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Struck from the List… January 4, 2012

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, Dungeons & Dragons Online, entertainment, Runes of Magic, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Warhammer Online.
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With the new year comes some feeling, some need to assess and reassess things.  And so it is today with the side bar of my blog.

For those viewing via remote reader or those who have never looked at it, down the right hand side there are two sections among the many categories of links titled “The Games I Play” and “The Games I Watch.”  They are so named partially so that they will sort in the order I want along the side bar.  WordPress.com only lets you have one list of links in your side bar (though you can whip up your own with a text field and some simple HTML if you really need more, but that goes beyond my ability to care about the side bar really) that can be divided into as many categories as you like.  But the categories sort alphabetically.  So I had to name them all in such a way that they would sort out correctly.

They are also named as an indication of my status vis-a-vis a given set of  games.  “The Games I Play” are the titles, usually just two, that I am actively playing.  It is easy enough to understand that.

Then there is the section “The Games I Watch,” which sounds a little odd, like they are being broadcast on TV or something.  The title was chosen for its ability to sort where I wanted it more than its clarity of message, obviously.

Games on that list are ones that I am not playing actively.  Sometimes there are games that have not even shipped yet on that list.  Diablo III is on that list right now, and it is months away at best.

Games in that section are games to which I pay attention, games which interest me, and games which I fully intend to either play when they ship, or go back and play at some point if I have already been there at some point.

And now, in the harsh light of the new year, I look at that list and I can see some entries that no longer fit the bill.

Runes of Magic

Remember back when a free to play games of any quality were a rare thing?  And there was Runes of Magic trying to bridge the gap between subscription quality and free to play access with, among other things, that $10 horse.

Back in the day, when he wasn’t on about that horse, Darren called it a WoW rip-off, which at the time, what with being free and all, seemed like a hearty endorsement to me.  So much so that, despite one of the worst installers ever, some of the instance group ran off to try the game at one point.

And it was okay.  It had the usual stuff, a few interesting twists like dual (and now triple) classing, as well as the standard “suffer or give us money” options when it came to storage and experience gain.  And gold spammers.  Many, many gold spammers.

My primary memory of RoM

But in the end, there was nothing there that really stuck with me.  We ran off to play other games.  Half the subscription MMO universe went free to play in the mean time, so that no longer suffices as an attraction.  I’ve totally forgotten my password… both of them, since there was a second login and password required to access the RMT currency, some of which I purchased at one point.

And then there is that installer.  Have they fixed that yet?  Or does somebody new still install the 2009 version of the game and then spend the next week patching?

Finally, the game is no longer interesting merely for its free to play model.  That was something worthy of note a couple years back, but not so today.

So I think it is time to admit that I am just not that interested in the game and the odds of my going back to falls somewhere between “slim” and “none.”  So it gets struck from the list.

Warhammer Online

You might be surprised that I still had Warhammer Online on my list until now.  Despite the howls of the now repentant fanbois every time I dared say anything negative about the game, there was a lot I did like about the Warhammer Online.  Our guild did have some excellent PvP battles at times, though for every good battle there were a couple of empty roll-over victories.  And then there was our first taste of a dungeon, which left nobody interested in a second.

The instance group in Warhammer

But the world itself was very well done, worthy of exploration.  And if I was complaining about the quest log, it was because I was using it a lot to run through the PvE portion of the game to see that world.  In fact, it was the idea of seeing the world that kept the game on my list.

The instance group moved on and there were other games higher on my list, but I kept thinking that at some point Mythic would change something in the game worth seeing or put out a “come back and play” offer that would get me to return.

They did have a come back and play offer at one point, ten whole free days, how generous!  But it involved giving Mythic a credit card, and that seemed like a really good way to get screwed by Mythic, given their past sloppy handling of credit card transactions.  So I didn’t try that.

Then, more than a year after launch, they made the trial version of the game, which restricted  you to a tier 1 character, unlimited.  That was interesting for some I suppose, but where I wanted to go would have put me well outside of tier 1.

They even talked about producing a Mac version of the game.  Did they think that Mac users were that desperate for an MMO?  I was tempted to try that just to see how bad it was, but never got around to it.  I don’t even know if that came to pass in the end or if it is even still supported.

In the end, no “right moment” to go back ever materialized.  Nothing compelling to me was ever offered up after launch.  And I would still have to pay a subscription fee to go back and explore, and the bar to get me to do that has only gone up in the last couple of years.

So that world will remain unexplored by me, as Warhammer Online is off the list.

Games Close to Being Struck

Star Trek Online is on the edge. I keep thinking I will go back and play.  But every time I log in, I am faced with a wave of changes similar to what Ravious described in going back to LOTRO, and I end up so mired in figuring out what to do that I end up logging off for a few more months, only to repeat the cycle again.

I logged on long enough to get this screen shot!

At some point I hope I will have enough time and desire to play, at which point I will start with a fresh character and learn it all from scratch again.  Only there are always a couple of other games I would rather play first.  Well, maybe some day.  But for now it stays on the list, if only because of that lifetime subscription I bought.  Oof.

