The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the most familiar-feeling bars and taverns?

    
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It never ends.

Star Trek Online has a bit of an advantage when it comes to giving me a place to hang my hat – it’s really easy for the game to make me feel like the bar in the game is a familiar place when it’s Quark’s bar on Deep Space 9, a bar that exists in my head already due to seven seasons of the eponymous show. Even as you trek across the universe, you still want a comfortable bar to return to. Not that it’s alone in that; Star Wars: The Old Republic has its cantinas, World of Warcraft has its inns, Final Fantasy XIV has the neverending bacchanalia of Eulmore.

But which one feels familiar? That one’s going to vary based on the person. Some people find the wood and roaring fire of classic WoW inns to feel like home. Others really get comfortable being able to slide onto a stool in a cantina. And some of us feel most comfortable playing darts while aliens play an inscrutable gambling game behind us. What about you, readers? Which MMO has the most familiar-feeling bars and taverns for you?

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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erock steady

when STO launched I made Friday nights of sitting at quark’s – hosting star trek trivia lol. ahh ima geek.

some things never change – after 9 year hiatus from DDO, I find myself lingering in the taverns, reaching for my guitar, spending hours at a stretch playing along with the soundtrack. sitting in with the house band, as it were lol. ahh ima nerd.

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Harlow Games

I really loved the cantinas in Star Wars Galaxies, and the SWTOR cantinas helped scratch that nostalgia itch.. but were rarely ever populated with exception to the fleet and preparing for server maintenance shortly after launch. SWG thrived in that it gave players multiple reasons to gather – especially getting buffs from dancers and entertainers.

“Cantina/Inn culture” is practically nonexistent in BDO, and I haven’t encountered anyone in ESO inns other than people scurrying to complete writs.

I never got into lurking around Goldshire Inn, but the music is definitely memorable.

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blah blazh

From my experience, it has to be ESO. Quite a few of them even have bard music playing in them. The Prancing Pony in LOTRO is a great shout as well.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

How many other Inns have prostitutes, hell I remember there being a dominatrix in the basement of one of those taverns.

hurbster
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hurbster

The Ebony Flask is just full of surprises.

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Sleepy

I’m obviously frequenting the wrong real-life pubs.

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Zero_1_Zerum

I also would like to take a moment to give props to the taverns in ESO.

I’m mainly a single player gamer, and I’ve got hundreds of hours clocked in Skyrim and the rest of the SP series. It’s the main reason I got into ESO, it was the only Elder Scrolls game I hadn’t played, and I wanted something new. The only problem was, it was a massively multiplayer game.

But, then I found out that it was mostly soloable, which sold me on the game. I could just ignore everyone else, and I did, mostly.

However, visiting the taverns in the game made me appreciate having other players in the game a bit more. NPCs follow rote programming, they add some atmosphere, but it’s just not the same as having player characters hanging around. And, the design of the taverns in ESO make them feel like good places for players to gather. Familiar, thanks to my experience playing the other Elder Scrolls games and the fantasy aesthetic, but different, thanks to the other players. Every time I went to buy some supplies, there was a few other PCs there, hanging out or just getting supplies, too. Made me feel like part of a community, even though I didn’t actively participate in it.

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Castagere Shaikura

Wow, I must have played at odd hours or something. Every inn I went into in ESO never had players in them.

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Zero_1_Zerum

Might depend on the time of day, or even the server. Also, I noticed it was mostly in big cities with easy access to crafting stations. But, the banks were usually more crowded than the taverns.

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Zero_1_Zerum

The Prancing Pony Inn at Bree.

I haven’t played the game in many a year, but I still remember what it was like walking in the door of the Inn the first time. I’d been there so many times reading the Lord of the Rings, when I got there in LOTRO, it felt oddly familiar. I mean, the LOTRO version was different from my version, but still felt like going to a place I was already a regular. Didn’t hurt that someone was having an impromptu concert when I walked in the door.

I may think that the game mechanics in LOTRO are boring and repetitive, and that getting back into the game would be prohibitively expensive, thanks to the cost of all the expansions. But, I have to admit, they did a decent job on the “feel” of the atmosphere of Middle Earth.

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Robert Mann

I think 99% of them feel like they are about 1/50th the size of the closest little hole in the wall bar around. Some people enjoy their <150 sq. ft. apartments. I see a cleaning closet…

LOTRO, ESO to some extent, Secret World, and a few others have things that are not too tiny, and don't feel like a cleaning closet. Most of the rest of MMOs have 'inns' that are too small all in all. *Then again, I like actual cities in games, and don't mind the walking to and fro when having something that feels more realistic in that regard.*

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Castagere Shaikura

All the bars in Anarchy Online in its glory days. On the weekends every one of them would be packed with players.

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Hikari Kenzaki

It’s gotta be The Crusades in Secret World since I’ve spent hundreds of hours more in that bar than any real bar.

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Sleepy

The Prancy Pony is one of the best. Enough tables for more than 6 people to sit down at once, a bar, a load of rooms and parlours, and occasionally someone actually playing an instrument in there.

Carlo Lacsina
Staff
Carlo Lacsina

The Coin in Guild Wars 2! It’s player ran, not many people RP there anymore, but it’s a comfy place to be