Perfect Ten: 10 favorite features that pairs of popular MMOs share

Sorry, guy.

Even though all MMORPGs compete for our time, affection, and — above all else — money, it doesn’t mean that they can’t get along. At least, in my own head. Despite our heated arguments about which games are superior, I often see the similarities rearing up more than the differences.

For today’s list, I thought it would be very “why can’t we all get along?” soothing to examine certain special features that two (or often more!) very different MMORPGs happen to share. And no, I’m not going to be listing inventory bags, cash shops, or treasure goblins anywhere here.

FFXIV and LOTRO: A chill journey through a very long storyline

For some of us, a mountain of story isn’t daunting — it’s inviting! Both Final Fantasy XIV and Lord of the Rings Online hold as their central tentpole a very, very, very lengthy and enjoyable storyline that players venture through over the course of months or even years. And both have earned a reputation as expert storytellers because of this.

ESO and SWTOR: Choices and consequences

If you’re tired of quests always resolving the same way as for everyone else in your MMO, then experience a refreshing change of pace in Elder Scrolls Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Both of these titles give players options that result in various consequences over the course of many quests. Sure, most of these play out merely in the narrative space, but it’s fun to have even the specter of agency in quest flow.

EverQuest II and World of Warcraft: A whole bunch of unusual player races

Here’s something weird to ponder: If you’re looking for an MMO that offers a long list of unconventional player races, there really aren’t that many games that have both diversity and sheer numbers in the character creator. But you do get this in both EverQuest II and World of Warcraft, with each sporting a nice array of fairly unique and interesting player races. Want to be a rat girl? What about a frog? Or a fox dude? Or a shambling corpse? Get in the mix here and have a good time!

EVE Online and Project Gorgon: Improving your character while offline

Only have a little bit of time to actively play an MMO but want your time away to count for something as well? Some games look for ways to turn downtime into productive time! EVE Online structured its whole skill advancement system around real-world timers, while Project Gorgon allows you to virtually hang out with certain NPCs to improve your favor with them while you’re away.

Guild Wars 2 and Aion: Gliding

We can all debate on the merits vs. pitfalls of flying, but I hope that the entire MMORPG community can come together and agree, once and for all, that gliding is cool beans. It’s not only a convenient way to get down from a high vantage point, but it actually uses a bit of skill to see how far you can soar before you lose your height entirely — and your flight privileges. Both Guild Wars 2 and Aion are pioneers in the gliding space. We need more!

Dungeons and Dragons Online and Neverwinter: Different takes on the same source material

This is as low-hanging fruit as they come, but I’m going to pick it anyway because I enjoy seeing how two different studios took the same IP, settings (more or less), and rulesets (more or less) and created wildly divergent MMOs. It gives one hope for future projects that try a different approach to a past game’s inspiration!

Hardcore WoW Classic and Realm of the Mad God: Permadeath

I think it’s kind of groovy that in 2024, the word “permadeath” has lost a lot of the negative stigma that it once had in this genre. It took us a long time to come back around to it, but some developers and players have found great enjoyment in the added challenge and different strategies that permadeath play delivers.

Star Trek Online and RuneScape: Single significant quests

While many MMOs number their quests in the thousands, some titles prefer to put a lot more emphasis on far fewer but more intricate and involved stories. I’ve come to appreciate these, as they make the debut of a new quest a significant gameplay addition rather than another bullet point.

RIFT and Guild Wars 1: Mix-and-match classes

Why should we be restrained to a single class in an MMO when you could mash two or more together to make your own special blend? This approach opens up a lot more build options and lets the player feel as though he or she has greater agency with shaping that character.

WildStar and Destiny 2: Hoverboards

Everything in games is better with a hoverboard. I firmly believe this, no matter what the title, genre, or developer. At least we’ve had a few MMO studios that agreed with me and let us live out our Back to the Future Part 2 fantasies by zipping around on a highly unsafe vehicle!

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at or with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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