Posts Tagged ‘MMOGs’
I didn't really have high hopes for BioWare's foray into the crowded MMOG field — I've consistently tried out most releases since WoW came out so many millions of players ago and the results have ranged from interesting to boring, but never long-lasting. It wasn't that SWTOR itself was particularly bad, but if it hadn't been for the discovery of Flashpoints shortly after leaving the starting area I might have walked away from the game thinking it nothing more than pretty cut-scenes framing "kill ten rats" quests.
Funcom has introduced an optional "offline character progression" tool in the latest update to Age of Conan. With this new toy, a player will accrue bonus levels every four days that can be applied to any of their characters over level 30. The bonus levels are granted regardless of whether or not a player even logs in once during that four-day period, but an active paid subscription is a requirement to get them in the first place. Once your character reaches max level, the bonus ones still sit in their progression pool and accrue normally, ready to be applied to a new character once it reaches 30.
Love is a MMOG that has piqued my curiosity ever since the first hints of its future existence began to trickle down the internet. Eskil Steenberg, the sole developer behind the procedurally-generated game, managed to release a full MMOG with a budget and time frame smaller than what takes teams of hundreds substantially more effort. While I am still meandering around the luscious and alien environment he has brought to life, preparing a more in-depth review of the title, Eskil graciously allowed me to give him a brief interview over email about the game he's created.
We Fly Spitfires, one of my favourite blogs, posted an entry documenting a recent spat in the WoW-blogosphere regarding that terrible dragon of gold-buying. I'll admit upfront that I've bought gold in World of Warcraft before; back when I first started playing and the thought of how much grinding I'd need to go through in order to purchase my first mount, the time commitment seemed unlikely. A little spam message in my inbox telling me how much game-gold I could get for a pittance of money seemed like a no-brainer: in the trade off between grinding for time, amidst my actual real life day job, or plunking down cash for the same result, ease won out.
Global Agenda is one of a few new science fiction-themed MMOGs that have been announced recently. Developed by Hi-Rez Studios, the title blurs the line between FPS, MMOG and strategy game, delivering something that is a fun amalgam of the three even if it lacks a lot of the depth found in any one facet. As such, Hi-Rez has named their game a "spy-fi" MMOG.
Given the organic, ever-evolving nature of MMOGs these days, the line between alpha, beta, open beta and release are blurring moreso than in usual titles. Even though Cryptic will be releasing its latest MMOG, Star Trek Online, in a bit over a week, the state it goes live in will likely not be representative of the game in a few months. As such it's difficult to give a really fair round-up of the game, or any MMOG in general, because they change so drastically in such a rapid space of time. Perhaps because I played the Champions Online beta, I am approaching Cryptic's latest offering with a bit of a raised eyebrow. In its current state, Star Trek Online is a rather buggy mess that shows great promise but feels rushed and unpolished.
While MMOGs originally started out as huge social experiences over time they were refined further and further into single player escapades that had multiplayer components thrown in here and there liberally, to the point that now the preferred method of progression is to just play the game alone. Most games these days heavily cater to that, requiring very little in the way of group activity as you level– you can get through the entirety of World of Warcraft, for example, solo, and any group quests or instance runs are completely optional. However, once you hit the level cap, the expectations of the game shift radically from solo-friendly to heavily dependent on raiding. For the solo player it's a startling change of perspective as the rug is pulled out underneath you, and for those players who don't want to raid the only content they have left comes down to recycling daily quests over and over, PvP arenas/battlegrounds, or chasing after vanity achievements.
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