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Tastes Gamey

This blog is about stuff. Sometimes that stuff has to do with MMORPGs.

Author: neschria

EverQuest Comes In A Little Glass Vial...

Posted by neschria Tuesday June 30 2009 at 3:19PM
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 I'd pretty much kicked my EQ habit, but then they had to go and bring up a new server. Now I have Station Launcher downloading the game even as I type this. I'd intended to download overnight, but I went out and then forgot when I got home. 

I am not going to get into the pros and cons of the 51/50 ruleset that was chosen by polling people already subscribed to the game. I've put in enough time that I don't feel too bad about starting at 51, especially if I play one of the classes that I am very familiar with already. I am pretty familiar with the game and know where to go for information, even if I choose one of the classes I haven't really played much before. 

The server came up at 2pm EST.  Just checked Twitter now around 3pm, and I see that Nagafen has been taken out already. I am not too surprised by that, nor am I upset that I wasn't there... I just want to play! 

Off to watch my download progress.

 

A Few Short Lines

Posted by neschria Monday June 1 2009 at 10:48PM
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 I mentioned it in the forums , but it looks like there might be some hope for an EQ Classic server, or at least a Progression server. (Source: www.massively.com/2009/05/27/massively-interview-part-2-of-thom-terrazas-in-his-new-role-as/ )

 

On a gaming note, I logged into Freesky for the first time in a couple of days to find I'd gained a bunch of military reputation. Someone had attacked me and killed his army on my defenses. It's that sort of thing that just makes ya smile, ya know? 

Some time passes... What I am playing right now...

Posted by neschria Sunday May 24 2009 at 6:07PM
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I haven't used this blog in quite a while, but I have been out there, trying different games.

I've tried a lot of free-to-play crap, and most of it really was crap. The stand-out game for me was Atlantica Online, which I played like a fiend for a couple of weeks, but then had relatives in town for a weekend, and after that weekend, I never went back. I just didn't feel like it anymore. So much for compelling gameplay. 

(As an aside, I wonder if this is a common phenomenon-- I believe I would have had a harder time walking away had I actually invested real money, even just buying something small in the item mall, but since I only had a little time invested, it was really way too easy to just not care anymore. I might have gotten back into my groove and kept on playing if I had that little extra incentive to nudge me on.) 

I also gave City of Heroes a try, and though I could tell it was a good game, I am not into superheroes at all, so the setting bored me to tears. I hate to admit that I am one of those "imaginative" players-- I am not quite a roleplayer in the sense of staying in character all the time, but I like to play in settings that are in my personal daydream space, the sort of places and situations that I daydream about, which are, for better or worse, mostly in the fantasy genre. I guess I am one of the few who can watch a superhero movie and enjoy the action, but never have a wish that I could be a superhero myself. So, CoH was basically a non-starter, though I tried really hard to like it because two of my sons were raving wildly about how much they loved it.

I've played a little Luna Online, which, for the cutesy item mall grinder genre, isn't really bad (if you like that sort of thing), but the running around quests and the matchmaking service sort of turned me off. I guess I am spoiled, but running from one NPC to another to click through their story text for 45 minutes is just a drag. And I'm not looking for a date, even of the virtual variety, in my online games.

I actually want to play a subscription game, but deciding which one has proven to be harder than you might expect. (More on that in a moment). In the meatime, I am playing Freesky Online, an IGG browser-based MMORTS-type thing, and Warrior Epic, which I discovered right here on the front page of MMORPG.com the other day.

Freesky is probably one of those passing follies-- I'll go on my vacation at the beginning of June, and when I get back, I will probably have forgotten all about it. But I am having a little bit of fun and it isn't requiring huge amounts of my time. (I set things to build and then leave them to it. That's about it.) 

Warrior Epic is not a persistant world game, and so I have a hard time reconciling that with the "MMORPG" designation. It is, however, a fun hack'n'slash dungeon crawler attached to a lobby where you can hook up with other people to play.

I've been in a raging debate with myself (and sometimes with my husband or hapless passers-by) about which subscription game I want to go play. I've got it narrowed down to EQ (sort of waiting for an ETA on the new server), EQ2 (which I both love and hate) and LoTRO (which I played a trial of at one point and enjoyed but didn't buy at that time). 

