I want my three-day weekend NOW!!!! *whine* *whimper*
Okay, that’s out of the way. But I really WILL be glad when this day is done and I can get going with the relaxation. Here are Matthew McAndrews’ strips for the week to start us out:
Okay… I’m doing fine. Little aches and pains that go with being alive. Not quite as much sleep as I want. It’s been hot enough to make us uncomfortable enough to turn on the air conditioning dispite the cost. But in our home that only really, really helps for downstairs, and all the bedrooms are upstairs. So it’s all fans in the sleeping areas and the downstairs is NOT set up to sleep in. So not enough good sleep. Which makes Jethric a grumpy beast at best. But this weekend I plan to make up for it. Big time. Especially on Monday when I would normal have been working if not for the holiday.
EQOA: Nearly done with this game. We got in one session this week. And we are one ‘mob kill’ away from completing the third level 47 sidequest. And we have all decided that when this is done and we get our experience… we are DONE. We will hang up our PS2 controllers and stop playing. After all, if we continued, we would either spend the last 7 sessions mindlessly grinding experience… or we would start the level 49 path quests… which are long and would NOT be done in 7 90min sessions. So we are just going to stop. I’ll mildly miss the game. But only because I have been playing it since the beta. That was 4+ years ago.
Eve Online: Two of the people I play this with will be away for the next two weeks. So it will only be the other two of us for these two weeks. We’ll see if, at the end of those two weeks, wether we will still be playing it when the other two get back. Is it worth it? The last game the four of us played the two that will be away left the game when they reached the top level of 70. Eve’s top level is defined as having every skill in the game at level V. And the way the skill system works, even if you train the learning skills all up to V first, that will take 3+ years. So there’s still lots left to the game before I expect them to give up because they reached the top like they did on the last one. So maybe it’s safe. I don’t know. I just know that there is stryfe right now between one of those staying these next 2 weeks, and one of those that will be away. The other two of us are caught in the middle. And none of the four (though I can’t talk for one of us, as I don’t understand her a lot of the time. She comes from a different way of speech and thought) seem to be having the fun we had once before. Is this game worth sticking with and paying $15 a month for. I need to think this over.
Everquest 2: Haven’t talked about this one since I stopped playing at the beginning of the summer. I stopped playing because the two people mentioned above left the game after achieving level 70 and wanted to do other things. The two of us left tried to carry on because they had not made vocal weither they would be coming back or not. When they decided that they likely wouldn’t be returning… we left it, too. After all, it wasn’t as much fun with 2 that it was with 4.
I bring all this up because I found out that EQ2 will be coming out with its fourth expansion in November. This expansion will be adding all the usual things of new places, a new character race to play and that sort of thing. But it also is increasing the level cap to 80… so it has me wondering if the two that left will want to go back… will we be going back to EQ2 this winter. Do the two of us that left last WANT to return. I don’t know.
City of Heroes/Villains: It really looks like I will soon be down to this one game under MMOs. Funny how just at the beginning of the year I was listing five or six MMOs that I was playing. I’m at 3 right now, and about to be down to 2… which could become 1. And you know what? I don’t mind in the least. CoH/V is one of the best all around MMOs I’ve played. I keep playing it year after year and love it. My lovely wife plays it, and we spend a lot of hours with it. Yeah… this is the game that will keep going. Thank you, Cryptic! And thank you Ron and Mel for letting me start it before it launched. I’m still having a BLAST! Oh… and tonight’s an Invasion night!!!
Second Life: I actually signed in to SL the other day. Lost Creatures released a Lion Feral that is wonderful. Wish I enjoyed the politics and realities of SL more. Or that there was more to do there than shopping and partying (and maybe Cybering, if someone special is on). There’s just no There There. (Not to say that there is any There over at There, either.) This place is already a left behind place as far as my wife is concerned. We were big in this place a couple of years ago. Back then there was BINGO, SL-INGO, TRINGO (see a trend?) and so many other things to do. Ways to make L$ abounded. Now it’s become too filled with laws and regulations because the legal authorties are starting to take notice of the place. And the fact that you can turn real money into L$ and L$ into real money makes it become… a liability for the makers of the place to let some things go on. But it was those things, and the fact that you could explore with them in a fictional and ‘safe’ landscape where it wasn’t illegal or impossible… that was part of the charm of the place. No limits other than those you made for yourselves. Well, that’s gone. There are now so many limits on what you can do without feeling either guilty or having to ‘hide’ it from others… it’s just isn’t fun any more.
