Mabinogi

Mabinogi

Mabinogi

When Korean MMO and Welsh mythology meet.

Saying that Mabinogi looks like a Korean free-to-play MMORPG from 2004 isn't an elaborate insult, just a statement of fact. It was originally released in its homeland six years ago. The Americans have had it for two years. On the plus side, though, we're theoretically getting an MMORPG already a half-decade into its life, with all that early tweaking and refinement well behind it.

You wouldn't know it from first impressions. Aside from looking ropey, which you can mostly forgive because it's free and designed to run on PCs powered by potatoes with electrodes in them, basic things like path-finding are practically non-existent. It also has an enduring and fairly severe issue with Windows 7 at the moment that requires you to dive in and delete registry entries in order to make it work more than once. It's not unusual for free-to-play games to be a little rough around the edges, but anyone used to good-looking and technically sound MMOs will have to lower their standards from the off.

Mabinogi is loosely - extremely loosely - based on the Mabinogion, or medieval Welsh mythology, an influence that can be seen chiefly in difficult-to-pronounce place names (Tir Chonaill, Taillteann, Sliab Cuilin). It has no classes, employing instead a system that lets players improve the skills they want with practice, levelling them up gradually with AP points.

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