Other Games Worth Playing?

Are there any other games worth playing at the moment? (rant warning)

I’m downloading EQ2 trial at the moment, as a mate has said it worth checking out. The experience so far has been about the same level of patch frustration as WoW, but with an added crappy download screen. Why make the initial download only 80mb, and then have me sit through a 9 hour patch process? Dumb, but the standard way of doing things it seems.

Up front I’m very skeptical of how this game will compare, as I think World of Warcraft has a few things that suck, but on balance is pretty good (insert fanboy sarcasm). If EQ2 brings something new to the table, I’ll be pleased and impressed – especially if I can get to see any of it before the trial period expires.

The general mood in forums and such is that most EQ2 players jumped ship to other games a while back and its only the hardcore players left. I’ve also read that the End-game is the only place where EQ2 is worthwhile, and that takes a long time to get to. Heh, not much different from WoW then for a hardcore player. I am not a hardcore player, and think its worth a look. I have seen comparison videos of both games, and found that each looks a bit naff in which ever version the author does not like. Typical YouTube stuff.

I also got a hold of Neverwinter Nights 2, and looking forward to playing that, despite how old the game is. The Mac version was released only recently, and I’m hoping that it will run OK on the laptop. It has the same patch and update dumbness that everything else has, and I’m still about half way through the process about 4 days after the initial installation. Lets hope the Mac update is not different from the PC update, as I plan to play online with other people.

As I sit downloading EQ2 patches, I started to think about the idea of playing more than one subscription based game at a time.

If you pay for a game subscription you’re most likely limited to just having one at a time, which means that when something different arrives you’re up for some interesting choices. Its even worse if its free (like NWN), as at least with a payment mode, you feel like its time you’re paying for rather than free time; and it helps assign a priority when you’re paying for it. In the end its a time/cost balance with the rest of the work/life thing. At the moment all my eggs are in the WoW basket, and I’m pretty happy, so I guess this downloading is like window shopping for clothes that I’ll only wear a few times.

If I was willing to pay for EQ2 for a month or so, why not grab another WoW account and leverage the time already spent? The dual-boxing in WoW seems pretty easy (2nd fanboy quip please), and I’m sure there are distinct advantages being able to Instance farm for the gear you want on multiple toons. But is the time and money invested worth the experience you get back? Dunno, and keen to experiment.

Dualboxing is something that sounds so cool. And if it didn’t take months to level a new toon on a new account I’d have done it ages ago. But then, it I had done it ages ago, I’d be approx US$100 poorer, and have a new option for playing WoW. Also consider that a multi-box grind makes farming fun, but also might make tough stuff easier. Even having an AFK Priest following my other toons around throwing buffs and heals would make most of the solo content cake. This reminds me to find my n50 keypad.

It also reminds me of the trial version of Eve. Eve looked awesome, played well, but seemed to lack a touch of personalisation that I craved. This could have been due to the experience in WoW tainting what I expect in my online play. It could also be that I’m too stuck in a particular way to recognise a good game. Eve ticked all the boxes, and has a roadmap for development and interaction that made sense. There are a small army of people who advocate Eve as the essential MMORPG game, and they can’t all be that different from me.

It struck me as odd that I created a character and chose a race, etc; only to only ever see the person’s face in the top of the screen from then on. I briefly connected with my toon at creation, and then found the ship was the most important thing straight after that. My pilot was superfluous within minutes.

God forbid if Warhammer Online becomes a reality, as I’m sure I’ll sink a few days in mucking around in those, and then there is also the Champions Online game that might be interesting.

Of course there are other random throughts…

  • I could ignore the new games, due to the time already invested in the ones I’m playing. Stay focused and achieve something cool with one toon in a single game. A mate plays a paladin almost exclusively, and his gear is wonderful, and he still gets a kick out of it.
  • I could trial the new games, and then see if they play well. Treat it all as an academic learning exercise. But then which do I choose?
  • If a game only costs US$15 per month, is that really so expensive that I can’t have a few on the go. $15 is about as much as I spend on a bottle of wine, which lasts a maximum of a few hours; and it wouldn’t kill me to drink a little less, and have the luxury of testing (or subscribing) to a few more games. Then again I can think of some other cool stuff for US$180 each year. Reminds me to pay my car registration.
  • Part of the testing / switching decision is also why I play. There are folks I play with in WoW that are part of the reason I’m giving money to Blizzard rather than somebody else. If I switch I leave them in WoW and will play solo till I find another group of like minded people. Are there that many cool nutcases online? Maybe, but maybe not the flavour of folks I like chatting to.