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[Column] General: The Top 5 Hardcore MMORPGs

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,572MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Last week I covered the best casual MMORPGs, so it was only fitting that we shift our gaze this week towards the most hardcore games the genre has to offer. Instead of focusing solely on games that are currently live and flourishing, I’ve mixed it up with some old-school entries as well on this list. First and foremost though, I define hardcore to mean games that are inherently designed to be difficult, unforgiving, and intense by design. By this definition, they just don’t make MMOs like they used to.

Read more of David Jagneaux's The List: The Top 5 Hardcore MMOs.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,496Member Uncommon
    An article on MMORPG.COM that I mostly agree with.
    I guess there is a first time for everything.

  • slowpoke68slowpoke68 Chicago, ILPosts: 413Member Uncommon
    Wow, spot on.
  • snoockysnoocky maarnPosts: 594Member Uncommon
    Wow? No way in this list...

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

    Edgar Allan Poe

  • Agent_JosephAgent_Joseph SarajevoPosts: 1,069Member Uncommon

    i am casual player ,I playing & enjoying in Eve without any limitations

     

    only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW

  • LitestepLitestep RigaPosts: 32Member Uncommon
    Asheron's Call  isn't too far from this list either IMO  ...  same corpse runs, dropped items, penalties  ...  thought me a thing or two about fighting (and dieing) smart.
  • AlomarAlomar Middle Earth, NJPosts: 446Member Uncommon

    Good article, I was too young to experience UO or EQ in their original launch forms though I've never heard the end of the praise from other players over the years.

     

    Eve online, on the other hand, is one of the top 5 mmo's I've played the most over the past 10 years on and off. I love how steep the learning curve is and I excel at knowing 80%+ of it's features and being the one people ask for advice/answers. Since the week I started in 2004 to now I've never stopped living in 0.0 space and I've taken part in many of the biggest and most famous battles/wars to date.

    Dozens of MMO's, RTS's, FPS's, etc.

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Posts: 5,444Member Uncommon
    Im shocked WoW didnt make that list, this is a game where the devs admit that only about 1% of the players see all the content. 


    =-D Only on a forum can optimism be called bad and pessimism the good thing =-D Welcome to the internet and forums. 


  • starstorm777starstorm777 New Prague, MNPosts: 29Member Uncommon
    I don't know why Lineage II wasn't listed....that was a grind and a half....plus it was so hardcore when it came out, you had hackers on that game that when they pvp'ed you, the game would crash as well as your computer!!!
  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    I'm surprised WoW didn't make it, people give up their quality of life, marriages, homes, kids, and health for the sake of that game.
  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    This list makes sense, even moreso than the casual list imo. DAoC was not for the faint of heart, and neither is EQ. I think it's one reason why I still enjoy it because MMO's today are just rob you in the night cash grabs with no level of difficulty beyond finding money to spend in their over priced cash shops.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Im shocked WoW didnt make that list, this is a game where the devs admit that only about 1% of the players see all the content. 

    Everyone can see the content in WoW, even a dog could probably manage it. Seeing it on the hardest difficulty is a different story, but it doesn't change the content of the content so to speak.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • SatanixxSatanixx Cleveland, PAPosts: 17Member Uncommon
    No mention of Asheron's Call makes this list invalid.
     
  • CrusadesCrusades Columbus, OHPosts: 480Member
    Aeon - wow wasn't always casual, the shift occurred once the lawyers and psychiatrists got involved and forced the game to be more casual friendly or face steep penalties in lawsuits every time someone that plays it flips their wig.
  • jawalijawali slubicePosts: 195Member Uncommon
    Where is Lineage 2 c1-c4?

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  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Crusades
    Aeon - wow wasn't always casual, the shift occurred once the lawyers and psychiatrists got involved and forced the game to be more casual friendly or face steep penalties in lawsuits every time someone that plays it flips their wig.

    Agreed, I enjoyed WoW up until MoP. I feel that LFR has cheapened the experience of the game and it felt like I was treading water at end game rather than doing anything meaningful. No one cares if you clear heroics anymore because they are perfectly happy doing it on LFR or Flex. There is no sense of achievement or awe associated with the game any more which is one reason why I think it's losing subs.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Im shocked WoW didnt make that list, this is a game where the devs admit that only about 1% of the players see all the content. 

    Don't expect accuracy from either the writers, editors or members of this site.  You and I know the truth.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Konfess
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Im shocked WoW didnt make that list, this is a game where the devs admit that only about 1% of the players see all the content. 

    Don't expect accuracy from either the writers, editors or members of this site.  You and I know the truth.

