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MMOs Through My Eyes

A collection of random rants about my experiences with games, game design, and MMOs in general.

Author: Stormreaver

Weighing the Possibilities of EVE

Posted by Stormreaver Monday January 21 2008 at 2:08PM
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As my 14 day free trial of EVE online comes to an end, I have start thinking about whether or not I intend to continue playing. Earlier in the trial period, I had a great time running around doing agent missions with some fun PvE combat to spice it up. I watched a few fleet battles from the 4th Alliance Tournament on EVE tv, and became inspired. However, this meant that I now had to play as if I really was planning to continue in the future. Needless to say, this decreased the fun I was having in the trial. Nevertheless, I know it to be a necessary evil if I intend to continue.

Currently I'm running my destroyer as a mining rig in a high sec, just picking up little 42k ISK shipments of ore to sell nearby. Meanwhile, I'm training up various skills in hopes that I will be able to have another glimpse of combat before my trial is up. If I were to continue past the trial period, I see myself training up my industrial ship skill in order to make my mining more efficient while I spend the next month training up in order to fly. After that, I would seek out a decent PvP corp and hopefully get some glimpses of what EVE is all about.

So now it comes down to why I'm even questioning not continuing to play. I like the game, and I understand that I need to get through the boring part in order to get to the fun part. However, I have basically committed myself to playing WAR with a group of friends. Also, my social life seems to be picking up (not to jinx anything), but that's a whole other issue. Anyways, WAR is set for a Q2 release. My problem is that I don't really know how much of EVE I will be able to experience in the 4-5 months before WAR arrives.

So I'm looking for some feedback from EVE players. I need to know if 4-5 months of playtime is worth it. I would greatly appreciate this, because I really don't know if buying this game will be worth my while. Thanks.

-Storm

Another Look at EVE

Posted by Stormreaver Sunday January 13 2008 at 1:30PM
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So I got bored with EQ2 quickly. It's truly not my cup of tea, but I can see why some people would be attracted to it. Regardless, I was looking for another game. I'm pretty active in the Dev forums (once in a while) and I've recently been brainstorming ideas for a sandbox game. Maybe I'll get into that at some later date, but it occurred to me that EVE had a very cool sandbox aspect to it. I decided to give the free trial another go, so downloaded on a whim and started up a Minmatar character.

I'm having a much better time than I did last trial. I'm amazed at the fact that EVE runs on one server (which is huge by the way), and makes every event that happens in the game a part of the history. Just looking over forum posts and seeing the player-recorded history of corporation wars etc. is a very unique aspect. I love the concept behind this game, but let's talk about the actual gameplay.

Combat is much more fun than I remember it being, especially with multiple enemies. I have yet to PvP (and I don't know if I will have the time to in 14 days) but I hear that PvP is even more fun. I'm currently piloting a Destroyer, and love the freedom I have to customize and fly. The community is helpful in general, although chat is overrun with gold sellers. The player-run economy is awesome, and I can see myself having a very good time playing with the market.

One gripe I have is that new players spend a lot of their time not doing anything. Skill training can take up a good while, and while training all my Learning skills, I really haven't been able to do much besides run some easy agent missions. I'm hoping this will improve by the end of my trial period. I also dislike the fact that you can only train one character per account at a time.

Depending on how the rest of my trial goes, I might even stay on another month to see what else awaits me. I'd love to join a corp and get caught up in... whatever they do. I feel like EVE has a lot of possibilities, and I could really enjoy it once I get past the early-game grind. Unfortunately, that same grind might be too much for me to keep interest and so, once again, I will opt out after my 14days are up.

EVE also gave me a lot of ideas on what I'd like to see in a similar MMO. I might outline some of my ideas later, but for now I've got to surf the internet for 8 hours while Instant Recall trains to rank 3.

