Yeah, I know. We haven’t been as diligent as we should be in updating the site with the latest and greatest news in MMO land. On the other hand, we’re too busy playing them to write much.
In preparation for our next SnarkCast and because Krystalle can be, at times, a moderating influence on me, I have prepared a Christmas “Naughty or Nice?” list of stories, people, and things that have happened in the past year. Don’t expect anything even remotely “correct” or “political”.
World of Warcraft’s 3.3 patch
The new content is nice, but the LFG tool has made dungeon groups fun again. I don’t think I’ve seen a wait time longer than 10 minutes for a dungeon. I love to bag on WoW on the SnarkCast, but I must give credit where it is due. 3.3 has me playing again… a lot.
The folks at Fallen Earth have come up with a rather nifty game set in a Post Apocalyptic American Southwest. (Grand Canyon, to be specific) If you’re in the mood to check out a game that departs from the average fantasy-based WoW clone, I highly recommend this one. It’s from a small, independent studio so there are some warts in the game, but the community is tight-knit and the in-game customer service staff is responsive. Enjoy.
SOE has a lot going on. There is a new EQ expansion out there (16!!!), more EQII content on the way, and Free Realms has gotten off to a very good start. That, and Brenlo and the gang are lots of fun to hang out with at Dragon*Con.
Ok, enough of the syrupy sweet, here comes the “coal in the stocking”…
A craptacular grindfest which is packaged in eye candy is still a craptacular grindfest. The fact that NCSoft, a studio which seems all-too-eager to pull the plug on MMO’s that don’t make enough money for them, is behind it leads me to believe that this title won’t have much staying power. (Tabula Rasa, anyone?)
Ok, so it isn’t Guild Wars’ fault that so many new games are adopting this approach, but for the love of Curt Schilling, can we stop calling games that are chat lobbies for 5-10 player “dungeons” MMORPGs? Raiding Temple of Veeshan with 300 players is Massive. Raiding Molten Core with 40 players is Massive. Sitting in a chat lobby until you can mash together a 5 man group in order to run a dungeon is NOT Massive. If you can’t get out of the quest hub and explore the world, it’s not an MMO. If “the world” is instanced to the point that you have zero chance of randomly encountering another player in it, it is not an MMO. It can still be a great game, but call it something else.
Ok, so I was super stoked about buying this game. So much so that I got the 6 month subscription (thus guaranteeing me a place in the Star Trek Online beta, which I am currently enjoying) I played it for about a week, then realized… Grind-tacular snorefest. The comic book style graphics are interesting and the game has a world of promise, but do us all a favor. Reduce the level cap by half and cram what content you have into those levels. Gaps in content make levelling an endless chore. If I wanted that, I’d have stayed in Everquest. I hope Star Trek Online is listening…
As always, this is just my opinion. I can’t help it that I’m right.
P.S. as an added bonus, and because I’ve mentioned her in just about every SnarkCast we’ve done, here’s a Christmas pic of Samantha.