Monday, March 29, 2010

Back To MMO Monogamy

You may or may not have noticed that I've gotten rid of the Aion stuff around here.  Yes, it was a short lived love affair.  No, I haven't quit entirely.  I actually still am quite fond of the game despite all the bad things you may have heard/read.  I just don't have the time for it.  We bought a house (time and money sink), I just finished up Dragon Age: Origins (V-day gift for Fuu, though I finished it first.  Ha!), and I'm also playing through Final Fantasy 13 (and loving it).  Plus, with the weather getting nicer, I try to get out of the Fu-cave every once in a while.

Before I get too much further, some thoughts on the two single player games I mentioned:

On Dragon Age: Origins - Great game for all the reasons you may have read.  Gearing is super confusing, IMO, but the game play and story is top notch.  DA:O was actually my first Bioware experience outside of their Star Wars (The Old Republic) game.  It made me give some serious thought about going back to play the Mass Effect series.  Bioware does make a helluva game.  Sometimes the choices can be daunting though, in good ways and bad.  It makes me excited for their Star Wars MMO.  Bioware has some mad street cred right now.

On FFXIII - I'm pleasantly surprised.  Final Fantasies have always been hit or miss for me.  They're so long and involved that it's hard for me to commit to one; I don't always finish them.  I really love what they've done as far as the battle system and pacing of game play in 13.  Yeah, it's pretty much "on rails", especially when you're jumping from DA to FF, but it was sort of a relief for me.  There is so much to do in Dragon Age that it can be daunting and hard to focus on the main plot line.  Some people really enjoy that depth, and I do on some days.  On others, I want a more mindless ride.  I want to be led down that single, winding path that lead inexorably to a boss.  Maybe there's a few little treasures hidden to the left or to the right, but I'm not really required to make face any major moral dilemmas.  It's relaxing.  There's something to be said for that, even though it seems a lot of critics today paint the "on rails" thing in a bad light.  I think they're just different games, but that's totally a personal opinion. Love the game, love the story, nostalgic over the art style/world.  It reeks Final Fantasy, yet feels newer, and I'm not even talking about the ridiculously pretty graphics.

Back to live action - The route I've decided to go with Aion is to "play it by ear".  That is to say, as time permits.  If I get a weekend of time, feel the urge, or get coerced by a friend, I have no qualms about shelling out $15 for another month of game time.  I just didn't want to pay month to month since I definitely can't commit that time.  It's just too up in the air.  Maybe I'm only able to make good usage of one monthly subscription game in my life.  Since de-activating and re-activating is so easy, it's really a non-issue.  Still, since I won't necessarily be "keeping up" with the game or any sort of community, I decided to remove all my links and such.  WoW is the only gaming commitment I have time for, and really it's because I'm well-established at this point.  I don't need to devote a whole lot of play time to continue to progress, especially since we only raid once a week for two hours. 

Is there anyone out there upset by this direction?  I think it's really only an admission of what my writing pattern has already shown.  I'm always one to just try to write what's on my mind.  I don't have a whole bunch of queued up topics.  In fact, I rarely ever have more than one, if that, in backlog at a time.  When they're there, they scream at me for completion.  It's really annoying and loud.  In my head, at least.  The point, however, is that it's pretty easy to look at my own writings and see the truth of the situation.  I'm just owning up to it today.

In any case, I'd still love to receive questions in comments or via email regarding any of the games I mentioned.  They may even spawn posts.  Left alone, I try to stay on the topic of WoW (being as this is a WoW blog), but I'm not opposed to taking short vacations in other strange lands.  After all, I figure most of you out there are like me, and enjoy the occasional dip in other waters.  Time permitting, of course.

Oh, and I don't care how much you ask about Home Improvements.  I'm no Tim Allen, so I'm not even going to try to make that topic entertaining.  Then again, I may have to chat about the new Fu-cave when we get it set up. So, I guess no promises?

