This is a large topic and one that I will return to later. MORPGs (multi-player online role-playing-games, also known as MMORPGs) have been developed over the last 25 years as computers become more powerful and game companies attempted to bring many players together at the same time in virtual worlds.
The first MORPG I played was Diablo, by Blizzard North, in 1996. While not really a MORPG by some standards, you could play with other people, across the country, and you could role-play your character, a little. The next game I played which was a real MORPG was Ultima Online, from Origin Systems. I played Ultima Online for two years before switching to EverQuest, from Verant Interactive.
From EverQuest I tried many games, include Asheron’s Call, and Dark Ages of Camelot, before I settled on World of Warcraft (from Blizzard). Since November of 2004, I have spent many happy hours playing in the complex and, increasingly irrational, online-world which has been so incredibly successful.
One of the many competitors to World of Warcraft is the Korean game Black Desert Online. This game has some absurd costumes for its characters but they did create one costume which I really like as I think it captures the look of an early Ming Dynasty General.
We don’t know all that much about Chinese armor from the early Ming period; very little armor has survived, and few weapons. The fact that so little armor and weapons survived to the present day goes to the heart of one of the great differences between Chinese society and Europe and Japan. The Chinese did not preserve their weapons and armor from the past because they did not care! We do have some paintings and illustrations for books like The Water Margin, but these are a far cry from the richness of European and Japanese arms and armor which was lovingly preserved by the nobles of other countries.
Here is an example of the ridiculous armor the Black Desert artists came up for female knight-mages:
By contrast, the Elder Scrolls Online has a much more realistic depictions of armor on women.
I will likely be playing World of Warcraft Classic sometime after it launches in August of this year. However, given that I played the classic version of that game for years, I’m not sure how much fun it will be. Nostalgia only goes so far.
Which of the games do I like? Well, this last 12 months I have played: World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, Guild Wars 2, and The Secret World: Legends. I doubt I will play Guild Wars 2 much longer, as the recent updates to the game have left me cold.