What’s Good In MMOs Right Now?

Is anyone else kind of intimidated by all the new MMO content right now?

I mean, we’ve got RIFT: Storm Legion, Mists of Pandaria barely a month old, Guild Wars 2’s new patch, Riders of Rohan, SWTOR F2P, Everquest 2’s expansion, WoW Patch 5.1 in the wings, new indie MMO efforts everywhere (Dragon’s Tale, Salem, Day Z or whatever it’s called now)… It’s exhausting.

Fortunately, a lot of bloggers are writing some great reviews to help us all decide what to do first:

  • Lono shares the impressions of a friend of his who was new to SWTOR when he started playing the Free To Play version” Soon enough Jay realizes he needs more space in his inventory so he’s off again to the store and finds out it will cost him 175cc for 10 inventory slots.”
  • MMO Muse shares first impressions of new sandbox Wurm-a-like game Salem – which sounds very interesting“Another one of those sandbox games, isn’t it? Yes, pretty much. But not one of those “I sit here and craft 60 pointed sticks” one; while playing, I was moving and exploring most of the time, and only stopped for crafting once or twice in the whole time.”
  • Rixx Javix considers what a sports enthusiast who didn’t know EVE would think as he watched the latest EVE tournament“This reminded me of the first time I saw Australian Rules Football on ESPN. I ain’t got no idea what the heck is going on, but I know it is a sport. I’m thinking this is European since the announcers have got some kind of accent, and they are rather pasty, like they haven’t seen the sun in awhile. “
  • Chris at Game By Night gives us a detailed rundown of his first impressions of RIFT: Storm Legion“Another thing that I have to give Trion props for is the scope and beauty of their vision. The expansion is just VAST and everything is so BIG.”
  • Healing The Masses dives into the new Guild Wars 2 Fractals dungeon and comes out with a rundown“these new mini dungeons seem like the perfect length in a way as it is rather easy to keep them feeling fresh during a run in terms of visuals and mechanics but when added together they make for a rather cohesive little gaming session.”
  • Jaysla has been trying out Challenge Modes in Mists of Pandaria, and offers an enthusiastic recommendation“Challenge modes are a lot of fun and I recommend everyone give them a try. They’ll really make you work hard to use every possible advantage available to your class and spec and allow for some creative puzzle solving.”
  • The Ancient Gaming Noob tried out Guild Wars 2’s free trial, and came away with mixed feelings“nice game. But not different enough that I am going to drop what ever I am doing now to run off and play it. “
  • And Entombed tried out the Guild Wars 2 Fractals dungeon too, and loved them“What I experienced was nothing more than a wonderful addition to the game. “

Overall, the winners from the weekend seem to be GW2’s new dungeon (but not the live event – see our next post), Storm Legion, and Challenge Modes!

Are you feeling MMOverwhelm right now?

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Weekend Roundup: WoW

Mists of Pandaria is looming in upon us now, and the world of WoW is aware of it – raid leaders preparing their troops, players organising their characters, and everyone waiting for the Dawn Of The Pandas.

But it’s not all Pandaria, Pandaria, Pandaria from this weekend…

  • Ironyca explores the urban legends around the old version of Scholomance, and the “don’t talk to the students” advice“So what happened if you spoke to the students, or for that matter the teachers? Did the entire room turn against you? – actually not.”
  • Anne Stickney explains some of the neat lore developments in WoW that are being incubated in the trading-card game, of all things“With one little expansion, the WoW TCG neatly wove itself into the main story of Warcraft, introducing another lore element that ties in to the overall theme of Cataclysm. This was, to say the least, the most unexpected place I ever thought I’d see it.”
  • Derevka writes a very timely guide to staying healthy and sane during the MoP release madness“During quest/NPC RP, flightpaths, any break you take… Do a couple of push ups, squats, crunches… literally, do them. It keeps your blood moving, and can help release endorphins.”
  • Sometimes A Tree is concerned that the implications of Challenge Mode normalisation mean we’ll all have very full bags come MoP” The reason being that within the context of Challenge Modes, every single item over that level becomes a side-grade.”
  • And The Grumpy Elf is far from grumpy as he enthuses about the implications of Challenge Modes as a far better competitive PvE arena than heroic raids” Perhaps Kin Raiders did get world best time when they did it first but then the world fifth might have beaten it. This means that there is no slacking off for Kin Raiders if they want to keep that number 1 spot, they need to get back in there and try to get their world best time back. It makes the heroic tier last a hell of a lot longer.”

