Video Game Thoughts: Flyff

Flyff is a 2005 massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Gala Lab Corp. and Aeonsoft for the PC. Flyff was largely the same as previous games in the genres, but with two two big changes. Number one was being able to fly almost anywhere. In fact, the name is short for Fly For Fun. Just a few hours into the game, players could get a special hoverboard that allowed them to fly everywhere. The flying was great fun at first, but I quickly realized it didn’t really have any purpose besides convenience. There were certain flying enemies the player could attack on the hoverboard, but for the most part, flying was just for travel.

The gameplay on the ground was very similar to other MMORPGs. Players could kill monsters either solo or in a group to gain experience and level up. Leveling up increased character stats and unlocked skills and better equipment. I liked the variety of classes, skills, monsters, and locations the developers had created. It was fun to try out new skills, fight new monsters, and explore new locations.

Besides the flying, another unique thing in Flyff was how skills leveled up. While skills would unlock with the character’s level, each skill had its own set of ranks as well. I think there were around 5 ranks (levels) for each skill. What was cool about this was that the skills improved by using them. The player couldn’t just level up and then power up any skill. They actually had to use that skill in combat for it to improve. This was a pretty slow process for some skills. Many players used illegal “bot” programs to keep casting spells for them while they were away from the computer. It took an extremely long time max out skill ranks otherwise.

Because of this skills system, there were tons of players logged in at any moment but not actually playing the game. To reduce the stress on the game servers, the developers ended up having to remove this whole skill leveling system in a patch. I understood why they had to do it but was still disappointed. It was one of the few unique features in this game. The new skill system worked like pretty much every other role-playing game. Leveling up now gave points, which players could put into any skill.

The graphical style was pretty childish. There were very bright colors and exaggerated shapes to everything. I liked the colors, but sometimes I felt embarrassed if anyone walked in the room and saw what I was playing. The game was mostly clean, except some of the character outfits were revealing. This was really bad because the characters were children in this game, so it was indirectly teaching players to look for attractiveness in children. Sure, it was fantasy but it can implant bad habits in the mind over time.

I had fun with Flyff until around level forty. It just started taking too long to gain levels. Monsters were becoming stronger relative to my character’s level as well. That meant it took longer and longer to kill enemies, and I had to rest longer between each fight. Flyff was a game I had played during a break from World of Warcraft. I could have worked to find other players to group up with, but I had gotten spoiled by World of Warcraft’s fast solo leveling. Flyff, on the other hand, really required players to be in a party around level forty. Soloing was only possible to a point.

Overall, I found Flyff to be fun while it lasted. It may have been better if I was willing to spend money in the in-game shop, but if I was going to spend money, I would have just played World of Warcraft. I was only playing this game to save money. I’m happy I got to try it out though.

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