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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 10:08AM (Unverified) said

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Agreed totally I've been playing it in my spare time and its brilliant if you want to just relax and play something simple with some small minigames. I love the cooking minigames there so cute and adorable. I expect my little cousins would love this game so its nice that there is a game that I can play with them when they come visit. :)

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 10:32AM Deryk said

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I agree, what with it being free and all, you simply can't lose by trying this one out. I'm sure my nephews and niece will all want to try this one out. It's VERY kid-friendly, right down to SOE having to approve names! The mini-games are quite fun from what I've seen. And you get a pet early on! You get to feed it, wash it, teach it new tricks...wow why can't we do this on MMOs we PAY for?! Perhaps pay-to-play MMO devs will take note of how good a free-to-play MMO can be successful.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 10:50AM BIGGIN said

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To admit that I am enjoying myself in the beta would be against the first rule of beta, so I won't.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 10:54AM BIGGIN said

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Having leveled up in reading comprehension, I know now that the NDA has been lifted. Thus, I am enjoying myself in beta much in the same way as the first two comments mention.
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Posted: Apr 24th 2009 11:41AM J Brad Hicks said

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I spent about a week with it. My impressions:

1) I hope you like FedEx quests. Because all combat is instanced, and there just doesn't seem to be very much of it, the vast majority of your leveling up in any profession consists of jogging slowly all over the map.

2) The crafting mini-games are surprisingly good. You may not have thought you would want to play a Chef, but the harvesting mini-game for ingredients, and the cooking mini-game for foods, are the best-built parts of the game. Even after I thought I was done with it, I kept logging in to do some more harvesting just because it's that much fun. And that's the good news because ...

3) There is basically no strategy to the actual combat in the only two combat professions in the F2P game. 1 to (n) enemies run up to you and you click on them until they fall over or they do. You get one very-long-cooldown and very weak special attack every 5 levels. Consumables management is just about all the strategy that there is, and all but the weakest and most useless of the consumables are crafted. Nor are you likely to buy them from other players, because there is no marketplace, either.

4) Caveat: By that, I mean all SOLO combat has no strategy but click until the enemy dies or you do. But then, after playing the game for a week, I never did find any way to find other people who were looking for a team and invite them, nor did I receive a single team invite. There is no global or broad-area chat, and there is no LFG/LFM function at all unless I just plain haven't found it yet. I guess what you're supposed to do is stand there next to the wandering (non-combat, but menacing looking) NPC that acts as a door to the instance until someone else who wants to fight it shows up?

5) The game world is pretty. And pretty dull. The various "cities" (quest hubs) in the middle 2/3rds of the game world are all so similar to each other that I can never remember which one I'm in, and can barely tell when I've traveled from one area to another. The game music is pretty. And even more dull, since so far as I can tell it consists of four short music clips played over, and over, and over again. But without the music, the game is very nearly silent.

6) The game world is also pretty nearly incomprehensible. There's a "museum" that tells a short story about how this is what happens after a wave of magic sweeps the world and blends our near-term future with the realm of Faerie, and that's why everything looks different and the economy works differently and there are all these pixies and goblins and trolls running around. But sometimes the Faerie folk are enemies and sometimes they're friendly cheerful vendors and trainers, and there's no differentiation between them, nor any explanation for why some are friendly and some are hostile. Or maybe I didn't get far enough to find out why not. But either way, it left me with no sense whatever, at the one week mark, as to why my character was doing any of the things he was doing, or why any other character was doing what they were doing. VERY weak story-telling.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 3:44PM (Unverified) said

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I am SHOCKED to learn that at game for 10-year-olds is not as strategic as EVE. And that the backstory is rather simplistic! What a travesty!
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Posted: Apr 24th 2009 11:55AM Anatidae said

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It seems the team at Massively really likes Free Realms. Talk about a LOT of news on this one game.

I suppose MMO news is MMO news. Although some of the articles on Free Realms seem a bit in depth for such a, well, simple game.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 12:16PM (Unverified) said

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This is a great little game. I am glad Massively is covering it since there isnt a lot of consistent coverage elsewhere.

Its still in Beta though so there are weird quirks like painfully slow leveling for combat professions. It seems odd to run out of quests for a combat job and to have to start grinding levels before you eveven get to level 3. Hopefully that will change before release.

The pets are fun too. LotRO could learn something from these guys about the value of non-combat pets - especially ones that are interactive. What kept me comming back to WoW was the synergy between the Hunter and their pet (choosing, training and feeding - not necessarily combat) and Free Relams seems to get that.

This is my go-to game when the WoW servers are down or when I just need a change of pace. I'm glad its there.