I must admit, I’m very excited about Challenge Modes too. Everything from the normalised gear to the official ladder says that they’re something I could get very addicted to – and like Grumpy, I’m excited about how they could develop, too.

What’s exciting you about MoP these days?

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GW2 transgression and WoW Bugs. Plus, WINNING.

From WoW bugs (and Blizzard’s reaction to them) to a well-deserved celebration of Guild Wars 2’s attitude to minority sexuality and religion, here are more great MMORPG posts for the end of the week.

  • Zubon gives praise to Guild Wars 2’s willingness to feature gay and atheist characters in major roles” ArenaNet is not flaunting iconoclasm, and my expectations about levels of outrage are distorted by the current American election year, but GW2 is quietly doing some things about which folks have flipped out in other contexts. “
  • Rades gets his Charlie Sheen on – but not in a bad way – in a stirring story of victory against all odds“Sometimes it’s amazing DPS that wins battlegrounds, sometimes it’s awesome teamwork, sometimes incredible healers. But sometimes it’s simple strategy and basic knowledge about how the battleground works. Knowing when a battle is lost, and more importantly, when it’s not. “
  • Milady looks at the history of WoW bugs and emergent gameplay“Why such rapacious reaction against creative bug-employing (not exploiting, there is no benefit made from it)? I believe it goes hand in hand with Blizzard’s authoritarian policies of hyper-balancing. The game is supposed to be played/farmed *this way and none other.”*
  • And Breadfan looks at the state of competition in WoW in light of Paragon’s move away from the 25-man bracket in raiding“I absolutely think that Challenge Modes are poised to be the most competitive content ever introduced into the game. It actually has a ladder. Every player in the game can see where they sit relative to the best players.”

I can’t express strongly enough how much I agree with Zubon about Guild Wars 2’s attitude to gay characters, in particular. Superb stuff.

Enjoyed today’s posts? Please do share them with other people!

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MoPping Up: Improving on DS, Brewfest Danger and the Original Challenge Mode

So, want to know how Vanilla’s original “challenge mode” went? Want to know what fixes are coming in for Dragon Soul’s raiding problems, or what popular seasonal boss might derail the Pandas?

With MoP now two months away, the Mists of Pandaria blogging is coming thick and fast, and I suspect “MoPping up” will become a regular feature! There are some great posts on Pandaria today – enjoy:

  • Scott Andrews at WoW Insider looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the WoW Vanilla Baron 45-minute run, which he (correctly, I think) calls WoW’s first Challenge Mode“What newer players may not know is that vanilla WoW also had a timed dungeon run. It was known as the 45-minute Baron, Strat 45, or sometimes simply Baron run. This “challenge mode” was actually just a quest (called Dead Man’s Plea) to engage Baron Rivendare within 45 minutes and then kill him, or he would execute his prisoner and you’d fail. “
  • Vixsin at Life In Group 5 goes over the ways MoP promises to fix the problems of Tier 13 raiding, including LfR abuse, class stacking and more“, I see the same problem with the Legendary Questline as I do with Dragonwrath farming—it encourages guilds who want a legendary edge to continue operating multiple alt raids to ensure more chances at the drop. “
  • And The Godmother at ALT:ernative has spotted a small problem that could nonetheless badly derail Mists’ levelling speed“I’m not sure its a good idea to start telling people they need to level in X days so they can access content that, for the vast majority of those who will be experiencing it, will be inappropriately high.”

I remember the Baron run of old – great fun, although I never got anywhere close to completing it…

**Anything about Mists that has gotten your goat?

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