Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, or MMORPG, are quite the rave these days. There is something truly fascinating about immersing yourself in a world of mythical wonders and high fantasy. You could be the knight who would brave the darkest forests and the most perilous terrains to slay the dragon and lay claim to untold riches. Or you could be the mage who would become the most powerful sorcerer across the known world. Or perhaps the dark lord who will emerge from the shadows to rule the continents. With MMORPG, you could be anyone, and anything, you want to be. The limits are only bounded by your imagination.
The problem is, not many MMORPG programs come free. Often, you’d have to pay for the game, if not the monthly subscription, to avail of some playing hours you could spend in leveling up and beating the challenges that will presented before you. But this causes even more complications. A majority of MMORPG systems, you see, would require a lot of hours before you could achieve prominence in their virtual world. You will have to spend time – lots of it, in fact – before your peon can become a knight, or before your apprentice could become a full-fledged magic user.
And with MMORPG programs, time often comes at a cost – in dollars more than in sweat, blood and tears.
So a lot of devout gamers have searched far and wide for free MMORPG programs that are worth their commitment. But let’s face it, most of the MMORPG programs that don’t charge a fee… well… to put it bluntly, they suck. They’re either works of amateurs or commercial undertakings that were poorly made and failed to sell in the global market.
But… oh yes, there’s a but and a big one at that… there are some great, great MMORPG programs out there that you’ve probably never heard of before. These are the next big hits. These are the bestsellers of tomorrow.
Why are these MMORPG programs free? Most of the time, they are on open or closed beta periods. Beta periods are those times when the distributors are checking their MMORPG systems for bugs, glitches, balance issues, server limitations and the likes. Naturally, they’d need as many players as they could to look for these possible problem points. Additionally, distributors use beta periods to promote their MMORPG products. What better way to get them hooked than to offer the subscription for free, at least initially?
These free MMORPG programs can be classified into two groups: those which are developed by American publishers and those which are developed by South Korean publishers. Thanks to Starcraft, South Korea has become a major force in the MMORPG industry. They pump out free MMORPG programs left and right before they get into paid subscription mode, and most of them are award-winning games at that.
Let’s take a look at the free MMORPG programs offered by American developers first.
1. Dark Age of Camelot. Experience the Middle Ages post-King Arthur in an alternate reality where darkness has engulfed the land. Get a 14 day trial at www.darkageofcamelot.com.
2. EVE Online. If one world is too small for you, try an entire universe in this futuristic, space-spanning adventure. Get your 14 day trial at www.eve-online.com.
3. A Tale In The Desert II. Tired of the usual combat fare? How about civilization building? Try this game for 24 hours at www.atitd.com.
4. Everquest II. The sequel to the award-winning and genre-defining original, Everquest II invites you visit the beautiful but deadly world of Norrath once more. 7 day trial is available at www.trialoftheisle.com.
5. Star Wars Galaxies. A long time ago and a galaxy far away can be within your reach from the comforts of your own home. For the Republic or for the Empire, as a Stormtrooper or as a Jedi, wage you war for 7 days by registering at http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com.
Then we have the South Korean free MMORPG programs that are slowly taking the world by storm. Here are the 5 games in this genre:
1. Ragnarok Online. Simple graphics, simple game play, addictive MMORPG. The end of the world has never been this fun. Play for 15 days at www.iro.ragnarokonline.com.
2. Flyff. Why walk when you can fly? Introducing the first free MMORPG where you could actually soar through the skies for your many, many adventures. It’s on beta too. Register at www.english.flyff.com .
3. Maple Story. Here’s a unique free MMORPG… a game that is presented as a side scroller. Don’t let such fool you, though. It’s still an RPG. And it’s still massively multiplayer! Still on beta. Register at www.mapleglobal.com .
4. MU Online. Remember Blizzard’s amazing Diablo series? This is a Diablo clone, from the game mechanics to the look, but with the multiplayer twist. It’s still a free MMORPG at www.muonline.com.
5. Gunz the Duel. Free MMORPG programs don’t have to be all about sword and sorcery. They could involve guns too. If you love Quake or Doom with the MMORPG twist, then this game is definitely for you! Get it free at www.gunzonline.com!
Most of the games we have discussed here, especially the South Korean ones, have been in open beta for more than a year now. Don’t let that mislead you, though. They are great games, perhaps even better than those you have to pay for. It’s just that they’re looking for US publishers. And while the US publishers have yet to discover these fantastic gems, make the most out of these free MMORPG programs as much as you could! They’re too good to remain free forever.