Free Ride

I have been doing a bit of research checking out some of the free to play games out there. When I do I will try to jot down some thoughts and post them here in the Free Ride sections of my mind.

Yesterday, I downloaded and installed Perfect World International. Thus far I only have very short amount of time with it but I already have a few thoughts, presented below in super fast bullet point fashion.

  • For a free game it looks pretty good and ran well.
  • Some of the avatar customization options were not made clear to me.
  • The quest system, actions and shortcut bar have a distinct “old school” feel to them.
  • Lack of customizable key binds = bad
  • no ability to invert the mouse = me sick
  • left clicking to do most things + the left click to move = bad
  • There did seem to be a good number of other players around that first city.
  • It has lots of fantastical elements. Very over the top.

The lack of inverted mouse look and customizable keybinds almost enough to make me uninstall it. Yes, I am a “controls” snob, but I will try and give the game a bit more time. Yet I suspect it will not “grab” me, even if the setting and character design impress me, because usability, user interface, and user control are such sticky points for me these days.

Today’s test was Wizards101.

Another free to play MMO, this one obvisously geared toward the younger “Harry Potter” crowd. The setting and controls work well, and seem easy enough for anyone to figure out, though sadly no invert mouse look. What is it with companies I don’t care what your default is, but please make inversion an option.

Chat has two modes; menu and text. To have access (see and type) text chat you have to have parental permission or be over 13. If you dont have access to the text chat, the game has a series of “conversation” parts in a menu. The system works well,and allows a bit of protection for the kiddos.

As for the game play its a neat mix between old school turn based combat, and a collectible card game. Your avatar collects cards,and fashions them into a deck,and only the cards in your current deck are available during combat. Combat with “bad guys” starts when your avatar gets near a baddy, it then places all the combat participants around in a circle (the player, the bad guys, and any players that want to help). Each participant is given a chance to select a card to play, and the effects of those cards play out one after another, in standard turn based fashion. Reduce your opponents health to zero and you win; collect your loot and XP, gain XP to access new cards. I am sure there are a bunch of subtleties I have not picked up on yet, but that’s the base game play.

Overall I think the game works. It is a bit to simple for me and again the mouse look drives me crazy, but I would be happy to let my kiddo play it.


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