And here it is, the last three MMOs that I’ve played for any good length of time!
- Good thing: The world was ridiculously large and full of awesome post-apocalyptic detail and black humor. Probably my all-time favorite sandbox.
- Bad thing: The combat and skill use were quite underdone. I really wish that this game had gone with the standard MMO tab-targeting attack format.
Star Trek Online
- Good thing: Space combat is visually dynamic and something I don’t get in any other game, nevermind any other MMO. I loved being able to pilot my own spaceship and customize it to my heart’s content.
- Bad thing: Too little content. Once I was done with the featured episodes, there was little else to keep me in the game.
- Good thing: This hit the sweet spot of “guilty pleasure” in the action MMO department. It’s mostly mindless questing and fighting, but relaxing as well.
- Bad thing: The really generic D&D setting started to turn me off after a while (and the voice acting is horrendous).
An extra-long Friday edition as I get close to finishing up this series! Hope you all had large amounts of tasty birds yesterday.
- Good thing: This ended up being a very full-featured MMO with so much to do that I can’t wrap my head around it. I always respected how it kept trying new ideas.
- Bad thing: The weird plasticky visuals aged so, so badly. It’s a hard game to look at, in my opinion.
- Good thing: The humor wasn’t sophisticated, but it did often make me chuckle, especially at the multiple digs concerning MMO tropes.
- Bad thing: At the end of the day, it really was a stripped-down Diablo clone that didn’t have a lot of meat to it. Even WITH rainbow gear.
- Good thing: The world felt very dynamic and alive, as enemy troops kept dropping in and I went through the land as if I was a soldier on the front line.
- Bad thing: The lackluster and rather pointless logos/character customization system. It didn’t seem like much and I never got into my character because of it.
- Good thing: The family subscription deals were and are a great idea. My wife and I did enjoy playing this together for a while because of it.
- Bad thing: The long, long combat animations that were unskippable — and the constantly twirling camera. I actually got seasick from this game.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Good thing: Lots and lots and lots and lots of story, and while it isn’t always up to BioWare’s best, it’s generally good and plunks the player right in the middle of it with conversations and choices. I love this sort of thing.
- Bad thing: Datacron jumping puzzles. Your characters already jump like diseased lemurs in this game, and there are too many stupid jumping puzzles to get these stat boosts. Yet I cannot resist doing them!
The Secret World
- Good thing: The sheer genius and meta-gaming of investigation missions — so unlike and head-and-shoulders above other games’ quests.
- Bad thing: Combat takes stupid long, doesn’t “feel” right, and the new AEGIS system is another layer of crap to wade through on that front. I’d pay to play on a server with faster combat, I would.
- Good thing: One of the best MMO soundtracks I’ve ever heard, period. And if I can squeeze another thing in under the table, I was always attracted to the art style and color palette on display here.
- Bad thing: AMPs are a confusing mess. There has to be a better and more streamlined character customization system than this. Carbine needs to create it.
Moving on to a handful of more recent MMOs — and some of my biggest staples!
- Good thing: I still think that the mix-and-match soul system is one of my favorite and most flexible class arrangements in any MMO. Plus, no matter what calling you choose, you can fulfill any role you like.
- Bad thing: It’s a small nitpick, but I am not a fan of the Ranger, Warrior, or Cleric pet designs at all. Ugly, almost all of them.
- Good thing: One of the best realized fantasy worlds in the biz and a game that I loved to explore because of that. Even today, it all gels so well together.
- Bad thing: I’ve always found the combat to be clunky, slow, and not as thrilling as it should be. Can I toss legendary items in here too? Oh, that would be cheating.
- Good thing: The dungeon master narration is one of those D&D features that never made the hop to other MMOs, but it’s great here. It really gives a sense of purpose and progression during a quest.
- Bad thing: The classes are really complicated and require a LOT of study to properly build. More work than I’m willing to put into a game these days, sadly.
Today we’re going to do a superhero-themed day!
City of Heroes
- Good thing: Hands-down, the character creation system. Even though the graphics aged badly, it still was an incredibly flexible system that allowed you to make virtually any superhero you wanted.