Posted: Apr 24th 2009 12:19PM MrGutts said

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I think the game is more of a MMO/RTS game. Unless I have been playing the card games way to much.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 12:40PM (Unverified) said

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Just a couple of corrections from the main article:

- my install is currently sitting at 1.25GB (after playing for a few hours) Maybe I traveled to a few more places than the reviewer?

- the game is most definitely not 'browser-based' as one may be lead to believe. It most certainly does not 'play in a browser'. The webpage is merely the login/password verification portal. After that, it literally launches 'freerealms.exe' which resides in the installation directory it makes on your hard drive.

- no membership equals no more than 10 concurrent quests in your log, plus more and more I'm finding that the questlines are becoming 'member-only' as they advance.

- whilst pets were originally available in early beta, they're now only able to be 'loaned' for 10 mins. Additionally, I was PM'd by an official Sony Referee (when asking) that they intend to make pets a Station Cash-only option

I'm hoping that further development based on the current feedback results in a better handling of the quest tracker selection, less buggy quests (ie many that simply do not spawn the required items/mobs), resolution of holes in the world that see you dropping to irrecoverable areas, inconsistent breadcrumbs and quest pings, better audio and ambience, and fixing of incredibly buggy UI elements (buttons working only some of the time etc), plus (as mentioned everywhere you read) development of the entire combat model - yes, still keeping it 'kid friendly' but making it more than 1 unresponsive button hit.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 12:51PM (Unverified) said

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First off: this game is AWESOME! (also, I am NOT their target demo)

I would like to refute a lot of what was said by InfamousBrad.

1. Fedex quests, and combat instancing have NOTHING to do with each other, but I digress.... There are fedex quests, for the Job thats an ACTUAL Mailman class... lol duh? As for combat being instanced; yes it is all instanced, but they did that for the kids so they would never be aggroed.

2. Yes they are very good, the wife is addicted to the mining one.

3. There is a ton of strategy to the mob encounters, the mobs have a pretty good AI and every event is scripted differently (example: a summoner mob will retreat after summoning minions, or wolves will run around erratically, oryou spring a trap and then get 100% surrounded).

As for the combat itself.... you press attacks and the mob dies, yeah... um isnt every game like that?

4. I have found 2 new people to hang with during the 3 days ive played. Pretty good ratio to find people to do stuff with I would say. Also, combat again, see above.

5. Its near impossible to get lost as the map is very detailed and easy to understand. The areas are also extremely varied ranging from the usual swamps farms and snow peaks type areas. Graphics are subjective, but I LOVE them. Reminds me of a perfect mix of WoW and The Sims.

6. There isnt supposed to be an epic story to this game, so why look for one? Its a casual pick up and play game. The only reason to log in is to have FUN, not to grind out your next skill level or finish that epic quest you were on.


----I really dont understand the criticism from all these people looking to FreeRealms for a deep and meaningful play experience lol. Seriously, how epic do you need your Kart Racing/Card Playing/Pet Raising to be?

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 1:00PM (Unverified) said

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PS: Just a clarification to tho majority of people commenting without experience on what they are speaking (aka ignorance):

There is more than one button for combat, in fact (just counting abilities) there are FOUR. There is also FOUR more slots for temporary items like bombs and potions.

That makes EIGHT combat icons to use in a fight.... not unlike Guild Wars.

Please stop posting erroneous information and maybe, I dunno, play the game to learn more before commenting and possibly influencing others with incorrect information.
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Posted: Apr 24th 2009 2:16PM (Unverified) said

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@ vincentakuma:
You scare me.. Relax? :-o
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Posted: Apr 24th 2009 1:51PM (Unverified) said

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I've been enjoying this game quite more then I ever would of expected, I'm into trying out betas and testing software. I worked as a QA tester in the games industry for almost 2 years. I'm totally not what I would think is the demo for this game.

I think this game is really well done for free to play, and this is actually a game for anyone. Although it looks cute, anyone could play this. I think my grandmother could ever understand playing this game. The interface is well done and intuitive. The game world is large, and they have so far been changing a couple of things cause feedback from the beta. Plus it's fun in small doses.

I'd say it's worth checking out.

Anyone who goes to freerealms.com and signs up right now will get in, my roommate got in last night.

Posted: Apr 24th 2009 2:16PM Pingles said

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They reinvented a bunch of stuff in this game, for better or for worse. It's definitely targeted at kids and Carebears (like myself). Although I was an avid FPS/Counter-Strike player I have never gotten into MMO PvP and am happy to be plopped into a game without it.

The leveling mechanics are different enough where I am both fascinated and frustrated.

I play every day and am having fun but I'm not sure where I'm going with it. If they keep new content coming fast enough I could see myself playing indefinitely.

I'll reserve my harshest criticisms for when the game is officially finished.

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