Aggro Me: Random Notes
Being away from EQII for a handful of days a few things crossed my mind that I will share with you in a somewhat disjointed fashion.
1. I've never enjoyed the game so much as I have lately. Now, KoS is really quite good and I've heard people in-game who almost never have anything nice to say about SOE be very complimentary about it.
But on a more personal level, this just happens to be my favorite period in an online game. I know a lot of people really like raids. And there's a good reason for that, they can be a lot of fun. I like raids as well.
For me, though, nothing compares with exploring new zones, doing fun new quests, fighting different mobs and gaining levels with a static group of good friends. In my opinion, that is the most exciting part of the game. I'm not saying the people who love raids are wrong and I am right. I think it is totally a matter of taste.
I just love these golden days. I know it can't last forever. No one can continually pump out this quality content to the degree where there are always new zones to explore, new quests to complete and new levels to gain. And even if they could, I would eventually fall behind my friends in levels and the population of the game as a whole would probably be too spread out. So I am just savoring this time. And as much as I enjoy the action on Nagafen, what's going on in KoS right now is just too great for me to miss.
This feeling isn't totally based on what SOE did with the expansion, though they did a great job on this one (I'm not saying there aren't flaws either - more on that soon). But that fresh feeling is just a great one and I really enjoy the social dynamic of a smaller group. I've never missed the game so much as I did this past long weekend.
2. As big as the WoW sparked explosion in the MMO genre has been, the reality is that most people still have zero idea what you're talking about when you start in on the MMO stuff. And trying to explain the fact to people that you write a blog about an online game is just so hopeless it is not even worth trying. Playing an MMO is something you have to experience for yourself. I think the genre as a whole still has incredible room for growth. I can't predict the direction that growth will take place but I hope it is a good one.
What started this whole thought process was looking for a magazine at the airport newsstand. I looked over all the gaming magazines and realized there wasn't one (that I know of) dedicated to MMO's. I can't count SOE Worlds because that was apparently a one time deal and only focused on SOE games. I started thinking about whether an MMO magazine could make it. But then I realized the only time I ever buy a gaming magazine is at airport newsstands. When I'm home I prefer to get my gaming news from blogs and websites. But I guess the viability of print gaming magazines is a debate for another day.
Anyway, I did pick up a magazine. I grabbed the Offical Playstation mag only because it had a playable demo of Okami. But as fate would have it I can't escape SOE. They are apparently doing a game (probably a launch title) for the PS3. It's part of their Untold Legends series which started on the PSP. It will be the usual hack and slash dungeon crawl but they actually hired a writer for the story this time (Keith Baker) and the storyline does sound much better from the snippets I read. The producer of the game, Andy Sites (who also worked on EQ, Ruins of Kunark, EQII and DoF) had this to say about utilizing the SOE experience in online gaming:
"OPM: You're working with a team that has a lot more experience in online than the average console team has. Can we take this to be an indicator of online plans?
AS: Um...yes it is, but I can't discuss the specifics. We're not making an MMO, but we're definitely leveraging our online programming and design resources."
3. The constant system software updates for the PSP truly annoy me. I updated my PSP system software when I purchased the Virtua Tennis game. Then, knowing I wanted a new game for a three hour flight, I picked up Popolocrois which is the only real RPG around for the PSP. Of course, you know where I'm going with this one. Once I was in the air I found out I couldn't play the game at all because I needed to update my system software once again. Ugh. It couldn't have been that long ago that I updated it for Virtua Tennis.
Yeah, I should have tried it before I left. Yeah, I should update my system version periodically. But come on. It's a portable system I use mainly when traveling. Luckily I had saved the long final case of Phoenix Wright for such emergencies so the flight was a joy. But it's just another reason I currently prefer the DS (the overall quality of the current software titles being the main reason).