2010 Holiday Gaming Update


Holiday Gaming Grab

Over the holiday’s due to some great sales I acquired a few new (to me) games and I wanted to record their purchase:

  • Fallout New Vegas  $30 Steam
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops $30 Amazon
  • The Witcher $5 Steam
  • Prince of Persia (2008) $5 Steam
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2 $5 Steam
  • Uncharted: Drakes Fortune Gift

Holiday Gaming Time

Yet out side of Uncharted I have barely played any of them over the holiday break.  Uncharted has become a family favorite, a game everyone gathers around to watch me play.  It to bad I die (We renamed the game “Drake’s Misfortune”) as much as I do, though my daughter seems to enjoy encouraging me to stay alive.

So What did I play? Well let’s see:

WoW

Yep lots of WoW, though not as much as one might expect.  I’m still have a great time in the game, enjoying the new content, the  harder dungeons, and the new found activity in my guild.  I log in every day to do something either quest, mine, buy/sell, dig up artifacts, or run (die in) a dungeon, though I am not staying logged in all day. I do what I have planned and log out to play something else, such as…

DC Universe Online Beta.

This game would be a great single $60 purchase game. In fact if they made it one, I would buy it on day one.  Alas it is planned as a subscription ($15/month) game, and that fact will keep me from buying it at all.

Why, because thus far it has been a great single player-like arcade brawler with exploration experience and for me not a game that really highlights multiple players or the need for a Sub.  Well that is not entirely true, if the sub was cheap say $5/month I would pay that.  of course this is from me playing 1 character to level 17 and two others to level 7 so its not a very comprehensive view, and maybe my thoughts will change as I play more or get some friends playing.

The game, as I mentioned above, plays like a good superhero arcade brawler.  The minute to minute combat, and travel are exciting and the boss encounters are often surprising.  The game was built for a console and console controller and thus designed around the idea of pre-picking the abilities you have available on your bar, sort of like Guild Wars.  Though they also handle some abilities via combo button presses, lifted from Brawler games. And it works.

Yes the character customization is not a varied as CoX or Champions, but they do have a system in place where your characters collect inventory slot styles which can be altered without changing out the item with the stats you want.  It is similar to the systems lotro and EQ2 have, but I believe better since it adds a style collection mini game.

I recommend every Superhero MMO , heck all MMO fans should try to get in the beta or at least play a demo if they make one available.  I  want to play more of this, but another beta started up this week and it has drawn my eye for a few days.

Rift

I have a lot to say about this and instead of rambling on I am going to use the tried and true bullet point list to mind dump some thoughts.

Don’t Like:

  • Single starting experience for each faction. I hope before launch they add starting experiences for each race.
  • So many character choices so quickly without much information. I am hoping that this is simply part of the beta test, and that in the retail game they will slowly open the players up to new souls as well as provide both more information as well as a way to “test” the souls out before committing to them.
  • The almost limited number of character creation options. There are just enough there for me to expect more. For example my elf could not pick a pony tail as a hair style.  *boggle*   I know its silly, but either limit my options more, or expand the options a bit more

Almost Like

  • The built in UI customization. They provide a decent start, but one day a game will launch allowing me to create as many bars with as many buttons as I want, positioned the way I want.   The game does some nice UI bits, and I don’t knock it too much, but it’s so close. Come on Trion take the next step.
  • The Quests.  I am actually starting to enjoy the story lines in Rift, but after being exposed to the phasing tech in wow games without something similar just fall short.  If we have been successful at stopping the on coming invaders, why are they still out there?
  • Crafting.  Part of me wants to put this in the Don’t list, and other wants it in the Like list.  For now, until I see more of it, it stays here. Its very close to wow but, from what I have seen, with items that are better than can be found from questing. (If made at the right level).   That’s a plus, the negative is well it’s essentially wow crafting and not something more elaborate.
  • The world. *shrug* It is a high fantasy world like many others we have played or read about. Nothing special here, particularly bad is the opening cinematic with the terrible voice over work.  I don’t dislike it, but it is eerily similar to Warhammer mixed with Aion.   I do appreciate that they did not try and clone WoW, which too many games these days have tried to do.

Like

  • Rift and Invasion events. Granted this could all be smoke and mirrors like warhammer’s public quests, but in this beta event they have been chaotic and disruptive and a whole lot of fun.   Seeing two invasion forces fighting each other along with players is a sight to see, and I hope Trion has a figured out how to scale the Rifts so after launch solo players can experience and conquer them, as well as the huge player mobs of launch day.
  • Souls System.  Yes this beta overwhelms players with decisions, early and quickly, but as I am playing more of the game I am starting to see the depth this system provides.  Will there be “best” raiding build guides on the internet quicker than a rift closes, you betcha but that will not stop me from enjoying the ability to play clerics completely different ways.  The only bad thing I see, is this system is not Muggle friendly. It offers way to many options for a new mmo or casual mmo player to deal with and it will cost the game players.   There are ways Trion could counter this, but that is a blog post all to itself.
  • Music. I am sucker for game music, and Rift did not disappoint me.   Its a joy to listen to how the music change as I went from from traveling down the road, to fighting some quest targets, fighting off a rift  and finally the rift being sealed.  Well done Trion.
  • (Edit)After playing around with crafting a bit more tonight I need to add salvaging to my list of likes.  Yes its not new but it is still good. I gained a version of this skill when I became an outfitter, and another when I trained as a weapon smith and it allows you to break down the type of item you can craft into raw goods.  Much of the time you get vendor junk, but the ability to break items down instead of vendoring them feels good.

I hope to get more play time in before this beta ends, and ideally in future betas, but based on my short time thus far I will probably buy the game at launch and play at least the first month.

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