Four Winds: Swords of Legends Online was a missed opportunity

MMOs are hard to make. But despite the difficulties, we’ve seen some real gems over the years. They are also difficult to walk on. But the specimens of the genre prove that it is both profitable for the company and meaningful for the players. From my point of view here at MOP’s Four Winds column, it seems like every damn MMORPG from the east is going to die here! First there was TERA – a game that at least still had 10 years left. BAM! Dead. Then there was Elyon, a game that I felt had some momentum and I honestly believed it would be a success. POW! Dead. And now it’s ringing Swords of Legends Online.

What a shitty feeling.

I am frustrated. I endorse these titles because they are different. Sure, this subgenre often hovers awfully close to pay-to-win territory, but sometimes there’s a diamond in the rough. Black Desert Online And Lost Ark both show that games like these are successful when their developers/publishers really care about the product. And as the old saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.”

No matter how beautiful, cool, and entertaining an MMO is, if there is no effort to build and engage a community, the game is in for a bad time. The opposite is also true: if a game comes out badly, but the developers and publishers nurture their community, then the game has a higher chance of being successful.


A typical example: Black Desert Online. It is very It’s easy to talk about the game’s problems. From the insane amount of RNG and monetization to the outdated engine, there are many points of criticism when criticizing the game. But when I was there BDOs 2022 Calpheon Ball and met all the passionate players and developers for the game, none of that mattered because ultimately the players and the community enjoyed it. And this community didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Pearl Abyss went out of its way to recruit talent, support its streamers, and actively promote community engagement by rewarding players with useful in-game items. And when I sat down with Jaehee Kim and Jesse Joo for an interview, it was clear that they put a lot of love into their work. And it was worth it BDO is still one of the biggest MMOs in the west.

Swords of Legends Online could have had that too. Unlike some other imports, the game is a solid MMORPG. It had great graphics, the motion was smooth, and the theme was unique. I wrote a lot of good things about it when it came out. It was such a solid experience. It wasn’t perfect – what MMO was ever perfect? There was a small bug and certain translations were not always clear, but that could have been fixed with the patches. It could have used a little tightening, but again that could have been fixed in a later update. And that was the problem. After the first year or so the only updates to the game were to the cash shop!

Man. What a shitty feeling.

I actually checked out the game the other day and wanted to play a bit of it. ghost town. The game told me the last time I logged in was August 2022. And since then it felt like nothing had changed; In fact, the last major update was in the fall. You know that feeling when you log into an MMO after a few months of hiatus and find that the game is completely different but slightly better? Yes, no, it wasn’t here. There were no new dungeons, no new features; It looked like the game hadn’t been touched. That was disappointing.


But you know what was annoying? The incessant little red dots in UI elements. This usually indicates that there is an update I need to look at. I hate it. Clogs the UI. This is a big problem in many mobile MMOs; Sometimes the sheer volume of those tiny red dots becomes overwhelming and enough to turn players away who thought they wanted to play the game. I scrolled through and clicked on each item to clear the dots (I understood maybe about 20% of the things it was trying to tell me). Except, wait a minute, the red dot on the cash shop. For some reason I couldn’t get rid of the thing. It took me 4 minutes to finally get rid of the problem by scrolling and clicking on any parts of the shop.

When I started playing again I killed some monsters and did some quests to get the feel of the game again. But the lack of players and chatter made it feel lonely. Oh so lonely Interestingly, a developer stream was actually running while playing. I didn’t tune in because I wanted to play the game; Anyway, me did Take this as a hopeful sign that the game might still have a fighting chance and that the developers actually wanted to make something of this game. I enjoyed the time playing! It felt good to play; The animations were entertaining to watch. My character struggled with the grace and flow of water. The effects were cool and the combat felt punchy. I really enjoyed it.

Too bad nobody else was with me.


This game was a missed opportunity. Swords of Legends Online is/was a really great game. It was a theme park MMO with dungeons and a solid PvP experience. And I guarantee we wouldn’t be having this discussion if only studios had put the time and resources into building a community. People have been cheering for the success of this game! But it’s way too late to start a community now. MMOs need momentum to maintain their player base. And as soon Players think that a game won’t do well, they won’t stick with it, and that’s exactly what happened last year when updates started to dry up. You will feel like playing a game that may end in a few months is a waste of time. What the hell Did Gameforge and Wangyuan Shengtang expect this when there were only updates for cash shop items? My goodness.

Swords of Legends Online was inspired by Taoism. His groundbreaking text, the Tao Te Ching, offers advice on how to live a full, happy life in harmony with the universe. It also warns against the folly of desire and the violation of this harmony. And I can’t help but think of the following quote from the companies behind this game:

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will overflow.

Keep sharpening your knife or it will become dull.

Chase money and security and your heart will never loosen.

blankThe four wind tiles in mahjong open up all sorts of winning combinations for players of this age-old game – and the “Asian” MMO subgenre is as diverse as the many sets of rules in mahjong. Join Massively OP’s Carlo Lacsina here in our Four Winds column as he covers the diverse range of MMOs imported from the East!


Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Curtis Crabtree joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

Related Articles

Back to top button