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*Bolded for tl;dr
I was going to scroll through dozens of older MMOs to try find one with a decent cash shop, but I thought it might be easier/faster to ask here.
My criteria is rather simple (and at the same time, strict and complicated)
-Good population. I want to actually see other people playing the damn game...not some barren wasteland
-Fluid gameplay. One thing that turns me away from games like WoW/Everquest/etc is that they feel very outdated and ancient. Some games don't age well. I know if I go play Ragnarok Online, I don't have that problem. Things still feel fluid to me. But some games just feel clunky and old, and that drives me nuts.
-Most important, a reasonable cash shop. I'm fine with cosmetic, and even convenience items of all sorts. But I do NOT like gamble items. Gamble items can fit many criteria, but here's 2 common ones:
1: Flat out gambling. An item that nets you a random item of varying rarity. I don't care if a game has (non-statted or minor-statted) costumes, but I dislike most other items in gamble boxes.
2: Item enchancement items that are essentially required to upgrade items, and cost a fortune to do so. I don't want to have to pay $300 for a +10 item, 10 times. That's ridiculous. It'd be cheaper to fund my own MMO and make it not suck.
-No battleground "MMOs". They're just not my thing, despite me being a PvP kind of guy.
-This one's optional, but I AM a PVP gamer. Games like WoW/Allods/etc that focus on PvE eventually drive me nuts. So if I game you suggest is PvP oriented, say so. I'll give it more priority. Though at this point, i've given up on good PvP MMOs coming out for the time being.
I can spend money on an MMO, so I don't mind the basics being offered...but i'd rather not be extorted huge sums of cash to be end-game competent.
F2P or B2P... I don't really care, just no pay2win/gamble2win. I'd like to sign up to an MMO, not a casino with quests