I’m Not Dead Yet

I'm Not Dead Yet

It’s been just over two weeks since my last post, which is a lifetime in blogging terms, but rest assured I’m still around (because I know you were wondering… right?).  The fact of the matter is, now that I’m no longer actively playing any MMOs, the blogging well has started to run dry.  There isn’t really a whole lot of interesting stuff to write about when you’re playing single-player games, is there?

Here’s a quick little update on a few different things:

Guild Wars
I was challenged by a friend claiming that I’d never be able to play Guild Wars up to level ten without first quitting of boredom.  I set out to prove him wrong and I definitely got off to a roaring start.  I was having a fair bit of fun with the game and rocketed my way up to level 8 and have since hit a brick wall.  I haven’t logged in to the game in weeks, so I’ll concede to my friend.  It probably wouldn’t take much to get those next two levels, but I’m not sure if I want to.  There you go Kuarlos… you win.

Dungeons and Dragons Online
The game went free, I played for a bit, and lost interest.  I definitely liked what I played, but my problem with it at the moment is that I wasn’t having a great time solo’ing it.  This game screams out for group play but my real life commitments don’t allow for that right now.  Maybe some day.

World of Warcraft
My subscription has been up  for two weeks now and I still have no burning desire to head back.  I suspect I’ll be able to last until Cataclysm’s release, at which time I fully intend to resubscribe, however, there’s nothing in that game for me right now.

Fallout 3
I finally cracked this one open on my Xbox 360 and I’m loving it.  It took a little bit to get going, but once it did, I was hooked.  I really like the atmosphere, although I can certainly see how it wouldn’t be for everyone.  There’s something so very satisfying about playing an RPG like this on a big TV while sitting in a comfy couch.  Sure the PC version looks better, but my rear end is so much more happy to be ensconced on the couch.  By my estimates I’m about halfway through the main story, and I’ve done every single side quest I’ve come across.

NHL 10
I hate (the internet version of hate) EA as much as the next guy, but they sure do make a good hockey game.  I’m having a blast with the “Be A Pro” mode in this one; a great feature if I’ve ever seen one.

Another reason I’ve migrated to my Xbox as of late is because I’m desperately in need of a new computer.  My current rig is approaching six years old and has been chugging on the newer games for the past little while.  When I finally get around to purchasing a new one I can see a whole lot of Dragon Age: Origins in my future.  For the meantime though, I’ll be sticking with the 360.

Level 8 and Counting

Level 8

I hit level 8 in Guild Wars last night, as I continue to take on my friends challenge to reach level 10 without quitting of boredom.  So far things are going well, it’s actually not a bad game.  I’m certainly enjoying it more now than I did right after its release.  I’ve settled on my secondary profession, going with Monk, which seems to be a nice choice for solo-ing.

While I’m having a good time with the game so far, there are some things about it which drive me nuts.  First and foremost, I don’t like the game engine.  Yes, the graphics look great, but I hate all the invisible walls that are put up.  You can’t drop off a little hill to get to the area immediately below – you have to run around to the bottom of the hill first, following the one allowable path to the other area.  You also can’t swim.  You can run through shallow water, but anything above knee-level is off limits.  These invisible barriers are not very conducive to exploring the world.

Secondly, I hate the targeting and attack system.  I can’t count how many times my guy has started running towards the wrong target and then ends up bouncing back and forth like a tennis ball between where it wants to go and where you want it to go.  Left-clicking the ground moves your character to that location, so if you miss-click a moving mob, you can run right past him.  I’ve mitigated this somewhat by remapping the “target nearest” function to one of my side mouse buttons, but sometimes I still get caught in the target click-a-thon.

Finally, there’s no jumping.  It’s a stupid little thing, but sometimes when I’m running from place to place I want to hop like a bunny damnit!

Back To Ascalon

Guild Wars: Level 1

The other day I was discussing the recently released Guild Wars 2 trailer with a friend.  I happened to mention that for the past little while I have been thinking of trying out Guild Wars again; I never did play through to the end of the story, leaving the game at level 14 to play EverQuest II.

The subscription-free games are beginning to appeal to me more and more these days because without the monthly fee, I don’t feel like a slave to the game.  Too often with games that I’ve subscribed to, I kept playing despite a lack of fun just “to get my money’s worth”.  I don’t feel that pressure with subscription-free games.  That’s another reason why I’ve been thinking of Guild Wars lately.

After telling my friend that I was considering giving Guild Wars a shot again, starting from level one, he replied with, “you’ll never make it to level ten before quitting out of boredom”.  That was all the incentive I needed to try it out again, and I accepted his challenge.  While my main goal in this revisit is simply to get to level 11, I would like to see how the story in Prophecies turns out, so I’ll try and play through it to the end.  Of course, I won’t waste any time on a game I don’t like, so if it turns out not to be any fun, I’ll quit.

Having last played the game towards the end of 2005, I can’t say I remember a whole lot.  In fact, I logged in to the level 14 character I had left behind and was completely lost.  I had no idea where I was or what I was supposed to be doing.  I consulted some forums to get an idea as to what’s changed, and what sort of character build is fun to play solo, and quite frankly, I was even more lost.  Guild Wars is a much deeper game than I remember it being.  Ultimately I created a Warrior, the same class I played originally, but this time I’ll choose a different secondary profession.  During my first go around I played as a Warrior/Ranger, whereas this time I’m leaning towards either Necromancer, Monk, or Elementalist for the supporting class.  Looking back, I really had no idea what I was doing when playing.  Now that I’ve gotten a bit more experience with MMOs I’m hoping I can make some better choices with regards to skill and attribute selection.

So far I’ve managed to play for about two hours and am currently level four.  It’s been pretty fun actually.  I still dislike the control scheme, but the graphics look very nice, and the music is great as well.  I’d hate to speak too soon, but I’d wager that I’ll be able to make it past level 10 no problem.