Although, you might want to familiarize yourself with the four basic modes of play first.
- Deathmatch – This is a chaotic free-for-all. Think of it as old school PvP. The battles are short and nuts.
- Team Deathmatch – For those of you with more refined tastes in mayhem, up to eight players per side battle for the most kills.
- Territory Control – Two teams are placed against each other, in a desperate struggle to main and expand their dominion.
- Last Stand – This is similar to Territory Control, but it’s a human team verses computer controlled opponents
I’d recommend running the Last Stand scenario first. If you enter PvP on your first time out, you’re likely to have a frustrating experience. You’ll be pitted against players who have much more experience and much better equipment than you do. That’s where you find the core focus of Exteel. It’s all about items and the customization of your giant robot. You’ll need to win battles, so you can buy better gear, so you can win more battles.
That’s where NCsoft makes the money – item sales. You can turn your real world money into virtual stuff. So, beginners are in for double trouble. Not only the players with more time better off than you, the players with more money are better off than you. Although, considering that I didn’t actually spend any money on this game, I wasn’t bothered by that notion.
Plenty of players will not part with their money. NCsoft will still makes money through in-game advertisements. As you’re blasting your way through the areas, you’ll see plenty of places for signs to appear. It actually fits the theme of the game, as that’s just what the real world looks like. It’s filled with ads. I haven’t seen any real advertisements in the game just yet, unless you count NCsoft self-promos. Will in-game advertisements encourage me to play Tabula Rasa or Lineage II? I don’t know, but it’s good to see the collective strength of the NCsoft family.
There even seems to be clan support, but I’m not sure if the feature is implemented yet. I couldn’t figure out how to join or create a clan, but there was a space for a clan listing on my character’s information page. Since it’s not a huge commitment to play Exteel, I’m thinking it’s time to round up some online friends.
If Exteel was shrink wrapped and on sale for $49.99, I’d pass it up. Yet, since Exteel is free-to-play, I’m having great fun. Exteel is not a deep game, but it’s quite satisfying for a few quick rounds of giant robot warfare.