Disgusted update

Crazy Kinux left a comment on an earlier post asking if I was dead, and the reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated, or something like that. I just hit a wicked “I hate mmorpg’s” stretch, where all I could do was log in to WoW, putz around leveling alts I knew I’d never be serious about playing, and log off feeling empty.

The desire to blog disappeared with my desire to play. I apologize for not leaving a note that I was taking a break.

I can’t point to a specific game as the cause for my unrest. Eve was a blast for a year, but I reached a point where I wanted more, and I knew Eve wasn’t going to provide it. In fact, none of the games on the horizon seem like they’re going to provide the experience I’m seeking. Anyone else feeling this way? I was hoping for a continual upgrade of the mmorpg experience, and the last couple years have felt decidedly blah. Seriously, no one’s done anything much better than DAoC, SWG or Eve since oh, around 2003? I mean, WoW’s clearly a stellar gaming experience, but I want a house, I want more in-depth tradeskills, I don’t want my PvP instanced…blah, anyone who’s read through my old posts knows what I’m looking for in a game.

Since last October or so, I’ve played some Baldur’s Gate II, I’m playing through Half-Life again, I played some Civ 4, some Psychonauts, I finished Jade Empire, and I level my stupid WoW alts. I cancelled Eve, sad to say, after setting Battleship V to train. I may go back, but my burnout with the whole mmorpg genre is fairly complete at the moment.

I’m actually in a beta right now. I can’t tell you which beta it is, but if you’ve read here enough to know what my favorite mmorpg was, and you think about what high-profile beta is underway at the moment, it’ll probably be pretty easy to figure it out. In fact, I could tell you what beta it is, I’m allowed to say that under the NDA rules, but if I told you, then I wouldn’t be able to tell you that I’m feeling underwhelmed and dissatisfied with the experience. You know the depth I was talking about above? Tradeskills, preferably to the SWG extent? Housing? Not a shallow WoW-lite PvP clone? Well, I ain’t feeling it yet.

My unease is so bad that I actually downloaded Maple Story and Mabinogi tonight. I’m ashamed of myself, and I haven’t even logged in yet. I loaded up Second Life earlier this week. God, that place is an abomination. Any game that doesn’t at least let you remap your key bindings should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot. Someone’s going to come along and kick Second Life’s ass all over the virtual lot, if they can just get a game that loads textures for an area in less than 30 seconds and lets you remap your keys. Avatars that don’t look like ass would be a plus, too.Β  It’s really no wonder that the SA Goons bomb SL as much as they bomb BoB.

I’m dying for a game that feels like it’s a new-generation idea, an improvement over WoW, or at least an improvement over the rest of the second-gen fodder drifting around at the moment. I’m gonna have to try Vanguard soon, out of sheer boredom, unless I scratch my eyes out with dull spoons first. And yeah, I ranked Vanguard behind Maple Story and SL. Sorry Brad. Can’t say I’m surprised, though. Aradune always did seem supremely out of touch.

I’ve missed a lot of first-person games over the past 9 years, being severely addicted to EQ, DAoC, SWG, WoW, and Eve (along with many flings with other games along the way), and I think I’ll spend time catching up on the A-list titles there, while I wait for someone in the mmorpg world to surprise me. I just feel like I’m spinning my wheels with mmorpg’s these days. I really don’t expect my embarrassing forays into the Maple Story’s of the world to amount to anything but killin’ time.

I did get a beta invite to PMOG, the Passively Multiplayer Online Game, and I’ll be messing around with that a bit. Last I heard, it was Justin Hall’s game, and his old website, Links.net, was my first introduction to HTML and interesting stuff on the internet back in…shoot, ’94? I’m just looking for anything different. Please, god, no more EQ/WoW clones. Could someone take a chance at building a real online game WORLD? Not just a place to level and instance PvP?

I’ll try to report back here about my time in the dregs of the mmo world, and about PMOG. I’m considering switching this blog to Gax Online, just because I’d like to keep up with the news and chat over there, and if I blog here I’ll probably not get around to hanging out over there. Not enough free time in the world πŸ™‚ I’ll post a note here with a forwarding address if I do make the jump.

Crazy Kinux, thanks for checking in. Fly safe, hope you’re doing well in Eve! Anyone else still listening, feedback is always appreciated. Are you feeling any burnout like me, or have I just lived in the mmorpg world for too many years without an extended break? Are my expectations too high?

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8 Responses

  1. Glad to here from you back, and see that all is well, if but for your MMO depression. Don’t worry, these usually pass with time.

    As for the games you playing, I’d love to read about your experiences. Wow, Baldur’s Gate II. It’s been so long since I last played this game. I’m actually thinking of re-installing the original Homeworld. That game is still one of my top game of all time.

