Archive for February 25th, 2010


Back to the Hyborian Age!

February 25, 2010

Hard to believe, but a couple days ago, I found myself at a loss of what MMO to play. Allods Online? Too much drama and negative vibes abound. Star Trek Online? Still prevented from leveling against my will (never underestimate the power of a spousal-leveling agreement).

So, I did something I always promised myself I would do when the time was right again: re-subscribe to Age of Conan. Ah, where else can one see their character annihilated and beheaded by a rampaging, half-naked cannibal?

My character is such a hottie.

I’ve heard so much about how this game has improved, and I just wanted to see for myself. I only made a one month commitment for now, just to check things out. Upon my return, I found my level 47 Priest of Mitra waiting for me right where I left her, whereas my Bear Shaman seems to have disappeared, victim of the deadly lowbie purge of 2010. I jumped back into the game with both feet…only to be mauled to death by a pack of wild wolves not two minutes later.

Okay, so I clearly needed some time to adjust. That whole evening I was a walking noob moment. For instance, I played my first three hours not knowing my skill points had reset, so there I was, blasting away at enemies with the two hostile spells I had at my disposal all the while wondering why I was so damn gimped. Not to mention I was hopelessly lost. All these quests still in my journal and I had no idea where to go to complete them. Aarrgh, what is a girl to do?

Thankfully, right before I turned in for the night, I grouped up with somebody who not only helped me with a quest, he even invited me to the guild he runs. Upon finding out I was a re-subscriber, he proceeded to help me with all the things I had forgotten how to do, the main one being to find my way back to my city hub of Old Tarantia. He ran me across two whole zones on foot because I never got the chance to get my mount before canceling my subscription, and led me to the stables so I can get one as well as to the OT Wayfarer so I could bind to the city. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. Since then, I have been gradually able to get back into AoC. It’s more stable, I’m not running out of quests, and is it my imagination or does leveling feel faster? So far, I’m glad to see the game has been as welcoming as its community.


As Time Goes By…

February 25, 2010

Most opinions on Star Trek Online I’ve ever read have been extremely polarized, and it’s been this way ever since beta. Very rarely is there an in-between — it’s either the most awesome game ever, or it’s the infamous dog turd so many gamers like to compare their MMOs to. I hear about people quitting the game all the time, but I never give them much thought; too many forum-dwellers are often nerdraging at Cryptic or trolling to take all the negative comments seriously.

But when I read the latest post at Fire Phasers! just now, it made me feel differently. I’ve followed his STO experiences on his blog for a month now so when I saw that he was canceling his subscription, I knew there had to be good reasons behind it because I know for a fact that IIntrude isn’t on some personal mission to destroy Cryptic, nor does he seem like the /ragequitting kinda guy. And I was right; if I were him I wouldn’t continue to subscribe to a game where I there was not enough to do either.

But anyway, here’s how reading his post made me feel different: I don’t believe you can accurately predict a MMO’s place in the market or its reputation until at least a certain point after launch, and well, what I suddenly realized is that we may have reached that point for STO. It’s going to go down in the annals of MMO history as yet another polished-but-incomplete product, and most people are going to remember its launch as a disappointment. Others might be reading this and thinking, “Gee, I came to that conclusion weeks ago!” or “I told you so” and fair enough, but you have to realize something about me. As a pretty laid-back person, I’m always willing to give new games the benefit of the doubt, so I’ll let the issues go by or shrug off the minor faults. As a result, it’s often hard for me to pass judgment on them, especially when a game is barely out of its first few weeks.

Don’t get me wrong though; I’m sure there will be individuals out there who will still thoroughly enjoy the game (like me, as I’m still working my way up towards the rank of Admiral) but in general, I think any and all opinions contributing to STO’s overall reputation have been solidified at this point. To Cryptic’s credit, I can see they’re really trying to make their game work, what with the surveys, GM blogs, interviews and other constant updates. Can they still turn it around? Anything’s possible, but it’s going to be a lot harder from here on out.