What I am playing 7/23

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.

MMOs:

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.

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Tipa

Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.

16 thoughts on “What I am playing 7/23”

  1. The word Grind is used 3 times
    The word Solo is used…3 times

    The games you played in Beta = 3 (Florensia, Pi Story and Wizard 101…Mythos is not running, so not counted)

    The number of games being played by SOE = 3

    Hmmm…something weird is going on here.

    Doesn’t the sentence go “3rd times the charm?”

    I think your game is waiting for you very soon…

  2. Just curious, Tipa, I notice you never mention WoW in your forays and I was wondering what your thoughts were on it. I searched your blog but didn’t come up with any previous posts that suggested you played it, though I’m sure you’ve at least tried it. Your apparent distaste for what you call WoW-likes lead me to believe the gameplay is not your cup of tea, but I’d be interested to know what specifically you dislike about it. The community? The lore? Too repetitive?

  3. Sure I played WoW. This blog started as a WoW blog, but it didn’t stay as one long because I finished WoW and moved on. In six months I went from nothing on a new server to raiding the content current at the time, made several alts, started my own guild on the alliance side and did battlegrounds until I turned blue. Blue-er.

    By the time I finished, nearly everyone I knew in the game had quit or restarted on other servers, and every guild I had joined had blown up in massive drama.

    I talk about my time in WoW fairly often considering I only played six months and left before BC. WoW’s pace is so fast that at the time, I lauded it as the kind of game you don’t have to worry about addiction or anything with because you’d be done with it way before that could happen.

    I liked WoW fine, but by the end I was eager to move on to another game, and EQ2 was there. I dislike WoW-likes because of their obvious attempts to lure away WoW players instead of doing something original and staking out a place for themselves.

  4. I see. Nothing about TBC or WotLK gives you the urge to fire it up again? I, too, find the game somewhat lacking (especially in the area of storytelling, which I am a huge fan of in MMOs) and I agree content is consumed far too quickly, as you mentioned, but I still keep coming back anytime they do add something new. All the recent buzz about WotLK and the beta information has resulted in me rolling up a new character to hopefully have ready for the expansion. Being someone that hops between MMOs so much, is there any reason you haven’t revisited WoW to see the new content?

    I’ve also experienced the volatile nature of guilds in WoW (I’ve never been in one that remained together more than a year, they always disband over some trivial drama) so I know where you are coming from there. Maybe all you need is a solid group of friends like you have on EverQuest to allow you to enjoy WoW again.

    As for WoW-likes, I see what you mean. Runes of Magic, which you mentioned in your previous post, seems to be a particularly bad offender. The few gameplay videos I saw painted the game as nothing more than a fairly blatant attempt to grab the few people who may want to play WoW but find the monthly fee too steep. I find it somewhat shady to be frank, although I suppose it is a viable business plan. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to borrow mechanics from previous games like EQ and WoW as long as there is some originality involved, such as with Warhammer Online. The game is very similar to WoW, but the class mechanics are unique enough to separate them so that I don’t mind it. While new gameplay, such as that offered in Wizard101, is appealing as well I don’t think it’s necessary for all future MMOs to completely avoid more traditional styles as long as they put their own spin on it.

  5. I don’t like to solo, and I don’t like grinding faction, doing repetitive quests every day, battle grounds or the naked greedfest and assholery that is WoW raiding, so is there something else? Nah, I’ve played WoW. It will always be WoW. I was a priest, and grouping with pickup mages that would run ahead of the group into groups of mobs while I was trying to heal the warrior on another group because it was MY fault the group was moving so slowly and I should be READY in case a mage wanted to jump into a group of mobs and explode because I was TAKING TOO MUCH TIME to get mana back.

    I have never been in a game that filled me with as much disgust as when I have grouped with the people who play WoW. They are a breed apart. You couldn’t pay me to play WoW again. At least people in EQ and EQ2 try to be civil and work as a team.

