A week ago I wrote about my wish for a new style of MMORPG and got a few comments. One of those comments directed me towards Dragonrealms and I promised to try it out.
Dragonrealms was recommeded as without classes, purely skills-based role-play. It isn't, but it is, for me, engaging. This may, to some extent, be the age of the players, which I suspect is rather older than on World of Warcraft in general (certainly from the comments I saw). That works on two levels: I don't feel uneasy when people say "I'll be in late tomorrow, I've got detention after school" and, like in so many things, being older gives you a reasonable chance of being more skilled - certainly more skilled at role-playing. In Dragonrealms everyone has access to the same core skills, but your character class (the guild you join) affects how quickly your skills progress. Every class has a primary, two secondary and two tertiary skill sets. Each skill has a series of wall ranks which are harder to learn. For tertiary skills that's every other rank, for secondary every four ranks and for primary every eight ranks. That isn't the only place that the class makes a difference. If you are a warrior mage, you get access to a special set of spells, as do moon mages, priests and so on. A ranger gets a different range of spells and a couple of special skills. Thieves get special skills, as do barbarians.