Over the past 2 years I’ve had the opportunity to experience, in depth, a couple of online PC based games:

Aion (www.aiononline.com and www.ncsoft.com) sucked up a lot of about 15 months of time.  Thoroughly enjoyed the game and played all of the classes of characters.  Started out on the Elyos side and migrated half-way through to the Asmodian side.  Enjoyed playing Chanters and Spiritmasters the most.   Great graphics, best character modeling toon I’ve ever seen.  With a bit of work, you can make very recognizable characters.  Good game balance, there isn’t a best class – just best based on how you like to play.  Was a bit disappointed in weapon/armor crafting – better items are available as drops or quest rewards.

EVE (www.eveonline.com) is my current addiction.  Launched in 2004 it just keeps getting better and better.  Typically 30,000 people are online playing at any point in time.  One BIG galaxy to play in.  HUGE (like climbing a cliff!) start-up learning curve – but its doable, it really is.  Nice to have an experience friend or three in the game to call on for technical help, but the Corporate chat channels are pretty good.  If you want to give it a try, let me know, I can send you a 20 day “buddy” code that will let you get the feel of things.  There are a few restrictions, but not many, when using the code.

Entropia (www.entropiauniverse.com) ate a couple of weeks.  This game is unique in that it not only sucks money, but has the potential to generate it.  Suggest reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropia_Universe to get the idea.  Short form:  One guy sold an island he created for $335,000 dollars.  Mind you, that took a LOT of time and work to create, but that’s some serious cash.  For the newbie, its mostly about learning to stretch your cash as long as possible.  Everything cost money, from weapon ammo (per shot), to repair of armor you probably don’t really need to be wearing (since you can visit town and get healed for free!).  Free to download and get started, but expect to invest $20 or so to avoid grinding for pennies and hour.

Also beta tested some web games written by a Chinese guy.  Met some nice people I still stay in contact with.  That’s about the only plus.  The game was really in pre-alpha state when we started.  Goal is simple:  make as much money for the developer as possible!  Got old once enough of the game was up that he started wanting to collect some of that cash.