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So, I played MMORPG's a fair bit back in the day but have been out of the loop for quite awhile (haven't touched one in about 5 years). I've decided to return and have been looking through the lists and websites. It seems like there are far more options now, but that it has become much harder to get a true "feel" for how they actually play and whether I would enjoy them so am hoping for a point in the right direction.
I like a game with an in-depth (and useful) crafting system - i.e. where one can actually have a hope of making a living as a primary merchant versus just a side activity. I'm primarily into PvE but like to PvP on occasion. I preferred dueling in UO back in the old days versus large-scale battles, but it seems like dueling isn't common anymore. Graphics aren't terribly important to me, but I do like having lots of areas to explore. I'm definitely a "casual" player...I'm quite busy and will play a few times a week at best, not hours and hours every day. Given that, I like to solo and play in small groups, but I doubt I will ever have the time to do something like raiding. That said, I have no problems (and indeed, prefer) a game with slow leveling. I don't need to progress quickly, so by "casual" I don't mean a game where I can get to max level playing an hour a week...just one where its possible for me to play a couple hours at a time and get something done.
So any suggestions? Ones that have caught my eye are:
Vanguard, EQII, DAoC, Age of Conan, Warhammer, LOTRO and a handful of others, but I'm open to anything.