AIKA is a recently released Free-To-Play MMO. You can find it here for the United States and here for other nations around the world. You should be careful to get your client from the correct place, or it will not work – I learned the hard way. The Global site isn’t very forthcoming with the information about the countries it supports. It’s there, but not obvious.
My experience in AIKA is mixed. [I have no idea how to pronounce this. I guess it does not translate easily from the Korean.] There is a Wiki for AIKA, which has much useful information, but is not nearly as complete as the one for Guild Wars.
The detailed and beautiful medieval world is placed later than traditional games of the period. As is common with newer games, gun powder has been invented and there are two classes that make use of firearms. Although from watching other players kill low level monsters, there is no great advantage to the primitive weapons since they do no more damage than a sword.
Compared with Guild Wars, AIKA:
- Requires more running around because there is no long distance transporters, only Return with a scroll or death. In Guild Wars you can open the map and then go there with a few clicks. No such luck in AIKA.
- The towns are designed to require a lot of running around to find NPCs. Unlike Guild Wars where you only need to find a couple of NPCs before you are off playing again, getting to the NPCs and then out of town again takes a long time. There are many stairways and the paths seem to be designed to require a lot of running around.
- Requires a higher user response load – by that I mean that you have to pay attention to your own health and heal yourself. This is like 2Moons, but unlike 2Moons, Pots cost you relatively more gold, so if you work higher than your level, and you get mobbed, it’s likely to cost you a bunch.
- There are good quests and if you are diligent about doing them, you will get they weapons you need, or the gold to get your armor. But you are not likely to get them by the time you are the right level, but a level or 2 later. Don’t rush off and buy that new sword or staff too early since you may run into a quest soon that will get it for you.
- Weapons and Armor wear out. This is unlike Guild Wars where weapons and armor are permanent. This adds “load” to the player to keep track of things and get them repaired, although at low levels this may not be a problem since things appear to wear out very slowly.
- The Pets, called Pran, are pretty much eye candy. They do little beyond annoy you and increase your battle attention load. The good news is that they seem to require little food – unlike Ether Saga where they want fed all the time. But the bad news is that the skill buff they provide is pretty much useless as they first come, so there is little benefit to leveling them. In Ether Saga the pets are useful and low attention load from the beginning.
Over all, AIKA looks good and plays more easily than Perfect World. Perfect World, described elsewhere here, has a much higher “load” of things to keep track of and learn. AIKA is not a grinder though like 2Moons or Ether Saga. The quests level you reasonably quickly. Quests in AIKA typically have you killing 10 or so monsters, while those in 2Moons and Ether Saga have you killing 50 or 100 monsters. Now that’s grinding.
You might like to try AIKA.