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File: 1359255560738.jpg (538.31 KB, 1917x795, Spiral-Knights-Feature.jpg)


Spiral Knights is a F2P MMO action RPG created by Three Rings, a tiny "indie" group in California owned by Sega. The game is a top-down hack-and-slash adventure inspired by old-school gameplay and couched in a strong, clean art style that melds fantasy and sci-fi elements with an original and witty setting.

SK is distinct in the F2P MMO market for having what I consider to be one of the best F2P mechanics: the Crystal Energy mechanic. Like many F2P games, SK limits daily gameplay by leashing all players to Energy costs for everything they do in the game, from entering a dungeon to crafting new items. More CE can be purchased for real money, of course, but SK adds the option of purchasing CE from other players using the in-game currency of Crowns.

TLDR: You can play the entire game without ever having to pay real money. True Free-To-Play.


I didn't like it when I tried it over a year ago. Soon as you start having fun the energy limits kick in, and if you want to craft any of the better equipment you HAVE to buy crystal energy from other players for abhorrent amounts of ingame currency, which you have to grind for in dungeons with what little daily energy you have. This'd be more tolerable if I could just waste a few brainless hours on it whenever I want, but since energy is limited it just came down to a daily chore and I quickly lost interest.

I wouldn't have called it a "true F2P" due to the limiting nature of free play, even if all it does is stretch your playtime. Have there been major changes since then?


I started playing during launch and I agree that the throttling mechanic felt all too familiar when you first bump into it during the tutorial missions, but I appreciated the fact that it slightly curbs binge gaming and lets you enjoy the content at a slower pace. (My last major MMO investment was three years of WoW, which left a sour taste in my mouth, so I may be a little biased here)

The barrier of entry might seem a little steep for most modern players, but with a week or two of daily play and some research using their wiki, you can easily break into Tier 2 and start becoming "self-sufficient" in being able to make enough Crowns to buy a stack of CE. I love that the game puts the pacing in my hands, having to schedule crafting and ration out Mist Energy for the day, and setting specific objectives for myself rather than being pulled this way and that by roller-coaster quest lines and the endgame raid rat race.

One key factor in this is gear scaling: high-level players still have a slight motivation to retry low-level content due to the game dynamically adjusting the stats on their gear to suit the Tier they're playing on. This way, helping low-level players and buddies still presents a challenge; and if you decide to tackle Danger Rooms, you still have the advantage of non-numerical benefits such as increased range, status effects, and Unique Variants on your high-level gear to help you push through. Hunting for Danger Rooms and Arenas in the Arcade is a viable—I'd say better—alternative to farming Firestorm Citadel ad nauseam.

The Rank Mission system is smart in that it primes players for regular Clockworks runs, but is not required for progress in the game, so you can use either Ranks or the Arcade, or combine both for your grinding and learning.

They've changed the tutorial missions slightly since then, however, so I think they may be a little meatier since you or I last played them. (I've played them only twice, at launch and when the Missions system was introduced)

The Guild Hall expansion was a very recent addition in the last month that has everyone, myself included, very excited, as it adds a number of features that can greatly enhance gameplay. Shared Storage finally gives me a place to stockpile all my shards and scrap metal while other players (especially the new ones I've introduced to the game) can get the materials they need; the Mist Well converts CE into Mist at a net plus, allowing groups of players to play together longer.


Thanks for the detailed response. I have an old character somewhere, but I think I'll just start over if I feel like trying it again.


Look for me in-game if you do, same handle.
Maybe join my guild.


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Just finished an Emerald Queen T3 run tonight. Hunting for Danger Rooms, waiting for Arenas (and getting lucky on a random-floor Arena) brought a yield of 12,900 Crowns!

Saving up money is a big concern for me, having to save up for the Guild Hall, but it will also be key to taking advantage of the upcoming Battle Sprite update, which will likely be a heavy Crown/CE sink and put a bit of a kick in the economy. I hope CE prices will lower a tad in the rush; I don't have enough CE to sell off and make a real profit.


I used to play Spiral Knights last year but had stopped for a while. Let me go install it back, and if my character's still there, maybe I can join ya' for a couple of runs.


File: 1359838396790.png (126.68 KB, 900x427, catchlights_19_by_ponyspon….png)

An important thing for both free and paid players is the regular "jolting" of Spiral Knights' economy through the dynamics of special events and promotions. The old adage of "buy cheap, sell dear" holds quite well, as these CE-purchasing rushes and slumps represent a grand way to build up an economic base for oneself and friends over the long term.

With the Katastrophic Confrontation special event running through the 13th, players have been buying up CE to craft up their event items, as well as spending Mist on Prestige runs for daily event tokens. This has led to a marked decrease in CE prices, as low as 6400 some days. Before this, prices hovered at 6900-7200.

So when other players are purchasing CE in droves to get their event/promotion rewards, swim upstream and begin exchanging your hard-earned Crowns for CE. You can use your windfall to craft up a few items or sell it off for a huge boost in Crowns during slower times.

That's not to say CE has no direct value for gameplay. It's wise to keep a stash of at least 100 CE for emergencies such as in-dungeon revives, danger rooms, covering teammates' elevator fees, and treasure gates.


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Just came out of a Tier 2 Lockdown 4v4 battle that was quite exhilirating. My team (Teal) was lagging close behind Red when they started roving the arena in a tight pack searching for stragglers. We wised up and started ninjaing points behind them and forming up on our Guardian, completely throwing their formation off balance and finally gaining a microscopic lead on them in the last thirty seconds. We managed to keep them from gaining more points as the clock ticked down.

Tier 3 Lockdown games (4-5 star gear) tend to turn into a fustercluck of Flourishes and Wolver gear, especially in larger games, so it was refreshing for me to drop back down into Tier 2 gear for some small-game fun. Recons and Guardians have an actual effect!

Generally speaking, the idea is that Guardians hold a formation together, Recons nullify Guardian defenses, and Strikers move in for the kill, but most teams stack up on Strikers and go crazy.

As I always say, though, "Kills win you fame. Caps win the game."

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