Reader Mail – Which MMO?

Yes, I do get reader mail once in a while.

And, on occasion, it is about something other than my incompetence or a directive on what I should be doing in a given game. (If EVE, then “join a corp, get to 0.0,” else “Join a guild and start raiding.”)

Yes, once in a while, people who claim to read the site write in and ask me for advice. They do not perhaps see what I see when I look at the site, which is a great monument to my not knowing what the heck I am doing. Asking me for advice, at least gaming advice, strikes me as something akin to the blind asking to be led by the blind.

So, I thought I would share this email and see what any passing reader might offer up as an answer.

I’ve decided to move on from WoW, as it leaves me with an empty soulless feeling having to level again and the magic just isn’t there. I was wondering if you could recommend an MMO for me. I was thinking maybe finding a leveling partner for wow, but I’m not sure i can commit to a schedule like others would ask for. I’ve tried CoH/CoV but it didn’t have the depth or phat loot pleasures I’m looking for. Basically I’m looking for casual depth and a community (because soloing WoW killed my inner child). Any ideas?

This is a tough one.

How do you reconcile time constraints with a dislike of solo play and a need for phat lootz?

EverQuest would certainly cure any soloing. EVE Online has community, but the depth is hardly casual.

I would have to start off with picking an MMO where you have friends playing, or can get friends to play. Even if time constraints are tough, buckle down and find a time when you can play together.

As for a specific game… I will open that up to reader comments. What MMO might best suit these requirements?

(Or maybe Massively has the answer.)

14 thoughts on “Reader Mail – Which MMO?

  1. jblaske

    Tough question indeed, its all up to your personal preference, but EQ2 does have a very complete solo experience, is very in-depth and can be played casually (I have been for 3 years.) The community is there if you get into a casual “family style” guild. And there’s all sorts of loot, Phat and otherwise.

    EQ2 also has a ton of content, and if you buy the current box available, you actually get all of the previous content released for it, which is a big money saver.

    If you want to play casually, I highly recommend staying away from the PVP servers, they can be quite frustrating if you just want to play casually. Many of the quest areas can be in high traffic areas, and nothing sucks more than getting trounced by a group of the opposing faction while you are working on a quest.

    Getting friends to play it may be tough though, as it seems people are automatically inclined to not like anything that says Everquest on it. If you can get your friends to try it out, at least a 2 week trial, I think you guys would find it suitable to what your looking for.


  2. Gary N. Mengle

    EQ2 and Vanguard are good thoughts. Neither has strong PvP, however, so if that’s a requirement they’re both out the window. Same deal with LotRO, but you have to buy into its vision of Middle-Earth or I think the game won’t work for you. My other thought is City of Heroes/Villains, which has a strong and dedicated community and lends itself very well to casual or even ultracasual play.

    But it’s my opinion that EVE can indeed be played casually; one of the strengths of the game is that it lends itself to whatever level of involvement the player desires. A solid corp (or more correctly, the right corp,) behind you is basically a requirement, but a player actively looking to avoid solo play should be able to find a happy corp to play with easily enough as long as they take a little bit of time to look around and talk to different corps.

    Yeah, insane levels of depth are there too, but you never need to entrench that deeply into the game. With the right corp you can have other people worry about the intricacies of the market or manufacturing or whatever and just do whatever you find fun.


  3. bluelinebasher

    Eve is a different kind of grind, with the leveling off line. I guess you can buy phat loot with the ISK gained casually over time. But I don’t think this reader is looking for anything like Eve. Sounds more like Diablo 2 to me. I think loot is much easier in DAoC now. I think you can purchase all of the trials of atlantis artifacts. Maybe hold out for their second offering in War. I’m hoping a console MMO will fit these requirements better someday. Got my eye on Too Human.


  4. Khan

    I’m a LotRO fan but I’m not sure it would fit the phat loot requirement. Similar to WoW, there is good loot to be had but it’s a lot more subdued there. The pacing in LotRO is also slower than in other games which can be frustrating to some players. The gaming community on my server, Landroval, is also quite good.

    EQ2 is a good game. Very-WoW like in many respects but different enough where it counts. Only down-side is the moderate-to-high curve. In-game help is available through NPCs but you still need to figure out / remember which NPCs they are if you have questions again. I also did my trial run on Antonia Bayle – very nice and helpful community for the most part.

    Those are the only games I feel sure in recommending. Eve seems interesting as does Star Wars Galaxies (if the emailer wants to try sci-fi instead of fantasy) but I haven’t played either and have heard good and bad about both.

    Overall, I’d say: take a look at games with free trials and try a bunch.


  5. Calthrop

    I’ve found the control points in Tabula Rasa to be rather fun in a casual group way. They are constantly either under attack or in need of being attacked so you can play for as long or as short as real life allows. The coming change from tokens to prestige will further encourage grouping up at control points by giving all members credit for all of the kills made. I’ve also accumulated some nice blue and green random drops from control points. The leveling in TR is also rather quick with a low level cap, and the ease at which these levels can be gotten. Although the cloning system, a bad case of Alt-itis, and hardware issues has prevented me from playing very much or reaching the level cap yet :P . The community is a bit bi-polar though, especially on the forums. Turning off the game-wide general chat is necessary, but the local general chat for your current zone is pretty decent though. If you are in a pick up group of people actively playing at a control point they tend to be worth talking/listening to.


  6. Gaff

    EQ2, WoW, or LoTRO are all good choices. First, by 3-4 copies of the game. Next, install on 2-3 computers all in the same room. Roll a DPS, Tank, and a healer. You are set–no need to group and in games like EQ2 you can solo phat lewt.


  7. Kevin

    Of all the items in the list, Darren’s suggestion of Guild Wars is the only one that is absolutely right. While the phat loot is a little lacking, you can work towards collecting assorted armor sets to help fill the gap. Plus, having no monthly sub makes this a pretty risk free investment.


  8. Ilya

    Considering that was my reader mail, I suppose I first need to thank everyone for their response =).
    Ive decided I will try out GW since many of you recommended it. Also EVE will be a backup, but i need to figure out how to do something other than mine when i get there, since that was all i did during my trial oh so many months ago.
    I have the original GW, so I assume i need to buy one of the expansions. Is there a bundle pack I need to look at? Or is there a specific one i need to choose? (PlayNC.come store btw)


  9. Marchosias

    Some good suggestions above. I did really like GW:Nightfall – I’d only pick up Factions if you want to play those character types – I didn’t really like the Factions story/maps. Also if you’re really looking for a Diablo Clone, try Hellgate London, fun but definitely NOT an MMO experience.

    Currently I’m getting my casual MMO fix in both EVE and LoTRO. EQ2 didn’t really light my fire, and that was with several of my friends in there. Same with DDO. You may want to do like someone suggested and do the free-trial thing or just sub for a month and see if you like it…


  10. Hudson

    Take it from someone that has tried, just stay in wow. try switching sides or something. The grass is not greener out there


  11. neohorizons

    Dark Age of Camelot. It’s been going on for years but it’s still fun and has a very active community especially in the classic servers


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