Goonzu – B
If you’re bored and want to try something new and inventive, try Goonzu. Its blend of economic and political aspects only add to its addicting nature and in-depth gameplay. Did I mention it was free?
At first glance, Goozu seems like just another Korean clone of Ragnarok Online, but a closer look might change your mind. Like any other MMORPG, gameplay centers around creating a character and improving your stats through hours of play during sleepless nights. Combat is a part of the game, and so is the process of completing quests in order to advance to the next level of experience. What sets Goonzu apart from other games in the genre is the fact that it focuses on the mechanics of economics and an active political system.
Trust me, it’s not nearly as boring as it sounds. Players take on different roles in the community based on which job classes they wish to pursue, but unlike any other MMORPG, items in the game are almost exclusively made by the players. This adds another dimension of addictiveness as players struggle to improve their characters so they will have an edge in the marketplace.
Buying and selling is centered around the Marketplace available in any town where players can sell the items they produce and buy the items they need in order to progress in the game. Most of the quests require the player to obtain a certain quantity of an item or manufacture an item, and the fastest way to progress is to buy the items in the market place instead of wandering around looking for the one monster that will drop the item at a 5% drop rate. Indeed, a savvy player would be able to progress in the game without having to fight or do much at all, and just play the item markets for the profits. This is perhaps the most addictive aspect of Goonzu.
Another innovative aspect of Goonzu is the political system in which players can be elected to positions, such as mayor, within any number of towns in the Goonzu world. Politicians have the ability to take care of town defense, change interest rates for using the bank and the marketplace, and handle several other responsibilities. Though it is not necessary for every player to be involved in politics, it is something that may interest a player that is tired of the same old hack and slash quests.
As confusing as all that must sound, the game ensures that new players won’t feel too daunted by some of the complexities of the game. The Mentor system allows a starting character to come under the guidance of a more experience player (lvl 20+) to help them with any questions they have when they start out playing. Pressing ctrl+L brings up a window in which are a list of characters over level 20 that are potential mentors. After selecting a mentor, the player has a personal link with another player who should be able to answer any questions they might have.
I can’t remember how many times I have downloaded a free MMORPG that was so confusing I just deleted it within five minutes of logging in. There’s never a short supply of players looking to mentor another player as the game rewards the mentor for the effort.
As I mentioned before, combat is part of the game but it doesn’t play the most major role. There are quests in which players have to kill a certain number of a specific type of monster, but it’s nothing different from the everyday MMORPG. Players can specialize in swords, axes, spears, guns, or bows – the standard war making weapons that players would expect from an MMORPG. The combat system is turn based and heavily reliant on character stats to determine the outcome of combat. There are no other actions you can take other than “click-attack.”
Later in the game, after reaching fairly high levels, there are several combat abilities that can be unlocked, but most of them are passive and don’t really make a difference in overall combat. There is no player vs player option available in the game, an aspect that I think would give the game another dimension, but it does fine without it. If combat felt more involved instead of clicking and waiting for the monster to die, the game would have had a perfect score.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable experience, especially for players with a budget that won’t allow them to pay monthly for World of Warcraft (such as myself). If you like MMORPGs, it’s definitely worth a try.