Arbitrary Mid-January Status Update

I’m in a “bouncing around between games” mode at the moment, now that I’m done with Elite: Dangerous. I’ve been logging into two or three or four different MMOs a day, looking for one to capture my imagination.

Level 100!
Level 100!

WoW. My WoW subscription runs out on the 20th, and I won’t be renewing. WoW is a fun game, but I always tire of it pretty quickly. I did manage to reach level 100 with my Hunter and upgrade my Garrison, though. I have enjoyed my time in the game, but I simply can’t comprehend how people think the story in this expansion is the best ever. I guess I’ve never “gotten” the lore in WoW. (WoW might be the only game that I care less about the quest text than ArcheAge.) I thought there was supposed to be time travel in here somewhere but at no point do I remember anyone saying that I traveled back in time. (Except one quest to kill Banthar in Nagrand that sort-of referred to it, some five zones into the game.) There are Russian space goats and angry orcs everywhere, but then I was in a place with a bunch of bird people and giant crow gods or something. *shrug* I feel bad for people who will feel obligated to spend the next two years playing this expansion until the next one comes out. It’s okay to play other games, guys. You really don’t have to live in one game your whole life. :)

FFXIV. I still have my Final Fantasy XIV subscription, however I haven’t felt much of an urge to return to the game full time. I stop in periodically and level the Rogue class, but that’s about it. Not planning to cancel my sub though. (I noticed that FFXIV is now selling more and more optional cosmetic items in their store… I wonder if that might mean an upcoming change in their subscription model.)

ArcheAge. I still log into ArcheAge about once a week to pay my taxes. My property is still sitting there empty, probably making everyone else angry. Sometimes I think I should just push on through from level 48.5 to 50 before my Patron status runs out, but I can’t summon the energy for it. (I now have about 450 tax certificates stored up, by the way, which is enough to pay for my property for about… calculating… 22 more weeks.)

Rift. I also log into Rift every couple of days to pick up Minion rewards. I think I have about 50 million pieces of endgame crafting items now clogging up my inventory and bank, and countless numbers of Dimension Item boxes. I meant to do some of the Christmas event, but I never got around to it. It turned out I still had a sizable amount of Christmas currency from last year anyway. There’s a new recurring event now for

Guild Wars 2. I keep trying to get back into the Living Story of Guild Wars 2 but it only takes about twenty minutes of gameplay before I want to punch the monitor with my fist, so that’s been slow going. (See Aywren’s post for the exact reason why.) I’ve only just completed Dragon’s Reach Part 1, which involves trying to get Important People to come to some kind of Summit. I cannot emphasize enough how much I despise the GW2 concept of story being the reward for completing challenges. Loot should be the reward for completing challenges. Story should require no effort to consume. (In my opinion.) Not that it matters, because I play so infrequently that I have no idea what the story is anyway. There’s a new dragon somewhere I guess, and a bunch of annoying vines doing insufferable crowd-control effects, and some Asura prodigy doing something with waypoints. It’s all just random noise to me. It’s like how you do leveling quests without paying attention in WoW, except you’re not actually leveling so what is the point of even doing it other than to see what everyone is talking about. Also since the loot in GW2 is so impossible to understand, I really don’t know if I’m even being rewarded with loot either. Grrrr. It makes me literally angry with rage!

Landmark. I re-rolled a fresh character to see what a brand new player would see. It’s sort-of getting somewhere, but I still don’t get it. There still aren’t any real objectives. I couldn’t find any caves. There are newbie mobs standing right next to uber-advanced killer mobs that you can barely scratch with your sword. The combat feels weirdly like TERA, only a lot more limited. My hopes for EQ: Next plummet each time I play this game.

TERA. Speaking of which, I even tried to play TERA, but for some reason I can’t update the game any more. I suspect I need to un-install and re-install, but that’s too much of a bother.

WildStar and ESO. Waiting on subscription model changes, like everyone else. :) I think I have a 7-day “please for the love of God come back” free pass for WildStar that I might use. I’m actually looking forward to seeing what WildStar does in 2015 now that they’ve been crushed by the reality that casual players outnumber elite raiders by about a thousand to one.

