Massively Time Consuming

December 1, 2004 by Tim

I’ve been noticing a trend in many of the emails I’ve been receiving lately, most likely due to the recent release of two major MMORPG’s. The similar vein of these letters is along the lines of “What do you think of ‘insert MMORPG here'”, or “How come you haven’t reviewed or talked about ‘game X'”, or my personal favorite, “Game X is the best game ever. How come you haven’t done a comic about it?”. Hopefully I can stem the flow of these emails in one fell swoop with today’s newspost.

Everquest 2: I was in the beta for Everquest 2. It sucked. I absolutely fucking hated the shit out of that game, and I removed it’s essence from my hard drive as fast as I could. It had some interesting ideas, but anything I found acceptable about the game was far, far outweighed by the stuff that annoyed the hell out of me.

The game was visually ugly. In their attempt at acheiving “next generation, CGI quality graphics”, they gave everything that “plastic look”, with horrible textures, and then wrapped it all around some of the clunkiest, most unnatural animations I’ve seen. And then they threw in a horrible polygon draw system for good measure.

The quest system may be wonderful, there may be top notch trade skills, but I’m not going to spend hundreds of hours staring at an ugly piece of junk just to experience it.

I loved Everquest, despite its flaws and addictive qualities. Everquest 2 is not the next best thing.

Q: Have you played it?
A: Yes, I was in the beta test

Q: Do you play it, and what’s your character name?
A: I do not play EQ2, and I will never play EQ2

Q: How come you don’t do [more] comics about it?
A: Because I think the game sucks, and not in a funny “hey, it’s so bad let’s make jokes about it” way.

City of Heroes: I was in the beta test for City of Heroes, and as many of you will remember, I fell in love with it instantly. I played it at release for a short while, and even maxed out two Super Groups worth of CAD readers. After a while, work (putting together Volume One) got the better of my free time, and I stopped playing. I’ve recently taken up playing again, and love the game every bit as much as I remembered.

I won’t go into detail about why I thought the game was spiffy, but if you want to know, I refer you to the rant I wrote up when the game first came out.

I can admit that my interest in the game wavers at times, mainly due to the fact that the gameplay doesn’t change very much from level one to fifty. It’s all pretty much combat. There are no items to strive/labor/trade for, and there are no tradeskills to timesink with. There is virtually no player economy. As of right now, when a player hits L50, all they do is make a new character and start over. There isn’t much for high level characters to do. No “dragon raids” or uber quests for uber items.

I do have hopes for City of Villains, however. It’s a really cool concept, and I think the ability to PvP will add a new dynamic to CoH and breath a bit more replayability into the game.

Q: Have you played it?
A: Yes, I played in the beta, and recently got back into it.

Q: Do you play it, and what’s your character name?
A: I do play an empathy/radiation defender on the Freedom server. I don’t give out this character’s name so that I can maintain some privacy while playing.

Q: How come you don’t do [more] comics about it?
A: I do a City of Heroes comic strip for NCSoft every month, in the back of the City of Heroes comic book. The comic book is free to subscribers of CoH, or you could probably order it via your local comic shop.

World of Warcraft: This is the one I get asked about the most, mainly from newer readers who don’t remember all the raving I did about it while I was in the beta.

World of Warcraft is my favorite of the newer MMORPG’s. It has absolutely gorgeous stylized graphics and textures, and an excellent gameplay backbone. The trade skills are rich and diverse, and have actual uses in the player community.

There are things to strive for at higher levels (mounts, high level items), the quests are mostly interesting and the rewards for quests actually make the time worthwhile. If I had to name one MMORPG the most well-rounded, I would say it was World of Warcraft. I loved every minute of the beta.

However, I do not play World of Warcraft. I have absolutely no interest in starting a game like that right after release. Everyone is starting out at the same level, everyone is crowded into the same areas, fighting for the same spawns. Everyone is selling the same junk lowbie loot, and 90% of the people don’t know what they’re doing yet. And on top of that (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again), a very large portion, perhaps even the majority of the MMORPG “community” are raving, ignorant fuck-sponges.

Disagree all you like, but I have years and years, and countless hours of MMORPG experience, I’m in nearly every beta test, and unless I’m playing with friends or CAD readers (I’ve noticed that 99% of the CAD community are very cool people to game with, at least when I’m around), I run into more absolute jerks per square foot than any other games except maybe Counter-Strike.

So I opt to wait a few months before getting involved with WoW. I’ll let the level ranges spread out a bit, let the player economy get up and moving, let some of the d00ds get bored and move into something else, etc, before I jump into Azeroth. Though it’s definitely something I’d like to do at some point.

Q: Have you played it?
A: Yep, I beta tested it for about four months

Q: Do you play it, and what’s your character name?
A: I own it, if that counts. The box is sitting on my desk. I won’t be installing it and setting up an account for some time, however.

Q: How come you don’t do [more] comics about it?
A: I touched on the few issues I had wanted to comment on in earlier comics, and until I find something that is truly worth making a WoW comic about, I’m in no particular rush.

The Matrix Online: I’m not even sure if this game is out yet. It didn’t just fall off the radar for me, it was thrown off with extreme prejudice, and then buried half-alive in a box full of scorpions. It sucked, let’s put it that way. I’d rather play Everquest 2, ok?

Q: Have you played it?
A: They invited me to beta test, apparently as some sort of study in human torture endurance

Q: Do you play it, and what’s your character name?
A: Not if you were hanging me from the Brooklyn bridge by my genitals.

Q: How come you don’t do [more] comics about it?
A: I did one, and the game just isn’t worth my time to do another one.

There are other, smaller MMORPG’s, just as Ryzom and whatnot. None of them really captured my interest for more than twenty minutes or so.

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