And then there is Dunegons & Dragons Online, which I really want to like, but which is likewise always in 4th or 5th place on my to-do list.  At least it is free to play and uses the Turbine patcher which at least puts it a couple steps ahead of Runes of Magic.  But it is in jeopardy of being struck at some point.  I just never get to it.

Games On or to be Added

You might point out that I have declined to play Star Wars: The Old Republic so far post-beta.  But I will likely play the game again at some point.  There is enthusiasm for it in the instance group, and even Gaff has picked it up already.  And I do watch the news about it.  I am interested to see, for example, if torture ever comes up as an issue the way it did for WoW back with Wrath of the Lich King.  I am guessing that for most people, that ends up being a matter of “Sith will be Sith.”

I should probably add Torchlight II to the list.  I have no doubt that I will play that when it launches.

Likewise, Guild Wars 2 will probably get a slot at some point.  It is on my list to play, but I haven’t spent much time with the news or marketing build-up.  So I am not really “watching” it yet.

And the rest of the list… well, those are games I am sure I will continue to keep an eye on and poke my nose into every so often.

How about you?  Have you reassessed any games on your list, be it written down or just in your head?  Are there games you have decided that you just are never going to get back to?

Comments»

1. Darraxus - January 4, 2012

Currently for me I am playing WoW, SWTOR, and Modern Warfare 2. That is about it. I am about half of a level from cap on my Bounty Hunter in SWTOR, and I am not sure what my motivation will be to play beyond that.

I could do the other classes for the stories, which are well done, but it takes a decent amount of time to level, and you must slog through the same planet quests to get through you class quests.

I may end up going back and just playing WoW as it is more established and has more things that I would like to do. SWTOR had horrendous loading screen issues for me, and the PVP is so laggy that it is unplayable on my lower end machine.

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2. Shadow - January 4, 2012

I always thought I would end up back in WAR at some point, but it looks more and more like that will never happen. There is not enough remaining PvE content left undone by me, and the tug-of-war / endless scenario gameplay is not near dynamic enough for me justify a return.

EQ2 and Eve are the two that seem to routinely lasso me back into the corral MMO-wise, SWTOR has very little draw for me, especially at full box price.

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3. An ex-war player - January 4, 2012

FWIW there is a WAR Mac client (using CIDER or some sort of emulation, forget details). It never ran that well for me, but I was using an 4-6 year old MBP that didn’t always run it well in Boot Camp; I think it worked ok for more current machines.

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4. Facepalm - January 4, 2012

I purchased the SWTOR middle tier pre-order and played the Beta weekend and early start. I have half-a-dozen characters around the level 12-18 range…and am trying to find the motivation to log back in. I’m leaning towards only playing through the free month my pre-order provided me.

I’ve also played a good deal of BF3, which has been great, but my ever aging ‘twitch gaming’ skills are more apparent ever day, so the ceiling is pretty low for me.

Recently I’ve been doing a great amount of Skyrim & Terraria.

Skyrim is visually great and quite entertaining. I thought I’d vowed years ago to only partake in MMOs and would never go back to the ‘lonely’ single player RPGs…Skyrim has me rethinking that decision.

In the same vein, Terraria has been quite the surprise for me. I picked it up for like $5 on Steam and it’s been the best gaming money I’ve spent in well, maybe ever. $5 bucks? What the heck. I really enjoy the exploration, crafting and building. If you have a free afternoon and some spare change I highly recommend you give it a gander. It even has rudimentary multi-player built it. There’s also a group-pack available on Steam. I’d love to see a write-up of you and the instance group pulling a Terraria weekend.

Great stuff as always W.A.

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5. saucelah - January 4, 2012

While I was rather disinterested, I’m now absolutely fascinated with TOR. Some bloggers seem to gush about, to the point that some actually seem a bit surly when defending it. It’s still not really the game for me—though I’ll probably play it if the cost of entry falls in the future—but it is certainly fascinating to watch the attitudes of various players.

I’ve really been hoping to find a review of the community I can trust. I keep finding reviews calling the community great and saying that lots of people group, then I read further and discover they are playing the game with a community they were part of before the game released as well as their spouses, parents, children, and other assorted RL friends. As someone who has few friends that play MMOs (and only a smidge more that are still into gaming), not a single family member—extended or immediate, not even a distant 5th cousin—that plays MMOs, and has gone into every MMO I’ve ever played (except my second visit to WoW) completely alone though with the goal of getting to know other not-quite-young-anymore gamers, I don’t put any stock in anyone commenting about the community who entered with an established community of their own.

Which means I don’t believe anything (about the community) that any blogger has to say, as even my four month old, usually no more than one post a week blog has expanded the community I interact with in Glitch.

I do have a couple of non-blogger, relatively new to the genre friends that I plan to ask some questions as we get closer to the end of January. Perhaps I will be able to publish their responses.

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6. Scott - January 4, 2012

Oh, I was going to say you could jump into STO tomorrow when the F2P Early Access begins, then I saw you have the Lifetime anyway.

