Tibia was released in 1997, and is a 2D game with an isometric view that creates the illusion of depth. Graphics wise it has remained almost unchanged since release, but lightmaps and colored lightning were added along with DirectX support in the early 2000's.
It is a free-to-play game, and players can play forever without paying a cent; if they pay for a "Premium Account", they will gain access to additional features and content.
Tibia is one of the oldest graphical MMORPGs, and likely the first free-to-play MMORPG, officially released in 1997 but started back in 1995 by a group of university students.
Tibia originally started out with only one world, simply called Tibia, and only one town, Thais.
It has since gained quite a few new servers (74 to be exact) and towns. The original server is still active but is now known as Antica, and the number of towns has increased to 11.
Tibia is played from a top-down perspective, letting the player navigate with the arrow keys and interact with the game world using the mouse.
The main character has a few different stats. these being Health (HP), Mana, and Capacity (Cap). Also there are skills in fist-, sword-, axe-, and club-fighting, distance fighting which cover any ranged physical weapons, shielding and magic level. Additional stats, such as Soul Points and Stamina, have been added recently.
The character's outfit can be changed at any time in the game, and there are plenty to choose from. For premium player, they will have access to more outfits, and also be able to unlock new ones through various quests. All outfits have certain add-ons which can also be acquired through specific quests. The character's sex is decided upon character creation, but can be changed for a cost of exactly 5 premium days on the account page.
Upon first logging in, the game starts off on Rookgard, a beginners' area. This is where the player has to spend the first few levels, and only then, can they move on to "Main", which is what the main part of Tibia is called.
Once reaching level 8 and heading towards to the Oracle, the decision can be made in choosing on the town to start in, as well as choosing vocation. In a recent update, the oracle now moves the player to an area called Destiny Island, where there are tutors for each of the four vocations who explain more about each class. In said island, after choosing the ocation, some starting equipment are given out depending upon the class of the character, and granted access to a hunting area until reaching level 9. After this, talking to an NPC will take the player back to Main.
Once reaching Main, the adventure begins where the player is free to explore, join guilds, defend cities from raids, learn new spells, etc.
Unlike most MMORPG's, Tibia's quests aren't simple quests like talking to an NPC who asks to fetch "50 dragon horns," and reward would be experience points. The quests in this game are more like certain expeditions to find rare items, including armor and weapons, which are usually waiting at the top of castles or at the end of dungeons, sometimes guarded by powerful bosses. Most higher level quests are incredibly difficult, requiring for a quite large amount of players to join a party in order to complete them. This information is usually found out about these quests from other players, and it is not made obvious where the player has to go to.
No quests give out experience points, so the way to level up in this game is by hunting. Skill points are gained by battling creatures, but can also be gained by "training," which in this game is making an accord with another player so both players attack each other with low damaging weapons, so they can train their skills without harming each other too much. Higher magic levels are gained by using mana.
From time to time there will be raids (although they are somewhat rare). In this game, raids are when a really large group of creatures spawn near or within a city and begin to attack players. These tend to be extremely fun, and since they are rare moments, a lot of players try to visit the town of the raid before all the creatures are killed. Some special and extremely rare raids spawn a ridiculously strong boss creature, which usually drops a very rare weapon which almost no one in the game owns.
Spells and abilities depend on which of the four vocations.
- Knights, though having almost no spell or ability before, now have several area-of-effect or distance abilities which they can use, most of them being premium user spells only.
- The Paladin has a fair amount of spells and abilities, though just like knights, they can barely make any runes.
- Druids and Sorcerers have a large number of spells which they can use, the two major types being instant spells and rune spells.
Instant spells are casted by saying the "magic words". For example, to cast the light spell to illuminate the area, the player must say "utevo lux" in the chat box. After saying so, the spell is casted instantly.
