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[Column] General: The Top 5 Hardcore MMORPGs



  • LaecLaec Munroe Falls, OHPosts: 11Member
    Wow isn't hardcore sorry
  • vonwisdomvonwisdom Forest grove, BCPosts: 1Member

    Tried Dark age of Camelot..Holy fk that sucks.

    If you can't have graphics like Warcraft ,why bother.

  • FoomerangFoomerang Portland, ORPosts: 5,610Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Azzudyen
    I do not see how WoW can be #3 on Casual list and then turn around and be in top 5 of Hardcore list. Maybe a definition of Casual and Hardcore needed to be explained.
    It can't because there is no such thing but people still try.
  • nirvanetnirvanet parisPosts: 95Member Uncommon

    And one again... no one remember Neocron...

    EVE in hardcore top list ahahahah you r very funny ! (and that's sad for the mmo world futur...)

  • FandralFandral GRADIGNANPosts: 1Member Uncommon

    I agree with the most of this but eve ? There are so many games more hardcore than eve online such as conan or the secret world. 

  • GrourouxGrouroux TokyoPosts: 15Member Uncommon

    I agree UO was really hardcore before Trammel comming, and also very fun !

    I also like EVE Online but it's only half hardcore.

    And to say a mmo is hardcore you really need to loose a lot when you die, not just XP, or money, or time.


    There is also another 2 games that can really be called "Hardcore MMO"

    • Realm of the Mad God : when you die you loose your character, the stuff, the skills.
    • Gangs of Space : The only mmo where you can loose everything, but it's only in Alpha, and it's a indie MMO.

    Grouroux, Game Designer
    Gangs of Space > Indie MMO Shmup Roguelike > Join Alpha : BEE7E-3B768-7626A-2A740

  • Great list, but you forgot mortal online.
  • AnthurAnthur StolbergPosts: 798Member Uncommon
    Hmm, wouldn't call any of those MMOs "hardcore". They all can be played casually if you desire to do so. But I don't believe in this hardcore/casual seperation anyway.
  • JeminaiJeminai MelbournePosts: 149Member Uncommon
    wow... difficult?
  • ArconaArcona VanlosePosts: 1,182Member Uncommon
    if you like Ultima Online, there is still time to back Shards Online on kickstarter
  • JeminaiJeminai MelbournePosts: 149Member Uncommon
    I considered TSW quite an investment of time and effort. a bit of a learning curve with abilities and some bosses were nearly impossible. but it did kind of dry up at end game. still, lots of fond memories for tsw.
    then there Defiance... anyone gone back and played that with the scaling changes? was so pleased with the difficulty of that game.
  • Mr_RogersMr_Rogers Trenton, MIPosts: 17Member
    Good article.  This is spot on.
  • ZarranZarran Tucson, AZPosts: 9Member

    There are mmorpg games missing in these list:

    M59: if my memory is right, this game was released before UO, Pkers are born here then most move to UO later on.

    AC/DArktide: hardest game I ever played, FPS capabilities, lost lots of resources when defeated, heavy death penalty, corpse runs, one on one fights that last one hour or more, and no safe zone. 

    Shadowbane: this game introduced pvp in another level-player run cities and businesses, sieging, heavy death penalty but can bind 3 items, thieves can steal your items before the a fight, massive raids, and some classes can attack by air.

    Never got interested with EQ and DOAC, because of pvp restriction didn't play them. 

    my two pesos.

    MMORPG games played: M59-2 years, AC/Darktide-5 years,Shadowbane-3 years, SWG-1 year, WOW-1 year, and GW1-4 years.

  • syriinxsyriinx New York, NYPosts: 1,383Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wizardry
    I agree vanilla FFXI should definitely be in there MUCH harder than EQ1 but i guess in some ways EQ1 was similar to FFXI but not as much depth.  

    It wasn't harder, but you could say it was more hardcore.  It belongs on this list.  Any game that is considered 'hardcore' only because of open world PvP doesnt belong on the list.  To me its apples and oranges.  Just make a list for top 5 open world PvP games instead.

