The original definition of “blog” was as an abbreviation of “web log”, where you’d point out interesting places you found while surfing. I don’t really have anything to write about today — I did 1.1.11 in LotRO last night on my hunter and started in on the Forsaken Inn quests, and played Free Realms for a couple of hours but I can’t write about that, so… welcome to my web log!
Stargrace has betrayed her illusionist to a coercer. Why? Not because she loves the betrayal quests so much (but maybe she does), but because EQ2 has strayed from its initial promise that every archetype (fighter, mage, scout and priest) could do their job (tanking, magical dps and crowd control, melee dps and heroic opportunities, and healing respectively) as well as any other of their archetype, but in their own unique way. Now, we have 24 classes with 24 different roles and capabilities, and it’s natural that players would rank them. If you want dps, you’re not going to ask for a bard. EQ2 was going to be the game where it almost didn’t matter what class of the twenty four you eventually chose.
Despite Age of Conan’s heavy emphasis on its PvP gameplay when it launched, Openedge1’s picture-heavy log of his trip through the Ampitheater of Karutonia kinda tells me that AoC’s real strengths may lie in its PvE arcs. Colin Brennan over at Massively touched upon this yesterday when he asked if PvP really was the “killer feature” that conventional wisdom insists all new MMOs must have in order to gain cred with MMO players. Even though I play on Spellborn’s PvP server, I admit, PvP is not my reason to choose a game. I’m more likely to look for a game with good customization and a rewarding PvE experience. The more games talk about their blood, gore and random killing, the less I am likely to play.
Suzina at Kill Ten Rats writes about the recent changes that have made Lord of the Rings Online so much easier than it was at launch. She’s absolutely right. I took my new, from scratch, hunter on Landroval from level 0 to level 18 in about five hours of play. The new (optional, but who won’t use it?) quest tracker meant I never had to figure out where to go, or even read the text. I’d swoop in, click on any NPC with a ring over their head, sort the quests by level, and then just follow the arrow. Was there a story? Beats me! I think it involved dwarfs. But just as Suzina points out, my investment in my hunter is nearly nil. I leveled so fast, even without rest experience for most of that time. Just targeted a monster, pressed a couple of keys, targeted another, and when the quest was done, moved somewhere else.
I’m still loving Ommatidia, the daily 101 word story by Brendan Adkins. Gems, every day :)
Darkfall’s two biggest supporters, Keen and Syncaine, recently mused about how the impact PvP MMO, Darkfall, could be losing player interest even though it offers the best sandbox PvP of any fantasy MMO currently available? Is it because not enough players are truly looking for an even, honest fight? Is it because people have been so quick to make themselves feel safe that they have carebeared their fun away? What would it take to make a PvP-centric MMO where real PvP happened on a continual basis? Nobody has yet found the magic formula. EVE Online comes closest, perhaps, but even there, most players do not PvP on a regular basis.
Hudson over at Hudson’s Hideout just got into the Champions Online beta! Grats :) I’ll definitely be looking forward to hearing about his adventures at his new blog, Saving the World… which he didn’t link. Will have that when I get it.
Psyq at Dalayan Diary writes about his adventures in Blackburrow, lair of the dog-like gnolls. That was a deadly place in old EverQuest, and has only gotten deadlier in Shards of Dalaya. No matter how many times they wiped, though, they didn’t lose any experience — SoD has removed that worst of EverQuest’s death penalties. Is that a good thing? Players of old EQ were so paranoid about dying that you wanted to know your groupmates before you did anything even slightly risky. Because you NEEDED to know everyone’s rep, a strong community was formed based on your skill and reputation. Remove the penalties for failure and you remove a lot of the incentive to be skilled… I feel that is amply shown by the rather weak communities of games with little to no penalties for failure.
Green Armadillo at Player vs Developer writes about EQ2’s Splitpaw adventure pack. That’s long been one of my personal favorites, and though GA points out that SOE was charging for content other MMOs gave for free, I felt it was well worth the money, and one of the reasons to subscribe to Station Access, where these things came free. Splitpaw scales with your level, so no matter when you, alone or with friends, enter, you’ll always find a challenge and reward appropriate for your level. GA mentions the Trials of Harclave instance, where you are given a godlike buff and sent alone into a dungeon to wipe it clean of group mobs that would kill you in an instant, normally. Great fun :)