since the "Weekly recommendation thread" is for people looking for a specific type of mmo rather than an unprompted recommendation, I hope this post is OK, but I will move it if need be.
I am super excited about this game. Now, I have to disappoint you first and explain that it's in a closed beta that costs 40 bucks to get into AND it's offline until mid to late January for devs taking their holidays and doing some much needed QoL updates (lag and connectivity issues are a problem right now).
But that's ok because it gives you time to think about what I'm going to say. https://trackeasy.fun/usps/ https://showbox.tools/
What it is:
An open world low fantasy MMORPG on a single megaserver with open world persistent building, full loot pvp. Zero instances (there is a war thing that I can't really explain right now).
This game is SUPER GRINDY. I have never played a more grindy game. You get 400 craft skill points and 400 combat skill points. That's enough to max out 2 skill trees in each area. You cannot solo in this game. You absolutely cannot unless you want to scratch around in the woods eating apples and begging.
Here is the map. There are different climates where different plants/trees/crops grow. There are seasons which affect crop yields. There is weather.
The map takes about 4 hours to traverse north to south, running on foot. This is a huge map. There are horses you can find in the wild and tame/breed. There are no NPCs except animals out in the wild. The game is entirely player driven. You can build your town/castle anywhere in any shape you can manage to terraform. This is not easy and you need a dedicated set of builders with some vision for how to lay things out and keeping people organized.
There is currency in the game, but barter and favors are more common. Politics is a really big deal. There are no quests, and no useless items. Alliances and war declarations are a thing. Roleplay is a thing also, but mainly within guild, not with strangers. Friendly fire is a thing. You need to be careful when you get into a fight not to hit your friend (this makes archery REALLY hard, on top of already being really hard to aim).
This map is meant to last for years with freeform open building. So if you can imagine thousands of people contributing to building bases all over the map, you can imagine things would get crowded.
But, because the game is SO grindy, it's very slow building and skilling up. No one is going to come at you within 3 weeks of the game launching in anything close to even decent gear (anyone who would want to go out in good gear risks getting killed and losing it). No one is going to pop up a huge finished castle and take over the map very quickly. The trees grow slowly. You need a lot of wood to do anything. You can raze and plant entire forests wherever you want. You can cut down any tree in the game.
This game will piss even the most hardcore pvper and grinder off. It just has...ways of being miserable. I mean miserable in the best way, really, but the sense of loss when you die is real. Because you lose skill points and people will loot the shit out of you. Skill points are a HUGE grind. (for example, today I got Artisan from 45 to 50 in about 5 hours of NONSTOP grinding and using food buffs. And the grind only gets worse the higher level you get. Grinding in this case was digging up dirt and moving it around (which was useful to the guild) and pulling bark off trees (which was not useful to anyone). Not fun. Not at all fun. The game absolutely needs more ways to skill up each craft because it is incredibly unfun to do this.
The game is hard to learn. They need more tooltips and external info is pretty much required to play. But if you get in with a guild that has some vets, you'll be up to speed soon enough. The game is really minimalistic with what it provides for you to learn with.
So, let me tell you about the first time I played this game (this was in Life is Feudal Your Own, which is a smaller scale version of the MMO but works identically except for map size and server pop cap and some skill multipliers).
After nearly starving to death in the woods, I came across a group who took me in. I was quickly trained up on some weapon skills and was told to keep a lookout in a tower because we were going to get raided (they originally debated whether to kill me because they thought I was a spy or scout for whoever was coming). So I went up into the tower and I waited. And waited. and Scanned the horizons, and waited some more. Thought I saw something. Didn't. Crafting going on below me in the blacksmith shop and the cook was busy as well. It was pitch black out and i was afraid I wouldn't be able to see anyone coming if they were coming. I was looking HARD.
Finally, it was about an hour later, I saw shapes skulking around on the north side of our base. "7 coming fro--" Shot with an arrow. HOLY SHIT. That was out of nowhere. Arrows started raining in. I was ducking around the tower trying to explain to my group where the enemy was and how many there were and what gear they were in.
8 on foot. At least 4 archers in the treeline. 3 guys with tables (used to need tables to scale walls, it was ridiculous). I was getting LIT up in that tower and had to come down. I returned some fire but didn't hit shit (it's hard to hit people for real)
They scaled our walls and we had a huge skirmish. We repelled the invaders. But really the best part was the waiting and the paranoia I was having up in the watchtower, which sounds silly but I was legitimately terrified of the raiders.
I can't imagine how much cooler it will be with much larger scale battles. I am generally a "Base bitch" which means I stay home and heal and cut wood and do whatever is needed around the base, but some people go all out in pvp. The weapons have VERY specific hit boxes and each one feels different when you use it. The sense of heft and weight is there both with armor and weapons. Better hit with the blade of that poleaxe, because the handle ain't gonna do shit. Better learn how to block and duck. There are formations you can do with groups (I haven't had luck with those lol).
Anyway, you should check out Life is Feudal the MMO. Until it comes out, you could try Life is Feudal:Your Own to get practice for how to play, but it costs money also.
Life is Feudal is a unique game that demands a lot from its players, but the sense of accomplishment is really unmatched in any game I have ever played. I am kind of a noob in the game really, and haven't messed around with a lot of the skills or weapons to a really deep extent, but I have put in over 200 hours into the Your Own game and just got a taste of the MMO today and last night.
I can't wait to see some established towns and armies pop up and see a whole village hard at work surviving while it's armies are out exploring and bringing home loot from their pillaging. The open world building and freedom really make it unique. Staking a claim and hustling to get walls up and plan out the base is probably my favorite part. I will haul logs all day and be so happy doing it as I see the carpenters and construction guys getting the walls up and a warehouse going.