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NEXUS: The Kingdom of the Winds (Korean: 바람의 나라), alternately known as Nexus TK or simply Nexus, is a Pay to Play MMORPG, currently run in the US by Kru Interactive. Nexus began as a U.S. version of the Korean game 바람의 나라 (Baramue Nara, or simply Baram) developed by NEXON Inc. of Korea, and is loosely based on Korean mythology and on a series of graphic novels by an artist named Kim Jin. Development of Baram began in Korea in 1994 and the game was released in 1996. One year later, it also entered Beta in the United States, going commercial in 1998. In 2005, the US subsidiary of NEXON changed its name to Kru Interactive and took over running Nexus, Dark Ages, and Shattered Galaxy as an independent company. Most of the employees of the subsidiary were laid off but the management remained the same as it was when the company was a subsidiary of NEXON.
A few features that distinguish Nexus from other MMORPGs are its 2D tile graphics, intense player involvement, a central storyline, and its manhwa-like style. The highly popular game Lineage was based on a fork of the Nexus server software; its developer, Jake Song, was one of the original developers of Baram. Nexon pioneered distributed game servers in 1999 and set a record of 12,263 simultaneous users in a single world.
NexusTK is set in a land similar, geographically, to the Three Kingdoms of Korea. Other lands such as Han and Ilbon, though not present in the game itself, are often referenced. In addition to the three kingdoms, there are nine villages in which a player may live. Three exist for each kingdom, containing houses which players may rent for a fee. Homes may be customized as a player sees fit using "floor plans" offered for homes of different sizes.
Koguryo is loosely based on an historical kingdom of Korea (Goguryeo) and was the first cultural center of NexusTK. Koguryo, whose capital city is Kugnae, is home to the Chongun, Spy, Merchant, Diviner, and Monk player subpaths. Kugnae is the largest city in the Nexus. The Kingdom is ruled by King Mu-Hyool, son of the late King Yuri, and several clans reside within the Kingdom and swear loyalty to King Mhul. These include (chronologically), SunMoon Clan, Bear Clan, Enigma Clan, Oceana Clan, Destiny Clan and Tiger Clan. The Kingdom also is home to the Royal Koguryian Army and the Royal Ministry of Koguryo. The official call of the Koguryians is "Onwards, Azure Koguryo".
The Empire of Buya is loosely based upon the historical kingdom of Buyeo. In NexusTK history, it was a small village that grew into a flourishing empire. The Do, Shaman, and Muse player subpaths reside in Buya. It is ruled by Emperor SenShi and his daughter Lasahn, several clans swear their loyalty to Emperor SenShi, including (chronologically), Heavens Clan, LostKingdom Clan, Phoenix Clan, Dharma Clan, Elendhirin Clan and SanSin Clan. The Empire is also home to the Buyan Imperial Army and the Imperial Ministry of Buya.
The Kingdom of Nagnang was ruled by the late Prince Kija, who was supported by the Legion of Nagnang. But sadly he was murdered and now the Eternal Order of Nagnang are running the lands for the time being. Nagnang currently hosts no subpaths but has several clans of its own including Silla, Kurimja, Forsaken, Pegasus, and Alizarin .
The Wilderness is a broad expanse owned by no one. It is home to a large number of creatures, locations, and natural resources. The Barbarian, Geomancer, Druid and Ranger subpaths reside here.
NexusTK has a flexible character development system. There are four "basic" paths to choose from, each of which has one non-player-controlled subpath and three player-controlled subpaths. When a player reaches a certain level, he may also choose one of three alignments; Kwi-Sin, Ohaeng or Ming-ken (symbolizing death, balance or life respectively).
The four basic paths players are able to choose from each have their own styles of play. Warriors and rogues, while both are damage dealers, work in slightly different ways. For example, rogues may go invisible while warriors cannot but warriors have the ability to "overflow" their attacks to multiple monsters while rogues cannot. Mages are excellent for soloing with their ability to paralyze creatures from moving. The poet class has as its disposal the most powerful healing spells as well as buffs and debuffs to strengthen allies and weaken creatures.
Leveling up is not the only aspect of character development, however. Nexus:TKOTW has a very tight-knit social structure, and has many different social cliques. Sometimes a positive, sometimes a negative, Nexus' community has been the lifeblood of the game to many. Unlike many other MMORPGs, in NexusTK most players are known by others and are treated with a general amount of respect by the average player.
Like in nearly every MMORPG, there are different armor dyes, armor types, hair choices, hair colors, and character models to choose from. There are also many different types of weapons, some players choose to wear items that assemble a certain 'look' that defines who that character is. Others simply choose to wear functional outfits, and still others choose to display wealth by having many expensive items on.
Unlike many other RPG's, character development does not end when the level cap (level 99) is reached. Players can continue to hunt and gain experience, which can then be traded in for permanent gains in health, mana, strength (with cap), magic (with cap) and agility (with cap) capacities.
Social and political structure
Perhaps the most distinctive "feature" of NexusTK is the ability for a player to gain positions of influence in the community, including official positions such as judges, tutors, archons, carnage hosts, subpath guides, elders, ministers, clan councilors and primogens. Other positions include Pawns (now defunct) and Archons, and also Game Masters. Game Masters are official employees of KRU Interactive, while Archons are player driven. One of the most controversial things about NexusTK is the power which the Archons hold. Since the Archons are the middle man between the players and the game masters, there are known instances where the player's intended message either becomes misconstrued or not forwarded at all.
Subscriptions and payment
NexusTK is free-to-play up until level 49. At this point, if a player wants to continue playing, they will need to create an account and register their character with Kru Interactive.
Kru Interactive allows for four different subscription options: credit card, Paypal, check, or money order. Players can opt for a monthly subscription, either single or recurring. Subscribers can also purchase "Kruna" which is Kru Interactive's item-mall currency for customizing a players avatar or for purchasing other items.