EQ is my old standby, the game I never quite leave. It's the game I am still "married" to. As much as I liked playing it in the old days (and I know I am going to get roasted for saying this), I find that it is so much more fun these days. They've made a lot of changes that just make it more playable and less frustrating, particularly for those of us who don't especially aspire to raiding greatness. Unfortunately, all my grouping and mission buddies are either playing WoW or nothing at all these days, so that kind of puts a damper on the fun there. I am sort of looking forward to a fresh start on the new server, and maybe even going in the direction of raiding, but with no ETA, I am not sure if I want to resubscribe just now, and if I go on to another game, I probably won't even come back for the new server. (For the record, I was not disappointed to see the new server go 51/50, for a variety of reasons, but I didn't vote on it either. My account lapsed two weeks before the voting, and it just wasn't worth $15 to me to vote.)

EQ2 is such a mixed experience for me. It's the game I keep having flings with, promising to stick with it, only to go back to EQ1 anyway. I've tried some classes I've enjoyed, and it's nice that I can solo most of them pretty effectively if I have to. On the other hand, although I've tried it several times, I usually only play for a few weeks before I quit. I get tired of soloing, I get frustrated with my perpetually full quest log, I have no end goals to work toward and being completely aimless isn't all that fun, and sometimes, on some servers, the community can be pretty abrasive. Also, my computer is only barely adequate for playing unless I put it on very low graphical settings, at which point I am adventuring in Play-Doh land. The sharper but less sophisticated graphics of EQ1 start to look good by comparison.

(And, no, there's no upgrade coming any time soon as long as this one keeps plugging along, I'm afraid. *sigh* We bought a house that needs to be fixed up, so our disposable income for the next couple of years is already earmarked.) 

LoTRO, even when I played the low-res version, looked pretty good to me-- both graphically and in terms of the gameplay I expierenced. I was, however, playing with my husband at the time, and I don't know how it would be to start playing alone at this point. I am not a huge LoTR fan, but I am familiar enough with the books to get something out of the setting. I only played at the low levels before, but it seems like it could be fun, and $9.99 is a nice bargain. The price alone makes it tempting to check out.

I've been thinking about this for two weeks and I am still lost in indecision. I think I'll go do a few Warrior Epic runs while I think about it some more.

 

Return of the Bunny Bludgeoner... sort of

Posted by neschria Saturday May 31 2008 at 7:55PM
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I've got about a week left on my EQ subscription, but I've already uninstalled. I didn't even make it a month. 

It wasn't the server populations, community, or even the game itself that really drove me out. I had started a new character on Bristlebane and I was having a blast. Then my husband decided to play. I ended up grinding AAs on old characters on Xegony in order to play with him, and that was pretty much the end of EQ for me. I lost the momentum on my new character and got face-to-face with one aspect of the game that I still hate-- I hate the AA grind. (Don't ask me why, but leveling doesn't bother me. It's grinding away to get necessary abilities that I can't stand.) 

Also, my husband is a hardcore player, while I am EXTREMELY casual, and his constant "You know what you need to do? You need to..." chatter regarding my characters drives me absolutely bugnuts. Telling him to stop doesn't work. He can't help himself because he takes EQ very, very seriously. As he says, he doesn't play for fun.

So, no EQ.

I was thinking about either revisiting some old games or finding some stupid, easy-to-play item mall or free-to-play game that I don't have to care about. I am working a lot these days, so I am just looking for a fun place to drop in, chat, and bash some bunnies in the evenings after kids go to bed and before I do. Is that too much to ask?

I downloaded and installed Pirates of the Caribbean Online because my oldest son did. It seems well-made and even a little on the slick side, though the character models seem a little... ah... primitive... for a game that's so new. But it runs well even on my hunk-o'-junk, so I am not really complaining. So far I've played it for 15 minutes. That's all the time I've had this week for anything other than work, housekeeping, and assorted hobbies. It's "for ages 10 and up" and it is Disney, so I am thinking it might be for a much younger crowd, and I'm not the pirate (or ninja!) type. I don't think it will float my boat... er... ship. But my son is playing, and he's usually fun to play with.

