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But, lately I've been into Dragon Oath as well.
I don't like pokemon and I'm not a fan of anime/manga, but the game mechanics make it an extremely interesting game. I am not forced to grind if I don't feel like it, which is great! Plus, there are no classes - you just have to dispense points thoughtfully. With enough time though, you can start to put points in silly places. Being the noob I am, I just stuck them all where I thought it would be fun instead of smart, and I'm still enjoying the game.
I do not see any mention of MUD's here but they preceded MMORPG's for years. There in that genre I play a game called DragonRealms (playing on and off for 13 yrs), it is an intensely dynamic game, completely open ended and filled with complex creatures, players and game dynamics. This game is almost completely text driven, you do not really get to see the world, you must read descriptions and imagine it. It is like reading a novel you get to be a part of, which I adore, being an avid reader.
There is a heavily encouraged but not strictly enforced role playing aspect to this game, and highly developed character involved role play you can choose to engage in with other players, or not. Player characters can participate in organizations, orders and structured events and functions (parties, balls, hunts, battles, skirmishes, wars, etc) even to the extent that characters can marry, adopt children, own homes and horses. It can be a very immersing environment, many who try it find they love to return to DR again and again, even if they did begin in MMORPG's.
I have not yet found an MMORPG that satisfies that for me. WOW and EVERQUEST came close to my understanding, but I never had a taste/interest for either one.
The first MMORPG I started playing this year is a game called Atlantica (you can find by searching for AtlanticaOnline.com). This is a very structured game in character development process, but it is incredibly dynamic in other ways. This game portrays group battle dynamics in that your character hires a mob of mercenaries and you battle together. The combination potential for mercenary hire is the open ended factor in this game, and is almost endless. The other thing about this game that is interesting is the global interaction in the player base. You have the opportunity to engage with other players from all over the world. Multi-lingual people adore that about this game.
You test yourself against the game as your character progresses, and Player vs Player combat is also encouraged and accepted. There is a structured environment just for that, there is no in game penalty for PVP, in that your character is not punished for engaging and there is no NEED to engage in PVP if you do not wish it. There are wonderful mechanics for exploring battle options in playing other players in strict arena environs, as well as a combined tactical battle application, where you and other players combine your mobs and perform quest completions.
The second MMORPG I have tried and am currently playing is a game called 9 Dragons, it is an interesting game based on Kung Fu, and is actually extremely accurate in its movement and training portrayals. If you have any love of old Asian flavored martial arts films, or even newer ones, this game very accurately portrays clan alliances and wars, ancient Chinese history as well as martial art styles and methods. There is creative license taken with some things of course, but it is fun to engage in the period and see the care they have given to details.
The third MMORPG I have tried is one called Runes of Magic. I have just begun exploring that world, but it looks as if it reflects the MUD game DragonRealms system wise. So far it is interesting. I am awkward at games like these, so it takes me a while to get to feeling comfortable in the positions of either first person or over the shoulder perspectives. This game is promising though, they allow you to be expressive with your character and they allow inter game dynamics such as character weddings and home ownership.
These MMORPG's I've listed are all free games, though they do have pay site/item malls if you wish to sink money into the games perks and bonuses, but all of these games can easily be played for the cost of nothing, without the characters suffering because of the lack of special gear. DragonRealms, the MUD game I described is on a monthly paid subscription, but the cost is fair and they do offer free 30 day trials to let people find out about (and fall in love with) the realm.
If interested in any of the games I mentioned here, message me for more details if you have any questions.
Most of the time I play Battle for Middle Earth 2. Also sometimes I play with the Settler2 and the Settler tenth anniversary edition.
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