Remember Your First F2P Game On #NationalVideoGamesDay

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor

MapleStory 5

Today is National Video Games Day. It's also National Chocolate Milkshake Day, National Boss/Employee Exchange Day, and National Day of Encouragement. So sit down to have a milkshake with your boss and let him or her know how great everything's going with the company.

For my part in National Video Games Day, I recalled and tweeted about my first "hyped" video game, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the NES. It came out in the US nearly two years after its Japanese release, and all the previews and teasers in Nintendo Power and its predecessor, the Nintendo Fun Club News, drove me mad with anticipation. The original Legend of Zelda was an iconic game that was unlike anything else before it, and I knew the sequel would be even better. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it was good enough for 14-year-old me, who I think got it as a Christmas or birthday (in January) present, just to add to that feeling of awesome that always comes with a new game.

That got me thinking about something a little more appropriate for this site: my first free-to-play game. For me, that would have to be MapleStory and, as with many things F2P, it ended in frustration and disappointment.

It was early 2007, and I was in the mood for something resembling an online game. Since leaving City of Heroes two years ago, I'd resubbed on occasion but it never stuck with me again. I'd heard of "free" games and knew they'd be limited -- nothing on par with CoH -- but thought it might be fun to derp around for a little bit and see what I could do. MapleStory was a pretty well-known title, even back then, so I decided to give it a whirl. It was about what I expected: fun, to a degree, but limited. Still, I played around with it for a couple weeks, happy enough to be in an online world, even if I did stay pretty much to myself.

It's been nine years, so I really don't remember too many specifics about the gameplay, but I do remember why I quit. After a difficult battle, my character was at low health. Rather than wait to see it restored, I decided to log off, figuring I'd be back at full health when I checked in after a day or two. Only that wasn't the case. My character's health was right where I'd left it, and I'd have to wait to refill it, sitting in game to watch it regenerate... very... slowly... Or, I suppose, i could have bought something on the cash shop, but I'm not sure I ever even looked at it.

Well, I had better things to do with my time than sit and wait for that. At least, I presume I did. I quit MapleStory and never went back. Fortunately, it was just a few days later that the beta for The Lord of the Rings Online started. I jumped immediately into that and spent several years in the game, thus fulfilling my need for limited socialization through video games.

Anyway, that's my (Maple)story of my first free-to-play game. What's yours?

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About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (27)

Razer 7 years ago
Runescape, circa 2004. My friends recommended this game to me. I made it to about level 15 before I told them they were idiots for obsessing over this game and then I introduced them to Battlefield 1942. They never played Runescape again after that.

FireAir 7 years ago
My first f2p game would be Angels online(the first one) back in 2006. i still go back to it even though it's mostly dead lol

Hantzie 7 years ago
Silkroad Online

kalatraba 7 years ago
MU Online in 2nd grade of Junior High School. I remember it like yesterday...

Lavamaster5000 7 years ago
World of Tanks... Still play to this day! ^-^

Kestas28 7 years ago
My first mmorpg was none other then lineage2 i still go back too it on private servers since retail just took a big fat **** on it

zabi 7 years ago
Perfect world international was were it all began for me... ahh memories

pirate133 7 years ago
maple storyw as indeed my frist but later on cause majotry tiem was video games i tyed out mabinogi

DreTheCritic 7 years ago
RO private servers and Gunz online were my go to f2p games when i was younger, i remember spending my parents money in the internet cafe K-Styling people on times :)

Nyhmus 7 years ago
Mine was Darkness and Light, an old school moba which i highly enjoyed playing.