Rune spells are different. The rune system consists of certain spells which can be used to store spells in a "blank rune", so any person can use them as long as they have the magic level required, and without the use of mana. Just as the instant spells, the rune spells' magic words have to be typed into the chat box, but while the character is holding a blank rune in its hand. The rune will turn into a special rune of the spell that was used, and it can be saved for use later. There are healing, damage, support, and status effect spells for both rune spells and instant spells.
Most quests found in the game involve searching for some sort of epic reward in a dangerous environment: actual quests. The location of where these are and how to obtain them are hinted in many different ways, hidden in books, rumored by NPCs, found on cave writings, etc. They often involved multiple steps, and the most dangerous ones could end in your character's death if not properly prepared. Nowadays, the game's wiki can provide you information on all the quests there are, the routes you have to take, and how to solve them, usually cutting several steps from the process which involved searching for information on multiple locations.
Open PVP, Optional PVP, and Forced PVP
There are three types of servers for this game, which differ in the PVP options.
In open PVP servers, players are allowed to attack everyone and anyone. It may sound like the power can be abused whenever the players feel like it, but that's where Tibia's skull system comes in. The skull system consists of different colored skull icons appearing next to the character depending on the player's recent PVP activities. Upon targeting a player, a white skull is shown, which means that the player is attacking a player who has not attacked either the player or anyone else. In other words, it is alerting players that the player has or are about to commit a "crime". Now, attacking a skulled player does not get that player a skull because it is seen as merely attacking a criminal. There are other skulls besides the white one - a yellow one appears in a skulled player's screen, indicating that a player with the yellow skull is attacking the player for committing the crime. A red skull is given to a player when they have abused their power, killing a large amount of players in the same week. A black skull means that the player has been an inmense power abuser, and any player can attack him with no fear of getting a skull themselves. Finally, a green skull is given to everyone in the player's party, and it means that they can attack them without fear of being marked as a criminal as it is seen as just attacking a friend or a companion.
Optional PVP servers don't have the skull system, for players cannot attack other players except only when that player's guild is at war with another guild, in which case the player can only attack players from the enemy guild.
Forced PVP servers don't have a skull system either, for they are pretty much lawless (in player-vs-player terms, that is).
When dying in Tibia, the game is very punishing. Once the player dies, the player lose 10% of all EXP and skills; items from the backpack have a 10% chance of dropping. The EXP and skill loss can be lowered by getting the promotion and getting the Blessings, though these are very expensive and only used by the very high level and rich players. To prevent items and backpack from being dropped, an Amulet of Loss is required, but this is also somewhat expensive.
There are 4 different vocations in Tibia, each with a promotion available to premium players.
Knights are masters of weapons, shielding, and hand-to-hand combat. They have greater brute strength than other vocations and are able to carry more equipment and items at any given level. As a result of their focus on physical skills, knights are severely lacking in magical abilities.
- Fastest advancement in Melee skills.
- Fast advancement in Shielding skill.
- Largest Capacity.
- Largest amount of hitpoints.
- Fastest hitpoint regeneration.
- Can learn very few spells.
- Slowest mana regeneration.
- Slowest advancement in magic level.
- Cannot make any runes.
- Cannot use many different kinds of runes.
- Smallest amount of maximum mana.
- Low damage magic attacks.
- Slow healing on very high levels.
Paladins are masters of distance weapons. They are particularly skilled in the use of Bows, Crossbows, throwing knives, and spears. Overall, paladins are balanced between physical abilities and magical abilities. They advance very fast in distance level, even faster than Knights in melee level, at the same speed in shielding level, and are not totally inept concerning magical skills, either. Paladins are not severely lacking in any area of ability, but only stand out in their use of distance weapons.
- Fastest advancement in distance skills.
- Fast advancement in shielding and melee skills.
- Only vocation able to conjure ammunition using magic.
- More capacity and hitpoints than Mages.
- More mana than Knights.
- Faster hitpoints regeneration than Mages.
- Faster mana regeneration than Knights.
- Faster advancement in Magic Level than Knights.
- Can learn some spells and make 3 types of runes .
