Death of a Bruiser

If MMO’s were girlfriends, I would be one no-good, lousy, uncommitted boyfriend. But I just can’t do it. I can’t commit. I try my darnedest to do my part: I get excited about patches and expansions. I join guilds and get involved in the community. I drag my friends into the game with me. And invariably, I fizzle out. After I pass the initial honeymoon stage I start thinking, “am I really going to be doing this (grind, craft, boring Fed Ex quests) to the exclusion of everything else? And pay for it, too?” Then I get that sick feeling that I’ve been hoodwinked and I’m wasting my time. Then I bail.

It’s happening again. Everquest 2 is on the outs. It’s nothing EQ2 did. Overall, it was an enjoyable game with fairly agreeable players playing it. I had fun playing a Barbarian as a Bruiser, even if I did spend the last few months in a wrestling singlet. The world was beautiful, the gaming was satisfying and the grinding wasn’t super “grindy.” But not everything was perfect. The crafting, a very large factor of my overall enjoyment of an MMO, in EQ2 (as a Provisioner) was the most boring thing I’ve ever convinced myself was “fun.” Spending two hours a day for over a week crafting the same five items, because “hey, I have the raw materials,” is not fun. I even out-sourced the crafting to my wife. I showed her how to do it while she was emailing or playing spider solitaire on the other monitor. I OUTSOURCED MY FUN. Except it wasn’t fun.

So my adventures in Norrath are over, at least temporarily. I say that everytime I quit. “Temporarily.” But it never is. It’s permanent, no matter what I tell myself. My character in Neocron, my beloved Constructor, is gone. My Planetside what-ever-they-were called, gone. My army of Guild Wars warriors, kaput. My EVE pilot is still docked somewhere in space, awaiting my return. While I’d like to think we’ll meet up again, it probably ain’t happening. Same with Odious, the big lug. I’ll miss him.

I am a console gamer at heart, PC gamer by convenience. I’ve loved me some great PC games, but my gaming started with a console and I can’t deny my pedigree. There are currently just too many good games on the 360 (and the Wii, which at some point soon I will get). That’s not even considering the DS. So something had to go. It was time to say good by to Everquest 2. It was fun while it lasted.

Farewell, Odious. I knew thee well.

Odious rides off into the sunset

Traveling in Everquest 2

I haven’t posted a lot about Everquest 2 lately, but after reading some recent posts about how good Everquest 2 is becoming recently and all the fun other bloggers are having with the game, I have found myself playing EQ2 quite a bit lately.

I recently dinged thirty and decided it was time to find some new stomping grounds. But, since I suffer from RPG-OCD, I had to make sure I left no quest unfulfilled. I decided to take a look at my quest journal and worked on wrapping up any quests I have left over in the Commonlands. Now that I’m heading north of level 30, I figured it was time to bid farewell to the open plains of the Commonlands with one last quest clearing hurrah. The first thing I did was to get my first mount:

My new mount

I figured getting my mount would facilitate all the running around I’d need to do to wrap up my quests. For the most part, I like traveling by horse, but I do have one nagging issue — horseback combat. If I was some kind of ranger-like character, shooting my bow from horseback or if I was a caster, throwing fireballs from the saddle, I would be fine with it. But I am a bruiser, with attacks like “Flying Kick” and “Haymaker.” My hands and feet are my weapons of choice. In fact, I don’t even have a weapon equipped. So when I attack something from the horse, it looks really lame as my arms are flailing around all crazy-like. Not very cool, so I usually dismount to smack around the bad guys.

After I finished up almost all my quests in CL ( rocks!) I had a good session of exploring. Finding new areas, seeing new sights and uncovering the fog of war on a new map is one of my favorite things to do. I guess I’m an Explorer (actually, I’m: AESK (Achiever 60.00%, Explorer 53.33%, Killer 40.00%, Socializer 46.67%)). I had already explored most of Nektulos Forest, so I moved on to the Thundering Steppes, exploring most of that map and finding the Griffon Stations. Then I ventured to The Enchanted Land. At level 30, that area looked a bit out of my league, but I did find the next tier of harvesting nodes, so I spent some time harvesting some items so I can work on my Provisioner skills during my next crafting session. I’m pretty excited about that.

