Why DDO didn’t make my “Now Playing” post

Most of the posts on this blog end up being about MMO’s, which is why it’s been quiet while I’ve been bored/on hiatus with MMO’s recently. My last post talked about playing Ryzom, but I didn’t mention that I also tried out Dungeons and Dragons Online now that it went free to play. That’s probably because I don’t consider DDO an MMO, but I still should have mentioned it. Thallian recommended it in the comments on my last post, and I’m glad he did; it reminded me to talk about my experience.

Crawling through the DDO tutorial dungeons has been a pleasant surprise. It feels like I’m playing a good single-player RPG, and that’s meant as a compliment. The game looks good, runs smooth, and the dungeon crawls seem like they could be a lot of fun.

I’m having a hard time treating it like an MMO, though, and when I pine for the old days of MMO’s, I’m not thinking about moving into an instanced game like DDO or Guild Wars. I played DDO on Friday night, but Saturday night and Sunday night I found myself double-clicking the Ryzom shortcut on my desktop, not the DDO shortcut. DDO is arguably a better experience right now (Ryzom is frustrating me), but in the back of my mind, I think I relegate DDO to the non-MMO portion of my gaming brain, and I still desire the big open-world MMO experience.

Yeah, I think I just said I’d rather play a bad MMO than a good instanced multiplayer RPG. There’s probably something wrong with me. Maybe it’s because I’m such a loner in MMO’s, and I can see the need for grouping in DDO eventually, while Ryzom offers the potential for a more varied solo play experience? Maybe it’s the Bartle Explorer in me that wants a world with no borders or boundaries or instances? I’m not sure what it is, but I do need to give DDO more play time, and I need to avoid my usual tendency of soloing everything in an MMO. I think DDO has a lot to offer, and I’ll probably have more fun over the long run if I take some time to find groups for dungeon crawls.

I should be able to find groups; the Gamers with Jobs DDO players are on the same server (Kyber) as me, and I think some of them would know me from TF2 matches on the GWj servers. Thallian is on Khyber as well. I’d post my name here, except I’ve forgotten it already…I had a lot of choices rejected before I finally found an available name. If I do get around to clicking the DDO icon first, before I dive back into Ryzom, I’ll post my name here, and on the GWJ forums, and I’ll report back on my dungeon crawling experiences.


Now Playing:

Ryzom, of all things.

I’m still bored with most things MMO. I can’t get excited about Champions Online (and haven’t heard much to say I’m missing anything), I can’t get too excited about resubscribing to games I’ve already played (WoW, WAR, Eve, LoTRO, anything Everquest), and I’m still a little burned out on MMO’s anyway.

The only game I haven’t played that has my attention is Fallen Earth. Pete at Dragonchasers got my attention with his first two posts about the game, but I’m not sure I’m ready to pull the trigger on $50 on a game that got a pretty lukewarm reception over at Gamers With Jobs. I’m definitely in wait-and-see mode on FE. I’m a fan of player-driven economies like SWG and Eve, but I’m also a fan of polished games.

In the mean time, I decided to hop back into Ryzom. They have a three week free trial, and I did enjoy the game way, way, back when (I think I was in the beta, and played the free starter area a couple times), but I never liked it enough to subscribe.

It’s difficult in a way that a lot of post-WoW games aren’t, and it’s definitely a player-driven crafting-heavy economy, but I’m not sure how well implemented everything is yet. I don’t want to play a game that’s unnecessarily grindy…both Eve and SWG had lots to distract you while you were leveling up your crafting/mining/manufacturing.

It’s a little early to tell how I feel about Ryzom, and the Fallen Earth reviews aren’t plentiful or glowing, so I’m doing what I’ve been doing since I left WoW…playing the MMO tourist, dabbling in a little of this, a little of that, and playing a lot of Team Fortress 2 and single-player games on Gametap.

I’ll admit to wondering over the past six months whether I’ll ever find another MMO that captured my attention like EQ, DAoC, SWG, Eve, and WoW. I don’t know if I’m burned out, or if the games are just lacking in imagination or execution, but this has been my longest MMO slump in 10 years.