- Can use more strong and heavy armor sets.
- Can only learn a few spells and make 3 types of runes.
- Less capacity than Knights.
- Less mana than Mages.
- Less hitpoints than Knights.
- Slower hitpoint regeneration than Knights.
- Slower mana regeneration than Mages.
- Slower advancement in magic level than Mages.
Sorcerers are masters of offensive and aggressive magic. They have only limited healing abilities, but can draw from a wide range of attack spells. Throughout the ages, they have focused their research on destructive magic to aid them in battle. Because of their focus on magical abilities, they are sorely lacking in physical skills, and have little physical strength with which to carry items and equipment.
- Fastest advancement in Magic Level (same as druids)
- Fastest mana regeneration (same as druids)
- Largest amount of mana (same as druids)
- Can make many different kinds of runes
- Can use strong Attack Spells
- Slowest hitpoint regeneration (same as druids)
- Smallest amount of hitpoints (same as druids)
- Slowest advancement in shielding and melee skills
- Smallest amount of capacity (same as druids)
- Cannot make Healing Runes
- No supportive healing spells
Druids are masters of healing and nature. Throughout history, they have practiced their control over nature to the benefit of all humans. They are very skilled in healing and supportive spells, and can create a wider variety of runes than any other vocation. Because of their focus on magical abilities, they are sorely lacking in physical skills, and have little physical strength with which to carry items and equipment.
- Fastest advancement in magic level (same as sorcerers)
- Fastest mana regeneration (same as sorcerers)
- Largest amount of mana (same as sorcerers)
- Can make many different kinds of runes.
- Can use all different kinds of runes.
- Can make Healing Runes
- Elder Druids have the capability of enchanting melee weapons with ice or earth powers.
- Slowest hitpoint regeneration (same as sorcerers)
- Smallest amount of hitpoints (same as sorcerers)
- Second slowest advancement in shielding and melee skills (minutely faster than sorcerer)
- Smallest amount of capacity (same as sorcerers)
- Offensive spells cost more mana than sorcerers
Players can upgrade their accounts to premium accounts, which offer the them a wide variety of new and very convenient things, the most popular being: the abilities to learn premium spells, being able to promote the character when getting to the required level, creating guilds, being able to purchase houses in the towns and cities, access to mounts, extra outfits and being able to unlock special ones, and the permission to use the boats, which can be used to visit premium-only areas.
A great amount of handy spells are premium only, but most classes can enjoy the game without most of them.
Character promotions also grant faster mana and hitpoint regeneration, as well as the ability to learn a special promotion-only spell for that vocation. Promotions also reduce the chance of losing equipment when dying, and reduce experience point loss by 30%.
A guild can only be started by a premium player, and it must have at least 4 premium vice-leaders for it not to disband, making premium players popular candidates for vice leaders of guilds.
Premium-only areas are not crowded, unlike free player areas, which makes leveling up much easier. These areas are also much cooler looking, and many new ones are still being introduced with updates.
The housing system in Tibia has been regarded as one of the few relevant and actually worthwhile housing systems in MMOs. This is due to the houses being in the actual towns and cities instead of being some loading screen away which people won't want to visit. Many towns have houses next or above shops or taverns, or near other important places, and they come in all different shapes and sizes, from small apartments to humongous mansions, usually with themes that match the city or town they are located in. Since they are in the actual towns and cities, they are obviously limited, and the purchase of one has to be done by auction. Depending on the house you buy, you might find they have unique features, whether it's a secret entrance/exit through the wild, a wheat farm, a kitchen with several ovens, next to a good fishing spot, etc, many of these being more useful than they sound because food in the game is actually of great importance. Furthermore, it is a great place to show off your items, as items may be placed anywhere, are very recognizable by the majority of players, and are displayed as exactly the item they are instead of some icon.
Tibia has no cap on levels or skills.
Tibia is updated majorly twice a year, with one of the updates always being released at Christmas time.