Gaming last week

Well with my new found spare time I have not posted more blog post like I wanted instead I have been playing more games.

Warhammer online

I started a new rune priest and have gotten him to level 14 almost entirely by doing scenarios. I find that leveling a healer is a lot different than the way that I usually play. Soloing is slow and kind of painful but I absolutely kill it in scenarios. I am maxing all of my stats to maximize healing and it shows when I am at the top of the charts for healing on most scenarios. It is nice to know that sometimes you are the reason that your team won. Without you it would have been total annihilation.

Borderlands

I have started this up again because I never managed to finish it last time. It is a very enjoyable game I love the art style and the game play is just awesome. The biggest problem I have is that I have to wait till my kid goes to bed before I play it and that is limiting the time I could be spending on it.

Tomb Raider Anniversary

This is an old game that I picked up at the last buy 1 get 2 free sale at game stop. The original tomb raider was the very first time that Ihad played a true 3d game. It has a lot of nostalgic value to it. I also really enjoy the puzzle adventure type of games like this. It is a lot of fun to go back through some of the stuff that you remember as a kid and relive it in adult hood.

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A week of Decisions

Last week was a week of change and decisions for me. I had many decisions to make that had an influence on this blog. I really don’t like how restrictive wordpress is (design wise) but I don’t want to pay for hosting. I had also come to the realization that Star Trek Online was not going to work out for me and I needed to pick a new game that I felt I could stick with. What made me make all of these decisions this week is that I just got reduced to half time at work and thus I have a lot more time to play games and less money to do it with. It should only be temporary but I like to view this as a chance to really work on the quality of my blogging content and maybe explore some other ideas I have had for websites.

So I started to look at the best way to make my blog a little more personalized and quickly realized that wordpress was way too restrictive and you could do very little to make it look better. So I looked at blogger and they allow you to edit anything you want and allow scripts. So before really looking into it I started the transfer process. I got it all transferred and then figured out that blogger does not do pingbacks. How are other bloggers supposed to know I linked to them? It really kills conversation between blogs. So I transferred everything back to wordpress and am going to take the transfer a little slower. I will post everything on both sites until I figure out what one I want to keep. So you can follow me at Mmogchronicles.com (WordPress) or mmogchronicles.blogspot.com. I really do like blogger more so I will eventually move there but I will do it slowly so I don’t mess anything up.

The second decision I had to make was what game I will play now that STO had failed for me. So I started by posting this survey and I posted it to reddit and it got more votes than I thought it would but not enough considering all the choices that I had. The results showed an overwhelming amount of people would choose WoW if they could only pick one game. So I went to WoW and tried one of their trials. Second was the release of allods I had tried the game for a few hours during beta and decided that I would try it at release.

So throughout the week and weekend I played various games trying to figure out what one I would play. I don’t like switching games all the time and I know that it does not interest readers if I keep switching. I finally figured out at about 11pm on Saturday night while I was running my warrior around auberdine that I don’t like to do nothing but quests. I like to mix it up with some PVP and I don’t like to wait till max level to do it. So I queued for a BG and quickly found out that the game had changed and I was not going to be competing in this game without a max level character. I was a warrior and I was getting 2 shotted by people.

Then it hit me Warhammer! That was my answer. I reactivated my account and started RVRing in about 2 mins. Tried out some of my other characters and all of the other tiers were really active. Their free trial thing is working out well. It felt like a newly released game.

So there you go I am back to a place that I think I can stay for awhile and with the new patch coming I see me playing this for some time.

If you could only play one MMO for the rest of your life what would it be?

Curse you Cryptic!

I am about to make it to Lt. Cmdr. When I do I am going to take a good look at the game and decide if I want to continue with this game. I have a strong feeling that I will not want to continue. There does not seem to be any depth to the game. But I will wait until I reach Lt. Cmdr and do a few quests with my new awesome ship before I decide for sure. I do have one big problem if I decide not to continue on with STO. What game should I play instead?

I am running through a few options.

GuildWars: This game is free, beautiful and fun. I played it a lot when it came out and after each expansion came out. It is a great game but I am not sure how much play time it has left for me. I could replay all of the campaigns with a new character or try out some of the new content that has been introduced. The biggest problem that I have with GW is the same problem I have with STO, it is very instanced. Now GWs does the instancing thing very well compared to STO but it is still a problem for me.

Age of Conan: I have retried this game 2 times since I have started this blog and every time it has ended in failure. The main reason I have for quitting is map layout it is horribly done and ruins the immersion of the game for me. But after playing STO and Champions Online I have come to realize it can be done worse and maybe it takes some time to get used to. The combat is fun the individual maps are very large and beautiful, the lore is nice, and probably most important it is the only game I can play that has really sexy women in it.

Warhammer Online: Good ole WAR! This is probably the least likely for me to try for awhile. They still need to do something about city sieges being too often and something about T2-3 having people to play with. The endless trial has had a good effect on the game I just think the devs need a little more time to get things really working for city sieges. But I do love the game and will probably return to it sometime this year and stay for a good long while.

