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What Tools do I use and How do they ineract together

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I'll start of by saying that I do know how to program with c++ (not a pro coder but im not a n00b). Im a computer science major finishing his first year at college.

I want to make an MORPG (I DO NOT plan dive into an mmo)

What I want to to know is what tools I should use? (what engine or API such as OpenGL and whatnot)

Things it WILL NOT have
- hundreds of quests (a small , small amount)
-tons of mobs (mainly just npcs to start, it will NOT have creatures and ect running around)
- Huge Map
-amazing graphics
-It wont be Huge Commercial game (lol)

Things it WILL have
-The ability to handle a small amount of players (under 50), at first but whatver technology I use I would want to be able to expand with the same technology.
What i mean is that I only plan to start with maybe less than 5 people as im working on it but If i had enough people interested in playing it with me in x amount of time ( months, a year, when its more complete)
Then I want to ability to easily make the project be able to handle more players 50+. (obviously i understnad i would need an actual server at that point ect ect i understand.)
-A small map ( a few towns /villages and a few open expanses of land, also a few buildings) like one or 2 zones of WoW (by ziones I mean a few sections of one huge continent like kalimdor ect)
-a pvp system
-3d graphics
-The camera will be above the player at the distance a game like DoTA or HoN or LoL (but the game IS NOT A MOBA) so in a way a 2D reference point. you wont have to worry about jumping and whatnot. but it is 3d graphics

I know c++ and very very minimal python and VB
I would like to stick with c++ if possible

Should I use a full blown engine like unity or a graphics engien like ogre or illrich with my own server code using .NET and something about sockets (this is current over my head but I have heard it is very manageable)
Or should I just stick with something like SFML and OpenGL and my own networking as i go along with .NET

I want to start simple, not pull I "IM GONNA MAKE THE BESTEST MMO EVAR NOW TEL ME H0W"

I want to learn how to use API's and this sort of stuff as I go along. Me and a friend actually will be together on this.

Thanks for your help

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Reading your post i had the idea your first idea was to make a mmorpg and now cut a little down on the project and make a morpg. The things you are leaving out are the things you don't even have to worry about. I mean once you have a decent quest class setup you could easily integrate a huge amount of quests. Tons of mobs, a huge map and amazing graphics mostly requires you to just make a lot of art and appart from making a shader and putting them in your world it won't have that much to do with programming.

Making a multiplayer game when you haven't got much experience with game development is a bad idea on it's own. And i don't think you have put much though into what really needs to be done for your game. You can't just make something and expand on that, you have to plan out many many things.

My suggestion, like many others is start small. If you never made any games go make Pong first, then break out. Then try to import a model, fiddle around with it and think about how you could make a 3D gameworld. just do things in small steps, make separate projects (tests) of what needs to be done. If you just don't have the experience i bet once you get your inefficient engine running you know much more about it and want to start all over because you have a more efficient way of approaching things. So start small, you can always start a big project like this next year when you are familiar with game development.

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I'd personally recommend starting with a friendly engine like Unity, and then learning the lower-level APIs like OpenGL only after you've gotten used to using existing higher-level game engines.
As menyo says though, perhaps a smaller first game project would be a better idea - like a classic "single screen" arcade game. Think of it as a tutorial on using your chosen engine, after which, you'll be better equipped to judge the requirements of your small RPG project.
The things you are leaving out ... mostly requires you to just make a lot of art
Which makes it a good idea to leave them out ;)

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