I used to get annoyed at druids in PvP in WoW, because the little buggers are unkillable, sort of like paladins only more moonkinny. Then again, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with droods. I made one early on and never really played her. Made another and never really played her either – and so on. Each time I’ve come back to WoW I’ve made another druid (to start fresh or some such smart reason) and never played her.
Last year, however, I finally made one as a hermit char and played her up to 60, which took about 17.4 seconds with the new levelling and a couple of heirloom xp items. (For those who don’t know: a hermit character is one nobody else knows about so you can play them when you’re not feeling sociable. Of course, the whole e-mailfriends WoW thing, whatever it’s called, puts the kibosh on that because they can see you’re online no matter who you’re playing, but that’s okay; I’ve only got 2 of those and we don’t bug each other a whole lot.) And then she sat there for a few months, gathering rest xp and dust, until I brushed her off again during the Xmas break.
Now, while I don’t particularly want to gush… OMGWTFBBQOPSMASHRIPRIP! Druids are fun, especially feral druids when it comes to my own playstyle. Sneak around when you need to, claw-shred-rip the crap out of stuff when you want, heal when required, claw-shred-rip some more, rinse repeat. I’ll grant you it doesn’t require a whole lot of keys and it’s not all that varied, but none of that matters in the face of shredding the opposition before they even know what’s hit them.
So my little druid is now 70 and claw-shred-ripping her way through the aptly-named Northrend. I don’t want to like her more than my hunter, who is my day 1 character (hell, Eloise is a remake of my beta character so she’s like a million years old in MMO years), but… well… who needs a pet when you can be your own pet? And flight form rocks, especially the faster purple flight form.
I’ve also been indulging in pet battles. I’m still shocked at how addictive those are if you let them be, especially when you get complacent about how good your main team is (mechanical gnome, nexus wyrm, flayer hatchling) and then one of the battle masters hands you your ass; not once, but three times. After the third time I realised it was time to a) level my guys a little and b) find some team members who weren’t going to be insta-roasted by the Shadowmoon guy’s horrible little flame elemental.
There’s something for me about WoW that other people report finding in GW2, which is uncomplicated fun. I’ve logged in to TSW a few times and though I still love the game, it just demands too much thought from me at the moment. So I’m dabbling in TSW for brief, cogitation-laden sessions and then going back to WoW to relax. I’m just glad I have several games I can hop around in and only one I need to be paying for.
I know, I know, we don’tneed alts in The Secret World. And yet, here I am.
I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m having a hard time getting into the game the way I want to. Not because I don’t love the game, far from it, but there’s a certain distance there that I want to bridge in order to really ‘immerse’ myself (apply whatever definition of the word suits you).
For one thing, I felt as though I was going too fast with Ysharros, zipping through some stuff because I’d seen it in beta, ignoring all the lovely conversation options with NPCs because I’d seen them in beta, not letting my sense of wonder out of the box because I’d seen it in beta.
A large part of the problem seems to be my comparing myself to a close RL friend who is also playing, and who is a fast leveller. She’s already in the Savage Coast – hell, I suspect she’s in the Blue Mountains by now, and for some reason I keep feeling like I’m being left behind. Thing is, it’s not like she’s telling me to hurry up – I have my pace, she has hers, and there’s no question that one should hurry or wait for the other. But I still felt like I was or needed to be playing catch-up.
So this morning I made a character on the RP
server – err, dimension, which is something I was wanting to do anyway. (Marvellous as it is, the one thing my long, long-time guild is not is an RP guild. It’s not even particularly supportive of RP, though it doesn’t disparage or prevent it. But we have some players who are made very uncomfortable by the concept – so yeah, not an RP guild.)
All hail Mysericorde (curses to whoever got the original!), another Dragon. I hesitated at the faction screen for quite a while between Templar and Dragon, but Myz already knew what she was and, while she could probably have joined either (she’s a morally limber type), that whole flexibility made her seem more one than the other. Someday though I’m going to make a Templar-rad who wants to change things from the inside – I’ve always loved me a good rebel with an impossible cause.
Given that I know what a misericorde actually is, I was very tempted to go blades even though there’s no such thing as daggers. Then I decided I was being too literal and also decided to push my comfort envelope a little with starting weapons. I’ve not been terribly attracted to pistols in TSW so far, but that’s what I’m trying for now. Probably paired with Blood Magic (which I think follows the Assassin deck template, iirc, but don’t quote me).
The thing is, Myz is going to be taking her time. Myz has a personality that isn’t entirely my own and that isn’t simply an extension of myself, as my Ysharros characters tend to be. I’m not sure how much I’ll RP with folks, but I certainly won’t get in the way of it and I’m open to it despite my previously-stated discomfort with MMO-based RP. Give me a table and paper (and maybe some dice) and I’m much more comfortable – but we’ll see.
Point being, if Myz isn’t comfortable with her chosen weapons, she’ll take the time to train herself in others. She has lots of questions, which will take time to answer, and she has plans and long-term goals, which may change as she finds out more. But whether I want to or not, she’s going to stop and talk to anyone who has anything at all to say, and you can be damn sure she’ll be taking notes and trying to put everything together.
The only downside when it comes to playing with my RL friend (which we don’t do too often anyway, our pace is too different) is that I won’t be able to PvP with her since that’s dimension-specific. And that’s it. So what’s the harm in me moulding the game and my playstyle to my liking rather than… whatever it was I was doing the last few days? None.
No real point to this other than that if you’re not entirely comfortable in TSW yourself, for whatever reason – you have enough options available to try to make it fit you better. It’s worth a shot. This isn’t WoW. If I have one piece of advice to give to most, it’s don’t race to the finish. In this one the journey really IS the answer.
