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Me and a bunch of friends are looking of two types of games that are:
- Free to play
- As little restrictions as possible for free-to-play users
- To have production skills (Carpentry, Tailoring etc) to level up
- Preferably if the skills aren't class restricted, yet not a requirement
- Combat based on strategy or your own abilities to react (not something like double click to attack and wait for the char to auto-attack the enemy to death)
- Guilds should be a bonus, not a requirement for special content.
- Bonus points for anime style/inspired
Sandbox MMORPGs that we played:
-Mabinogi : while the crafting skills are slightly undeveloped and could have potential if they worked on it (weapon/armor customization would be cool), it makes up for the combat, being close to a dueling type of rock-paper-scissors of skills. Free to play, no classes, and the cash shop is pretty balanced (you can farm most of the currency needed pretty easy with some hard work). Probably one of the most balanced free to play games where real money isn't a requirement late game.
Downsides are some pets that are quite op with their effects (yet not many and they are limited time only) along with no good end game content. The pvp is undeveloped too. For short, the games is awesome in the beginning and gets lame later.
-Shin Megami Tensei Imagine: the looks where good, the combat was decent (close to mabinogi) and capturing along with fusing demons was done quite well.
Downsides: skill training takes way too long to develop. Production skills takes way too much to make and farming the items needed is either difficult or takes too long to gather. The game kinda encourages you to follow some specific paths for special skills late game, making your character either for crafting or for combat (which is kinda stupid). The movement speed is extremely slow overall.
- Runescape: Probably the only game that fits our needs.
Downsides: 80% of the game is restricted to premium members only.
Other games we tried from this genre and didn't like at all: Istaria
Survival Crafting MMORPGs that we played:
while technically not generic MMORPGs, these games are based on survival, crafting, with RPG elements.
Note: while the games i'm listing are on dedicated servers, games with similar gameplay with player hosted servers like Minecraft or Terraria are welcomed too (yet I haven't seen any free games like that)
Haven and Hearth: The only game that is 100% free while having everything we wanted from this type of genre.
Downsides: It's way too community based. You need to either manage a community of trusty people or be part of a big community. Starting alone or with a few friends will get you killed on long term . Since there is no cap on stats and attributes, people with the highest stat points at that moment will try to maintain this by killing others around their zone. The more the world remains without any reset, the harder the game gets for new players. The combat is also quite difficult to handle.
Salem: HnH's little brother with a bunch of potential. The combat is better than HnH and easier to understand.
Downsides: very low playerbase and high taxes to maintain a safe zone. Gathering in game currency is based on how often you can find different special/rare items to sell at vendors or at other players. The character stats advancement is not for our taste too much.
Other games we tried from this genre that we didn't like at all: Wurm.
That's all the info I can give. Thanx in advance!