Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And then there was Online Gameplay.

My goal is opinions and reviews, nothing more. As time permits I will add more content to the blog and I welcome commentary by all means. Jut remember what they say about opinions.

As a start, let me explain where I come from and why I decided to drop yet another gamer blog out there. Keep in mind that this is quick and dirty for now until I paste more info into it.

I started with the old MS-Dos games, Corncob Deluxe (Flight Sim, don't ask) is the oldest game I remember owning. I migrated through the years on to more advanced games such as the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game series. Menzoberranzan was my favorite but I bought the whole package. Master of Magic, Master of Orion, X-Com 1,2,3,4,5 (Although 4 and 5 were not popular and were not labeled 4 and 5).

Things changed when I picked up Quake 1. Ah, Quake 1 with The Wheel of Time Mod (Converted to Fantasy Quake), Fortress, Team Fortress, Future vs. Fantasy (My personal favorite). At one point there was a group of us gaming together on the same few servers.

His_Grandma / Yo Daddy: He who I calleth 'Teh Dave'. Dave was an odd character that enjoyed watching such phrases as 'Ultra733T rides His_Grandma's rocket'. Dave migrated to the name 'Yo Daddy' in the Quake 2 and Quake 3 days so he could shout. "Don't talk back to Yo Daddy son!" Dave never left the FPS gamer stage, he loves CounterStrike way too much.

BudIcePenguin / Heathen Yak / Yak: The Yak is an interesting character; he was quite prolific at slaughtering the masses. Many a night Yak and I spent killing countless enemies in Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Warcraft II and the Dark Portal Expansion. Quake 1 was by far our gaming peak. Yak is currently floating in and out of gamer status dabbling in the MMORPG gaming arena. Dungeons and Dragons Online was his last big venture.

Me: I have been known by many names, BudweiserFrog, TheFrog, Psychedelic_Frog, FrogDaddy, The_Fool, iD-Psychofrog, Darkwatcher, Nightwinter, Mr. Gone, Lord Nightwinter. The list goes on and on beyond the mere comprehension of the mortal mind. Which is why I am out of my gourd per say.

I have played it all, and by ‘it all’ I mean every genre and every console, not every game out there. When Diablo came out, gaming changed dramatically. Sure, online gaming was possible but this was something way different and blizzard (in my opinion) was one of the primary pioneers in this industry. Diablo, for quite some time, was a religion for us. We gathered in the chat rooms and talked ‘smack’ to one another for hours and played just as long attempting to oust each other from our gaming thrones. Diablo started the real changes in gaming and from there it got better and worse at the same time.

Online gaming is now more of a religion than Christianity is. Complete with rituals, taboos and your average zealot. For a long time I was resentful to the fact that all game companies started dropping into the Massive Multiplayer Gold Rush. Everyone wanted to create one of these major cash cows and everyone had their own angle. Bring me back to the days of the good old (and free) mud. I can read quite fast so it doesn’t phase me and I have a very active imagination so I can imagine the words flowing across the screen as a sword thrust or a fireball charring the flesh of my enemies. Anyway, enough of that and back to the matter at hand.

Now for the list of significant games I have played. (Not to say others are insignificant per se)

Ultima Online: Good old UO, I played this for a little while on free shards across the vast network that is the internet. I enjoyed my brief stay but the call of better graphics soon made me diverge.

Everquest: I tested EQ for a while, after that I didn’t play often. EQ was interesting and very involved. As I don’t have a whole lot of experience at this game I can’t comment very heavily on it.

World of Warcraft: (Beta Tested) Barring all the in-betweens World of Warcraft was my ‘next step’ in gaming. I beta tested WoW but I didn’t create an account automatically. I knew the fever would hit me as soon as I began playing the beta. World of Warcraft is one of those time-consuming efforts that could have you loosing your job, your wife (if you have one) or just your entire life (if you have one) in general.

Planetside: (Beta Tested) I closely relate this to Quake on a global scale. Blasting the crap out of your opponents is fun, for a time anyway. Eventually it gets old, no matter how many different weapons and vehicles you can train yourself in. Definitely a good time waster though.

Everquest 2: The graphics are alright, Everquest, contrasting with wow goes for a more realistic approach to graphics. The developers definitely put some time into EQ2 but I didn’t get very far in before I decided that it wasn’t my taste. I am not a fan of the debt system first off, and I know there are players out there that think it makes the game but I don’t like my hard earned XP being taken away when someone drags a bunch of mobs into me and dies. (Just a representation, which happens more in WoW than anything) I played long enough to get a Froglok and a Kerra up to level 15.

City of Heroes: CoH is fun, I love the superhero aspect of this game but soloing is difficult depending upon the class you take. Since I am more of a solo person I didn’t get a character over level 12. My blaster was great to play when I didn’t get debt after trying to take on a huge group of enemies while hovering several feet above the ground. The graphics are a bit sub-par but for customization options there is no equal. I found myself being drawn into creating characters that I thought looked cool. My blaster even won a player-run competition, giving me several hundred thousand influence (Influence is akin to hero gold so-to-speak) to play with.

Star Wars Galaxies: SWG was a Novelty. I love Star Wars, what geek doesn’t? I found myself making a crafter and sitting him out in the middle of no where gathering resources. Other than that I hardly touched the game. The graphics are low quality and the gameplay wasn’t fun at all.

The Matrix Online: Interesting is the opportune word here. The system is a bit quirky and there really isn’t any guesswork or excitement. You pick your action and the server tells you if you hit or not. I must say that it was definitely a good effort. The quests are always the same and very dry, you can only invade so many office buildings before you start worshipping bob the stapler god.

Everquest Online Adventures: (Beta Tested) Crap, I hate MMO games on consoles. End of story, don’t pass go, don’t collect $200.

Middle Earth Online: (Selected for Beta Testing) This looks promising but I don’t know yet. Beta starts tomorrow but I doubt it will steal my focus from wow. I don’t like the lack of spellcasting classes; however, I realize that the game isn’t based in a high-magic setting. How many Gandalf-clones would pop up here? I would be horrified, mortified and constipated if that were to happen.

Dungeons and Dragons Online: (Beta Tested) Being a very avid Dungeons and Dragons player (and coming from the old school where Elf and Dwarf were your class), I was very excited to try this game out. When I was selected as a tester I was aquiver with anticipation, this was the pinnacle of my gaming career. I set myself up for a bit of disappointment. Don’t get me wrong the game was great but I am a solo player, whereas Dungeons and Dragons is a game based on Team Effort. The developers did a bang-up job translating the pen and paper game into something electronic, I will give them that.

Down to the reason why I decided to create yet another gamer blog:
Because I want to, plain and simple. I am not looking to revolutionize the blogging or gaming or blogging-gamer or the game-blogging industry I just want to share my impressions with everyone else. Simple enough, I’ll post more as I have time to work on it.

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