Not just MMO’s either, but gaming in general. I’ve been in that weird state inbetween games where the one you’re playing is doing just fine, but there’s something else out there. Calling like a distant song floating in on the wind over hills of supposedly greener grasses. It’s all very Dutch in visualization which makes me wonder how far you can throw a clog. Those could be pretty effective weapons I’d wager. Wandering the gaming genres trying to find a new sort of permanence is quite possibly a lie all in itself, but that doesn’t make me stop.
Last year around this time I found myself having the same problem, but the Steam Summer Sale came along and gave me more games than I could shake a clog at. Hell, I still haven’t finished the majority of them. I’m older, more crotchety, and wiser now. Experience has taught me the wanderlust is just an elaborately crafted illusion by the AAA games market. Newer and shinier isn’t going to make you feel the nostalgia you crave when pondering the games of your past. That doesn’t stop us from trying to find a new nostalgia.
I want to go back to a game world that has permanence, depth, and lost of people around to fight with. EVE had all of that stuff, but… spaceships. Not a terrible premise, I just don’t see spaceships as really being a point and click adventure sort of game. When I fly in space, I want it to be a third-person close camera, or first person surrounded by the virtual cockpit with dozens of clickable thingies and actual instrumentation paneling. Of course, being able to get off your ship in a meaningful way would be great too, and that’s the huge disappointment I have with DUST 514. Interaction cross-platform is awesome, but why can’t my EVE pilot take a light frigate down to the surface and strafe the shit out of PS3’ers?
Rift isn’t losing me any time soon either, for some reason I feel the need to reaffirm this when I talk about criticisms. I’ve been on a handful of times since the last patch to wander around and take in the Summer festival. I’ve run through the low level instant adventures in Silverwood, generally later at night you’ll still get upwards of 10 people knocking those out. Last night I signed up to do some Conquest, but the match had just ended and there’s mandatory downtime between matches I guess. I still need to get in one of those to do some evaluation. If anything my main weakness in Rift is the PvP. I’m in the lower 25% as far as favor ranking goes. Instead I hit a couple zone invasions for those sweet and delicious inscribed sourcestones, and ran a handful of T2’s to gather a few of the top tier currency tokens.
Rift has all of the fun do-stuff-right-now-for-a-little-while activities on lockdown. The permanence of the game however is mostly in your personal gear. That’s what drives progression, that’s what you strive for. I’m a big fan of guilds, people working together to make something greater than themselves, and in Rift guilds are more social tools. You can’t really identify yourself through any sort of attire, banners, claimable camps or objectives. Your guild isn’t recognized as anything special, it’s just a roster and a couple abilities tacked on. The only real progression you can make for a guild is the weekly quests that haven’t changed much since implementation.
They call it end game, but that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I don’t want to arbitrarily finish a game and then be done with it. Also, end game starts when you hit the level cap, but often there’s more post-cap content than the leveling process to begin with. At any rate, there’s a very difficult limit to reach the end of your personal leveling and progression. I think this is what damns the game to the mindset that progression is really only about your character. If you have to put hundreds of hours into the game to finally finish a character, who is going to look around outside of themselves to attempt to improve something else? It needs to be baked into the game by design.
In the meantime I’ve gotten into other avenues of instant gratification gaming. I figure if I want something to do with no downtime inbetween and no lasting effects in the future, there’s plenty of games out there that probably do it a little better. I’ve been playing League of Legends bot matches usually with 3-4 other guys and we just rock those poor bots all over the place. The same group has picked up Smite (by HiRez) which is another MOBA done in the LoL/DotA style, but sporting full 3d environments from a first person angle. Tribes has been my solo experience recently. I like the Technician class with the turrets and short range grenade launcher. It’s fun to set up turret nests, then taunt people into them and squeal with glee when a well launched grenade gets them pelted by turret fire.
Occasionally I’ll pop open Skyrim to roam around Fus Ro DAH-ing people off mountainsides, but there’s really only so much you can do. After about 100 hours, you’ve pretty much done all the things, and now you’re just screwing with people for funsies. Totally legit, but kind of shallow. I have almost all of the achievements. The game is done for me, if it weren’t for mods anyway. Where’s all the cool new adventure mods? I NEEDS.
Off to the internets little blog post. 1-2-3 DRINK!