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Alright, mashed everything I could in the title, but here goes. I am looking for a game, preferably FtP, that meets what I want out of an MMO. Several games came close, and a quick history note should tell you exactly what I'm looking for.
My favorite MMOs at the moment are Final Fantasy XI and City of Heroes/Villains. FF XI had a beautiful, expansive world, with a well crafted backstory. I had two main issues with FF XI. First, it required serious min/maxing. Parties needed certain classes, and as you got higher level, you needed the perfect class loadout. This led to long downtimes. I eventually quit after waiting 2 1/2 hours for a group in Quafim, only to be told that was normal. Actually, everything in FF XI takes too long for me, the walking, the transport, all of it.
See, I am a daddy, and usually only have a few hours a day to devote. Sadly, it was not enough time to even get a party together, nonetheless DO anything in FF XI. The other flaw with the game is, it lacked direction. Games like WoW tell you to kill 10 spiders or something for a quest, but at least there is direction to the grind. In FF XI, you grind for the sake of grinding.
Enter CoH/CoV. In CoX, grouping was easy, and instances were scaled to team size. The fact that enemies linked meant you had to deal with more then just 'pulling' a single monster back and beating on it. Different enemies had different abilities, making combat a little more mixed up. However, the game lacked variety, in gameplay, or enviroment. While FF XI had zones that looked distinctly different, and there was always a sense of awe entering a new zone, CoX's zones were stale, looking like just another city block.
This was exagerrated by the door missions, which involve going into random building 'A', wiping out all of random enemy 'B', and maybe saving person 'C' or disabling device 'D'. Fun at first, maddening the 100th or 1000th time.
So, what am I looking for?
I wouid like an MMO with a campaign world like FF XI or WoW, with good RP, that involves partying (I don't solo. If I want to solo I will play a SP game), I would prefer a dynamic combat system that involves more then clicking the same 5-7 keys, in the same sequence, all the time, like some sadistic game of Simon (read: 99% of the MMOs out there)...DDO and Conan are examples of dynamic combat. And I may be in the minority, but I would prefer to avoid PvP. I don't twink my characters, and will always lose PvP to the twinks as a result. I would prefer F2P, as I have little time to play, and that makes justifying $15/month all the harder.
I am currently d/ling Atlantica Online, as it sounds like it might fit the bill, but I would like other opinions/suggestions. I just think I am in a serious minority in MMO preferences, so I don't know if my ideal game exists.
Thanks in advance,