Fantasy Earth Zero was a free-to-play MMORPG/strategy/third person shooter game launched in 2006. It focuses on large scale PVP battles (50vs50) and was developed by Puraguru and Multiterm (later FenixSoft and then SoftGear) and in 2018-2020 by Ocean Frontier. Despite being published by Square Enix and bearing a very similar name, it has absolutely nothing to do with Final Fantasy. Square Enix screwed up big time during its few months of running the game and it was nearly done for until Gamepot bought it over as free-to-play. After that it enjoyed a fair amount of success in Japan. There were also servers in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2010 it finally arrived for the USA, but then the NA servers were closed in March 2011.
“Nation War” was the main attraction of the game. Each battle was basically a MMORTS where every player was a unit. Whichever side drained of their “morale” first lost. To decrease the enemy’s morale, you built structures to capture territory, and killed enemy soldiers. You needed crystals to build structures, which had to be harvested on the field. Crystals could also be used to create summons, which could kill soldiers really fast or demolish structures really fast, but there were also summons that killed other summons….
The PVE element of the game was limited to early level grinding, farming gold to buy consumables and, for some players, farming rare-drop equipment. Killing monsters for EXP became less efficient past level 20 and this was the point where most players started participating in nation wars. At the end of a nation war, EXP and rings, another form of currency, were awarded base on performance.
The English version of the game came with 3 classes. Later patches added Fencer and Cestus for a total of 5 classes.
- 1. Warrior – Well armed and armored Melee combatant. Deal good damage with skills that use a polearm or a BFS, or they can take sword and board that improve defense and allows you to set up kills with shield bash.
- 2. Sorcerer – Can hurt you with fire that comes with armor-piercing burns, zap you while overlooking a cliff with lightning spell that ignore height, or freeze you in place with the power of ice.
- 3. Scout – Lightly armored skirmishers that may use a bow or a gun. You may also go knife nut by sneaking into enemy and cause disruption with a huge array of debuffs. Can use stealth.
- 4. Fencer – Expert with the pointy thing, very swift and also very hard-hitting at times. Specialize in engaging other foot soldier (while doing jack shit to anything else). Has a counterattack skill.
- 5. Cestus – Monks who fight with a giant pair of cestus. Specialize in dealing with buildings, either to destroy the enemy’s or to heal your own.
There were Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors between all those classes and summons, so team play was encouraged. It was very difficult, if not impossible, to play One-Man Army.
This game was remarkable among MMOGs because that it used twitch-based aiming. The level of character did not usually matter. While higher level players did get equipment with higher stats, it was not impossible to knock one-third of HP off a character 10 levels above you in one blow, given the right matchup, and all the status effects were just as potent. Besides, lower level players could still participate in logistics efforts. The emphasis on skills and tactics was what fans loved most about this game.
The game's Japanese servers shut down on September 28, 2022 after 16 years of service.
This game provides examples of:
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: While you can eventually use top-class gears buy-able with in-game currency at max level, gears with same attributes are sold for real-life money always have a lower level requirement. The most powerful enchants can only be bought with real-life money.
- It's mostly averted. The faction shop that randomly changes every week if nation managed to complete 12 "Capture and Hold" missions, has gear that has much lower lvl requirement, needs only in-game money, and, statwise, is on par with gear from cash shop. And cash shop enchants will provide only a slight edge in battle.
- Crippling Overspecialization: The summons. Knight deals good damage against other summons, but can barely scratch anything else. Titans have a cannon attack that can demolish buildings very fast, but deal almost non-existent damage otherwise.
- Damage Is Fire: or rather smoke in this case.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The game start with having only 3 class: Warrior, Sorcerer and Scout. Subverted with the addition of Fencer and Cestus.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The three skill trees for sorcerer, recently subverted with the Gravity spell.
- Genre-Busting: Most of the game is typical MMO stuff, but the main heart of the game is basically 100-man PvP RTS/Tower Defense.
- Level Grinding: Slightly Averted since there are many way to gain exp during war that during the early lvl(1-20) your almost guaranteed to lvl up every one or three wars. its when you to the 30+ when the exp gain comes to a complete crawl.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Fencers have some of the fastest attack in the game. there Flash stinger attack for example hits faster than most skills in the game, has high priority over many attacks, can possibly stun lock if spammed (even if your a warrior with embolden up), and hits three times and does decent damage.
- No Export for You: Finally averted in 2010, four years after its first release in Japan.
- And after about 8 months All NA servers were closed and now it went back to No Export for You.
- PVP Balanced: Classes are actually very well balanced against one another with each having set rock paper scissor weakness and Advantages. Warrior beats Scout, Scout beats Mage, Mage beats Warrior. and even with the introduction of the Cestus and Fencer classes in which they fall under no real Advantages and no real vulnerabilities over other classes. they still maintain disadvantages with there play style such as Fencers have a good advantages when it comes to one on ones but when it comes to multiple opponent's they tend to have trouble.
- Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Warriors have damage bonus to Scouts, same for Scouts to Sorcerers and Sorcerers to Warriors.
- Shoot the Medic First: Averted. The developers KNOW this would happen so they simply omit the healer class, forcing everyone to rely on foods and pots.
- Stripperiffic: A good portion offemale armor gravitates toward this but none are more this than almost all Female Scout Armors.
- Useless Useful Stealth: it is very difficult to decide whether the “hiding” skill of scout is useless or not. While it does turn the user invisible to enemy, if enemy’s cross-hair happens to come across your invisible character model, a target circle is still shown. Moreover, your footsteps can still be heard although usually it is drown out in a crowd,if your hit by a stray attack then hide immediately cancels, and you continue to makes ripples if you walk through the water. The fact that these are the only ways to actually detect a hiding scout short of carpet bombing somewhat helped. Curiously, you cannot hear footsteps of characters behind you as they’re “not in your screen”. In the end it usually come down to the scout’s maneuvering ability and his enemy’s scanning skill.
- actually all of these disadvantages makes scouts a very challenging class to battle against since all these disadvantages requires a sharp eye to notice but they do not make the class a Game-Breaker. it also require the scout to be more weary of the surroundings. also hidden scouts do not show on your map so there's a huge advantage right there.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: Crystals is required for buildings and summons. You harvest crystals by crouching next to a big crystal.