The Free MMORPG Round-Up 1: It Came From Korea

free mmorpg round-up

There are a great many free MMORPGs out there on the interwebs, and let’s face it: most of them are garbage. How are you supposed to know which of them are worth your hard-earned cash hard drive space and which ones aren’t worth the webspace they’re stored on?

In the first of a series of posts that will no doubt lead to long-term emotional scaring, I’ll be braving the not-so-wonderful world of free MMORPGs and reporting on the horrors (and occasional diamonds in the rough) I find there. Today I’ll be taking a look at two of the biggest free MMORPGs out of South Korea: Fly For Fun and Silkroad Online.

Hit the jump to find out just how they stack up against their larger, pay-to-play brethren.

flyff fly for funFly For Fun
As its title suggests, Fly For Fun’s primary gimmick is that players can fly about the world on broomsticks, cherub wings, and hover boards. For fun! Getting to the titular flying, however, takes longer than it should, as you need to grind your way to level 15 or so before you have the resources necessary to purchase your first flying device. While this seems like a simple enough task, leveling in Fly For Fun quickly becomes painfully dull. The first few levels come easy enough, but before long you’re forced to mindlessly murder hundreds or thousands of presumably innocent wildlife in order to reach your next congratulatory “ding.”Korean MMORPGs are notorious for being mindless grindfests, and Fly For Fun, sadly, is no exception. While more interesting tasks such as arena battles, epic guild vs. guild conflicts, and the all-important flying await players at higher levels, getting there is an incredibly tedious and time-consuming task. Still, you can’t beat the price, and the game’s simple, colorful visuals are charming and won’t put up much of a fight against even the oldest video cards out there.

If you can tolerate the mind-numbing grinding and are too cheap to dish out the $15 a month for a more interesting game, then Fly For Fun is worth checking out. At the very least, its low system requirements make it ideal for running in windowed mode in the background while you browse YouTube videos.

silkroad onlineSilkroad Online
Silkroad Online is one of the most popular free MMORPGs in the world. This will become painfully obvious the first time you try to log into the game and find yourself staring hopelessly at a list of full servers. Silkroad Online rewards players simply for being online. This terrible design decision, along with the server’s uselessly low population caps, means it’s virtually impossible to get online to play. Even worse, you’re not even given the option to wait it in out in a queue or to even manually retry connecting, as one failed connection attempt boots you out of the game entirely, forcing you to restart the program with each attempt.If you do manage to penetrate the login servers and make your way online, you’ll find a surprisingly deep experience that holds its own against many of the lesser pay-to-play MMORPGs. Unfortunatley, Silkroad Online is even more grind-heavy than Fly For Fun and most other Korean MMORPGs. The leveling rate here is steep, and if your inability to actually connect to the game doesn’t discourage you, chances are the insane EXP requirements will.

The game does offer some interesting commerce options, what with it being based on the historically significant trade routes that bridged East and West and all. Players can earn real-world money from their in-game activities, if they can manage to get online in the first place. Unless you like headaches and frustration, Silkroad Online is better left to the players already clogging the overcrowded servers.