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Most challenging PvE game that's released in the last 5 years is The Secret World. It takes a few zones to get to the harder areas, but they can definitely be a challenge. It also has the benefit of having probably the best PvE storyline questing experience in MMOs. The dungeons are pretty damn good too.
The combat can feel a little spammy, especially early on... but it grows on you and is very heavily movement based with a premium on situational awareness. Nightmare dungeons leave very little room for mistake.
The Secret World is quite challenging when you don't do a lot of research on it. I decided to go into it pretty much blind and just play the way I liked and try to figure out stuff on my own. So it's been challenging along the way at times. There are places that can outright take you out if you wonder in too deep without much thought. Some of the areas are easier than others to solo.
But if you are really looking for some PvE excitement... I'd suggest Darkfall! Your first encounter with the goblins is likely to end up getting you killed and it doesn't get too much easier too fast. And top it all off, when you die, your tomb stone has all your carried gear, so someone might just take some of your stuff when you are running back. And as you are in the thick of things in a PvE fight, it might as well turn into a PvP fight in the process. So there is quite a lot of "risk" and some reward in the game. But that was the game that got my adrenaline going even going against some of the earliest mobs. And the game is certainly not a button masher where you stand still and hit your action keys and watch the enemy fall to the ground. That game has some serious challenge! At least had, have not played since the Unholy Wars thing, but I don't think they did too much about this with the updates. Some PvE excitement, Darkfall is the place to go! Haven't had many fights come close to that level of excitement in a long while... And there is a free trial at least for a couple of weeks, so it is not like putting down 60 for just trying to see if you like it.
I have to say Darkfall is not for everyone... I didn't play EQ at all, so I don't know if the DF system is too harsh in comparison. Getting stuck with the starter weapons and wearing no armor while running to your tomb to pick up your gear one piece at a time in a PvE Spawn Hotspot is no picnic. You can easily die again in that and the most important thing about the combat is learning when to turn tail and hike out of there.
I actually played DF:UW for a few hours on my friends account just a bit ago. The combat took a bit to get used to, but I found the community was just horrid. Actually that gives horrid a bad name... EVERY time I left town I found 1-3 people just sitting outside it waiting to kill newbies like me leaving the town. And we didn't even have any loot worth a damn.
You would talk to them about it and they would just go LTP newb, as if I can help getting ganked by 2-3 people at time.
No such thing as a challenging mmo nowadays, unfortunately. I'd say try to solo BAM's in TERA as a melee class to get a "hardcore Monster Hunter" feel. It's a lot of challenge and fun, but that's also because the game isn't built for those to be solo'ed, they're meant to be killed by groups of 3-5 people, so it's more like you're making it difficult for yourself without it meaning to be.
Even single player games are all casual friendly nowadays. One notable exception I would make is Ninja Gaiden I&II (for XBox and XBox360 respectively). The games have 4 levels of dificulty and the most basic one felt like a constant struggle for survival. Demon's Souls/Dark Souls are okay too, but still eons from Ninja Gaiden even at full black world.
My opinion is my own. I respect all other opinions and views equally, but keep in mind that my opinion will always be the best for me. That's why it's my opinion.
TSW is the only recent MMO to offer any challenge in normal PvE, though it largely comes when you realise your build is useless against the new mobs you're facing. Once you fix your build, the difficulty goes away again.
Challenge every step of the way just doesn't happen in the post-WoW era. Though if you plan to play in a group then Vanguard would be a good choice, ignore the normal quests and just go through the dungeons from 10-55, will offer more of a challenge than anything else out there.
Doesn't hold true anymore, but the most challenging PvE combat I have played was EQ2 back in the RoK / TSO days.
Raids and difficult dungeons back then were really challenging, even with good loot. Very few people completed the hardest dungeon in TSO while it was still current content. Most who did were raid geared and then sold loot rights (after they nerfed the procs anyway).
Haven't played the latest expansion, although I hear all the raids have already been cleared. Which is a shame. Noone killed Munzok until a week or two before the next expansion launched back in TSO.
I'm sure some people will say TERA, because of it's 'action combat', but the reality is that the hardest thing in that game is aiming and moving. Which isn't very hard at all.
Curses and cures and scripts in EQ2, now they were a challenge!