  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 2,973Member Rare

    L2 wasnt hardcore just because of time needed to lvl up. Everything about that game was hardcore.


    necessity to get spell books for your spells which only mobs you couldnt kill solo dropped

    no chance to get decent gear solo

    class transfer quests

    lowest drop rate for items ever

    severe exp loss on death combined with how easy it was to die + chance to drop items you carried or wore

    huge amount of mats needed to craft an item...not just high end item, any item

    thousand super geared people needed to kill top bosses

    nothing in that game came at low price

    But if you say EQ is hardcore...


  • jeradljeradl San Antonio, TXPosts: 30Member Uncommon

    First I don't feel Sci Fi and fantasy mmorgs should be on the same list as they are different genres. What passes for a Sci Fi mmorg tends to be more like a mmfps. As such I would restrict the list to fantasy mmorgs only and order them as follows:

    1) DAoC

    2) EQ

    3) UO

    4) EQ2 (fast to level but end raids challenge are exactly that and end content is all raid)

    5) Not really a 5th in existence as everything after the above 4 has been nothing but a variation of preexisting formats with a little more polish and caters more to solo play

    Don't really care who agrees or doesn't. We are all still waiting for some game to take the crowns from the top two on the list and noone has yet. The fools claiming WoW was hard is a total joke as it was the most solo catering mmo ever made.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 5,002Member Rare
    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. 

     Yes but does only 1% of the content make the game Hardcore? Also a hardcore game usually has severe ramifications for dying, wow does not have that.

  • slowpoke68slowpoke68 Chicago, ILPosts: 468Member Uncommon

    Never played L2 but heard there was a real grind.

    Regarding the comments comparing WoW to EQ at launch.  There is no comparison.

    EQ at launch was punishingly difficult.  I'd say about 90% of today's gamers would rage quit by level 10.

    You were dropped in the world, with no map and no compass.  It was the first 3D mmo, so let me tell you it was really easy to get lost.  Need some new shoes, doh how did I just spend an hour looking for the cobbler in Qwynos?  Also at night, it was DARK and it was really hard to see where you were going.

    Most classes could not solo an even con, or it would be a really close fight.  If you were soloing you were best to stick to blue mobs.

    Unless you were playing one of the few classes that had run speed boost, every mob could out run you.  There was no running away unless you were near a zone line or a guard post.  The mob would catch you and kill you.

    Aggro mobs were everywhere, even when you were careful you could get killed by someone else's train.  Google eq dungeon train and see what kind of screen shots you come up with.

    You lost xp for every death and you could lose your level due to a death.  

    No ressing at the graveyard and paying some gold.  When you died you had to retrieve your corpse no matter where it was because all of your gear stayed on it.  So that meant a naked corpse run to where ever you were to get your stuff back.   You can imagine what that was like in aggro areas or at the bottom of a dungeon.  (As a side note people were usually really good, even in pugs about making sure everyone was able to get their corpse back.  Much different I think than today) Also, you ran back from your bind spot where ever that might have been. Forgot to bind on this continent?  Sorry Charlie looks like you have a boat ride and a few dangerous zones to cross to get back to your body.  (Unless you were playing at higher levels and had a cleric in your group to res you)

    There was encumberance, you could only carry so much gear and so many coins.  I got 500 copper pieces from these mobs, do I drop that or this rusty mace, or run to the bank? (Low level looting where every copper counts)

    Also, the grind was pretty bad, it took a long time to level, much much longer than WoW at launch or any modern game.

    The only harder game I ever played was UO at launch and that was only because of griefers. The pve in UO was actually easier than in EQ.  Same with EVE.  I only played that for a short time, but I think it is the other people that make that game so difficult.

    There are things I haven't listed, but you get the idea.  Like I said, I never played L2 or AC, but EQ was by far the most challenging mmo I ever played, but also the best.  To the person who said a themepark can't be tough, I'm guessing you didn't play them back in the late 90's, they were different then.

    Bottom line, you can't compare today's mmos, or anything that has come out in the last 10 years for that matter to EQ in terms of difficulty.  

