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Well, my quest to find a 'virtual world' absent of quest grinding , ez-mode and simplicity...is finally over. How I have never heard of this game is beyond me, why its not popular makes total sense (more on this in a moment) but why the population is as low as it is eludes me.
Last weekend I stumbled up (by accident) a game called 'Minions of Mirth' which looked like a dated F2P game but my boredom level was quite high and I decided to give it a spin. The payment model seemed very good for a "F2P' (I hate F2P as many of you know) since it was essentially a very large free trial giving you a taste of gameplay up until level 15 (...I think) at which point you could purchase the full game for $30 and play online for life- Very similar to the guild wars model but without a real cash shop (there are a couple items for sale but...) and less arcade-like. Much more an MMORPG than Guild Wars.
-Anyhow I downloaded the free version, joined the game and have not stopped since...
The game has issues. There are bugs. The UI is insane. Some animations dont seem to be there. The graphics are pretty poor (in First Person mode there are some gorgeous sights in the landscape and such but the character models and textures are sub par for even an old game), the population is tiny (but helpful and friendly beyond belief), the documentation sparse and getting started was a chore.
-In fact, I can totally understand someone trying this and giving up within an hour or two and asking themselves WTF?
BUT...If you can fight your way through the archaic UI, deal with the graphics, re-log on occasion to un-stuck yourself, invest some time getting past the initial learning curve- You will find level after level of complexity and depth the likes of which I have rarely seen in an MMORPG. This (to me) reminds me of playing an Online version of Morrowind mixed with D&D- Its like a graphical MUD or something- If you can see this more as a MUD the graphics begin to not really matter and the world sucks you in. People say this is similar to Everquest (the original) but IDK... I didnt like Everquest but find Minions Of Mirth to (maybe) be the best Online gaming experience I have ever had..
-I have literally had moments of fear playing this game while deep within the sewers... The immersion level here is unreal, graphics aside.
-I have had moments of relief and happiness as an adventure I took exploring a very hard zone (using invisibility to avoid combat) turned deadly as my spell wore off and I was chased by mobs (the mobs dont give up unless you are really fast or can fly) into a huge river. I was kiting crocodiles and other foul things and was a hit way from death when out of nowhere a guildee flew in and laid waste to the beasts- Saving me from the very real death penalty- Then casting a flying spell on me and escorting me out of the zone. Was fantastic...
-I have had moments of pure joy when a Mob drops a particularly good piece of set armor- The itemization here is awesome. Very much like Diablo in its diversity.
-I have spent hours pouring over the in game encyclopedia, asking questions and thinking about my character build . The Builds you can make are very unique, specialized and tailored to whatever you want.
-Too much to list here- Suffice it to say its been an awesome experience.
I have put an insane amount of time into this game this week (and am barely past level 20) and my mind is blown. I continue to learn new things, marvel at the cool spells and skills you can learn and am just shaking my head in disbelief that this game isnt more popular. The Free portion is Massive and for $30 you can play for life online and get the game as a single player game with the ability (again...I think) to host your own server.
I plan on writing a full review after I have seen more of the game. I am just leaving the noob zone so my opinion is limited- That said, even if the game totally sucks at some point - This has been the best $30 I have spent on entertainment ever.
While waiting for Shards Online (the next game I will be playing) I know where I am making my MMO home...Glad I finally found one.
Anyhow- Review incoming at some point. If you can handle the negatives I listed and are willing to invest a bit of time with the game I think you will find a Diamond here.
If your looking for a game this weekend-Give it a spin.
Hope to see you in game.