Originally posted by fivoroth I guess if you want a challenge, you should play single player games I would say GW1's PvE, which you can play solo, could be very challenging but that's all instanced. I would say this way it would be hardest MMO you could play solo. Once you turn up the difficulty to hardmode you can definitely die in a battle. Also when you die you get a Death Penalty which reduces your life and mana by a certain % up to a maximum of 60% when you will get your ass handed to you all the time (in hardmode you will get returned to town and would have "failed" )
Hmm yeah forgot about GW1. Technically it isn't a MMO, although by todays standards it may as well be (I mean if Vindictus is a MMO, so is GW1).
The hard mode maps were very challenging. Especially maps later in the storyline. Oh and the elite dungeons.... good god. They were a nightmare!
GW1 is certainly challenging and hard in a fun way, unless you use a cookie cutter team build from PvXWiki. Still, it's not really an MMO and quite deserted nowadays.
TSW is decently challenging, although you've got to wait a while to get to the good stuff. Like most other MMOs, it suffers from the "20 hours long tutorial" syndrome.
If someone is talking in general chat in a language you dont understand, chances are they're not talking to you. So chill out and stop bitching about it!
No matter what people will say to you...
There is NO solo challenge in MMO's, since solo challenge would block your progress.
There is group challenge, yes, but solo challenge can only be obtained in PvP mode and even that is in group mode.
Diablo 3 offers recently adaptable solo challenge (MP0-10), but MMO's simply can't offer this due to their needed avatar progress.
If one MMO would include such a feature in the future it would be an instant hit, but you would need adaptable challenges in an open world, setting the monsters/enemy difficulty yourself etc...
Perhaps Blizzard can do it with their experience in D3' MP play and phasing technique (no loading screens and still get a solo exprerience), perhaps in Titan ?
My theory is that you're seeking an MMO without PvP.
I'll explain--PVP requires that all classes be "balanced" so that all players have a fair chance to enjoy PvP on a relatively equal footing. That means tanks, healers, dps (excuse me for using the three traditional roles, I realize these may not necessarily apply) all need to be capable of doing at least some DPS, but not matching a pure's DPS output.
Leveling content seems to require (at least since 03 or so) that all clases be able to level with about the same difficulty.
And therein lies your problem. Critturs must be built around the lowest common denominator. They're built for a pure healer's damage output. Else the healers and tanks have "no fun" leveling, "painful slow grind". The grass is always greener, as the players will never stop pointing out, and calling for nerfs on the other guy.
Which tends to make the same critturs simple/easy from a DPS role. DPS: "I can easily double (or quintuple) the minimum DPS required to drop this beast. This is farkin easy." What role do most players default to? DPS.
So by default, the critturs are built...to...be...simple...to the most commonly chosen player role...
You can't really propose an alternative that a) satisfies the masses and b) is difficult and c) "balanced".
By default, corporations choose maximal profit A). No surprise, right?
(Traditional games once handed the lowest DPS to the highest armor (the tank), but how we left that concept behind, again, is due to PVP).
Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.
> " Eventually we started talking about current MMO's and not a single one of us can think of an MMO currently out where EVERY battle with mobs feels like a fight for your life. "
Oh, I see.
So in EQ, I take it, it was like this:
Level 100 player character with full raid gear meets a level 1 rat in newbietown. After 5 days of battle, he loses because he got the optimal ability rotation wrong 7 times total.
Originally posted by Icewhite Leveling content seems to require (at least since 03 or so) that all clases be able to level with about the same difficulty. And therein lies your problem. Critturs must be built around the lowest common denominator. They're built for a pure healer's damage output. Else the healers and tanks have "no fun" leveling, "painful slow grind". The grass is always greener, as the players will never stop pointing out, and calling for nerfs on the other guy.
No, it's just that most players suck at MMOs. People are still complaining about GW2's open world content being too difficult. They're saying they can't complete DEs solo, etc. Well, GW2's open world content is a joke difficulty wise, no matter what your class is.
The lowest common denominator is the player.
Originally posted by Scalpless Originally posted by Icewhite Leveling content seems to require (at least since 03 or so) that all clases be able to level with about the same difficulty. And therein lies your problem. Critturs must be built around the lowest common denominator. They're built for a pure healer's damage output. Else the healers and tanks have "no fun" leveling, "painful slow grind". The grass is always greener, as the players will never stop pointing out, and calling for nerfs on the other guy.
No, it's just that most players suck at MMOs.
