Piracy, Magic, and War: Free MMOs

The gaming industry has gripped the internet revolution to make titles more interactive than ever imagined. Along with revolution comes cost.

While Blizzard are offering the retail edition of World of Warcraft for $20, it will cost an additional $29.99 for the Burning Crusades expansion. Regardless of maybe not wanting the expansion, to simply play WOW will cost you an additional $15 per month. This method of monthly subscription based MMO accounting started several years ago and has yet to cease. Even in a world filled of piracy, the software developers do not lose money on massive multi-player gaming. Unfortunately some of these technologies are becoming very costly on top of our monthly internet bills….

A more friendly approach was for developers to charge for titles and allow free gameplay, as the game has already truly been purchased. Valve and Sierra are great examples of this method. Half-Life Deathmatch, Team Fortress, Opposing Forces, Counter-Strike, and Day of Defeat are still 100% free to play spanning 10 years after the initial release. This has proved to keep loyal followers for ages, as there are still 8 year Counter-Strike veterans pawning the servers. Thanks to the games never expiring nor asking for a monthly access fee, veteran gamers do not complain when the games are greatly updated to the new engines for purchase (Counter-Strike Source, etc). More recent examples of this method include Quake Wars: Enemy Territory.

More recent is the “Free to Play” titles that feature optional upgrades for purchase. This means that you can play the full featured game for free, but if you would like a quick start with ranking and items, you do have the option to purchase a starter pack. Some of the leading “Free to Play” titles are

  

Bounty Bay Online

Bounty Bay Online brings us to the Caribbean seas to trade as a merchant, to seek quest for treasures, to wage war against other colonies, battle over deep waters, and more. BBO is 100% Free to Play. There is however an online shop to purchase Starter Packs and various items intended for the eager players that do not wish to earn their ranks and items.

   

Cabal Online

Coming to the fantasy front is Cabal Online. Cabal brings 6 character classes, over 100 NPC’s, 9 environments (similar to Diablo), a modern battle system (similar to Final Fantasy: Crises Core), player partying for coop play, and many quests.

  

Combat Arms

Bringing us to the modern warfront is Combat Arms, a fps title closely resembling the Call of Duty series…. and what is better than the Call of Duty series? A free game that is just as good. Features include ranking, weapon customization, custom charecters, and 8 enviroments ranging from deserts to jungles,

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