The Daily Grind: What’s the best MMO to roleplay in as of 2018?

Half an eternity ago, my merry band of MMO PvPers and raiders ran headlong into a gang of roleplayers, and it changed my guild forever. I’ve reminisced before about some of my favorite roleplaying moments in MMOs, many of them in City of Heroes and Star Wars Galaxies, games where the play-your-way pace of the game led to amazing storytelling and impromptu encounters, the kind that make you research obscure planet names, spend hours on the perfect costume, and accidentally stay up until 4 in the morning… typing.

But in the post-SWG, post-City of Heroes era, I dropped out of roleplaying as a core activity. I’m not going to be that jerk on the RP server talking about sportsball, mind you, and I’ll still make sure my toons have appropriate names and sufficient backstory, but I don’t hang out in taverns waiting for something interesting to happen nowadays. And honestly, I’m not entirely sure which MMO would be the ideal home for a roleplayer anyway.

You tell me – what’s the best MMO to roleplay in as of 2018?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Of recent games I am definitely gonna have to go with BDO.

The RP community on BDO at least when I played/saw RP happening on BDO it was really good.

My all time favorite game to RP in though would be Neverwinter Nights 1. NWN1

Jaxen Beaver

There is definitely still a lot of really good RP going on in Wildstar. Its spectacularly customizable housing system is one of the best RP tools I’ve ever seen in my decades of MMO’ing. You can do quite literally anything. Want to make a casino bar? Sure. Pirate ship? No problem. Tropical beach cabana? You bet. Dystopian ravaged planetary wasteland? Heck yeah. With the housing being so incredibly good, it makes for exceptional RP scenarios and builds in a “safe” area for RP that won’t get wrecked by griefers.


Might seem odd but, Ark Survival Evolved has a few, very heavy Roleplay Servers. Two of the most active are Game of Thrones, based lore. SKRP and WestrosRP(Newer of the two). Both have made adjustments to the Ark “The Island” Map and dino spawns. If GoT is not your thing, there are other roleplay servers as well. Because of the modders/map makers of the game, Anyone with the time/skill and want could, design what ever world they wished tbh.

Chris Dudley

Underlight of course. down to 50 or so players but if you DONT rp your account is banned, this happened just the other night after one of the games biggest villains went on a rant.

Bag on this game for its graphics all you want, its soooo fun, and I play most of the larger games too.

Rose Travers

MassiveCraft. There is actually a minecraft server that is full of serious RP. You can spend days looking at all the lore, and it’s got a huge city. Rent houses, decorate them yourselves, etc. I’ve found more satisfactory rp here than EDO or GW2. Might sound strange, but the mechanics and storyline is pretty great.

Zen Dadaist

I found it’s not really the tools that define whether it’s a good game to RP in – it’s the community and the coherence of the lore and setting. Sure tools like personal housing, RP tags, in-game weddings and whatever help with immersion and ideas. However if you’re getting trolled and harassed 24/7 by a community who thinks its bad (even though their usual “my side/leet skillz is superior to yours” rhetoric is basically the same thing, only without the IC/OOC distinction) then it’s no fun at all.

I don’t RP in MMOs any more, due to community. The irony is I started to RP in MMOs because I found RP communities!

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Alex Willis

LOTRO, obviously. But I’m curious about the BDO RP scene, because it can be such an immersive “life” game. (Next to EVE, it still has the coolest and deepest PVE economy.) And by “curious” I also mean “holy shit, this makes me nervous because overexcited boob physics = ERP = nopenope”.


Personally think finding actual good quality RP in MMOs is like trying to find a competent PUG for a high-end raid. But then again I prefer RPing on MUDs and other text-heavy venues. I guess FFXIV seems like it’s decent on the Mateus server if you look past all the shenanigans and trolling. WoW probably still has its moments on Wyrmrest Accord or probably even Moon Guard. LotRO’s always solid, RIFT has the tools for it, and beyond that dunno.

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I’d say Lotro and Champions Online. CO is so much more fun if you’re with an RP group.

Toy Clown

I loved UO (shout out to Pacific!) and SWG (Bria, then Starsider when the griefers took over) the best for RP features. SWG had the best chat system for RPing and you could tell the devs had their roots in MuDs. Include housing, deep character customization, entertainer system, storyteller system, crafting, flight, vehicles… we had all the tools we could ever need to create our own scenes. From creating stages for shows, to creating Raxus Prime and Nar Shaddaa as backdrops, combined with the ability to use each item you looted or created as house deco and could trade it to other players, also created many RP scenarios for smuggling goods across Empire borders.

Current: I really enjoy BDO for RP. While it doesn’t have all the features I miss from SWG, it has quite a few. From housing, different types of mounts, wagons and ships, a large world to explore and use for backdrops to scenarios, insane character creation, and the introduction of musical instruments last year and expanded costumes made by players all lend heavily to immersion. The realism of the graphics helps a lot, too.

