And here I am, stuck in the middle of MMORPG’s. It’s this weird MMO
limbo that strikes every few months, without fail. I’ve gone through it
at least once or twice this year already.

Some of you know what I’m talking about. Where, no matter how invested
you are in the current subscription game you’re playing, your gaze is
slowly drawn around looking for greener pastures. You begin to stare at
new games, and even old ones you swore you’d never play again, with a
sense of curiosity.

It’s been quite some time, you tell yourself. Perhaps the game has improved. Or you start hyping yourself up over a game that hasn’t gone gold yet.

Yeah, I’m in this phase, right now. As I have, for the second time, hit
the maximum level in World of Warcraft, and once again done all there
is to do, I’m finding my interests wandering.

I jumped into the stress test for Dungeons and Dragons Online yesterday. I’ll talk a little bit about that for you.

First if all, it is very, very evident that the game is still in early
beta phases. Connection was choppy. Some animations were uncompleted.
It isn’t close to that “polished” feel yet.

I’ll do a quick rundowns of the good and bad, from my point of view.

Good points:

  • You can select a first and last name for your character.
  • Character facial customization seems to be pretty diverse. Not as good as some, but better than others.
  • Warforged are just a really damned cool race.
  • Combat is completely in real-time. You don’t just toggle attack on and sit back. A click of the mouse button swings your weapon.
  • Ladders and climbing animations. May seem trivial, but really lacking in other games.
  • Breakable world objects. In dungeons and stuff you can smash certain things to find loot.
  • Very immersive world. As you explore a dungeon, you get narrative
    text that draws you into the invironment, in a very DnD-esque style.
    “As you descend into the tomb, your gaze is drawn to the large locked
    door in front of you”.
  • Quests develop side quests. Additional tasks you can accomplish while on your main quest for extra experience.

Negative points (so far):

  • User Interface seems a little clunky and unrefined. Buttons are small and non-descript.
  • Awkward default control scheme. No ability to remap mouse buttons.

Most of the negative points are animation/connection related, and may
be entirely due to the fact that the game isn’t finished yet, so I
won’t bother with those. If they persist once people are paying for the
game, then they will be concerns.

After DDO, I jumped into Star Wars Galaxies, because I was curious about their New Game Enhancements.
I had played SWG during the beta test, then briefly at launch, and then
again in early 2004. Hadn’t touched the game since, and five minutes
after I created my new character, I remembered why and uninstalled the
game.

I know in a week or so I’ll come around to World of Warcraft again.
During my break though, I will continue to distract myself with other
games, online and not, such as The Movies.

Hey, I wonder what Anarchy Online is like these days…


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