Yes, they do indeed, but that point is in addition to the games being balanced around the dps output of WANDS.
In the olden dayze, things weren't built around the idea of Balance first, gameplay second. Some classes just sucked at leveling. We could accept that. It even generated some community, if your guild needed healers, you would group with them, enlightened self-interest.
But it cost Evilcorp some dollars, players QQ and omg my healing priest can't solo (everything) WTF I Quit!!--and Evilcorp couldn't allow that.
Players wanted everything to be soloable, and by any class. They really did, if you forget message boards prior to the dawn of WoW. Several games that predate WoW clearly were developed with the goal of solo friendliness.
Got what you asked for. :shrug:
Once WoW and the rest of the 02-05 batch of titles clearly demonstrated how much money was to be had from those asocial soloers, the rest of the industry quickly followed suit. Again, no surprise.
If you want challenging PvE like old EQ, you should take a look at Vanguard. It's basically the spiritual succesor to old EQ.
Say what you want about its history and all its past issues, but VG still has that old school feel, including what you're talking about. Many folks don't like that, and thus don't like the game, which is fine; but for the folks that do, it's worth it. Not EVERY fight is that hard, but I don't think you'll find a single fight of your appropriate level where you don't have to pay attention and actually think in order to win. And if you start getting into group content, the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly without a good group.
I played WoW up until WotLK, played RoM for 2 years and now Rift.I am F2P player. I support games when I feel they deserve my money and I want the items enough.I don't troll, and I don't take kindly to trolls.
You can't please everyone. There is always the l33t player who finished everything in 3 hours, and there is always the new comer who cannot get through the first boss.
The only good solution is a difficulty option like the monster power in Diablo 3. In D3, every encounter can be difficult if you set MP to max (unless, of course, you have gear worth billions).
Neocron 2 or STALKER online.
Pro and Mature games
Well Tera can provide challenging combat if your into action combat, though its mostly based off the harder mobs and all which... can make it a bit subjective.
I think a good game really that keeps the old style combat while making it fresh (granted the game is old) and challenging would be Aion. Aion really does a great job in making combat a challenge in which your really having to react carefully and use your ability to their fullest in order to perform well solo. In dungeons the difficulty is notched up a good deal and you will find yourself having to known your class and work well as a group to do some of the dungeons in the game.
if it means to take ages to kill one mob - Aion from the start, at least to me.
if it means tactical and high end fight: used to be end game zones at GW1 (no idea how it is now) and raids + HM raids at WoW; beside all decent games has end game challenges.
LOTRO combat is not easy either so may be try it (still more decent then Aion, IMO again)
try before buy, even if it's a game to avoid bad surprises.Worst surprises for me: Aion, GW2
As an old EQ1 vet myself I will make 3 suggestions.
1. TERA. Fun combat mechanics especially in groups. Dungeons and bosses are great. Once you get into your 20s and start hitting BAM outside areas, it will keep you looking over your shoulder because the fights can be very mobile and lead you into other BAMs if your not careful. The lower level solo areas are just blahh. Playing on a PVP server can help to some degree.
2. GW2 while it may have a silent and fairly unsociable community. The gameplay is fun and fresh and regardless of an above poster saying that people complaining about dynamic event being to hard to solo are just unskilled players. There are some incredibly hard DEs to partake in. Even with a group. Dungeons also take an entirely new twist, and learning them can be quite a challenge. I'm still unsure where I sit with the whole everyone is a hybrid but I do enjoy my elementalist.
3. AION I said back when I played it. That this game reminds me a lot of EQ1 mixed with newer gameplay. If you don't get stuck leveling solo doing grind quests or running the few instances over and over. The outdoor open group areas can prove to be VERY challenging. So much in fact most people bypass them. If you plan to try them have a good Templar and some good CC ready.
I throw Vanguard an honorary mention as well. However it is a little more dated,Also while in many ways a lot of the content in the game didnt really seem all that challenging for a good group. There were a few dungeons and places that were an exception. Raids were also pretty intense.
Most games are loaded these days with easy solo oriented content created for the entitlement crowd that wants everything handed to them. Even some of the more challenging PVE games will have a hard time giving you exactly what you are looking for. One contributing factor to that is that mobs roam very little in most games. Also everything is so structured. In EQ you could be In a level 10 area and have a level 30 giant come up behind you and squash you into the dirt. Games don't have that going on for the most part today, and if they do it's few and far between.