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Tastes Gamey

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

Author: neschria

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 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.

JB47394 writes:

I suspect that almost any casual gamer understands what you experienced with your husband; hardcore friends are ahead and want you to catch up.  Or they're just constantly hounding you to be the best.  They want you to share in their hardcore-ness.

I went back to World of Warcraft after expansion from 60 levels to 70  levels came out.  My whole guild was at 70.  I didn't buy the expansion so that I wouldn't be tempted to be drawn into the hardcore pursuits of my guild.  Yet I leveled 3 characters to 60 before I left again.  I was able to do that because I only did as much as I cared to.  I only leveled.  I didn't grind for gear, mounts or anything else.  I just walked from 0 to 60.

If you can tolerate a science fiction theme, you might try EVE Online.  The most difficult element of the game for a casual player who wants to socialize is to find a corporation that will let you contribute without joining in on their hardcore activities.  Other than that, the game itself is a delight for the casual player who likes to explore game systems.  And you can get started with a free download and free trial period.

Sat May 31 2008 8:27PM Report
poilkioi writes:

Have you tried Guild Wars? I think it is a good game for casual players:

- no subscription fee, you can leave the game for a while and come back any time you want

- max level is 20 which you get to pretty fast

- you get max equipment pretty easy as well, only thing you could grind for is different skins

- no boring travel times, you can teleport to any town you've visited before

- structured progression by missions, there are also quests but you can skip those in the interest of time, they don't give you anything you wouldn't get by just doing missions

- you select 8 skills when leaving a town, that's all you have, no need for UI addons and x rows of skills


- you can try pvp with the skills you have unlocked on your normal character by creating a pvp character of any class (always max level)

Sun Jun 01 2008 3:36AM Report
Sillyidea writes:

You know on the TV/ computer thing I sugest you buy a Tower and then a a TV/comupter screen together so you don't have to shell out for both and since they make some pretty good combination ones. Just my two cents

Sun Jun 01 2008 1:58PM Report
neschria writes:

JB47394, I may give EVE another try. I don't know that I played it long enough to really give it a fair shake, and I might have given up before I had a chance to settle in because I wasn't all that keen on being a ship and I have the spatial awareness of a doughnut, so navigating in 3d space means I get lost a lot. :)

poilkioi, I haven't played Guild Wars before, though I have thought about it from time to time. I don't know why it totally slipped my mind. I might check that out too. No monthly fees means I can always have it around for whenever I get the urge to play, even if I find something else. I like this idea. Is there a particular version I should pick up as a newbie?

Sillyidea, I wish I could double up on the monitor and TV, but unfortunately, I am thinking of replacing our main TV, and I've got a husband and 3 kids at home full-time who watch the TV too (plus the kids who live with my ex now when they have vacations, and sometimes my oldest son who lives in the apartment upstairs but visits a lot). On the other hand, if I let them watch the OLD TV and got a combo for the bedroom, with a wireless keyboard and mouse, they'd probably never see me again. ;)


Sun Jun 01 2008 7:13PM Report writes:
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