Tuesday, September 22, 2009

MMO Round 1x, FIGHT!

Likely it is more like round 1 hundred something as last year alone I tried at least twenty different MMOs (this year has been slow). What all this means is I have a tendency to get bored with most MMOs quickly and try as many as I can looking for the right one. The problem is all of them in the end seem to be the same. They may start out trying to be "revolutionary" then digress into just being the same thing as people voice there negative opinions and game play is changed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so, but often it turns into nothing more than an attempt to make it more like WoW. If you really want WoW please go play WoW. I on the other hand quit the game because I got tired of the whole thing. The graphics were always a disappointment and the game play mediocre. Like every other MMO it is like every other MMO.

WoW disgust aside I still end up trying different MMOs constantly in the attempt to find the one that continues to fulfill some gaming need that even I don't know what that need is. My first new attempt was Champions Online in spite of the fact that Statesman’s (aka Jack Emmert) involvement. I had not kept up with it as I normally would and had not realized that Bill Roper had take over the reins quite a while ago. I knew he was working for Cryptic, just not the fact he was in charge of the project. Would I have still purchased it if I had? Yes. Mainly because during Open Beta it could be fun at times and a few friends enjoyed it. I paid for the lifetime, along with them; in the hopes it wouldn't follow my Hellgate London's lifetime example and have a coronary after about a year.

I think I hoped too soon. While there is nothing to say it will not last a long time they are making some similar mistakes as both Hellgate London and Tabula Rasa. The first similarity was a drastic game play change. TR's game play change was right before release so at least it got some beta time. Which was enough time for a lot of people to get very disgusted (me included) as it totally changed the game we were enjoying to that point. However that is a different disgusting, I mean discussion. CO being revolutionary took it a step forward and release an untested patch that made major changes to how the game played day 1. The second problem was the amount of bugs a release. While most MMOs start with bugs (this shouldn't be the excuse that it is) where all 3 games failed was with the combination of major game play changes and major bugs at the same time.

They fixed that right? Actually no. What they have done is continued to nerf various aspects of the game without fixing the core problem of the fact the game no longer plays as it originally did. This is most evident in how mob agro is handled. Defenses where one of the major changes in the Day 1 patch, never mind fixing the actual bugs that were still in the game as a very few people leveling too fast is more important. While there are exceptions to the Defense nerf most are about half as effective as before. This would not be a problem, a disappointment but not a problem, except the fact that mob dichotomy and density was unchanged. To use CoH terms (with their CO equivalents) a normal fight would be 1 to 2 lieutenants(Villains) with 3 to 4 standard mobs(henchmen), 2 to 3 Bosses(Master Villains), or 1 Elite Boss(Super villain). Add to that anything under a Super villain may feel that they need help so they could get a villain pickup group easily since the mob density is so high. Generally a villain pickup group (VPuG?) will consist of 1 villain and 3 henchmen.

Yet you were a SUPERhero, well before Day 1 you were, and this is was to be expected. A "day in the life of" if you will. Then they gave Superman a Kryptonite wedgie. Thankfully they have the most forgiving death penalty, you lose a star. Basically a star is a bonus effectiveness you character has. You can easily regain them by completing quests and defeating mobs (sometimes what was left of the ones that just killed you). Does this mean CO will fail? I sincerely hope not as I have another lifetime account and that would mean Bill owes me for two. Still along with a lot of other problems this can lead to frustration. When the Sith in me tries to come out, rather than strike anything down, I turn to another MMO to appease the MMO side.

(Tomorrow I'll talk about my current "turn to" MMOs Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online http://megaten.aeriagames.com/ and Aion Online http://na.aiononline.com/.)

Edit: Decided to name the blog 1x to signify the first post rather than 2x as an inaccurate guess as to how many MMOs I've played. 2x will be tomorrow.