    If the content from the varying difficulty levels was different, it would be in the hardcore list too. The raids are the same exact raids with slightly different mechanics. I have cleared them on LFR, Normal, and over 1/2 on Heroic. If the raids for heroic difficulty were completely different raids, it would deserve a spot on this list as well. You can experience the entire content in LFR however.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • KonfessKonfess Dallas, TXPosts: 949Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Crusades
    Aeon - wow wasn't always casual, the shift occurred once the lawyers and psychiatrists got involved and forced the game to be more casual friendly or face steep penalties in lawsuits every time someone that plays it flips their wig.

    Agreed, I enjoyed WoW up until MoP. I feel that LFR has cheapened the experience of the game and it felt like I was treading water at end game rather than doing anything meaningful. No one cares if you clear heroics anymore because they are perfectly happy doing it on LFR or Flex. There is no sense of achievement or awe associated with the game any more which is one reason why I think it's losing subs.

     

    It's losing subs, because people are losing jobs.  When and if they find jobs they are making less money.  WoW isn’t losing subs, the genre is losing gamers.  The ~4 million lost gamers haven't shown up in any other games.  They are gone.

    Pardon any spelling errors
    Konfess your cyns and some maybe forgiven
    Boy: Why can't I talk to Him?
    Mom: We don't talk to Priests.
    As if it could exist, without being payed for.
    F2P means you get what you paid for. Pay nothing, get nothing.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Konfess
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Crusades
    Aeon - wow wasn't always casual, the shift occurred once the lawyers and psychiatrists got involved and forced the game to be more casual friendly or face steep penalties in lawsuits every time someone that plays it flips their wig.

    Agreed, I enjoyed WoW up until MoP. I feel that LFR has cheapened the experience of the game and it felt like I was treading water at end game rather than doing anything meaningful. No one cares if you clear heroics anymore because they are perfectly happy doing it on LFR or Flex. There is no sense of achievement or awe associated with the game any more which is one reason why I think it's losing subs.

     

    It's losing subs, because people are losing jobs.  When and if they find jobs they are making less money.  WoW isn’t losing subs, the genre is losing gamers.  The ~4 million lost gamers haven't shown up in any other games.  They are gone.

    I don't think that's true. Games like Rift, GW2, ESO, WildStar, etc. All have healthy and growing populations. Well, not GW2 anymore, but Rift has definitely picked up double what it was when I was playing 6 months after release. ESO is stuffed to the brim as is WildStar. Even the original EQ has had a resurgence with most servers being High pop at prime time now.

     

    No, the players are definitely still there, they have just moved on to other games imo.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Im shocked WoW didnt make that list, this is a game where the devs admit that only about 1% of the players see all the content. 

     

    WoW's top-tier of end game raiding is hard core, but the majority of the game isn't.  I'm not even sure that the majority of the raid content would be considered "hard core".  Top-tier end game raiding may not be the reason that most people play the game either.  I know when I play, I'm not thinking about getting into any of those raids, I'm thinking about the leveling, story and PvP content, in a mostly "casual" manner.  If I am going to get into any of the raid content, it will be the content that is accessible through a raid finder.

     

    So while WoW does have content ranging from easy and casual to difficult and hard core, it's not necessarily a hard core game given the audience the game is tuned for.

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,973Member Uncommon
    I would replace DAOC with Lineage 2, nothing can equal the grind it had to reach the top levels.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,973Member Uncommon
    Double post

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    I would replace DAOC with Lineage 2, nothing can equal the grind it had to reach the top levels.

    I don't think they were specifically talking about just the grind so much as the difficulty of the end game and the content itself. L2 indeed had one of the steepest grinds to ever hit the genre, but DAoC's end game RvR was the most intense PvP I have ever played. L2 sieges were fun, but it was nowhere near the excitement or skill level of running 8 man groups in DAoC.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,943Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Im shocked WoW didnt make that list, this is a game where the devs admit that only about 1% of the players see all the content. 

    EQ at it's height probably had a few more percent (like 3% or so) but then the gamers who actually played EQ were rather different back then. 

    Wow might belong on a top 10 list but not the top 5 if you count older games at their heights like here. Yeah, I admit that Wow have some really hard raid content but if it was the first MMO you played you missed the really hard ones.

    Also, EQ was hard all the time after the noob zones. 90% of the game was hard. Wow have maybe 5% of the content hard.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,943Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    I would replace DAOC with Lineage 2, nothing can equal the grind it had to reach the top levels.

    I don't think they were specifically talking about just the grind so much as the difficulty of the end game and the content itself. L2 indeed had one of the steepest grinds to ever hit the genre, but DAoC's end game RvR was the most intense PvP I have ever played. L2 sieges were fun, but it was nowhere near the excitement or skill level of running 8 man groups in DAoC.

    Agreed, unless of course you just count time consuming as hardcore. I actually though that L1 was harder than L2 when you played it even if it was nowhere near as time consuming (or maybe I just played better a few years later).

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