I’m a sucker for a good MMO. There’s something about the combination of questing, loot dropping, leveling up, and hanging with friends that just hits me in the right spot. The question is with new MMOs springing up every day how do you choose the MMO that’s right for you? Let’s face it trying to play one MMO without sending your life into a tailspin is hard enough, I can’t imagine trying to juggle two virtual lives. So we have to pick one, but how?
Well you could just go with the behemoth, World of Warcraft. Odds are you know at least two people who play it, or you used to play it, and there is a level 60 Undead Warlock waiting for you on the server you used to play on before life came calling. It’s the biggest, and it’s the best. There’s a good chance that no MMO will ever top the subscriber count of World of Warcraft, definitely not one that is charging a monthly fee to play. The problem here is that World of Warcraft is the safe choice, everyone has played it, and everyone knows that experience. What about something licensed?
There are plenty of MMOs out there based on licensed properties. Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, and The Lord of the Rings Online, those are just the popular ones. Not to mention the ton that are under development. Some based on movies, some based on comic books, licensed MMOs will never go away. Choosing a licensed MMO is easy, if you’re into the license. If you have no interest in helping get the ring to Mordor or defending the Empire from a tidal wave of Orks, then these MMOs probably aren’t for you. To top it off most of the licensed games I mentioned all fall under the sword and shield variety. What about something different?
Well sure if you like Sci-Fi, you can play EVE Online or Anarchy Online. Honestly though, Sci-Fi MMOs are few and far between. Most of the ones that do exist are again, based on licensed properties. Star Wars Galaxies, and the forthcoming Star Trek Online while Sci-Fi require that you be a fan of one the properties to get the maximum enjoyment out of them. So what about Anarchy Online, well the community is small, but it’s rabid, so you might have some luck there. Meanwhile, EVE Online will scratch your Sci-Fi itch, but I hope you like micro-managing into the wee hours of the morning. The game features an actual banking system, run by actual people, are you sure you’re ready to tackle a space economy? Speaking of economies, ours isn’t doing so hot right now, so odds are the biggest hurdle to playing one of these MMOs is the monthly fee. Well, some games have you covered, some are free to play.
There are the Korean style freemium MMOs like Sony’s Free Realms or Nexon’s Maple Story which can be played for free, but if you want any kind of upgrades you have to spend real money on in game points to buy in game items. Some games like Dungeons and Dragons online and Guild Wars offer close to the full MMO experience for free, but unlocking new lands or classes are what cost you money. These free games are great and may scratch your MMO itch, but they definitely don’t offer the same kind of depth as their monthly fee charging brethren.
So Rockford (or anyone reading this) I ask you. Do you play an MMO? Which one? Why did you choose it? Leave your answers in the comments or send me an email and I’ll compile the answers for the entire world to see!
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