Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MMOs Revisited: Warhammer Online

I have been sent recently a large number of 'hey, you used to play our game - why not try again?' emails from MMO companies - namely Warhammer Online, Age of Conan and Pirates of the Burning Sea.

Playing WoW has changed a lot for me recently. I realised that I just didn't have the time for raiding in an increasingly serious 'casual' raiding guild and as a result I suspended my activities on Stormrage until things calmed down at work. To keep me occupied I have been pottering on a RP server with a troll shaman, Vuduun, and it has been a lot of fun. Regardless, WoW is in another downswing at the moment, so I considered looking at some of these old games. In the purpose of science, I'll report back here with my results.

Warhammer: Age of Reckoning

7 day free re-trial engaged and massive patch downloaded. Hurrah. The first thing I discovered is that a load of servers have been merged and I also had a free server transfer. No problems there, I'm not part of a guild or anything. Characters pop up and I choose Sunraven, my Bright Wizard. Thats all cool so far and then ...

What do I do again? I spend a good 15 minutes reacquainting myself with the tiny fiddly interface and working out what my various powers do again. I finally remember how to allocate my skill point things with a NPC and bod around on my horse zapping things. The very rhythmic rotation of the Bright Wizard comes back to me and I am zapping things with impunity. There are a few booster quest items that basically zap you forward 2-3 levels in treble quick time and for the duration of the trial you have a 10% xp bonus. I could even find my way around Altdorf still, which seems a bit like a miracle as I couldn't do it first time around.

However, there were some problems. The first was that I had 20+ quests in my log and no idea where they were on the map or what I had to do for them. I could have done some more research, but it was beginning to feel a bit like a job now. I logged myself in to do some PvP and waited ... and waited ... and waited. That wasn't encouraging!

Finally, my mouse stuttered. I moved it. It stuttered again and then some deep hidden lizard memory realised 'Oh shit! Its crashing!' and WHAM! The patented EA vs GeForce incompatibility bug slapped me around the face again and laughed at me bodily. I then remembered why I dropped the game in the first place. It couldn't play nice on my PC. It looks like nearly a year hasn't managed to sort that problem out.

The trial ran out when I was in France. I never cried.

Next: Conan!


Anonymous said...

Increasingly serious!

You have to be kidding.


Vodkashok said...

I found it was - the attempts to increase the number of days we raided, the deepening analysis of performance post-raid etc. It all pointed to me that they were taking it more seriously. Just because the personnel weren't quite up to scratch doesn't mean that the attitude wasn't there. I was also less than impressed with the FL+2 debacle.

Have I made a gross misjudgement?

Metaresearchboi said...

Having recently chatted to Mark about his "non-hardcore" guild I think ETGS is about as casual as they come to be fair

I find them a nice bunch, though the outsider treatment over views still rankles a bit.

Conan? Madman! Hehe oh well.

Funny enough I'm tempted to give guild wars a go at the moment after my lack of engagement with EVE

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