World of Warcraft: It has been a long time since I have been to azeroth. It has a great immersion factor the world is alive and beautiful. Why not go back to WoW? Well for one I have played through most of the game and really do not have any urge to raid. Never have liked raiding and never will like it and from what I hear that is about all there is to do any more.

Taking a break: While this may be the hardest for me; it may also be the best for my feeling of been there done that. I have a large backlog of Xbox games I have not even played. I just got a new flat screen TV so that makes it look even better. The problem with this is it is winter, and winter in the Pacific Northwest is very very wet. So I could not supplement my non gaming time with activities outside.

Those are the options that are going through my head if I decide not to play STO. It is a lot to think about.

WAR Patch 1.3.4: I disagree

There seems to be a lot of negativity
surrounding the new patch that mythic has released and I completely disagree with these people. Something needed to be done about scenarios never popping it is crazy to go through 2 tiers of the game and not be able to play in scenarios because none of them are popping.

Will this fix that problem? I am guessing it will help a lot. You now have the same amount of people queuing for fewer scenarios. As these bloggers have pointed out scenarios are one of WAR’s best features but they are not great if no one can play them. I find that in real world playing really only one scenario map is played per tier any way. I personally think they should add cross server queues and leave all of the scenarios in.

WAR has got to do something to get players to stay in the game. I have said ever since release that the game spread its players out to thin and they needed to funnel them better for PVP. They are doing it and I think it is for the better. Now if they would just make T4 RVR more about fighting and less about avoiding fights.

Where did the seamless worlds go?

When the second generation of MMOs (DAoC, AO, FFXI, and Shadowbane) was being release this was one of the biggest selling points for these games. Big open worlds and no zones, at the time this was one of the big complaints about EQ (King of the mountain at that time). So all of the developers were working on ways of making a game that did not have small zones like EQ.

DAoC actually accomplished its goal of making most of the world seamless. The only times that you zoned were into dungeons and the capitol cities. When they added an expansion you would have to zone in to it also. But the world was big and alive. You could actually walk around the capitol cities they existed in the game world. This really added to the feeling that you were in a real world and felt real.

Then out came the 3rd generation MMOs (EQ2 and WoW) EQ2 stuck to its guns and continued the zoning thing the zones were huge but you still had zones. WoW on the other hand has a pretty much seamless world there are zones but only where they make sense. Wow’s system is very similar to DAoC and I personally believe is the right way to do it.

Now come the current generation of games and the first one out of the gate is Age of Conan. Age of Conan decided to go extra heavy on the zones. Then WAR is released and what do you know every zone is instanced. We also have the recent cryptic MMOs that don’t even try to hide that the entire game is instanced.

Now that the history lesson is over, why are they doing this?

Developers will tell you it is to customize the experience for the player, it is make the story better, or even reduce lag. But the real reason is Laziness! That is why. By making everything instanced they are able to dynamically allocate resources based on load and it saves a ton of money and time doing it this way. Every server can load any instance, it is really a very cool technology. But it is killing immersion in games.

In WAR the map and the physical world do meld well together through most of the game. But when you get to the end game and you do a city siege all of the cool siege weapons that you have been using just disappear and you zone into the city. You are not trying to break the walls down you zone into it and fight over some flags. Then you fight some PVE battles and in the end you really had no effect on the real world. Mythic really screwed the pooch on city sieges they should have been epic but they ended up being and epic PVE zerg fest.

Now to the game that prompted this entire wall of text Star Trek online. The entire game is instances which would not be so bad if they were large, but they are not. What kind of space has small zones? Space is huge the zones should be huge. They should all be connected by space it should be seamless. Cryptic really missed the entire premise of Star Trek

Space… the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.

How the hell can you do any of that if there are 30 other people in the zone with you? There should be expanses of empty space with random encounters and planets to explore. How can you make a Star Trek game without exploration? HOW?

By making the entire game instanced. They were lazy and decided to make it on the Champions Online engine because it was easy. But don’t worry you can customize your ship like nobody’s business.

Developers stop being lazy and make a real game. If you want to even try to compete with WoW the world needs to feel like a world.

Warhammer Online needs real crafting

WAR’s version of crafting is fairly um well shitty. You can’t create weapons or armor. This means that all armor and weapons must drop from PVE or RVR.

This is a very bad design choice for a game that really thrives on quick PVP/RVR sessions.  The core group of players only wants to RVR, they go through the PVE just to get to the RVR in the end.  They would rather buy the gear and specialize it to their build from players.

This would do a few things for the game. It would actually make the auction house useful. Currently I rarely use it because the dropped armor that I need is way too much money or not available.

It would really drive a player economy. It would give low level players something to make money on. In WoW I loved to just harvest leather I would do it all day long just to make money and play the auction house. Buying low and selling high was a mini game for me and one I really enjoyed.

It would also let people customize their armor to really help out their vision for their character.  You could try out those crazy builds that no one else thinks of. DAoC had a great armor and weapon customization system.

Really the biggest benefit would be eliminating the need to try to get a drop in PVE/RVR. You could buy and equip your armor without grinding.