In my hiatus from EQ2, I’ve been searching for alternate means of entertainment. A post a couple days ago on Keen and Graev’s speaking about free to play MMOs got me thinking about a couple games my Dad played for a while.

One, was Knight Online, the other was Conquer. The former, had decent 3D graphics (from what I could remember), and seemed to play much like EQ2. The latter, I was less impressed with, but from what I’ve read, both are still played by quite a few people, though it seems micro-transactions may become the norm for many of the formerly “free” MMOs. Nonetheless, I wasn’t really feeling either of these games, so I decided to look around and see what else I could find.

I searched for a bit last night, and came upon one that sounded pretty interesting. The game was called Dungeon Runners, and is a free to play (M)MORPG. I wouldn’t really call it “massively”, as not too many people are playing it. Then again, I really have no idea how old it is. The game is “free”, in that you can download it and play it at no cost, just a small registration is required. However, if you choose you can pay $5/month for a couple added benefits. The free version is supported by banner-ads across the top of the gaming screen, and full screen ads while logging in (and out, which was rather annoying). What do you get if you choose to pay? No ads, and apparently only the uber-est of gear drops for paying members. Or something like that. Regardless, I was just looking for something to kill time, and so I gave it a shot.

Graphically, the game looks almost identical to WoW, though the character animations are lacking. Gameplay is almost a carbon-copy of Diablo. Apparently the creators of the game are among the original creators of Diablo, so this makes sense. The game has 3 character classes to choose from, a Fighter, Mage, or Ranger. All play similarly, with a combination of mouse-clicking and hotkey use. Grouping is possible, and so is chat, thought I saw none of the latter, and had no desire to group. The game is easily solo-able, and very linear. Quests are present, and they involve killing x number of y creature, and then returning to the town to get some gold. Skills can be bought, as well as gear, and points are distributed as you level. It’s Diablo 2, with updated graphics. Overall though, I had fun toying with it for a couple hours, but it’s definitely not going to hold my attention. But at least I didn’t have to pay anything for it.

I’ve nearly decided that I’m cancelling my EQ2 account(s). Not sure if Gina wants to quit as well, but she hardly plays anyway, so it’s $30 a month we could be saving. I haven’t been in the mood to play, and when I do log in it’s usually to either stare at the character selection screen, or log in for 15 minutes tops. I don’t feel like playing, and I think it’s due to a few key factors. I’m not playing with anyone I know anymore. My old roomie Jason plays while I’m asleep, and I play while he’s at work. My Dad has also hit a burn out stage so isn’t playing either. And that amounts to the real-life friends I know that play the game. The others play WoW, or don’t even know what an MMO is. The second factor is that I have been busy playing CoD4, and that game is far more fun at the moment. It could be the newness of the game, I don’t know. The third factor is that after having read up on WAR, I’m so much more interested in that game that I look at EQ2 as old news. So this will probably be the last month of EQ2 for me, unless I get the urge again before WAR is released (unless of course I get into the beta, which would be sweet). Or, if WAR ends up sucking, then I suppose I’ll be back. But who knows… maybe I’ll go check out LOTRO or something else.

I was off today, because I was supposed to go to the company Christmas party. That means split days off, and I hate those. I’ll be off again on Saturday. Anyway, we ended up not going to the party, because we didn’t have anyone to watch the kids for us, so it ended up just being a regular day off. After the kids got out of school, we went to Wal-mart to get our grocery shopping out of the way, and got a bunch of stuff. I also picked up a copy of The Simpsons Movie, and we watched that while eating dinner after we were back home. It was pretty damn hilarious, I think I laughed more during the film than during any one episode of the show, so that goes to show how many jokes they crammed in there. After the movie the kids went to bed and I played some CoD4. I’ve been trying out some of the other game modes, and finding servers I like for each (compiling a favorites list). The game modes are much more diverse on 4 as opposed to 2. FFA and TDM are standard faire, but Search and Destroy and Sabotage are much like Counter-Strike, while Domination is played much like Day of Defeat was. HQ is just like it was in CoD2, but it’s more fun with 4’s gameplay. I’m liking the game, that’s for sure.

After vegging for a while, I was looking around the WAR site, and I decided to go look around at the Games Workshop site. I had a couple of the miniatures when I was a kid, but never had a full scale army. I was more into AD&D and Magic: The Gathering. I also built a few models in my day, and the combination of fantasy and models still appeals to me, and being able to play a game with them even more. I didn’t have the money to spend on that kind of shit (especially with the other aforementioned hobbies taking up my free cash) when I was younger, and now I do, and I think I just might start investing. Even if I can’t find someone else to play with me, the building and painting part of the hobby is interesting. I must be getting Warhammer fever, all stemming from my excitement to play the MMO. Who knows what I’ll end up doing, I’m probably just foaming at the mouth right now. Regardless, I’m intrigued by some of these products, and my desire to tap into old school hobbies is growing.