After Hours

In search of a new MMORPG home

Nicole Bremer Nash says she's done playing World of Warcraft. Geekend readers, what MMORPGs do you recommend she try on her new PC?

By the time Wrath of the Lich King came out, I was pretty finished with World of Warcraft. I realize that there were still many aspects of the game that I hadn't yet enjoyed, but playing the game was beginning to feel a lot like work. I had to play Player vs. Player so often in order to get gear good enough to go on the big dungeon raids. I had to sign up in advance for said raids, and if something happened and I couldn't go, a replacement had to be found. I stopped enjoying the game, so I stopped playing.

My computer had also gotten old, and by the time Lich King was released, my old system couldn't really handle WoW anymore. But now I have a new computer and a new interest in MMORPGs. Thing is, I'm still feeling finished with WoW; I need a new MMORPG to dig into, and I would like some input.

Here are a few MMORPGs that I'm considering. This list is by no means complete, so please bring any other great MMORPGs to my attention. The downside to some of these options is that they aren't out yet, but that's okay -- I think I can be patient.

  • Some of my friends claim that Aion is the way to go. The world does look well developed. The promotional materials indicate that the world of Aion experiences weather changes that actually affect gameplay. If that's true, then maybe Aion really does offer something that WoW doesn't.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic is set to launch this year and is currently in beta testing. The world promises to be expansive, and LucasArts usually delivers on the idea of go big or go home. That said, I just don't know that space exploration is really going to hold my interest.
  • Final Fantasy XIV is also set to come out this year. I can't tell yet if this game will succeed in breathing new life into an aging franchise. The graphics look promising, but the story seems a little weak. Currently, there are only three city-states, but the game does allow you to select from five races. More importantly, some of the creatures listed in the Bestiary are distinctly different from anything I ever saw in WoW.
  • The world of Age of Conan doesn't interest me much, but the new gameplay does. Apparently the player has to actually control the weapons during battle. The game now features a notoriety system so that player vs. player activity is recorded, and you earn a reputation for it. Also, this game seems serious about for mature audiences only. The downside is Age of Conan is over a year old, and I haven't heard much about it.

I hate to spend money on a game that I end up not enjoying, so please share what you know about current and upcoming MMORPGs with me -- tell which MMORPG games you like or dislike and why. I need to pack up my sword and move on from WoW. Go ahead and try to sway my opinion; I'll likely take your advice.

About

Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conduct...

110 comments
cmhatte
cmhatte

Star Trek Online looks promising

AmarieAncalimon
AmarieAncalimon

While there are always the newer games, sometimes there is gold to be found in the older games out there. There isn't much in the way of PvP in this game, instead you have a wonderful community of people who work together to accomplish things. Of course if you are the sort who also enjoys playing solo, this style of game play is supported in the system. When you start a character you have the options to play free forever as a human, or to make a trial account (14 days) to play around with the more exotic races, such as tiny little dryads (faeries), saris (catfolk), sslik (lizardmen), satyrs and best of all, it is the only game out there that allows you to play as a dragon. Playing as a bipedal race and as a dragon are different experiences as well, dragons have their own little system of classes (one combat class, two craft classes). Bipeds have an impressive array of classes, allowing you to play as you wish and switch whenever you like both for combat and craft. Speaking of crafting, the craft system is impressive. Most items used by players are made by other players. In addition to this, if you decide to create a subscription to the game, you can purchase a plot of land or a dragon lair in a community and build your own house as you please on your land. You can find the game's website here: http://www.istaria.com/

zayasj1
zayasj1

Guild Wars. It is both cooperative and group oriented so you can play alone or with friends. It's got PvP, PvE, GvG (Guild vs Guild) and also has AvA (Alliance vs Alliance). The world is huge, it has adjustable modes for style of play and did I mention it's free to play online (you only have to buy the game).

