Kal Online

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Overview

Kal Online Overview

Kal Online is a veteran free-to-play MMORPG that was first released in 2004. The game still has a popular following and continues to be updated regularly. One of the most distinguishing features in Kal Online is the large, wide open environments and the ability to behead enemies after defeating them to replenish health and mana. Character progression is very basic; players chose from four jobs and gain several stat points each level to distribute among five attributes. The classes are:

Knight - The only male class in Kal Online. Knights can chose to become a defensive Commander or offensive Vagabond Swordman.

Archer - Ranged specialist who use bows to vanquish their enemies. Archers can upgrade to Imperial Commanders who can lower enemy stats and trap them or Expert Archers who deal heavy damage from a distance but rely on allies for protection.

Magician - Spellcasters who can chose to become Hermits, which deal heavy damage, or a Chairperson of Joong-Bang which heals and buffs allies.

Thief - Cunning women who rely on agility over brute force. Advanced thief jobs include the Hitman, who excels at one-on-one combat, and the Invisible Swordman who is skilled at facing multiple opponents.

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Full Review

Kal Online Review

By Erhan Altay

Kal Online is one of the two free-to-play games to be developed and published by Inixsoft, with the other being Vanilla Gate. Like most Asian MMORPGs, Kal has an oriental fantasy setting where players battle demons. Originally released back in 2004, Kal is one of the oldest F2P MMORPGs still actively being actively supported, and while the playerbase isn’t enormous, the addition of a new server (bringing the total to three) shows there’s still an audience for the game.

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Patching While You Wait…

The official site has had a series of technical difficulties in the past. For several months I was unable to register an account, but it seems Inixsoft has fixed that issue now. While the game is compatible on Windows Vista, players running a 64-bit operating system may have some issues installing and launching the game.  Assuming you manage to get the game  to download and install the game, the next step is a prolonged patch process. It took me nearly an hour to patch on a broadband connection. Once Kal Online is up and running, players must create a ‘secondary’ password after logging in for the first time. This second password must be six characters long, and can only contain numbers. The purpose of this additional security feature is to prevent keyloggers, since players can only enter their secondary password using the mouse and an on-screen number pad.

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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Character creation in Kal Online is a very simple affair; there are four jobs to choose from including Knight, Magician, Archer, and Thief. Oddly, all of these classes (except the Knight) are female, with no option to change genders. Each class only has six hair and face options, most of which look similar. Players are given several stat points to manually distribute among the game’s five attributes, which are Strength, Health, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Agility. There are currently three game servers, with Honin being the oldest and most populated. I encourage new players to start on that server since there are plenty of veteran players to help beginners using the game’s teacher/student system. The newest server is Bango, which has the lowest population, but more low level characters, which may make it easier to find players to progress through the game with.

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A Great Big World

New players begin their journey in the village of Narootuh, located on a small island which is connected to the mainland with a giant, oddly shaped bridge. There is no formal tutorial, but a help box does appear on the bottom-right of the screen, which provides helpful hints concerning quests available and what monsters to hunt at their present level. NPCs with quests available have glowing green scrolls over their heads, but the one NPC that players must seek out to progress their beginner quest is not marked in this way. Instead, players must rely on a poorly designed minimap, which consists of blurred tiles and small squares marking NPC locations. Only by hovering the curser over these tiny squares can players locate the appropriate NPC, which will introduce players to the game’s background and give them tasks to complete. As with many other oriental MMORPGs (such as Silkroad Online), the enemies in Kal are various demons who are pillaging human settlements. Outside town, players will encounter various small demons and will get a sense of how wide open the game world really is in Kal Online. Never have I walked so far from one enemy to the next of the same type. For some reason the world is incredibly spaced out in Kal, which leads to a lot of running around. The benefit of this is that towns are huge and seem more lifelike. I remember playing Dark Age of Camelot where towns would consist of a single watch tower, a building, and a gazebo. That’s not the case here. The starting town comes complete with docks, water wheels, several houses, a market area and two sets of guard towers.

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Beheading Your Opponents

Experience gain is fairly rapid during the early levels.  So much so that questing seems to be of little use. Players will find themselves in town often enough since it serves as the respawn location after death, so accepting all the available quests won’t hurt, but going out of your way to complete a low level quest is simply not worth it. Some quests introduce players to game features such as fishing. After purchasing a fishing trap, players can speak to the fishing NPC in town to teleport to a small isle where they can set the trap and fish. Fishing involves no player interaction and will continue on its own until canceled. It’s not a very impressive feature and simply encourages players to leave the game on while afk. As players level up, they will gain the ability to transform into monsters, which is one of the unique aspects of Kal Online. Another unique concept is the ability to behead opponents after defeating them. This isn’t a very involved process either, and simply requires players to set the ‘behead’ skill to the right mouse button so it can be easily performed. Once an enemy is defeated, it will kneel down for several seconds before disappearing – it is at that moment that it can be beheaded to slightly replenish the player’s health and mana.

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Six Ways to Battle

One of Kal Online’s lasting appeals has been it various PvP modes and general emphasis on player vs. player combat. There are currently five different PvP modes, all of which award honor points, which can be used to upgrade skills or buy new weapons and equipment. All five game modes involve large groups, with Castle Siege as the most ambitious. This mode involves four guilds, one of which defends the castle while the other three assault it. Other modes include Protecting Leader, in which players defend their guild leader and hunt down the other team’s leader, Suffering Valley, where two guilds battle monsters with the team that accumulates the most points being declared the winner, Destructing Key Points, where teams race to destroy towers belonging to the other side, and Battlefield Island, where teams defend their pillars and plant new ones to gain control of the battle island. It takes a great deal of good old-fashioned grinding before being able to experience or contribute to these PvP events, which keeps the barrier of entry rather high. Most of Kal Online’s community is composed of old veterans who have been playing the game for many years. Older games like this have a difficult time attracting new members, since there are just so many superior alternatives available these days in the free-to-play arena. Even players looking specifically for an oriental style MMORPG could look elsewhere at games like 9Dragons or Twelve Sky 2 before turning to Kal Online.

Final Verdict: Fair

Kal Online is an Asian MMORPG with a long and proven track record. There are plenty of newer and flashier games available today, but players looking for a simple game with lower system requirements may still want to give Kal a try.

Videos

Kal Online Videos

Kal Online Character Creation

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Kal Online Gameplay Footage

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Kal Online PvP Trailer

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Kal Online Dungeons Trailer

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Kal Online Official Trailer

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System Requirements

Kal Online System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: Pentium 3 800 MHz
RAM: 256 MB
HDD: 3.0 GB Free
Graphics Card: 32 mb

Recommended Specifications:
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 2000
CPU: Pentium 4 1.6GHz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 3.0 GB Free
Graphics Card: 64 mb

 
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