Posts Tagged MMO
So, I’ve finally given up playing Fallen Earth.
As a near-future apocalypse MMO the game had a lot of potential, it didn’t feel too ‘grindy’ for a free-2-play (F2P), there was a lot of content in the huge starter area to keep you busy, and they were gradually ironing out bugs, but recent changes have been an obvious move to try to get more money out of the player base. I don’t have a problem with that in itself, the F2P launch did bring in a lot of new players, and a large proportion of those probably didn’t spend a penny towards the running costs of the game (including me).
The problem is that the changes were quite drastic and an obvious crippling of the ability of F2P players to level up and be self-sustainable as F2P characters.
Supposedly some of these changes are to stimulate more interaction between seasoned players and new F2P players, creating a player market for crafted goods, etc, but I don’t see it happening. Prices in the in-game market are ridiculously high and now that seasoned players know newbies can’t craft as much of their own gear it’s only going to go higher.
I don’t mind games trying to make money, but removing features from F2P players after they have been using them for nearly six months then trying to sell them those features as a perk just doesn’t sit right with me.
Coupled with ongoing issues with lag, and a friend’s regular disconnects when playing making grouping difficult, I’ve decided to hang up my dust-mask and move on to other games.
I have to admit I’ve been playing the odd hour of World of Tanks again since early April, mostly because Wargaming finally added some more content to spice things up, and promised even more changes in the near future.
A friend told me about the addition of the new, fast American turreted tank destroyers, and they are just so much fun zipping from place to place and putting accurate shots on target.
Wargaming have also dramatically increased the crew skills allowing for a bit more of a tactical choice of skill sot support the role you want your tank to play. A free skill reset allowed us to re-allocate and try out the new skills, which was a nice touch.
And then…patch 0.7.3…Finally the Russian heavy changes!
Excuse me, my tanks are calling and the weekend is a-wasting 🙂
Fallen Earth went ‘Free To Play’ at the end of last year, but I hadn’t heard much about it until Steam made mention of it earlier this year. First released in 2009 I believe, I probably ignored it as I was avoiding MMOs back then, its based upon the Unreal 3 engine and might look a bit dated to some now, but I thought I’d give it a try.
There is a definite Fallout feel to the game, what with the whole post-apocalyptic wasteland environment (based upon 1,000 sq. km of the Grand Canyon area), the mix of recovered and low tech, and large mutant animals/insects wandering around, but there are also elements of other post-apocalyptic material such as Mad Max, Gamma World, A Boy and his Dog, etc, etc.
Starting from ‘zip guns’ (modified paint ball weapons) and improvised melee weapons, using a horse (available from the tutorial), and with cast off makeshift armour, you make your way out into the world to try and improve your gear, collect poker chips (the in-game currency) and gain experience by doing the various quests for the many many quest givers in your chosen starter town. You can travel freely in Sector 1 and complete all of the starter town quests so even that inital choice doesn’t tie you down. Eventually you move up to firearms and following a quest chain build your own ATV.
Crafting is key, almost everything you will use can be player-crafted with enough of the right skill, and material nodes are plentiful, meaning that after the early stages money is not an issue as you harvest then make what you need, and sell your old gear and spare materials.
The character system is free-form, no classes, so you choose where to specialise and create your idea of your character from that. Crafting skills improve through use allowing you to then harvest more complex materials.
They get around the respawn issue by having all players be clones that are re-lifed upon death, and the fact that players are clones plays heavily in the background story for why you are there doing what you are doing.
There are a few in-jokes in some of the characters and quests, but they’ve avoided being too overt about it probably to avoid being sued. Look out for the guy with the busted quad bike whose name sounds like it could be abbreviated to Ozzie for instance 🙂
Haven’t really had much chance to play with my friends on there, but in the early stages you can easily solo so no need to team even for supposedly ‘group’ missions. I hear Sector 2 is tougher and that is also where your choice of missions affects your relationship with the various factions that inhabit the area.
Players are mostly helpful, almost too helpful, as the same very simple questions get asked over and over in help chat, and are patiently fielded by both GMs (game developer employees) and Hazmats (player volunteers).
