This is the one game that literally cannot be generic fantasy by its very definition.
Fantasy MMOs are everywhere. We're surrounded by them. The biggest subscription MMO currently out is fantasy, most of its peers are fantasy, and the safe assumption with any new game is that it's going to be a fantasy game. The total number of elves across all games would outnumber the population of Luxembourg. And with so many games drawing upon the same basic tropes, anyone in the world could be forgiven for not immediately jumping on a new game simply because it promises orcs and elves.

Some games manage to take the fantasy conventions and push them quite far afield, either by viewing them through a separate cultural lens (Final Fantasy XIV and TERA spring to mind) or by moving the basic conventions in another direction (Allods Online and Guild Wars 2, for instance). But what does it take to get you into a fantasy MMO? Do you need a game that's so interesting you don't care about the setting? A truly original take on the setting? Some combination of both? Or do you just flee fantasy altogether?

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This article was originally published on Massively.