Cute meets MMO: Ether Saga Online Preview

Cute meets MMO: Ether Saga Online Preview
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Ether Saga Online

Ether Saga Online is a truly cute and charming free-to-play MMO from Asia, that will tickle your eyes and whimsy. It has a very well written and composed story line that sets up an adventure that lets you play one of three different races; the Renzu, the Yaoh, and the Shenzu. Each of the races has a unique and interesting story and series of tasks to undertake during the adventure that make each of them a different experience to play.

Talk about an MMO being cute to hardcore PC gamers, and they’re likely to shudder as they think about it. Mention the word free-to-play, and the same PC gamer might recoil from his PC like he was hit by lightning. This is for a good reason, many of the supposedly free-to-play MMOs are artificially sweetened affairs aimed solely at getting you to pay for content they advertised as free. Ether Saga Online on the other hand, released by Perfect World Entertainment in July 2009, is shaping up to be one of the few free-to-play MMOs that shows you can have a fun time without paying for a monthly subscription. After spending a little time with this cute MMO, we have come away with three reasons why Ether Saga Online entertains and satisfies you, without charging you a monthly fee.

First Reason Ether Saga Online Will Be Fun: Mobility

Ether Saga Online almost has a cute look to it

Ether Saga Online has included handy links in the game’s interface that automatically navigate your character to each objective location within the adventure. This easy navigation system allows you to skip traveling over bridges, around buildings, up stairs, and across flat terrain to reach your objective. This makes killing quest mobs a lot more fun and entertaining, rather than trying to find quest mobs to slay. You’re free to do all the quest mob executions you want, due to this personal chauffeur.

There are also plenty of mounts in Ether Saga Online to help speed up your travel across the land, cutting much of the travel time down, and letting you focus on what really matters. There are both flying and ground mounts, which can even be ridden into combat!

Second Reason Ether Saga Online Will be a Riot: Pets and Transformations

We spent a little time in the closed Beta and we went away satisfied and impressed

The second reason Ether Saga Online proves that you can have fun without paying for a monthly subscription is you don’t have to head out on your online adventures alone. All the players start this adventure with one pet to help them out. All the pets have their own statistics, gear, and trained abilities to use during your adventures. There’s over 100 enemies you can capture as pets while playing Ether Saga Online, with more added with each major update.

If a player isn’t into catching and releasing, you can also kill a monster to collect its “monster card”, which lets you morph into that monster’s shape (although you’ll still use your own skills and abilities). Transforming your character into a monster lets you use the rock-paper-scissors combat bonuses to your advantage, by shifting to shapes your enemies are less effective against. You can even go one step farther and combine your pets together to create a squirrel-dragon abomination or fuse your character with a pet to gain access to unique powers and game play elements.

Third Reason Ether Saga Online Will Rock: Lots to Do

Ether Saga Online is going to be a successful free-to-play game

The third reason Ether Saga Online proves you don’t have to pay a monthly subscription to have fun is that Ether Saga Online is a huge and expansion adventure world, two-thirds the size of World of Warcraft’s Azeroth on the day it launched. Ether Saga Online has nine different crafting and gathering professions you can undertake when you start. You can take part in 16 different quest types in over 12,000 quests, with a variety of challenges that not only include battling enemies, but puzzles as well.

In addition, Ether Saga Online includes dangerous and challenging dungeons to adventure in, six-person raids, and mounted combat. For competitive players, there’s plenty of PvP and even guild and territory wars. While you can purchase cosmetic upgrades or scrolls and other items that can help you level-up from the Cash Shop, it’s almost as entertaining without these additions and nothing requires a purchase that will hold you back.