I played Lineage 2 not too long ago and really enjoyed it a lot. It's a little lonely at the low end, but the world is gorgeous and I am not too familiar with it, so every corner I turn and every level I get is new to me. Both times I played, people were really nice to me, for the most part. I did get PKed a couple of times, but that wasn't really upsetting to me or anything. It's not really all that casual friendly, though.

World of Warcraft is pretty much not an option. I tried going back to it once after the first time I played it, but I still couldn't get into it. I never even got close to the level cap because I didn't play much in the 6 months I was subscribed the first time or that other month when I thought I'd try it again. If I am going to pay a monthly fee, I'd like it to be interesting enough that I want to play, rather than watching TV or washing dishes.

I thought about FFXI, but I think I'd have to buy the game again at this point. I certainly don't remember my log-in. I only met one person who actually spoke to or responded to me at all in the month I played, and he was very nice and helpful, but I am a little worried it would be a repeat of a lot of playing by myself, not really knowing what the heck I am doing.  I find the interface really daunting to work with, too. (I might like it better if I had given myself more than a month to get used to it.) It seems like the kind of game I would enjoy, with a less exotic (consolesque?)  UI and if I met people to play with.

EverQuest 2 might be fun. I did like it quite a bit the last couple of times I played it. Unlike WoW, it is a game I actually PLAY while I am subscribed, but I can't seem to stick with it for more than a couple of months. It's a game I think I could play for a while if I got into a good, chatty guild, but I am afraid that I am so casual that it seems inevitable that everyone else would be raiding while I struggled and lagged behind in levels. Also, my old, creaky computer* runs it, but only on fairly low settings, and it tends to choke in heavily populated areas... So, yeah. It's not pretty. Not when I play it.

I have a month of SWG pending. I could play that for free for a month. I haven't played since well before the NGE, so I don't know what to expect... I'm just not that into you, SWG.

What else? AC or DAoC? It's been so long since I played either of those that they'd be like brand new games to me. DAoC has a box with all the expansions (or a lot of them, anyway) that's pretty cheap... Hmmmm.... AC seems to be a game that people talk about fondly in the past tense, so I rather expect it to be deserted. (To be fair, EQ is also a game people talk about fondly in the past tense, and I was just playing that.)

I tried AO again as a 'froob' last fall, IIRC, and it was ok. I just didn't get too far before I gave up. It was just OK. I am afraid I am part of the problem when it comes to the balance of fantasy vs. sci-fi games. The only sci-fi MMORPG I found even mildly interesting was SEED (which was unique, but extremely buggy and then got run over by the cancellation cart. ) It was only interesting in the game concept, but not interesting enough for me to play after beta. So... if you were going to suggest EVE, sit back down. I've tried that too, and that ship is docked permanently.

I've never played COH/COV before. I know a lot of people seem to have enjoyed it at one time or another. I've never really given it a second look because I'm not into superheroes at all. Maybe it is time to see what that's all about.

Or maybe I'll just pack it in for good and go do something else. I've only started hanging around this site lately because I am hoping to win an amazon.com gift card. I've got 4 entries. I sure hope one hits! That's just about the best possible prize for me, since it would let me buy stuff off my wishlists without the slightest twinge of guilt for splurging on myself. I've got so many books and movies on my wishlist that it had to be broken down into multiple wishlists by topic.

I've dropped into the EQ forums and stirred the nest a little, but for the most part, I can't even read the forums here. Everyone else here is too committed to a game or to the genre for me to be able to relate to what they are saying. I guess going away for a few months and concentrating on real life has made this all too unreal to me.

*RE: my old, creaky computer: Mentioning older computers seems to bring out the "Gawd, just get a new one!" or "Get a job!" crowds. I don't get it, really. My computer still does everything I want and need it to do, except play new games. A new computer is on my list, but it keeps slipping in my list of priorities. Right now, it is down below new siding for the house, a sewing machine (for a side business I want to start), a new car, a new TV, and a couple of other really expensive toys. It might crawl its way up the list once the siding, sewing machine, and car are taken care of-- by then it should be getting on toward late summer or early fall, and Spore + WAR might be the gaming combination that nudges a new PC up over a new TV and an Aibo.  (I placed an early, low bid on a 311 Latte this week that was quickly outbid. I placed 3 more bids and then dropped out.  I am just watching now. It's not high enough on the list to keep bidding. If you have a 3x version or an ERS-7 in your closet gathering dust that you'd part with on the cheap...)