dbrez
dbrez

Guild Wars (when you have all the expansions), some say it is not a true MMO but there are no monthly fees and great game play. Also, if you're tired of Retail WOW, try a free server, like Neverendless. Almost all of the Retail scripts but way less grind for leveling, money making, etc. Join a Guild, like Hell's Entertainment. You'll get your spark back again. Oh, did I mention it's FREE.

pcassistance_org
pcassistance_org

Star Wars: Galaxies, or SWG, was a a great MMORPG in its day, but was ruined thereafter by upgrades and changes to the game system. Star Wars: Glaxies Emulator, or SWGEmu, is a team dedicated to reviving the only SWG, referred to as Pre-CU (pre combat upgrade). If you're into Star Wars, SWGEmu is a great thing to check out. Currently, it's still in the Alpha stage, but there is a playable Test Center and a soon to be released actual server, called Sun Crusher. Check it out at http://swgemu.com. SWGEmu is a non-profit, open-source community project. Regards, Tow'lin Tow (from SWGEmu)

jtruebe
jtruebe

I think the pre-CU SWG was the single best MMORPG of all time. It topped WoW and the other pretenders easily. EDIT: Holy cow this was an old post, haha! I didn't even notice that.

The Flaming Maiden
The Flaming Maiden

I do love open source community projects... But I have to report that I have been reading through the comments and investigating all the wonderful recommendations that you've all made and I'm leaning toward going back to WoW. I do miss my awesome guild (Technologia)! ... Right after I complete Dragon Age. ;)

tim
tim

Evequest

CuMorrigu
CuMorrigu

Guild wars isn't bad an they are getting ready to come out with GW2. You could also take a look @ DnD online. Both of these are free to play and even the client is free on DnD, this way you don't have to feel too bad if you can't play for some time Sion is supposed to have grat graphics but is really geared towards PvP and levling takes TONS of grinding. So if that's your thing, go for it

Pauldm2010
Pauldm2010

I would recommend DDO - Dungeon and Dragons Online, this is available as a free to play client on the American servers or by subscription on the European servers. it knocks the pants off WOW graphically. Try it at www.ddo.com or www.ddo-Europe.com. I have been playing this since beta (4ish years), and lead one of the major guilds on the European server 'keeper'. I didn't get past the starter island on WOW and wasn't impressed.

ktw.zd.net
ktw.zd.net

Reppelz is kinda nice for a free game, good graphics and interaction.

X405
X405

Well there are a lot of MMO's out there pretty cool... and for free.... for example Shaiya from Aeria games has a cool graphic display. Zomg! from gaiaonline is a MMO based on anime type of characters that allows a lot of changes on how the character looks, offers as well a lot of options since the MMO was created until 2008 (the site has been up since 2003/2004) and still on beta phase. Actually thousands of players are wating for the 2nd part, is still consider the 3rd best free MMO online.

X405
X405

This is also a great MMO on a horror setting - is kinda steampunk meets the LOTR with the enemies from silent hill and resident evil... very cool indeed and has pvp as well!

Threv
Threv

Out of all the Games Eve Online is the only one that runs on a single shard. All of the inhabitants can interact with each other in a myriad of ways. The Economy and Crafting are second to none and a whole game in itself. However it is a Sandbox Game. You have to make the decision of whether you like "the SandBox vs the Amusement Park." Most Games like WoW KotoR, and many others are the Amusement park variety where you get to see a lot of pretty sights and stories created by the Devs and be entertained but if things go South Its OK the penalities arent too harsh. There is nothing wrong with this of course but it is what the majority have to offer it seems. However in a Sandbox like Eve, the Best Content/drama/action is Player made. true there is PvE but it is nothing to Write home about and not having a "Body can feel off at first. But the Liberation from rigid classes, ability to change your base stats twice a year, freedom to go anywhere and do almost anything from Explore, to Craft, mine, Kill, is worth it. Eve's biggest strengh is its players and the quicker you join a player corp the better off you will be. True there is a lot of Verbal Ass-hattery in local chats but eventually you will hook up with some like minded folks. (or get some together yourself).

