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So, I've been playing LotRO since Nov. 2007 and actively PvP'ing since Dec. 2007. I recently decided to cancel my subscription because, as a PvP nut, I see no future for true development and progress of PvP in that game in the future. Although I first joined LotRO because of the story, lore, and being a huge Tolkien geek, I love the entire fantasy genre (books, movies, games, etc.).
The predicament I find myself in is that I'm looking for a new MMO (I love the community and 'social' interactions, and especially teamwork aspects) with a healthy blend of PvP and PvE. That being said, I also like my games to have good graphics as a matter of personal taste. So WoW is out for me. I played Guild Wars back when it first released and wasn't fond of the closed PvP circuit. Aion seems interesting, but I prefer to minimize PvE grinding in deference to PvP. That being said, I love completing new/challenging PvE content just as much as anyone else.
Anyway, what I'm looking for is this: an MMO with a healthy blend of PvP and PvE (not necessarily 50/50) in a fantasy setting with an open-world and fair/balanced PvP system. What I need is some advice/insight on any current and/or future games that would match these features. Thanks in advance
Edit: When I say open-world PvP, I mean either true open-world or open-zone PvP.
Addendum: Having played a Champion to Rank 12 (solo, small groups, raids and leading raids) and having played various Creep classes (including a Warg during Book 6 of MoM mostly solo to Rank 7) I feel that I have sufficient insight to comment on the LotRO PvP system. As such, if anyone cares to read it, the following is a quick attempt to analyze why LotRO PvP is withering away
For those of you who haven't played LotRO, the PvP system is an open-world design with the Free Peoples (Freeps) fighting against the hordes of Sauron/Witchking of Angmar (Creeps). So, by roaming around the (only) map called the Ettenmoors, one could potentially encounter 1v1 engagements to small group fights/zergs to large 24+ v 24+ raid-on-raid fights. One of the main problems plaguing the Ettenmoors is that the Freeps are PvE toons which are balanced to work together against PvE mobs/raid bosses whereas Creeps are essentially PvP toons designed to work together against Freeps. Here are some others as well:
-- severe imbalances between Freep classes relative to other Freeps in the PvP landscape (healing/CC abilities concentrated too much in a few classes as well as stark contrasts in DPS: ranged > melee damage)
-- Creeps and Freeps not being 'equal-weighted' in terms of intentional design by the devs until about 2 years into the game (for the first two years, the paradigm was that 1 Freep = 1.5 Creeps or more, depending on class)
-- LotRO being first and foremost a casual PvE game, thus insufficient resources devoted to truly develop PvP potential
-- Creep classes get tangible rewards (though not always 'good' ones) with each Rank: that is their toons become stronger the more they play where as Freeps are capped by PvE gear/traits
-- Too many NPCs with sometimes greater CC than player counterparts (a few Creep classes and 1 Freep class)
-- One PvP map for 2.5 years, albeit a reasonably-sized and well-designed one
It's too bad that Turbine doesn't have or won't spend the resources to develop LotRO's PvP, which is chock-full of potential. I would have been a paying-customer renewing my subscription in perpetuity and buying every X-pac until the Ring fell into the Cracks of Mt. Doom. However, I'm tired of the game. Regardless, this notion extends beyond the scope of what I wanted to say in this post. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to reading your feedback regarding other MMOs.
"What's the hardest part about eating a vegetable? The wheelchair!!"