Or actually, be one. You know I like to bring you free MMO games from time to time and I'm doing so again. This one has the goofiest name yet: Dofus.
You can check it out here. Those who know me know I am a big fan of the Strategy RPG genre, exemplified in my mind by such games as Shining Force, Fire Emblem and FF Tactics. Well, Dofus is like a MMO SRPG, except you're only controlling one of the characters. The combat is on a tile grid system and you are limited each turn by action and movement points (and there's a time limit so things down drag on forever).
Dofus was mentioned by Ethic last week on Kill Ten Rats and you can read that post with comments here.
It's a 2D graphical set-up and the design is straight out of the Anime 101 playbook, but it's executed in a decent fashion. The combat can be painfully slow at times but it can also be more fun than traditional MMORPG combat.
Dofus is brought to you by a French company and they are doing an open beta in English so it's free for now (word is about two months). I'll break down some of the classes for you in EQII style:
Feca: Tank (believe it or not I hear int is an important stat for these)
Ecaflip: Mage DPS (with a twist - their damage spells also randomly heal mobs)
Iop: Melee DPS
Osamodas: Summoner (by the way they carry a whip and try reading their name backwards)
Xelor: Buffer and Mezzer (apparently good for PvP)
Enutrof: A weird class - they have a better chance to find dropped items
Sram: Rogue (traps are cool)
Sadida: Debuffer (also summons voodoo dolls with a variety of effects)
Sacrier: Puller/Tank (has some other really cool features as well but most say this class was nerfed too much)
I normally play as a mage in any game, but in this case I picked a Cra which seemed the next best thing since the mage classes didn't appeal to me. It is a good solo class because you can kite the slower mobs and it's effective in a group as well, though the line-of-sight requirements can be tricky. I don't see many Xelors but they can be extremely powerful in group. You kind of have to be careful with the stats. You would think agi would be the main stat for archers but my current Cra build is all int because it pumps up the damage for the archery spells I like.
There are guilds in the game (though you need a guildogem to start one - rare drop) and you can buy a house if you have enough money or even get married. You will also find other common MMORPG elements like crafting, quests and banks. The quests are badly implemented in my opinion but the crafting professions are quite popular. The NPC dialogue is poorly translated at times but you will discover some funny pop culture references.
I'm still looking for an MMO that will let you play an entire team of characters in an SRPG style mode. Tactica Online might be that game so I'll keep an eye on it.
You might find Dofus a bit on the childish side but I think it's a lot of fun. So sign up and join me in my Dofus-ness while it's still free!
I've been playing Dofus in a limited fashion since the first day the beta went live. I am definitely no expert but if you do have specific questions about professions, stats or anything else please post them on the Aggro Fourms and I will try to help. To answer the question I see asked a hundred times, the reason your character turns into a weird blob from time to time on the out-of-combat screens is that they do it to reduce lag when there are a large number of players on one screen.
Oh, and Tofus were nerfed so it's okay to fight them now.