When I posted about barbarians at the gates last month, I did not expect the most famous one in English literature to appear in response. As it turns out, the upcoming Age of Conan has exactly what I was looking for, including PvE and PvP city-building and -defense that integrates crafting and has various sizes for big and small guilds. Ask, and the internet delivers.
My thanks to our commenters who pointed out my ignorance and cited other games doing something along these lines. Please consider this your report-out on games that have aspects of player-run, -built, or -defended cities. Add more to the comments if you think of any.
Unsurprisingly, EVE is the next closest in a major game. Almost everything is player-run in 0.0 space, and player-owned outposts have almost everything that starbases do back in empire space. Is anyone running shipments of Quafe for pirates in the far reaches of the ‘verse?
I should have mentioned A Tale in the Desert. Again, almost everything is player-built, although we did not think of them as cities when I played. Large guild bases could house dozens and take minutes to run across, but we still thought of them as bases, not cities. There seems to have been more population concentration since I last played.
Wurm Online is another one that has everything player-built, complete with guard NPCs for your structures. I don’t really have much to say here, however, since I had not heard of it before seeing that comment.
Wish was going to have something along these lines, but it never made it out of beta.
Star Wars Galaxies had a lot along these lines. Has? I have no idea what survived NGE, and people seemed to stop talking about it a month after NGE. I heard something about ghost towns from departed players. No idea, sorry.
And all my previous citations still apply: Shadowbane, Horizons, town attacks Asheron’s Call, and moments in City of Heroes/Villains. If you want to discuss these or have more, comments are open. If you have tried more than one, which implementation did you prefer?