A Gem of a Game
Sword of the New World: Granado Espada is a Korean made MMORPG localized in the United States by K2 Network. While the game initially began as a P2P game in the summer of 2007, it has since switched its revenue model to that of a F2P game with cash shop additives acquired through online micro payments. Like many other Korean developed MMORPGs, its defining gameplay fundaments revolve around level and experience grinding, building characters and acquiring gear, and alas, more grinding.
The game is developed by Kim Hakkyu, whom many may recognize as the brainchild of the stupendously popular Korean MMORPG, Ragnarok Online. Likewise, it is of my opinion that fans who have no qualms over painfully slow experience grinding, and further, those who are fans of Ragnarok Online and Lineage II will most likely feel right at home upon start up.
SotNW:Granado Espada distinguishes itself from all of the other MMORPGs out in circulation through its unique and innovative MCC (Multi Character Control) system. Rather than playing as one character within its own 'character account and inventory', you play as a 'family' of characters whom you may each name accordingly but who all share the same surname. You may choose up to three different characters from your family to join your active party, and you're capable of swapping in new characters at any time. Not only does this eliminate the necessity of managing multiple inventories, but also enhances the dynamics of Sword's gameplay by allowing you the freedom of constantly altering your party set up. Playing Sword is very similar to that of playing a Real Time Strategy game, and although the gameplay mechanics may appear daunting at first, I assure you the core fundaments are as simple as pointing, clicking, and pressing space bar.
One very important key feature of Sword of the New World is that of its built in 'defend mode.' If you have a healer, or characters capable of surviving for long periods of time without the need for HP restoration, you can easily park your family in a hostile zone, press space bar, and effectively 'afk level.' Not only is this a tremendous boon to the player in helping to offset the typical MMO grind, but it also allows the player to level more characters faster and with varying degrees of effort.
SotNW has 5 basic classes that you may begin the game with: Fighter, Musketeer, Wizard, Elementalist and Scout. However, the game also supplies you with a plethora of story npcs whom you may recruit into your family after meeting certain conditions or by completeing certain quests. There are easily 30+ UPCs (Unique Playable Characters) for hire, each adding a unique twist to the gameplay, and each bringing with them another small piece of the story of Granado Espada.
The setting of the game is also something to be noted. Rather than a typical swords and castles fantasy setting, SotNW is set in what would look like a parallel of the prime of European Colonization. Pirates, musketeers, and magic users dressed as aristocracy wander and explore a 'New World' filled with bloodthirsty monsters and ripe with mystery all placed within the backdrop of a beautiful Baroque period artstyle.
Given the F2P aspect of this game, I suggest downloading and giving SotNW a try. Its truly a gem of a game among all F2P MMORPGs.