Clan Lord is definitely no new kid on the block having been released back in late 1997. It was the very first MMORPG ever made for the Mac, which then went on to be voted one of the top ten Mac games of the year in 2001 by Games Magazine, with a version becoming available for Windows in 2005.
This truly innovative and unique 2D MMORPG offers players the opportunity to remain completely immersed in character and actually work together rather than against each other like most other traditional MMORPG's. While it is possible for players to engage in a consensual duel through equipping specific duelling gear, there is no PvP as such; and nothing to gain from duelling. Players are much more focused on the enormous and continually expanding world around them from newly discovered highly deadly areas, to planar rifts sending skeletal and undead abominations pouring straight into town.
The simple to use point-and-click interface may not be so simple to use in the beginning but will become second nature in no time. "Bumping" things is the term used to activate an NPC, or to kill a creature, which is basically you just running into something. Further down the track you can browse through the many player created macros which may make certain functions easier to execute; such as pulling or moving another player.
Clan Lord is heavily focused towards group activity and you can choose to be either one of the following professions; a Fighter, a Healer or a Mystic. All three work towards different goals, in different ways, but join together to overcome the challenges the world presents to them. It may be challenging to adjust to in the beginning, but it is very easy to form a group in town to go hunting as other players are always more than happy to help; probably having the most friendly and mature community I have ever come across.
A brief run down on the local lore would be that you have been thrown out of the Empire for crimes against the Ascendancy. You're now an exile in a strange world which finds you beginning your new adventures in the town of Puddleby; an outpost town in the Lok'groton island chain. With that said you may not be an exile at all, as this is a fantasy role playing game left completely up to your imagination. Do not be discouraged if you do not wish to role play, whether role playing is a new concept to you or not, though it is encouraged, not everyone does it. It is however considered impolite to burst into OOC discussions while others are role playing.
Clan Lord is not your typical MMORPG as you may of gathered by now, not only is it 2D, but there are several other features that set it apart from the rest. There are no levels so to speak... no numbers to crunch, no mention of exact experience points gained. This isn't a game you can master in a matter of months, or even years... Some players have played for over 10 years and still have something to strive for, while others are more interested in developing their character through role playing or exploring.
Gaining a rank (levelling up) is done in such a way that focuses more so on realism then a big bright notification, "You're now level 12!". Different messages received determine how much experience you may have gained during combat; for example you may be slaughtering something which gives no experience or vanquishing something which gives you the most possible experience. It is then up to you to decide where to put your experience depending on which trainer out of the dozens available that you choose to train with.
As for communicating with other exiles, it is done through text, just like any other game but with a slight twist... speech bubbles represent talking and pondering represents thoughts (although it is commonly used for OOC discussion with OOC:), actions which are again completely up to your imagination and then we have the sunstone. The sunstone is a special type of item that a player can equip which allows them to communicate with anyone else within the game world that holds one. This means all actions and conversation you do outside of the sunstone will only be viewable to those around you, making sitting around in town a very social and common practice. The stones are not cheap but being a new player you will most likely get given one from someone you've met along your travels. They're also maintained by Mystics as they fade from use over time, but theres no need to worry about that just yet.
For many years Clan Lord was a monthly pay to play, but has recently become available for a once off $15USD payment.
Overall Clan Lord is nothing short of excellent and I highly recommend giving one of the free "demo" characters a try, just click here and download the client.
Please do not let the somewhat simple website discourage you from trying the game. Something that may be interesting to know is the developer has never really advertised Clan Lord, it's a bit of a secret gem especially when it comes to PC users. He once said in an interview; "I resist pretty much all marketing – it feels like pimping out my games. We keep our games secret, so only the cool people can find them.”