jloudermilk
jloudermilk

Been playing for years and I'll keep playing as long as it's around. Great depth, story lines are amazing and PvP is incredible. It's dated in looks and abilities, sure, but to myself and many others, it's ideal.

mrbobyu
mrbobyu

Atlantica Online is one of the few free online game that offer very good support. It offer many updates and new features regularly. It is a turn base MMORP so it is more a relax game than others. The people who played this game are usually 18+ so it has quite of maturity. Give it a try. http://atlanticaonline.com/ Bob

snyper82
snyper82

Personally I've been entertaining myself with the free to play MMOs for a while now. I try to keep a few going at a time and I don't get burned out. Most of them also work well with the "I work so I can't play 24/7" crowd.

Mabrick
Mabrick

First, my "credentials": Ultima Online, Everquest, Asheron's Call, Above and Beyond, DAOC, Star Wars, WoW, LotRO, EVE Online. I may have forgotten one or two. Of all these games only EVE has enough depth to keep my brain engaged for more than 18 months. It is not the game but the people. This is NOT a kid's game. My teenager tried it and thought it was boring. To him it was just game mechanics and they are, frankly, ho-hum. But so is merely existing. What matters is what you do with your existence. HOW you aproach EVE is what makes EVE fun. It is honestly the first truly social MMORPG IMO. I meet people all the time. Some want to destroy and loot my ship. Some just want to cooperatively mine for a night to the benefit of both of us. Some want to contract me to build things they cannot. Some want my help to extract revenge on a pirate that had done them wrong. Some just want to chat... oddly enough. That is what makes EVE strong. I don't have to go to an external web page (bit they do exist) to interact with others in a real person-to-person fashion. We can plan and scheme right there in game. We can act on those plans. We can see the success or failure of those plans, in real time, as we play. That is exciting. But that is only tactics. There is also strategy. Did you hear the story of the corporate mole who worked up to an incredibly high position in a rival corporation and then devastated them from within? Not only money was lost (billions of ISK) but if memory serves a Titan nearing final construction was also sabotaged (more billions with a B.) IT TOOK A YEAR OF EFFORT TO PULL IT OFF. I am still in awe of that exploit. Dungeon raids may be fun but they can't bring the level of satisfaction a successful spy operation a year in the making can. That's the stuff of Cold War legend right there. Have you ever contemplated doing something in a game like that which would take a year to pull off? I have been playing EVE for 22 months now. I have not learned even half of what I can learn. I still suck at combat. I concentrated on making a living in game. There is so much more that I want to do in the game. I'll be another 2 years playing just to fulfill my current goals. There are no shortcuts. It IS hard. But that is what makes it rewarding. If you give it a try be forewarned, you have to stick with it longer than 15 days. This is not hack-and-slash. It takes intelligence and planning and most of all perseverance. If you are a twitch-jock then try something else. If you like a challenge, try EVE.

coleii.phillip
coleii.phillip

Single player games are also interesting. You play out the novel and you can also redo events and change the story. Bioware seems to have a head start in this I see a future of this "Interactive novel" and MMORPG merging into a new genre of games..

prlc
prlc

I played Wow for over 3 years - Guild leader for 2 of them. The game changed - the guild wanted to follow.. I didn't change. I enjoyed helping, sharing, crafting, questing... ALL there is now is RAIDING - I turned my guild over to those wanting to raid. Game not fun anymore - so I found another. I have been playing Atlantica Online the past 3-4 months and LOVE it.

edwardwstanley
edwardwstanley

I've muded, wowed, cohed... .. my latest one is a bit old school... .. the graphics are the best, plot unknown, and has no subscription fees.