    To roughly quote Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp fiction, it ain't the same ballpark, it ain't the same league, hell it ain't even the same sport".

  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 2,059Member Uncommon
    I agree 100% with the list. I never thought of myself as super hardcore but my two favorite games are on the list (EQ and Darkfall UW).
  • itchmonitchmon west islip, NYPosts: 1,787Member Uncommon

    I give this list a 4/5 (solid job!).


    meaning, I agree wholeheartedly with numbers 4-1... and the #1 is absolutely indisputable... but i would have replaced DAOC with L2 on the list.


    In its heyday L2 was as hardcore as you can get.  you had to do serious work just to get to the sieges, and the sieges were absolutely nuts.

    RIP Ribbitribbitt you are missed, kid.

    Currently Playing EVE, DFUW

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.

    Dwight D Eisenhower

    My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.

    Henry Rollins

  • RazeeksterRazeekster GlobPosts: 2,589Member Uncommon

    I will keep arguing for Mabinogi. The fact that it is on the "casual" list is totally facepalm-worthy and shows a complete lack of knowledge for the game. You heard me author. Go and get your facepalm on.


    I mean you put EVE on the hardcore list which has a way easier learning curve... If logging on and clicking a couple buttons to increase a couple skills and then logging off is hardcore then I guess EVE is super hardcore lol



  • BoredDanBoredDan Kingston, ONPosts: 1Member
    To all the posts pointing out "This game Y is more hardcore then game X on the list" remember that he said "Now let’s take the time appreciate the top 5 best hardcore MMORPGs of today and yesteryear." These aren't the most hardcore mmo's but the best of the hardcore mmo's in the authors opinion.
  • MurlockDanceMurlockDance ParisPosts: 1,223Member

    I agree with most of this list but not with DAoC ironically enough. To me hardcore means that you have a really nasty death penalty and the game is challenging at the same time. It is hard to max out and your hand is not held so a lot has to be figured out on your own. For best hardcore games, I would say that I agree with all the others but would replace DAoC with AO.

    DAoC to me actually had some features that made it easier than AO actually. For one, you really risked very little if you died in PvP in the former. In AO, if you died in PvP, your body could be looted of certain items including those you forgot to insure. In classic AO if you died, you lost all uninsured xp though thankfully you could not delevel.

    DAoC got rid of most aggro trains in its dungeons whereas AO had some notorious ones. The aggro could be tough especially outdoors: pulling one mob type could aggro the entire lot that would then steamroll anyone who was around whether they were in your group or not. The only way to get rid of them was to zone and with large zones that was sometimes quite hard to do.

    And then there was the arcane art of figuring out how to build your character with the huge amount of skills available. There were no guides, no instructions, nothing at all to help out at first. It was only through trial and error that players figured out how to build decent characters. Worse yet, some items had really bizarre requirements on them so you had to figure out what to get, where to get it, what to avoid. I played just a bit after release and completely screwed up my first couple of characters. In comparison it was much harder to screw up DAoC characters.

    There were many other hardcore elements to classic Rubi-Ka: huge and difficult raids, difficult dungeons, huge time sinks, and an overall steep learning curve. It had many of EQ1's difficult elements actually.


    Getting back to the article, I would swap EVE and UO. When UO had no Trammel, I think it was virtually as hardcore as you could get outside of having permanent death of a character.

    Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

  • MagiknightMagiknight McKinleyville, CAPosts: 782Member Common
    FFXI should definitely be on the list. I don't know if I would call it more difficult then EQ. There are some real horror stories about EQ. People would die in places and not be able to recover their corpse. It's a close call. FFXI, in general, was harder to level and craft.
  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,533Member Uncommon
    As a past player of EQ, Eve, and UO, I totally agree with this list.  Of course games of today have difficult encounters; but this article emphasizes the world in its entirety.  if the game world, itself, is difficult to get around in and survive, then the game deserves to be called hardcore.  Perhaps Asian grinders were left out of the list, which is why Lineage, etc., isn't listed.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

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