Think you’ve seen it all and played it all in regards to MMORPGs? There’s always a lot of smaller and lesser-known games out there, and once in a while we like to do a small roundup to bring your attention to these titles.
So what do we have today? We’ll start with PlaneShift, a 2004-era fantasy game from Italy that is most notable these days for being a true open-source MMO. Seriously, we don’t get too many of those! Development is predictably slow as a result, but at least it’s still rolling forward and events are happening all of the time.
“Cute” and “retro” are terms best applied to Stendhal, a game that describes itself as “a fun friendly and free multiplayer online adventure game with an old school feel.” There’s a beginner’s guide if you’re just getting started, but advanced users might want to tinker around with the open source code. Hey, I think there’s a theme going on today!
Another old school indie MMO that you may have skipped in the day is Ashen Empires. As long as you have Windows 98 or better, kids, you can play this one! Oh, and 100MB of hard drive space. It’s hard to tell if Ashen Empires is still running; it went completely free back in 2009 shortly after its Dungeons of Dransik expansion but hasn’t tweeted or updated since.
Zezenia Online probably looks very familiar to any Ultima Online and Tibia vets. This title boasts very aggressive development and over 3,100 monthly active players. PvP is a big draw here, as is exploration throughout the 18,000,000 square meter world.
If space trading is your thing and you don’t mind a rather simple layout, then Project Diaspora might warrant a look. Suit up and fly a ship around the galaxy to make money, transport cargo, and fight a bit. One interesting twist is that players can create their own custom servers and connect them to the larger game.