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protodoxa Blogging About MMOs

Here is where I write about my MMORPG habit. I hope any readers enjoy what they read here!

Author: protodoxa

My boyfriend loves LotRo, so...

Posted by protodoxa Sunday October 21 2012 at 1:08AM
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My boyfriend loves LotRO, and it's one of the few MMOs that I can get him to try and enjoy. He hated DDO (don't know why, honestly), Ryzom does not have many quests, Wakfu was enjoyable for him but the lack of quest-story content turned him off (while I enjoyed it, and then I saw the terrible cash shop model they implemented at launch), Star Trek Online was annoying (I liked it for about 2 months but I think he's right here), Everquest 2 was boring, and so on. The moral here is I decided to play LotRO with him until the reboot of FFXIV (he took one look of the UI and immediately said, "Uninstall this, please."). 

I love LotRO, too. I hate LotRO's grind, however, but that grind is diminished by how much my boyfriend gets into playing this game. He teases me that I should think of it as grinding skills like in Ryzom or Ultima or the Elder Scrolls, but it's not grinding skills, it's grinding commendation essentially, and that bit is annoying to me until I slow down and learn to take it easy, do a dungeon or two with him, and enjoy myself.

So I am playing LotRO at the moment, and instead of the reaction of '"Not another MMO!" it's "Yay! LotRO!" at my house, as he eagerly jumps in on his characters and learning that I decided to start over again (yet again), he switches from the server with 200 plus gold and pre-Rohan maxed characters to my new server just to run around with me again. 

I got to say that alone is very engaging. I wonder if my boyfriend is the only person that LotRO inspires so much loyalty in, or if there's a bunch of LotRO people out there just as enchanted by cosmetic armor, legendary weapons, player made music, story-driven questing, and endless freaking grind as he is.

 

 

Rift and Games as Alts

Posted by protodoxa Friday October 12 2012 at 5:31PM
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So I finally used my codes for a copy of Rift I got a long time ago to continue playing past 20 in Rift and am absolutely looking forward to more time enjoying the content in this linear but fascinating MMO. 

There is only one problem for me in playing Rift, and that's my alt habit. You see, I treat MMOs like alts, and with the dominance of the f2p market, I very often find myself jumping from title to title; a few times I manage to keep at 2 games at once. Where in this moment, I "play" GW2 and Rift, it is more like a pause in the shuffle. What I need is either to maintain 2 concurrent games for when one gets a little stale, or just stick with one.

This problem began when after a year and a half of WoW, I wanted to play another MMO, or hell anything else really. So I began jumping around from MMO to MMO, beginning with EVE and finally settling in Atlantica Online for a while before discovering how neat LotRO was. This rootles period lasted about a year, with the only substantial gametime spent in Atlantica. When LotRO's deed grinding became oppressive, I moved on, embracing the former rootlessness with abandon. 

I kept telling myself that these were alts but at least alts you keep up with to some degree. The f2p market was exploding - Fallen Earth, CoH, etc. etc. There were some pretty good games floating out there now accessible to my fleeting touch.

But now, I am afraid that I just want a freaking game to hold me, perhaps with a subscription that ties me into its world with that obligation. And the thing with Rift is that the sub seems meaningful for a number of reasons:

1. This game would not work as f2p. The way that classes and the world are structured, the only way that f2p would work would be to gate either the content or the gear through the cash shop, but this could very well distort gameplay in ways that might make the game very unpalatable. A good portion of the content is distributed through the Rift concept (rifts, tears, planar invasions, crafting rifts, chronicles), and where zones might be a la carte such as LotRO's zones, the core of the gameplay would need be subject to the same tinkering. So sorry f2pers can't participate in this invasion until they sub or buy the ability to fight these invasions off (see how silly that sounds). And since Rift is a gear progression-oriented themepark and since its vanity items don't appear to be very robust, gating gear would of course distort the very progression that gear represents. I guess the AA system (the attunements) can be purchaseable, but that's a tiny sliver of progression. Maybe Trion would be able to pull this off, but I really would prefer the game to remain as is with their earnest content development focused on the game and not monetization.

2. Rift works actually better than WoW at delivering solid AAA content, while yanking its themepark strings on the levelling design, and the sub should be the norm for this kind of content delivery. I don't have a problem with cash shops at all really (I love LotRO and Atlantica and a few other cash shop games), but the point of Rift seems to be this content-rich environment. The cash shop approach would break immersion from the content and invite me to jump around again, maybe visiting Rift on occasion, and I would then be missing the point of Rift entirely.

So while this post has turned into a f2p rant, I actually intended it to be a rumination on my habit of jumping MMOs and my worries about being able to stay in Rift with this crazy habit of treating MMOs themselves like alts. Another issue is that I really, really want to play FFXIV 2.0 when it comes out. Will I shuffle two subs at once? And then this invites a 3rd f2p game, GW2, maybe, and you see how this madness continues....

AoC After GW2

Posted by protodoxa Saturday September 29 2012 at 4:40AM
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Hi, guys, I am protodoxa. This is my first blog on mmorpg.com, where I occasionally lurk. I've decided to share some of my MMO gameplay experience here. Perhaps my experiences might indicate at some level cool things about the genre, or things to avoid even, since I have a MMO habit that is at times rather beastly.

Nice to meetya, and since introductions are now out of the way, let me begin on my first topic: Age of Conan  after Guild Wars 2 (and to a lesser extent Star Wars the Old Republic). 

Now let's get something very important out of the way. I freaking love the heck out of GW2. Its exploration, accessible but deep character development system, great crafting for a themepark, insanely cool class design (at least for the Mesmer and the Engineer) - I could gush at length. I even like the freaking hearts. I should also add that I had dabbled a bit in the predecessor without fully enjoying myself since it felt more lobby focused than I cared for and since I despised the combat and the auto-attack tab-targeting design (I did enjoy character development in this game). So I was skeptical of GW2, but I bought it, and it ran rather surprisingly decently on my old laptop (although I would never do WvWvW on it, so my opinions on the game I am gushing about are limited soley to PvE).

Having said this, I must admit that despite my enthusiasm I found myself after a while quite sad about the way that story is entirely channeled through DEs and the personal storyline. DEs, since they spawn, can be missed, and often the succeeding episode in the event takes too long to occur (or does not at all since I guess some condition has not been met), which leaves my Asuran mesmer wandering around exploring and generally going wow - there's some mysterious stuff going on here, wonder what it is. My levelling is never too negatively impacted since I feel I always have tons of stuff to do, but I admit that in themeparks it is very important to get the story to draw you into your environment. Your mileage may very on this, indeed, but this is how I see it.

So I returned to a game I had not played in a while, rolled a new character (as is my habit, more on this later - it's a problem), and just went with it. 

Yes, the game was Age of Conan, and I know next to nothing about the lore, but let me tell you what I appreciate was the way they canvas the entire Tortage experience in story and expertly crafted cutscenes with solid voice acting for the most part. Although I stumbled at first (I think I began kill stealing, since I was still in GW2 mode - sorry, folks), I found myself much more immersed in Tortage than ever before. I know that Tortage is limited to the first 20 or so newb levels but the difference in immersion is notable.

Is this a problem for GW2? Not for me, as long as I avoid the habit of creating new characters every time I return to a MMO, as this game delivers at some many different levels. But I wonder if Aoc simply has more soul than GW2?

I don't think this is the case, as truly soulless MMOs like Perfect World and Forsaken World feel very different to what I get from GW2, but I can tell you this, AoC brings the immersion factor into play in a way that surprises me. 

 

 

 

 

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