Looking for a new casual-friendly MMORPG

Does such a thing exist? I was a pretty hardcore EverQuest player a few years ago, but now I'm in college and keeping my GPA as high as I can for professional school admissions is definitely priority #1. So, are there any MMORPG's that can be satisfyingly played for a few hours a week? I'm thinking about Vanguard (the negative review of it is how I found this site!), but the field has exploded in the last few years with so many options that it's rather overwhelming to decide, especially if an initial purchase is required.

WoW can be played casually... until level 40 or so. City of Heroes... until level 20

I'm only in to my 30's in Lord of the Rings online, but so far its mostly been casual, solo time put in. I've seen it claimed that you can make it to level 50 playing casually/solo, but have yet to do so myself.

For a few hours a week City of Heroes/Villains would be a good choice. Its easy to find pick up groups and those groups generally aren't as strict as those in WoW.

If you're looking for casual gaming with other folks, there really isn't an MMO out there that's going to do that for very long. Instead, I'd recommend picking up The Orange Box, finding the TF2 thread in Games, and spending some time with the Goodjers playing TF2, which is an absolute blast. Very casual, will suck your life away, but it's a blast.

buggy wrote:

Does such a thing exist? I was a pretty hardcore EverQuest player a few years ago, but now I'm in college and keeping my GPA as high as I can for professional school admissions is definitely priority #1. So, are there any MMORPG's that can be satisfyingly played for a few hours a week? I'm thinking about Vanguard (the negative review of it is how I found this site!), but the field has exploded in the last few years with so many options that it's rather overwhelming to decide, especially if an initial purchase is required.

Sort answer: no. Long answer: that depends on how you game.

Any MMORPG is a timesink...its really easy to get caught up in all of the stats, the quest chains, groups, etc. That said, if you are a disciplined gamer, then something like Everquest 2 or World of Warcraft can be a good choice.

Personally, I like World of Warcraft. It covers all my gaming needs...there are battlegrounds which statisfy my occasional Counterstrike urge, and you can easily run a quest or two in an hour and log without losing sight of that thing called fun.

You can also get caught up in the endgame raiding, and lose your life, friends, family, and GPA if you are not careful and have an addictive personality.

EQ2 is my current choice. I play about 5-30 hours a week. EQ2 has some nice things for the casual and the community is pretty solid and mature.

WoW is also good, but I got burned out on it for multiple reasons.

I don't like LoTRO. I played for about two months then did the EQ2 trial and never went back.

LOTRO is probably the highest quality game out there that'll reward the casual player.

Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'm currently downloading LoTRO. The lore-master class looks the most interesting to me right now. Is there anything I should keep in mind for server selection or are they all pretty much the same?

I'm enjoying LoTRO - I *might* get to play once a week. If I'm lucky.

Far more important than WHAT you play(I've said this about GWJ gaming for some time, as have others) is WITH WHOM you play. You could play ANY game of ANY genre as casually as you like if you have someone to play with. Even just 1 other person to play MMORPGs with casually makes it entirely feasible for just about anything.

Second to the who is your attitude and expectations. You won't be able to do hardcore raiding in WoW casually, but you could definitely solo all the way to 70 taking all the time you like and getting the occasional PUG/casual guild/alliance dungeon group if you wanted.

I have found myself also going into a casual phase with my gaming. Not because of school, more from just being sick of the time sinks traditionally found in MMOs.

In WoW, I just PvP for an hour or so. No more raids, no more rep farming. And that's fun. In fact, I was largely a PvE player until I reined in my game time. Didn't realize how fun PvP could be before that.

Of the MMOs I have tried (COH, WoW, LOTRO) I would say any of them can be played casually. But not all of the game elements will be open to the casual player.

Given that you can get some competent, and often smarter than real people, NPC party members in Guild Wars. I would recommend that for a try. And given that there is no monthly fee, you can play for a few days, hang it up, and pick it up again.

As someone who ended up ditching GW, I really agree that for some people, it's the bee's knees. Definitely something you should check out. The hire-able NPCs are really cool, and it's a fun experience.

I probably only played about 20 hours, but it was totally worth the $50 for the quest/cinematic that bridges the gap between noobie-ville and post-noobie-ville.

There is always Kingdom of Loathing ;p

You can play Anarchy Online for free now minus the 2 newest expansions. A friend of mine plays, and talked me into trying it out. I've only gotten 2 characters to the 40-60ish levels, which isn't much since it goes up to level 220. It in a way reminds me of a sci fi diablo. You get missions from a booth that are randomly generated instances. There are a few dungeons. They seem pretty crowded, and people constantly train you. I'm pretty much wasting time on it till Age of Conan comes out.

Hi Buggy.I play WOW-it is a time sink,although Blizzard recently made levelling a character much easier and quicker than when I did it. My guild is
GWJ-Allianceon the Blackhand server.(US) And we are a casual guild.Also
quite friendly-as I can testify . I have been in a raiding guild that was totally coldhearted and selfish and GWJ is not one of those. So if you feel like taking a chance on something that's fun,costs 15 bucks a month and is slightly addictive,why not try us out?Take care.