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The Digital Continuum: Free Realms is missing one key class

Kyle Horner

There are a lot of Jobs in Free Realms, but of all the job types available there's one in particular that's nowhere to be seen. Why SOE hasn't done everything within their power to launch with a monster battler job is beyond me. Maybe legal can't decide on whether or not to include berets as a costume option.

Moreover, when will it be added, if such a thing ever occurs? Surely the developers would be crazy to design a free-to-play "Mommy can I borrow your credit card?" online game without considering the power of capturing, leveling, evolving and battling monsters.

I mean, it prints money for crying out loud. And not space bucks -- real pay-the-mortgage money!

They've already got Pet Trainers. You can dress your dog up like a ninja for crying out loud. It's like they're taunting me.

Or perhaps they just didn't want the entire game to become all about throwing helpless rats into a ring and letting them duke it out. Although that doesn't make any sense given that a fully functioning card battler job is already available complete with real life decks available for purchase. At your local retailer even! The game makes sure you're highly aware of this when you train for the job, by the way. Both of my cheeks are still red from all the double-backhanding.

No, we must come to the conclusion that SOE is hatching their master plan to dominate the entire tween marketplace (and let's be honest, pretty much the world) with what essentially amounts of a Poke'mon MMO with tons of extra stuff to do. Free Realms is the perfect setting for ridiculous creatures to capture, raise and battle. In fact, the game world is almost begging for it like some kind of deprived nicotine addict eying a fresh pack.

SOE could bust out a chunk of land consisting of new monsters and a Colosseum where Monster Battler trainers resided. The main quests would be your typical Poke'mon handheld experience with treks across the world and challenges issued to master battlers specializing in different pet types like frost, fire, shadow, etc. Then add a competent PvP system and leave it all open for future expansion.

It's like a license to print money and please a lot of people at the same time, most of them pre-teens and adults harboring secret (and sometimes not so secret) love affairs with battling pets and its catching 'em all addiction. Make no mistake, that's a whole lot of happily paying customers.

The more I think on this -- and indeed the more I write -- the further convinced I am of such a job being planned. It all seems so very plausible and obvious, but then again not all things that seem obvious are as easily done. A game developer somewhere within SOE could be tearing their hair out in frustration due to my suggestion. I'm sorry for your follicle loss, but this is such a no-brainer.

If SOE does pave a road towards this idea, my greatest hope is that they do so with the utmost devotion. Not because the concept is sacred in any way. I mean let's face it, Nintendo has been sucking on this teat for quite some time. No, I hope this simply because I'd rather not write another column about how such a thing should be pursued. Also, it would finally give all those Poke'mon fans something to play and I wouldn't have to hear about how Nintendo should do this -- because they never will.

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