For most people, MMOs are about entering a fantastic world as a completely different person, slowly progressing through quests and grouping up with others as you fight enemies. However, sometimes you just want to sit back and hit a tree four hundred times in a row, or craft an overabundance of bread, and have a blast doing it.
Ideally, life skills can be just as rewarding as combat-focused skills. If you're the type of player who prefers crafting and gathering to slaying and looting, then look no further. Below, we'll take a look at some MMOs with the best life skills. These are presented in no particular order.
Final Fantasy 14
Final Fantasy 14 is unique in the MMO landscape, as it emphasizes doing everything the game has to offer on a single character. Because of this, leveling up all eight crafting jobs and three gathering jobs is beneficial for every character. Whether you use these skills for earning money on the side, or dive into the deep end of raid crafting, the choice is yours.
Final Fantasy 14's life skills are mechanically deep. Rather than simply clicking on a rock to mine it, you can utilize gatherer-specific skills to gather more items, or increase the quality of the gathered item. Similarly, Crafting Jobs have abilities that increase the quality and progress toward completion of an item, meaning you'll have to learn when to use each skill to craft every item you want to make.
Both Old School RuneScape and the "newer" RuneScape 3 are well-known for their extensive non-combat skills. In RuneScape, every skill can be leveled up to 99, with each level becoming exponentially harder to obtain. In both games, there are a wealth of life skill activities to participate in, with a thriving player-driven economy to contribute to.
In RuneScape, you will almost never run out of things to do, even if you focus entirely on life skills like mining, woodcutting, or runecrafting. Because of its in-depth, player-driven economy and community-focused gameplay, there are always ways to develop your character through the game's diverse range of activities.
Black Desert Online
Black Desert Online is the most referenced MMO surrounding discussions of life skills. The life skills in this game are so in-depth and expansive, that some players choose to engage with the game only in this way, spending their time gathering resources, crafting consumables, and making huge profits doing so.
Gathering and crafting both earn you experience points towards your overall character level, meaning you can hit the soft level cap from exclusively doing these activities. If you want to focus solely on playing the market and selling your wares, Black Desert Online is the MMO for you.
Project: Gorgon is a retro-style sandbox MMO with over one hundred skills to level up and play with. As a sandbox MMO, what you see and where you go is entirely up to you, with an abundance of content to explore, but only if you proactively seek it out. Although it was released relatively recently, in 2018, Project: Gorgon embraces the old-school style of older MMOs, with low-poly models, basic UI elements, and charmingly clunky combat.
If you are looking for an MMO to spend a ton of time in, exploring everything the game has to offer, Project: Gorgon may be a good choice. A free demo is available, allowing you to explore the first 15 levels in each skill before deciding to buy the full game. Project: Gorgon is an early-access title, with constant updates and developer feedback.
Mabinogi is an older MMO, which means it has thousands of hours of content and things to explore, especially in terms of life skills. In Mabinogi, you can do things like tend to crops, craft weapons and armor, and play music for other players. Like Final Fantasy 14 or RuneScape, all of these skills can be developed on the same character, with the option of "Rebirth", allowing you to reset your level to one while retaining your skill progression and items.
There are tons of life skills to develop in Mabingo, and everything you do contributes to your character's overall growth. Despite its age, Mabinogi still has a dedicated community, with consistent updates to the game.
New World is an old-school inspired MMO; all the fun of leveling up a dozen or so skills at a time, but with a fresh coat of modern paint. In New World, there are several gathering, crafting, and refining skills to level up, all of which unlock new resources and items to trade or sell.
If you enjoy the feeling of slowly developing a character through a number of diverse activities, New World is the game for you. If games like RuneScape or Mabinogi sound appealing, but the older graphics and sometimes obtuse UI is off-putting, New World is a great, modern alternative.
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