The following post was originally written and published during the early days of a general MMORPG blog I ran around 2005, a little before I launched Centaku Media. It’s about three free MMORPG titles I played that at the time were pretty cool at the time. Although I’m sure if these are still running in 2020, they probably haven’t aged well.
Please be advised that this was written by me as a 15 year old. (Time flies so fast!) This post has been cleaned up a bit in tone to have it sound more mature, but a heads up if any of it still sounds–what the cool kids call it nowadays–“cringy”. While things may have changed today, it explains the state back then of free MMORPG titles.
Kal Online: Free MMORPG in the Feudal Era
This is a free MMORPG called Kal Online that has an Oriental, Feudal Era style setting. You can participate with other players by being their “Student”. You can join them when you first start the game, but you will leave the “Teacher” after reaching level 15. Also by reaching level 15, you get job specific equips and gold for your adventures.
Back that January, I downloaded this game as it seemed interesting. After installing Kal Online, I created a Mage by the name of “Mimimu” and entered the fantasy world that is called “Kal Online.” I walked around for a bit, getting used to the controls and the community. After getting the hang of that, I went out into the field and started hunting monsters for EXP. Killing things in this game was fun. A little better than the gameplay in Ragnarok Online. And you can’t attack another player’s target, which is a good thing as “Kill Stealing” is annoying.
After I got around Level 8, I was approached by a couple of players, asking me if I wanted to join up with their Teacher. I agreed and I was invited. I will never forget the Teacher’s attitude… It seemed that English was not their first Language. The teacher used caps on everything that was typed, and they would end their sentences with “)))”, as in “HELLO)))”. Later on that evening, I think I had it with this game…
Looking back at everything going on in that game, I thought about if anything went wrong. Everyone seemed nice. No jerks in sight. The only thing I could think of that was wrong is that…Almost everyone was speaking in another language, despite catering to English speaking players. So, I thought, that my Teacher was not a native English speaker (I originally thought they were German based several players I encountered in the chat channels), and that typing with Caps Lock on they could get their words straight for some reason. I had nothing against him or the other players. I just thought that this isn’t the game for me at the moment. Two days later, I quit the game.
Several months later, the game is still in service. I recently visited the game’s website for anything new. There are a couple of events going on in the game. They seem a bit interesting, but you probably have to be a higher level player for the good stuff.
In conclusion, I may return in a month, and with a friend, to enjoy this game. I have a feel though that I’ll end up quitting unannounced again.
RAN Online: Free MMORPG Where Martial Arts Meets High School
I played this free MMORPG back in January when it was licensed under the Malaysian owned e-Games company. I started out as an Archer by the name of “Mimimu” (I had a slight fixation on .Hack//SIGN at the time, and Mimiru was almost always taken) at the Phoenix School. Having my new character created, I was in the world of RAN Online for the first time. No one said “Hello” to me after I appeared. However, 15 minutes of playing I passed by several players who were speaking in another language.
In one day, I made it to Level 5 and I was accompanied by a friend of mine, Tetsushi, whom I met on Ragnarok Online. With a friend by my side, we explored further into the campus. This is the moment I will never forget: We ran into a player who wanted to help us get stronger… They were one of those players who spoke broken English. Tetsushi and I agreed with them and we formed a party. We killed a lot of mobs for about 45 minutes. Everything was going smoothly until we entered a new area. As soon as we entered, a new enemy ambushed poor Mimimu and Tetsushi.
The player who was helping us… started speaking in another language. I was confused… Before, they were speaking good enough English to understand what they wanted to do for us. But now… I was very confused. This is where the player disbanded the party, and we went on our separate ways.
Tetsushi and I went back to our respawn point. We talked about the person helping us. We were both very confused. So confused, that we decided to quit the game. So we logged off. A few days later, I uninstalled RAN Online from my Hard Drive. Since then, I had never thought about coming back to this game.
R.O.S.E. Online: Rush on Seven Episodes
Ugh…This game was not the best game I had experience playing, although it’s not a free MMORPG which was speculated before global release. When Gravity started beta testing R.O.S.E. Online (Rush On Seven Episodes), I figured I give it a shot while I had the chance to play it for free. The game is in full 3D unlike another Gravity favorite, Ragnarok Online.
You could drive around the maps (at a certain level) instead of walking all the way from one place to another. The highest level I got in this game was Level 8. The reason I hated this game was because of Kill Stealers. I would tell them to stop, but they wouldn’t listen. Some of the offenders would stop and say “asa” (which I, to this day, could not figure out the origin language) and move on.
It was also too laggy. Of course, that was to be expected, since it is a new game, and in beta testing. I didn’t save any screenshots, sadly, of what it was like. The game is now P2P (Pay to Play). Honestly, I’d rather move on to mainstream P2P games at this point.
I also heard there’s a little controversy with R.O.S.E. Online. The server was hacked and people couldn’t log on. Gravity sort of addressed the issue, but something else happened. I unfortunately can’t remember the details. However, a couple of weeks after this incident, they ended beta testing, and made it P2P. A forum member on onRPG.com said it was a bad move Gravity made, and because of that, he decided not to play it. That part I could remember about that situation. I kind of saw this coming. Well, you can try it out if you want, but I’m just fine with what I’m playing.