Gaming Economics 101: Free to Play (F2P) MMORPGs

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Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG) can be a lot of fun. Whether you're questing in World of Warcraft or grinding in Guild Wars, there is something really fun about being a part of an entire community of gamers every time you log in. The main drawback to these games is that you usually have to pay a monthly fee for them. And while it's not going to completely break the bank (fees are typically under twenty dollars a month) it may simply not be in the budget for some gamers.

So how can gamers supplement their MMORPG addiction in tough economic times?

With 'Free to Play' (F2P) games, of course! F2P are growing in number and some of them are really great money saving alternatives to the big MMORPG titles. Most of them are free to download and free to play.

How it works:

F2P games mainly support themselves in two different ways. One of those ways is in-game advertisement. There will be a banner above the game screen or possibly some text advertisement in the chat screen. This can be somewhat annoying, but it really doesn't take away from the game once the fact that it's free comes into play. Some of the games do this better than others, but if they didn't have ads there would be no games.

The second way the sites support themselves is through Premium Memberships. Now, this completely negates the 'free' part of Free to Play, but it also makes more financially stable gamers support the game by charging them a fee in exchange for certain benefits. The perks usually include better equipment, an higher rate of experience point achievement, and more currency drops. The fee is usually much cheaper than any of the mainstream titles and it keeps the site running.

How sites deal with Premium Memberships VS F2Pers is all across the board. Sometimes there really isn't a whole lot of difference, and sometimes the difference is so huge that new players are completely turned off by the class war that is constantly popping up in the chat window.

In the next few weeks I will be playing any F2P MMORPG I can get my hands on and reviewing them in an effort to lay out a decent guide for new users. The goal is to set up the right gamer with the right game. So if you're interested, make sure to look out for articles entitled 'F2P Review'.

By Summer Munger

Source:http://www.examiner.com/


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Video Games 101: Where can I find some free games online?

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I've never been one to pick a fight with Friedrich Nietzsche, so I'm willing to concede that free will may be an illusion. On the other hand, I am completely unwilling to give ground on the fact that free video games are 100% real, and I further aver that it's our duty as gamers and as human beings to take advantage of those free games whenever we can. Now, almost everybody knows that you can go to sites like addictinggames or Yahoo! and play online versions of Asteroids or Euchre. Ho-hum. The good news is, sites like that are neither the be-all nor the end-all of free gaming. Other, lesser known avenues to no-cost fun are scattered all over the internet, and only require a little exploration to track down. As a public service, here in no particular order are five of my personal favorites.


1. The Kingdom of Loathing

Anyone who likes games with challenging puzzles and a satirical edge will love The Kingdom of Loathing, a turn-based MMORPG which makes up for its lack of graphical sophistication (most of the game world is drawn in a crude stick-figure style, and there's almost no animation) with clever writing and a bizarre, complex world that takes months to fully explore. It's also the only game I know of where a player can get hopelessly addicted to goofballs and then ascend to a higher plane of existence in the span of 15 minutes. That should tell you all you need to know.

2. Nintendo8.com

A treasure trove for the old-school gamer, Nintendo8.com offers anyone with an internet connection the chance to relive the 8-bit era by presenting a massive library of NES, Sega Master System, Gameboy, and even Commodore 64 games for free online play. While using a keyboard to control Mario might seem a little awkward at first, I promise that you'll soon find yourself burning away the hours in the futile (but pleasant) pursuit of your long-lost childhood

3. America's Army

To paraphrase the great Chris Rock, it wouldn't cross my mind to join the army if there were Libyan tanks rolling down Forbes Avenue right now. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy America's Army, an online first person shooter developed (appropriately enough) by the U.S. Army as combination video game and recruiting tool. The game itself is remarkably realistic and extremely tactical in nature, so fans of games like Rainbow Six will find a lot to enjoy... as long as they can look past the jingoistic presentation and tedious training missions.

4. Trackmania Nations

Much as I generally dislike racing games, I was able to get a surprising amount of enjoyment out of Trackmania's blistering pace, twisting levels full of pipes and loops, and polished graphics. If you're looking for a free game that will test your reflexes and give you a little motion sickness to boot, then you can't go wrong with this one.

5. Liquid War

One of the most unique strategy games I've ever played, Liquid War has up to six players controlling blobs of colored pixels as they maneuver around obstacles and attempt to assimilate each other. My friends and I used to play this game back in high school when we were supposed to be programming in C++, and while I never got any good at it, I still think I made the right decision.

