Via GamesRadar. First up is TLLB, which in China could not be a bigger deal simply due to the basic boundaries of physics. We’re talking a 50 million-strong player-base here. It’s big, it’s deep, it’s already out in the US as Dragon Oath, and best of all it’s free.
Inspired by the literary works of legendary Chinese author Jin Yong (TLLB stands for Tian Long Ba Bu, and is the title of a classic Wuxia novel that’s been adapted into virtually every medium on the planet by now), the game is a martial arts-based MMO taking in nine different classes based on different combat disciplines. Despite its free nature, what we’ve seen so far appears to be a fully featured MMORPG with a metric shedload going on within its world.
All the usual tropes you’d expect are present and correct. Instances, guilds, raids and mounts are here in force, and the battle mechnics should be instantly familiar to WoW veterans. The major battle differences between TLBB and that other MMO though, is that instances scale to your party’s ability, placing very few limits on exploration and taking the emphasis away from grinding.
It’s a game with a fun and quirky personality. A perfect example of this is in the game’s fully-trainable pets. You’ll get basic ones by default, but a huge variety of much more interesting ones must be captured on the very Pokemon-sounding Pet Island. Their skills and abilities can tweaked and customised to compliment those of your main character, and there’s everything from gorillas to pandas to dinosaurs on offer, so for all of its historical origin, TLLB looks to be far from a dry game. Rumours of a Giant Enemy Pet Crab are currently unconfirmed.
There’s also a big emphasis on timed special events occurring around the game world, with nine regularly-appearing set-piece types making up the current roster. Covering the likes of city sieges, combat tournaments and even quizzes, there are also unique conceptual events such as Chess Challenge, which sees your team battle across a giant chess board, wiping out each sentient game piece in turn over a time limit.
What we’ve seen so far looks to be a friendly, upbeat and vibrant MMO experience, brimful of features and ideas, so we reckon it’s going to be one worth keeping an eye on. There’s a closed beta on the go at the min (which you can try to register for at the game’s site), with an open one coming up next month
And then there’s also Blade Wars, which is coming over in June. While we’ve seen less of it, but this Diablo-style isometric MMO also has a fair bit of potential. Set in a world in which rival human, god and demon races vie for control, it promises 99 different combat styles, realistic martial arts, and a deep combat system that requires strong tactical thinking as well as a powerful grasp of creative combo-ing to get the best from. And again, it won’t cost you a penny.
Official Trailer: Blade Wars