The cornerstone of all anime MMORPGs: how good was NosTale?

The cornerstone of all anime MMORPGs: how good was NosTale?

NosTale is now 16 years old and has become an integral part of a number of MMORPG classics. We at MeinMMO take a look at the game that was so popular at the time and look at it from today’s perspective.

NosTale is an anime MMORPG developed by Entwell and released in Korea in 2006 and a global version in 2008. Considered a classic within the genre, it’s still playable online and even on Steam today.

When GameForge became a publisher shortly thereafter, there were several servers each speaking different languages, including German. GameForge is still the publisher of NosTale and also known for Metin2, Runes of Magic, 4Story and the new MMORPG Swords of Legends.

For this article we draw on the experience of numerous NosTale players as well as about 20 hours of our own gameplay.

Off to NosVille!

In NosTale you first land in the character creation. You choose your gender, male or female, and choose one of 2 hairstyles. After all, there are several hair colors to choose from. You don’t set the class at the beginning, that will come a little later.

You then enter the brightly colored, cute village of NosVille, where an NPC named Mimi Mentor welcomes you and explains the basics of the game.

After a few levels you can tame your first companion: a little chicken. Shortly thereafter follows an upgrade to Sheep. So you always had a cute little animal with you that accompanies you on your travels.

The anime MMORPG is so colorful.

Sometimes, as a beginner, you get pretty lost. Because an arrow shows you the way to the quest, but only if you’re on the right map. If you are on the wrong map, you lose because the quest does not show you which map you have to go to. The task then displays, for example: “Find a sheep”. You’ll have to find out where that is yourself unless you’re on the right map.

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NosTale also lets you run a lot from A to B and do very similar quests. Initially, there were no mounts, they were only introduced into the game in 2010. So you went on foot.

With the mounts came a clear improvement in locomotion. In the beginning there was the Magic Carpet and the Magic Scooter that you rode. There are now more mounts.

Simple combat system and initially few classes

You have to deliver your first fight quickly. You’re holding a gun and you’re beating up some tubers. You click on an opponent to automatically attack him. Alternatively, press the spacebar twice to select and attack an enemy next to you. The animations look rather static and notchy and you only have one attack. More will come later.

Every few levels you also have to complete a dungeon called “Timespace” in NosTale. Unfortunately, they all look pretty similar and also feel static. “We go to the next timestone, go in and…it’s the same as the first one,” says Youtuber Josh Strife Hayes.

This is what the dungeons look like in NosTale. Credit: YT/Josh Strife Hayes

You choose your class when you reach level 15. There are swordsmen, archers and magicians. In 2018, the martial artist joined. According to players, however, this is not as strong as the other classes, can hardly keep up and is therefore less worthwhile.

To become stronger in battle, you can create a specialist card from level 36, which you can level up from now on. This allows you to specialize your character in a certain direction. For example, a swordsman can become a warrior or gladiator, an archer can become a hunter or ranger, and a mage can become a fire mage or seer.

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An infinite grind

The aim of the game is to level up and keep improving your character. NosTale feels like a never-ending grind that never ends. You level up to level 55 in the starting areas. From that point you can enter the land of the dead, where you will encounter (still pretty cute) skeletons as enemies. You then level up to level 90 on this map.

“You think you’ve come a long way, but actually you’re just at the beginning,” he says Youtuber GerryTV. You then reach the first hero level and have arrived in the endgame. The maximum was previously at hero level 60, now you can even reach hero level 80.

According to GerryTV, there used to be more opportunities to develop in the low-level area. Meanwhile, the game takes place more in the endgame and leaves you with fewer and fewer options at the beginning. The grind remains until you have finally managed to reach the hero level.

In a real-money shop you can buy items that are not absolutely necessary, but make the grind much easier. That’s why NosTale is often referred to as “Pay2Win”.

Players love NosTale because of the community

Guilds in NosTale are called “families” and, according to many players, should feel like one. Together with the family you can complete raids, farm or just be online to have a nice chat.

There was no dungeon finder in NosTale. If you wanted to play together with others, you actually had to use the chat, which is often no longer the case in today’s MMORPGs. There you play together, but leave out all communication.

Players meet in the arena to chat, also in 2022. Source: YT/GerryTV.

NosTale has a charm for many players to this day that keeps bringing them back to the MMORPG. “Every time I decide not to play anymore, I’ll come back after 1-2 years at the latest,” writes the user Gym Kicker in the comments on the GerryTV video. User Amstel612 adds: “Once caught in the game, it’s not that easy to get rid of”.

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“10/10, I would invest 18 hours again at any time to make a level,” writes AsTrO on Steam in a positive review. In total, the user has 500 hours in NosTale.

Where is Nostale today? Of course, the MMORPG used to have many more players in the past, but it still has an active player base logging in to this day. NosTale has also been available on Steam since 2017.

According to SteamDB almost 500 players have logged in in the last 24 hours. The GameForge client comes on top again, which is why at least 1000 players per day can be assumed.

Even though NosTale has many snags, it is a veteran of MMORPGs that is still loved and played to this day.

Did you play NosTale in the past or maybe you still play the MMORPG today? Or did you rather play Metin2, Fiesta Online, or Runes of Magic? How good do you think NosTale is from today’s perspective? Which contemporary MMORPG is it most comparable to? Write it to us in the comments here on MeinMMO!

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