DDO, LOTRO, AoC or Warhammer?

This has probably been done a gazillion times, but they've all been (relatively...) FTP for a while now. So, to anyone who's played two or more of them: which should one pick first? Which has the more varied/interesting quests? Which encourages teamwork the most? Which has the most active goodjer community? Let battle commence.

Also, on a more personal note, which one has the least boring WoW/GW-style click-and-watch-bad-animations gameplay? I'm assuming DDO or AoC from the little I've played of each.

Apologies if this has already been done, but I didn't see anything in search!

Oops, forgot to add general to the title. Cut off my balls and salt my crotch.

Of the 4, I think that LOTRO and DDO are the most easily accessible. All of them have pseudo-WoW gameplay; AoC has the most clicking/button pressing by far.

Ultimately, of the 4 I think that LOTRO's probably the most solid from end to end. It has a very cohesive and involved story to it, and I find that aesthetically, it's just a more attractive game, at least on my laptop. I'd also say it's probably the most accessible from a strictly F2P standpoint as well; Class/race selection is very open(only two classes are restricted), where others are heavily limited, such as DDO or AoC. Additionally, I also feel like it has more solid content available, given that the entire epic is available to F2P players. Not sure about AoC's destiny quest.

So, for me, I'd say LOTRO's your best bet; gameplay's largely the same in all of them, but it wins on story, aesthetic and the like.

My recommendation for best of the 4 is LOTRO but it is your typical click and watch animations play out like you said. Of the Alternatives i would suggest AoC as it has a layer of positional swings and feels a little different. DDO is also good but I feel it has aged the worst of the bunch and is starting to really look terrible.

If you want something completely different may i also suggest the FTP Fallen Earth. Think Fallout online with a tiny bit of FPS thrown in, excellent crafting as well. I am not sure if its FTP just yet but they did announce it was going that way via gamers first.

AnimeJ wrote:

Of the 4, I think that LOTRO and DDO are the most easily accessible. All of them have pseudo-WoW gameplay; AoC has the most clicking/button pressing by far.

Ultimately, of the 4 I think that LOTRO's probably the most solid from end to end. It has a very cohesive and involved story to it, and I find that aesthetically, it's just a more attractive game, at least on my laptop. I'd also say it's probably the most accessible from a strictly F2P standpoint as well; Class/race selection is very open(only two classes are restricted), where others are heavily limited, such as DDO or AoC. Additionally, I also feel like it has more solid content available, given that the entire epic is available to F2P players. Not sure about AoC's destiny quest.

So, for me, I'd say LOTRO's your best bet; gameplay's largely the same in all of them, but it wins on story, aesthetic and the like.

As far as community goes, I think LOTRO also wins out there. The Landroval server has the highest concentration of goodjers by far. There's a number of us that still play with regularity, and there is a goodjer heavy guild that is very friendly and welcoming.

I would go with the one with the most active community. Maybe you feel differently, but I'll play a crappy MMO game with good friends over a great MMO game solo.

Warhammer is coming out with a MOBA ftp version sometime in the coming year. The beta shouldn't be too hard to get into.

The pve game is very WoW like but the PVP, which the MOBA version is focused on, is very much more twitch and action oriented. It should be very much worth looking into.

PvP, especially the scenarios is the most fun I have ever had PvPing in an mmo. It is probably even more fun than I have had in any PVP including fps deathmatch and ctf.

LOTRO. Hands down for story, community and graphics. DDO and AoC are both good, but DDO is a love-it-or-hate-it experiences, and AoC should be played for the first 20 levels on Tortuga, but after that it just kind of plateaus. Warhammer Online is pretty, but also pretty empty, narrow, and tedious. It also falls into the WoW press and click mentality pretty poorly as well.

Cobble wrote:

If you want something completely different may i also suggest the FTP Fallen Earth. Think Fallout online with a tiny bit of FPS thrown in, excellent crafting as well. I am not sure if its FTP just yet but they did announce it was going that way via gamers first.

It won't go FTP until Q4 of this year... maybe in December. No hard date yet.

It's a good game, but a bit rough around the edges and something of an acquired taste. They keep tweaking and changing the combat mechanics even though it's been out for almost two years, but combat can still be a bit clunky sometimes.
The gameworld is HUGE. Unfortunately they frontloaded all the most drab and brown bits in the level 1-20 starter zone. Bit of a poor design decision, as there are some really interesting and beautiful places in some the later zones. If you are into weird post-apocalyptic scifi, it's worth checking out the free trial until it goes FTP later this year.

Here's my thoughts having played everything except DDO:

1 LOTRO

Pros: This game has an excellent story, beautiful graphics, cool instanced quests, and fun extras like a great crafting system and housing. It's IMHO the best all-around package for a "free" game. They make spending money attractive but not necessary, since you can also earn Turbine points by completing quests.

