MMPORGs for Beginners
June 24, 2004 12:18 PM   Subscribe

What's a good MMORPG to get started with? I don't want to pay a monthly fee, and I want something that is beginner-friendly. Star Wars Galaxies seemed like the way to go, but I won't be playing it enough to pay a monthly fee on top of the purchase price.
posted by quibx to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't want to pay a monthly fee

This is your main limiting factor right there. Your best bet is to search for open betas, which are free.

Also, Star Wars Galaxies is a horrible piece of crap. Avoid.
posted by falconred at 12:31 PM on June 24, 2004

I don't want to pay a monthly fee

yea, go with betas. i'm not aware of any mmorpg that's don't have a monthly fee (except there is one where you pay cash for armor and equipment, and then - through your travels - you can actually raise real cash and receive checks in the mail. supposely, you can make money off of it but, to be serious, you're going to waste a crap load of money on it).

and yes, swg is a horrible. i just sold my used copy to a person in australia. hopefully, they'll enjoy it.

but if you don't mind paying, city of heroes is great
posted by Stynxno at 12:36 PM on June 24, 2004

Are you committed to the RPG part of the MMORPG? If not, if you're more interested in crafting stuff and meeting people on-line, may I recommend Second Life. That's a referal link for me, if you don't like me you can just use

There's a free trial, then a $10 one time fee to join. That gets you on line and in to events and stuff forever. If you like it and actually want to maintain a presence and own stuff, then there are tiered monthly fees.

I find SL to be a game for creators. It's about building and creativity and socalizing. There's no stats or levels or anything.
posted by Capn at 12:57 PM on June 24, 2004

I've just picked up Neverwinter Nights and find it interesting. While there are opportunities to join persistent worlds (game servers that are always "on") wherein one can meet people and interact with others, it's not a MMORPG in the same sense as Second Life. There aren't any monthly fees either.

It's certainly a great RPG in its own right too. I've been tinkering with it the last few days and find it enjoyable.
posted by aladfar at 1:17 PM on June 24, 2004

How about starcraft or diablo on Not cutting edge, but fun and free (no on-line charges).
posted by milovoo at 1:20 PM on June 24, 2004

Have a sense of humor? You need Kingdom of Loathing.
posted by majick at 1:25 PM on June 24, 2004

Just to let you know where I'm coming from , I've got several friends who are real MMORPG freaks, and I've spent more time than I want to think about watching individuals play EverQuest. For the life of me I can't figure out why anyone would want to play that damn game for more than 20 minutes.

That said, I'd have to agree with Stynxno's recommendation of City of Heroes. It looks to be a much more fun game, with quicker action and less of the mind-numbing waiting-for-a -big-baddie-to-spawn. But of course it's not free.

You could always look for an old-skool MUD.
posted by deadcowdan at 1:30 PM on June 24, 2004

Try things out with free trials.

I can recommend several games I have liked, but they might not be your cup of tea. MMORPGs are like books or movies that way.

That said I personally recommend:
Puzzle Pirates Puzzle
World of Warcraft Fantasy
Second Life Social
City of Heroes Fantasy

The above recommendations about MUDs, RTS, and FPS games are good. What are you looking for in an online game?
posted by rudyfink at 1:43 PM on June 24, 2004

Try Guild Wars when it comes out -- beyond the software purchase itself, there are no fees.'s a little different than most MMO games (a little less RPG, more fighting), but I enjoyed their E3 "demo" and will be buying it.

Reminder: it's not released yet.
posted by aramaic at 2:01 PM on June 24, 2004

Puzzle Pirates is fun (heaven knows I'm more than slightly addicted) but it has a monthly fee (or quarterly or yearly) fee to play once your free trial ends.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:23 PM on June 24, 2004

I second the Kingdom of Loathing. I am quite hooked on it currently.
posted by Lizc at 3:59 PM on June 24, 2004

Anarchy Online has an involved, real time science fiction narrative.

It may also be the most advanced MMORPG.
posted by the fire you left me at 5:08 PM on June 24, 2004

If you bend to the fee, I'd third City of Heroes. First month is free out of the box, so you could play, decide if it's worth it, then sell your reg code to earn some money back (I think?).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:32 PM on June 24, 2004

Dragon Realms is an RPG, with the first month free. Good if you like Dungeons and Dragons type stuff.
posted by stoneegg21 at 5:39 PM on June 24, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks all - looks like I am going to check out City of Heroes .
posted by quibx at 7:32 PM on June 24, 2004

I'd just like to say thanks for pointing me towards Kingdom of Loathing. My boss may never forgive you however.
posted by arha at 9:14 PM on June 24, 2004

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Diablo II and the expansion kit, Lord of Destruction. This game has the addictability of EverQuest and the cost of a cheap console RPG (the game and the expansion go for 20 bucks apiece, methinks).

No fees for which can be hectic, but is reliable. The game can be played once through pretty easily, but there are three difficulty levels (play through the game three times), the last being ridiculously hard. Then, there are five unique classes with entirely different abilities that you can keep playing and playing, ladders tournaments, and "hardcore" leagues where if you die once you're out for good.

Easy to figure out (lots of possible strategy, but all the action occurs by clicking).

Check out to read up on it.
posted by themadjuggler at 9:57 PM on June 24, 2004

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Diablo II ...

testing ... testing .. check 1 .. check 2 ... is this thing on?
posted by milovoo at 10:30 AM on June 25, 2004

What's that, milovoo? We can't hear you here in the back. Could you speak up?

FWIW, I don't think Diablo 2 could be classified as an RPG. There isn't really any role-playing. It's all about the fighting. Which is why I like it so much.
posted by alex_reno at 1:01 PM on June 25, 2004

Agreed. It's a video game in the style of an RPG. There are all the familiar characters Cleric, Fighter, Thief, Sorceress and they all have individual appropriate skills, but those skills are only used for one thing - fighting (well, and collecting treasure, to buy better weapons, to do more fighting) Which all-in-all makes it pretty darned fun.
posted by milovoo at 11:27 AM on July 1, 2004

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