The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG boasts the best space gameplay?

Over the past week or so, I’ve been tinkering with Star Wars Galaxies Legends, an NGE emulator for SWG that’s actually pretty polished and has some new bits and bobs too. I’m having fun, although it feels sort of small and the economy is rough. And unlike a lot of other emulators, it has most of the game’s space content in and playable. I took a crappy newbie ship out with my mouse – I’ve got to fish my joystick out of storage still if I want to get serious about it – but even with that terrible setup, it was a blast. I had forgotten how glorious space flight in this game was. Lots of MMOs have that “fleet commander” or “bridge captain” or “on rails” feel, but not a lot offer that visceral dogfighter feel – and SWG does it. And that’s before you get to multiperson ships!

Say you’re hunting for a modern (or living) MMO with this kind of combat. Where would you go? Which MMORPG boasts the best space gameplay?

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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Ryuen

In any MMO? SWG because it allowed me to fly a Tie again and, let’s be honest, nothing quite beats blowing up rebels.
In a current MMO? Elite:Dangerous

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Peregrine Falcon

I hate to say it but… Star Trek Online.

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Utakata

“For here,
Am I sitting in a tin can,
Far above the world,
Planet Earth is blue,
And there’s nothing I can do…”

…err, not really. I don’t play enough of those to make am informed comment about it either way. o.O

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Paragon Lost

None, currently. :/

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Anthony Clark

Earth & Beyond all the way!

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cerement

More than a decade later and I’m still salty with EA …

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Oleg Chebeneev

Star Citizen and EVE. In few years it would be a silly question so far ahead of competition SC will be

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NeoWolf

I am no longer a fan of Craptic for numerous reasons but Star Trek Onlines space portion of the game is outstanding and fun.

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Castagere Shaikura

Earth & Beyond for me.

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Dug From The Earth

After the last tennocon, id say Warframe is going to give this gameplay a run for its money

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jbnl1972

Not an MMO, but I still tremendously enjoy how Freelancer played … and think it’s a mystery nobody copied it.

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Schmidt.Capela

Freelancer and Wing Commander are supposedly the two main inspirations for Star Citizen, so in a way your wish might come true.

As for why nobody copied it, AFAIK the industry for a long time came to the conclusion there was no market for a big budget flight sim. Which, mind, is why Star Citizen is crowdfunded; Chris Roberts first tried to sell the idea to a number of studios, not a single one thought a high-quality space sim would sell, so he turned to crowdfunding instead.

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jbnl1972

Yeah, but given what I read on the geologically slow development of Star Citizien I think I’ll pass :D
Freelancer’s biggest asset (to me personally) was the really nice control setup .. sure it had its issues (dogfights tended to degenerate into a turning contest) but for acessibility and just fun to play it was a good one!

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Mewmew

Is it really that slow? Quality takes work, content takes time.

Development on a new quality MMORPG especially takes a long time.

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Tee Parsley

Even Chris Roberts didn’t think there was that big a market for a big space sim. His original monetary goals were pretty low in comparison to today. Don’t think Roberts was particularly prescient, he just didn’t have any other background to pitch.

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PhoenixDfire

There was a space game MMO called Black Prophecy that had a similar flight engine to Freelancer. Had real connectivity problems and disappeared after about a year.