This weekend was all about schizophrenic gaming – during my downtime I managed to play 4 games, sometimes in tandem, in a mad rush to try to get stuff done in three games, while beta-testing another. At times it left my head spinning as I jumped from game to game, much like a kid on Christmas Day trying to play with all their new toys. Time for a gaming update!
World of Warcraft:
I spent the least amount of time here, and to be honest, I’ve spent very little time here over the past few weeks. It’s a combination of pre-expansion doldrums and good ol’fashioned burnout, as usual. Most nights I log on to chat with guildies, fly around Stormwind a bit, and maybe do a cooking or fishing daily. I’m still on the fence about Mists of Pandaria – on one hand I’m hopeful for what it may bring to the game and there are a few little things that I think are really neat – specific new mounts, account-wide mounts & achievements, the Tillers faction, and so on. On the other hand, there’s just so much more with MoP that I feel fairly indifferent to: the pandas, Pandaria itself, monks, new raids, the re-vamping of Scholomance and Stratholme, and so on. This is honestly the first WoW expansion that I haven’t been absolutely giddy with excitement over. My annual pass expires in October, so whether I’ll be investing in MoP remains to be seen.
So this weekend I jumped back into Rift with the 3 Free Days that you get when you do the security update on your passwords, and it’s been a bit of an overwhelming experience. I jumped back on my little Rogue Bard on Faeblight, was immediately coin-locked (Yay! Thanks Trion!) and started trying to clean out my quest log & bags, getting re-acquainted with my abilities, trying to remember where certain important NPCs are, and generally wandering around with a confused look on my face. It’s been a solid year since I last played, so the amount of content and updates that have happened since then has been staggering – and that’s a good thing. I love how Trion has continued to plug away at pushing out updates so frequently this year and putting in features that encompass the entire spectrum of playstyles. I’m also super excited about the Storm Legion expansion – compared to the other expansions that are coming out this year, I’d say that Rift’s easily tops the others in terms of content and new features.
The Secret World (Beta):
There’s no NDA on the TSW beta, so I’ll go ahead and share my impressions here. I’m intrigued by the setting still – I love the modern conspiracy theory/paranormal theme they’ve got going on, and I love the non-traditional riddle and sabotage quests. Zombie-ridden Kingsmouth is about as close as you’ll ever get to playing The Walking Dead Online – shooting zombies and setting them on fire just doesn’t get old.
TSW feels like it’s been set up very well for future monetization. Given the lack of leveling and the way that skill advancement is set up, I could easily see them selling costume parts, new weapons/powersets, new zones/storylines, etc. My gut feeling is that TSW will be F2P in a year. It’s not a bad MMO by any means; it does have some rough edges but the setting and uniqueness of the game makes me think that it’ll have a small but loyal & dedicated following, and it’ll end up being a niche MMO. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, as long as Funcom has budgeted and forecasted correctly.
Will I be playing? Maybe later – probably not at launch. If it goes F2P, I’ll most definitely jump in.
And while I’ve been playing the games above, I’ve been running Wurm in the background, finishing up the landscaping and busily attaching bricks and mortar to my new workshop and inn. I’ll have a bigger update with pictures coming later!