6 Lessons Free to Play Games Should Learn From Vindictus

Vindictus

Vindictus is an amazing free-to-play game that proves how thin the line between the F2P genre and retail games is getting. There are a lot of good ideas and work in this action MMORPG and most of them should be looked upon by other developers. It’s no coincidence that everyone is talking about it as one of the most accomplished free-to-play games yet.

Here are just a few things from Vindictus that could serve as inspiration for other free MMORPGs.

High Quality Graphics

How many times have you heard the ‘it’s a free-to-play game, so you can’t expect good graphics’ excuse? Games such as Tribes: Ascend, Dragon Nest or Vindictus prove that such statement is a thing of the past and that we’re allowed to expect some eye candy with our usual F2P goodness.

Human Characters

It’s refreshing to be able to select a character with a familiar face, one that we can relate with somewhat. True, Vindictus is still pretty much a fantasy game, but not with the usual Orc/Dwarf/Elf protagonist variety, so it manages to be fairly original. Shame about the gender lock and only three characters being available at launch, but it’s a nice break from the norm.

Underwear!

What’s better than controlling hot female characters fighting against impressive creatures? Watching their armor being shredded piece by piece and letting the revealing underwear at plain sight in all its glory. Luckily, Nexon didn’t even forget to let players customize the underwear in the character editor. Now that is something we would like to see in more games… except if you’re controlling an orc or a troll, that would be creepy.

Interaction With the Environment

Vindictus takes a shot and succeeds at something that most free MMO games have been forget, even hits such as Runes of Magic or Allods Online – interacting with the environment. It’s mostly up to the Source Engine (that powered games such as Portal 2 and Half-Life 2) but it serves to show how committed the development team was. There’s nothing more immersion-crushing than unbreakable barrels and wooden boxes. However, Vindictus offers more than aesthetic elements, including physics that can be effectively used in gameplay.

Exciting Real-Time Combat

There’s a serious lack of fast-paced hack and slash combat in MMORPGs, both free-to-play and retail. Looking at Vindictus, the whole turn-based ‘me first, you second’ combat seems like something from a different age. It can be gripping in some games, but there’s no reason why real-time combat shouldn’t become the norm. It’s much more exciting to feel in control and let sheer skill take over the grind.

Polish

Vindictus is an all-round great experience, thanks to the unusual level of polish the game received. There’s a story worth bothering with, dialogues that actually are carefully realized and far from your usual free-to-play ‘Engrish’, adapted from the usual Asiatic releases, great character artwork and, most importantly, the inclusion of the breast slider for the female characters in the character editor.

Now that’s what I call attention to detail!

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  • Gamer

    I kind agree with most except human characters and underwear (sorry I’m not perverted, and it’s creepy seeing guys going naked with fake muscles). When I look at something like MapleStory, even though the quality isn’t detailed or realistic, everything was pretty cute, but that’s just me since I love anime more. The main thing I agree would be the combat, and being able to explore like Mabinogi. So yeah, combat + exploring are a pretty big deal, vindictus got too repetitive, seeing the same town and doing dungeons over and over.

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  • Rice

    I do enjoy the polish and eye candy of Vindictus very much so! It would be nice to see this in most games 😀 But i do enjoy the “turn based” combat in most rpgs. Now I do know there is strategy in Vinductus, but it cannot compare to the depth that a turn based mmo can produce. I do agree with everything you said tho minus the real time combat ^_^

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  • Shadowlark

    I must agree with a lot of this. When I tell people about this game I say “It’s free to play but when you see the opening tutorial cinematic you will feel like you paid money for it.” It looks that good. You immediately get immersed into the story. And you feel for the characters. You even feel for the boss you have to fight in the beginning. Now I agree with “Gamer:, the dungeons can get repetitive. For most MMO’s this isn’t an issue because you fight enemies and do quest on the field before you get to a dungeon. But, in Vindictus, all you fighting is done in “dungeons.” I put the quotations there because in Vindictus you aren’t constantly in the same exact dungeon. You may be in the “Ruins” for a bit, but as you progress enemy spawns are different, bosses are different, boss rooms are different. You can even change the difficult which usually changes enemy spawns and such things as well. Even so there will be repeats. But because the combat is not turn based… the fights can totally change from one dungeon to the next even if the spawns don’t.

    Which is why I have to disagree with rice on the real time combat. Legend of Zelda has been doing the real time combat thing from the start and it is part of the reason people love the series. You hit a button once the character swings the weapon once. You time it right you can stop an enemy attack and save yourself from some dmg. Turn based combat will have you taking dmg even if you character is constantly attacking. I think people like turn based because it doesn’t make them fully responsible for how the fight turns out. In Vindictus you can’t just run away and drop aggro if you are close to dieing so fighting becomes more personal. There is no % chance to block an attack or chance to dodge. If they swing the weapon YOU, THE PLAYER, have to move the character out of the way or make the character block. Bring back the feel of thinking on your feet that has been all but lost in most MMO’s

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