What I want isn’t what I wanted

The spousal unit and I were both in the Lord of the Rings Online Beta a few years ago, but we decided against getting or playing the game at launch.

Why?

I’m not really sure. It just wasn’t our thing back then; maybe the crafting wasn’t hardcore enough.

Now it is (our thing; the crafting still isn’t hardcore). Well, mine, anyway, and I’m trying to talk him into playing too on the rare occasions we both have some free time – which have been rarer than the jackalope this last month, so I think we’ve been able to log in together maybe twice so far. But the new Free to Play model makes it easy, and you don’t feel pressured to log in to get the most of your sub or trial time.

I’m subbed up though and will stay that way. There are too many useful perks to being subbed. That said, the LOTRO F2P model does seem quite well done, without too many “I can’t do this!” frustrations and without too heavy a stick beating you about the head telling you to spend money. In contrast, I get the feeling SOE pulled out their biggest stick when designing EQ2X, but since I haven’t actually tried the latter — and really don’t want to right now, they’re not in my good books — I shouldn’t comment.

The point being: tastes change. Requirements change. Free time amounts change.

In my 20s, I could spend hours and hours hanging out with my friends, shooting the shiz and fixing the ills of the world. Beer was a bonus but not obligatory.

These days, I have neither the time nor the inclination to do stuff like that very often. I have a schedule. Responsibilities. Stuff to do (rather than just talk about). And besides, it just isn’t as thrilling to talk about stuff all day when you’ve already spent 20 years talking about said stuff.

My gaming life hasn’t been all that different, though offset by about 10 years. In my first few years of MMO gaming I was perfectly content to spend hours and hours hanging out with my friends, shooting the shiz and fixing the ills of the game. And I don’t mean hanging out in the same chat channel – we actually hung out in (virtual) person. Did I mention Asheron’s Call didn’t have very advanced chat capabilities?

Those truly were halcyon days — both my 20s and my early gaming years — and part of me always looks back to those when I look for something new to play or wonder why I’m not perfectly content in what I’m currently playing. But the plain fact is, we change.

I grew (not up, necessarily). I want different things from games now, but part of me will always judge games (or social gatherings) through the lens of my early experiences. Sometimes those games don’t look right through the lens and it takes me a while to realise they might actually be fun for who I am now not who I was 10-20 years ago.

That’s it. No point as such, just the observation of something I only needed 10 years of gaming to notice.

So yeah. I’ve been working. A lot — no, let me rephrase that. A LOT. Apologies to readers old and new (hi Alarron!). I’m trying to take a few days off, though some dumbass accepted work for today (/e slaps self on back of head). I will most likely spend those days playing, not blogging — though it’s good to see that the old urge hasn’t quite abandoned me yet.

I love you guys, but there’s no way I’m going to make time for blogging when I’m getting up at 0500 and working till 1900, even if my gameroom is my office is is my blogging desk. I’ll make time to play something first. Speaking of which, it’s time for my self-prescribed game-hour.

~

Quick chars/servers update. I’m mostly on Elendilmir right now, because the queues on Landroval were too high for the spousal unit (not paying, doesn’t get to jump the line). So even though we haven’t really played as much as we’d have wanted to, it’s where I am.

Ysharros the Man-Captain (/raisebrow) is now 23, has a faster horse and better armour, and owns a deluxe house in Falathlorn. To the manor born, I tell ya.

Heloyse is the duo-with-hubby-hunter who hasn’t had much screentime yet.

And… err… I think Aethinviel (tbc) is the Lore Master I made in a fit of OMG MUST HAVE AN ALT!!! She hasn’t been played much either.

Someone actually contacted me yesterday in game, asking if I was the Stylish Corpse Ysharros — as far as I know there’s only one other person who occasionally uses the handle and she’s in the UK — and that was really flattering. I’m sure the big bloggy types get that all the time, but as far as I can recall it’s only ever happened to me once or twice. It’s pretty neat.

This many goblins!*

*I lie. It was all Elrohir. I just cut him out of the picture.

8 responses to “What I want isn’t what I wanted

  1. The different FtP models in EQ2X and LotRO make for an interesting comparison. In many ways, it seems like Turbine, when it came down to deciding what would be available to players for free, erred on the side of giving free players more, whereas SOE took the opposite approach. I love EQ2 and think EQ2X is worth playing, but there’s no question that you’ll hit roadblocks at some point, unless you sub, not just pay out some StationCash. And unfortunately SOE made the EQ2X sub deal less attractive than the established EQ2 Live subscription, at the same price.

    In contrast, FtP LotRO hits you with the roadblocks more quickly, but lets you pay a little in Turbine Points to get past them – plus not only offers deals on buying points, but also sales on the prices of items and lets you earn points just by playing. The LotRO FtP package is flatly better than EQ2X’s arrangement of the same idea.

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  2. Glad to hear your getting some free time to play! I’ve started playing recently and I, much like you, didn’t want to play it years ago. Now, it suits me perfectly.

    I think this FTP model is a bit better than EQ2X, that left me feeling left out on a lot of things. Subbing here you feel like you are getting more perks where in EQ2X you felt you were not getting the whole package.

    If you play on Landroval server anytime soon, add me to friends- Heavenli.

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  3. I have to agree with Ardwulf, the LoTRO FtP model is better than the one EQ2X uses. The main reason I’m playing so much EQ2X is that I simply never played EQ II very long before, so there is a lot more for me to explore. LoTRO, on the other hand, I’ve been playing since open beta, and very actively most of that time. I am digging the new high end zone they added to LoTRO however.

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  4. I’m stunned. The LotrO F2P model is a *joke*. It is in effect, a trial that is limited by levels and not by time, much as AoC and WAR offer.

    If I start a new character today on EQ2X – I can play 80 levels of content, without restriction to my gameplay itself – for 80 levels.
    If I start a new character today on LotRO – I can play around 20 levels of content, within certain areas, and thereafter receive significant restrictions on my gameplay, to the point of eventually making playing and leveling unfeasible.

    That said, Ysh, you’ve been missed, but we all understand. Enjoy the game and the time off.

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    • Aye, if you’re not picky on what race and class you want to play and if you don’t mind not having any space to store stuff, not having anything but the crappiest skill levels, etc.

      They’re both designed to get you to pay, but from what I can tell EQ2X is no better than LOTRO F2P.

      Tomayto, tomahto.

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      • Yes, I do only get the bottom two tiers of skills. But since in LotRO you have to *buy* your skills, which means that money carrying cap actually has teeth in LotRO that it doesnt have in EQ2X. So, yeah, I’d rather have a basic version of skill than no skill at all – especially since for solo and group play those basic levels of the skill work just fine.

        As for races, classes, and bag slots – I get the same number of races and more classes. Bank slots are initially higher in LotRO, but with some (FREE) play time, I can get them up higher in EQ2X.

        These aren’t evenly matched F2P programs. You can say tomayto or tomahto, but they are both spelled wrong. (-:

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  5. I’m with you on the gaming times. As I get older, I seem to get less and less time to game which is a real shame. Unfortunately it just seems part of becoming an “adult” 😉 All in all, it’s why I’m not fighting the move towards casual MMOs though because, as much as I enjoyed games like EQ, I just don’t have the time for them anymore.

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    • Ack sorry, looks like your comment got spammed and I haven’t had time to check the blog in a few days. Fixed!

      You Are Officially Approved (TM).

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