A Personal MMO Retrospective.
Part 6 of…. YAR!
I wasn’t going to play another MMO. Seriously. This time for sure. I was pretty goddamn jaded. My friends wanted to try this one, and lured me in with the promise of a no subscription fee model without all the hideous pay walls usually associated with that tag. So for just the cost of Jack Daniels and fully-loaded nachos, why not? Guild Wars 2 is really good. Quests are mostly set up in dynamic zone-events, so anyone can join and play at any time and still get rewards. Depending on whether you win or lose, aspects of the zone around you will actually change. If you manage to protect the mining colony then the NPC’s go about their business, but if you don’t, then the next mission is to re-take the mining colony from it’s current inhabitants. The PVP can be either on battlegrounds where everyone fights on equal footing in the same level gear, or huge world-vs-world-vs-world battles where you can siege the other two realms’ keeps and castles. It doesn’t use the holy trinity of tank, healer, dps so you can spec your character anyway you like.
Story is cool, dungeons have different paths, and they update the game monthly with world story events. There are beautiful vista’s to visit which reward you with special points and a breath-taking cinematic tour of the surrounding area; however, they are not always easy to find. You have to solve physical jump puzzles to reap the benefits of this elevated view. This makes exploring very fulfilling, and I LOVE exploring. Jeremy Soule’s score is a fantastic compliment to this visually stunning world.
Since Guild Wars 2 is not subscription based, I still play on occasion. However, despite all of its good points there just isn’t anything there that makes me want to login every day. The game does a great job of making battles feel epic, but without the holy trinity to define you, your character feels generic. I don’t feel special fighting a world-boss when a hundred randoms can spam attack it as well. Honestly though, this is minor, and I do still recommend it. It’s well worth the price tag and a nice alternative to all the free to play horseshit out there.
ESO is the latest MMO to hit the market. I am a big Elder Scrolls fan, so I was excited. Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim are absolute masterpieces, which have set the bar for non-linear exploration in games. Did I mention that I love exploration? I played the beta one weekend, or more accurately one Saturday, but I could not stomach playing it another day. I’ve never played a more boring and irrelevant MMO ever. This game has a serious identity crisis. It’s not quite an Elder Scrolls game, and not quite an MMO. It was a chore to level myself up to 10. The dungeons are open, so people can just run in jumping around like assholes and trash the place, a serious mood-killer. The colors are drab and boring, and the map has no useful info. It just wasn’t fun. I can usually find a redeeming feature in any MMO, but I cannot with this game. The only thing I could tolerate was the crafting system because at least it offered something unique. When the high point of your game is crafting ten steel daggers, you know your game is in trouble. I can’t recommend this game to anyone. I do hear the PvP is good, but you’ll have to try it yourself. I won’t waste my hard drive space on ESO.
Can Ogre learn to love again? We will see, when I talk about my newest foray into MMOs: Carbine’s new MMO, WILDSTAR!