Archive for MMO

New Year Stagnation

Posted in Diary, Guild Wars 2, lotro, SWTOR with tags , , , , on January 14, 2014 by Corleth

The Christmas and New Year period saw me ‘off work’ for the best part of two weeks. In previous years that sort of break would have seen me put in some serious gaming hours. Not so this year. Well, not as much as recent years, anyway.

At the start of the holiday season, my gaming tipple was still LoTRO; specifically, my ‘Minstrel project’ on Landroval. Progress up to mid-December had seen me complete all quests in the Misty Mountains zone in general and, more specifically, Goblin Town – including soling the Great Goblin instance ‘on-level’. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found the Goblin Town experience very enjoyable, probably because it was pretty much all new to me.

Epic Volume 1 in Angmar

Epic Volume 1 in Angmar

After finishing up in Goblin Town and the Misty Mountains and picking up my first legendary weapon via the ‘Gates of Moria’ epic volume 2 introduction, I was left with a choice of heading to Eregion or pushing on with Volume 1 of epic quest line. I went for the latter option which, for me, turned out to be a bad option. Despite some streamlining a couple of years back, Volume 1 still requires an almighty amount of running about the world for no particular reason. How dull! In the event, after hitting level 52 just before Christmas day, I got bored of all the epic volume 1 toing and froing and haven’t been back to LoTRO since.

Between Christmas and New Year, I was almost entirely immersed with my Smuggler in SWTOR. One bugged quest apart, my free-to-play experience has been excellent but, now at level 17, my two skill bars are filling up rapidly and I can see that I might have to shell out some cash in order to make the game more playable, in the not too distant future. All told though, I’m enjoying the story telling in SWTOR and am making a point of listening to all the dialogue at the start of each quest. “Why rush?”, I say.

The last week or so has also seen me dabbling with GW2 again for the first time in six months or so. On loading GW2 for the first time in months, it really hit me what a good looking world Tyria is. In my opinion, as an MMO setting it blows SWTOR and LoTRO out of the water. Back in game, I toyed with my mesmer, and even rolled a ranger, but the draw of my necromancer has seen me playing her most of the time; at the moment, I’m mainly trying to get my head around WvW again, and also just trying to complete my ‘daily’ on a more or less regular basis. GW2 still is a game that you can just dip and out of, in an ad hoc manner. In gourmet parlance – good food, fast.

Alpine Necro

Alpine Necro

All that said, overall, I find I’m playing MMOs less than I have done at any time since my pre-LoTRO days in 2008. Realistically, there are multiple reasons why – including increasing dislike of both the ‘levelling-grind’ and the ‘end-game-grind’, an increasingly ‘solo’ experience within all the MMOs that I play (nobody has to group in MMOs any more, more’s the pity),  and over-familiarity with the genre.

Plenty of other genres to be explored though!

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Happy 100 To Me!

Posted in Diary, lotro, Mass Effect with tags , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Corleth

As this is my one-hundredth post, it thought I’d review my game time over the last five or six years.

In the autumn of 2007 a couple of friends at work were telling me that I should try ‘Lord of The Rings Online’. It was great, they said. It was an MMO! I had no idea what an MMO was, and even when told, was distinctly unimpressed. Why would I want to share my game world with other people? Surely they’d just get in my way and annoy me? For several months I ignored their advice and continued my stand-alone gaming.

Taking a step back, at that time I was playing the likes of:

  • Command & Conquer
  • Civilisation 4
  • Baldurs Gate 2
  • Ice Wind Dale 2
  • Panzers: Phase 1 (my PC at the time struggled with this, graphically!)
  • Medieval: Total War

As this list suggests, I wasn’t exactly playing the super-modern games of the time, but they entertained me. In the end however, I relented. I borrowed a copy of LoTRO on CD from one of my pals, and installed it. The CD also came with an unused 14 day trial code, which I duly applied to my newly created Codemasters account. I was off and running.

The rest is history. I played virtually nothing else except LoTRO for the next three years, playing an hour or two a day, most days. An addiction? Almost certainly.

LoTRO - Atmospheric and Fun

LoTRO – Atmospheric and Fun

It wasn’t until the autumn of 2010 that I began to feel an itch to possibly, just possibly, look at something new. At the time, I couldn’t see past the MMO genre, so I first tried ‘Dungeons and Dragons Online’ (DDO) which was one of the free-to-play pioneers. I lasted less than two hours with DDO, finding it every inch the inferior sibling to LoTRO – at least in my opinion.

The next game to come along was a BIG thing – Rift. Most of my kin mates in LoTRO abandoned Middle Earth for several months to play Rift and I followed, albeit briefly. I spent my fifty odd Euro on the Steam store and gave it a whirl. It never caught my imagination though, and I lasted no more than a week or so. Back to LoTRO I went.

Then there was a lull until the end of 2011 when ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ blasted its way into the MMO world.

SWTOR - My level 25 Bounty Hunter

SWTOR – My level 25 Bounty Hunter

SWTOR’s gravity beam nearly pulled me in, but not quite. I stuck with it all over the Christmas period in 2011 and, by the time I lost interest in January of this year, had a level 25 Bounty Hunter to my name, as well as several lower level toons. I have several issues with SWTOR however:

  1. First is its two-sidedness. All my kinnies ended up playing on the side of the Republic. I wanted nothing but to be an Imperial. So we never met, and without your kin mates, the joy of an MMO is severely diluted. I could have joined another guild, but hey, it takes a good few months to settle into a new place, get to know new people, and I would have left SWTOR, anyway, before I’d come close to settling.
  2. Secondly, SWTOR is very quest-hub orientated. Quest chains are everywhere, as they are in LoTRO, and by the start of this year I was beginning to realise that this modus operandi was wearing a little thin for me.
  3. The final factor in my leaving SWTOR was the monthly subscription. I was already paying one sub for LoTRO, which I wasn’t willing to drop, and I couldn’t justify a second. So something had to give. It was SWTOR.

By February this year therefore, I was back in LoTRO, but getting increasingly bored with the end-game-grind and alt levelling. Then I had an epiphany. What about non-MMO games?! I started looking around, downloading demos, and looking at what others were playing on Steam. The first to be purchased were some first person shooters – ‘Left For Dead’ and ‘Orcs Must Die’ were both played through; both are excellent games but with limited re-playability.

The biggest time sink and the most fun, proved to be the Mass Effect series, the first of which dates back to 2008. I tried the demo for ME2 and was hooked, so bought all three and played through them twice, first as a fem Shepp and them as a male Shepp. What a brilliant trilogy!

Mass Effect 3 - The Finale

Mass Effect 3 – The Finale

By the time my Mass Effect journey was at an end, nearly four months had passed, and I had a small LoTRO itch again. That was back at the end of July this year so we’re almost up-to-date.

I’m now at the stage that I’ve decided to give up my VIP status in LoTRO. I’m done with being a daily player and alt-a-holic. I’m going free-to-play, to play occasionally, when I feel like it – or when my kids need me (see my last post!). There’s too much else out there and my love affair with LoTRO is over. She is still my friend however, so I’ll be buying ‘Riders of Rohan’ and will play though it with, I hope, relish…..but probably on only one toon.

So what’s new? Well, SWTOR is going free-to-play, so I may revisit that. However, in the here and now, Guild Wars 2 is the new man on the block. And guess what?! No quest chaining and no monthly sub. I’ll be writing more in due course…

Guild Wars 2 - New Man On The Block...

Guild Wars 2 – New Man On The Block…

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