    Mmmm, curious to know more about that mysterious game. Will make sure to revisit in a short while, and kick your butt if we don’t hear from you soon. =)

    Happy gaming!

  2. Hey there, I’m just a random passer-by reading any eve/wow blogs I can find… cause I’m kind of a blog-whore lol. I’m currently playing both EVE and WoW but unfortunately, I too have fallen into this rut you find yourself in. Nothing seems to be satisfying me (with eve or wow) at the moment, and after trying the trial for LOTRO I’ve gotten even more disenchanted with the sad state of MMOs today. I wish WOW had player housing and I hate it’s BG system (bring back world pvp), but for the moment this seems to be the best it can get for us gamers.
    There is however one last game you can, and should try. It’s old, but it was the original mmorpg that started it all (for me that is) and till today I yearn to be able to play it actively again.
    Ultima Online =)

    If you’ve already downloaded maple, or tried second life (both of which I cannot bring myself to even try), there’s no harm in you checking out a private UO shard. There’s still a couple running these days, but more specifically look out for the runUO community. It’s still fairly active. I must confess though I’m not playing anymore, but it might work for you.

    Cheers!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions Parma. Curiously enough, I downloaded the free trial of LOTRO, and I’m enjoying it for the moment, enough to subscribe for a little while.

    I tried Maple, and it’s cheesy fun for 10 levels, until you get out of the tutorial area and into the first “town”. Then it’s like taking acid and going to a carnival. It’s a side-scrolling game, so when you hit the first big public areas, where people are selling stuff and you have 100 little Marios crowded on the same level in the same 2D world, with crazy text boxes advertising their stuff for sale popping over their heads, it’s enough to make your head explode.

    I’ve tried Second Life quite a few times. I do enjoy that you can build in the world, I think that’s fantastic. Everything else is so rudimentary/borked/broken, though, I can’t endure it long enough to get through the process of learning how to build.

    UO is a really interesting idea. Why would you suggest a private shard, instead of the official UO game? Better community? Stumbling into a good community makes most of these games a lot more fun. That’ll actually be the make or break moment for me in LOTRO. If I find a good guild to run with, I think I’ll really enjoy the PVE content and the stories. I don’t think it’s a long-term solution (still hoping the game that I’m beta-testing delivers some of the solutions I’m hoping for, like meaningful world PvP), but I do think Turbine has crafted a pretty decent game world. I wonder how I’d feel about it if it wasn’t the LOTR license though…that may be the hook that’s got me interested for the time being.

  4. First and foremost, having played WOW for the better part of 2.5 years, I’m awfully used to its customizable UI and addons. I was also quite a hard-core endgame raider, but subsequently got burnt out. That was why I went to EVE, which strangely enough did not turn me off with its bleak interface =D

    With LOTRO, everything I do/see seems to be straight out of WOW, save for the more ‘realistic’ graphics. I can see the same patterns that I’ve been seeing in WOW, sure the quests hook you in more, and there’s a strong ongoing back-story, but chances are they’ll ditch that sooner or later for a more broad-based casual appeal to bring in the $$ they need to keep the game running and paychecks flowing. I really do not see LOTRO becoming more popular (if it is) than it already is atm. Probably why I couldn’t get my head into it, I quit playing after 3days in the trial tbh.

    The reason I suggested UO is purely because it was the mmorpg that started it all for me. Its very different from the current MMOs you and I are comfortable with. There’s no ‘level’ advancement, its skill advancement is more like that of EVEs, capped at 7x skills of 100points each. Which you have to grind for. There’s also no auction house, people just stand at the bank and yell to buy/sell goods. PVP-wise however, there’s a strong emphasis on the world pvp you so seek. Commit too many murders yourself and you turn red, which means you can’t enter towns. Attack another player in town, he can call guards on you, but out of town its a free-for-all. Kinda similar to Eve and the Concorded regions haha.

    Also, the current official UO has been overloaded with so many expansions I dont really see the old game i used to love anymore, which explains why I recommend the private servers instead. There are a big chunk of disgruntled oldies out there who play regularly on these servers, the one I’m currently on (yes I started again after I commented on your post lol) features about 600-800 players daily, which isn’t that shabby for a private server. Community-wise, GM-run events are held regularly as well as wars initiated by players, but again it depends on which server you’re on. It’s graphically old and woefully lacking in features we take for granted today, but game-play wise it beats the socks out of any MMO atm for me.