In light of the stuff in the MMO section, does all this mean that CoH/V is all I’m going to do any more? Hell, no! I’m a gamer, I always like to take a look at what else is out there. I plan to look at LOTROL and Warhammer. I expect sometime to return to EQ2 and WoW, though hopefully no time soon. I will look to see what Tabla Rasa is like when it goes live. (I’ve seen it in Beta… and no, I’m not telling until the NDA is fully lifted… if then.) I might peak in on whatever the ‘Next thing’ is from NCSoft after TR. I’m interested in seeing what EA is going to do with it’s MMO properties now, past and future (I STILL miss Earth and Beyond!). Will SOE ever find a new IP that is worth spending $$ on to play? (Even EQ2 is now growing old… they need something new. Something that ‘clicks’ with the MMO players out there. They ruined SWG, they gave wanna-be Vanguard a place to try… and die. They are turning into the place where lost MMOs go to fade. Look at Matrix Online, or PlanetSide.) The world is ready for something to compeate SUCESSFULLY with WoW. CoH/V doesn’t compeate. It just HOLDS it’s spot and keeps healthy and slightly growing.
Thinking on that, I look at the successful games. The EQ franchise is solid. Hell, the original is STILL going. It’s sad to see EQOA fading. But without a update to take it to the PS3 (or the XBox 360 or Wii), where it could have true downloadable expansions, it’s going to sunset SOMETIME soon. EQ2 seems to be holding it’s own. I don’t see it going away. But it’s not growing much. And if the fae didn’t make them grow, the dragon/lizardmen aren’t either.
And there is City of Heroes/Villains. It’s going strong. And growing some. It’s solid and good. It will likely still be around for years.
And, of course, there is the current monster of the MMO world… World of Warcraft. I don’t know how they are going to keep their reported millions of players going for that much longer. I see they, like EQ2, have an expansion coming that extends the level cap to 80. Is that how they are going to keep things going? I don’t see that working for that much longer. Though I think they can survive two more level cap expansions after that before it’s not going to be enough and there will either be another game pulling away their players, or people will finally start loosing interest… It -is- going to happen one day. And I personally expect it to happen around the time they expand the level cap to 100. And there is likely going to be a COMPLETE game engine rewrite by then… And a complete rewrite of the first 25 levels of gameplay. Maybe the first 50.
Something american players don’t remember is WoW wasn’t always king. An NCSoft game, called Lineage, held that crown before it. Just not in the USA. In the USA and Europe it was EverQuest that ruled as king. And before that it was Ultima Online. The crown does not stay with the same game for long. UO is still going out there.
And there are games that ALMOST meet the power of WoW… one of them is NCSoft’s Guild Wars. With it’s ‘no monthly fee’ model… it counts itself as having HUGE numbers. Again… not as many in the USA as elsewhere.
Then there are those that SHOULD have made it to the levels of WoW. Star Wars Galaxies is the biggest example. With the hoards of loyal Star Wars fans it had the promise to be the biggest ever. It just… failed. And when SOE changed it to try and make it more ‘accessable’ for the mystical ‘mainstream’ of game players… they alienated so many loyal MMO players that the game faltered BIG time… and other games got the players, and it’s an almost forgotten game… that lives on through SOE’s ‘Station Access’. It SHOULD have been more… could have been. But it is not.
Another that SHOULD be big… and still might be, if it can survive the growing pains and start pulling in players… thats Lord of the Rings Online… it SHOULD be bigger than it is. It really should. But no one seems to be able to budge the giant of WoW and steal away the players. And it hasn’t got the appeal to the masses of ‘mainstream’ gamers.
But another game WILL appear that will either topple World of Warcraft from its spot of King of the Hill… OR someone’s going to figure out how to get those fabled ‘mainstream’ gamers to flock to them… we just don’t know what it will be. Yet.
Does anyone out there that happens to read this have some MMO that I should try? Something coming up to tell me about that I should take a look at? If so, please, comment and let me know about it. Thanks!
Well, that’s enough for me. I need to get off to work so that the work day can be done and I can have my precious three-day weekend! Take care, all!