Taking Inventory: So Many Games, So Little Time

The latter half of last week and the weekend I was sick with a sinus infection. I was just sick enough to be useless at my job, but not so sick that I couldn’t enjoy a little gaming between naps. I was a little restless, and ended up hopping around to a lot of different games. This inspired me to take inventory of all of the MMOs I’ve played recently and where they stand with me.

Guild Wars 2
I still keep coming back to Guild Wars 2 after all these years, despite some frustrations. When I think about it, I’m not entirely sure why this game is so sticky to me. Maybe it’s the fact that you can do the zones in virtually any order you wish that keeps it from getting stale. Lately I’ve been playing mainly on my latest 80, my thief. The Thief’s Daredevil spec has resonated with me a lot more than I expected, even before the major improvements thief received in the last patch (though, to be honest, that didn’t hurt my interest). I’m still making my way slowly through the expansion story, but it’s kind of on the back burner at the moment.

WildStar
I absolutely love WildStar, but I suffered some severe post-50 burnout on my Medic, to the point where I actually stopped playing it for about a month. I wanted to start dungeon healing, ran some dungeons as DPS with my guild to build up some gear, but, after doing some research, while I absolutely love playing DPS medic, I don’t think I like the way the Medic’s slightly-more-than-melee-range healing works. I’m more interested in healing the whole group than following the tank around and hoping some other group members get caught in my heal’s AoE. As such, I’ve started working on an esper. The esper was one of my first characters, and I didn’t quite get the class the first time around. Understanding the class and the game as a whole a little better, it’s starting to click with me, and I think I’m going to find it a lot more fun this time around.

Lord of the Rings Online
I see few MMOs on this list that represent polar opposites more than WildStar and LotRO, but these are the two games I’ve played the most of over the past few days. I recently joined a friend’s guild, something I haven’t done in that game in ages. The leveling process still drags on a lot longer than I’d like, but I love the world and the writing of LotRO, so I’m trying to focus on that experience. I’m still really happy with the Beorning class, which is more than I could say for the captain at this level.

Star Wars: The Old Republic
I was really excited about Knights of the Fallen Empire before it came out, but then WildStar happened, followed quickly by Heart of Thorns. One of these days I’ll be back to play the story, but sadly I’m not sure if I’ll ever really play this game beyond the story ever again. A lot has changed, and all of the lockbox drama going on right now is a big turnoff to me. The only thing I want from the cash shop is a permanent removal of my credit cap and weekly dungeon/raid limit, but it seems EA isn’t really interested in giving that to anyone who doesn’t shell out $15 every month. It’s really unfortunate, because with Star Wars being back in the spotlight again, I feel like a good Star Wars game could really capitalize on the hype, but instead all we get is a lockbox lightsaber that sputters vaguely like Kylo Ren’s.

Star Trek Online
I’ve had a serious love-hate relationship with this game from the day it launched. I love Star Trek, and I really like the space combat in STO, and even the ground combat isn’t so bad these days. Sadly, there are just so many little annoyances in this game that, when I do play, I almost never stay for long. One of those annoyances was the way skills and talents worked, and both are scheduled to be overhauled soon, so maybe I’ll stop in and take a look some time soon.

Rift
I keep dabbling in Rift. I find the idea of the game letting you build your own class really appealing, the mechanics of the game are solid, and the housing system seems good, but every time I think the game is going to pull me in, something about it just… doesn’t. I can’t really explain it. Maybe it’s because there are just too many choices when it comes to class design. Maybe I just don’t like the world. In any event, I think I’ll break into it eventually, but for now I continue to dabble.

Ark: Survival Evolved
I had planned to write up a whole post on this game, but I really couldn’t come up with much to say other than the fact that it’s extremely frustrating to get started, and that has kept me from enjoying the game. I’ve died countless times just trying to build tools or a shelter to stay warm long enough to survive the night, not to mention the countless times I’ve spawned on top of aggressive dinos. To be fair, I’ve only ever played by myself, so maybe if I found an active server I could find some people to help me get started, but if that’s what you’re expecting me to do, don’t give me a single player option. Maybe I’m just doing something wrong, but in its current state, I don’t think I can enjoy this one.

Elite: Dangerous
Speaking of capitalizing on Star Wars hype, this game wasn’t that interesting to me until I saw The Force Awakens. When it did, I remembered my childhood dreams of flying an X-Wing in a giant open universe, and Elite scratches that itch. I haven’t gotten into it as much as I had hoped–there’s a lot to learn, and a lot of it is unintuitive to me, largely because I’ve never been a space sim fan–but even when I’m totally lost I still enjoy flying around exploring planets and shooting at stuff.

Anyways, I could go on to some other games that I haven’t played in the past but haven’t gotten to yet, but I’ve already gone on longer than I intended, so I’ll just leave off here.

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