The internet can be a scary place if you have been living under a rock for the past 20 odd years, and are unfamiliar with its nuances. Other than being a wealth of information or a place to purchase some brand new Converse shoes, the internet can also be used to enjoy online games. This is one way that any introvert, parent or simply someone who's too busy for real world socialising can have some down time and connect with some weird, wonderful but interesting people across the world.
Here's a list of the top 3 games I would recommend that you try!
First released in 1997, Tibia, is amongst one of the first and oldest MMORPG's (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game) which was developed by a German company called CipSoft.
Tibia slowly gained popularity in the role-playing game genre and at its peak boasted 64028 players online at one time across 30 or so game "worlds" - the world count has since expanded to 77 (Each with the potential capacity of 1000 players), with 2 extra worlds for testing purposes.
Gameplay involves the progression of "levels" (Your characters rank within the game) along with the advancement of skills by the killing of monsters, using magic, weapons or even your fists - a la Bruce Lee. Four player "Vocations" exist in the game which you will get to chose after a shortish tutorial. They include; The Knight, expert at melee fighting and limited magic ability; The Paladin, Tibia's archer class who is adept at distance fighting and moderate magic capabilities; The Druid, proficient in defensive and healing magic spells; The Sorcerer, offensive style magic is his or her forté. Each of them has their pros/cons and unique set of attributes, however, once you pick one you will not be able to change it later on.
Interactions with other players can be achieved through the in-game chat system which features several different dedicated channels for general chat, making trades and private messaging to name a few. Chat isn't the limitation to your interactions, however. oh no - I will expand on that below.
You will have to be on the look out for other players who want to attack, kill and steal your hard earned loot! A system is in place to prevent the excessive murder of players through the marking of their in-game avatar with a small skull, brandishing them as no good murderers or bandits and informing others that they are just that. You can also join a guild where you can meet new people and in turn gain some protection from would-be killers.
Worlds are split into 3 different categories, each of which caters to different game styles and preferences. Like classes, worlds can't be changed once you have selected one unless you purchase an in-game token to transfer your character. The worlds are:
🚩 Optional PvP | Combat with other players is not permitted unless all parties agree to it.
🚩 Open PvP | Combat with other players is permitted however, the skulling system is present.
🚩 Hardcore PvP | Fully encouraged, dog eat dog style game-play where you will be rewarded for murder!
The base game is free to play however, optional membership packages are available which grant access to new lands, spells, and promotions. You should check out the official trailer below for some cool in-game footage. I really like the isometric game style as, being a pixel artist, it really encapsulates the potential usage of 32 by 32 graphics.
Arguably one of the best-known MMORPG's out there, Runescape has expanded and changed hugely over the past 16 years since it's release in 2001. Like Tibia, Runescape features a leveling and skilling system to advance your character, however, the Runescape system is more developed as many intricacies exist within said systems. For example, both games feature a fishing skill but only Runescape gives you any real benefits past obtaining fish and a fraction of experience points towards your next level, the more you progress the array of fish you can catch increases, opening more opportunity to yourself down the line. Gaining experience in one of the 27 skills available is done by, surprise surprise, performing tasks relating to that skills. For example, hitting a monster with a bow will give you experience in the Ranged skills, whereas hitting a rock with a pickaxe will gain you experience in the Mining skill.
Runescape does not feature a class system and you are free to do as you wish once you create your character. If you want to play as a warrior one day and then an archer the next, you can do so without any restrictions.
Chatting with other players is done through the real time, in-game chat box, which has a channel system, not unlike Tibia's and via the Friends/Private chat interfaces.
Areas exist in the game world where players can come together and fight one another, the Wilderness is one of these areas and it's notoriety to even non-Runescape players is legendary. Split into 56 levels, 8 of which are accessible only to players with a membership, only players within a specific range of your overall level can attack you. The range is calculated by taking your level and adding or subtracting the Wilderness level you are currently standing in, this means at level 1 Wilderness 2 players of level 50 and 49 will be able to initiate combat. Aside from player versus player combat, the Wilderness can be used for high-risk skill training - which is often Wilderness exclusive meaning some resources farmed there may not be obtainable anywhere else, these are usually high-risk high reward situations.
Membership options are available to you which open a whole new side to the game, where new skills can be mastered, new lands can be explored and new mini-games such as the player-owned port can be accessed, unlocking a plethora of rewards and achievements.
The development team on Runescape are top notch, and updates are rolled out frequently which are often accompanied with a video on their social media websites explaining any changes they have made to the game. I have personally played this game on and off since 2002, and have seen many of the changes over the years - some of them were good and some of them not so much, but the main thing is, I have found at least, is Jagex listen to their player base and take all of their feedback seriously.
Sign up to Runescape here!
Heroes and Generals
I absolutely love first person shooters and this game is an excellent World War 2 team based, capture the position style game, where teamwork is definitely paramount when it comes to accomplishing the objective.
The game is split into two - The first person part where you will create a soldier within 1 of the 3 available factions ( United States, Germany, and the Soviet Union ) and progress up the ranks, which is a slow and tedious journey, until you reach the first officer class then you will have the opportunity to try the real-time strategy portion which makes up the second part of the game. This is where you will control units and move them towards objectives such as airfields, factories, cities and other strategic points. When assault teams attack one another on the map, a mission is created and players from each faction can join in on that mission. Officers can also provide an on-going battle with reinforcements supplying the teams with more resources.
Starting out, you will only have access to the Infantry class where you will be a level 1 or Private ranked soldier. You will earn a salary per hour based on your rank and as you progress you will unlock higher salaries, opportunities to move to another branch of the army, such as the Recon, Tank and Pilot branches and better weaponry.
The chat system is very limited and does not feature mic support as of yet. Hopefully, in coming updates, they will implement a better platform for communications with squad mates and in turn, eliminate the need for the usage of 3rd party programs such as TeamSpeak.
Heroes and Generals is free to play, but as with the other games listed above, it features premium packages that include the purchasing of better classes and guns. Some people argue that this makes the game too easy and brings in a pay to win aspect, which is neither fun nor fair.
I've spent countless hours on the game usually over the weekends and I absolutely love it! The development team are awesome, and their updates are frequent often bringing loads of great and surprising new features to the game.
The game can be downloaded through Steam and run through the Steam client or played via the browser client on the official website. The official game trailer can be viewed below.
Well, that concludes my short list of games you should check out. What games have you tried from the list? and which games would you recommend others to try?
Please let me know in the comments below if you have any suggestions!