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Tastes Gamey

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

Author: neschria

My (MMO) 2007 [WAY TOO LONG]

Posted by neschria Saturday December 29 2007 at 4:27PM
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In 2007, I subscribed to EQ2, EQ1 (twice!), and Lineage 2. I ran through the LoTRO trial.

EverQuest 2 is a good game in many ways. I like playing it. It falls down in the same way that LoTRO seems to fail for me-- it's just not compelling enough. When I pick up a novel, I want it to be a pageturner. I want the same thing from my MMORPGs. I want to log in excited to see what happens next to my character. Lately, a lot of games make me feel like I am working my way through a To-Do list of quests. It's not so much about what's happening to my character and more about how many more orc ears I need to collect. I realize that the heavy emphasis on questing is a good feature for a lot of people, but to me, it takes all the adventure out of the adventuring. I end up logging in to finish three more quests, not to see what kind of trouble I can get into. Where's the fun in that? (I am sure there's a ton of fun in that for other people, but for me, not so much.)

I played EverQuest 1 at the beginning of the year and again in October. There's still a lot to do in Norrath. Even if you started at The Serpent's Spine and did only new content since then, you'd have plenty to keep you busy. After years of playing shadow knights, I enjoyed my October experiment as a wizard. I think one of the things that EQ1 does right is that every class has a specific feel to it that gives the game a different feel when you switch classes. And, for better or worse, in terms of advancing your character, it's a grinding game more than a questing game (even with the staggering number of available quests), so you don't have to follow the same path of advancement when you start a new character. This gives it better replayability for me (as I am easily bored when I find myself repeating quests).  Nonetheless, I'm moving on for good now. After playing other games, the pacing of EQ fights is too slow, and having been at the high end of the game once upon a time, I can't help but feel that the climb from being a level 1 newb to a level 80 badass is too steep for a really casual and time-challenged player like me, even with hotzones, corpse summoning, out-of-combat regen bonuses and possibly vet rewards. In fact, the climb from a weak-to-mediocre level 73 to level 80 badass looks too steep for me.

I liked Lineage 2. I realize that it is a game that's all about the high end and the sieges or whatever, but I had fun just purely working on my character in my corner of the world. It was a back-to-basics experience for me. While I know the climb to the top is just as steep (or steeper!) than EQ1, I didn't feel the hardship of that. I only know that I am further along one day than I was the last, and that's good enough for me. I got PKed twice during my 2 months playing and I enjoyed that too, strangely enough. I have recently reinstalled it, but my husband asked me not to subscribe, so the icon is sitting there on my desktop, looking all lonely and forlorn...

(Ok, it isn't all that lonely. It's nestled in comfortably between Age of Empires 2 and Fable. The former is still our LAN game of choice and the latter is something my son brought when he moved out here. I've been playing Fable a lot over the last couple of days. But that L2 icon keeps calling me. It wants me to join the PvP party.)

I played way too many free games in 2007. (I'll try not to do that in 2008. Really! I mean it.)

I played Archlord briefly. It made me decide that I really wanted to play Lineage 2. As free Asian-style games go, it is probably one of the better ones, if you don't like the cute anime look.

Of the Asian crop, the only one that really stands out for me at all was Fiesta Online (the Outspark version), with the combination of Kingdom Quests and titles to get. Kingdom Quests are scheduled, timed instances. They can be hard to get into, but I thought they were fun when I did get into them. The ability to press a couple of keys to hide all other players was a nice feature in highly congested areas. There were some annoying things too-- spamming in the local ("say") channel by goldsellers (conveniently, an annoyance that disappears when you hide other players) and some community problems like inappropriate conversation in broadcast channels (some really racist and sexist things being said-- a profanity filter can't filter out sheer obnoxiousness). Who was the genius with the brilliant idea to reward a title for talking continously in broadcast channels?! Overall, just being a game that I played for more than 20 minutes and actually remember playing puts it above some of the other games I played.

My younger kids (in the 10 year old range)  loved NosTale. It's cute. They liked taming new pets and running through the missions constantly. The community didn't seem as obnoxious as they get in free games, but it didn't really matter, since my kids basically played it as if it were single player. They don't read chat or talk to people.

