|Definitely NOT my stuff|
A Tale in the Desert is planning to start it 7th Telling on September 11th and the Beta that doesn't have a reset already started on August 28th. I often hear people asking for more variety in their MMOs and have always heard of A Tale in the Desert (ATOTD) as an example. There is no combat in ATOTD, it is built around crafting and working together to accomplish goals.
The game first appeared in 2003 and has had 6 approximately 18 month tellings since it's inception. You can play the 6th Telling for free until the September 8th (when it ends) and I've probably played for 30 minutes in a couple of sessions, so I know very little about the game. The game is subscription based with 24 free hours and then $11.95 a month (with discounts for buying more than one month at a time).
The two things I do the most in World of Warcraft is crafting and questing. ATOTD would allow me to do both of those things without having to deal with killing things which sounds good in practice. When I downloaded the game a week or so ago I thought I'd subscribe for a month or two and see how it works. However, I don't think I'll be doing that now.
If you think about how games appeal to us as represented in the Bartle Test, there is no 'Killing' in this game, but there is also very limited Exploring. I like the idea of learning the crafting game and I understand there are puzzles to be solved as part of it, which also appeals to me, but a lot of the pleasure I get out of playing has to do with wandering around different areas, particularly new ones. The graphics in ATOTD are very basic (as you can see above) and, though I didn't explore extensively, there doesn't seem to be a lot of variety (it is a Desert, after all).
I am glad this game exists and I am glad it is getting a little bit of press, but I'm not sure I'll play it again. Sometimes it is better just to enjoy the idea than to actually participate.