Sunday, 13 December 2009

MMOs: What I'm playing

Readers could be forgiven for becoming a little confused by the amount of games I'm discussing. Here's the details in priority order:

Actively playing:

Everquest 2

EQ2 is my mellow out game.

I've always loved this game but have tended to follow friends out of it. I've recently re-subscribed to it as a Station Access subscriber and am happily building a stable of lowbie crafters at the moment. EQ2 crafting while listening to podcasts and eating the occasional satsuma is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. I may shake things up a little today by listening to Tony Robinson reading Pratchett instead of No Prisoners No Mercy. Ahhh, decisions, decisions.

I'm planning to level an Inquisitor to 80 and see if I can find a raiding opportunity. Inquisitor seems reasonably in demand while being fun to play and good at soloing.

Splitpaw server seems pretty busy and I think I'll find quite a few groups while levelling up (although not as many as I would in post 3.3 WoW - hope that feature migrates across to EQ2 soon).

Eve Online

I have two accounts both paid for by buying plexes in-game. This makes Eve free for me to play in terms of money, it costs about 2 hours a week of gaming although that cost is going down. Viewed in terms of what my time is worth it's not bad and I actually enjoy the data inputting playstyle of Eve market pvp.

For now I'm not playing Eve as a social game at all, the only people I ever talk to are spam recruiters who invite everyone in Jita to join their corps. I do however have big plans once I'm done becoming a zillionaire.


This is my social game. I have joined the Van Hemlock podcast's Friday night group and played with them once which was great fun. I also have a friend who plays although he's very caught up in high level stuff at the moment. I'll hook up with him again once he's in the mood for more casual play.

It's a fantastic grouping game but now that the initial buzz has worn off I've very little interest in soloing. I pug in this game from time to time and the pugs are excellent and usually voiced.

Warhammer Online

I occasionally play the endless free trial version of this when I feel like some utterly mindless pvp. Just grab my elf and shoot orcs. It's great.

Truth be told I'm unlikely to sub. It's great fun at Tier 1, I suspect it's great fun at level 40 in Tier 4 but I also suspect it's horrible levelling from 10 up to 40.

Warhammer is a game I feel I missed the boat on. You really had to play with the horde of people right at the start to get the most out of it. After the first month it's been declining since it so desperately needs high population density for any of its parts to work. I suspect it only really functioned properly in September 2008 (and was a brilliant game for that month).

Station Access games

At some point I'll probably tourist the Station Access games. Vanguard, SWG, Planetside, Pirates of the Burning Sea are all worth a look. It's a nice scheme and I may end up continuing with it when my current deal runs out in April.

Querulous Plains

I'm very slowly designing my own game which is leading me towards modding. I'll probably play some moddable games to get the feel for them and do some modding. This is a very long term project, I just want to test some ideas in mods that I'll eventually build into a mmo in about 10 years or so when the general public can make mmos by modding. Baby steps for now.

Games I've stopped playing


Great game, loved it, had 4 good years. I don't find repetition as much fun as I used to. Daily quests - meh. Levelling another alt - I know those zones backwards. Farming easy raids - meh. It's still the game I would recommend to any non-gamer who asked me which MMO to play.

Shattered Galaxy

I've popped into this F2P Sci Fi MMORTS zergfest to pit my tanks against other people's on and off since 2003. It's a very nice game for fairly mindless violence. Warhammer Online Tier 1 is now filling the exact same niche for me though.

Star Wars: Galaxies

I played this in July and August for a while. Despite playing with 2 real life friends we never managed to effectively group: one was much higher than me one was lower. I soloed my combat character doing missions. After you do 10 missions (about an hour) you stop getting exp and have to log off for a day, bored. There's an alternative to missions called theme parks. One of these I completed and mildly enjoyed (Jabba's) one I did half of then couldn't face any more (Meatlump). This included the out and out worst quest I've ever seen in any game. You have to find 7 objects. They are in cities somewhere. They are small and tucked away so they are quite easy to miss. That's it, that's the quest. I looked it up of course but it irritated me immensely that I had to. I don't mind choosing to cheat but taking a quest that says "Hi. You're screwed. Cheat to continue." was most annoying. The last theme park involves a space escort mission above Lok and I got vaped by a huge gang of hostile spaceships. The only way we could figure out by which I could beat it would be to get someone to boost me while I lurk in their ship as a passenger. So basically another Cheat to Continue quest. Sigh.

I may have another look in a couple of months. There's so much in this game I absolutely love. Sigh.

Games I'm looking forward to playing

Star Wars: the Old Republic

I'll be going the whole hog on this one - I want to be playing on day one and all the other games will take a backseat, hopefully for several months. I'm specifically planning to buy a year's worth of Eve game time in advance of the SWTOR launch so I don't have to log into Eve to grind isk.

Darkfall Online

I've followed this game for several years but didn't buy it at launch. I was put off by rampant cheating and afk macroing.

I think they've got that under control now and they've adjusted skill gain so people who don't glue a paperweight to their Swing Sword key overnight have a chance to win now.

I have a full schedule of games though and I'm of the opinion that Darkfall will get better and better with time. I'm not in any particular rush to play but I'm glad it's out there as something very cool waiting for when I get bored of other games.

WoW: Cataclysm

I'll go back for a few months to tourist the new stuff when this comes out, SWTOR schedule permitting.


  1. That is quite the list you have there.

  2. He he, that's the truth. Only one sub though, I think the rise of free gaming has been astonishing this year.

    Eve uses what is effectively a slider system where at one end there is free but dull and at the other end is exciting and expensive.

    This is genius. I love that I can play for free and feel clever about manipulating the system. The power player feels great about being able to pwn people in awesome ships of doom without needing to meet seedy gold sellers in virtual back alleys. And the company sells many more subs than they would otherwise - no way I would pay for 2 subs in cash for a game I only play a few hours a week.

    DDO's rebranding has been a spectacular success and it really is a wonderful deal now. I have what I consider a lifetime sub having unlocked most of the pay stuff through playing and a single $49.99 payment.

    And Warhammer Tier 1 is just brilliant fun. Warhammer has many flaws including the flaw that it lacks depth, pwning noobs in scenarios and battlefield objectives is kinda the same throughout the game I suspect (although I haven't seen for sure).

    It's a wonderful time for cheapskate gamers or for playing multiple games

  3. I think I might give DDO another try. I played some of the f2p beta stuff, and I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was.

  4. @Stabs.

    You're correct about your assesment of WAR.

    Tier 1 is actually the most interesting part of the game. The classes are fairly well balanced, there's no excessive twinking and players fight each other instead of keep doors.

    WAR will not improve with a subscription as this stage, though I'd really, really like it to.