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Archive for January, 2011

Of Gaming Lulls

Whilst waiting for the Rift Beta 5 event to take place (although I’m not yet certain I will be able to participate much due to timing and my fear of growing sick of the game before it even launches), Mr. Randomessa has taken it upon himself to give the newly-released Bloodline Champions a try. I would let him speak for himself as to the merits of this game, but he hasn’t spoken a word to me since first loading it onto his computer last night, so I’ll just assume he’s having fun. (I kid, of course. He has been playing it steadily all weekend, though)

Inspired by his experimentation, but put off by the top-down/isometric view BC locks you into, I tried downloading Land of Chaos Online (LOCO) instead, and lasted through the newbie tutorial before acknowledging that this sort of game is Just Not For Me(TM). That, and I’m terrible at them, so the feeling is mutual.

Speaking of games that are not for me, something on the Leakerz website made me check out Firefall’s development progress. Here is a video of gameplay footage with developer commentary that I found very compelling. While I had seen a couple of trailers, I had not heard such a complete feature list until specifically going to the site to seek this information out. I did not realize, for example, that Firefall claims to provide dynamic content, much along the lines of Rift and Guild Wars 2, including player hubs that can be taken over during invasions by hostile NPCs and subsequently cannot be rescued unless other mission objectives for reclaiming said hub are completed. All this, and a seamless world plus PvP and PvE matching and storyline missions, for free (yes, free to download and free to play, with a cash shop). Why, I can almost hear a gauntlet being thrown down as I type this. It won’t release until the end of 2011, which is more of a release date than ArenaNet has provided, so I look forward to these two duking it out over the next year. The winners are us, the gamers!

Of course, while I quite like the cell-shaded and admittedly anime/manga-inspired visuals of Firefall’s future Earth, I just cannot see myself being able to invest much time or passion into an FPS/TPS game. I simply haven’t got the skills… yo. The videos are quite fun to watch, though. I even like the ubiquitous Blur cinematic.

I’m using this lull between choice gaming content for myself to finally finish reading Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny, which is making me want to play a mesmer in Guild Wars 2 so badly (you know, whenever that information is released), and Brandon Sanderson’s The Well of Ascension, which is making me wonder if rolling a Riftstalker in Rift would be a close enough approximation of a Mistborn.

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To Sum Up:


Yes, Mr. Randomessa and I have pre-ordered Rift, including one Collector’s Edition box for the goodies. No, we will not be taking Trion up on their generous multiple-month subscription discounts. Resolutions to keep, and all that.

Although we’re pretty much sold on the game, we were really waiting to try out this weekend’s Warfronts, something it turns out I will barely be able to do, what with my extended work schedule that always seems to coincide with beta weekends. A part of me shares Syncaine’s concern that, like Warhammer, Rift will not be able to withstand the population behaving differently at launch than they are in beta (a behavioral change I admit I don’t understand, but then I am that odd gamer who is neither competitive nor reward-driven).

On the other hand, I wouldn’t have traded my headstart and first six months of Warhammer Online for anything, and if the absolute worst Rift can do is give us six months of rip-roaring fun, that’s a bet I’ll take.

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I have started and stopped this post in progress several times already, and it has evolved from a “2010 in Review” post to the slimmed down version I offer today, a day late. Seems my first resolution for 2011 is to keep things simple.

Other resolutions I have on offer:

  • No more long-term subscriptions. I have now made two poor gambles in long-term subs in the hopes that I could get around my distaste for monthly payments, but it is now obvious to me that long-term consistent gameplay is not really where I’m at. Even in the event that a game captures my interest, I would do better to bite the bullet and subscribe only as needed than to go all-in for a year (or the game’s lifetime).
  • Accept that Fantasy is “the” genre for me. DC Universe Online was fun, and Star Trek Online has its moments, but the moment I glimpsed my Bahmi Chloromancer in robes, fighting chained spirits, or my Dwarf cleric in her chainmail, I felt at home. This will save me a lot of trouble when it comes to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
  • No more arguing on the internet about alleged vs. known facts about upcoming games. However, I do expect to have to make a post in around a year’s time about ArenaNet’s actual claims about Dynamic Events, akin to my post about Mythic’s Public Quests. I’m collecting my sources and I’m checking them twice.

I’m also encouraged about other gaming options that are coming to fruition in 2011. There will be not one, but two D&D-inspired multiplayer games, as well as a multiplayer Lord of the Rings RPG, and I could not be more excited to see if these scratch any of the itches I have previously been unable to get anywhere but in MMOs. I am also extremely excited to play, of all things, a single player game in The Sims Medieval. For some reason, The Sims don’t ping as a single-player game in my mind, with all the resultant problems of feeling lonely and caged in not raising their ugly heads.

That most of these are expected out in spring of 2011 means I will have to ration my time between them and Rift (there arises that dastardly subscription opposition again), but I hope they will help me get over the tricky hype road to SW:TOR and beyond. And, of course, if Guild Wars 2 should see a 2011 release, any and all bets for gaming outside of GW2 are off.

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