I haven’t noticed any bugs as such but there are periods of lag, a consequence I believe of the server being West Coast USA based, and the influx of players from the F2P launch and the Steam publicity. Lagging causes some weird issues such as controller failure (my character started going round in circles) or a disconnection warning after some laggy interaction.
So far I’m liking it.Hoping to get some more time on it with a buddy around the same level as me at the moment.
Not even a month in to Star Trek Online and I’ve hit the level cap!
I’m not even a third of the way through the story missions (episodes) that form the back bone of the game and I have both a Star Fleet Officer and Klingon Defence Fleet Officer at level 50. The recent 2nd year anniversary special event even gave me top level cruisers to use with those characters. I’m going to finish playing through the story missions and see what the end game stuff is like but it feels like I’m mostly done already.
The game doesn’t actually lend itself to playing in a group (although you can form temporary teams and fleets to play together) because it just scales up the enemies for the number of players in a team, so I’ve spent most of my time soloing. You also get given a new ship at almost every rank promotion, and mission rewards (and captured loot) give you levelled equipment for your ship and ground teams, meaning that you buy very little, and have even less reason to use the crafting system (although I guess it will be useful at the later stages when your rank is maxed out and you won’t be levelling beyond the equipment you buy/make). Bridge Officers are also easy to come by and cheap to train with the exact skills you want them to have, meaning no real reason to trade for the rare skilled ones. This easy rise to the heights makes it feel like a very odd game.
Star Trek fans should love the game, the feel is all there; the ships, the away teams, enemies, costumes, weapons, etc, etc. The back stories/history seems to be a blend of the TV shows and the movies, including the new re-boot movie, and elements are borrowed from all over the genre. Just don’t expect it to be a difficult slog, it is ridiculously easy to progress, so take your time and enjoy the episodes.
Star Trek Online went free-to-play on 17th January 2011 and a friend has recommended it, so I’m going to give this a look-see.
I quite like The Lord of the Rings Online. I have 2 level 50+ characters, they’ve reached Moria, which opens up another stage of the game, and Turbine are continuing to add to the game with a new expansion coming this year to raise the level cap even higher.
One of our group proposed forming a kinship, and we have a couple of new to LotRO players joining us, so a couple of us have been working on some low level characters so we can start a lvl 20+ group as an almost full fellowship. Should be interesting.
Depending upon which region packs you’ve bought you have multiple options of how to progress through the levels, so you don’t necessarily have to go through the same missions/stories with new characters, apart from the epics (that form the fundamental story missions).
Lord of the Rings Online has been a good time investment for me, and a lot of fun.
I did say that I would post my thoughts on World of Tanks, now that I’ve had more time playing it.
After 7 months of playing and over 6,000 random battles, I now have 3 fully upgraded tier 8 tanks. Tier 10 is looking a long way off, and to be honest the fun has gone out of this game for me.
When I first joined WoT in June 2011 there were 3 patches that made fundamental changes to the matchmaker, and added new vehicles and new maps. Several statements were made about upcoming changes to the technology trees, so it was quite encouraging at first, but the pace of change in World of Tanks has become slow and erratic since then. Changes to the tech trees announced 6 months ago have still not happened, although a limited French tech tree has been added. A new tier 8 premium tank, the Chinese Type 59, was added but due to it’s matchmaker rankings was mostly facing tier 6 tanks where it was difficult to counter. The Type 59 caused a lot of bad feeling in the community that eventually led to a matchmaker adjustment, but I think the damage is already done on that one. New game modes have been proposed but still not implemented.
The grind at tier 7 and above is insane. After fully upgrading your vehicle it still costs 80-100k+ research to move to tier 8. For an average premium player this is probably 100+ random battles, for a non-premium player over 150, played in just one game mode, Random. The game really needs some new game modes, as random is too random. Since the retail release of WoT it seems more and more people play with little or no sense of teamwork, in what is after all a team vs. team game. Griefing also seems to be on the rise again with people purposefully blocking and shooting team mates.
I’ll keep the account for now and play the odd game during special events, but I’m not interested in grinding it any further.