In case it isn't particularly obvious to anyone I have problems with MMOs; I like them, but get bored of them quickly. So I figured why not ask Icrontic what their opinions and thoughts were of the MMOs that are on the market now, or coming out soon. First I guess I will list off what I have though of the MMOs that I have played.
Kind of my fall back game. I really like this game, mostly for the nostalgia since it was my first MMO ever, but partially because I really kind of like the heavy emphasis on grouping. Solo can happen, but usually it is pinned down to a super grindy grind fest of grinding something 10 levels lower than you are until you pass out on the keyboard. I still play this game off and on when I have nothing better to do.
I thought I would like this game as much as I liked EQ, but apparently SOE tried really hard to make the UI harder to read and more clunky. I only ever got to level 20 in this game before I found myself being pointed toward a zone that was way too hard for me, and so little player support from the community that I just got fed up and quit. Though until I find a better game, this will probably be my next game on my cycle of MMO-frog-hopping.
Star Wars: The Old Republic:
I don't even know what to say about this. I liked the game when it first came out, and quickly realized that the class I picked was the wrong one. I have a really hard time doing the same thing twice (this is a killer for most MMO as you will see), so the idea of leveling another class to do roughly the same thing was pretty much out of the question. The quests were decent, though nothing new or revolutionary in the genre. I loved the space battles until you finally realize they are just a money pit where you hold down the button. They could have been so much more than a "this is impossible to until until you spend X amount of credits, then it is stupid easy". I played a Juggernaut up to level 60 which was 2-3 weeks after release then realized there was so little raiding going on I had nothing left to do and quit. Then they went F2P two months or so later, so the 60 bucks I dropped on the game was pretty much a huge waste and I got pissed enough I will probably never pick the game back up.
I beta tested this way back when, I liked the fact that it in my mind a spiritual successor to EQ and a better EQ2. The classes were similar, the play style was similar, it was group oriented and had some dynamic global raids there were fun to hop around to if you didn't have another group thing to do. I never got around to picking it up after that because I didn't really like how eventually all the classes in each of the "callings" were essentially the same; at least in the beta. I picked it up again a week ago to try it out before it went F2P and it looks like they fixed most of the issues I had with it. The classes are different enough now that I feel like if I am playing an offensive dark magic healer that I am not exactly the same as the offensive light magic healer. I would play this more but I already hit the current F2P cap and can't really do much more until they go full F2P in a week. Again, leveling another character isn't going to happen.
Guild Wars 2:
I borrow a friend's account because I didn't want to toss a full game price of money at a game that I am pretty sure wasn't going to hold my interest. This game was kind of a tortured experience for me, I really liked it and kind of hated it. Some of the best innovations I have seen in a MMO of late come from this game. The extra bits of adventuring and exploring really got me enjoying the game. The combat was decently interesting, though a bit plain to an extent. I know I can weapon swap to change up abilities, but I would really much prefer to be able to focus on one thing and just be really really good at it. It kind of sucked knowing once I got the 4-5 abilities for the weapon that I would pretty much be just as good at that as anyone else that used the weapon for 10 minutes. The skill tree was interesting, but the fact you have to buy a ton of skills that you never plan on using just to get the next tier was pretty annoying. That being said, what killed this for me was why this was so torturing, the game is fun and innovative and beautiful but has almost nil in terms of end-game raids, I hate PvP. I knew going in that GW2 was a PvP based game and no matter how much I liked it up to the end-game it would going to come to a sudden and dismal end for me.
World of Warcraft:
I spent more real-life time on this than any other game (most in-game time belongs to EQ). I raided up to the max tier in Wrath of the Lich King, I was one of the top 20 shaman on the server, in one of the top 3 guilds on the server. It was fun and enjoyable... and then The Cataclysm, rightly named Cataclysm. I don't know what the hell Blizzard was thinking with this expansion, but the path they started to take after this ruined the entire series for me, I can't even go start a new character to dick around. They have dumbed this game down into pathetic proportions. They went from 3 talent trees, to 3 partial talent trees, to 1 talent tree, to no talent tree where you instead choose from one of three shit abilities that have nothing to do with the class I want to play ever 10 levels. I went from choosing 50 different tiny talents to 5 big (but crap) talents. There is no more real difference in the game, everyone uses the same gear, the same skills, the same everything. It is like wandering through a game of clones.
It looks interesting... it has classes, and looks like it has group game play and raiding, but not in the same exact way as every other MMO I have played. It is action and skill based, healers no longer just go "I am healing this guy" you have to actually FPS launch your heals at your target. If you tank is moving around like a retard, and you aren't keeping up with him, then all your heals miss. Not sure how I am going to feel about that, but it sounds new enough it might keep me interested for a bit. Hopefully they spent as much time on the gameplay as I think they did on making sure every and all titties in the game jiggled as if a the girl was on a trampoline with no bra on even if she is wearing full plate armor.
I can't even being to tell you how excited I am for this game. The amount of information about it is pretty much nothing, but the few sentences I have been able to find from developers and interviews about it really get me hoping that it will be almost Everquest all over again, but with updated everything. I am hoping for a an equally class based, group based, long term PvE game as the original. Add in some solo content so I have something to do in the hours it may take for me to find a group and I will be in hog heaven.
Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn:
This is kind of an up in the air game for me. I heard a lot of fun stories about FFXI from some friends, all of which made me really want to play, only I would have joined so late in the life-cycle I felt it would be impossible for me to be able to get anywhere. At the same time, a friend of mine that beta-tested FFXIV originally, said the game was dismal, obviously rushed, badly planned and clunky if there ever was a game. It sounds like they took a lot of what player said about it and tried to fix it, then realized it still wasn't good enough, shut it down and started all over again. A lot of what I have read about it sounds promising. From armor based classes, similar to GW2 weapon based abilities, but full down class changes to lots of PvE based group combat. Depending on how they execute the game could make this my next MMO or one that I just avoid like the plague, and at a 25 dollar price point I feel I can afford to test the waters and not get too mad it if fails horribly and makes me waste my money.