Thursday, August 14, 2008

MMOs. Then and... Further back then.

Well, as I was sitting here reading up on the latest WotLK beta notes, it got me to thinking. Man, I've been playing world of warcraft for like... FOREVER... Maybe not forever, but I've played it a hella long time. It's eaten up more of my time than any other game ever released. Which then chained my thoughts together. What was my MMO life before world of warcraft? Was there this thing they call "LIFE"? Do i need to get rez'd? So let us board the time machine and dig up some nostalgia.

Nexus, The Kingdom of the Winds(KRU Interactive)




Ahh... I guess this would be the earliest MMO I have ever played. Back in the day, when just being able to see more than 40 people on screen at one time was amazing. Ahh this simple game. Woah, now that I look at the website, they revamped the graphics. Boy it looked like doo doo before. Now, it dosn't look as doo dooish. Still, it had all the korean MMO goodness. Mainly lots of grindan. LOTS. There was an integrated PVP system with battleground like games. I didn't get into it very much. There was just too much grindan. Didn't have a credit card, was kinda hard to play an MMO without a credit card. Plus that was back when MMOs weren't all that well known. Parents didn't really approve.


Planetside(SOE)



Not sure if anyone else has ever played this. If you did, you probably shot and killed me a bunch of times. I like the concept of this game. Massive scale PVP battles. It was basically a big fucking war. 3 sides. Each side has different strengths. And you basically went around and tried to seize control of territory in every region. Each region had a fort. The game was really shined when you had extremely large scale battles with all sides clashing to control certain choke points. You were rewarded for killing other players and helping to takeover objectives. You gained points which helped you buy weapon skills or licenses to pilot certain vehicles. Overall it was a solid game. BUUUUUTTT. First off, gigantic battles had gigantic lag. Killing people was very iffy. Sometimes it looked like you just unloaded 2 full clips into someone, and they would still run around and knife you. Another flaw was the lack of gigantic laggy battles. There were some very good battles. There just weren't very many of them. You could spend an entire evening looking for a good fight, but only getting into crappy small skirmishes. Sony released a couple expansions for Planetside. But it wasn't all that great.

City of Heroes/City of Villains (NC Soft)



Ahhh CoH. Had a ton of fun with this game. You see, the beauty in this game is not so much in it's gameplay. But rather it's FUN factor. Your imagination can go completely berzerk playing this game. If you were a kid that used to/still does read comic books, you will be enthralled by this game. The shear level of customization for your character is absurd. You can seriously sit there for 3 hours just MAKING your character. Not because you HAVE to, but rather because you WANT to. Then you have the option of making a back story. That could take another hour or two. Again, completely optional. Buuut, it's just awesome when you're all setup and done. It dosn't matter if you like the old school 1950s superman-type of character or the more gritty dark knight style. The game's environment also helps to get you in the mood. From the bright and heroic Paragon City to the dark sewers, they have an environment for just about every occasion. I have more personal experience in the hero side of the game rather than villain. I dunno. I'ma hero player. Other people, they think villains be coo. Well FUCK YOU, I'ma save the goddamn day. Actually, I was inspired to play this game after listening to the Motion City Soundtrack song "Capital H". As far as MMO mechanics though, the game is pretty god fucking terrible. Basically it's a huge grindfest and grouping with idiots to get the group exp boost. There is no aggro table, most of the game involves running in and just AOEing everything down or 1 shotting things. If you play a healer, it's a cake walk when you don't have to worry about pulling healing aggro. Bosses take a while and things can get a little iffy sometimes. They only recently added a loot system. Prior to that, the game had essentially no loot. You kill things, you get enhancements for your powers, and you make your powers stronger. They also have super-bases for your super-team. And you can totally deck it out like the sims house. You can add functional elements as well. For super-teams that get large enough, you can actually raid super-bases of other teams. PVP was so so. There were some super-OP builds. It's a game I definately recommend if you're a comic book fan.