Reznovic 7 years ago
My first F2P game was either Luna Online released on 13th of August 2009
or Gunbound, which was released April 2003

cacalips 7 years ago
I was addicted to WOW, quit, had withdrawls. Joined Perfect World because a friend had it. All it did was make me think of wow. So I quit and got into runes of magic and 4 story... Runes actually had me...I started paying for it ... then it's dailies scheme where you farm dailies that easily force you to skip regular content by power leveling and spending real cash to reset them made me quit. (how F2P works)... So Then I just have been hopping around, got a few max characters on almost every F2P...All garbage...B2P all garbage...P2P all garbage...just waiting for something new as Iavoid offlien single player garbage games as well...Funny, I actually rediscovered old JRPG's on SNES that never came out in USA (ROMS), and man, they are pretty awesome! Until something replaces that...that is all I do (besides a few arena games)

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Mouhsine 7 years ago
my first F2P game was rappelz....i did played it that time believing that my play time will be limited somehow...i did not think that rappelz was really F2P...since most MMO that time were only P2P or timed limited trial version....looool

Nexle 7 years ago
Ahh, Fiesta Online. My first F2P game with ourspark. Too bad Outspark died though.

RandomUser 7 years ago
Runescape 2004 - 2012 (R.I.P soon after Squeal of Fortune)

Risea 7 years ago
MU 2005-06

Ralphbert 7 years ago
Rose Online or Conquer Online, 2005.

Jokul 7 years ago
Was Tales of Pirates for me, super unique at the time and very fun.

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SqueezyTime 7 years ago
The first F2P game I played was Ragnarok Online, but I want to say it wasn't F2P when I first played... I don't remember lol. Other than that, I've mostly just bounced around between every F2P game that emerged; always looking for new ones, and never really settling in for more than a couple weeks. The first F2P game to actually hold my interest through endgame was ArcheAge which, despite it's flaws, is still the most fun and engaging MMO I've played since vanilla/BC WoW.

David Nguyen 7 years ago
My first "free-to-play" was RuneScape. It was the only mmorpg I knew about that I could play on a Netzero dial-up connection. I pretty much got on and killed cows and explored the caves for countless hours. Never payed a dime for subscription.

My first completely free-to-play game was MapleStory. I loved it back in the day. Started before Big-Bang update came out and Tiger was the highest level player, followed by Suuushi and several other players I can't seem to remember. Maplestory pre-Big-Bang was one of the most sociable MMORPGs ever. It was more social than it was about leveling. People would hang out in Henesys, more known has Henehoes (players that spend an absurd amount on Cash Shop aesthetics.) The most realistic goal was level 70. Once there, most players stopped grinding unless 2x exp event and just relaxed and socialized. Exploring the different continents of MapleStory was always a different experience and fresh experience. The background music was so perfect coinciding with your environment. It was always a pleasure to jump down countless floors in Ludibrium to reach Omega Sector, Crossroads of Time, or Korean Folk Town. Anybody that didn't want to wait for the ship from Orbis to Ludi would go down Orbis Tower using the crystal, return scroll on the first map in Aquarium, danger zone taxi to last map in Aquarium, climb up the well (that would sometimes have a balrog spawned. fuck you players.), take the elevator up to Ludi. All would take under 2 minutes compared to the long wait time of the ship.

MapleStory started dying when leveling became easier and that killed the social aspect as everyone was too busy grinding and spamming 'CC plz'. Maps no longer felt personal, platforms were linear or maps were just long flat ground, catering to grinders.

I still reinstall the game every few months or years to see what's changed and just for the hell of nostalgia, but have never committed since.

I may sound like an old geezer, but I miss the old days. I believe a lot of others can agree too, even if it isn't for MapleStory, but for their game as well.

Kineticfetus 7 years ago
Fairly sure my first f2p game was RF Online

iyah123 7 years ago
My first F2P was Grand Chase followed closely by Maplestory. I really would trade Mapestory clsing down to be able to play Grand Chase again since the former has gone the route of pay2win and is having a very hard time correcting its mistakes.

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HHH 7 years ago
It was artix entertainments games. Awful mistake their support team is horrible devs don't make good decisions alot of the times and they recycle alot of the content from their old games and put it in their new games. They even got upset when I tried to cancel my account and after a week of fighting I ended being IP blocked lol. But yeah my first game was a horrible experience they just wanted my money.

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