I feel like every big MMO fan has at least one or two games that they always mean to return to, but never quite do. Nearly every day, I see a comment on Massively to the effect of, “Oh, yeah, this game is really great. I need to dust off my old account one of these days.”
Guild Wars 2:
You may remember that I was pretty enamored with Guild Wars 2 when it first came out. But as time went on, it lost some of its luster, and I ultimately moved on. The main issues were the appallingly bad story and the lack of creativity in the design of dynamic events, which somewhat robbed the game of its sense of exploration.
I still hold the game in high regard. Ask me to list the best MMOs right now, and it’ll be near the top of the list. I respect GW2’s fresh take on the genre, and it’s easily one of the most polished and high quality MMOs you can find. And I do not regret buying it, because I did have a lot of fun for the first few weeks.
But ultimately, I decided it’s not quite the game for me. I need to care about a game’s world if I’m going to immerse myself in it long term. This is why I’m still fool enough to play WoW, despite its unending gameplay stumbles and archaic design philosophies.
But while I don’t miss GW2 overmuch, I do miss my characters. I miss blasting zombies with my thief’s pistols. I miss my warrior’s roguish charm. I miss being a mesmer period — it’s such a fascinatingly unique class. Sometimes I’m tempted to download the game and play a few events for old times’ sake.
Neverwinter, taken all in all, is a fairly mediocre MMO. It has incredibly fun combat, and it’s very accessible, but its classes are very limiting, the story is weak, and the business model is a little on the obnoxious side.
Even so, I’m often tempted to give it another go. I’d never consider playing it full time, but it’s such a casual game that it could easily be something you just dip into now and then.
The main thing that tempts to load it up again is the Foundry. Even in the early days I played, people had come up with some truly excellent missions in the Foundry that were vastly better than the game’s professional content. There was one storyline in particular I wouldn’t mind getting closure on…
If there’s one game I’m constantly tempted to return to, it’s Aion.
My fondness for Aion defies rational explanation. While highly polished and content rich, it’s not really an exceptional game. There isn’t a whole lot to differentiate it from the ten thousand other WoW clones on the market.
But something about it just always got under my skin — in a good way. It’s got really interesting and surprisingly deep lore, and a setting like nothing else. The graphics are still gorgeous despite being a little on the old side by gaming standards. It has the best character customization around. It has an actual proper ranger class that isn’t tied to buggy pets or as exciting as watching paint dry. It has one of the better free to play models around.
Not to mention that a new expansion came out not that long ago with some impressive new additions. The new gunslinger class looks decidedly awesome. A gun-toting sorcerer with enchanted bullets and a devil may care persona? Sign me the Hell up.
The main problem with Aion is that it’s just too similar to World of Warcraft. The main times I’d want to play it are when I’m burnt out on WoW, but in that case, I don’t really want to play a game with almost exactly the same mechanics.
But still, the temptation never quite goes away. Hardly a week goes by when I don’t catch myself thinking, “I should really get back to Aion one of these days.”
If nothing else, I should reload it someday to recreate more of my novel characters. I want to make the new additions from Human Again, and maybe some more characters from my other works.
The Secret World: Gilded Rage
TSW has come out with another two week event, Gilded Rage. It’s essentially a repeat of the anniversary’s Guardians of Gaia event, with just a few differences.
Instead of different bosses for each zone, this time it’s just multiple copies of one boss spawning all over the world. There’s also no cooldown on the mission this time, so you can grind to your heart’s content.
The rewards are a little different this time, too. There’s a chance to get the Shem of Lunar Metal pet for those who missed it due to the Fusang clusterfrack during Guardians of Gaia, and there’s also a new pet, the Shem of Solar Metal, that can be assembled from various pieces dropped by the bosses.
There are also a few new clothing pieces. Personally, I’ve got my heart set on the golden eye glow. Much as I liked the green eye glow from the last event, gold was the colour I really wanted. After all, I’m a bee, not Green Lantern.
The first three days of the event also take place over another Golden Weekend, which offers double AP gains and other perks. One bonus is free months of membership for recruitment, so if you’ve been looking to give the game a try, contact me for a buddy key.
Mind you, the offer of a buddy key will still be open after the weekend, but I’d much prefer sending them out over the weekend so I can get the extra benefits.
I’m not finding this event quite as exciting as the last one — mainly due to the “been there, done that” factor — but I’m still quite happy to be raking in loot and XP hand over fist, and it certainly beats chasing my tail until issue 8 launches.
As an aside, while I feel bad for those who lag too badly to avoid the boss attacks, there’s nothing more hilarious than watching a dozen or more players getting hit by Upheaval.
It’s rainin’ men!