Exteel is a free-to-play, micro-transaction funded competitive online action game produced by Korean publisher NCsoft. Exteel focuses on player customization, teamwork, and lots of weapon-types unusual to the modern action game. Exteel lets the player build its own mech out of parts bought in an in-game store, either paying credits earned by playing, or by sacrificing real-world money. The player can then take that mech, and compete with other players in fairly standard online-shooter modes, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the flag and a more involved mode involving control points.
The gameplay of Exteel differs quite radically from that of other competitive shooters. Them most striking difference is probably the "soft-aim", which does not let players manually aim every shot, but lets the player target an enemy, and then (in the case of SMGs) lets the weapon fire a burst while the player can look elsewhere. This means, for example, that it is possible for a skilled player to be firing continuously at two different enemies on opposite sides simultaneously.
The addition of healing weapons and shields also makes striking differences to the classical game-modes like capture the flag.
The weapons in Exteel include:
- SMG - one-handed gun, low range, low accuracy, low damage, high rate of fire.
- Shotgun - one-handed gun, low range, high damage.
- Rifle - one-handed gun, high range, high accuracy, medium damage. Some models can stun.
- Blade - one-handed sword, melee weapon, high damage.
- Spear - one-handed, slower than blade, higher damage.
- Cannon - two-handed, long range weapon. Requires deployment before firing.
- Rocket - two-handed, does not use the soft-aim system and has area-of-effect.
- Rectifier - one-handed support tool, locks onto to friendly players and structures and restores their HP.
- Shield - one handed, can be held up to protect from damage.
The weapons can be combined at will, and two different weapon-sets can be brought into combat, switching "on the fly".
NCsoft announced that "all Exteel servers maintained by NCsoft will shut down permanently" on September 1, 2010. "This is a global shutdown," they explained, "and not based on our server alone." In "late August," all in-game items will have their prices reduced to 1 credit [in-game currency] "so that everyone has the chance to experience any weapon, mech, build, etc that they ever could have wanted. Your coins [virtual currency purchased with real-life money] should be used before that time." They have mentioned that "loyal players who purchased NCcoins" will be rewarded; details regarding the reward has not yet been made available.
The closure of Exteel comes as no surprise to many of the players on the Exteel forums. NCsoft has shut down several of their other online games citing lack of profitability as a reason, including Auto Assault
, Dungeon Runners
, and Tabula Rasa