It was a pretty slow weekend, considering. I meant to do a first look at Pi Story to complement the one I did for Florensia, but I didn’t get to it. Nor did I play Florensia any. I did play some EverQuest; Saturday I did all sorts of running around with my ranger, soloed Hate and Sky with my cleric, and Sunday morning met up with a guildie to do The Hole more or less legit, in that I actually played Tipa the entire time :) But I’ve talked about that in a previous post.
Since last week’s patch, some of the tougher fights in Wizard 101 have been eased up. I did a lot more of the Krok fights, cleared out the Djesserit tombs and working on the Anjit ones. The Emperor’s Retreat is still a little tough; I’m going to have to find some friends to help on that one. I have been exploring Marleybone, the next world, by looking up friends who are there and teleporting to them. I’ll have a post about Wizard 101 tonight, I didn’t have time this morning. With any luck, I’ll be able to piggyback to the fourth world, Mooshoo, soon.
I logged on to Dina in EQ2 for awhile; couldn’t find a group, but I chatted with a guy who wanted me to move to Butcherblock and return to raiding. Even if all my nights were free — which they aren’t — I will NEVER sign up for a six or seven day a week raiding commitment, unless I am being paid for my time. There are no rewards for raiding that are worth giving up half my life to obtain. None. Not even one. The fact that WoW, EQ, EQ2 and their clones encourage and require this to raid is proof enough as to how out of step these games are with the time most people have to spend on something like that.
How to bring the casual player into raiding? Guaranteed reward. Every time I complete a raid, I get a master spell or another piece to my set gear. I get it, it goes right into my inventory, same for everyone else. Having to raid something dozens of times for a chance to get something you need is the way things used to be.
Honestly, the only rewards worth working for are the ones that will remain even after I hit the UNSUBSCRIBE button. Friendships, or real-world loot.
I logged into my EQ2.Najena assassin, Brightknife, and headed over to Timorous Deep to work on some more gray quests that nonetheless would improve my armor while looking for a group, but lost interest quickly and logged off.
I see Cryptic has finally officially announced they are working on Star Trek Online, which probably comes close to being just as much a surprise as the fact that Bioware is working on a Knights of the Old Republic MMO. Which is to say, no surprise at all. Cryptic has not yet proven to me that they can make an MMO worth playing. City of Heroes/Villains comes close, but its grindy, repetitive gameplay is only worth doing if you are doing it with friends. Since nearly ANY MMO is worth playing if it’s with friends, this isn’t any sort of recommendation.
Looking at the screenshots, it looks like they didn’t use any of Perpetual’s code not because Perpetual didn’t want them to have it, but because they refused to buy it. The screenshots look entirely different from that of Perpetual’s game. There’s just one thing I want out of a STO game. And that is, my character, sitting in the captain’s seat, ordering the bridge crew around and talking with aliens on the viewscreen as we jockey for the best firing position. A tactical game that requires teamwork. And I’ll stand at the science station or whatever I have to do to earn those captain’s stripes.
If it’s friggin’ WoW-in-space like Perpetual’s seemed to be — forget it. No more WoW-likes, PLEASE. We have WoW already. Even though there were battles and stuff in Star Trek, that was NOT the point of the show. Most of the time the point was to AVOID killing. If Cryptic says I have to kill a thousand Gorn soldiers to LEVEL, they will have TRAMPLED the whole meaning of Star Trek. To seek out new life and new civilizations — and BRUTALLY MURDER THEM? NO. Star Trek Online had better be a game where you AVOID killing for the best score.
Somehow I have the feeling that the people at Cryptic, as able as they are, will not be able to make a Star Trek game that isn’t loaded with senseless killing. Maybe it will be a mirror universe Star Trek game, that universe where people delighted in senseless killing, and a universe far better suited to a WoW-like.
Ya know what? Star Trek Online shouldn’t be like an MMO at all. It should be more like — some sort of social web thing, where you could work on science projects or try to heal alien creatures, or experiment, or play on the holo-deck, or attend command school, or try to tune engines up to a better efficiency, or figure out a new way to use the deflector dish, or explore the ruins of ancient civilizations, or attend a peace conference as part of an ambassador’s retinue, or… see what I’m getting at? Having to assassinate just ten more Romulan Centurions to ding before you get your next Phaser upgrade goes against EVERYTHING ST STANDS FOR. You should be able to experience the breadth and depth of the Star Trek/Starfleet universe, which CAN INCLUDE space battles and dangerous away missions, but those would be a small part of everything you can do. And not necessary to level. Why even have levels?
Anyway, I’ve ranted about STO plenty in its last incarnation. Perpetual was going to cheapen it. Cryptic might not. I hope they don’t. But I don’t think they are daring enough to make a game that isn’t a grindy murderfest. It’s what’s easiest.