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Free for All: The 'fall' of free-to-play


Here in Texas we have been suffering from one of the worst heat waves in the history of the state. It's the type of constant heat that makes you mad at something, perhaps the sky or the sun. It's not logical, but you start to get mad at the state for being where it is. Then you start to get angry because your lawn is dying off or because your electricity bill is almost double what it was the year before.

The next logical thing is to dream of colder times. I have already begun to fantasize about wrapping myself up for a crisp, cold winter's walk with the dogs. Hot cider, the holidays... it's all coming soon. I hope. The next several months will also be the time to keep an eye on a bunch of developing titles.

Click past the cut and let's look at what makes me so excited for this fall!

Dragon Nest screenshot
Dragon Nest

Dragon Nest is already in open beta, but I have a feeling that further development on the title will move very fast. I haven't had much time to really dig into the game, mainly because it does tire my wrists out. This game can be pretty painful! Luckily I am going to pick up a standard controller this weekend to see if it allows me to play longer. I have a feeling that Nexon will apply a lot of what it learned from the release of Vindictus to this newer title. The company is already starting to roll out cash-shop goods, but I am a little worried that it will be filled with those silly rentable items. Minus that, Dragon Nest promises to be one of the best-looking and most fun action games to be released in a long, long time.

Rusty Hearts

I can't wait for Rusty Hearts to go into open beta. I have a problem with digging into games when they are in closed testing mainly because if it is a game I will likely enjoy, I want to make my first and only character without worrying about restarting it again. I am eager to see how the costume pieces evolve, as well, especially since Perfect World Entertainment decided that (as is the case in most of its titles) players can gain the items with or without spending any money in the cash shop. This one is another candidate for the controller I plan on buying.

Jagged Alliance Online

If you were to tell me years ago that I would be more excited about browser-based gaming than anything else, I would have laughed. But lo and behold, I get more worked up about titles like Jagged Alliance Online than I do about many others. Not only does the game promise to behave a lot like a tabletop game, but it does so while hooking you up with thousands of other players. When I start to think that I will be able to play it on my basic laptop, I sort of feel bad for my lonely desktop. Oh well -- that's progress.

UFO Online screenshot
UFO Online

When I watched the presentation on UFO Online and Jagged Alliance Online at E3, I wanted to ask the gamigo representative when it might be available. The game is just entering the alpha phase, so by the time I am able to log in and create a character, there might be sleigh bells in the air. It's a tactical, squad-based game that allows players to tweak every nuance of their tiny armies, but it also has world domination and factional PvP between three factions. Oh yeah, and it will run on a laptop as well.


Glitch is the perfect example of a game that I am terribly excited for. It's in the testing phase, and yet I am ignoring completely. I know, I know, these games need testing to prep their products for launch. Well, I'll let other people do it. I don't want to roll a character and really get into the game until I can keep on playing until the thing shuts down. Also, I'm not a fan of spoilers. In fact, I hate them. So taking a sneak-peek at future possible content is just not allowed by this uberfan. Please, Tiny Speck, roll out the carpet already. Let me explore your wonderful side-scrolling, beautifully designed and coded world without the worry of its being dismantled in preparation for more testing.

World of Midgard

I have a feeling development of this iOS MMO will stretch far beyond this fall, but at least the colder months will bring news and more development on this stellar-looking EverQuest cousin. There are already fan-made trailers leaking out of the current testing phase, and it looks like the game is really shaping up to be a great mobile world.


I couldn't even bring myself to hang out for long at the Wakfu booth at E3; I was worried that I would see too much of possible future content. I did talk to one of the Square Enix employees to explained my situation, and she looked at me like I had snakes for hair. I just don't want a sneak-peek into the fantastically detailed world that Square has created. Between the political systems, the flashy Flash animations, and the awesome ecosystem... I don't want to do anything but read about them until the day I make my character. Wakfu is doing things within a tiny, Flash-based client that many larger games just never attempt.

So what are some of the games that will be keeping you warm this fall? As you can see, I have a lot to look forward to beside the passing of this heat wave. I am often amazed at comments I see on this site that say, basically, there is nothing exciting on the horizon until the release of Guild Wars 2 or TERA. There is always something on the horizon in the world of MMOs.

Now, I think I'll go fix some cocoa and play some Dragon Nest.

Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to!

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