Not WoW. Never got into it. I’ve been playing the hell outta Star Wars: The Old Republic. I love it. But, at the same time, I kinda want to play something that’s more “past history” than “future.” I know, I know…Star Wars takes “long ago.”
Not what I meant.
Can anyone suggest a good medieval-era MMORPGs? A few things I’m specifically looking for:
I like the idea of character customization, as in choosing looks, gender, class (and advanced class, if part of the game). I didn’t like Path of Exile, as there was no way to select custom options for the character.
I’d like it to at least have a free-to-play option (not necessarily for the whole game, but to decide if I want to throw down money to subscribe)
It doesn’t have to be strictly historically accurate. I don’t mind the existence of wizards, clerics, etc.
I thought D&D Online was okay, but nothing special. I’m looking for something with a little more…pizzazz.
It might also help if you could explain a little more why you didn’t like WoW and what you do like about Star Wars. Mechanics-wise, they are pretty much the same, so knowing what you did and didn’t like may help with a better fit.
Does Age of Conan even still exist? It’s gotta be F2P now if it’s still around, right?
I played Lord of the Rings Online for some time. It was fun and if you’re a Tolkien fan you’ll enjoy walking around Middle Earth. It is Free to Play now, although a subscription will bring you some advantages. The character’s appearance can be customized. I remember that they also have a system for dyeing clothes and armor so that you can make your character look exactly the way you want.
However, LOTRO is developed by Turbine, which are the same people behind D&D Online.
Good question. If pressed, I guess the reason I prefer SWTOR to WoW is because I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan, so I was willing to cut it more leeway for its rough edges. WoW just didn’t impress me. I don’t know if it was the hype surrounding it when it first came out, but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. The only MMORPGs I’d ever played before WoW was Star Wars Galaxies and City of Heroes. Loved CoH. SWG was just okay.
Age of Conan is indeed still around. However, if “pizazz” is what you want I’d move along. it was ok when I played it a few months ago, but very grindy and didn’t really stand out from other, similar, level treadmill games.
I haven’t played Lord of the Rings Online for a few years but it was pretty good, although a little grindy. You can buy a house in one of many different locations and decorate it. I played it after it went free to play and the IAP system at that time was pretty nice. You earned premium points by finishing quests and goals and could use those to unlock new areas, but you could buy them if you were impatient or wanted something a little more expensive like a horse. There were a lot of different mounts you could buy. I think they added xp giving items to the IAP store at some point, but I don’t know what the situation on that is currently.
I’d recommend Guild Wars 2, i took a break to play other games but have been meaning to go back to it. There are random group events that you can participate in if you want, stuff like a giant monster attacking a village. The game gives you plenty to do, including rewards for exploring and tons of quests and achievements. Everything is pretty polished and it was a fun experience.
Diablo 3 probably has the pizazz but I don’t think the customization options would be robust enough for you. Also I haven’t played since pre-expansion, although some friends still do and say it’s a much better game now.
You say this like it is some reason the game is horrible and not worthy of play, but not having played either, I wonder if I’m interpreting you correctly, and if I am, why is that particular developer so bad?
I played Lord of the Rings Online before it went F2P and originally heard that it was one of the best implemented F2P programs out there. Since then, though, I’ve heard that it’d gotten progressively grindy and shuffles you into needing the cash shop. Still, you might want to give it a try.
The old grey grandmother of “modern” MMORPGs, Everquest, is free to play and, in some ways, provides the most customization options for your characters with 15 classes, a crapton of different spells & skills and around 20 equipment slots. But the character customization is very limited (like 8-10 preset heads and you can change hair color/style among a handful of presets), the graphics are dated and the game is very top-heavy in that most people are level 80+ and you’ll rarely find anyone in the umpteen dozen lower level zones. On the plus side, you can play until level 70-80ish without needing to spend a dime since none of the “premium” perks really matter until then.
Everquest 2 is also F2P with prettier graphics and more streamlined function. I haven’t played it myself so I don’t have any real opinion.
