- Video Games...

Last updated Dec 2, 2014
I'll be adding random thoughts and lists to this as I think of them. I'm focusing first on mmos because that seems to be a trend of the last decade of my gaming, though I've always had single player games I've played at the same time. While in the late 80s and 90s I was a Mac owner, one of the main reasons the switch over to PC was so easy to make was the long, long waiting period Mac owners had for every PC video game to be released on Mac.
I May Have An MMO-Trial-Play Addiction

The realization began when I started to count the ones I've tried. I've posted this elsewhere, but somehow I think I'll be able to find (and maintain) a list I post here. Because some of them are humorous enough that I want to remember their existence.

I've always played MMOs as if they were a single player game, and often I enjoy just trying them for a bit and then moving on (unless one really grabs hold of me and I stick with it , for years in some cases). Like gamers used to do when there were no MMOs - you’d play single player game after single player game, like eating potato chips, one after the other. Maybe revisit/replay a favorite, but it was all about trying the newness. So I recently made a list of MMOs I’d tried. I’ve decided to blame most of them on my husband, who brought many of them home. (Yes, I am old, this is pre-download from the internet days.) Also I’ve not bothered to put them in the order I tried ‘em.
[Number after the game title is the release date, not the date I started playing. I've mostly forgotten those - I wasn't really keeping track of gaming.]

- Wow (2004): Because of course, it's an mmo you can’t NOT play because everything compares to it, not to mention, its popularity has lasted for years. Tried all classes. Really got tired of it when the pandas came along - it was the first time that I felt I was a little too old for the game. Though I admit to trying and playing the pet battles/Pokemon and the farmville stuff for a while. ...Trying figure out how long I played Wow - I started before the Burning Crusade came out in 2007, and I had been gifted the Collector's Edition, so that was still being sold - so I think it was 2005 or 2006. I played Wow for around 7 years. And went to three Blizzcons. Which I'd call serious fandom. One reason I stuck with it so long was the social atmosphere, the fact there were no other mmos competing with it for years, and the fairly regular content updates.
[I was also such a Wowhead that I went to Blizzcon in 2007, 2008, and a last one in 2011. While the Foo Fighters were great at 2011 the preview of the Pandarians and the pet battles just didn't hold as much interest for me. Though I did play many months of the expansion and liked some of the content, the game just didn't contain enough to keep my interest. Unsubscribing didn't feel nearly as sad as I'd thought it'd be.]
- Everquest 2 (2004): Or at least I think it was 2? It was one of the EQs and good lord do you have to collect SO MUCH stuff to craft.
City of Heroes (2004): I actually forgot to add this one when I first wrote this list, which had everything to do with how dull and repetitive the gameplay got once you realized all the missions were categorized in the same types, over and over. For instance it only takes a few bank robbery scenarios before you know what's always going to happen. But this game rocked for the character creation - you had a vast amount of choices for your look, your costume, the colors, etc. etc. The skills you choose were fun too, as was flying. But then you did have to play the game, and that's what eventually resulted in boredom.
- That One About Cars that I Can’t Remember the Name of, Was Dull, and Died a Death That All Mocked = Auto Assault (2006): It took a while for me to track down the name of that thing! Also I remember nothing about it except the dullness. And that it seemed odd to pick a character and then hop into a car and never see it again.

- Dungeons and Dragons Online (2006): I’m really fuzzy on this one. I think you could only level to like 10 or something equally low, and then you were forced to group. I don’t do forced grouping.

- LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) (2007): Tried when it came out and re-visited it again a few months ago (Springish, 2013) to see what it was like as a free-to-play game. Still not hooked. Played huntery class.

- Didn't Play But Had the Option: Tabula Rasa (2007): I watched the gameplay over my husband's shoulder and decided no, that doesn't look at all interesting. So sadly I can't count it. (I still don't feel like I missed anything.)

- Hellgate London (2007): Critics didn’t seem to like it much but - confession - I really, really loved this one. Mainly because I love London, and from the 7 mos I once lived there could still recognize a lot of the tube stops, museums (fighting monsters in the British Museum was such fun, the floorplan was completely accurate), etc. So what if those places were in ruins and infested with alien monsters - this was actually a bonus! Also shooting things. I’m not great at FPS as a rule, but I do love shooting aliens with a gun that shoots lightning.

- Age of Conan (2008): Tried Necromancer. Minions were humorous, but wasn't interested enough to stay.

- Warhammer Online (2008): Tried Magus, who amused me terribly as he had a skull ponytail holder. (Ok, I might have actually been jealous of that, it was kinda cute looking.) I do regret that I didn’t play a Goblin Squig Herder. Only for the name.

More screenshot proof of some of these (only Warhammer, Conan, and LOTRO) here (Flickr set), if you like looking at pixel-y images. Sadly, no shots of Hellgate.

For more on some of these games, see:

Top Ten MMO Failures of All Time (MMORPG.com)

The Biggest MMO Flops (MMOhuts.com)

And now, the somewhat more current ones...

SWTOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic) (2011): Only play the free version now after subscribing over a year. Still have three classes I haven’t played. After you finish class quests? There’s really nothing more there for the solo gamer. The last expansion isn’t really doing it for me as far as More Stories Like the Class Story, and the content 50+ does not seem solo-friendly. Most people still playing have turned into a social game with their own sort of RP content or are fine with replaying same content over and over. I do have a fondness for Bioware and their story-telling games though, and will try anything they produce as long as it has the Bioware-standard well-written plots. The sad thing to me is that the updates don't really do much for solo play or for moving the storyline along much. But I haven't logged back in in a really long time, so I should eventually go in and reassess.

