I originally started this blog because of my love for MMOs. Back then, I’d been impatiently waiting for Guild Wars 2 to come out and spent my time playing Rift instead. This year, I have still been playing MMOs, but other games kept me occupied and entertained more, to be honest. Still, as I said, I have been playing these games, so of course, there’s going to be a list for them.
Top MMOs 2019
3. Elder Scrolls Online
I let my subscription lapse in ESO which means that my inventory bags are always full as I don’t have a crafting bag anymore. This is super annoying and I hate feeling like I “need” the subscription to enjoy the game. Also, without a sub, you need to buy the DLCs if you want to access their content which basically means there’s quite a sum of money attached – either via buying DLCs or paying a subscription – in order to enjoy the full game. However, there is so much content available for free and I’m doing better than I thought ignoring the crafting materials outside. So I wouldn’t say the sub (rather, the crafting bag) is required. It is just a very very convenient thing to have. Still, ESO is in my list of top MMOs, so it’s got to do something right for me. I love the way the world looks and I love how immersive it is for me. I usually like going to a quest hub, picking up quests, then just leave the quest hub and return an hour later with x quests done. Here in ESO, I follow one quest chain at a time. It’s actually difficult to do it otherwise most of the time. But it means that I know what’s going on and it seems to matter why I’m asked to do something. It never feels like the usual “kill ten rats”. I like that once in a while. It also topped Guild Wars 2 for me, because while both have action-focused combat, I can follow it very clearly in ESO. If I die, I know exactly at which point I made which mistake or which attack the enemy did that I didn’t block in time or run out of.
2. LotRO (Legendary Server)
LotRO’s legendary server is nothing like a classic server. It is just a progression server that started out with a limited maximum level. It quickly let us enter Moria, then Mirkwood and now we’re in the expansion that followed after it, Rise of Isengard – or at least, I think so. To be honest, I haven’t been playing much LotRO lately. But after so many years of not playing it, the legendary server made me want to come back and experience LotRO again, even without the classic experience. I still really dislike the way they changed the talent trees. Actually, they turned them into talent trees, but I still prefer the original setting. I had a very happy and powerful hybrid warden that I can’t play anymore now. I thought levelling a guardian, which is also a tank, would be a good substitute. But even though she reached Mirkwood, she’s just not fun to play. So, it basically was a mistake. And as much as I like playing LotRO, this is the one MMO where I really don’t like levelling alts. You just run through the exact regions again, do exactly the same quests. Syp also has a nice post about progressing through LotRO with alts.
And yet, LotRO takes the no. 2 spot on my list this year! Sad, isn’t it? Well, I like LotRO despite its flaws and I still think it did a great job with the initial zones and quests. I originally quit at some point after Rise of Isengard… I think. So I can’t say much about the content afterwards. And since I don’t like the guardian, I need to make a choice… do I play a Runekeeper instead or just give up with the legendary server? My main server doesn’t look much better, though. There is my abandoned warden which I don’t like anymore after the changes (and with the combat system they have which would require me to relearn and rememorize all the gambit combinations) and my runekeeper which at least safely finished Moria. I greatly dislike this zone, so I try to avoid it if I can. The thing I love LotRO and why I like returning is the slow pace of everything. It feels like the comfortable couch in the evening that you sit on while munching on some potatoe chips watching an irrelevant romantic comedy before you doze off… if that comparison makes sense. Apart from that, it has the least amount of trolls and unfriendly players.
1. WoW Classic
And who would have thought that the classic WoW game version would be my number 1 spot in 2019? When they announced the classic version, I knew I would take a look. But I didn’t think I would want to stay there. I bought a 6 months subscription because I was certain I’d be invested into the game for that long. I am not 100 % sure yet if I’m going to extend my subscription after that, but I am still very much enjoying the game. So why not? I’m playing it very differently now. For one, I am on a PvE server and actually experience some quests for the first time. Back then, on a PvP server with my Horde characters, I used to just grind mobs near my quest hubs and went into dungeons with friends. Now, with my hand issue, I don’t do many dungeons with my warlock. I can get away with playing a healer, because I don’t need to hastily try and target the correct mob to seduce or kill or banish. And with the use of macros, healing could be much less of a strain on my hand. My goal is to get my shaman into Alterac, maybe Arathi once it launches. As long as a battleground doesn’t last long, my hand is fine. So Arathi should be doable. Other than that, I just like levelling alts in WoW. I have always loved doing that. There aren’t many MMOs where I enjoy levelling so many classes. Actually, only Warhammer Online comes to mind.
Quite fitting, an honorable mention goes to Warhammer Online – yes, I know it went down years ago. But there is a private server run by very dedicated people (Return of Reckoning) and I’ve had a lot of nostalgic fun running through Tier 1 again. One day, I may even make it into the Tier 2 zones (they extended the max level cap before you become a chicken in Tier 1, so you can stay there longer).
I think it’s actually quite sad that three out of the four MMOs mentioned here are this old already. Where is the fresh blood? Something that gives me and others a world to explore but that doesn’t focus or require PvP for those of us who just want to relax and lean back in the evening after battling through real life with whatever issues came up in the job? Ideally, an MMO with housing, of course. I guess we’ll see what 2020 will bring for MMO lovers.