For the type of RPer I am, while I know lots of people enjoy ESO, I don’t like the way it “shards” people into different instances as it makes it hard to get into RP organically. Yes, you can friend everyone, or guild people and get higher chances of being somewhere together, but it’s not perfect. Housing also has a low cap on how many players can be inside. The world is large and immersive, the lore deep, and customization as far as what a character wears is vast.

FFXIV has lots of RP and it’s easy to find organically on the Mateus server. The drawback is so much of the content and features for RP are gated behind doing the game’s main story line and levels, so it makes it a little daunting to start up RP as a new player, but once you have a base level of glamours and an apartment (plenty open on this server), it doesn’t feel too bad.

GW2 has the same problem ESO has and also lacks personal housing that you can decorate yourself and make your own. It’s a great venue if you like to do adventure RP and don’t mind using NPC houses, but again I’m not a fan of the whole sharding players off into multiple instances thing.

BDO has my vote for best MMO for RP currently. I realize not everyone has the same tastes I do, and that’s cool. :)


Mateus is definitely “interesting”. Friday night I started hearing commotions in my FC about some weird stuff going on in the Quicksand (Ul’dah adventurer guild) and it was the first time I heard about the FC that apparently has a bunch of people who mimic characters like Yshtola, Aymeric, Haurchefant, etc…

So one of the first things was seeing Lolorito repeatedly yelling for help because an angry mob kept chasing him around Ul’dah wanting him to pay for what he did in the MSQ that people obviously dislike the character for (Aymeric and Papalymo were a part of the mob chasing him). Later on I saw Aymeric sitting completely nude on top of Haurchefant. Papalymo was running around with a Slime King hat, and then the best part was there were folks such as Honkred Waters and Cid Honkrond who impersonated various characters (in those cases it’s obviously Thancred and Cid) and did nothing other than run around making honking noises.

So what I learned is that Mateus on a Friday night is freaking hilarious just to watch from a spectator point even though it makes the RPer in me woefully irritated to see lore characters being messed with in such a way. But it also makes me glad I don’t bother with MMO RP because the Quicksand in FFXIV is pretty much the equivalent of Goldshire in WoW.

Toy Clown

I heard my FC discussing that the other night! Some expressed that same feeling about seeing players portraying lore characters. I think that’s pretty neat that a bunch of players have gone to that length to create something like this and wish I could have seen that! OOC I would have loved to see that, but if I saw it IC I’d probably handwave it as it happened around my character.

There’s always that “one” place in any MMO that unfortunately attracts certain types of RPers. I don’t like to call them RPers, because all they’re doing is looking to hook up under the guise of being a RPer. To me, that’s more about soliciting cyber sex. Hardcore ERPers used to use forums such as Darknest to hook up in games while staying under the radar. ERP was a taboo topic in RP communities 6-7 years ago.

Now people are blatant and flood into a community’s RP hotspot to look for others. The problem I have with that is those places are usually the first place new players (RPers and non alike) and new RPers to a game head to start connecting with others. It’s daunting when you walk into a place, hopeful for RP connections, only to be bombarded with OOC tells asking for ERP.

Sadly, because those spots are most visible to outsiders, it gives them the impression all RPers do is ERP, when in fact what most RPers do is cringe away from that behavior and RP elsewhere.


Can you please elaborate on the BDO musical instruments and expanded costumes part?

The reason I quit BDO (after just a few settings of one or two hours each) was because all the gear shared what seemed like a basic 3-4 items, the real customization coming from static outfits bought in the shop. So what can I expect from these ‘expanded’ costumes?

And are the musical instruments comparable to LotRO’s? Can you actually play songs on them or is it more like ESO where a random tune gets autoplayed?

Toy Clown

If you’re used to LotRO’s musical abilities, you’ll be disappointed with BDO’s, sadly. While they have added musical instruments, you can’t create your own music or sync up created-music with other players. They are neat in that they have animations and you can create your own lyrics and pretend you’re playing a song that matches! Plus you can make it look like several players are sync’d up by using a normal chat countdown to start. Players can quest for a guitar-like instrument and cymbals. There are quest-related instruments, but they only play if you do the mini-game associated with them, which includes drums and a flute.

As far as costumes go, they’ve expanded the amount of armor sets and player-crafted outfits in the game. If you want to dye the player-crafted outfits, you’ll have to fork out 15$ for a ticket that turns the item into a costume. For example, they put in a few more boss gear items with unique visuals and a new armor set came out with Kamasylvia that is elven-themed. Those can be dyed with the Merv’s Palatte / Value Pack that acts like a sub. Here’s a link to all the player-crafted outfits available in-game. Some look pretty good undyed:

BDO Costumes You Can Craft In-Game!