Wednesday 4 May 2011

Viable desirable MMOiable

Over the years of MMO gaming I've often found myself having to reconsider how I spend my gaming time and what game to stick with. Having a fairly normal adult life outside of gaming will always impact on what is both viable and desirable from your MMO, and with life's ups and downs those things can be subject to repeated change.
When I first started playing RIFT, my real life situation gave (or forced upon, depending on view) me a lot of time with not a lot else to do. So I hammered RIFT pretty hard and found it easy to achieve the type of gaming I enjoy. Whilst I lead a fairly casual guild in overall attitude and my personal gaming times can be erratic, when online I always play in a relatively hardcore style and expect to do well and have constant progression. In RIFT, like any PvE raid focussed game, this does require a lot of uninterrupted time spent doing instances. For a while that was working fine for me.
But things change and I now have a lot less spare gaming time, certainly I have a lot less "uninterrupted" gaming sessions. The reasons for this are all good and in no way is this meant to be sounding like a complaint or MMO geek withdrawal, it just means that what is viable and desirable has changed.
Whilst RIFT's PvP is not ticking my boxes, I am a player that likes a bit of a mix of PvE and PvP. I do really enjoy the dungeons in RIFT, but the problem is that this type of gaming is just not viable for me right now. Most times that I’m logged on I can’t be sure if I’ll be on for 10 minutes or 2 hours and whatever the time is there’s a good chance that I’ll have plenty of AFKs. Clearly that rules out doing instances or raids, other than the 1 night a week I’m on for solid amount of time. I had hoped that the dynamic rift and invasion roaming PvE would continue at level 50, providing drop in and out casual content, but unfortunately it doesn't because the invasions are not impact-full enough on the world and the rewards do not compare with dungeon and plaque (token) loot.
Actually that’s the biggest disappointment for me with RIFT, that the rifts and invasions that were so dramatic and dynamic whilst levelling become so utterly redundant in the endgame. If I was in charge of RIFT that’s the primary thing I would be sorting out, giving the games bloody name meaning for the endgame. Yet, I don’t want this to sound like I’m totally down on RIFT, because I’m really not. It is an exceptionally well made, very polished and enjoyable MMO, it just loses what for me is one of its brightest sparks at the climax and crucially, the time sink focus doesn’t fit my current lifestyle.
So my RIFT account remains active, but this obviously also means I have had to start considering what to play as my uber casual drop in and out game. Of course I could play single player games, but I like the social element of MMOs, as well as the long paths they give us to progress along. For me the things I desire most from an MMO right now are:
-Openworld PvP that isn’t just ganking crap.
-A sense of progression.
-Varied and intesting classes.
- Flexible, drop in and out gameplay.
One of the reasons I played WAR for so long was that it is an incredibly friendly game to anyone who's gaming time is broken up into random chunks. And of course WAR is the obvious choice today, with friends still playing it and its easily meeting most of the above desirables. As such I have resubbed for now and will take this opportunity to try out the recent gear balancing patch. I’ve only been on a couple of times so far and things certainly look promising gear gap wise; I was very pleased to discover my mid range renown rank Choppa is playable again. Potential there for sure, on a personal level anyway.
Many other things that people (probably justifiably) consider WAR’s big problems remain unaddressed. With what for all intents and purposes looks like a future of practically zero investment; the games long term prospects are dubious at best. The “good stuff” that was reported to be coming didn’t materialise at all (fixes don’t count, sorry) and it’s hard to remove that stagnant stench that surrounds WAR. I’ll be writing up thoughts about WAR’s future, dev discussions and things like the scenario tweaking in the coming weeks, but initially the big question for me is a simple one:
Will I have fun playing WAR again? Because after all is said and done, that is really all that matters.


  1. seems to me that there's a lot of people on the same boat (excluding the personal life bits).

    I for one agree 100% with the thoughts you just shared about rift and war and because of that I'll be patching my WAR as soon as i get home and with some luck I'll still be able to grab some play-time today.

    No matter what, WAR still feels like the one that got away and I can't stop thinking about it regardless of how hard I try to.

  2. I certainly really agree with your point on Rift not really making you feel like you've progressed.

    Case in point: prestige. My interest in Rift has always been the PvP content, so naturally as soon as I hit 50 I started doing warfronts. I'm not even Prestige 2 yet.

    I log on every day, hit my PvP button and queue myself for everything - and, almost instantly, Black Garden pops. Depending on how badly I get beaten in the first one, I'll do a couple. Then I'll get annoyed\bored with being trashed there and get in the long queue for a Port Scion pop.

    Port Scion is just too long. It's the most reliable source for prestige and favour - due to having all that dirty PvE mixed in with my PvP - but it's too time consuming and it doesn't feel like it gives out enough.

    So between the length of Port Scion, the thrashing I receive in Black Garden and the rage brought on by stun locking twats (IT'S NOT PVP IF YOU STUN LOCK YOUR OPPONENT, IT'S FRICKIN' PVE AT THAT POINT! GAH!), I'll stay logged on for an hour at most before calling it a night

    In WAR, you're always seeing purple numbers flooding your screen from the moment you enter combat, which leads to that wonderful, satisfying feeling of progression. In Rift, you see 2 numbers pop up (sort of hidden by the action, they need a more vivid colour) every time you have a hand in killing somebody, or do some PvE objective.

    Perhaps it feels really slow for progression because I probably only collect ~2k prestige a day, or perhaps it's because you need 45,000 to reach prestige 2. At that rate, it's going to take me close to a month - and even then I likely won't have the currency for the new gear.

    Either way, I want to play my AM and WL in WAR again - such a shame I can't where I am.

    N.B: Black Garden is my favourite warfront, it's just sad that you hit premades so often (didn't Trion say they had separate queues for that stuff?)


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Half man half pixel. Music obsessive, likes a drink, occasional bastard.