During the last decade, MMO games have become a staple in almost every gamers lives. With Free To Play MMOs and FTP MMORPGs making the entry level that much easier. There is no gamer considered a ‘real’ gamer unless he has a virtual avatar in any of the MMO worlds. Of course, there are some legendary names around, but most of the newer games (especially free ones) look like a poor rip of those vintage games. So, if it’s really something different you are looking for this time, Mabinogi is just the right planet to land on.
Mabinogi is developed by devCat studios at Nexon. Nexon is a South Korean company that already brought us MMOs such as ‘DarkAges’ and ‘MapleStory’. Nexon has really done a great job by bringing a free to play game which really is free for the most part. Since its first release, Nexon has been continuously developing the game world through patches, popularly referred to as ‘Generations’ and ‘Seasons’.
At First Glance
Although like many other MMO RPGs, it is set in a fantasy world based on Irish and somewhat Welsh mythology, there are a few things which do make it a fresh and distinct addition to the list. The art and graphics are hand painted and textured, eye-catching, but nothing too fancy to send your PC in a periodic vegetative state. It can run quite smoothly on low spec computers (256 MB at least). The game world is bright and colorful along with cartoon-like anime characters. Unlike most MMOs, it’s rather cute than cruel. So, for those of you who are sick of the dark dungeons and alleys of typical MMOs, it is definitely a cheerful world to be around.
Gameplay from a Birds Eye View
The world of Mabinogi has two continents. Learning to live in the Mabinogi world is easier than most MMOs. It is a level based MMO game, but learning the skills is the one of the main component of the Gameplay. Level up does allow you to learn new skills, but it are the skills that help in the advancement of the character and story. The character can learn and upgrade all the skills. Skills are not restricted by the character’s race. However, the starting point does depend on the character you choose.
Mabinogi offers a variety of skills and tasks ranging from learning a certain craft or combating the ‘badies’. The skill set itself is quite broad. A character can learn to play and create music, specialize in melee and magic, set campfires, harvest resources and make friends with highly interactive NPGs. Every skill helps to explore a different part of the game, yet a character doesn’t necessarily have to explore every single part of it. That allows the user to shape up the personality of their character as per their will. Combat in this game is highly timing based and the character starts with fairly better combat skills than in most MMOs. Few worth mentioning game play features are discussed below.
Character Creation, Growth, and Rebirth
You need either a basic or a premium card to make a character. But since we are dedicated to freebies here, let’s just stick to the basic one which comes free with a newly created account. Of course, it has lesser options than the premium one, but at least it cannot limit the user’s creativity. Your can be a human initially, and a giant or an elf are available later in the game. Starting age can be 10 to 17 years. Initial stats and level ups are affected by the age chosen. Aging is an interesting feature in Mabinogi as the character will grow one year older every week (every Saturday).
Rebirth is also a useful and interesting option in Mabinogi, but you’ll have to purchase the rebirth card. It allows the user to change the race, age and appearance of the same character. While keeping the same skill level, rebirth takes the level back to one. Since you are not able to earn Ability Points for aging after turning 25, rebirth is a cool option to take back that advantage of youth and moving a level up faster.
Quests and Part-Time Jobs
Mabinogi offers quite an amazing variety of quests for a low spec game. These quests appear from time to time along the storyline. Some of them are dropped down by flying owls, some are offered by the NPCs . These tasks are quite interesting and can range from killing a certain number of evil creatures to partying around the campfire.
These quests do help in learning skills and earning money, but if you are looking for other ways to earn money, then you can ask an NPC for a part time job. These jobs include simple tasks such as gathering eggs and herding sheep. There is a lot to do around the friendly towns of Mabinogi, you just have to be at the right place at the right time and your character will never have to be idle.
The NPCs and Socializing
The level of interaction with the NPPCs in the game is really amazing. You can befriend an NPC, ask them for part time jobs and buy quest scrolls from them. NPCs have their own character descriptions and some are even related to other NPCs in the game. If you choose to indulge in a deeper conversation, the dialogues might lead you to uncover some special quests. You can even socialize with other players in the game and mount on their ride when you don’t have one of your own. Not to forget, the characters can get married in the game and even purchase a pet card to buy a pet.
The Final Word
Overall, Mabinogo is a fun MMO that has plenty of things to do, if not explore. The best part is that it’s free and runs on almost every system. Perhaps the cards are the only thing you have to spend some real bucks on. Also, it has a few very original and exciting features which set it apart from the typical MMORPGs. Game play is quite captivating and due to its variety of skills, it appeals to a very broad spectrum of gamers.