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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Community Spotlight: Best MMO Cities?

Posted by MikeB Thursday March 10 2011 at 10:57AM
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This week's Community Spotlight focuses on the thread "What were the best cities in an MMORPG?" by MMO.Maverick. The topic is fairly self-explanatory, so let's kick things off with Mavericks take:

These were the memorable cities I encountered:

- Kelethin (EQ): combined with the typical Kelethin music, this is one of the MMO cities that stuck with me in all the MMO years that followed

- Pandaemonium (Aion): it's large, and has a high fantasy atmosphere without a doubt.

- Tarantia (AoC): take all the areas together, and there's no denying that Tarantia does a good job giving the impression of a thriving, lively Hyborian city where a lot of adventure happens

- Stormwind (WoW): when I first started playing WoW, Stormwind managed to capture perfectly the atmosphere of WC3 for me, like I would've pictured WC3 to be if it was made into an MMO. Good memories.

- Millennium City (CO): a city that really feels like a modern day metropole and not a miniature version of it.

Those I'm looking forward to:

- Coruscant (SWTOR): it looks majectic and vast, this Star Wars city planet, from what I've seen of it so far.

- Divinity's Reach (GW2): this must be the most beautifully designed city I've seen so far, this last capital of the human race. Magnificent, without a doubt.

So what were the MMORPG.com community's favorite cities? Read below to find out!

nolf adored the PvP hotbed of Anchorhead in SOE's Star Wars Galaxies:

Anchorhead in SWG is my all time favorite MMO city/town.  While I could rifle off a few that come close, the constant PvP clashing in Anchorhead on my server virtually defined that game to me.  Between that, the Tusken & Jabba runs and hanging out in the hybrid cantina/med center, Anchorhead holds a special place in my heart.

I always found it ironic that the smallest little desert oasis seemed to have the biggest presence.

Ultima Online's Britain received a good deal of love in Maverick's thread, here's sacredcow4's take:

Brittain.  Period.  Nothing captures the feel of a living breathing city like Brit in UO.  You had real beggars, real merchants, real mercenaries... the city itself was very real.  Blacksmiths congregated around the forge repairing armor, people sold goods by the bank...

I'd have to say Brittain is the best city with no close contest.  It was the ONLY city that made me feel like I was actually there.  What did you have in Stormwind?  Scenery, Auction House, and Bank.  No real portrayal of city life.  No feeling of players actually populating the city.

Garvon3 loved Camelot, of you guessed it, Dark Age of Camelot fame:

One of the best cities in any MMO I've played

Camelot - of Dark Age of Camelot.

You had everything you  ever needed inside those walls. Dozens of quest NPCs, citizens just milling around talking to one another, a din of crafters and traders in the air. You could buy any kind of armor or weapon in the market square, the crafting center had tons of material merchants. You had all the trainers in their respective buildings. The Clerics and Paladins in the Church, the Wizards in the Arcane University, martial classes in the Defenders of Albion, thieves and dark classes were hidden in the undercrofts of the city with the poison merchants. And of course, the central guild areas with banks, guild emblem merchants, Merlin's Tower, and most importantly, the Round Table.

It was, and still is, an impressive city.

My favorite MMO city has to be Theed, Naboo in Star Wars Galaxies. The city was so large and majestic, and easily captured the look and feel of Theed from the films. Many of the Naboo cities were almost as beautiful and somewhat serene. The Lake Retreat was quiet and isolated and again, just as beautiful as it appeared in Episode II. Say what you want about SOE's shortcomings with Star Wars Galaxies but the design and layout of the games' various cities was certainly not one of them!

Samhael writes:

I detested Kelethin -- too many freaking bridges and plateaus... so hard to figure out based on a map where I was supposed to go to find whatever NPC I was looking for. Pandaemonia and Old Tarantia were pretty cool.  I didn't like Milenniumn City -- although that may have been tainted because of my dislike for CO itself.

Thu Mar 10 2011 11:33AM Report
McGamer writes:

The OP listed cities in some mmo's that arent even out yet? wow, nice. I can think of any number of cities in Lotro that are better than half of those on the OP list, especially WoW.

Thu Mar 10 2011 1:15PM Report
Deathofsage writes:

If you can forgive the ...Downloading Data... of it all, FFXI's Jeuno deserves some love.

Thu Mar 10 2011 2:20PM Report
MMO.Maverick writes:

Heh, funny, to take that thread as spotlight, unexpected.

 

@Czanrei: yep, I indeed listed cities that aren't even out yet, accompanied with the comment "Those I'm looking forward to:"

Learn to read.

