Thursday, March 06, 2008

Linux Free MMO Roundup Week Four: Eternal Lands

Anyone who's been reading Avert Your Eyes through it's entire run should be no stranger to this week's game. Eternal Lands has been the subject of a good number of posts, and has the honor of being the first MMO I ever really enjoyed. EL has just recently had a sound-related update, so I figured it was an appropriate time to mention it in the roundup.

I'll be honest, I can't really tell what's different in this update. Except for sound, which I never bothered to use before, I can't detect any major changes. I will say that trying to enable music made the game extremely buggy feeling - the inventory window wouldn't open, trying to get the options window open to turn off music took a few tries - and it stayed buggy after turning music off. A client restart fixed this.

I was able to turn the sound effects on with no problem. After watching my character go silently through all his actions for so long it's very strange to hear footsteps and other sounds. When you attack a creature, there is now strong audio evidence that these creatures aren't, in fact, very fond of being attacked. Who knew?

Eternal Lands is not for everyone. It takes a while to get used to the slow pace - combat is slow compared with other modern MMOs, your character walks everywhere. Of course, when I first played Eternal Lands I didn't notice these things because I didn't have enough experience with other MMOs to know the genre's conventions.

After spending a great deal of time with other MMOs, coming back to Eternal Lands felt awkward at first, but that feeling didn't last very long. I actually find the slower pace relaxing compared to a lot of the other free-to-play MMOs out there. I've got to say, there's still a certain charm there that keeps me playing, if only sporadically, after all these years.

Eternal Lands is only a 43 meg download, so if you've got broadband it's quick enough to try it out. The sound package is seperate, and another 40 meg download. If you enjoy the game I recommend it, but it's far from necessary.

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