By Eric Keihl

Source: http://www.examiner.com/


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Reviving the RPG in MMORPG (Part 2)

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Should I just call you by your tag or what?

If all this is the case, why do the MMORPGs still have that RPG thing tacked onto them? The developers and investors alike are probably aware that these games rarely qualify as an RPG proper, so why the moniker? There are a number of possible reasons, the first of which is that, for all the connotations of “nerd” and “gamer” and whatnot, the title of MMORPG sells. As long as you know role-playing only by that single-phrase spasm of a definition, you are tantalized by the idea of an escape that is far cheaper than six days and seven nights in Cancun and can last even longer.

When Ozzy Osbourne makes incoherent remarks about his World of Warcraft character in the television ad, the mind reels with the idea that Ozzy plays the same game that you could be playing. More importantly though, the advertisement asserts the role he plays with his character, that you too could be on equal, if not greater footing than Ozzy Osbourne with the role you play. Another commercial formed as a kind of conversation between William Shatner and Mr. T has Shatner saying, with less pause than is pleasing, “Get World of Warcraft, dawg, you can be anyone you want.” Any sane person with even the tiniest shred of dignity would sign up under an assumed name. Thus the moniker of MMORPG is something to be cherished – it is an excellent tool for promotion, giving the impression that they are playing an important role rather than just acting a part.

Awesome. Who cares?

If money is being made hand over fist and companies like Blizzard are rumored to have something like three billion US dollars in their coffers, why bother with the RPG element? Who cares if it’s a railed ride on a pretty pushcart? It’s your damn pushcart (sort of), and while it’s not really an RPG, you have to admit, it’s kind of fun.

Let there be influence

The RPG, the real one that actually fulfills the wikipedia quote, continues to exist because it is fun. If it was some horrible, misshapen cult following, you’d have probably heard by now, and the whole idea would have more or less died off. And no, LARPers don’t count. They’re in some whole other weird area that this article aims to steer clear of. But the RPG, the real kind, is a wonderful experience. Without some ultimate quest, without some predetermined endgame, you exist to explore whatever horizon appeals most. There are game rules, of course – you can’t just kill everything all at once and be done with it – but there is an unmatched sense of freedom that can be as disconcerting as it is vivifying.

EVE Online captures this role-play feel in a way completely apart from most other MMORPGs. It is, in its entirety, a true RPG. There is a back-story, but no main quest to strive for. You can go in whatever direction you want, under whatever guise you want. Freelancer. Mercenary. Diplomat. You make the choices and you control your own little piece of an unclaimed destiny. The game is complicated, sure, and you may not have friends the instant you start playing, but the object is truly to play a role, to immerse yourself and throw away the petty self-consciousness of playing a video game with a bit of seriousness involved. Even that can be dispersed with, if that’s the role you feel like keeping. Admittedly it’s not all the best of times – without the game forcing any direction on you, it can be a difficult transition from riding the pushcart to walking in whatever direction you choose.


If it hasn’t become readily apparent by now, this is not an article aiming to bash games like World of Warcraft or coddle the few games like EVE Online simply because they meet or fail the definition of RPG. The point is for developers and players alike to recognize that embracing the RPG aspect has almost horrifying potential. With the custom mission-making, City of Heroes has proven that even a small ability to forge your own destiny in a game is intensely gratifying, as evidenced by the popularity the option received. Likewise, EVE Online has proven that true adherence to the RPG aspect is not only possible but profitable and enjoyable. It’s hard not to almost start drooling after hearing of the 10-month infiltration mission that eventually led to a CEO’s assassination and the destruction of in-game assets worth at least ten-thousand dollars USD, yet at the same time, getting to that point seems so daunting that many people would simply steer clear in favor of the linear game.

Why bother with the RPG element of the game? Because it involves the player more than a no-control rail ride – it engages and lets the player pursue more of what they want. It is more gratifying for the consumer and by virtue of this more gratifying for the developer – look at the community that has surrounded the City of Heroes mission making and EVE Online in its entirety. These people aren’t just playing the game, hoping to be entertained by the sights and sounds provided – they’re outright enjoying themselves and their potential for power. A game wouldn’t even need a full overhaul to get that feeling of having some control over events – even World of Warcraft has the custom UI that has stimulated a number of enterprising souls. None of these make a game a true sandbox, but they add that, that feeling of power and control instead of some routine, been-here-done-that grinding. Even given in small amounts, it’s difficult to imagine how a game like City of Heroes could have ever existed without it.