I downloaded and played Shadow of  Legend before the open beta started just a couple of weeks ago. It seemed, in the few minutes I had to play it, as old school as I had guessed from looking at screenshots. Unfortunately, open beta required a fresh download and install, and I haven't gotten it downloaded again to explore it more thoroughly. (Dear Game Companies:  When moving between stages of beta and from beta to release, please let the launcher do the updating, rather than making us download again, k? thx.) I thought downloading the torrent would be faster than the direct download, but either way, I am getting download speeds I haven't seen since dial-up. I'd blame my DSL if I hadn't downloaded files at acceptable speeds with it just before this...ANYWAY.... Back to the year in review!

Outside of the Asian games, I also played Shadowbane for a while. Despite the frequent complaints of many who have tried it, I don't think the controls are all that hard to master (no harder than FFXI, IMO), but I didn't really meet anyone or get a chance to talk to anyone, and that was what ultimately drove me away. For a free game, it's not half bad, and it is a good alternative to some of the other junk out there, especially among low system requirement games. I think it would even be fun in a guild situation.

In 2008, I am looking forward to finally getting a less ancient computer. I have a cautious interest in Warhammer Online and Aion. I am not personally interested in Age of Conan, but as a spectator of the whole field of MMORPGs, I am interested to see how it fares in the market. Whether new launches fly or flop, I am hoping to have a year that's more about the quality of my game time rather than the quantity of games that cross my harddrive.

I should give Anarchy Online a go. I haven't played that game in ages (since back before it had expansions). I will have to put that one on my list for 2008. It was good enough to pay for before. I can still play the base game for free, right? I'll have to take it out for a spin. It can be my "waiting for other games" game.

((EDIT: Sheesh... I don't think I am quite done fixing typos and mistakes in this one yet. My brain is STILL fried from the Christmas we had. Let's see... 300 mile drive each way. My mom fighting with my brothers the whole time we were there. My husband's 86 year old grandmother falling down the stairs. Moving my son from there to here... Oh, yeah, it was one for the books.))

Greatness writes:

If you do end up continuing Lineage 2, I suggest that everytime you start to think about the grind, just take a break. I personally love just leveling alts with groups (hard to find at lower levels but can be done) and just raiding. It does however get really steep and hard towards the end but your best bet is joining the right guild that plays your style. I have been in PvP centered guilds since lvl 1 and the good thing about it is that they always have room for extras who want to tag along in parties for PvPing or raiding or whatever. I am only 6x and I still feel like I accomplish something when I am in those, other than that it gets really boring if I am in a party - the grind is just killer.

Sat Dec 29 2007 7:27PM Report
Greatness writes:

Oops cannot edit my comment but I meant to say "it gets really boring if I am NOT in a party - the grind is just killer."

Sat Dec 29 2007 7:27PM Report
Dialtrax writes:

"it takes all the adventure out of the adventuring"

QFT!

Sat Dec 29 2007 8:22PM Report
DaX.9 writes:

Why do not try Wow or GW? Maybe EVE? What about Stormreach?

Sun Dec 30 2007 7:28AM Report
El_Gostro writes:

A person after my own hearth!!!
How many today ignore the sweet pleasure of playing adventure and the old school Black Isle MMORPG's (maybe not so much after BG2 expansion) to see and worry where yer little toon would end up next and enjoying walks in the zombie infested forest????

Sun Dec 30 2007 9:35AM Report
qombi writes:

I agree 100% with you friend. Quest take the adventure out of adventuring. Your post hit home with me. I miss games like EQ where you made your own adventures. They gave us a world and a lot of people to enjoy it with right? What else do we need? Are not people smart enough to make their own adventures? Do we not have imaginations greater than "collect 10 orc ears"? Great post friend!

Sun Dec 30 2007 3:50PM Report
qombi writes:

I would like to add to my above post. If they do put tons of mind numbing boring quest in for the unimaginative, they need to make wondering around making your own adventures just as profitable when it comes to XP. After all options are okay right? In WoW, you do not have this option. Quest are essential to the formula they use for leveling. Then we get to LOTRO and the reason I didn't continue past beta, where leveling is solely based on unimaginative quest.

 

That game is for the brain dead in my opinion along with WoW.

