What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a massively multiplayer online game that starts free, but once you get into the game, you realize that helpful items cost money. The game contains combat where players can attack and kill both computer-controlled and player-controlled characters using medieval weapons. Costumes – especially the females – can be racy. The game offers both public and private chat, and like all online experiences, that chat can be unpredictable.
What's it about?
RAPPELZ is a free massively-multiplayer online game (MMOG) that allows players to explore a mythical fantasy world as one of three races: the Deva (beings of light), the Asura (representing darkness), and the Gaia (humans). After choosing a character and customizing his or her appearance (to an extent), players embark on quests and defeat computer-controlled monsters to receive money and items, and earn \"Job Points\" to allocate towards learning new jobs levels, skills and special abilities. Like most MMOGs, players can go adventuring with others in informal groups or by joining a guild, and can fight other players through player-versus-player (PvP) combat.
One of Rappelz's few unique features is an \"immorality system,\" that penalizes anti-social behavior like engaging in PvP combat with low-level players (in other words, bullying) by reducing the offending player's movement speed and attack and defensive power.
Is it any good?
Perhaps because Rappelz is free to play instead of charging players the usual monthly subscription fee, it has a throwaway feel to it in many respects, lacking the depth and attention to detail found in the very best MMOGs. There's very little about Rappelz that distinguishes itself in any way from other similar offerings. A murky good versus evil story doesn't do anything to suck the player in. Nor does the largely unimaginative "go here, get that, then bring it back" type of quests doled out by characters that lack charisma and speak in stilted and grammatically dubious dialogue like "If you dare to attack it, you had better make up your mind. You have to pay huge price." Rappelz is a good intro to MMOGs for players who want to get their feet wet without coming to a monthly subscription, but in terms of fantasy MMOGs, it doesn't hold a candle to any of the big guys.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the game's "immorality system," which assigns penalties to players for bullying and other infractions. Is penalizing players in this manner a successful deterrent for bad behavior? Do you think that PvP (player-versus-player combat) is fun or detrimental to the online experience?