You may have noticed if you read this week's list, and if your eyes aren't bleeding from anger at my choices of top P2P games, that I've recently picked up Age of Conan again. I have a friend, we’ll call him Adam (that’s his real name; he just doesn’t read my blog because he’s a bad friend). He’s the type of gamer who will forever dismiss an MMO based on his first five minutes in the game, never to give it another try down the road. It’s not that he doesn’t know the nature of the games, and how they change and update and mature with time. Anyone who has been following City of Heroes of Everquest 2 can tell you that both games are entirely different in 2010 than they were upon release.
So why won’t some people own up to the fact that games, especially MMOs, deserve a second look? Is it the same thing that makes a person hate green beans into adult hood because he once choked on them as a toddler? The memory of the bad taste is never able to be forgotten? First impressions are lasting impressions and all that, but in the world of online gaming second chances should be given.
I recently re-subscribed to Age of Conan, for the first time since originally cancelling my account a few months after launch. I stopped playing back then because I ran into a content wall where I had no way to level outside of a few group quests and grinding. No excuses here, but when it comes to PvE I prefer solo-questing as my main mode of play. So I figured I’d quit for now and check back later on after the game had time to add content.
But my return kept getting delayed. New games launched, they seemed shinier, prettier, newer… and for a while I doubted I’d ever actually check in on Hyboria. Until I started to notice a few friends of mine taking the leap and trying it out again. Reports started coming in of improved stability, tons of new content, better user-friendliness. Sure the UI is still ugly as all get out, but it’s functional at least. Knowing full well that I have plenty of gaming to do with Global Agenda’s Sandstorm coming, Warhammer Online and my love for the Slayer growing, and a renewed interest in my revamped Champions main… I paid up the $15 and reinstalled the client.
It’s only been a week, but I’m finding Hyboria a much-changed world. Believe it or not, the game really did deserve the Most Improved awards it was given, and with the expansion looming on the horizon I might even stay a while much to the chagrin of my other virtual characters. So next time you put down a game in anger, disappointment or disgust, don’t forget about it forever. With time in this industry, even the disappointments can gain redemption.