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Thinking about getting into an MMORPG…

Gamingtodaynews1f - Thinking about getting into an MMORPG...
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So as the title suggests, I (and a couple of my friends) want to get into an MMORPG, and right off the bat we come to a problem: Not sure which to go for. Decided that before we dig deep into that, I'd just ask a couple of questions on how MMORPGs generally "work". So:

  1. How much variety is there in combat across the genre? Is it as much as you might typify RPG in general (Which is to say from turn based combat all the way to hack and slash/shooter)? Or are most of the "good" ones just more or less what I assume WoW is (Which to me seems like an ability bar and just using the correct combos with good positioning)?
  2. What should I be expecting to pay, and how should I be expecting to do it? Or a better way of saying this: I would prefer a big one and done payment than a subscription based one, and I would prefer that gives me access to pretty much everything (possible exceptions for DLC areas or something, so long as they would also be a one and done payment). Is this something reasonable or should I change this mindset if I want to get into MMORPGs?
  3. One of those typical things you hear about MMORPGs is "guilds" and such. Is it normal to just not do stuff like that? Me and my buds mostly just want to stick to just us.

And after that I'd guess I'll ask for recommendations for games. We haven't decided exactly what we want to go for, but personally I'm vouching to try and find a game that puts a bit more "work" into the players hands when it comes to combat. Not quite sure how to phrase that more simply/directly but hey, maybe someone will understand what I mean. Obviously I'd also prefer an upfront payment but like I said I don't know if that is common enough to hope for. I don't care if a game has a subscription system (i mean unless it effectively is necessary), but I don't want it to be the way that you access the game (so WoW, for example, is something that I wouldn't want to get into. But again, if I really should get used to subscription based if I want to play the genre, tell me straight up). Probably want a fantasy setting, as a friend of mine really loves the whole "sorcerer" kind of thing, but if you think there is a game worth mentioning that isn't in that, go right ahead. Generally I will end up taking the role of a tanky boi or a healer, so I suppose a game that makes that a bit more on the interactive side would be sweet as well. Not that I expect much for the healer aspect :). I should also say that my friends like PvP so something like Warframe wouldn't be good for us (does warframe count as an MMORPG? I don't know this stuff :P)

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Thanks in advance. Anything you got I'll take, I'm really not working with anything right now.

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