Sun Dec 30 2007 4:00PM Report
DaX.9 writes:

Ha brain dead you say! Ok tell me then just one game which is online and it is not brain dead! If you want a thrue adventure then play table ad&d not computer game! Computer game is a GAME, not some simulation of real adventure. If you want some real sandbox and stuff, real decidions and true combat then like I said play table ad&d. When all of you will understand that just like movies, games are for funn. I want to come home after work and waste one or two hours killing some stupid thing not to brain musce again! When I want thrue challenge I call my commrades and we play ad&d. That is real stuff, everything else is industry crap along with eq and everything else. And by the way try playing wow on rp server not pvp.

Sun Dec 30 2007 4:13PM Report
qombi writes:

I agree with you DnD is the superior of the games. But you just made a point for me, why is it that after DnD games just keep going backwards in evolution. I don't see why "improving" games means making them require less intelligence to succeed. Chess is still going strong and it hasn't never changed, still the mind game that it has always been. I don't think everyone is like you and think so little of what they do on their free time. I am not paying 15/month to be bored senseless with games that a five year old could master. That is skewed. I disagree with the part about online games are just to veg out. DnD and MMORPGs are both games, and there should be variety out there in every genre for different personality types. I don't care that LOTRO and WoW are mind numbingly easy games. Great, now give us some variety. Stop drifting farther and farther from games that require brain power and provide a few out there that does require some matter between the ears.

 

So you have stated what you want in online games and you have it. World of Warcraft and LOTRO and everything else out there under the stars are catering to this mentality. What we are saying is, how about the others out there that don't want an easy game? There is room in this genre for more than one flavor. We have our easy games, now provide us with the variety. Variety is great in anything. Do you want to go to an ice cream shop with only vanilla ice cream? Do you like to only shop at Walmart?

____________________________________________________

"Ha brain dead you say! Ok tell me then just one game which is online and it is not brain dead!"

 

The argument "everyone else is doing it so it is right" is not a good one by the way. If this wasn't the case, then there would be nothing here to discuss would it? I am too not the best speller or a master with grammar but I did at least take the advice of spell check. *wink*

Sun Dec 30 2007 6:48PM Report
DaX.9 writes:

Hey people are guilty for bad quality of games not makers! If people would just stop buying and playing stupid games that there will not be any of them! Makers on the other hand produce what they believe will get them money. I remember when I played Baldur's gate, now that was the game, or might and magic 7. Now I tried this new might and magic and I reliased "what a crap". I say stop buying bad games and we will have good ones! Have you all tried neverwinter nights in online mod? if not try it, worth every sec of gameplay!

Sun Dec 30 2007 7:10PM Report
qombi writes:

That is very true DaX.9. I have stopped buying the games I feel are not up to my standards. I wish others would do the same. Okay you do have good taste in games. : )  NWN was good and if you get a chance another great one recently was Temple of Elemental Evil. Even solo player games do have easy and more mind challenging games. I would like to see the same in the MMORPG genre.

Sun Dec 30 2007 7:55PM Report
iamloser writes:

This is why its all Darkfall. I believe there is quests, but you don't need to do them at all. The story of it is totally player run and same goes for the economy. Players control cities, islands, resources everything. You can craft everything, you don't need to be a certain "level" to craft something, just learn how to craft it and craft it. Join clans have big wars, PvP everywhere. Totally realistic. My suggestion to you, Darkfall. Whether you think its vaporware or not, you KNOW its a great game.

Sun Dec 30 2007 8:40PM Report
hitec7 writes:

"Ha brain dead you say! Ok tell me then just one game which is online and it is not brain dead!"

QFT ^^

Sun Dec 30 2007 9:54PM Report
qombi writes:

hitec7, you have really proved the "brain dead" part even though I was speaking of the game play of a game but not the players that play it in general.

 

First you believe that was a worthy argument. Secondly, you think typing an acrynom underneath it validates it further. Thirdly, you failed to read further post that have already discounted that argument. Alright so there may be some that fit WoW and LOTRO. : )

Mon Dec 31 2007 8:37AM Report
WrathofWoe writes:

I do have to say that Wow isn't all that bad, yes the quests can get mind numbing but it also provides people with out a lot of time to play somthing to work towards rather than just wandering aimlessly, I for one enjoy Wow near the end game when the raiding begins, I also enjoy the high end pvp, although lately it has gone down hill it is still enjoyable ;).

Fri Jan 11 2008 9:39PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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