- Bad thing: I got fight fatigue bad at times, especially when a bazillion particle effects would be going off at the same time and I couldn’t visually track anything on the screen.
- Good thing: Again, I’ll go with the character creator. It’s somewhat neutered today with the F2P model, but it had a lot of great options and I really dug the cel-shaded character look.
- Bad thing: Having high hopes that this would be the second coming of City of Heroes and seeing it fail to gel. On paper, it should have been so much better. In practice, it came up short.
- Good thing: Diablo plus Marvel’s universe actually works — and it has a really generous free-to-play model.
- Bad thing: I didn’t like the isometric camera for this, as there were often enemies just off-screen that I couldn’t always see or objects that kept getting in the way.
One quick exercise that I engage with my teens is to go around our circle and do “good thing, bad thing” — in other words, to share one good thing that’s happened to them this past week and one bad thing.
As it’s a holiday week and I have some family-related activities to engage in, I’m going to forgo my normal posts and schedule to do an entire week of good thing, bad thing with the 22 MMOs that I’ve played for a decent length of time. Let’s get cracking!
- Good Thing: I loved the atmosphere and music, especially in the Shadowrealms. It truly felt like an alien planet that wasn’t just another fantasy clone.
- Bad Thing: I really had no idea what I was doing most of the time. It’s not only that it was my first MMO, but it was (and is) a fairly complex one that offers little guidance. I never did find a guild or community to bond with.
World of Warcraft
- Good Thing: I adored a guild that I fell in with during the Burning Crusade era, Time Well Wasted. They made me an officer, encouraged me to start blogging, and did all sorts of crazy stuff with me. I miss that gang even to today.
- Bad Thing: The absolutely horrible, abrupt burnout that I encountered about six months after Wrath of the Lich King launched. The day that I realized I couldn’t log in any more left me feeling lost.
- Good Thing: Being part of the awesome blogging community that arose around this game. Say what you will about WAR, but it prompted a lot of great bloggers to start writing, many of whom are still around today.
- Bad Thing: The lackluster support for PvE (especially dungeons and high-level zones) couldn’t bear the weight of our interest after it was apparent that the RvR wasn’t all Mythic made it out to be.
You poop once a week, and the other six days, 23 hours, and 50 minutes you stand at this door, deeply anticipating the next weekly poop break?
At least it made me laugh.
I hear a liberal sprinkling of powdered elf cures athlete’s foot.
On Taris, the third planet in my Galactic Conquest Tour ’14, I stumble upon a few corridors of nostalgia: the remains of the Ender Spire, with functioning lights even after 300 years. Hey, they build their stuff to last in the Old Republic.
It’s too bad that the return to the Ender Spire is limited to a single quest and a few rooms, but running around these weird curvy hallways really took me back to the opening bits of KOTOR.
Oh, did I mention that I got a new hairdo? I bought a chunk of cartel coins to perform a few unlocks and had a few left over, so I poured it into one of the premium hairstyles that I’ve had my eye on. So now Syp is a redhead with long, thick hair, and I’m really pleased with the end result.
I do wish that my heart was harder and I could pick some of these dark side choices with her, but I can’t bear to see her be mean to anyone. It’s really silly, but I bask in the gratitude of these NPCs. Maybe that’s a sad commentary on my need for validation. Or perhaps I just don’t like to have even virtual people be upset with me.
Anyway, Corso and I have been plowing our way through Taris like the worst road trip ever. You know the kind? Where you’re lost in the middle of a war zone with mutated cannibals and your only companion is a yappity space hick? Every time the game awards me with affection points from Corso, I want to demand an immediate refund. I do not want him to like me. I want to stand in front of him and rip up pictures of puppies until he breaks down crying.
But I’ll have to put up with him for now, since my next companion isn’t coming until Nar Shadda. I am sorely tempted to splurge on Tweek, especially since I won’t be getting a healer until much, much later in the game. A healing tank companion would be awesomesauce. Hm. Maybe in December.