Best Free WoW Alternative

So, I've tried out quite a few MMOs - Anarchy Online, Rappelz, Knight Online, Mu, Trang, Flyff, KALOnline, Maple Story, Runescape, Shadowbane, Silkroad, Tibia, PlaneShift, Dofus, and Entropia. The only ones I still play (though infrequently) are AO and Maple Story. My brother plays WoW and I've been thinking of starting that up, but I'm not ready to start paying monthly fees.

Anyway, are there any decently comparable MMOs that are free besides the ones I've already mentioned?

No, unfortunately nothing free is comparable. 9Dragons and Hero Online are free and kind of like Rappelz I think.

People compare Guild Wars to WoW a lot but it's not really a fair comparison. Guild Wars has so much focus on character rather than phat l00t, you need to have every piece of armor custom made for each individual character. So if you're looking for randomly generated loot, Guild Wars is probably not for you. The drops tend to be few and far between when you're with a group (even just NPCs) and even the super delux awesome gold magic items only have a few mods, and even then, the 8 skills you choose to bring along are more important.

2Moons is coming up, which looks much more in the vein of Diablo. I don't know if it feels like killing slot machines but it's going to be totally free so it couldn't hurt to check it out.

Otherwise, I'd wait for Hellgate: London. It doesn't look like it'll be quite as MASSIVE online but you'll be able to walk around a town with a bunch of other players, make a party, and go out into instances to adventure. Add guild support, and that's as much of an MMO as Guild Wars.

I know it is Indie developed, but has anyone put in time with prairiegames Minions of Mirth. Free to play with limitations, a one time charge for access to premium content and the darkside. No monthly fees from what I understand.

I never had a chance to check it out, but I believe with the premium content, you have all the tools to host and mod your own world server too.

2Moons looks pretty interesting. It's has surprisingly low system req's for how good the graphics look, so I'll probably try that out when it gets released.

Minions of Mirth... I'm not real sure. I watched the promo video, and at first glimpse it looks like they're using a graphics engine from about 2001-2002. Very outdated feel to it. On top of that, the UI looks pretty clunky, and takes up a large amount of the screen. However, you do get a crap load of playable races, a good mix of classes, the ability to multi-class, you can equip your minions, and you can change characters in-game. I guess all I can say is that I'd have to play it and see what the combat is like, but from the video, I probably wouldn't bother with it.

Minions of Mirth follows the EQ encounter design. I.E. mix in a bunch of monsters that are too high for you to kill in amongst the one spawn you can kill. The interface is very clunky and I wouldn't be surprised if they changed the movement keys to "go north" and so forth.

Silk Road is fun for about a week before the grind gets old. A week or two off is all that's needed to renew another day or two of fun. IMHO it is the best of the free MMO's.

MuOnline is horrible.

Saga of Ryzom is free. Not bad stuff, for sure. Lots of SWG refugees there, apparently.

From what I've found, Ryzom has an "unlimited free trial" and a paying subscription option. What's the benefit of subscribing? Or is this no longer accurate? I seem to recall the players bought the game out at some point.

Is Planetside still doing the "free" thing to level 16 only?

I'm digging Final Fantasy XII as a great "offline MMO".

BadMojo wrote:
Is Planetside still doing the "free" thing to level 16 only?

Yes, but last I checked it was free to BR6 (not 16).

LobsterMobster wrote:
From what I've found, Ryzom has an "unlimited free trial" and a paying subscription option. What's the benefit of subscribing? Or is this no longer accurate? I seem to recall the players bought the game out at some point.

I think the unlimited free trial covers only up to a certain level of ubar-ness. Sort of like a 20-level cap, something like that? It's certainly not quick to level up all one's skills to that ceiling, but regardless the trial isn't time-limited.

If I had to play a potentially-free one forever, it'd probably be Anarchy Online.

I played Anarchy Online a long while back when they just had free trials, and I was appalled by the sloppiness. The code ate one of my guns AND made it so I could no longer dual-wield, I saw untextured surfaces all over the place, and there were typos everywhere as well. I also got totally lost out in the middle of nowhere and I ran into someone else that was equally lost. We banded together and trekked through the desert, looking for some sign of civilization. It was actually really cool, one of those emergent moments developers keep talking about. Then I saw some buildings in the distance! My friend and I started out across the wasteland in that direction! We were saved!

BAM. Invisible wall.

I remember when AO was released it was plagued with a multitude of bugs. When I went through the free trial, it was (as most players put it) running a lot better. I really didn't find any horrible bugs or misspellings... maybe I did my trial later on, after a few big patches.

I found the game quite good, but I was too deep in Asheron's Call to really switch. Looking back, I wish I had... I had more fun in AO than I did in AC, even though it was only for 2 weeks.