rbarr7
rbarr7

My Personal Picks: EverQuest but it will turn into that work feeling to after a bit (but what MMORPG won't if it's like EQ, EQ II and WOW). My Second choice (not out yet) is APB (All Points Bulletin). APB is like Gran Theft Auto but online. You and anyone else that reads my reply can check out APB at apb.com

landen99
landen99

Though you may not be interested in space exploration, Eve Online brings a spaceship-based MMORPG which offers a wealth of opportunities in strategy, commerce, research, fleet combat, and of course space exploration. PVP is as good as NPC combat, the graphics are stunning, the ships are unique, complex, and specialized, and your training and world continues with or without you. Expect a big learning-curve which maintains interest indefinitely, and many people willing to help you and to scam you, so find a good corp. Expect $15 per month unless you can make enough ISK in-game to buy a month's subscription (about 250 million ISK) vs ships or modules. I highly recommend this one. Evony is an interesting city-based conquest game with very simple rules. The sheer volume of resources and population in the game may confound you, but the mechanics and strategy is definitely interesting. This when is free, unless your impatience in waiting for building, technology, and special items gets the best of you. I have only heard about Star Trek Online, but it seems to be in beta testing at the moment.

ragnar21583
ragnar21583

Consider Global Agenda. It is in open beta right now and launches Feb 1st. It mixes FPS with RPG, and since you mentioned your PvP experience, this may be the change of pace you are looking for. It has me and many others hooked.

normmetz
normmetz

How about W O R K.....sorry.

botto
botto

Guild Wars is tops because it now has something for everyone. With the addition of Eye of the North, you can play many different games in one. I've been playing for 3 years and love it.

Zahra B.
Zahra B.

I was wondering when somebody would plug in GW. It has the advantages of being free-to-play, having a limited (rather low) level cap, no compulsion to grind to get "max" gear, fully henchable if you are a loner, having still a rather active community (and some quests were recently added to revitalize less popular outposts). The official wiki is well developed but quests are doable without it, as the quests are clearly marked on the world and mission maps. If you hate PvE, you can jump into PvP with a max toon as soon as you get the game. If you hate PvP, you don't have to PvP a single time to finish the storylines. If you like both, you can bring your PvE toon into PvP or develop both interests in parallel.

computer newb
computer newb

I added a few extra's with my post but you covered what I didn't.

edward.clower
edward.clower

Have you looked at Dungeons and Dragons Online? You can do microtransactions or a subscription for full access to everything, but there is enough free play available to get a feel for it.

jrusch
jrusch

Lord of the Rings online is one of the most polished mmorphs around. It's steeped in the lore, has a great storyline, pretty good game mechanics and probably the best player community extant. New players should connect to the Vilya world.

soatone
soatone

Ah, Lord of The Rings Online, the game that introduced me to MMO's. Now, EQ and WoW had been going strong for years before the release of LoTRO, I just never had any interest in them. But, the thought of exploring Bree, Wheathertop, and all the rest was too much for me, so I had to give it a try. I have been playing since release (my disk came too late to get into the beta) and I liked it so much that I am now a lifetime member. The game mechanics are top notch and I have to agree that the game hosts one of the best player communities. Also, I think the graphics are some of the best of any MMO I have seen and Turbine has been really good with the release of new content. The trait system can feel like an endless grind, where you have to kill a certain number of monsters in the field to earn new titles and traits, but if you can find a Kinship that will help you with this it will go pretty quickly. If you have any interest in the Lord of The Rings books this is a must try.

mjstelly
mjstelly

I love lotro! I played since its Open Beta, have a lifetime subscription and maxed my main characters religiously. Then the bottom dropped out. My game rig, err I mean, my loaner system from work was summarily repossessed along with my job, and my cell phone. That tends to happen when one gets laid off. The Windows laptop I have just doesn't "cut the mustard". It struggles to cough out 10 frames per second with all settings reduced to "stick figure" mode. My 11-year old can draw faster than that. :D So, if you have the gear, then grab a beer and head over to Bree. Otherwise, you'd have more fun with watercolors and a sketchpad.