Final Fantasy XI(Square-Enix)



Alright, I'm a Square fanboy. I admit it. Although I'm not as hardcore as I used to be, if it has Square-Enix on the box, I'm usually bound to buy it. This game. I had really high hopes for this game. I was mega-psyced up for this game. Only to be hit by the sledge hammer of disappointment. I must say, NO SIR I DIDN'T LIKE IT. If you like to go off and do things solo, such as grind levels, DO NOT PLAY THIS. This game is ULTRA-MEGA-Party oriented. You can't do a goddamn thing by yourself outside level 5. Travel in the game is pretty rediculous as well. There's an ass-ton of running. If you get to level 20, you can get your chocobo license. Sounds GREAT right!? WRONG. Chocobos may run faster than you do, but you can only rent them for a limitted ammount of time. And you can only mount in major cities. That means you can't just mount up and ride back after you finish a quest in the field. Also the monsters don't have a leashing system. What does that mean? If you aggro something that's WAY over your head, you can either A)Take it up the butt and die(which means losing exp and possibly a level) or B)Running all the way to the end of the zone with the monster chasing you. If you choose B, you'll probably grab more monsters on the way. This creates the train effect. Choo choo mother fuckers. Thing is, you might be safe after you zone out of the area. Buuuut anyone that zones into the area gets anal raped by all those monsters you just dragged. Thanks a fucking lot. Douchebag. BUT WAIT! What if there's multiple people doing this?! Yeah, it don't get any better. I could go on for pages on why I disapprove of this game. But I shall stop. FOR NOW. PS. I just read on 1up.com that there's a boss that takes over 18hours to defeat. How's that for retarded.

Phantasy Star Online(SEGA)



Ok ok, this game isn't a true MMORPG. But it has enough elements in it that I consider it one. First off, monthly fee for online play. Granted it's not required to play online, but there is an experience there. Ok, there's a 4 player max limit per game, but there is a lobby where you can interact with a large number of players. This game had some themes that just smackd me upside the head and I liked it. Character models were all anime style. Yeah, anime fanboy. What else is new? But the models were customizable to a large degree. Not City of Heroes level, but it's up there. It also had the futuristic fantasy theme going for it. I looove teh future. Give me gunz and robotz mixed with swordz and elvez. Magic and tech, two opposites that blend well and i like dat. Lastly it was teh lewts. They had rare drops that made me happy. The weapon models were futuristic and cool. Swords had the whole light saber theme, but they came in all shapes and sizes. It also had a nice variety of guns. You had pistols, dual smgs, rifles, Big fucking shotguns and bazooka thingies. You also had these little floaty things that powered you up called Mags. And you feed teh Mags items to make them stronger. Then they evolve after they level up so much... Kinda like pokemon... And just as addicting. What was great was you didn't have to play online with this one. Offline with 3 other friends was a blast. Especially the 14 hour marathons we used to do. Though you became kind of incomprehensible near the end. Here's what one conversation was like.

RL: "Oh crap! A red item dropped!"
Me: "Really!? What color was it?!"
RL: "... Did you really just ask me what color the red item is?"
And then it was time for holy to get some sleep. This game, tons of fun. Console versions recommended.


Diablo 2(Blizzard)



Ok. I love blizz. But... I dunno. I just couldn't really get into this game. I understand why it's good. I like a lot of the ideas that went into it. I just couldn't bring myself to like this game though. Maybe it's because my fingers would start to cramp after clicking a billion and a half times. I know they got Diablo 3 on the way as well. Must say, not excited at all. What?! I didn't say the game was bad. I just said it don't tickle mah pickle. I have nothing against it. It's a great game. Now shoo shoo fanboys.


Hellgate London(Flagship Studios)



Ahhhh... From some of the people who brought you Warcraft and Diablo. Wait, last I checked... Yup. Flagship studios is shut down. Why? Because their "Flagship" game sucked big donkey dick. What?! It did! I was there from beta to launch and then some. I had to write a goddamn 10 page paper on it for a virtual worlds class that wouldn't let me choose world of warcraft as a paper topic because too many people have written about it. ANWYAY. Run-on Sentence aside, this game was doo doo. Graphics were nice. But because of the guild wars all instanced gameplay style, the game was just sub par. You played melee from 3rd person, all ranged were played from FPS style. One big talent tree. Destroying stupid barrels and crap to get itams, ala Diablo. Srsly, you could play the game for hours and just not find it that fun. Totally lacked the end-game material that's needed to sustain further gameplay PLEASURE. Yes, flagship studios put up a lot of bullshit saying they were gonna add this and that. But in the end, they never did. PHAIL. Now, had they have delivered everything. It might've been a contender. I think some new studio has picked up the title. So it's not totally dead yet. But i'm not even sure if anyone's even playing still.


Well. That be a quick look back at holy's varied MMO past. HmmmmMmmM. There's actually more of them. But they were all betas I was on. But that's another post altogether. See you all next time everybody.

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