Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can I Borrow Some Hours?

Like Blue Kae, I'm playing too many games for the meager amount of time I have free. I don't generally even start playing until after 9, because my job is pretty demanding with the hours, plus I decided to do some consulting on the side. And then of course I have a wife and a baby that have demands (particularly the baby!) and a house to maintain. But somehow I still manage to squeeze in enough time to explore some of these online worlds that fascinate me.

So what have I been playing?

EverQuest II

Well, EverQuest II still. I have two accounts. I am going to start a third account for a month (since, with Refer-a-Friend, it doesn't really cost extra) so I will try my hand at triple-boxing. I'm sure that will make doing quests somewhat of a nuisance, but I don't really like quests anyway. Instead, I'll try plowing through some of the dungeons solo. I don't know what it is about multiboxing in EQ2 that I enjoy so much, but it's a lot of fun. I've always like playing multiple characters; the first CRPGs I played were games like Might and Magic and Bard's Tale where you created and controlled a full group at a time.

Dungeons and Dragons Online

I have some real life friends I meet up in Dungeons and Dragons Online. I'm still enjoying the game, but I had some awful PUG experiences. I think my last group was started by a ten year old. It fell apart miserably. This could be a drawback of having a free to play game: there is no barrier to entry for maturity. Not that an 18 year old with a credit card and a summer job is that mature, but at least they might be able to form a coherent English sentence. When you are doing elite difficulty quests, that ability comes in handy.


Lastly, I'm playing Aion. I paid for it, so I figure I may as well. So far I've only gotten to level 6, so no further than I did in beta. I haven't earned my wings. I think I should at least do that before making my final judgment. But, so far, I'm really not liking the game.

I know people say you can't judge an MMO after only a few hours of gameplay, but I think that's crap. I mean, granted, I can't judge the PVP, since I haven't tried it. And I can't judge the end game. But I can tell you that 99% of the gameplay is the same old quest based grind we get in World of Warcraft and EverQuest II. And it's mostly really simplistic quests like: kill X or run to someone and click on them.

EverQuest II is rife with those quests too, but it tends to shake them up a bit with other kinds of quests as well: discovery quests, quests that require using an item in your inventory in some fashion, quests where you have to avoid killing the mobs you are fighting, etc. So it shakes things up, and that's what keeps me interested.

The combat, so far, is dull, but then combat in EQ2 was dull under level 10 as well. Mostly I root or slow the mob and shoot them a couple times with ranged magic attacks. Rinse, repeat. I'll have to find a dungeon or a named and see how things differ in a group or against more elite mobs, but I haven't found those yet.

What Next?

Well, I guess I'll have to focus, and that's likely to be EverQuest II again. I just can't seem to find a game to replace it. I guess that's a good thing.

I'll probably keep D&D Online going on the side, but just when my real life friends are in game since the dungeons are a blast with the right company. I don't know how much longevity the game will have, for me, if my friends get bored of it and move on: the problem I have with it so far is that, even with henchmen, you really need to group, but my PUG experiences have been extremely poor so far.

I have a feeling I won't be continuing the Aion subscription after the free month expires. When I feel like I've toured the world enough to get a good feel for it, I'll move on and find something else to fill up those free hours. I'm not sure what that will be. Maybe something to give me a reprieve from all these fantasy games I play:

I'm somewhat curious about Fallen Earth because I like the idea of a sandbox based gameplay and I like the post-apocalyptic setting. However, I don't think what is obviously not a AAA title should be charging the same subscription fee as the leaders of the pack like World of Warcraft. It doesn't even look polished from the screenshots, and while I can tolerate that if the gameplay is solid, it should still be priced accordingly.

I'm also curious about Champions Online but mostly from a comparative standpoint, to see how it fares in gameplay compared to City of Heroes. I also like the idea behind the Nemesis system.

Or maybe I'll play more single player games or, heck, get back into some non-computer game related hobbies, like writing music again. Either way, I really need more hours in the day for everything I want to do.


Jayedub said...

I am interested in Fallen Earth as well. I played some of the closed beta, not much, but I really liked the combat.

I don't mind the fifteen a month, it's the fifty for the game that bothers me.

Blue Kae said...

Come on over and check out Champions Online. While there are definitely some rough edges still, it's a great amount of fun. As a former City of Heroes player, I'm enjoying the character creator quite a bit, but the combat in Champions is much more active and interesting. The best part is you never have to worry about a name being taken.

Syp's pro and con posts are pretty spot on if you want more details.

sgamer said...

DDO is why I am currently not playing Aion...why pay $50 to try that game, with the same hotkey-style combat available in plenty of other games, when I can play DDO for free, which has much better fighting. Instead of buying Aion for my birthday, I went VIP on DDO, and I don't regret it.

I have not had many problems with PUGs, sure you will wipe on occasion, but for the most part the player population is very helpful. This may not be as apparent on earlier levels like 1-3 because of the new players, but at least 95% of groups I have joined or created from the LFG screen were successful.

Hechicera said...

I'm going to poke my head in Aion. I just feel like doing something stupid I guess. Haven't done anything stupid in at least a week or so, must be overdue.