  5. Ya know, Eve is a good mmorpg for weaning yourself away from whatever fantasy-themed mmo you’re playing. It’s too easy to want WoW to be more like EQ, or EQ2 to be more like DAoC, or LOTRO to be more like WoW, whatever you’re used to and expect. Eve’s so fundamentally different, both in setting and skills development, it’s kinda like fantasy mmorpg methadone.

    I really like skills-based systems, so I can definitely see the appeal of UO. I also remember hearing people say that the crafting system was decent, to the point you could make a career as a crafter instead of PvE grinding. Dunno how true that is, but it’s definitely a feature that I enjoy. I had more fun running an Architect/Artisan business in SWG than I did in PvE.

    I agree about the arc of LOTRO. At some point, unless you get hooked in with a community that keeps you coming back, the game content gets stale. I’m fully willing to bail as soon as I’m bored with it, and I understand why you didn’t want to put the effort in.

    I do wonder about the popularity of LOTRO, and whether it can attract more subscribers than it has at the moment. I really need to find out how many people are playing. I know it had a pretty good launch. It’s sitting on a great license. It’s a solid, stable game, and Turbine has plenty of experience building mmorpg’s. I think it’s certainly possible that it can be a healthy game community, but the general trend in mmorpg’s (Eve aside) is that you hit your peak early and it’s tough to build any momentum after that. You’re probably right that they’ve peaked, but I’m still interested in what they’ve built.

    I’ll have to put UO on my radar for my next “I’m disgusted with everything” moment, and I’ll definitely explore player-run shards. Your answer about the official game makes sense. I know I’ll never play SWG again, and I loved that game before they started messing with it. LOTRO has my attention for them moment, but I know myself, I’ll get curious and wander off in search of something different at some point in the future πŸ™‚ I really should give UO a shot, it’s an interesting historic exercise.

    Thanks for the discussion πŸ™‚

  6. Ya know, Eve is a good mmorpg for weaning yourself away from whatever fantasy-themed mmo you’re playing. It’s too easy to want WoW to be more like EQ, or EQ2 to be more like DAoC, or LOTRO to be more like WoW, whatever you’re used to and expect. Eve’s so fundamentally different, both in setting and skills development, it’s kinda like fantasy mmorpg methadone.

    I really like skills-based systems, so I can definitely see the appeal of UO. I also remember hearing people say that the crafting system was decent, to the point you could make a career as a crafter instead of PvE grinding. Dunno how true that is, but it’s definitely a feature that I enjoy. I had more fun running an Architect/Artisan business in SWG than I did in PvE.

    I agree about the arc of LOTRO. At some point, unless you get hooked in with a community that keeps you coming back, the game content gets stale. I’m fully willing to bail as soon as I’m bored with it, and I understand why you didn’t want to put the effort in.

    I do wonder about the popularity of LOTRO, and whether it can attract more subscribers than it has at the moment. I really need to find out how many people are playing. I know it had a pretty good launch. It’s sitting on a great license. It’s a solid, stable game, and Turbine has plenty of experience building mmorpg’s. I think it’s certainly possible that it can be a healthy game community, but the general trend in mmorpg’s (Eve aside) is that you hit your peak early and it’s tough to build any momentum after that. You’re probably right that they’ve peaked, but I’m still interested in what they’ve built.

    I’ll have to put UO on my radar for my next “I’m disgusted with everything” moment, and I’ll definitely explore player-run shards. Your answer about the official game makes sense. I know I’ll never play SWG again, and I loved that game before they started messing with it. LOTRO has my attention for them moment, but I know myself, I’ll get curious and wander off in search of something different at some point in the future πŸ™‚ I really should give UO a shot, it’s an interesting historic exercise.

    Thanks for the discussion πŸ™‚

  7. I never really thought of seeing fantasy MMORPGs in that way till you mentioned it. You are right to a certain extent, albeit in the opposite way. I find myself wanting WOW to be more like UO, and when going back to UO didn’t seem like a good idea (since I wasn’t exposed to private shards yet) at that time I tried EVE.

    Crafting-wise, you’re spot on, and I see a similarity in our approach to an online game. PVP isn’t really the be all and end all of it for me, I need something more to hook me in. I must confess that my best memories in UO revolved around keeping my house cum mini-mall going with my rl buddies. There’s a whole new world to be explored there. None of my 3 maxed out chars back on the official servers were combat-based πŸ™‚

    When you do feel the need for a historical lesson on the mmorpg that started it all (including EQ :P), give UO:Divinity a try. The market’s relatively stable, and there’s enough empty land left for player housing still. Email me if you’ve got any issues starting up!

    Cheerios, and GL with your current mmo rut πŸ˜€

  8. I agree with you about Second Life and for the same reasons. I spent an hour on there trying to figure out how to rebind my keys. Once I found out you can’t, I didn’t bother exploring.

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