Pleo is on my list, but I am waiting to see if I hear better reviews as it gets software upgrades. It's got drawbacks yet, and $350 is a lot to pay for it to turn out to be a really advanced Furby. (Plus 4 hours charging time for one hour of play?! What?!) So that's somewhere AFTER replacing the computer.

I luzz me some (fairly autonomous) robots! Actually, I luzz me some AI and life simulation. Once you add the physicality of a robot, I am SO there. I've wanted an Aibo since they first came out a million years ago... or 9 years ago. Whatever. Heck, I even have a bit of a soft-spot for the remote control and programmable bots. But my robot lust is a secret, so don't tell anyone.

A little more gravitas, a little less goofitas. (personal stuff. Gamer purists, look away!)

Posted by neschria Tuesday January 29 2008 at 11:29AM
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I need to get my act together and go to 'work' soon. I promised my husband I'd clean up the shop this morning, as soon as I got our 2-year-old up and dressed. She's eating some cereal now, so I have a moment to post something. I do need to get down there and sweep, etc, before he gets back from the bank and... those other places he said he was going when I wasn't really listening.

Today is son #2's birthday. He turns 17 today. I'll have to call him after school today. (He moved in with his father 6 months ago.) I miss him a lot, but maybe it is for the best that he's there. His grades have improved and his older brother (son #1, 18, to be 19 in April) is here now, and the two of them have a somewhat unhealthy rivalry going on between them. (You know, the sort of rivalry that involves a lot of backstabbing and stealing each other's girlfriends. It's not good.)

Son #1 took a telemarketing job last week, but he didn't go yesterday. We've all given him a hard time about not even calling. He wants to quit. Well, fine, but considering that a friend went out on a limb and got him the job, the least he can do is have the decency to go in and quit, rather than just not showing up anymore.

I've been contemplating my life a lot lately, as my kids are all inching toward adulthood. (Except the 2 year old. She's inching toward elementary school.) I gave up a lot of what I wanted in life when I decided to get married (twice) and have kids (and then more kids) instead. As I get down to fewer kids hanging on my apron strings, I am starting to think I might actually get a second shot at some of those old dreams. The things I am most passionate about haven't really changed much in all these years.

|| Pause -- My husband posted the entry as above because I'd left it stewing on my desktop while I came down here to the shop.

>Play (EDIT: Coming back to finish what I started)

Where was I? Oh, yes, I think it might be time for me to climb out of my rut and follow my passions. I've spent quite a few years doing the day-to-day grind, sometimes working, sometimes staying home with kids. Mostly, I've been supporting the dreams of other people. My husband finally has the business he always wanted. The kids are all doing pretty well, even if the older ones sometimes seem to need a good kick in the head* every once in a while. I don't think it would be entirely too selfish for me to want a little something that's for and about me at this point. Mothers are people too, after all, with thoughts, feelings, and dreams.

MMORPGs have been my substitute for television for a number of years. After dinner, while other people are settling in to watch American Idol**, I am logging in to see what people are up to and what I might get in on. It's something to do with my husband at the end of the day that's cheap, semi-social, and doesn't require a babysitter. I had other hobbies and interests before I started playing MMORPGs "for real" in 2000. (I had accounts in games before that, but I hardly played at all. I didn't think the games were all that fun or interesting. How that changed is a matter for another entry. Let's sum it up as, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.")

I am thinking about giving up games altogether now. It's not a matter of not having enough time or being addicted. It's more a matter of wanting to do other things that I think are fun with my spare time (even if other people are mystified at how I could enjoy something so "boring") .  Time might be an issue if I manage to get into work and school (full-time all around!), but that's not the main thing. Even if I could find the time, I just can't muster up the enthusiasm to bother.

On top of all that, I have become a fat chick over the years, and I just can't go on like this. I disgust myself, and it is having negative effects on my health. I can't say, "Oh, I've always been fat. I was a fat kid too." That's not true. I wasn't even a fat adult until the last few years. I am NOT blaming MMORPGs for me getting fat. Depression, compulsive overeating, bad food choices, and lack of outdoor activities are all contributing factors. (When I stopped hiking and camping, I really stopped doing much of anything. My husband hates that outdoorsy stuff, and it feels weird to leave him home alone while I am out doing that stuff. Also, when the kids were younger, taking them all out by myself was daunting, to say the least.) I can take responsibility for my own stupidity in this matter. Video games didn't make me sit on my butt eating chips. That was all me. And I can fix it. Losing weight is one of my top priorities now.