Last night, while wrapping up my last couple quests in the Fallen Gate, I decided to join a PUG and head deep into the bowels of the FG and make our way to “the Vault”. It was also an excellent time, as all the guys I grouped with were pretty cool guys and we kicked 7 different kinds of butt. It was pretty awesome. Two barbarians led the way (my bruiser and a paladin) and we pretty much tromped everything in our path. The loot wasn’t great, but since I had never been that far into that area, there was much Achievement experience to be had.

All in all, a good couple weeks of EQ2. Everquest 2 is firmly ensconced as my #1 game. I initially thought it would be a game I would play 1 or 2 times a week at most, but I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon. I’m already making plans for my first alt!

Everquest 2 – First Impressions

I’ve spent about 5+ hours with Everquest 2, so before I jump back into another session, I thought I’d share a few thoughts of my first experiences with the game.

First, a little history of how I play MMOGs. When I play a new game, I jump into the game blindly. I don’t read FAQs, player guides, anything. I jump in, make a character and start playing. Whether I stick with that character or not depends, but I get a flavor of the game and then I start reading the guides, following the forums, and I change my play style accordingly. With that in mind, here’s how things are going so far.

I started my life in Norrath as a Barbarian Bruiser. I usually go with the “good” character types, but I was feeling a little evil, so I went with the evil version of a monk. I haven’t played a tank since my Diablo 2 days, so I thought a tank would be fun to play. The character creation had quite a few options, and after a few nips and tucks, my nasty looking Bruiser was ready to go.

All new players start off on a “newbie” island, that acts as a mini tutorial. It didn’t take long to do most of the island missions, and I was ready to head to the real world in a few hours, already a level 6 Bruiser.

So far, I like what I’ve seen. It plays fine (if a little choppy on my four year old computer). Once I got off the island at to Freeport, the world opened instantly. Exploring the city of Freeport looks like it could take forever, and that’s just the city! When I ventured outside it seemed to get even larger. It did seem like there weren’t a lot of other people playing, but that could simply be the server I’m on (Crushbone) or the time I’m playing. There seemed to be an endless supply of missions and quests, so there looks to be plenty of content. I’ve always loved the crafting aspects of MMOGs, and EQ 2’s tradeskill content looks like it should be a good time. So far, so good for me and EQ 2.

I’d love to play any readers who play on the Crushbone server or any tips for a newbie. Drop me a note in the comments.

To EVE or EQ2?

Recently I’ve had the itch to jump back into a MMOG. I’m been thinking of re-upping to play EVE Online, but with all the things going on there, I’m hesitant to jump back in. I’ve got a free copy of Everquest 2 that I could use to try out EQ2. My first MMO experience was with EQ1 and it was a long time ago (and it wasn’t a good one), so I don’t have any allegiance there. I had thought about giving Vanguard a chance, but I think I’ll wait a few months so they can work out the kinks, even though it seems like a decent game already. I thought about giving World of Warcraft a try, but I know how quickly it will consume me and I’m not taking my chances. I’m only playing if I get to play in Foton’s Guild. (No way I’m that hardcore.)

I was also invited to give Dungeon Runners a try, so that’s another possibility. Have any buttonMashers played Dungeon Runners? Looks like a cross between Guild Wars and Diablo 2. What would you guys suggest? I’m not shelving the 360, but my wife has recently discovered the wonderous Xbox Live Arcade, so I have been letting her play her fill of Hexic and Uno for now. Once Crackdown comes out, the 360 is all mine again. For now, I just feel like some good old fashioned MMORPG’ing. I’ve got needs. I’m not desperate yet, but I’ve even considered jumping back into Neocron 2. I know it’s gotten bad if I go that far.

Virtual Tours?

This might be a bit old, but I just recently came across it: Synthravels -The 1st online Virtual Travel Agency. They can take you on a tour of the most picturesque places in cyberspace!

Personally, I’d like to go to somewhere real, like Machu Picchu. But that’s just me.