There is still a dearth of actual playable content for the past 8+ months (DDO and LOTRO went through a similar phase) while the team is busy making the conversion to F2P. On a positive note, the new progression is 100% linear. There are still side missions, explorations, whatever, but your actual progression is now locked into story-based Episodes. So, sticking with that, there’s never a question of “what’s next?” because the next thing is right there on the journal. That part is live right now, by the way. The new system you’ve probably read about is the Duty Officers, which Tipa has written a bit about already. That alone has gotten a lot of people, myself included, from logging in once a week or month to playing daily again. Even if I don’t “play content” (which I usually do also) I log in a few times a day for each character and cycle through their duty officer assignments, possibly travelling somewhere to pick up some rare ones that reward well.

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7. bhagpuss - January 5, 2012

At the moment I seem to be nailed back into EQ2. For a game that I left after less than six months after launch because it was so clearly inferior to its own predecessor to which i returned, EQ2 has turned out to have incredible staying power. I think it’s currently by far the best it’s ever been and for once it’s headed in a direction that makes sense to me, so I am looking forward to EQ2’s future with as much excitement as i normally would have only for a game in its first few months.

It’s almost entirely due to EQ2 having such a hold over me that I’m not playing more (or any) of several other MMOs. I am by no means done with Rift or Allods. I still want to revisit Fallen Earth. I have plenty of stuff to see and do in Guild Wars. I’d like to be playing at least a little Eternal Eden and Dragon Nest. I really want to play both Everquest and Vanguard at least once a week, as I was doing before EQ2X blew in. I’ve finally got Aerrevan to run and I want to explore that. I’d even like to do some more with my characters in LotRO and Wizard 101. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Looking forward, I really can’t see much new this year. The Secret World does interest me, but do I really want to pay another sub? With all this free stuff? STO I will certainly try once it goes free.

I really, really hope GW2 appears this year, or that I get into the beta. Ditto Wildstar. Not counting on that happening, though. Further out still are Copernicus, ArcheAge and EQNext. There’s a lot in the future, but it’s the relatively distant future.

Certainly no shortage of options, anyway.

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8. Aufero - January 5, 2012

I decided to reassess my MMO list when SWTOR launched, since I figured I’d be playing that for a while. I generally don’t have time to play more than two MMOs at once, but I’m often subscribed to three or four.

LOTRO and Aion fell off the list. LOTRO (perhaps ironically) because it’s free to play now, and I just haven’t logged in enough in the last few months to justify paying a subscription. Free to play is good enough for the casual exploring and crafting I’ve done in LOTRO lately.

Aion is probably off the list for good – I had two years of off-and-on enjoyment out of it, but it’s time to admit I won’t be playing it again. I might still enjoy it if I’d ever found a PvP guild I could put up with.

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9. Tesh - January 5, 2012

I have a huge list of games I want to play, many of which are waiting for me on Steam or as a GoG.com or Humble Bundle download. My limiter isn’t interest, it’s time.

To that end, Wizard 101 has lost out, but I’ll go back someday. Ditto for GW and STO. DCUO, FR, LOTRO, Warhammer Online and DDO have all pretty much been relegated to the dustbin. There’s good there in each of them, but I don’t have the time, and there are other things I want to do. On another hand, maybe someday I’ll try EVE, FFXI and RIFT; I have Steam keys for each but haven’t activated them yet.

I have a weird relationship with WoW. I play the seven-day things they offer once in a while, and I have some time codes to use… and I want to finish up storylines in Sholazar Basin and poke around a bit more in places I’ve never been. But I have other things that I want to do more. I should probably just sell these time codes and move on. *shrug*

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10. Adam D - January 6, 2012

Well, you know me Wilhelm,

I’m constantly bouncing around between games. Of late I’ve been playing Dungeon Defenders pretty much non-stop… because for $15 it’s basically like mainlining crack on a budget. Hats off to TrendyNet for making that game in such a short period of time (30 days start to finish for the initial build).

I’m also waiting for ME3, I have a Diablo III beta key, so I’ve been fiddling around in that. And my project, which you know about… ideally I’ll be able to show that sometime in the near future :)

But for the rest of it, there’s really nothing coming out in the near future which garners any serious interest from me… not sure why, but my list of “want to play” games is pretty darn small of late.

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11. Wizardling - February 9, 2012

Late to the party, but I actually tried the Mac WAR installer and it never worked. It would stop downloading part way through and never resume. It just sat there with an unmoving progress bar and a cancel button that did nothing, leaving me with no option but to force quit the installer. Of course it did not resume from where it left off after re-launching it, LOL.

I tried wiping the cache. Reinstalling the installer. Calling EA’s support on the phone – I know, I know. Like I was going to actually get any help from EA/Mythic support :-D I don’t think the guy I spoke to even knew WAR on the Mac existed, much less why their craptastic flash-based installer failed.

Anyway – any hope I had of trying WAR died then, as I have to be really into a game to boot into Windows and endure that wait just to have a game. But I only wanted to casually try WAR and see if maybe it could grab me like DAoC once did. But nope – Mythic didn’t want to actually make a decent installer even (or a decent Mac native client from what friends told me), so that never happened.

It never ceases to amaze me how far devs will go to make sure I don’t play their game. Step one – make it freaking easy to download/install the game in the first place would seem to be key…

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