  6. @Tipa You gave me a really good laugh regarding the “assholery” comment. I did enjoy my leveling time pre TBC. As someone who enjoys solo game play with group activity peppered in, it suited my play-style very well. I didn’t mind grinding faction, PVP honor or crafting. I did it all, the first time around. It wasn’t until I played thru TBC that I realized that’s all there was really and each expansion would simply bring more of the same. Lots of great new content sure, but they could not change the fundamentals of how the game works and that’s what I got lost interest in doing.

    My only lingering peeve with WOW is that I will probably never try a healing spec again – ever. I’d do a Paladin or Shaman where the purpose is purely to benefit my solo game play. Dealing with asshat players and the turbulent balancing of healing classes in relation to PVP and survivability, was complete anguish in WOW. It might have been the same playing a healing spec in any other game, who knows. Fact is that the drama happened in WOW so that one gets the blame. :-) A percentage of the players are a breed apart the fighting and negating specs and classes was pretty brutal. Lastly, I won’t forget how a lead designer introduced one of the most infamous phrases into his own gamer community, “welfare epics”. I still find it incredulous that a Blizzard employee would use such a phrase to describe a mechanic THEY put into the game as a form of progression. For shame!

  7. Fair enough. I’ve definitely experienced that same annoyance with pick-up groups in WoW time and time again. In fact, I swore off them after awhile and only ran instances with my close friends who I’ve played with since EQ. Played that way, WoW can be pretty fun, especially instances. That’s why I mentioned the community when I asked what you disliked about WoW. I have to turn my trade channel off in the cities just to keep from losing my mind. Maybe we’re just getting too old?

    The question is will we ever escape that type of community from now on? Much of the playerbase that will make up that of future MMOs will be coming from WoW, and bringing the same mentality. It’s a sad thing to consider any future MMO becoming naught but a virtual interactive 4chan.

    I guess I better keep my friends close.

  8. I have a character there, I just am looking for some high level instance running and raiding. I have done the low level EQ2 stuff so many times it is no longer fun.

  9. Forget all these, Tipa! I am going to start running my own guild on the fantastic MMORPG “Yogurting Always”.

    If any of you want to join me in symbolic and interpretive dancing all night, I’d love to see your moves!

    <3 <3 <3

  10. You might look into the guild Oathsworn on my server, Butcherblock, for some EQ2 raiding. They appear to only raid on weekends, and they hold open raids at times. I’ve been on a few of them, and they mostly seem well behaved and competent. Assuming you’re willing to pop for the character transfer. My own guild, Shards of Glory, has some very good players, but we aren’t big enough to raid effectively. We’ll take you on a deep Chardok run sometime, though.

  11. it was MY fault the group was moving so slowly and I should be READY in case a mage wanted to jump into a group of mobs and explode because I was TAKING TOO MUCH TIME to get mana back.

    I had a PUG in WoW with pretty much the exact same attitude. Only it was a druid instead of a mage. And to be fair, he sorta could tank. Never mind that we had two pallys in the group too. The capper is that the fool activated ALL of the statues after being told not to, and wiped us.

  12. @Toldain: Thanks for the suggestion :) I have three high level characters who must all be moved together, troub, inq and necro. They are my team :) And to be honest, I likely would only go to Najena, where Nostalgia is, because, well, it’s Nostalgia, and Stargrace might be able to hook me up with the occasional raid (and it would be fun being with friends), or Antonia Bayle for pretty much the same reason. I started on AB and moved to Faydark to be with my EQ guild, but they have long ago all moved on. I just don’t want to join a guild where by implication I would always be available, or a guild just to chat. If I could find the right guild, though, I’d probably be playing EQ2 every night again.

    I need the pull of having people around to get me to play an MMO. The novelty of an MMO can only keep me so long. When I get in to an MMO, though, I am REALLY into it, like, on every night.

  13. Nostalgia 2.0 (EQ2 version) is doing pretty well lately even though we’re not large yet. Kasul’s reached level 62 and we’re getting ready to start running instances and wiggle into some raids where possible. Before too long he’ll be doing the RoK grind and I’m going to team up with my sorely neglected templar who I just can’t see solo’ing through that stuff.

    Anyhow. I can completely understand where you’re coming from. Especially having moved all my characters all over the place until I finally settled. No more moving!

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