As I’ve nearly stopped playing SWTOR because of no content, no communications from devs, etc, I’ve started a few times ago, to make a big tour and test plenty of fantasy mmo’s available.
I’ll give you my opinion on those I’ve tested.
Dungeons & Dragons Online (aka DDO) : The game exist since 2006. Now it’s Turbine that manage it, and they keep develloping it, with regular content, events, etc.
If you don’t know DDO, it’s 8 races, 13 classes and full of dungeons in the D&D universe. 🙂
The game is f2p, containt shop and subscription available.
The graphics may look a little bit old, but in the end I’ve enjoyed testing it.
Lord of the Rings Online (aka Lotro) : The game exist since 2007 and it’s also Turbine that manage it.
Like DDO, it’s f2p, with shop and subscription available.
The game is in the Middle Earth universe. There is 4 races and several classes. (some classes can’t be played by some races).
I have several characters in the game and it’s a real big, large game. You have lots of crafting, gathering, housing, mounts, clothings with dye possibilities. Plenty of events and festival (you can make your character drunk and you’ll feel it on your screen 🙂 ).
There is thousands of quests, I think, with deeds (achievements) to kill monsters, etc, reaching the highest level of reputation with all the friendly faction available in the game. You will be able to earn Turbine Points, just playing the game, and you’ll be able to buy new quests, expansion inventory or account from the Turbine shop with those points.
Lotro is divided in 25 regions where you’ll discover plenty of pve solo and group play, instances, raid from 6 to 24 players, there is also pvp, etc …
The Elder Scrolls Online aka ESO : I’ve made my test while still in beta version, and I didn’t like. Maybe I’m too much into classical rpg style to really understand the game. I’ve heard they have worked a lot on improving the game, but as I haven’t played it since I can’t tell.
What I read is also a mix of people that likes the game and those that don’t like. The game needs to be bought + a monthly subscription, and for me this is too much. In the end even if you played and liked the Elder Scrolls games before, like me, you may be disapointed by the game as it is now. Maybe they’ll improve it with time.
(can’t post my video test at the moment)
Age of Conan Unchained : The game exist since 2008. It’s Funcom that manage it and like plenty of other games, it’s f2p now with shop and premium system. The game has also improved a lot with time.
The game takes part in the brutal universe of Hyboria while Conan is the king of Aquilonia.
There are 4 races and 12 classes. The game is solo till lvl 5. From lvl 5 to 20 you can still keep it solo or play in cooperation with other players. The game start to be a real mmorpg at lvl 20.
There is lots of content, raid of 24 players at highest level with 4 difficulty level.
The combat system is dynamic as you need to master combot system and movement in order to face your ennemies. The game includes also several pvp system.
Even if I haven’t level up my character really high, I like the game and the fact Funcom keep working on it.
Rift : Rift is managed by Trion. Rift is f2p with shops but also with a subscription system.
There is 6 races and 4 classes but with a lots of possibilities to play the role you want (tank, dps, healer, support). In the end there is 36 possibilities (32 pve and 4 pvp).
The game is recent so the graphism are nice, the game is pretty limited for f2p players compared to others. There are a lots of dungeons to play regularly while leveling, a lots of events appearing randomly in the world and rifts to close preferably in group.
There is a big issue in my opinion about the gaming system and aggro system from mobs, that is not good at all. You’ll die a lot in this game compared to others mmo. I take an example that makes me left the game actually. My character is lvl 60 (maximum when I was playing it a few months ago) and I had a mission to close a rift lvl 50. My equipement stats were close of being enough to start raiding so I thought I could do it alone and then spawn the rift. I targetted 1 mob and 3-4 come on me at same time, and I die as I had no healing possibilities. I tried that 2 more times and again died each time. The fact also that while level 60 coming close of a monster lvl 40 and being dismounted proves me that the game is not balanced at all.
So I don’t think the game is worth time playing it.
End of Part I