Released on December 4, 2007 by NC Soft's E & G Studios, Exteel (known in China as G7 Online) was a Korean massively multiplayer online third person shooter, similar to Gunz and its "Hong Kong-syle gunplay" but with Humongous Mecha. The game ran for almost three years before NCSoft abruptly shut it down on September 1, 2010.
The present time for Exteel is A.D. 2107. Thirty years ago, rebels from Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter fought against the Galactic Federation and lost. The vanquished were herded up and deported to another star system, where they settled on the planet Natha. There, on the continent Taryn, they built three nations; the Martians founded Marston, the Jupiter refugees founded Palamo, and the Saturnians founded Aiers.
Marston is the most militaristic and aristocratic of the former rebellious colonies. They were the last to fall to the Galactic Federation, and apparently the first to arrive on Natha, because their colonization of the planet wasn't a cakewalk. Forced underground by meteor showers at the time of founding, Marston has a highly industrialized society. On the other hand, the democratic nation Palamo fared much better, landing on a section of Taryn most ideal for farming, becoming a breadbasket of Natha. Aiers founded itself in isolation from the other two nations, and of the three boasts the best technology and scientific prowess. It has tried to remain neutral in all disputes that have cropped up since colonization.
Things went sour quickly. A section of Marston wanted independence from the rest of the country. Palamo assisted them, which Marston was not about to accept. Although this new fourth nation calls itself West Palamo, Marston doesn't recognize its independence, and this dispute brought the four countries very close to the brink of war. All it took was for one attack on a Marston outpost—for which they blamed Palamo—for full scale war to erupt.
The nations of Natha were forbidden by the Galactic Federation from taking military equipment with them when they colonized the planet, but there's more than one way to wage war. As Marston's home grown forces advance into Palamo, the four nations are hiring mercenaries to send to the front lines. The primary weapons platform used in this conflict are the agile Mechanaughts, with each of the four nations developing their own models on top of the ones available from off-world sources. That's where the players come in ...
Exteel provides examples of the following tropes:
- A Mech by Any Other Name: The Mechanaughts.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: One of the playable areas is Mobile Fortress, which is visibly flying over a landscape and has its own host of flying gunships.
- All There in the Manual: NCSoft released background information on Exteel in places outside the game itself.
- Beneath the Earth: The nation of Marston. One playable area is Underground City, most likely set in this nation.
- BFG: Rockets and Cannons are not only two-handed weapons, they are huge.
- Bottomless Magazines: The only thing stopping a Mechanaught from firing endlessly is heat. Must be the Hyperspace Arsenal working for them ...
- Bottomless Pits: The area Defrosted Summit can be very nasty to fight in. Lagspikes can send you off the edge of the base, plummeting down the mountain to your death.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Initially averted. While many of Exteel's weapons and Mechanaught parts were purchasable with real money—and in some cases could not be bought with in-game money—this did not include the game's most powerful gear, which were only purchasable with in-game money. The general trend was that players who buy items with real money weren't exactly overpowered, but they do get more options than a player who doesn't.
- On the other hand, this did put low-leveled people who do not want to spend money at a disadvantage, since a level 1 pilot can plunk down a few dollars and buy themselves a good Mechanaught or weapons. There's no level restriction on parts.
- However, toward the end of Exteel's run, this trope started to seep into gameplay. Players could pay a small sum to "rent out" skills and premium "superior" skills as well as custom Operators who provide latent boosts. There were no free methods to obtaining either.
- Capture the Flag: One of the available gameplay modes.
- Critical Existence Failure: Once you hit 0 HP, your Mechanaught falls to the ground and explodes. Until that point, your mechanaught operates normally.
- Critical Hit: Happens with melee attacks occasionally.
- Cyber Cyclops: The basic Pinkett Mechanaught's optics look like this, possibly as a Shout-Out to the Zaku of Mobile Suit Gundam.
- Death from Above: A number of players practice the play style of "Dragooning." It helps that spear thrusts allow you to plummet to the ground very quickly, so combined with a good high-jump backpack unit, any Mechanaught can put the Dragoons of Final Fantasy to shame.
- Deflector Shields: One of the handheld shields is just such an object. Known as the Force Shield, it's great for defending against ranged (but not siege-level) weapons.
- Die, Chair! Die!: You can knock over lampposts, shoot out billboard advertisements and blow up the cars of hapless citizens. Sometimes. There's no reward in doing it, though.
- Do Not Drop Your Weapon: Averted, if only because Mechanaughts never let go of their weapons when destroyed.
- Dual Wielding: Mechanaughts can wield two spears or two swords at once. Some skills require this.
- During the War: Well, during the war on Natha, anyway.
- Energy Weapons
- Laser Blade: Even though its name is Particle Blade, the description says it uses a focused beam of energy.
- Global Currency: Credits.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Pick a Mechanaught's head. Any head. Every last one of them features these.
- Gun Kata: Happens with quite a few special attacks that Mechanaught pilots can perform, and seen during the FMV intro/trailer where a Trooper Mechanaught dispatches a number of enemies this way.
- Guns Akimbo: Mechanaughts can wield two one-handed ranged weapons at once. Not just mecha-sized pistols and submachine guns, but shotguns and rifles as well. Marathon's Security Officer would be proud.
- The Gunslinger: Mechanaughts are rather showy with their SMGs and handguns, spinning them before and after firing.
- Humongous Mecha
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Mechanaughts carry two sets of weapons, but they don't visibly carry the set they're not using; it just appears in a burst of electricity.
- Impossibly Graceful Giant: Despite their size and mass, Mechanaughts have all the grace and dexterity of ballerinas.
- Katanas Are Just Better: The Katana-like Crimson Edge is the Jack-of-All-Stats out of the currently available swords, averting the trope. In fact, its low-grade form is standard issue.
- Mecha-Mooks: A combination of both aspects of the trope; not only are they nameless mass-produced units, they're also explicitly labeled "Drones." In Last Stand games, players have to defend an area from hordes of them, while destroying the mooks' outpost. They also appear in other team-based modes to guard control points and slow down enemy players.
- Those Last Stand mooks might be Marston's home grown forces mentioned in the backstory.
- Microtransactions: This was Exteel's business model—see Bribing Your Way to Victory above.
- Mission Control: Operator Sarah, who used to suffer from oddly voice-acted Engrish until she received new voice acting from a patch some time in June 2008. For example: If your team managed to keep the enemy from capturing your flag after they'd taken it, she would say: "We recaptured our flag back!" In a very awkward-sounding fashion.
- Toward the end of Exteel's run, E & G Studios introduced additional Operators who, for a small fee, could replace Sarah for a month's worth of time. Each of these Operators provided their own buffs when chosen to oversee the player's mission.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: When a Mechanaught activates a skill that specifically targets another Mechanaught, both are treated to a cutscene-like animation of the skill being performed on the victim while the battle continues around them ... and many of them are brutal. There's even one "Beat Down" that involves a Mechanaught slapping down its foe with a shield and then unloading its SMG into the chest of its victim!
- Rage Quit: Some players like to engage in CADing (hitting Control-Alt-Delete to bring up Task Manager and killing the process in order to avoid a loss) much to the annoyance of others.
- Roboteching (Backpack-mounted weapons systems do this to an extent)
- Sword Fight: Swordplay has quite a bit of focus in Exteel, considering they are one of the major types of melee weapons available to Mechanaughts.
- The War Sequence: Last Stand modes pit a team of players against hordes of Mooks, in which they must prevent them from capturing Aerogates.
- This Is a Drill: The Metal Helix spear.