-Stormreaver

My MMO Experiences: A Brief History and Look Ahead

Posted by Stormreaver Monday January 7 2008 at 5:04PM
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So this is the first time I've ever written an actual "blog." I hope to just vent my ideas and experiences and maybe people will comment if they feel the need to. First, a little about me: I'm a teenager who has a love/hate relationship with gaming in general. I love playing games, but I hate the strain they put on the rest of my life in general. I'm an artist, a writer, a musician, and a deep-thinker when I have the stimulation. I love theorizing about game design and the future of the MMO genre. I usually go by Makesfolkslose, but I switch it around every now and then. That was a link to my website, by the way (which I rarely update).

So, in this first entry, I'm going to give a brief look at my MMO history and what I'm looking forward to in the future. Let me start by saying that my first game was the leviathan that is WoW.

World of Warcraft: Yes, I started off as the well-known battle.net kiddie who follows Blizzard wherever it leads me. So I inevitably found WoW. I played for 2.5 years. In a brief summary: Smooth gameplay and cool stylized graphics, lots of content, interesting classes and customization. My favorite aspect of WoW was that (if only at the endgame), you were forced into a community/teamwork setting. I raided for about 6 months. During this time, my social life obviously suffered, but I enjoyed every second I spent in-game with those 39 other people taking down bosses.

However, I eventually realized that I just didn't have the time to raid anymore. I tried PvP, but anybody who's PvPed in WoW knows that PvP is frustrating, repetitive, and lacks the requirement of skill. I love the concept of PvP, but I just dislike the way Blizzard implemented it. Anyways, I decided I could either spend all my time raiding, get bored to death from PvP, or just go find a new game.

I decided to begin my search, and thus found MMORPG.com. Since then, I have been floating on free trials of random games, attempting to find one that grabbed me. I still keep in touch with some of the people I met on WoW, which is so far the only MMO that I've actually subscribed to. Everything else in this entry is just my opinions from trials. Anyways, on with the show:

Dungeon Runners: After WoW, I didn't want to pay for something right off the bat. I tried Dungeon Runners after seeing some advice on the forums. It was pretty interesting, if lacking in RPG elements. I enjoyed the visuals, and combat was decent, but it was just so annoying to play. Manipulating the camera, controls, and even my character was challenging. After a week or so, I decided that combat was too repetitive, and I could find some better stuff.

EVE Online: One of my favorite trials to date. Completely different setting, amazing visuals, interesting game mechanics, and sandbox-esque gameplay. I loved that there were no levels, and that you could just train in anything you wanted to. However, I eventually decided that EVE was just too slow. Slow combat, slow skill-training, slow mining etc. I love the concept, but it is very time consuming to do anything. I'm searching for something a little bit quicker.

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Very cool character customization and classes, nice new combat system, but completely instanced. I got annoyed after having to zone in to every location. This just takes away the MMO feel for me.

City of Heroes: Character creation rocks, but that's about as far as it goes for me. Kind of boring combat and interaction. It's a cool concept and I can see why people like it, but it's just not for me.

Fury: I can hardly call this an MMO, but it still has its fun parts. I personally thought the combat was interesting, and I loved the aspect of having to pick and choose which equipment and spells to use. However, this game is just lacking in an "MMO" feeling, and got tedious after a while.

Tabula Rasa: I really liked the combat system and there were some neat new mechanics (cloning, AI assaults etc.). I just didn't get enough time to play this. It was one of the trials I was actually enjoying, but I only had 3 days to try it out. I'd like to see what else it has to offer.

I just started the free trial of Everquest II, and I'm not particularly impressed so far. However, there's still plenty of time to go.

Anyways, that's a history of my MMO experiences so far. Now on to the future!

Current Games I'd Like to Try: LotRO, GW, Vanguard, DAoC, SWG

Future Games I'd Like to Try: WAR (my main squeeze), AoC, TCoS, and Darkfall (hah!)

So yea. I intend on posting more than just things about my own experiences in future entries, by the way. I just wanted to put these ideas down somewhere. Gooday!

-Storm

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