So TL;DR - Aion is on a leave of absence, to be played and paid-for sporadically (which I think is cool that it's totally a viable option.  I wish magazine subscriptions could work like this).  DA:O is done, but I may have to pick up the x-pac or even another Bioware title soon.  I may have to write about the headache of complex choices.  A lot of people seem all for this direction, but maybe I like rails too?  FFXII is where the bulk of my game time is, love it.  There is a good "story elements" post in there somewhere if I can dig it out.  And there's always WoW.  ICC raid tonight.  If we don't progress, maybe you'll be graced with another awfully funny MS Paint "wall breaker" attempt.  Last time that worked out hella-well. 

I also wanted to pass on some good links about those single player games that you may or may not be aware of:
  • Samodean of Massive Nerd fame has been doing a great job with both DA:O and Final Fantasy.  He's been covering the basics in each rather well.  Here's the link to his latest on FF.
  • Abi snuck back on the wagon and pushed out a pretty good post concerning the DA x-pac.  It's good to see him back writing even if he won't be devoting as much time to WoW.  Here's the link to his latest on DA:A.
That is all.  Back to work!

6 comments:

  1. Get back to work indeed!

    Your first challenge!

    Me = Finally got my lock to 80. (Spookyregis - Kael'thas US - Armory me!)

    Demo was my leveling build, so I'm most familiar with the Metamorphasis usage. I know my current build should not be my endgame build - Demo or not. (It was mostly designed to have a minimal downtime, which isn't a huge concern now that Life Tap has been "buffed", so to speak. Some random talenting at later levels.)

    Based upon the fact that I will pretty much only have EoT items (aka: Tier 9 + a few other goodies) available to me, is there one particular spec that would benefit most from that? I'll likely spend 98% of my time in Heroics, and maybe a VoA or two. (Boss life expectancy is short.)
    Knowing your thoughts that the T9 bonuses aren't worth much for Afflocks (Afflac?), should I still spec Aff and go 2 x T8 + 2x T9? Hold out on some of the ilvl-232 +haste cloth that drops in the ICC 5-mans?

    Yes, I realize it's all up to personal taste, but I kinda don't have a preference with anything. I'd just like to get some guidance/suggestions so I'm not completely stinking it up out there and making the most of the gear avialable to me.

    Cheers!

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  2. You're finding yourself in the same boat I was in a few months ago. I was still enjoying Aion, despite all the negativity.

    But I had the daunting mountain of Dragon Age, Mass Effect and Final Fantasy on the horizon. It's all about what you find the most fun for your time.

    And thanks for the link ^^ It's nice to see all the info I was spewing was actually helpful.

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  3. @Darth - I think I may write a post up about this tomorrow (For Fresh 80 'locks).

    @Samo - Word. Keep up the good work :-).

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  4. Fulg - that would be awesome. I'll improvise until then! MUST GET EOT'S!

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  5. Mass Effect 2, DAO and the DAO expac were all pretty amazing. I fell in love with the original ME and ME2 set the bar of western RPG's extremely high. I'd love to see Bioware do a Mess Effect MMO in the future. The races and worlds had so much life. The only downfall I think would be the storytelling, which is a huge aspect of their games. Either way, it'd be pretty sweet!

    I liked FF13 but I just felt like I was doing more of the same "run down hallway shaped world, kill monsters, fight boss, watch cutscene". The graphics were sweet, the story was fine but the actual gameplay was a downer for me.

    Grrr Blogger wont let me comment under my WordPress account.

    -Abi

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  6. @Abi - Yeah, I wish I had infinite time. :-) As far as FF13, I totally hear what you're saying. I've actually got a hankering to write more about it, but the short version is that there is something comfortable about the repetitiveness. Sometimes the opened up Bioware titles can almost over-stimulate me with so many different routes to go. It's almost relaxing, then, to have a lack of those choices. Really, it probably depends on the day I'm having.

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