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What is an MMORPG?

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. Essentially it is a computer-based role playing game that takes place in an online virtual world with hundreds or thousands of players questing and leveling up together.  To play an MMORPG you will use a client to connect to a server, which is typically run by the publisher and/or developer of the game.  Once connected to the server the virtual world will display all the information needed to play the game.

In a typical MMORPG the user will control a character which is represented by an avatar.  He/She will use this player to fight monsters, interact with other characters, acquire items, access dungeons, complete quests and collect experience along their journey.  

How do I choose the Best MMORPG?

That's a good question, and not one that is necessarily easy to answer. Basically, the idea of "best MMORPG" comes down to a matter of personal preference and which game is best suited for your individual taste. There are many different types of MMORPGs, but to simplify things, many of these games can be shuffled into one of two main categories: Science Fiction (Sci-fi) or Fantasy. Sure, there are reviews to help narrow down the options further, but at the end of the day, it just comes down to trial and error to find what you like best.

Another factor to consider is the cost to play. MMORPGs follow two types of monetization models, either subscription based or Free-to-Play. Subscription based games require a monthly fee to play, after which players are free to explore the game to its fullest. Free-to-Play games offer a base level of features for gamers to play at no cost, with other features and content available to purchase. Subscription based games were long the dominant form of MMORPGs, however Free-to-Play has seen a sudden swing in popularity in 2012.

MMO Attack is a great resource to help you in your search. As well as offering reviews on hundreds of today's most popular games, the site offers game suggestions in the forms of featured popular games and a Game of the Week! Best of all, all the games on MMO Attack are Free-to-Play -- so there's no risk in trying one out!

Still need help? The MMO Attack community is always willing to help out and make suggestions through the site forums.

What are the different types of MMORPGs?

As there are many different types of MMORPGs, it is often easier to think of them in two broad categories: Science Fiction (Sci-fi) or Fantasy.

Sci-Fi games are ones that often focus on futuristic settings and advanced technology. Alien races, foreign planets and space ships are staples of the category. Fantasy games on the other hand are typically set in mythical realms and utilize medieval weaponry and magic to defeat foes such as dragons or trolls. Some MMORPGs are completely original works created from the minds of developers, while others are based off of literary work or other forms of entertainment.

MMORPGs can be further broken down based on their style, or the game play strategies. Some of these genres can include: 2D Side Scroller, Top Down View, Turn Based Combat, Fully 3D, and browser (no download) games.

Whether you're new to the MMORPG gaming world, or you've got years of experience under your belt (and a good sense of what you're into), it's always worth a shot to try a game of a different type! As always, the games on MMO Attack are free to play, and you never know when you might come across something unexpected!

How do I know there's something for me?

Well, truth be told, you don't until you try it out! But one of the great things about MMORPGs today is the ability to chose your own class. If close combat isn't your thing, try being a caster in a fantasy game. Want to stick more to the sidelines and help out? Become a healer. Each class has their own abilities and strengths and all of them are vital to the game.

No, there isn't one single game that will please everyone, but odds are, with the wide variety of classes available in many of today's MMORPGs, you'll find something that suits your interests and strengths.

What is the most popular MMORPG?

World of Warcraft (WoW) has long been the dominant MMORPG on the market. Originally released in 2004, the game has maintained its popularity through the release of multiple updates and its recent conversion to Free-to-Play (through level 20). Though many games have tried to copy WoW's lucrative formula, none have managed to match its success.

Though World of Warcraft may currently sit atop the throne for most popular MMORPG, there are many other big-name titles that are worth a mention, including: Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, Guild Wars, and Lord of the Rings Online and Battlestar Galactica Online.

How are some MMORPGs Free to Play?

The Free-to-Play monetization model is one that surged in popularity in 2012. Rather than costing a pre-determined monthly fee for access, Free-to-Play games offer a base level of features that players are able to explore at no cost. Some games allow players to explore until they reach a certain level (called a level cap) while other games give players full access to the game with the ability to purchase additional content or features through micro-transactions (or in-game purchases).

Regardless of the method or model of Free-to-Play implemented, the concept provides a great opportunity for players to experience the world of a game and get a feel for what's to come before committing to any purchases.

MMO Attack is devoted entirely to providing an enjoyable free-to-play experience for all gamers no matter the preference in genre or play style. Reviews are provided to give users a sense of what to expect, but with all the games being "no-risk, completely free" we always recommend you give them a try!

What if I'm playing on a Mac?

It's tough love being a Mac owner in the MMORPG world. As is, there is a much larger PC population of gamers than there is Mac, so many games perform as PC only. It's a sad truth, but that's not to say you're completely out of luck. There remains a decent selection of games that are available to Mac users such as: Lord of the Rings Online, Marvel: Avengers Alliance and Battlestar Galactica Online. For an expanded list on Mac friendly MMORPGs, head on over to MMO Attack's Mac List!

Still crying that your favorite MMORPG isn't available to play on your Mac? Us too. But the good news is that as the Mac community continues to grow and become more lucrative, developers should realize the potential and put forth efforts to expand into the market. It's just a matter of patience at this point.

PvE and PvP... huh?

Nothing to worry about -- just some MMO jargon. Basically, PvE (Player Vs. Environment) and PvP (Player Vs. Player) refer to the two different play styles that one can experience in an MMORPG.

To put it simply, PvE refers to the style of gameplay in which players complete quests with the cooperation of those around him/her. Forming guilds and utilizing teamwork is encouraged as it makes difficult and daunting tasks more possible and it makes accomplishments all the more rewarding. PvE is a great place for gamers of any skill range, from top level experts to beginners. 

PvP is a much more competitive realm and is generally only recommended to those of higher skill levels. In this mode, players challenge each other in a fight to the death. Rewards and punishments for winning/losing vary from game to game, but in some cases, victory allows the player to loot his/her defeated foe's goods. Certainly not for the feint of heart, but a perfect way to extend the life of a game after all the PvE content has been completed!