A couple of years ago, a game I’ve been playing for quite a long time had some new content added. As with all new content, there was that short period afterwards where it demands all your attention and you can’t think about anything else. You lose sleep because of it, your relationships are affected to it and it takes a while to adjust to.

My long term gaming companion was far more involved with the new content than I am although I love it too but has since decided that she can’t keep up her tradeskill because of it. She is planning on learning a new one at some stage but for now, she’s devoting her time to matters in hand. I’d love to do the same because I don’t particularly enjoy my profession. It’s not difficult but it’s a total grind and I need to do it because of the heavy costs of playing the game.

By this stage I realise that most of you are wondering what the hell I’m talking about and rightly so. There’s only so far you can drag out an analogy and I think I passed that point quite some time ago.

The game I’m talking about is the one called Life, the new content is my (nearly) two year old son and the tradeskill my gaming companion (i.e. my wife) gave up was her professional career. With the high cost of living, increasing mortgage rates and a very hungry mouth to feed, certain costs have to be cut. Amongst those has been any monthly subscription fees to MMOs – something that would be difficult to justify to a non-gaming spouse as an Essential.

Fortunately this isn’t too much of a crisis. I was one of those people who signed up for a lifetime subscription to Lord of the Rings Online. I know a lot of people have been decrying the game for various reasons and one of the ones that keeps coming to the fore is the fact that they’ve burned through all the content and there’s nothing left for them to do and my word wasn’t that a waste of a lifetime subscription damn you Turbine, damn you all to the nethergates and back.

I have no such complaint. While I might have paid for the equivalent of 10 months or so subscription up front, I only log in occasionally to play and am still only on level 28 or something (with alts all at about level 12). There have been two content patches since it went live and I am yet to see any of it. Why bother? I’ve got a lifetime to see it (assuming, of course, that the game doesn’t go the way of AC2 and Auto Assault but then, if D&DO hasn’t, I doubt LOTRO will). I’m in no rush. I’m just becoming the ultimate casual player.

But LOTRO aside, this has also given me a chance to explore other “free” MMOs. I already have Guild Wars installed on my machine (Prophecies – and I don’t think I’ve played since before the other versions were added) and I’ve also got Anarchy Online classic installed too. I know that there’s a reason that I haven’t really played them that much but the point is that they are free to play (or, at least, don’t have a monthly subscription fee).

There are plenty of other free to play games, includingRappelz and Dungeon Runners amongst others. In fact, in looking around to see what there was in terms of free MMOs, I found these two (comparable) lists at Wiki4MMO (sic) and FreeMMORPGList. So if you’re looking for a bit of online MMO action without breaking the bank, check these out.

2 thoughts on “Freeplay”

  1. Another free one I’ve tried (used to play it while waiting for people to show at raids) is Fallen Sword ( It’s also in the Micropayment model/signup for stuff model, but I can tell you that without paying you can still have a fairly good time in the game.

    An online text game I’ve played at work before is Ravenblack’s Vampires ( which has some very interesting history to it. If you give this one a try, I highly recommend visiting the user communities to it. For one thing, most of the more desired higher powers require you to have friends help you with parts (over the process of a week). Doing this with random strangers without the benefit of a message board is hard.

  2. I’ve actually started playing Diablo II, which may not be an MMO, but still feels a bit like one, minus the other players.

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