MMOs That Do it Differently

 MMOs Need to Think Outside the Box

Despite what I wrote the other day, some MMOs do try to change up the formula.  Not every single game on the market is a World of Warcraft clone.  I applaud the developers that are trying different things and breaking the mold.  I don't necessarily enjoy all of these games, but I love the idea that they aren't derivative of the EQ/WoW model.

EVE Online
EVE is an MMO in space where the player controls ships.  Buying and outfitting different ships is a big part of the game and there is a ton of customization available.  Players gain skills in real time even when not online and the server structure is set up so that every person playing EVE is in one giant galaxy.  No need to worry about which server to play on or if you can play with your friends, everyone plays in the same world.

A Tale in the Desert
This is an MMO without combat. A Tale in the Desert is all about crafting, building, and collaboration.  Players can even elect Pharaohs and create lasting changes in the world.  The game completely resets after a pre-determined amount of time.  As of right now the 5th "telling" of A Tale in the Desert just started, so it's a great time to check out the game while everyone is starting from scratch.

Dungeons & Dragons Online
DDO brought Free to Play gaming to the mainstream.  Before DDO went F2P all the major full-featured MMOs were subscription based and most of those cost $15 per month.  DDO's success has encouraged more MMOs to make the switch to a F2P model.  On top of this, DDO is structured around hand crafted dungeons where exploration actually matters.  The game also forgoes standard auto-attack combat in favor of click to attack.  It sounds like a minor change but it makes a world of difference.

I'm sure there are more niche MMOs out there that have avoided making a WoW clone, but these are the main 3 that come to mind when I think of MMOs that are outside the box.  Do you know of any other MMOs avoiding mainstream trends?  Let me know in the comments.


  1. Wizard 101 - Card based battles with ad hoc grouping. Quite a nice little game.

  2. Really? That sounds interesting. Is it a free to play game or is it subscription based?


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