Installing: Age of Conan

Don’t jump to any conclusions, I just got a hold of a buddy key and figured I’d give it a shot.

I haven’t played it since I’ve downgraded my video card (GTX 280 -> 9800gt), so I’m not quite sure what to expect. If it’s running choppy, you can bet your ass I’ll be pretty much done with it tonight.I’m curious, but as someone who is pretty dang anal-retentive about game performance, I’m not in the position to deal with how it’s running, when I’m not even sold on the game yet, haven’t been since beta.
Expect updates, as per usual with my Trials & Tribulations expeditions.

And the game I had the most fun with tonight was…

…Lineage 2?
Has the world flipped upside down? I logged into every MMO under-the-sun (that I have installed), including Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft, Vanguard, City of Heroes, and FFXI – but the game that hooks me in for a few hours is Lineage 2?

They’ve really streamlined the “newbie experience” and I was actually enjoying grinding, but also doing the pretty-well implemented quests that give you gigantic chunks of exp. now apparently. This game has the hardcore and oldschool/grind appeal that I found so refreshing in FFXI, but it feels more user-friendly in it’s design.

I’m only on a trial account of course, but I had fun tonight. I’ll be back tomorrow.

bogochubb (Ol’ Bogochubb!)

Final Fantasy XI Trial is go: 1/23/09


My buddy and I are nerdin’ it up this Friday again with a LAN, where in which I had this idea that we should both hop into an MMORPG we either haven’t played or haven’t played in years. Final Fantasy XI. We were going to drop the $20 for the full Vana’diel Collection 2008, but we may just opt for the 14-day free trial instead. Less collateral if we end up disappointed.

I have a strange history with FFXI. I had picked it up in my high school days, in particular on a day when I was home sick, which in hindsight probably left a scarring negative haze over my experience and perception of FFXI. I just have vague memories of my Hume Warrior as I stumbled through menus and sub-menus to engage in combat and set up macros, before dying a few times and being dropped back to level 9 or so. I shut it down and cancelled.

Part of me hopes it lives up to my dreaded and cloudy memories of blurry textures, clunky combat, and archaic user-interface, because I’m still having a blast in Warhammer on my Bright Wiz. But who’s to say I can’t play both.

EVE Online is a headache

I’ve tried and tried to give this game a fighting chance, but it just leaves me with strained eyes and a migraine.

EVE online is overloaded with text, attributes, tutorials (needs more spoken tutorials), and more text – so much so that I forget I’m playing a game, not a spreadsheet with a graphical interface. I can see the appeal in EVE, just like I can see the appeal in Starcraft for the hardcore, but It’s just not what appeals to me. I’ve also had a general disinterest in space-sim games all my life, so I’m sure that doesn’t help.

Sorry EVE Online trial, I barely knew you.

LOTRO impressions: a few more levels

Got some time tonight to give LOTRO a few hours of my attention. It has gained some points in my book, and I’m not as down on it as I was after last night’s session.

I got my Warden to lvl 8 tonight and realized I get distracted by how beautiful the landscapes look in DX10 graphics, so much so that it distracts me from the small font/ui that bothered me so much initially. I probably played for 2 hours at least, and I’ll say i thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m trying my darnedest to get to 10 without dying, so I can get the title of “Jameseo the Undefeated.”(!)

On a side note, I got a 21-day EVE Online trial loaded up. I’m debating if I should open it up or not, for fear that it will suck me out LOTRO and cancel any momentum that LOTRO had gained on keeping my attention.

What I’ve been playing (not enough of)

Ah, the week of Christmas – hectic times for a procrastinator like myself. Being busy finishing my last minute shopping and working 5 of the last 6 days, has left my MMO time pretty slim the last week. Here is what a few hours in a week has given me:

– I’ve attempted to log into my EQ2 trial when I get the chance, but besides the voice-over NPCs, it’s not grabbing me much.

Dungeons & Dragons Online lasted about 20 minutes before I remembered why I quit the trial the first time I tried it. If I want a DnD rpg, I’ll go play Neverwinter Nights. Too bad I don’t want one.

– SOE has once again reactivated old Vanguard inactivate accounts, which includes me. Haven’t had time to log in and check it out, I will hopefully before the free time comes to an end.

– Downloading Planetside Trial, curious to see if I can actually get it to work on Vista64. Any excuse to hear the epic Planetside soundtrack and bask in the nostalgia is fine to me.

Guild Wars. Finally got my Trilogy + Eye of The North pack from amazon. Knowing that I have LOTRO waiting for me later this week, I’m having a hard time diving into it, but you can’t beat $40 shipped for every Guild Wars retail release and a beautiful 13″x9″ art piece. The Guild Wars campaigns will probably go on my backlog or for when I need downtime from a real MMORPG (zing?).
What have you been playing?

Trials & Tribulations: Update on DnD Online and EQ2 dabbling

If you saw my updated previous T&T topic, you would have seen that I was not only giving the EQ2 & Vanguard trials a green light, but also DnD. I spoke too soon.

Despite Beau Turkey and his sneaky way of making any MMORPG he plays sound like a blast – upon five minutes of entering DnD Online, I remembered why it scared me away back in beta ages ago: I missed the DnD in my youth, and I’m a (not so old) dog you can’t teach new tricks! All this dice rolling, save throws, and stats out the wazoo just overwhelm me with confusion. You start at lvl 1 with a full hotbar of racial, class, and whatnot abilities that I have no clue how to use properly because I don’t know the base rules of DnD, unfortunately.

You could call me lazy, because yes, I could give the game it’s 10 days and try to learn all it’s intricacies – but I’ll stick to saying that DnD:O is a niche MMORPG, and just don’t fit that niche. The game looks great though, the DX10 graphics blew me away and the character models are up there with Age of Conan, among the best.

I didn’t get home from work until about midnight, and I had to get some plastic guitar playing in on my 360, so I only got about 30 minutes of EQ2 trial in tonight, dabbling in a few classes to see what style I prefer in the game, but I’m still in awe at how much VO (voice overs) are increasing my enjoyment of an MMORPG. I should also note, the way it feeds quests too you, in a chat bubble kind of manner (along with the VO) with options for you to respond with is engaging, makes it feel like a true RPG. More on EQ2 later once I’ve played more.

Vanguard trial is still in queue for T&T. I’ll get to it eventually, it’s probably on the backburner while I play the games I’m paying for first.

PS – Turbine, put bigger fonts in your games and up the UI scale! Playing LOTRO and DnDO in my 1920×1200 resolution hurts my shoddy eyes. The day I need my contacts/lenses to play computer games on my 27″ LCD will be a sad day.

Trials & Tribulations: Everquest 2 & Vanguard

Being the holiday break and on the wings of my recent MMORPG epiphany, I’ve been on a stint of catching up on MMOs I’ve skipped over via free trials, or retail purchases such as a complete Guild Wars package or Santa bringing me Mines of Moria (expect impressions for those in the future). My current, pre-Christmas week appetizers? Everquest 2, with Vanguard trial downloading as we speak.

I’ll be updating the blog with updates on my experiences in the respective games, rather good or bad, concluding with an overall take on my experiences and whether or not they left a lasting impression on me.

Update: As if 2 massive game trials weren’t enough, a recent fantastic podcast from one of the damn finest podcasters, Beau Turkey, reminded me about the Dungeons & Dragons Online trial – so I have that downloading as well. Will report back on all 3 of them – though it may be a while!