I've always been a fan of Final Fantasy style turn-based gameplay since FF8 but have, since the release of PS2, abandoned the series for MMOs instead. What I did always wonder was how a game that had that sort of gameplay function as an MMO instead of the usual click-and-battle staple and eventually I came across Atlantica. Although history is distorted in the game, the game maps the world in a sort of fashion seen in early cartographer's workshops and includes real cities that can be auctioned every month to the game's guilds. The one with the highest guild point bid gets to rule over the town and collect tax and revenue from its various services.
There are a few key things to note about this particular game. The first is that the gameplay is completely different from the usual and instead of controlling a single 'avatar' character, you control your main character and his mercenaries. The team can be a maximum of 9 (including the main) and this goes for NPCs too. Hence a casual battle could be 9 vs 9 and depending on how many guildies you have along could go up to 27 vs 27 (or 9 vs 27 if you are in an aggro area).
Secondly, the loot, again unlike most MMOs, does not reduce at increasing levels. Hence you have the same chance of a particular item dropping from a particular animal with the same character at levels 1 or 70, unless of course you have monster info (which increases the amount of every item dropped by the monster you have info for). This means that you can keep looting as you wish but be warned: The good loot is only available at particularly high levels and most of the time certain events, even for easily craftable items.
Thirdly, crafting is much more evolved than I had seen in other games and a whole guild can be tasked with crafting an item or a set of items, with each member's battle contributing to the crafting (guild crafting or GC). Personal crafting does however get priority and so if you are crafting something of your own out of GC, the points acquired from battle will go toward that until it is complete. Certain crafting recipes are particularly popular such as crystals and ammunition for ranged characters.
Finally, the most addictive, at least for me, aspect of the game is the market. In this game, trading your loot is as easy as ever and if you know what you are doing, making a few million gold pieces is quite easy. But reaching high levels also has its benefits as you can buy a licence and trade non-usable goods between towns.
I have stopped playing AO for some time now but if you would like any tips on making gold fast or want any info in general, feel free to ask. I'm planning to try a few more MMOs and will review the best.