13 March, 2010

Keepalive: MMO-palooza

written by Blain Newport on Friday, March 12, 2010

Having finished my time with Lord of the Rings Online, I decided to peek around at some other MMOs. The first was Dungeons and Dragons Online.

I thrilled to the detailed environments.

I watched epic battles. (Note the two misses and a hit for zero damage.)

At least the city actually looked like something. But overall, there was no fun to be had here.

Age of Conan was a bit more impressive. This was mostly due to the graphics.

Hunting panthers in darkened jungles, with bits of light coming through the canopy, looks very nice.

You can see some blood coming off the enemy in this shot. It's weird to see blood and chunks coming off a guy who has no visible injuries.

The combat in Age of Conan seems really good after D&D Online. Enemies have defenses that are left, right, or center. You have attacks and special attacks that are also left, right, or center. It makes the combat slightly more involved, but not to the point that I'd actually play it.

The final insult to injury was that I loaded up Free Realms and had more fun than I did with either of the others. I maxed out my ninja. I equipped multiple regeneration trinkets and bought a sword that gives life back whenever he hits someone. I got to the point where I could sweep through a dungeon, trailing dozens of enemies, until I reached a boss. Then I'd let the horde catch up, blow a couple special attacks, and kill everything. Ahh. Finally, gratification.

As time goes on, Free Realms releases more content to non-subscribers. Unfortunately, it pretty much confirms that there's nothing to be gained by subscribing. The pay combat classes weren't fun, and crafting is a huge letdown. (It's the same puzzle game as mining / harvesting.)

I keep trying with MMOs. Other people love them. Maybe someday.

Or maybe I'm just too cheap. :)

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