Cons: PVP is kinda lame, there's a lot of complexity that can feel overwhelming, and you essentially need to level twice because of virtues. These stats give you much needed stat and resistance bonuses, but often mean grinding above and beyond what you need to level.

2. AOC

Pros: The Tortage early level quests are some of the best in any current MMOG. If you want to get a feel for what TOR is promising, check this game out. The combat system is also more interesting than the typical WOW whack-a-mole play of most other MMOs. Beautiful graphics.

Cons: I found instances to not be that rewarding for the amount of effort involved. The world also didn't seem as alive at higher levels, though I quit before the new Asian content came out.

3. WAR

Pros: It's a faithful recreation for the most part of the Warhammer fantasy world (a big plus if you're a tabletop fan like me). Fun PVP.

Cons: Most limited "free mode" of all the games listed. PVE is a total joke, and PVP can be severely lopsided. My friends who are still playing tell me that newbies don't stand a chance against veterans at the highest levels.

jdzappa pretty much sums it up perfectly. LOTRO is the one i keep going back to unlike the others

LOTRO is also the most WoW-like in combat when compared to the rest.

Warhammer's PvE is also the most WoW-like, however, the PvP is nothing like your typical stand next to monster hit special attacks until it dies ad nauseum.

And I am sorry but, I don't see AoC as being any less WoW-like in combat than the others. You just have to hit more 1-2 more keys to fire off the specials for the non-caster classes. Sure there is the illusion that you can swing organically like in Die By the Sword but if you don't follow the sequence to land the combo, you are going to get less than half the dps.

Now I'm just a n00b where MMO's are concerned, but in my view WoW stands head and shoulders above the rest and, even among the F2P MMOs, becomes with it simply because of the polished interface and content. That said, I don't subscribe to WoW unless I can afford the time and money for six months, though I'd be on all the time if it were F2P.

WAR is pretty and sufficiently moody, but choked with paywalls and an obviously dead world. It's too bad, there's some neat things there, but I don't have the time to deal with the sloppiness of execution/

Age of Conan is OK, has some nice poijnts, but again, it's just sloppy, and after a quest or two I wish I were playing WoW. Initially, the bloody and hectic fighting is cool until you realize that your character is being pummeled by axes, swords, and mallets, but your health drops only a tiny bit, no matter the gouts of blood. That's something that WoW did well...when you were fighting low level creatures, it made sense that they couldn't hurt you much unless you ignored their attacks. (Of course, some of those same Scorpid or Imp models were used 50 levels later, but that's another tirade.) I'll explore Tortage, but I think I'll be done soon after that.

Guild Wars...not sure what to make of it. I have only the vanilla installment on Steam, and I just can't seem to see what everyone else does. Maybe being a Mesmer first was foolish, and my new ranger will be more fun, but initial creativity aside, I find it pretty boring and a bit hard to find one's way around. The monsters lurking at the edges of town seem to not matter a whit to anyone, which makes me wonder why I should. Looking for a n00b guide to this, if anyone has any ideas.

LoTRO....hmmmm. Is it because I lack Premium content that I'm lukewarm here where others love it so? I love that I can play a Minstrel, that's marvelous, but it's hard for me to see how the skills interact, so normally I just spam the relevant spells. I'm not so taken with the art, either, or the quests, so it's hard to get too excited about this. However, i just tried an uruk-hai on for size, and that was certainly different. Still feel like I'm missing something in my ignorance....this seems to be the go-to game if WoW isn't.

Still, as precious to me as money is time, and none of these games have yet become competition for WoW in that regard, though I agree that Cataclysm was a disappointment.

The whole point with lotro is to learn the interaction of skills, and when to use one combo, and when another will help. It's got more depth in combat that WoW, better graphics, and about ten times as much story. (That last has always been Turbine's strong suit.)

In lotro, each class plays significantly differently, and that's embodied in the (relative) complexity of the skills and their relationship to each other. And of course, if you're not into Art Deco or the lotro movies, you probably won't like the art direction. But for me, it's head and shoulders and torso above WoW.

Robear wrote:

The whole point with lotro is to learn the interaction of skills, and when to use one combo, and when another will help. It's got more depth in combat that WoW,

I've got that, but it's hard to see the effects in combat as you fight. As I said, I LOVE fighting with a minstrel, but right now I'm just spamming relevant skills and certainly not being as effective in battle as I was in WoW (not Turbine's fault....maybe I need a Minstrel guide )

Robear wrote:

better graphics, and about ten times as much story. (That last has always been Turbine's strong suit.)

