Florensia is a 3D fantasy MMORPG published by Alaplaya. The game offers something that I’m surprised a lot of other MMORPGs don’t, access to the sea. Unlike traditional MMORPGs, Florensia lets players access both the land and sea and players have to play both aspects of the game if they expect to progress. In order to leave the starting continent players have the physically get on their boat and fight their way through the seas to a new city.
Explorer – Can become a Excavator or Sniper at level 40
Mercenary - Can become a Gladiator or Guardian Swordsman at level 40
Noble – Can become Court a Magician or Magic Knight at level 40
Saint - Can become a Priest of Shaman at level 40
Florensia Featured Video
By, Omer Altay
Florensia is a fairly new MMORPG from Japan, yes Japan. The game’s website does its best to point out where the game was made, but I’m not sure why the publishers think that plastering the site with “this game is from Japan” would make the game look any better. Florensia labels itself as a ‘next-gen’ MMOG, and in a way it is. Instead of being limited to land based gameplay like most MMORPGs, Florensia lets players explore the seas as well as land. More importantly, is the game fun?
Before I elaborate on all the finer and more specific aspects of Florensia, I’d like to explain the core gameplay first. Florensia’s combat and gameplay isn’t anything new or anything revolutionary. They’re generic. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as if you’re played your fair share of MMORPGs, odds are you’re used to the grinding and repetitive gameplay. As with every other generic MMORPG, Florensia has its flaws; combat feels slow, ship controls are clumsy and for some reason quest descriptions are significantly longer than they have to be. Don’t let these few drawbacks keep you from Florensia though, the game is quite fun if you’re looking for a way to kill some time and try something new. The game’s graphics are gorgeously animated and NPC character art is top notch. The game has a distinct visual style that I haven’t seen in other MMORPGs. It has a mix of the colonial Sword of the New World graphics and the more traditional fantasy graphics of Ragnarok Online.
Auction House + Personal shops = ?
Most games usually have two types of systems for trading, a personal shop or an auction house. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The benefit of a personal shop is the whole having to shop around for a good deal sort of feel, while an auction house makes everything easily searchable in one convenient place. Florensia does something that I haven’t seen in any other MMORPG do, it combines these two systems. Players can open their own shops, but instead of having to find them in town, other players can easily access all player shops by talking to an NPC. I personally lean towards the organization and ease of use of an auction house system, but even though browsing through dozens of shops may not sound appealing, it does add to the “shopping experience”. The game does have a search feature on the huge index of personal shops, but it doesn’t seem to be functional as all my queries yielded zero results.
Double the grind, double the fun?
The single most interesting feature in Florensia is the game’s dual gameplay modes. When you first create your character you’ll find start on land in a town called Roxbury. Upon grinding your way through the challenges of the starting area and finishing all your quests you’ll need to move onto a more challenging zone, but in order to do so, you have to hop on your boat and sail to the next zone. Upon setting sail from the shores of Roxbury you’ll find yourself having to fight your way through hostile enemies in the seas. The sea based aspect of Florensia is almost like a separate game from the land based gameplay you’ll get accustomed to after completing the starting area’s challenges because the game separates your “Land experience” and your “Sea experience”. That’s right, even if you reach a high level on land, none of that experience will carry over on the sea portions of the game. Not only is your experience on land and sea separate, but even the skills you learn on land are different, as the game has two skill trees, one for land and another for sea. The sea portions of Florensia didn’t appeal to me at all and just felt like a cheesy way for the developers to literally double the amount of time to reach the maximum level. I found that simply moving around in the sea felt like a chore, because the controls just felt unresponsive and slow. The only time I ever found myself playing through the sea aspects of Florensia was when I had to travel to another continent or island, but to be fair, the game does a lot to add unique gameplay to the sea portions of the game. Aside from having a separate sea skill tree, players can also upgrade their ships, build new ships and optimize their ship’s crew members.
Skills man.. Skills
The skill system in Florensia is incredibly interesting because of all the different possible “builds”. There are simply too many skills for you to have any chance of maxing out each one or even a handful of them, so you have to distribute your skill points decisively. Florensia employs the skill book system which is one aspect of its skill system which I personally don’t like. Before you can put points into a particular skill you have to first run back to town and purchase the skill’s ‘book’ from your class trainer. I’m not sure why games feel the need to annoy their player base by making them drop what they’re doing and run to town every time they want to learn a new skill. It’s a hassle and it’s not fun.
Just a LOT to do
The actual game content in Florensia is pretty massive and growing with every new update. The game currently has item upgrading, ship building, fishing and a massive 100 floor tower which was just recently added to the game for questing. The company behind Florensia is already planning on release PvP rankings, new dungeons and so much more. This is one of those rare few MMORPGs that consistently get updated for new content and bug fixes. Even if you somehow complete everything the game has to offer on land, you can begin exploring the sea and finishing all the sea based quests and challenges next. There is simply a lot to do in Florensia.
Final Verdict: Good
Florensia looks great and has a lot to do, but the fact that the core gameplay gets repetitive fast is a huge drawback. If you’re played the more popular MMORPGs and need a new game to try, Florensia is worth the download.
Florensia Character Customization Video
Florensia Cinematic Trailer
Florensia Sailing Gameplay Trailer
Florensia Featured Video
Florensia General Gameplay Video
Florensia System Requirements
OS: Windows 2000/xp
Graphic Card:GeForce4 Ti Series 64MB or better
Direct X:DirectX9.0c or later
OS: Windows 2000/XP