Weekend Update

Well, it settled down a bit this weekend work wise, so I did get a chance to engage in real life for a change.  The WoW instance group convened and undertook Mana Tombs (See the Ancient Gaming Noob for details on how that went on Thursday).  In RL, I actually got caught up on a number of RL personal projects which mostly include getting our vegetable garden boxes built and planted.   So far we have 2 4′ x 4′ boxes and one gigantic 12′ by 4′ box.

At the risk of going all political, Mrs. P and I intend to reduce our consumption of both food and petroleum products by growing our own.  Fortunately, I had the help of our Warlock, Bungholio, to assist in wheel barrowing 2+ yards of soil for gardening into our newly constructed raised beds.

In the virtual world, I found myself searching searching searching for the Next Thing(tm).   My spider sense is telling me that WoW, despite our commitment since release, is starting to get a bit long in the tooth.  TBC is feeling more an more gamey rather than worldly.  I’m sure many of you probably have figure this out a long time ago.

After a few different iterations, our instance group is on the verge of capping out and will likely exhaust the content of TBC and Sunwell before the next expansion.  Quite frankly, it really hasn’t felt like a “world” since Azeroth.

Maybe Wrath off the Lich King will  bring back the mojo, but I’m pessimistic.  So the task begins, what is the next thing to offer before our group of intrepid (and somewhat time limited) adventurers?

Age of Conan?  I don’t think so.  I actually logged in this weekend to my surprise to find that the beta servers were still live.  I actually patched and continued one of my toons destiny quest with a view to finally getting out of Tortage.  I can’t say my impressions have changed since my beta impressions, but I think I’ll give it a go at least until I’m in the real world to see what I can see.  Unless they pull the plug on beta.

Lotro?  Mines of Moria is due out SOMETIME, maybe by the end of the year.  I can’t imagine that our full group will want to transition to LotRO.   When our WoW group was on hiatus, our LotRO foursome made some progress, but ultimately decided on returning to WoW.  I’m still playing but I don’t think its a good fit for our group.

Warhammer?  Might be a possibility if the game could live up to even half the official hype and one quarter of the unofficial hype.  I suspect Warhammer will be confronted with the difficult decision of releasing either in the third quarter (pre-WotLK) or basically year-end on top of Lich King.  If Conan is any lesson, EA will choose to push out Warhammer anytime when WoW doesn’t have an expansion ready for release.  I have no idea whether Warhammer will be a replacement for our WoW group.

So I find myself in search of the new or at least different.  Vanguard?  Conan? Guild Wars?  Tabula Rasa? What about old Everquest? (thanks Tipa).  I feel like I’m seriously on the lookout for the Next Thing(tm) at least as far as our group in concerned…

Looks to be a loooong summer.

8 thoughts on “Weekend Update”

  1. Conan is actually a whole lot more fun than the beta looked (see my copious posts on what I thought about the beta on thegrouchygamer.) We’ve gotten in, started a guild (something I NEVER do) and we’re having a real good time.

    The game isn’t without it’s problems, for sure. But I think it’s one of the more immersive and fun games that I’ve played in a while. It’s completely taken me off of my Station Pass games and all of the people in my circle are now playing and enjoying it. If nothing else, it is something fun to do until Warhammer comes out (I agree by the way, how can WAR possibly live up to the hype?)

    Feel free to join us on the Set server, you can join our little guild and help us work toward our guild city. It’s going to be fun building that! Send a tell to me (offline tells work in AoC just in case I’m not online) and come hang with us, all 5 of you!

  2. Quite frankly, it really hasn’t felt like a “world” since Azeroth.

    That’d be because Outland isn’t a world, its a series of shiny but unrelated zones jammed together. Granted, Azeroth is similarly jammed together (see the Ferelas/Thousand Needles border for the worst offender), but you don’t walk from desert to marsh to desert as you walk around. Outland lives and dies on its gimmicks.

  3. @changlingbob: Heh, that Ferelas/TN border is pretty jarring, but its notable for being one of the few exceptions. In Outland, I feel much more like I’m at an amusement park. Another thing was really starting to piss me off this weekend too– so many of the zones are just wall to wall mobs. Part of the fun in Azeroth was exploring a higher level zone as a lowbie to see if you could get teh flight path, find that elusive vendor or gather the next tier of resources in a very dangerous area.

    @Genda: I may take you up on it. We’ll see what happens when I get out of Tortage. If I can find a hook, I may pull the trigger and buy the game.

  4. WoW was always wall-to-wall mobs. Always. That was a huge gripe of mine, that I could barely walk ten paces without an encounter until I out-leveled the mob. I suppose given the 10+ million players maybe it’s a good thing? but they claim they weren’t planning on that many. I prefer a more “realistic” (if there’s such a thing in fantasy) world design such as LOTRO or Vanguard where there are areas I can freely explore and the mobs are more sparsely placed, just like they are in Earth’s wildernesses.

    I finally managed to play long enough to get 20 and out of effing Tortage, and now I’m finding it’s just another high fantasy MMO. I have rhythm game-style combos, but otherwise it’s same ol’ same ol’ with different art and sound. I have even less desire to play than I did before. I have a couple very low-level alts — I haven’t disregarded the thought that perhaps I’m just not into AoC’s Ranger — but I don’t think I could take Tortage again right now. In fact, I think once is enough for a lifetime. I heard there’s a way to skip it once you get one character out? I’ll have to hit up Google for answers to that…

  5. Yeah, you’re probably right about wall to wall mobness. Maybe its selective memory, but at least in some zones, Azeroth left me with the impression of having lower mob density. When I think back now, I’m not recalling too many of the “wide open spaces” in Azeroth. I always felt like I could run all over Westfall as a lowbie as long as I was careful.

    Part of what might be affecting my perception might be the styles of the zones. Even in Stranglethorn which is very mob-dense, at least you don’t see them 5 feet apart as far as the eye can see. Compare the feeling of Hellfire Peninsula or the Bone Wastes with the Barrens or Shimmering Flats.

    I definitely agree with you about LotRO. Turbine has mentioned in the past that there are areas that are significantly less populated and off the main progression track simply to provide for exploration, resource gathering and just solitude. The area around Nen Harn is a perfect example.

    I like having the opportunity to go places that few other will that don’t have any explicit goal attached to them like Newman’s Landing. Those kinds of places don’t really exist in a non-seamless world.

  6. Potshot–

    EQ2. Seriously. It has the depth and variety you seek, established players from your instance group and friends ™. Crushbone wants you and your buddies! Plus, you can always mentor at anytime, allowing all different levels to play together. I keep coming back to it, pardon the cliche, like a moth to a candle. It just feels more real (lore), complicated enough in tradeskills and combat, plus has solo content balanced by some great instances and dungeons.


  7. Bleh. EQ2 was the only time I actually ended up feeling like I tossed $40 down the toilet. I know damn well there has to be something good in there somewhere, but damned if that game didn’t do everything in its power to turn me off and push me away.

    SOE reactivated everyone’s accounts (EQ1 and 2) for two months so maybe I’ll reinstall it if, and only if, I can manage to find a group of people who could possibly enlighten me as to what I’m not “getting” about EQ2. On the other hand, it’s summer — do I feel like putting in the time and effort it takes to find a good guild or whatever? I’m perfectly fine with a game not “being for me” because at least I get to read everyone else’s adventures.

    In the meantime, I’ve stopped pouting over Guildcast shutting down so I’ve returned casually to Guild Wars, and I’m considering making good on my thinly veiled threat to stalk Van Hemlock tomorrow night… Of course, he said it was ok, so I guess it’s not stalking anymore if I have permission? :razz:

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