This is where we really part ways. WoW's graphics look lush and bold, LoTRO's look faded and dull. Someone I think in these forums was discussing how evocative the Shire was, so I ran my Elf over there to see, and my reaction was "that's it?" There's just very little personality on display, either from the models or the NPCs or the landscape that I've seen. However, playing an Uruk was a welcome change, and I feel Turbine was making actual choices there, instead of being safe.

As to the story, I haven't leveled up very far at all, but I'm not getting any sign of broader conflict or danger. Need to play more, I suppose.

Robear wrote:

In lotro, each class plays significantly differently, and that's embodied in the (relative) complexity of the skills and their relationship to each other.

This I am sure I will like more as I know what I'm doing. Already a plus.

Robear wrote:

And of course, if you're not into Art Deco or the lotro movies, you probably won't like the art direction. But for me, it's head and shoulders and torso above WoW.

Well, I liked the art direction of the LotR movies, but the movies were a definite mixed bag. I felt that just when Jackson was starting to really innovate, he fell back on the normal, the tried and true, and the ordinary...maybe that's what I'm seeing in LotRO.

before Cata hit Lotro has way better graphics imho. After cata though wow caught up a bit. Compared to rift lets say they both kinda look like junk but we aren't having that discussion. its all personal choice though, I would pick realistic over cartoony any day.

I think its tough to talk about character in wow, it all looks the same to me. Cartoony with a hint of spikey shoulders.

Robear wrote:

It's got more depth in combat that WoW,

Disagree here... It's why i stopped playing. Combat in Lotro was more snooze enducing than WoW. At least in WoW you look good doing what you're doing.

They've synced the combat moves with the button pushes, now. That's a welcome change. And don't forget the hi-res graphics pack for lotro. Maybe that's why I think the graphics are better. WoW looks like a cartoon to me, not nearly as much detail as in lotro these days.

I think of the F2P games LOTRO is just vastly more advanced in terms of depth in pretty mcuh every meaningful way. I still find it re-engaging whenever I dip my toes back in.

Part of problem could be how most NPC's and beginning characters look. The armor and and clothing does lean towards the drab side, and the materials don't necessarily look like what i would expect them too. Once you are able to pick up some better cosmetic stuff, that problem can be dealt with if desired.

I'd lean towards LOTRO out of this list. (I've played them all, FWIW.)

Sounds like Warhammer is a ghost town now.

jonnypolite wrote:

Sounds like Warhammer is a ghost town now.

Hell, it was a ghost town when I was playing it over a year ago, which is a shame because the rvr (pvp) content in the game was ridiculously fun.

@absurddoctor, agreed about the drabness of LotRO's beginning NPcs and characters...most of them look quite washed out. I'm only level 13, and while the game is slowly opening up to me (LOVED actually playing my lute in game....who the f*ck knew??), I find the art conservative, especially compared to WoW. You could almost always count on WoW's capitals or other vistas being breathtaking, whereas in LotRO I have yet to feel that same sense of wonder. And I'm old!

@Jonnypolite, it's too bad about WAR. Liked a lot of the ideas and certainly the art, but the game just didn't hang together well enough, it seems. Wish WAR could have had the LotO treatment, though we'll see how they do in the next six months.

WAR devs have repeatedly said that WAR is not going to go free to play. I believe they were quoted as little as two weeks ago reaffirming that. Which is a big shame because, if it went free to play, I would pick it up again and probably play quite a bit as my plate is empty with anticipation.

WAR is a classic muscle car with a shiny coat of paint but worn undersized tires and cracked upholstery. The car has tons of horsepower but only gets 2 mpg so it needs a lot of refilling. The problem is that the devs kept on modifying the engine but they were focused on buying chrome parts instead of parts that would increase the gas mileage at the cost of horsepower overkill. If a muscle car already has 600hp, it would be more prudent to buy parts that increase the gas mileage from 2mpg to 8mpg than to buy parts that increase the hp to 625. And quite often, the devs would buy the chrome parts that were supposed to increase the hp by 25 but ended up reducing the hp by 10. And the ratty, uncomfortable interior remains untouched.

Hows that for an analogy?

fangblackbone wrote:

Hows that for an analogy?

About as good as car analogies get.

Didn't DCUO just go F2P today?

Budo wrote:

Didn't DCUO just go F2P today?

yeah, I played it a bit on the PS3. I am not sure I like it. Its definitely different. My biggest struggles are with the controls and the ridiculous UI.

I also wanted to make like some sort of brawler guy and the only powerset I could pick from was gadgets, I don't wanna use gadgets one bit.

City of Heroes is also F2P now. Definitely worth a look if you've never played it. It shows it's age, but it's still a fun game.