Thu Mar 10 2011 2:41PM Report
limitedo writes:

WoW Orgrimmar - the best of the best

Thu Mar 10 2011 4:05PM Report
Rohn writes:

Perhaps not a big city, but I always liked Bree in LOTRO - it just had a nice feel to it and usually was pretty busy with other players.

Thu Mar 10 2011 4:08PM Report
SputtRosa writes:

There's no place where I spent as much time as in FFXI's Jeuno. The music there, especially during Christmas, and the atmosphere is something I sorely miss in other games.

Anarchy Online's Borealis had a lot of good moments, from the ever-afk Boglwe, to the secret door behind the mission vendor, to Healing Hands walking around chatting and helping people, to the parade to take farewell of the neutral guards. The music still gives me chills as the feeling of nostalgia from it being the first thing I heard every time I logged in.

WoW has a lot of terrible cities. Stormwind, Undercity, Ironforge, Shattrath and Dalaran are the worst of the worst. Not even Kelethin's multi tiered bridge nightmare comes close.

Thu Mar 10 2011 4:44PM Report
battleaxe writes:

Player cities are wastelands.  Some players are doing chores (banking, crafting, auctioning, selling crap), some are yacking on the ooc/trade/local channel, but most are either afk or ignoring the rest.  The NPCs are no help - they just stand there in the same exact spot day-in, day-out, year-in, year-out selling the same crap year after year.  There are inns and taverns, but no players use them unless a quest is involved.  There aren't any players playing cards, checkers, or any other games unles you count the random number hustlers that show up every once in awhile.

Thu Mar 10 2011 5:11PM Report
Warzod writes:

One that I believe deserves mention is Omni1 Entertainment from Anarchy Online. While Funcom was never able to fully utilize all the features (bars, clubs, etc) that were built the city itself radiated old school cybertech.

On the new front Gotham City from DC Universe is the most living, realistic, beautiful ingame city I have seen to date. Standing atop a building and looking out you can see people, cars, the lights of the city... it is amazing. Too bad the game wasn't.

Thu Mar 10 2011 6:14PM Report
Dvalon writes:

Stormwind, and I play horde. but yeah Stormwind just looks and feels like it is a city, although compared to the cities in some of the mmo's coming out like tera and archage Stormwind is going to pale in comparison.

Thu Mar 10 2011 6:14PM Report
Senadina writes:

Millenium City: I actually found myself missing the feel, the atmosphere, of CoH when I stopped playing.

Pandemonium and Sanctum: Aion is just a gorgeous MMO, and the detail of its major cities has no equal.

Bree: Again, the atmosphere of LoTRO kept me wanting to log in just to BE in the world.

Thu Mar 10 2011 9:55PM Report
just1opinion writes:

I love and will always love...North and South Qeynos of EQ2. There are bar and shops and crafting centers and apartments and houses and guild halls and in the earlier days the city was so alive you could feel the pulse of the community there. Of course now there are not so many people there, but I still love it. It's my favorite city in an MMO to this day.

Fri Mar 11 2011 1:33AM Report
TarotMage writes:

I'm in total agreement with Rohn and Senadina - LOTRO's Bree was a great place to hang out. Too bad player housing wasn't  available within its walls.

Fri Mar 11 2011 4:50AM Report
jinxxed0 writes:

battleaxe writes:

Player cities are wastelands. Some players are doing chores (banking, crafting, auctioning, selling crap), some are yacking on the ooc/trade/local channel, but most are either afk or ignoring the rest. The NPCs are no help - they just stand there in the same exact spot day-in, day-out, year-in, year-out selling the same crap year after year. There are inns and taverns, but no players use them unless a quest is involved. There aren't any players playing cards, checkers, or any other games unles you count the random number hustlers that show up every once in awhile.

 

Every single game dev needs to read this. Seriously. In fact I'm gonna save it and try to remember it while working on my game products. I think the Elders Scrolls Oblivion got this right, and Skyrim will make it even better (merchants dying and having the ownership passed to family members).

 

It seems guild wars 2 will do some of these things, like having NPCs die and then being replaced and traveling merchants and cities having activities to do.

 

With what you said though, I can just imagine playing an MMO wil NPCs walking around actively doing random things, new NPCs showing up for new quests once in a while, players playing various things like darts or random card games in non-instanced taverns To fix the players sitting there selling over priced crap (like most F2P mmos) you could have an auction house or a bartering zone. And to fix afk players, you could have meditation areas away from where active players are and the meditation area could either slowly give you exp or raise certain skills at a slow rate or something. Or better yet, just log out players that stand in a general general area without doing anything or typing anything like they do in city of heroes. AFK players that stand there for hours are annoying.

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caia brel in vanguard..

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