The 2009 ZAM Awards

We've concluded our inaugural end of the year awards, which featured the best-of-the-best in massively multiplayer online gaming. Read more to find out which title won our Game of the Year!


FIRST PLACE: Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited

While Dungeons & Dragons Online experienced decent success as a subscription based MMORPG, when Turbine announced that DDO would be going F2P in September, something just felt… right about its transition. D&D has always been a "pick and choose" type of game, with players able to select campaigns that seem interesting, and purchase as much (or as little) as they need to really augment their playing experience. With DDO's switch to its free to play model, Turbine has done an excellent job of capturing that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from purchasing a new campaign (in this case, a new adventure pack!).

In addition to DDO's F2P business model, the game itself is remarkably unique in its presentation. Combat is fun and very fast paced, as a regular attack can be executed with the simple click of a mouse (so it plays more like an FPS in combat, but with giant hammers!), and DDO was one of the first games to truly utilize its Z-Axis, with unique jumping puzzles and platform levels. While DDO did run into some business related problems that prevented them from releasing a new update for nine months, they have done an amazing job after going F2P. These days, in keeping up with their breakneck pace of releasing an 'update' once every month, they now have new content coming every other month, and new features being released every month in between. All of this translates to DDO being one of the best F2P MMORPGs on the market, and they stand as a shining example of how the term "free to play" doesn't have to mean lower quality gaming.

SECOND PLACE: Runes of Magic

Runes of Magic is an up and rising MMO that, while it may seem quite similar to World of Warcraft, does manage to implement some unique features of its own. In particular, Runes of Magic employs a unique 'dual class feature' that allows for some very innovative character class combinations, and their house system simply screams customization at all points. Runes of Magic is also very careful about allowing players to enjoy the game without purchasing in-game items, as Frogster is careful to make sure that most items being sold are for convenience, and not power. Finally, having just recently launched a new expansion, titled "Chapter II - The Elven Prophecy" a mere six months after the game's launch, Runes of Magic is definitely a sparkling gem in the F2P MMO community on a budget.

THIRD PLACE: Atlantica Online

Atlantica Online is one of the few MMOs that has managed to seamlessly fuse turn-based RPG combat with the immersive world of MMORPGs. Players can create customized parties of eight mercenaries in addition to their main character, and they can choose from over 20 different unique mercenary units to suit their play style. While Atlantica Online does have a rather expensive system where players can purchase $10 'boxes' for a chance to win incredibly powerful mounts (if you don't get a mount, you get other minor prizes that are worth much less), and the game can get rather grind intensive past level 110, its combat system is still incredibly addictive, and its PvP is fiercely competitive.

HONORABLE MENTION: League of Legends


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The 2009 ZAM Awards
# Dec 11 2012 at 9:38 AM Rating: Decent
Awards for the past year 2010 are going to be a lot interesting.
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Thumbs Up to the Great Online Gaming Idea
# Oct 31 2011 at 11:53 PM Rating: Decent
The fact that it is free-to-play is an excellent marketing idea. An ideal way to launch a game is to make it free and have a nominal subscription once it rises in popularity. I enjoy online gaming and will share this post on Facebook!

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# Aug 26 2010 at 3:18 AM Rating: Decent
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# May 26 2010 at 1:25 AM Rating: Decent
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# Jan 05 2011 at 2:41 AM Rating: Decent
the awards for the past year 2010 are going to be a lot interesting.i have a few mmo games in mind that i think have done splendid
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# Mar 16 2010 at 5:19 AM Rating: Decent
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D&D free
# Jan 11 2010 at 7:45 AM Rating: Decent
ok so it you can choose if you want to pay or not

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D&D free?
# Jan 04 2010 at 11:16 AM Rating: Decent
D&D online won an award for being free to use.

When i goto there website it is talking about a monthly fee to play.

So my question is, is it free or not?
D&D free?
# Jan 04 2010 at 2:21 PM Rating: Excellent
295 posts
sunwolfy wrote:
D&D online won an award for being free to use.

When i goto there website it is talking about a monthly fee to play.

So my question is, is it free or not?

DDO Unlimited is free-to-play. However, players can choose to pay a subscription to become a VIP member and gain access to extra content.

But yes, just to make it clear, DDO Unlimited can be played for free. All you need to do is create a free account and then download the game.
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