Imagine if Ken Follet and JK Rowling came together to write a game - then you'd probably have something along the lines of PlaneShift.
PlaneShift is a role playing game set in a mystical medieval fantasy world, where you start off as a pauper in search of fortune. It isn't, however, a game that you can just download and get going straight away. First you need to register on the developer website and then you'll have to spend a while going through the user manual. PlaneShift is a pretty complex world where the developers ultimately aim to mix real world politics and economic problems to create a very realistic but very difficult to follow world unless you log on regularly.
As in games such as Second Life, while you are logged off, your possessions and progress continue in real time which is why you have to regularly log on to avoid being destroyed, especially within the early stages. At the moment, you can explore the virtual world, interact with other players or with server controlled creatures, fight monsters, cast spells, solve quests and puzzles, improve your character, gain magical items and more.
The plus side of PlaneShift is that it's entirely free to play, which is unusual for a 3D MMORPG game of this size. You're also not limited by budgetary constraints or game limitations - you can expand your world as far as your imagination will take you. Alternatively, if combat isn't your cup of tea, you can just live as a ordinary citizen in the game although this doesn't offer half as much thrill as pillaging and invading your neighbors.
The downside of all this is that PlaneShift is prone to bugs, crashes, slow server times (because they rely on sponsors to provide them) and by the developers own admission, it's not complete as yet.
That said, for a free 3D MMORPG game, PlaneShift is a very worthwhile option for those on a limited budget or those that don't want to feel compelled by money to keep playing regularly.
- Characters turn transparent while sneaking to simulate the fact they are hidden. We are testing this new option, and we plan to use it also for spells or other situations
- Added "pterosaur services" for travelling between cities. There is one beastmaster in each major town which rents pterosaurs for travel
- Made shields functional. They are now part of the combat calculation, and allow real blocking of hits
- Improved the way NPCs chase an opponent by using generated paths (navmeshes) for navigation. This is a major improvement to combat and allows them to walk around obstacles
- Weather has been known to be cause of crashes on certain hardware, mainly intel chips and to slow down gameplay. It's now possible to disable weather effects from pslaunch! Be sure to enable it and test if it works for you before giving up on it!
- Added improved snow effect. Snow now shows on ground! Start humming a Christmas song :)
- Added the new Klyros city Amdeneir! It's actually one quarter of the city, which is located to the "left" of hydlaa, for now reacheable only by pterosaur travel
- Added animations for attacking with bows on all characters
- Added a new progress bar for crafting
- Fixes and updates:
- Changed item dropping and allowed arbitary rotations in all directions. This will allow better customization of guildhouses and events! To rotate, you have to hold the right mouse button and drag the mouse, or do the same by pressing shift
- Removed the gossip channel from the Main tab in the chat window. The Main tab is supposed to be In Character and the gossip channel was polluting too much the text. Be sure to clear your old settings, or the gossip will stay there
- Fixed rain
- The view window of an armor now shows its stats
- The view window of containers now shows the weight
- Ability to disable active magic window notification
- Removed need to specify a resource for dig/harvest/fish
- There is a new auto-refusal option for marriage proposals in options
- Failing to cast a spell may have a negative effect now
- Support for automatic execution of commands upon logging in
- Configurable tab completion. You can now speficy a set of additional words to be used in the autocompletion in the chat window
- Improved the way the server handles randomized and creative items (saving memory)
- Alliance channel may be added to main now as well
- Sort item categories by name in merchant/storage windows
- Added few new idle animations to stonebreaker female and ynnwn female