All these things are more or less why I am not posting here much anymore. What could I possibly have to say on MMORPG.com when I play one free MMORPG very casually,  maybe one or two nights a week, and I am not even thinking about looking for a new game to play? I can't think of any circumstances that would bring me back into the fold. This black sheep has wandered off.

*(Didn't we all, when we were young? But I don't really expect them to believe anything I tell them about how life works any more than I believed my parents when I was young. I still feel obligated to say those things. It's my job. )

**(I've never seen American Idol. I just assume people are watching it since it seems to come up a lot in popular culture. It's a singing contest, right? I'll pass.)

Asda Story screenshots (with less-than-serious commentary)

Posted by neschria Tuesday January 22 2008 at 9:34AM
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Ok, this may be one for children of the 80's, but... Remember when you were getting ready to go to a dance/the mall/cruising and you put so much hairspray/styling gell/mousse in your hair that it could have stopped an axe?

Soon after I took this screenshot, I un-checked the "show helmet" box.

hairspray RULES!

Why does the elf have a normal head while my head looks like a pumpkin? It makes me sad.

Just call me Punkinhead!

Ok, I see the ranger... Now where is that pesky Waldo?

I have so many things I could say about this next screenshot. Somehow, a pic of one of my characters shoveling seems so appropriate for this blog. But, that aside, I don't know if I want to declare that "digging is the new fishing!" or if I want to point out that this shot suggests that I am a complete failure at it.

I got a few screenshots of Shadow of Legend this week too, but they are on my laptop. I may post one or more of those later.... Oh, and this is an odd tangent, but "Shadow of Legend" is a title with 2 nouns in it, and it seems to me that one of them ought to be a plural. It just sounds odd.

Pen & Paper Madness! (Something new to blog about... MAYBE)

Posted by neschria Thursday January 17 2008 at 5:19PM
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My 18 year old son moved in with us and brought his passion for good old fashioned, face-to-face, pen & paper & popcorn & caffeine RPGs. At this very moment, he's working on creating his own homemade zombie-themed game, drawing on The Zombie Survival Guide and various modern/urban RPGs he's played or read about.

He rolled up a D&D character for me (without first determining whether or not I wanted to play D&D). It sounds like it would be a fun little (goblin) character to play, if I actually decided to play after all these years. I never did get to any of the gaming sessions he hosted last summer.

I wasn't that enamored of the P&P experience the last time I played, which was a very long time ago. While other people may say that computer games are just games and the real adventure gaming is in the pen & paper world, my personal experience was the opposite. I love exploring online worlds, if they are visually interesting and full of interesting or surprising details, but my memories of  D&D are strictly about numbers and dice and the annoying high-pitched laughter of the dorks I was playing with.

The only real fun for me, at that time, was rolling up the characters. And then sketching what they'd look like. And writing stories on the side about them, unrelated to the game at hand. In fact... I really don't remember the gaming part at all, aside from the musty basement and the annoying laughter. (On the other hand, I clearly remember seeing the figures carved into the walls of the East Karana gorge for the first time. I was stunned, even at that resolution, to see such thing!)

Maybe I should give it another try. Maybe the dorks I was played with in high school just sucked, and it wasn't the game that was so freakin' boring after all.

I think I'll go borrow a Player's Handbook and work up a character on my own. My son is always introducing me to his other D&D nerds... er... friends. He's constantly trying to talk me into playing.  How bad could it be?

 

Quitter's Hate; Spore for Mac ; Odds & Ends

Posted by neschria Thursday January 17 2008 at 4:09PM
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(I have a confession to make before I get into the topic du jour: I have been guilty of doing the very thing that I am about to comment on. But I am all better now. )

People seem to be unable to walk away from online games without making some sort of commotion about leaving. These players-turned-haters seem to come in two varieties: those evangelizing for real life, and those preaching against the game. 

The first are people who discover that they've been missing a lot of real life by playing their game, and feel the need to come back and preach the good word to all the misguided people who are still playing. Real life is so much more REAL, they say. You're wasting your life, they say.

