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
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