We all have those go to MMO’s for various reasons. They could be engaging, community driven, high replay value, Or a fun hack n’ slash. We all have our different reasons and my reasons are just as unique. The three that I will cover are the three that either introduced me to MMO’s, made me respect how story driven MMO’s can be, or have been MMO’s that have been long standing in my library. Some, you may have heard of; others you may have heard but possibly not played. So, let get this list started with the MMO that got me into the wild world that is MMO’s.
Runescape (2007 and Older Runescape): If you were my age and in middle-school, the one MMO everyone talked about was the amazing game that was RuneScape. To clarify I am discussing the 2007 and Older versions, not the newer versions. RuneScape was a free to play MMO that had an optional membership service. This game was just amazing, for the time. It allowed you to play as male or female and to pick a weapon and armor set and go with it. While being a young kid and not knowing much about quests, the content alone was enough to get me interested and was enough to keep me going around the map, leveling up to make better gear and to be able to play the games unique PvP structure. Eventually I went sub and started playing with some of the exclusive membership crafting abilities and areas. While my memories of the game really stretch to just my time spent messing around and trolling, RuneScape got me interested in the format that was the MMO. Just being able to hop on and quest with friends, fool around the map, craft gear, would become a life long interest and obsession as I would go into other MMO’s looking for the same, if not better crafting system. While I hear that newer versions are just as good and sort of developing back to the original roots, I still miss the charm of the original system. If you ever heard of a Drop Party, then you may want to look it up on the RuneScape wiki. Lots of fun to be had.
Star Wars- The Old Republic: While a more newer MMO and one that got a fair bit of bad rep when it first went free to play, SWTOR was the first MMO I played that had story front and center and had fully voiced characters throughout the game. It introduced Bioware’s known brand to the multiplayer dome and also was one of the first big MMO’s that began moving towards the free to play movement that has been sweeping MMO’s recently. What I like about SWTOR wasn’t anything to do with it’s membership format but the crafting. Being able to send your companions out on collection missions and be able to gather normally was something that made crafting so much easier. The crafting gear options were rounded well enough and had a lot of flavor and customization tied to them. You could truly have equipment that was personally unique to you. Being able to also have companions like you could in KOTOR, was another loved feature for players wanting to still have a solo experience. The Guild system in this was another perk I enjoyed and it was the first game that I managed to actively run a guild in, several times, and to engage with players on a basis that I never had before hand.
Guild Wars 2: Going more new, Guild wars 2 continues a loving relationship that I shared with the first installment of the series and a love for how the pay once and own the MMO system has worked. The amount of classes you can choose from is fantastic and with its first expansion on the way, the game will become even bigger than it already is. Taking the existing format for MMO’s and turning it into something uniquely Guild Wars, is something that the developers have managed to do. Introducing concepts like Dynamic Events, where everyone can benefit and take from, to scaling players levels for areas to allow for still challenging engagement and to allow for newer players to develop in the game with out having to worry about griefing. Now, every MMO has its falling but what matters is how it plays and how well it leaves a lasting memory. Guild Wars 2 expands on everything that the first one was and more. It has only been a a few short weeks that I have played this latest entry into the Guild Wars name but, it has been one that has been fun and very engaging. It saddens me to see micro-transactions in the game but without a subscription to hold players down, it does allow for in game spending that gives some players a bit more enjoyment from the game, though that is another article for another time.
So what where some of the MMO’s that got you into the genre? Where some of the games listed above games you played as well or perhaps you had gotten on-board another large MMO and found a lasting enjoyment there as well. Feel free to comment below!