I've only played WoW, Guild Wars, and Kingdom of Loathing. If you're in for the long haul, WoW would be your choice. If you are more casual and prefer to do your gaming in two hour blocks or less, Guild Wars has some incredible bang for the buck.
honestly..... i've played WoW.... i've played RF Online..... i've played Knight Online..... i've played Auto Assult (which by the way is FUN!!!! nothing beats the ability to shoot your enemy down..... or just run them the hell over!)..... i've played City of Heroes/Villains.... i've played ROSE Online..... to make it short i've played a lot of the more popular/recent MMORPG's..... and nothing has been more satisfying than Ragnarok Online. yes.... not the most graphically intense game out there.... but it's a lot more fun than the rest. too many MMORPG's out there that have been released as of late may be rather fun and look pretty.... but they're missing one thing that i think MAKES an MMORPG, and could break it if it's not there.... and that one thing is being able to make the character the way you want. with WoW.... you don't get to adjust stats..... you don't get to choose a possibly different weapon than other people use..... you're pretty much stuck being the class you pick, with the weapons specifically for that class.
with Ragnarok Online... you start out as a novice, leveling and increasing your stats BY YOURSELF (str, agi, dex, int, vit, luk), and when you reach Job Level 10, you can become either a Mage, Swordsman, Thief, Acolyte, Merchant, or Archer. Then you level more, and as you level, you add to your stats for which class you picked (usually lots of Int for mages to increase magic attack strength and have more SP to cast more spells), but you can also choose to break out of the mold.... and maybe be a mage that can dish out a lot of damage from afar, and in close range, hit hard with a weapon, and dodge attacks rather well. Then, when you hit job level 40, you can choose to be one of two second jobs depending on what first job you took (for instance.... a Thief has the option of being either an Assassin, or a Rogue), and you have a different set of skills added onto your original job's skills depending which second job you chose. Then, once you hit Base level 99.... you can be reborn as a Novice High, start out with more stat points, and if you chose your 2nd job to be an Assassin, you go through Novice High, Thief High, and then you can become an Assassin Cross, which adds some pretty powerful attacks to use. Granted it's a long road to get that far, but it's usually worth it in the end.
i just hate it when you can't make your own style. usually it's BEST to stick with the norm..... but it's nice to know you don't necessarily have to.
Guild Wars allows for a nice mix of classes with use of many combo's of weapons and spells with skills that can be mixed and matched as many times as you feel, plus you dont need to spend $200 a year to be able to play. Seems that Guildwars does not get the same attention as WOW but strange as that might be Guildwars was MMORPG of the year and 6th best overall game WOW never made the top 10.
Here is a quick review from Gamespy.
One of our favorite games this year also happens to be the best MMO that was released in 2005. It's difficult not to heap praise on Guild Wars: it has a novel approach to PvP, it has great PvE content, and there's no subscription fee to play it. When you consider that last point, it's easy to assume that the game's quality simply isn't up to par with subscription-based MMOs, but, as anyone whose played it can attest, that is simply not the case.
But perhaps "MMO" is a bit of misnomer in Guild Wars' case. The genre is, traditionally, restrictive and unapproachable. Guild Wars' designers have seemingly gone out of their way to so that this won't be the case with their game. Progressing through character levels is only your focus for a fraction of the time you'll spend playing the game. That's because the game (correctly) works under the premise that players want to get to the fun stuff as soon as possible -- the "fun stuff," of course, being the PvP.
Many MMOs have attempted to focus on PvP, with varying degrees of success. Guild Wars' approach, however, is pretty ingenious. By incorporating elements native to team-based FPS's, the game has managed to provide PvP battles that range from short, contained skirmishes, to full-on guild-on-guild battles, all the while avoiding the pitfalls associated with this type of combat in the genre: namely, griefing. In short, Guild Wars is the most novel MMO to be released in a long time, let alone this year, and it's not solely because of the game's content.
If you put it against todays games, took out the online element, it's actually a robust RPG by almost any standard. You're definitely right; it's very hybridized. Maybe MMO...RPG/Strategy? Yeah, it's hard to put a label on it. The PvP is heavily loaded with strategy, but then again, so is Counterstrike.
i remember it being called a semi-specific genre name a while ago..... don't remember exactly what it was though. think they considered it more of an Adventure RPG than MMO. MMO usually entails seeing everyone, everywhere, no matter where you go, whereas Guild Wars you only see everyone while in town.
That poll missed out NC Softs mst succesfull two mmorpgs and the current leading sci-fi mmorpg anarchy online. If you're going to make a pol about the best MMO's put the current market demonstrated best ones on the list
So you need to add Everquest 1+2 , anarchy online, second life, etc up