Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hopping from one to another

As a result of bad planning, or no planning on my part, I'm paying for several subscriptions of MMOs all at once. Just as Tobold asks would anyone play two at a time, I find myself paying for 3. World of Warcraft, Everquest 2 and Champions Online. I am not going to keep all 3 accounts. The idea of paying for multiple accounts while maybe not financially sound isn't that far-fetched. Family households usually have several and multi-boxers pay multiple to literally play the same game. And while I'm not going to the poorhouse anytime soon (crosses claws) I don't feel comfortable with that many accounts.

However it does let me compare the three, if not in playstyle, in how I feel about them. I want the feeling back of really enjoying an MMO. The feeling original Everquest players had, the feeling I had when I first started playing WoW. But every new game I've tried since is lacking. I call it the Flimsy Chain Armor Effect (FCAE). I think I've described it before. It's the discovery that not only do you need to kill ten rats, those rats may have something on them you could use. And not only something you can use but a set of something, and not only is it better than what you're wearing it matches! So not only will you kill ten rats because someone told you so, but you keep killing them because you have a chance to get Flimsy Chain gloves and Flimsy Chain boots! Now the Flimsy Chain set wasn't a set like a tier set per se, and it was grey - poor quality - vendor trash. Come to find out it probably wouldn't last you farther than Goldshire. The equivalent of buying something and then getting something better after you've walked a block. However first starting out in the World of Warcraft it was an improvement and no one ever gave you a quest to acquire this stuff but I did. And oh! some of these wolves drop pouches! I could use a pouch! I wonder if they drop more? It propelled me forward even without Marshall McBride telling me to go kills some kobolds.

I hadn't played a game like that before and maybe its the feeling of newness that I can never feel again even when the MMORPG is brand new.

But I try, even by going back to older games like Everquest 2. One thing I can say about it, I finally, after 5 years, have a computer that can do it justice. In the very beginning I had to set the graphics down so low I couldn't see anything when it came to going into caves. A new computer later things were better, at least I could see, but it still wasn't optimal. Finally I can play the game on its highest settings and other than the claymation skin, the game is really impressive looking. Unfortunately, 5 years ago, they forgot much of their audience, while used to using their imagination to fill in pixels, couldn't necessarily fork over the cash just to play a game made to run on computers not built yet. Champions Online uses the same claymation skin, but the rest of the world isn't as detailed as EQ2. I've heard Age of Conan rivals EQ2, but I can't imagine anything else does.

I've almost got my new blood elf the same level as the blood elf I abandoned. I have a feeling of deja vu doing the same quests over again so soon. Because of my many false starts with blood elves I think I've played through Eversong Woods more than any other starter area, rivaling Teldrassil. I can't wait to get to the part none of my horde lowbies have made it to. I don't even know where I'll be questing first, Ashenvale?

And the only reason I jumped on WoW was because I couldn't get logged on to Champions Online server. I'm not surprised by this, launches always have their set of issues. But when I talk about that feeling I keep wanting in a new game? Well Champions Online doesn't have it either. When I couldn't get on the server, I didn't even bother to keep trying. Instead I just logged off and logged onto something else. Back in the day, I would have sat their at the WoW log-in screen trying and trying. Or getting up to check where I was in the queue. That "this game is so great I can't wait to play again" is just not there and I haven't had that feeling in years. You can never go back.

Take for instance Champions Online character creator. It is great! But, since City of Heroes already had a game-defining character creator, CO's, as great as it is, isn't that much better than City of Heroes'.

Speaking of character creators. I chuckled when someone described Everquest 2's wide variety of characters - big humans, short humans, skinny humans, fat humans. I wouldn't go that far, but I get what they were saying. What is with these games saying you have the ability to change your character SO MUCH, when the changes are a so minor you end up looking like someone else as soon as you log in? I played Chronicles of Spellborn (already on the back burner) for a short bit. I spent some time as I always do creating a character and a pixel turn of a lip or eyebrow may seem like a choice, and getting to dye my armor faded blue instead of sky blue, still had me looking like someone else in the end.

At least I'm not paying a subscription for that game.


Dickie said...

Age of Conan is gorgeous. I had similar issues with EQ2 at launch, and had to stop playing it after a few weeks. I picked it up again earlier this year, and enjoyed the looks of it but couldn't get into the game play.

I'll say this on character creators: I don't care if you let me change my smile of the depth of my eyes. Other players don't see that or notice it because it's covered in armor. Even if it's not, you can't tell unless you zoom all the way in and are standing right in front of my toon. Customization is fantastic, but it just doesn't matter is the customizable part isn't really visible in the end.

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