Terra is F2P MMORPG that plays more like an Action RPG. As in, instead of hitting “Attack” and popping special attacks as they come up, you are much more in control of needing to actively use your attacks, dodging, etc. The game is only viewable in 3rd person, in fact. It’s more of an RPG than something like Diablo or Torchlight but definitely feels differently than WoW and its ilk. It was fun for about 30-40ish levels for me but got grindy and the dungeons became a chokepoint since that’s where the best loot is but, unless you were playing one of two or three classes or had set friends/guild, you could wait 90 minutes for a dungeon run.
It’s been a few years since I played it, but I enjoyed it. I think it’s got the best PvP system of all the MMORPGs I’ve played. You don’t have to PvP at all, but the structure of the game is designed to get you PvP-ready quickly. It doesn’t look as fancy as WoW, as it has a darker, grittier look.
I mention it because the OP found D&D Online “okay, but nothing special”. OP could maybe find LOTRO more similar to DDO than he would like. I think it’s better that DDO, and it’s still worth a look, but you know, caveat emptor.
EQ, EQ2, and LOTRO are among the better F2P MMOs because they didn’t start out as such. The games that are initially conceived as F2P tend to be excessively grindy and focused on cash shops (such as DDO). The ones that start out pay-to-play tend to be a little more reasonable, since they try not to alienate their entire player base when they move to F2P.
DAOC is basically the same game as EQ, except with better melee abilities and better PvP.
Asheron’s Call, Ultima Online, and Runescape are all still around, but they all feel pretty dated too.
Neverwinter Online is one of the newer “free” games, but it pretty much defines “pay to win”. You can’t really progress without paying a lot of money. But it’s a fun, action-oriented take on D&D 4th Ed rules and lore.
Rift might be worth a look as well. It’s been a couple years since I played it, so I don’t know it’s current status or how it moved to F2P, but there was a lot of available variety–open world “events” in addition to the usual MMO setup of quests/dungeons/PvP.
Age of Conan is still around, yeah, though obviously it has a massively small crowd by now - I think only a couple servers are still up. While I never played it extensively (its release more or less coincided with my decision to give up on MMOs altogether to save my life) I found the mechanics interesting, notably the fact that healers are not healbots in this game. Also that unlike most other games out there, necromancers are not relegated to “one dude and his skeleton buddy” - in AoC you can have a small army of the fuckers traipsing around with you !
Which can be a blessing and curse - since they get despawned when you change zones or enter a city and you have to summon them aaaaall over again when you leave. Still, armies of death have never not been awesome.
That being said, I’m not sure I’d call it a medieval RPG - its aesthetic is more antiquity than middle age.
Wait, *that *is still around ?! That was my first MMO. Memories…
…of grinding like crazy. Back in my day, youngster, we had to WORK for our levels ! And we didn’t “ding” every other hour, either ! I played my toon more or less fulltime for 2 years since launch and was still only 38 or so (out of 50 by then) :o. Of course, I’d spent a toooon of time crafting. Because that, too, was excessively grindy. Forge them rivets ! Only 150 more to go !
Guild Wars 2 is really good, but it’s not as much of a “typical” MMO. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. It never got super addictive for me, but playing around in the world they created was more than worth the money for me, and I still log in every 2 weeks to open the new story quest things on the off chance I’ll go back to it in the future.
I really like Rift, in the more traditional MMO genre. The weakness of the game is probably the world building: there’s a lot of cool lore, but the physical world feels kind of small and generic compared to, say, Everquest. Rift has a lot of strengths, though: the class system is a ton of fun and very flexible, everything is very smooth and refined, the grouping and raiding is great if you have friends to play with, and there are systems in place that you can experience most of the content even if you don’t. Disclaimer: I haven’t played it since before they went F2P, so I don’t have a more recent evaluation, or any opinion on how well the F2P model works.
Of all the other games mentioned already, I’d say that EQ2 and LotRO are the ‘best of the rest’, and might be worth a shot.
DAOC put in some features to keep WoW from stealing their entire userbase. They put in instance zones where all you did was fight mobs your level and earn XP. If you had a level 50 main, all your alts started off at lvl 20 equipped. It became easy to pop out level 50 characters like bunnies.
DAOC attracted players from EQ because they didn’t have things everybody hated like hell levels, stranded corpses, or LOADING PLEASE WAIT zone transfers. Then along came WoW…