Re: MMORPG Recommendation Please - Quite Long
Here are my recommendations:
A Tale in the Desert - ATITD - Free to try and download. They have extensive social interaction and a neat idea. Like I said, free to try, so why not fool with it until while you are waiting on other games to come out of the pipeline? No combat... although, it's a very different game, so don't let the lack of violence keep you from giving it a try.
City of Heroes - CoH, CoV - Some good social interaction and good story. Cheaper to get into the game now. Content is a little short, however.
Final Fantasy Online - Not played this myself, but I am told it is group based PvE. I am planning to try it when I get some time.
I'm waiting for new MMORPGs to come out, too. Something with a clean interface, a polished rule-set and lots of social interaction. In my opinion, WoW misses the boat on social interaction. After playing for over a year, here is my experience: From level 1-55, I had trouble finding groups (as a healer, none-the-less) and finding terrible pick-up-groups. Members in my large guild were either too high or too low for a balanced dungeon run. Plus, you have to wait long times for people traveling across Azeroth to arrive.
I kept hoping that when I reached 60 that everything would change since everyone was the same level. Instead of nice, simple level 60 grouping, WoW drives level 60s to get their uber-gear through large raids. So, then I started hoping that getting into a raid guild would be where I would have the group-focused dungeon experiences. Didn't find it there either! Fast forward to a new server, getting yet another PC up to level 60, and me joining a raiding guild. Turns out, raids are the most boring things in the world... everyone standing around and doing their one or two things over and over... and WAITING... oh, gawd the waiting. Waiting hours for the raid to start, waiting 10-15 even 30+ minutes between fights...
In short, I spent over a year diving in the deeps of Lake Warcraft, only to find the social experience is simply not there. It's tragic because you look at the polished surface and think, well, it MUST be there somewhere. For me, it was very disappointing to find it was not. So, yes, very much hoping for those new MMORPGs to come out.
Here is the big question I will review in future MMOGs: Can you group with people of different levels and still have a fun experience? That's the tell-tale sign. If the game starts with the premise that players cannot work together unless certain requirements are met, then you KNOW the rest of the game is not going to be socially-inclined! Okay, rant off, good luck finding your next game.