SWTOR. Given my lackluster showing in the games above, I’ve sort of re-discovered Star Wars: The Old Republic again. It’s actually a pretty good game. :) I’ve probably spent most of my playing time in it during January. I even managed to play it successfully for a while without paying any money. But then I caved in and got a 3-month subscription so I didn’t have to worry about the restrictions. I expect by the end of 3 months (or maybe even 1 month) I’ll be ready to cancel again. I’m playing a Jedi Guardian Knight this time, and have so far gone from level 10 to level 22. (Previously, my highest level character was a Smuggler at level 28, but every time I try to play it now, I die horribly.) The Kira Carsen companion is hilarious.  (“Eat lightsaber, jerk!”)

Standing around in Nar Shadda, unable to remember to hide the FRAPS display.
Standing around in Nar Shadda, unable to remember to hide the FRAPS fps display.

ESO – Decision Time

Okay I’m just going to say it. ESO is not holding my attention. I keep logging in and thinking to myself, "You know, I don’t particularly feel like playing this." I’ll go through a quest or two and then log out again.

It’s a major factor in why I went ahead and dropped cough cough dollars on ArcheAge.

And yet I can’t think of anything wrong with ESO (well, except for inventory management – it’s really a pain).

It just sort of loses steam after a while. I’m reminded a lot of TERA. When TERA first came out, I played it, liked it, and then put it aside, never returning until it went free-to-play.

I think the core problem is that my character isn’t changing very much. I need my character’s abilities to keep evolving, but I’m stuck doing the same attacks over and over again.

Right now, I’m strongly tempted to cancel my sub and stop playing once my first month is over. I sense the monthly sub will just be wasted money.

But the thing is, if I don’t play ESO, I don’t know what I’m going to do until WildStar comes out. (To be honest, I’m not super excited about WildStar either. I have a very strong "meh" feeling about it, so I doubt I’ll play more than a month of that either.) I can play ArcheAge, but that can’t be my primary game, or I’ll surely suffer from premature burnout.

Rift maybe? Rift 2.7 with the new souls? I’m planning to level a mage tank. Now that they’ve finally figured out how to keep you from sailing through the air whenever you get near a Porticulum on a 150% mount, I can’t think of any other aggravations left in that game. (Except that nobody is playing it, grr.) But then, who knows when that will be released? (UPDATE: 2.7 will be out next week, which is sooner than I expected and perfect timing!)

So I guess the question of the day is, how many hours do you have to play a game in order to justify spending $15 on it? I have bought plenty of Steam games for $15 and not even installed them, or played them for an hour or two at most. Surely I can summon enough interest in ESO to play more than a couple of hours in an entire month?

What to do, what to do.

Tera

I pulled out Tera again for a bit. Tera is a really a great game for playing a melee character. My main right now is a berserker, and I just love that class. The combat is so visceral and engaging when you can block attacks. Also, each encounter is an epic battle. It’s not like most MMOs where it takes less than a second to kill most things. Fights in Tera go on and on, even against regular mobs.

Unfortunately it also means that Tera gets pretty grindy after a while.

The Secret World

I’ve had a burst of gaming enthusiasm in the last month or so, ending my streak of playing basically nothing since Christmas. As usual, I tend to gravitate toward RPGs and MMOs.

The last MMO I played before my break was Star Wars: The Old Republic, which I found enjoyable, but not enough to keep playing past the free month. Then recently, on an impulse, I bought TERA, which boasted a totally fresh new action-based combat system, but again, it didn’t keep my attention past the first month. After that I played LOTRO again, which is a bit dated now but still one of the best MMOs around.

Then, I got an email from Funcom, who makes Age of Conan, with a couple of game codes for the final beta weekend of The Secret World, an MMO I’ve heard mention of for quite a while but haven’t looked at in detail. So I tried it out and, on impulse again, decided to plunk down the $50 to pre-order it, because it’s different enough for me to vote positively with my dollars.

The Secret World has sort of an urban fantasy motif, where the key selling point is a class-less, level-less progression system. You can use guns, or swords, or magic. It’s odd, but I’m curious to see how it works out. It has a number of departures from normal MMOs, actually.

Anyway, according to another email I got, the head start begins today, so I’ll be head-starting this weekend.

It’s kind of a bummer actually. After the TSW beta ended I got back into Rift again, this time playing Defiant. I just joined a guild yesterday and even healed for a dungeon run.