NthDegree
NthDegree

If it's anything close to what they are planning, it looks like it's going to be a hit. When it comes out of course.

Mad Mole
Mad Mole

As I understand it the Star Trek lot are currently running an Open Beta prior to full release on the 2nd Feb. Now would be a great time to test out the ideas and concepts they are putting forward even if it's not quite the finished article.

RonKoch
RonKoch

EVE is the only MMORPG that has ever kept my interest. There is no storyline that you are forced to follow, there are no levels, and you can change your profession at any time. We all play in the same sandbox, a single server for ALL players. The economy is player driven, the laws of supply and demand are in effect. Players build everything available on the market. The back stories are fantastic, Eve is a Universe rich in history. If you are interested in giving EVE a try and would like a leg-up on the average noob, contact me in game while on your free two week trial. I am MayorRon. Tell me TR sent you. Eve - 2009 MMORPG of the Year!

daveopedia
daveopedia

Ferentus was quite good, pvp was excellent for its time.

kd4jfd
kd4jfd

Try Adventure Quest. The main website is www.battleon.com. They have several online games as well. The graphics are a little cheesy, and the game speed can be slow, but overall it's a good game. The best part is that it's FREE. The catch is that you have to pay if you want any of the 'extras' - best weapons/armor, etc., but the game is still very playable without them.

tim.clarke
tim.clarke

Runescape for me still after all these years. Good content and good community.

NexS
NexS

I have to say Final Fantasy... I'm a long time FF freak and will continue to do so.. I played FFXI and really enjoyed it... I did stop, but that was due to money issues and lack of time to play, so the value just wasn't there. But FFXIV looks to be an upgrade on everything XI offered... so I'm really looking forward to it. For the billions of WoWers out there, I'm sorry, but i'll never join you in the ranks of the dead! I'm FFer through and through!

mmatchen
mmatchen

Try the upcoming DC Universe Online! http://pc.ign.com/objects/754/754948.html

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

What good is a game where you go to their site, and you learn absolutely nothing worthwhile? By everything I could read, DCU isn't a game, it's an 'interactive movie.' I couldn't even find out what platforms it ran on, other than the PS2. Ok, so I know it's supposed to be a superhero game. What powers are available? What races? what body types? Does it touch on all the locales seen or used in the DC comics and/or animation/movies? Even WoW gives you more to go on.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

TR member Jaqui recommended Evony recently: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=322146 http://www.evony.com/index.do I don't know what an 'RTS' is or if it fits what you're looking for; I'm not a gamer. Feel free to ignore this suggestion and belittle me at your leisure for the amusement of all.

Stalemate
Stalemate

I'm keeping the hell away from this one. http://www.bruceongames.com/2009/09/...mineand-evony/ Rumors abound of MSN hijacking and credit card weirdness - not to mention gold farming. NB - It's switched names for the third time now: "Kingory" is apparently another version. Progression so far, so to speak, of their ads: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=367792 (the 2nd to last one was later modified to remove the bra line). There has been trouble with this game taking code from other sources and re-using it, such as Civ4 and Age of Empires. There is also a lawsuit they lost to MS recently involving some complicated fraud scheme: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/bu...adco.html?_r=1 Since there are numbers floating around of 300-500K US$ / day in profits made from selling gold, expect them to be around a while longer still. (repost of my own words from another forum)

Nomad10345
Nomad10345

Alas I cannot belittle you for Evony or anyone else that plays it. I myself have not and I laugh at my girlfriend when she does. I have played WoW (Off and on since launch), Aion, Eve, and the not really worth mentioning Star Wars Galaxies (I LOVE Star Wars but still couldnt get more than a few levels in that before I had to stop). I'm dieing for SWTOR to hurry up and get out and until then studying and playing on my 360 (Mass Effect 2!!!). As for my girlfriend, she currently is playing Aion, WoW and Evony. Evony is apparently completely web based so not much of a hardware requirement there. I think I missed one so if I did I'll repost it when I figure it out someday.