Whatever direction the MMORPG chooses to go, one thing is clear: the RPG element becomes more tantalizing and possible by the minute, and those that do not embrace it will find themselves wondering in five years, against a market that has already given consumers a considerable taste of forging their own world, why the old linear formula didn’t just start doing its magic.

By Stephen Marshall

http://www.examiner.com/


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The Guardian: RPG | arcade RPG |

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Games Description:
Play as a young boy on his journey to become The Guardian.
Games Instructions:
A to talk. S to use sword to skip talks. D to use shield. Arrow keys to move. Space bar to check stats.


Play Free Flash Games at WillingGames


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Flash Games: Shinland | arcade |

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Games Description:
If you like the 'Maple Story' and unintentionally funny games you will definitely have to travel to 'Shinland', which offers a lot of platform RPG fun!
Games Instructions:
Left / Right Keys - Move. Up Key - Jump. Down Key - Heal. Mouse - Toggle Weapon. W - Attack. A - Action.



Play Free Flash Games at WillingGames


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Flash Empires 3 Game | Arcade Strategy |

Description: Play Flash Empires 3 Game and defend your base behind castle walls against enemy soldier attack. Build towers and place on the battlefield, recruit and deploy archers, knights, cannon men and mounted cavalry.



Play Free Flash Games at WillingGames


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Sonny RPG Flash Game | Arcade |

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Description: In this awesome RPG flash game, you take on the role as a zombie. Fight your way through this combat-fighting RPG game!


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Fear Unlimited 2 | Arcade |

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Description: Slash demonic monks and blast bosses in this epic RPG-fighting adventure!






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Sin Mark | Arcade |

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Description: Destroy the enemies and the portals to win battles. Create powerful spells from the rune stones you obtain





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Ghosts n Goblins | Arcade |

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Free playable Ghosts n Goblins flash Game. Play as Arthur the knight to rescue his princess from ghosts and goblins. Pick up and use extra suits of armor and new weapons. Ghosts and Goblins was released in 1985 by Taito Corporation. It’s often said to be one of the hardest arcade and console games of all time due to its high level of difficulty. Please wait for the game to load.

Game Controls
Enter to start
Arrow keys to walk and climb
Shift to jump
Ctrl (control) to fire


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Puzzle bobble | Arcade |

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The classic puzzle bobble arcade game. Play as Bub and Bob to connect 4 bubbles of the same colour to burst them before time runs out. Puzzle bobble is also known as bust a move in the usa as sometimes in europe. Puzzle bobble was released in 1994. Please wait for the game to load.
Game Controls
Click the 'push 1p to start' flashing text to start. Arrow keys to move and space bar to fire bubbles.


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Raiden Space Ship Game

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Classic raiden space ship shooter game. Raiden was released in 1990. Your objective is to shoot the enemy spaceships and nuke them too. Please wait for the game to load.
Game Controls
z and x keys to fire arrow keys to move



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Contra Classic game | arcade |

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Contra the classic game made famous by the nes and arcades. In contra you play soldiers and you have to shoot the aliens and crazy soldiers. With the name Gryzor, Contra was born in 1987 in Japanese arcades. Please wait for the game to load.
Game controls
click the arrows to get through the story in the bottom right to get started
arrows to move
k = jump
j = fire
Change guns using: N,M,L,F,S keys





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Space Invaders | arcade |

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Control:
Mouse to move and fire.




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Sonic The Hedgehog | Arcade |

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Infomation: A flash clone of the highly popular classic platform based on SEGA Sonic game.
How to play: Move: Left/Right Arrow.
Jump: Spacebar.
Spindash: Hold down, space then release down.
Pause: Enter.




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Platform Racing 2 multiplayer | Arcade |

Description:
Create your own levels, and race online with friends.

Instructions:
Up: Jump!, Left: Run Left!, Right: Run Right!, Down: Hold to charge a super jump!, Spacebar: Use an item!






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Territory War | Arcade |

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Remake of Worms. Destroy the enemy team..



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The Worlds Hardest Game

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Description: In this very challenging puzzle game, your objective is to guide your red square through the obstacle of blue balls in order to collect the yellow balls and make it to the exit.




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