A lot of the bugs in AO have been fixed, textures are a LOT better than when I first started playing. In fact, when I logged in after they updated textures about a year or so ago, I was kinda stunned as to how pretty the land in Galway outside Rome looked. I just reinstalled it the other day and plan to play it a bit more.

I saw the classic AO is free to play... does that include the first expansion they put out (something with shadowlands)? I played a shade for a little while, and found it entertaining... just wondering if I can try that again, or if it's only those classic starting classes that are available.

Nope, only the main version, none of the expansions.

EDIT: Which, by the way, they just released a new one called Lost Eden.

dhelor wrote:
Nope, only the main version, none of the expansions.

EDIT: Which, by the way, they just released a new one called Lost Eden.

Seems it now includes one expansion, which adds stuff like player controlled cities and flying vehicles.

Also, I don't know if I've got some settings wrong or something, but it looks like TOTAL ASS.

I downloaded it last night and got it updated (which was a pain in the butt... had to do each individual patch up to 6.8 or so before the patcher would work).

It seems a bit slower than I remember. I started up an agent, and it took me a while to realize I had a starter weapon, so I ended up dying a few times right off the bat. The skill system is a bit complicated, but that's one thing that actually appeals to me. This should be good for a WoW alternative, when the servers are down or queued to all hell. I might try another class though... maybe an adventurer, or a fixer or something.

Also, I don't know if I've got some settings wrong or something, but it looks like TOTAL ASS.

I wouldn't say it was great looking, but given it's age, I don't think it's doing too bad. Still better than some MMO's out there (Mirth or AC come to mind).

LobsterMobster wrote:
dhelor wrote:
Nope, only the main version, none of the expansions.

EDIT: Which, by the way, they just released a new one called Lost Eden.

Seems it now includes one expansion, which adds stuff like player controlled cities and flying vehicles.

I believe that would be Notum Wars. Wasn't aware that was free now, too. Cool.

Now that there's some people joining, we might have to join up at some point. I have a number of characters, can't think of all their names at the moment. I'll update later with names/levels.

EDIT: Okay, here's my peeps:

Krevantis - level 43 adventurer
Trelorvis - level 7 meta-physicist
Beraltikan - level 11 fixer
Geridolis - level 9 nano-technician

All are on Rimor (Rubi-Ka 2), but I could always make a new char on another server.

EDIT2: Forgot to mention, all my characters are Omni (if I remember correctly).

Hee hee. Scrotum Wars.

I made an Agent on... some... server. Thing.

Try Runes of Magie (runesofmagic.com). It's almost identical to WoW as in the way it feels but it also has some cool things that wow doesn't have such as a dual class system. Give it a try

We have a RoM thread, and I believe a small number of us do play it from time to time. I've been working on getting a couple extra systems up and running, so I haven't been in game much, but you can find me as Syllanna (S/P) on Artemis, in the OldTimersGuild.

I think DDO will serve you well when it goes live.

Apologies in advance for necro'ing a 2 1/2 yr old thread (which had already been necro'ed).

In the same boat as the OP (was?). Joined Wow just before BC, hit 70, then 80, done some 10/25 man raiding until the guild fell apart a month or two ago. Haven't played since.

Apart from Eve is there anything else comparable which will last more then 3 months and can still be classed as MMO's (pointing at the empty wastelands in Lotr/War/Swg/etc)?

Tried Eve a year or two ago and found the skill grind and steep learning curve (why cant I just mash buttons?) a big turnoff. That said, just finished downloading it again and will hopefully find someone in the GWJ channel later on.

(Edit) I guess I should mention I dont mind paying fees for a quality game. A free demo would be good though, or at a stretch a reliable group of people to make it worth taking the leap.

Although not free, Aion is probably the next big thing (or flavour of the month, depending on your viewpoint). It launches next month, and there should be an open beta soon to give it a go.

Runes of magic is meant to be getting an expansion soon as well.

Stormshadow, Lotro is hardly an "empty wasteland". I believe it's the most populous American mmo after WoW. It's going very strong, having had it's first for-pay expansion a while back, and it's financially healthy by all accounts. We also have a great clan on Landroval which took in most of the GWJ players.

In short, it's very active, and you can find other players at all levels of play.

Runes sounds interesting, but I think I'll give Eve another go. Seems like the AH manipulation meets Trader/blasty game I've been after. I miss Gazillionaire

Too bad it's been down for the past 5 hours :/

No Lotro, then?

I'll probably give that a try too, but I've found when trying out fantasy mmo's that I compare them to Wow interface, questing structure, etc.

I think Aion is a bit too "asian" for those who don't particularly enjoy the Final Fantasy vibe.

I agree that DDO and Runes of Magic are both good alternatives.