from Auction House but rather expensive) for every freaking little message you want to write on ALL. On the plus side, you won't see any mindless spam or gold seller crap. The minus of really crimping the MM of this MMORPG is pretty obvious, though.


    The other really beautiful and so far mostly fun to play F2P I've tried recently is Loong. Depending on the response to this post I might write may impressions of Loong as well but my wife is telling me it's her turn to use the computer now and I should take the kids to the park :-)

  • sumdumguy1sumdumguy1 A galaxy far far awayPosts: 1,063Member Uncommon

    I will save you some time.  Some good suggestions above; however avoid these games.

    WIzard 101

    Star Trek Online


    I played these games in the past and recently went back to see them again.  Both still have many issues, STO particularly.  Wizard 101 is a cash hog to do anything.  There are a plethora of other games that will serve you better.

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