Yes. We know. Real life is great. Not every player is a hopeless addict unable to manage their time in game vs. their time in the rest of their lives. And most of us realize that what we do in game doesn't really matter in the long run. It's just entertainment. It's only a waste of our time if we aren't having fun. And, let's face it, what some of us would be doing in real life if we weren't playing games wouldn't be a whole lot more constructive. Demolition derbies are a lot more real, but not really a lot more meaningful in the long run, if you think about it.

The second variety are people who become angry about the direction their game has taken, or who are disillusioned when they realize that the game isn't what they thought it would be. Sometimes this rage is justified; I do feel for the SWG vets who had the game they were enjoying ripped out from under them. But sometimes this anger turns into a lot of bile spilled all over forums where people who still enjoy the game in question are trying to commune with one another. Other times it seems to be a personal vendetta-- one person decides that GameX is too buggy, stupid, and boring for anyone to ever play, and they have to save other people from trying GameX. (I suspect some of those people just like to feel that they are more sophisticated and have a better understanding of gaming than the poor sheep who won't leave GameX.)

Yes. We're very sorry the game sucks. There are a lot of other games, you know. You don't have to continue to obsess on this one that has broken your heart. (Good grief! I think I got that very same advice from my mother when I got dumped in high school!) Start a blog about why you hate the game. Form a support group. Post your review once on a prominent forum. That fulfills your obligation to keep other people from wasting their $50 (or $20, or $15, or the hour they would have spend downloading.) You don't really need to save people who are still enjoying the game. Just write them off as a lost cause. Everyone will be happier that way.

There's a hybrid category, too, I suppose. There are those who go on their crusade when they become disillusioned with the game and then resent all the time they wasted playing when they could have been snowboarding or learning to play the bassoon. (This was my personal sin, back when I couldn't just walk away quietly.)  Undoubtedly there are others who have to return to the forums to rant for three months after they take up snowboarding and the bassoon and then have an epiphany about how crappy their old game was anyway.

I am not saying that people shouldn't say goodbye, or that people don't have a right to express how they feel. And sometimes people who have a gripe have legitimate issues to put on the table. I don't dispute that. What I am saying is that there's a limit to how many times you can scream, rant, or whine before you become a bore and/or a boor.

Pick your venues. Pick your battles. And remember that other people have a right to disagree with you.

Oh, yeah... One other thing...

Can I have your stuff?

(You HAD to see that coming.)

....

Spore will be coming to Mac and PC... at the same time!  I suppose that's good news for Mac people. I thought that I might joke at this point that this might make Mac an acceptable option when I get around to replacing this ancient PC that I'm currently using... But that's not even funny. Sorry, Mac people. I know you love your Macs SOOOO much. I just feel the very same way about my PC.

....

Nexon has a game coming to an English language closed beta at the end of the month (for North American players only). It's called Mabinogi (link to game site; it has autoplaying music/video). I can't quite tell if it is just more of the same or not. I ended up looking at the Wikipedia article on it, and I think I might check it out if I get a chance.

As you've probably noted, if you've read this blog before, I'll try anything.

The only game that Nexon has that I really recognized was MapleStory, which I've never played. I guess I've seen Kartrider ads here too. I haven't ever played a Nexon game before.

...

I laugh sometimes when people complain about time they wasted downloading something. I know some people still have dial-up and slower computers, but do they actually sit there and watch their downloads? How bad could it be? It's not like they had to go down the road, shovel all the bits into a wheelbarrow, and bring them back.

But I shouldn't be so mean. I can imagine telling my grandkids someday that I once had a 2400bps modem (upgrade from the 300!) and back in those days, we had to download one bit at a time, uphill both ways, in the snow. And we liked it!

I can tolerate almost anything for the right people.

Posted by neschria Monday January 14 2008 at 1:47PM
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My son pointed out Asda Story (for its cuteness factor) to his girlfriend, who had never played any kind of MMO before. She likes it. A lot. So my son is playing too, to play with her. And now my husband and I are playing with them. We're having some fun, playing together. We think we're going to start a clan when one of us hits level 24 (which should be today).

