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Hi all. I've been playing MMoRPGs on and off since around 2003. I started with Diablo 2, loved it and played it for about 2 years. Then I found Anarchy Online, which I then played for 2 years and have been coming back to it time from time. AO is by far the best MMo I've played, it has so much depth, character advancement, features, content etc. Especially when compared to the extremely simple MMos of today.What I also loved about AO is unlike other MMos I've played, the playtime from level 1 to max level is as fun and important as the end-game content, and it takes a long time to get to endgame(the max level is 220). There is as much content pre-endgame as there is end-game, so leveling isn't the only thing you do. It's mostly group based, but you could also solo if you wanted. The character advancement and customization is huge, as you level up you actually put points into your attributes/skills(there's about 70 atts/skills you can put points into). I could go on and on about how great AO is. Anyways.. I eventually quit because by 2008 the game was past its prime, it seemed like it was dieing to me. The population decreased atleast by 3/4 of it's total from around 2005, on my server anyway. I then played a bunch of F2P MMos, didn't like any of them. I also tried WoW for 3 months, despite everyone saying it was horrible. I actually enjoyed it, but I couldn't see that lasting long because of the lack of depth, a good or even decent community, and the lack of any group play. After that I found FFXI, and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was all group/community based, had a lot of content, a lot of players and a great community, among a lot of other stuff. I played it until this past summer, unfortunately they stopped accepting my debit card for some reason and due to that and horrible customer server I couldn't play anymore. I was also thinking of quitting FFXI because of how hard it is to find groups now. I've been playing EQ2 since then, but I'm already thinking about quitting.. It just feels like WoW with a good community. I was told there was grouping but it's exactly like WoW as you keep doing quests over and over again to level.
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to be specific in what I'm looking for. Basically, I'm looking for an open-ended MMo with depth, grouping, non-quest based leveling, a good community, a decent amount of people playing, etc. However, if you think a MMo is great but doesn't meet all the criteria feel free to suggest it. I'd prefer if they were P2P, since they're usually better than F2P. Also, if you can convince me EQ2 or WoW are different than what I think of them then I might consider playing one of them, but I'd still like other MMo recommendations. Looking forward to your suggestions, thanks in advance.