Anyone else out there ever play Final Fantasy XI? It's the massive multiplayer online version of Final Fantasy, and while I don't think it should have been numbered (call it FF Online or something, since it's not like any of the previous games) I do find it fun. Especially with friends.
It's nice to be able to share your experiences with others and help each other out. One of the best things I've always thought about the game is that the users are nice people. "Here, want a Linkshell? Here, have some gausebit grass; I've got extra. We're training in the dunes, anyone interested?"
I can tell you how much of a difference it makes when an online group of strangers treats each other kindly and respectfully. The trash-talk I've gotten merely for being a girl in places like Warcraft III (and no, I haven't played WoW. I never will, for this very reason), compared to a random white mage walking by and casting Protect on me, made me love going back to it every day.
The world is huge, the story is intricate, and the combinations of the familiar spells/classes/actions with the new in battle is great. There's also crafting from cooking to sewing to blacksmithing.... I mean, I could probably waste years on this, if I had no life outside of it. I admit it's a little frustrating to be one of the casuals there--I swear some people must play 24/7--and come back hoping to team up with the same people and discovering they're now level 99 and would rather hunt rare monsters than help me get a subjob. But I liked being part of a world that was full of conflict and war and yet peace between players.
The first time I played was three years ago, and I shared an account with my husband, so we never got to play together. But thanks to the 10th anniversary and super-cheap prices, I ended up playing again--this time with people I know in real life.
And now it's even more awesome. Pretty much the only thing that could make it better would be having more people join us. We could use another Warrior. ;)
***FFXI is a pay-to-play game, but the first month is free, so if you want to join us, you can get the Vana'diel Collection on Amazon for $9. It has most of the expansions and you won't have to hassle with the Steam version like I did. We play on the Shiva server. ;) And if for some reason you don't like it, I mean, it was probably the cheapest RPG you ever bought.***