I could describe the gameplay and character development in some detail, as far as I have experienced it, but there's nothing that really stands out. It's got a lot of "go there, kill that" questing, some instanced dungeons, and all the cute you can stand. (Maybe even more cute than you can stand! I have a high tolerance for cute.) The soulmate thing is supposed to be their original feature, and it does have some useful parts as you level it up (the ability to heal, summon, and rez your soulmate, for instance), but you could very well ignore that part and it wouldn't really change your game experience that much.

What the game does have a-plenty is BUGS. (OMG, the bugs! THE BUGS! MAKE IT STOP!) From graphical glitches to group bugs to suddenly having a stranger in your soulmate box, there's a bug for every taste. And some of them can be pretty funny, if you have a sense of humor about such things... Others, not so much. (Sadly, I've actually played games even buggier at release than this one is in open beta. Those games know who they are, don't they, Anarchy Online? Don't you sit there in the corner looking innocent, Dark and Light!)

So, yeah. In a crowded field of MMOs, I think my final judgement on Asda Story is: "Yep, it's yet another MMO, all right."

But despite all that, I'm playing it and having fun because I am playing with people I know. We can laugh while we're playing. We can chat about RL and tease each other in ways that you really can't do with strangers. Despite the fact that it is a silly little F2P game where I've spent a ridiculous amount of time killing wrench-toting ducks, it's been worth playing for the good company.

 

Well, at least I'll never have another "back to EQ" experience.

Posted by neschria Thursday January 10 2008 at 12:10AM
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 I found my original Asheron's Call disk in a box yesterday. I was looking for something else. It's funny what you can still have hiding in boxes. The long and the short of my Asheron's Call experience was that I liked it and my husband couldn't wait to get back to EQ the whole time we played. I played for a few months without him, if I recall, but I was a lot more shy online then than I am now, so I didn't really make any friends or anything. And back to EQ I went.

Another "back to EQ" experience was my time in Anarchy Online. I know some people will say that it was playable at launch, but I'm afraid I have a limited tolerance for crashes and slideshow performance, which is exactly what I had. I did stick with it for a while, though, because I liked what I saw in the moments between the problems. And it did get turned around... after I went back to EQ. I've been in and out a couple of times over the years-- once on a resubscribe (to an account I don't remember the details for) and on a trial basis.

I'm never going back to EQ, so I don't have that game that's always waiting for my return anymore. In a way, that's liberating. Now I can play other games and not worry about how far behind I'm getting in EverQuest while I am not there. I don't care anymore. 

I just downloaded and installed AO again yesterday. I'm a froob. In this short amount of time, I made a couple of characters on Rimor (Rubi-Ka 2): Maclasha, the nanomage metaphysicist (previously one of my favorite classes), and Minahmat, the opifex martial artist.

"Maclasha" came from the name suggestion button. I am not sure if that's "Ma-Clasha" or "MacLasha"... but I should be taken out behind the woodshed for that name. Not just for accepting it, but for giggling every time I see it. So far, that's the character I've played with the most. Not that I played her for long. She's just got a half hour over the other.

I haven't had a lot of time for gaming in the last week or so. My Xfire profile says I've played Fable for 44 hours in the last 7 days, but that also counts two of my kids being home sick and playing for hours and hours on end, on top of all the playing they did over the weekend. I didn't actually play at all today-- I wasn't even home most of the day-- but Fable was running the whole day.  I am almost through playing as a good guy. I'll likely go through and play a bad guy. Or I'll play through doing strange, random things. That's always fun.

Is it mean to leave my husband at home alone with sick kids? Ah, well. I had a lot to do, and I certainly didn't want to drag sick kids all over town. I did drag my oldest and his girlfriend around for the first half of the day, since I was going in the direction of places my son wanted to apply for jobs. They weren't entirely thrilled with going either, but they are both adults and presumably more rational about such things.

My son and his girlfriend have just taken to playing Asda Story, so I dropped back into that game tonight. I gave the girlfriend's character a drive-by heal, not knowing that it was her. It just goes to show that you can walk right by your next door neighbor in a game world and never know.

((EDIT: I called to ask about what character names I should be looking for. When she told me her character name, I told her I had healed her, and she said she knew someone had healed her but she didn't even see who it was. If I ever design a level/class-based RPG, I am going to include the NinjaHealer class.))