Anyone who knows me, know's I've been into MMO's for almost 10 years now. I started with EQ at the beginning of 2000, and now being 2007, i guess that makes it 7 and a half years. Anyway, I like the idea of MMO's, but i've never liked the monthly subscription fee's. I understand why theyre necessary, but I just dont like paying a monthly fee for a game that I've already purchased!
The last game that i actually paid for was WoW, I closed my account near the end of 2005, due to lack of time and at the time, lack of interest. Every game gets to the point where you just dont want to play anymore, and you need to take a break. Well i took a break, and found better uses for the monthly subscription fee, and never re-upped. Well, I miss it. Not just WoW, but the whole MMO scene. Financially, things have changed, and I still cant justify the monthly charges, so I've been hunting for something free, that might fill the void.
Someone suggested Eve Online. While it's not free, they DO have a 14 day free trial. So I went ahead and signed up. What a phenominal game! I was about 90% sure i was going to buy a subscription once my trial ended, but on the day it ended, i changed my mind. Theyre fee's are something like $20 for the first month, and $15 thereafter (or close, check their website if you want to know for sure, what do i look like, an ad campeign?), and I couldn't see spending that monthly...
So the trial expired, and i was left with no game, again. I did some more digging. I had toyed with a WoW server emulator a few months back, and i had it working! The playable game was so full of bugs though, that I just couldn't enjoy it. While I was researching the emulator I was using, i ran across publicly run free WoW servers, that actually host their servers on commercially hosted dedicated servers, and have an actual staff that maintain the world! They pay for all of this through donations.
Enter, WoW-Sexy (www.wow-sexy.com)... WoW-sexy is the name of a group who runs one of these servers, well, really, a few of them. They have a "Fun" server, which is a modified game, with a load of exp per kill, and non bliz-like (the term for blizzard like servers) content. Then they have a server which tries to mimic the live game as close as possible. It runs TBC, and has all of the current live content. It's still got its share of bugs, but it is VERY playable. The EXP is something like 3x live. which is ok imho, its not like a level per kill, but it does speed things up a bit. I play on this server, and it's very close to a live WoW experience. Some nights I can play all night and not run into a single bug, other nights, its a little frustrating, on the bright side, you can usually find a GM online, and get bugs taken care of.
Check it out! Seriously, it's fun!