Welcome to MMOs, the weekly column about everything to do with MMOs, be they the RPG kind or the MOBA kind, we cover all of it here. Sit back, relax and make yourself a cup of tea as I discuss the genre you love the most.
Christmas is nearly here and you’re undoubtedly running around trying to find a good present for that special someone. Maybe you forgot about them whilst you were out buying a present for your significant other, or maybe you’ve only just gotten enough money together to buy them a present (that $10 under the sofa really helped). But you’re stuck; you don’t know what to get them. Fear not, for I am here to help you with a list of great MMORPGs games that would make an excellent surprise for any gamer. If your gamer doesn’t like MMOs, then don’t worry as we’ve got a few games at the end of the list just for them.
Guild Wars 2
If, for some reason, your gamer has yet to play this critically acclaimed MMORPG then why not give Guild Wars 2 (GW2) to them and forever blow their mind.
GW2, which was released in August last year, is a buy-to-play (you only have to buy the game and then you can play it forever, no subscriptions are required) MMORPG which will change how they think about the genre forever. Featuring action-based combat which is easy to understand and fun to play, as well as an excellent dynamic event system whereby the world changes depending on player’s actions and some jaw-dropping public-group battles against massive dragons.
If your gamer doesn’t particularly enjoy Player versus Environment content then you need not worry as the GW2 is full of Player versus Player content. There are amazing server wide battles in World versus World versus World (WvWvW), whereby players must capture bases and supply points in-order to destroy the other server and gain server bonus’s. If they prefer something a bit more traditional GW2 also has 5v5 competitive play for both ranked teams and the solo player.
The best bit of this is that regardless of what content your gamer enjoys, be it PvP or PvE, Guild Wars 2 is updated every two weeks with additions to both meaning that there will always be content for your gamer to enjoy. Oh, and these updates are completely free.
There are a few downsides to the Guild Wars 2 though. The game has a high level cap, level 80, which the core gameplay cannot really sustain due to a lack of customization. It is due to this, that the gameplay can sometimes become a bit stale. Not only that but the world can feel a bit cold and empty sometimes. It’s important to note however that these are merely small negatives for a game that otherwise gets pretty much everything else right.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) was released in 2010 and was a complete and utter shambles. It was unplayable, had been marketed poorly and from a technical perspective just did not work. Now here we are in 2013 and the game has been re-released as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Before I go any further I feel I should mention that if the gamer isn’t a fan of the Final Fantasy series then you should consider whether or not to buy this game; especially considering it requires a monthly subscription in order to keep playing.
FFXIV is World of Warcraft with chocobos in. Whilst the gameplay does differ slightly from WoW, and MMOs of that kind, it doesn’t deviate from the formula as much as Guild Wars 2 does but rather adds many of elements which the next generation of MMORPGs have introduced, such as open world events, and mixes them with some Final Fantasy flavorings.
Progression, such as dungeons and chocobos, are locked behind rather boring story missions, it seems as though the series is still struggling to recapture its excellent storytelling from earlier entries, which might put off potential players as well as players who love to create alternative characters.
Not to mention that FFXIV, due to its subscription requirement, has a lot of grinding for gear, levels and items which at times can feel like padding and a way to keep the player paying the subscription as opposed to being fun, exciting content.
At the end of the day, it all depends on the player’s passion for the Final Fantasy series and how large their wallet is to pay to play the game.
Your gamer loves Guild Wars 2. That’s great, that’s awesome! But what about the original Guild Wars, the game that started it all? Take them on a blast to the past, and maybe play it with them during the Christmas period because GW is always more fun when played with a friend.
World of Warcraft
It’s cheap, it’s the game that redefined MMORPGs and made them mainstream. What’s not to like? Just make sure they don’t get too addicted otherwise I’m sure their significant other won’t approve and you’ll look like the devil reincarnated in their eyes.
Whether your gamer is a Lord of the Rings fan (what do you think of the new Hobbit movie?), or enjoys playing perfectly polished WoW inspired MMOs like Rift, there is something for everyone in Free-to-Play gaming. Indeed 2013 has been the year of excellent Free-to-Play MMORPGs and buying your gamer some points for their specific game might well give you a place in their good books.
Of course it would be well advised that you only buy points for your gamer if you know they like the game in question. Otherwise, it might be a bit of a miss.
League of Legends Riot Points
Seriously, who doesn’t play League of Legends? If you know someone who doesn’t play LoL then lightly slap them. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t do that, especially at Christmas.
Riot Points is an excellent purchase for the addicted LoL player, or of course you could gift them a champion or skin through the in-game store. Either way, that LoL player is going to be one happy Teemo.
Other MOBA Style Games
Is your gamer is someone who complains all the time about how DOTA 2 is the best and LoL is for “n00bs”, then buy them some Steam points so that they can spend them on showing off their love for the “best hardcore MOBA on the market”.
For the MMOFPS gamer
Sometimes you just want to shoot something. Planetside 2 allows the player to do just that, but on a large open battlefield with the game essentially being Battlefield 4 but on steroids. Not normal steroids, the crazy kind. Buy your gamer some station cash so that they can buy some in-game guns and watch a smile appear on their face.
Games for the gamer who doesn’t like MMORPGs
We have covered games for the player who loves MMORPGs, however what about games for the gamer who doesn’t? This is where things can get a little bit tricky!
If your gamer loves RPGs then pick them up a copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS or Ni No Kuni for the Playstation 3. If they like more Western RPGs then something like Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will make them happy.
Real Time Strategy Gamer
The HD version of Age of Empires II is on steam, why not take them back 1999 and the peak of RTS gaming. If they prefer the future then StarCraft II: Heart of the Swam is always a good bet.
Know someone who loves indie games? Why not get them Papers, Please, Gone Home or the Stanley Parable. The latter is a game which questions the very foundations of video games. Then there’s Spelunky for the gamer that fancies a harsh challenge.
If they own a Nintendo Wii U then pick up a copy of Super Mario 3D World, they’ll be thanking you for the rest of their days.
The Call of Duty series fell out of favor with critics this year with Call of Duty: Ghosts however the game is still definitely a must buy for any fan of twitch first person shooters. Other than that there is Battlefield 4 and the aforementioned PlantSide 2 for gamers who love giant team based first person shooters. If your FPS Gamer is a fan of eSports then buy them CounterStrike: Global Offensive.
Maybe your gamer loves a bit of emotion in their gaming. If that’s the case then The Last of Us and Season 2 of The Walking Dead are great games for the gamer who loves to cry for from time to time.
For the person who loves going to the cinema
Take them to go see Frozen, seriously it’s great. Unless they’re teen, then don’t. Teens won’t realize how cool Disney is until their older. Take them to go see the second Hunger Games; I’ve heard it’s quite bloody.
I hope this list somewhat helps with the mad Christmas rush that is no doubt falling on the disorganized as we rush around desperately trying to find gifts for the loved ones we forgot about. Oh well, we’ll get it right next year. Right? Join us next time as we take a look back at 2013 and what it did for MMORPGs.Related: Article, Column, Guides, MMO