Rift (2011): When the game went free to play there was no longer any reason not to try it. I was sure that I was going to find the class system complicated and find too much that would remind me of Wow - but nope, not really. The concept of grouping with strangers only when you're all fighting in a rift area really works well, and I haven't seen any obnoxious gamer behavior come out of it. You can also group and play an instance - but remember, I'm used to doing mmos solo, so that's something I've not tried yet. I have spent real money on the game for space to create more alts and a mount or two, but it's still much less than buying any of the mmos I've purchased at the store, and in that sense I felt I was getting a good deal. You do have to spend a certain amount before the game allows you to use the auction house - but again, it's still less than the $60 that you'd pay for new mmo content. And I do love a game where I don't have to pay a monthly subscription. (And then feel guilt if I stop playing for a month or two.)

Guild Wars 2 (2012): Thanks to a sale (April 2014), I started playing GW (it also helped to have some former Wow and SWTOR friends that encourage it!). I've had it on my Really Should Try This Game list for years, but it used to be known as solo-player unfriendly, so I wasn't in any rush. I really enjoy it - especially the concept that you can move to different areas and your level will shift (lower) until it's equal to the mobs there. Which is great if playing with friends while you're lower level - that way everyone gets xp. Also the concept that gathering from nodes (mining, picking herbs, etc.) is something you're not competing for - everyone can harvest the same node, it doesn't run out once one person uses it. So this goes down as a great value, especially for the no monthly subscription fee part. I'll eventually think about spending more money on things like bank space.

The Secret World (2012): Purchased this (April 2014) on Steam sale, just because I'd read so much about how different the setting and scope of this game. Especially the Lovecraftian references. I have a friend playing it, but we never have managed to meet up in game. And I've actually not spent much time playing it. Probably due to the class I chose using a gun that seems really underpowered - which probably has a lot to do with how I built my skill set (without really knowing much about what I was doing). At lower levels if you get bored with your ranged weapons it can be kind of a drag. Eventually I go back in and play the alt I made, to see if that changes anything. Problem will be that both are in the same starting area, so it's a replayability thing.

Neverwinter (2013): Free to play model. I have a Guardian half orc and an elf cleric that are somewhere in the 40s. It's annoying how fast you can level just by crafting and praying (daily prayers get xp and money, yes, it's odd). I enjoyed it a lot til the late level 30s where suddenly soloing was tricker since the mobs suddenly liked to group up and chew me to death. (Pesky undead.) I didn't spend any money on it, but was tempted to buy more character slots. And I did like the crafting setup where you could send minions out to do things overnight, and even just use the website to do that rather than having to log in to the game itself. The player made content (instances and quests) was a lot of fun if it was well planned and well written - whenever too many monsters of specific types were grouped it almost always meant multi-deaths, whether I was playing the cleric or the tank.

Archeage (2013): Since it was a game that shows up in my launcher for Rift it was something I was probably going to try, especially when I got a look at the graphics in the beta (Aug 2014). It's been released in Korea and Japan since 2013. When I started playing I didn't entirely get how this was a PvP game once you reached a certain level - as in, even if you play solo and don't play PvP yourself, the opposite faction and even those on your side can initiate fights. I'm still too low to have experienced that, and I suck at PvP (once you get used to dying a lot it's not too annoying), but I'm probably going to continue playing just too see how the game works at those levels. It's a f2p game, but if you want to take part in the home/ship/garden building aspect you really have to have a subscription, as you can't own land without it. I'm not terribly interested in those aspects, so I'm in it for the discovery and sightseeing what other players are up to.
Elder Scrolls Online (2014): I only played the Beta of this, and while I've owned and played lots of ES games in the past (I still have Skyrim on my computer and have only scratched the surface of it), there's really nothing in this mmo that pushes me to subscribe. (Especially since in my highly frugal state I really dislike the subscription model.) So while there were some things in ESO I enjoyed, on the whole it just made me want to play more Skyrim. It's another mmo going with the model of pay for game and monthly subscription fee, and I have to be seriously invested to consider that.

Wildstar (2014): Played the beta for this (April 2014) and even though I wasn't wild about the art style, the concept of changing the questing system to involve Paths (exploration, building, combat) is extremely interesting. The combat is also a challenge - depending on what class you pick and how you play, and you have to pay a lot more attention in some fights/classes. One of the problems I saw was that if you want to have an alt - and most players will just to try another Path and/or different classes - there isn't any variation in the starting stories or areas, and so you'll be redoing the same content. (Paths will vary that somewhat.) While I saw a lot to interest me it still wasn't enough to get me to cough up the game price plus the monthly subscription fee.


Conclusion: Have decided to look upon this as “I have a collection” instead of “I have an addiction.”

TOTAL MMOs IMBIBED THUS FAR: 17  - but it feels like more...


Another couple of lists, just for giggles (will write more on these later, maybe):
Single Person Games I've Enjoyed/Played (PC)
The Sims then 23 (early 2000s)
Titan Quest (2006)
Elder Scrolls Oblivion (2006)
Torchlight (1 and 2; 2009, 2012)
Dragon Age: Origins (2010ish)
Diablo 3 (2012, 2014, and so on)
Skyrim (2013)
Sacred Gold (2004, but I only got this recently on Steam 2014)
Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)
Doom (Mac version)
Myst (Mac version)
Carmen Sandiego (Mac Version)
Atari console (Tanks! Bombers vs biplanes!)