I haven’t done a “what I’m playing” thing for awhile. So here’s my current roster of games, and I’ll start off with what I’m NOT playing. And that game would be Mythos.
Mythos had one of the strongest beta communities on record, with unparalleled access to devs. Community Manager Taylor Baldree would hold court in the #mythos IRC channel every night. Devs would respond daily on the forums. And all that was leading to a game that I very much wanted to play. With Hellgate: London’s reprieve by Namco Bandai, let’s hope there IS hope for Mythos as well.
Pi Story and Florensia — I played a few hours of Pi Story in closed beta, but it ended before I got too far in the game. Florensia, I didn’t get into the closed beta but has since gone open. Pi Story is a 2D side scroller MMO in the vein of Secret of Mana or Legend of Mana — a fast, action RPG MMO. Florensia is a Japanese pirate/fantasy adventure which has been compared to OnePiece. I like Japanese MMOs because they generally are closer to Western sensibilities than Chinese or Korean MMOs. I really want to get back to Pi Story, but will probably be on Florensia for a few days to check it out. Huge production values, I want to get a look at it.
Wizard 101 — W101 has been my addiction the past couple of weeks, but it is getting a little grindy and bugs in the Tomb of Storms in Krokotopia are making it difficult to progress. It IS beta, after all, so I am not too concerned. I am about at the point where I can write a decent first look at it, and then sit back and wait for release. This is one darn addictive game, but I begin to dread battles because as you move up in levels, each battle takes more and more time. Even with other people, the games have become so fantastically strategic that it’s hard to see how well their target audience does once they’re facing two rows of Rank 4 Elites and your deck contains only three 404 point heals…
City of Villains — love the game, love the characters, just don’t have time for the grind. I didn’t even actually intend on playing it last weekend, I just wanted to use the character creator. I just kept getting swallowed up into mission groups — random people would invite me all the time, and all but one of the groups were great.
EverQuest — Tuesday and Friday nights are for EQ. It took awhile to get used to the game again after so long away, but I am very comfortable there once again. Finding groups outside the Nostalgia nights is still a hassle, so, as when I played before, I don’t bother looking for groups. I just run around and explore or work on my epic. I don’t hold out the hope that the next expansion will bring anything for casual players; sounds like the whole faction grind, tiered high end raiding system they love so much now. But that’s okay. They already wrote MY EverQuest, and it’s still there to play.
EverQuest 2 — I haven’t logged on EQ2 again since I finished my storm armor quests. I hate soloing, and I only stuck it through the considerable soloing for that assassin armor because I wanted to take a screenshot of my character wearing it. My goals in EQ2 — getting my troubadour’s mythical epic, or finding a high level casual raiding guild — seem impossible. My level 80 troubadour and inquisitor are guildless, and it’s so depressing not having anyone to talk to when I log in that I don’t spend much time playing. I think my inquisitor might still be sitting in the bottom of RE2 where she was when she was kicked out of the group so they could bring someone else’s healer in. My troubadour has been unable to even get a RE2 group, and I have no idea how I am supposed to report on EQ2 happenings when I don’t even have a guild :/ It’s tough and depressing.
Vanguard — I’ve been spending some time in Vanguard, running around, doing quests, and hoping to get a good sense for the current state of the game. Again, being guildless and playing entirely solo are so crushingly soul-draining that I can’t play long before I just want to fill the emptiness with a game that has people I can talk to in it.
Looking back, it looks like I have been largely playing games with easy grouping and fast-paced gameplay. Not surprisingly, these are the two trends I think herald the forthcoming next wave of MMOs that will supplant the WoW-likes.