MMOs are a strange thing. They suck you in, making you want to play them all of the time. You think about playing your game while you’re at work. You think about it when you’re at home but not playing it. You think about what it is you want/need to do, in-game, all the time. And then there comes a point where you can’t play. Or maybe you take a little break to play a different game. And then the longer you go without playing your MMO, the easier it is to not play it. Sooner or later, you end up not even caring about it. And then, you quit altogether.
For some of us, when we get to that point of not caring, it’s because of one of two reasons. The first and most common, is burnout. The second, is something bigger and better has come along. For some, it may be a combination of both. For me, I believe it is.
As I mentioned previously, I had rolled a couple characters on the Nagafen (PvP) server. An Assassin, and a Shadow Knight. Both were fun to toy around with, and both had reached the mid-teens. Last night, I decided to log on, and toy with them some more. Up until that point, I had yet to see any PvP, and from what I had read on the boards, it seems a lot of players are avoiding it at all costs, to keep from leveling. So the fix of GU#41 was a double edged sword. Anyway, I logged into my Assassin, and as I was staring at his journal, trying to figure out what to do, something in the chat box caught my attention. There was a discussion going on about 9/11, conspiracy theories, the military, Bush, and other politically charged topics. As I read, I realized that 95% of the people on that server, at least in that level range, had to be 15 or younger. Not my kind of crowd. On Butcherblock, I have seen flame wars going on throughout the tiers, but they tend to be short lived. And most of the people I talk to in-game are older than me, so I know that most of them are unlikely to waste their time with out of character conversations. Regardless, I felt dirty having read all of the filth going through the channel, and I /camped. The two PvP toons I had made were promptly deleted.
The conversation in the channel wasn’t my only problem with the server. I was also not feeling like leveling another toon (or two for that matter) up to cap, and the lack of PvP targets during my normal playtime was also reason for concern. I thought about it over my weekend, and I decided that I should concentrate on only one server, and probably only one character. The addition of CoD4 into my life has also lessened my time spent in EQ2 land, so I figured I would cut my losses.
Call of Duty 4 is an amazing game. Once I start playing it, I find it harder and harder to pull myself away. I’m currently sitting at level 32 out of 55 levels. Yes, there is an experience system in the game, and ranks that you can achieve, along with many interesting challenges along the way. Gaining levels gives access to more powerful weapons, along with upgrades to said weapons. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m finally to the point where I can own, instead of having my ass handed to me over and over. The gameplay is much more realistic than it’s predecessor, and that’s a great improvement. No more running/jumping head shots with sniper rifles, that’s for sure.
There is another reason for my lack of interest in EQ2 recently. Aside from the burnout factor, and the secondary game factor, there’s a new game that I’m finding quite appealing, coming out next year. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, otherwise known as WAR, is one that I’ve been researching over the past few days. I’ve also looked into Age of Conan, another highly anticipated MMO, but I’m not too impressed with it. WAR seems to be exactly the game I’m looking for, doing things that EQ2 doesn’t.
In EQ2, I love the PvE game, but I also love the PvP game. I’ve enjoyed playing on both types of servers, yet there is no server that includes both game modes. Of course, you’re thinking I’m an idiot, because the PvP server includes PvE content; all of it in fact. Here’s where I make a comparison to a game I really cannot stand, but has what I’m talking about. World of Warcraft has servers (called “normal” servers) that include PvP action inside a PvE server, but you get to pick and choose when you wish to access it. On EQ2’s PvP servers, you don’t get to choose when to PvP, it’s a constant threat. I used to enjoy that concept, but now having 2 characters over level 70 on a PvE server, I wish I could PvP with them. In my game of choice, this is not possible. If I was playing WoW, it would be. This is the major downfall of EQ2 for me, making me want to look elsewhere for the solution. WoW is not the solution, because the PvE bores me, and the PvP is severely unbalanced. So I began my research last weekend.
WAR seems to be the solution. Not only does every server include the same gameplay, but the gameplay involves both PvE and PvP content. Apparently you will be able to pick and choose when to PvP, or can avoid it altogether. Some of the PvP will take place in instances (much like the Battlegrounds or Arenas of WoW), and some will take place in the open world. The races and classes in the game seem very interesting, and all seem very playable in a PvP aspect. The game looks damn good graphically too, and seems to me a combination of EQ2 and WoW graphics; not as cartoonish as WoW, but not as realistic as EQ2. I signed up for the Beta, though I doubt I’ll get into it. I’m crossing my fingers.
But, seeing as how the proposed release date for WAR is in Q2 next year, I have to keep myself occupied in the meantime. A part of me said “cancel your subscription to EQ2 and just play non-MMOs until then”, but another part said “just play your main on EQ2 and try to have fun with it until it’s time to part ways”. Of course, this gives me loads of time to experience the rest of the new expansion, and do whatever until WAR comes out. So I’ve decided that I will continue on with EQ2 until then; but since I’m a one-at-a-time MMO player, WAR is next on my list. There’s a chance the game will suck and I’ll come back to EQ2, but for now, this is my game plan. Maybe some of my friends will come with me.