Edit – Oh yeah, and I added a few screenies to the TSW screens page.
… but I did stand in it.
Sometimes the most pointless achievements are the most fun. Scratch that — it’s almost always the most pointless achievements that are the most fun.
… it occurs to me how much fun I have when I’m gaming, and I remember to take a screenshot. I’ve been taking quite a few screenies in WoW of late, and while most of them aren’t blog-quality, some of them are quite fun and I am hereby inflicting them on you all.
Ironically, for a game that touts its All About The Endgame nature, WoW is amazingly good at the levelling part. It’s been about a calendar month since I came back to WoW, and my main was 55 when I did so. She’s now 82 — and yeah, that’s probably not much in a month for most people, especially in WoW, especially with the new levelling curves, but to me it still seems amazingly rapid.
The thing is, though, I don’t feel like I’ve been rushing through anything or skipping content in my level-ho attempts to climb the ladder of MMO social importance. Quite the contrary. I’ve sampled a zone here, a quest hub there, and every time I’ve wanted to move on because a zone got tedious or because I’d just had my fill of bloooooo (Zangarmash, I’m looking at YOU!), I’ve been able to do so and find another fun and interesting place to explore.
The Cataclysm content, which I finally reached a couple of days ago, has been very similar. I could be organised and do each zone (or one of each pair) in a methodical fashion… but I’m not methodical. It’s almost a dirty word as far as my brain is concerned, and that — among other things — is why I will never be a computer programmer or a brain surgeon (though I haven’t quite given up on rocket scientist yet). So yes, I’ve been working through Vashj’ir in a relatively linear fashion, which isn’t difficult because the zone is very linearly organised, but I’ve still found ways to a) get side-tracked, b) miss quests and have to go back for them, c) accidentally enter the Horde quest hubs despite the enormous RED-NOT-ALLIANCE flags outside, and d) explore other places, like Mount Hyjal. Speaking of Hyjal, I’m not sure I like the place, but I’ll give it more than 3 quests before I make up my mind.
Okay, that’s my stab at content for the day. Have some pix.
So RIFT is available for pre-order now, at least in the United States (
and I won’t rant about the rest of the world being treated like poo or, at best, Johnny-come-latelies to the playing party, it’s not like it’s the first time an MMO company has done this — the whole distribution and licencing and whatnot side of things seems just a wee bit convoluted to me, designed to benefit everyone except the actual non-US players. Oh wait, am I ranting? Good rant, but in this case actually not warranted, it seems. Oops. Sorreeeee….).
RIFT. Pre-order. Yeah… I probably won’t.
It looked okay and everything, in the short couple of hours (if that) that I played over last weekend’s beta event. Please note, this is not (read it: NOT) a review. I don’t think I’ve played long enough to review the hairstyles, let alone the actual game, and at best I can give you some first impressions. In any case this is about why I won’t pre-order.
RIFT was slick and it was polished, don’t get me wrong, especially for what’s technically still a (end of) Beta. It looked better on-screen than it does in my screenshots, actually, but here’s one anyway. Is it just me, or does my char have a Kim Wilde thing going on? Maybe I should burst into “Kids in Telarica”?
The soul-class-not-class-system-thing was really interesting, from the little I saw of it, and I was grateful (if a little overwhelmed) that the beta threw it at me so quickly. I didn’t understand it well, but at least I grasped the basic One Char, Many Souls, Pick Three, four is right out concept. I think.
The world under siege theme was well-presented — in fact, as far as I’m concerned, too well in the human (?) starting area that I saw, pictured above. The constant bombardment constantly bombarded my ears the entire time I was playing there, accompanied by wails and whatever other sounds were appropriate for the time. I turned the music off very early on (no offense, RIFT, I do that to every game) so at least that wasn’t added to the cacophony. But, while it might stir the blood of normal players, add to their immersion, and generally make them feel part of some large urgent world-invasion event — to me it rapidly becomes just a wall of sound, and not the good musical kind either. I have sensitive ears — or something.
Laugh if you must, but ironically it was enough to make me log off and not log back in that weekend. I liked the character, I found the UI rather familiar and quite easy to get along with, but I couldn’t stand the idea of spending another hour or three with explosions and crumps going off every 3 seconds. So I didn’t.
Which microcosm experience sort of reflects my macrocosm decision not to pre-order. (Yet. This is an MMO, so Rule #1 is Never Say Never.) Pretty, slick, nicely done, ever so sliiiightly original but not so original as to put off people who expect a WoW-clone — like, you know, probably 90% of the gamer population who don’t read blogs and who don’t give a shit about the industry’s attempt to define itself outside of the shadow of the benemoth… But it didn’t grab me.
If I get invited to any other betas I may give it a little bit more of a chance, though the insane noise of the starting area is a huge drawback for me. Some people don’t like nails on blackboards, I don’t like noise, to the point of wanting nothing to do with the source. And yes, I could make a char somewhere else and I probably will, though sadly it won’t be an Elfy type, and GLEE wept. The char models look odd to me at best; the dwarves are actually pretty cute, but the elves on both sides of the divide are, how do I put this politely? FUGLY. See below, and I rest my case — is that a miserable-looking cow or what? Heroin Elf-chic, I guess.
Another reason I don’t think I’ll get this ahead of time — and very likely won’t play it at launch either — is that I’ve only just got back to another game, and I’m actually rather enjoying it. It’s possible I’ll be bored of WoW by the time RIFT launches, but this time I’ve got a bunch of friends there too, and that really enhances a game’s stickability. I don’t see myself being ready to move on come March.
We’ll see. There’s no such thing as Never in the MMO world, but for now I don’t think I’ll be pre-ordering and I’m not really panting for launch.