My Warden reached the new level cap in Lord of the Rings Online a week or so ago, and I finished levelling the character’s crafting skills a few days back. Everything else to do with advancement now, even crafting high tier legendary items, is locked behind raid content. For someone who doesn’t enjoy raiding, this means it’s farewell to LotRO for the time being. Perhaps I’ll drop in for the occasional skirmish if I’m really bored, or pay the kinship house fee so it doesn’t go into escrow, but I’m starting to realise that LotRO is slowly developing into a game that’s ‘not for people like you’.
On the consideration of being really bored, I have Skyrim waiting for me, so I’m fairly sure my fantasy gaming needs will be fulfilled for some time to come.
Outside of fantasy MMOs, there are still a few considerations. City of Heroes continues to be an enjoyable once-per-week romp with friends, and the “freemium” model will allow that to continue indefinitely. I still find myself utterly uninterested in Star Wars: The Old Republic, however; I’ll happily jump in if the general consensus after launch is that the game is a wonder, but I still get the impression that it’s more ‘WoW with a bit of Bioware story’, and I don’t think that’s enough to satisfy my basic gaming needs any more, let alone fan the fires of my enthusiasm. The concept of The Secret World had initially tweaked my interests, but the way they are teasing information about the game, rather than delivering solid outlines of concepts and mechanics, has slowly ground into fine fragments any good will I had towards it. I also qualified for TSW beta access by subscribing to Age of Conan a year or so back, an incentive which has now transformed into ‘You’ll get into beta at some point, we didn’t promise early beta access’. Considering that open beta is rumoured to be just around the corner, when presumably anyone will be allowed in, their ‘offer’ from a year ago begins to look more disingenuous all the time. However, it’s the dismissive nature of it that grates with me, as though we’re out of line for daring to suggest that their offer was bunkum. Combined with my less than stellar experiences in Age of Conan, I find myself generally uncaring for any of Funcom’s future offerings, TSW included.
Thus I find myself waiting for Guild Wars 2, and hoping that ArenaNet can deliver on its hype, something which I am, perhaps unfairly, becoming less confident of on a daily basis. The rest of the industry continues to over-hype and underperform, so will ArenaNet not simply follow form? I hope they’ll be the exception, but only time will tell. And time is a tight-lipped obstructive git, as a general rule.
My one secret hope is that there is something flying below the radar, which will suddenly and unexpectedly arrive as a giant MMO-shaped blip directly overhead, and proceed to deliver an atomic payload of excitement and entertainment into our gaming dead zones.
For now, I’m going to have a look at Skyrim. But first I must defeat my great nemesis, that bane of my RPG playing life, the cause of great joy and sharp anguish; first… FIRST I must escape from the labyrinthine depths of character creation.
That’s about where I am too. Malaise, ho!
I’m enjoying your discourse on Psychonauts though; I have fond memories of that game. Mmmmm, bacon.
I, too, suffer from the character creation trap. Both the visuals and planning, it\’s a nightmare. But wierdly, Skyrim was the easiest character creation I\’ve ever done – I found it far easier to get the character look I wanted, particularly when compared to Oblivion where the uncanny valley was *huge* and it was distressingly easy to make your character extremely frightening looking.
Aaaand, with Skyrim character creation, that\’s about it. Everything else is developed as you play – and not like Oblivion\’s Questions During The Tutorial, just by growth through use. It\’s wonderful.
I\’ve got 20 hours into the game now, typically I\’ve \”rerolled\” two or three times by now, but with Skyrim the urge to do that is pretty much zero. Sure, I may have placed a perk or two oddly, but it simply results in some character flexibility (and if they turn out to be a problem later, I\’m sure a mod for respeccing will appear in no time at all).
And, my god, is it ever a good game. ~sighs dreamily~ I\’m so happy!
I think it’s a testament to the game that I re-rolled only once, simply because my human character was a bit uncanny valley for me still. Once I got the look of my Khajiit sorted, however, I haven’t looked back.
I wouldn’t mind being able to tweak some perks too, but it’s nothing game breaking, as you say.
And I’ll second the Dreamy Sigh of Much Happiness, I’ve had so much fun already, and I’ve barely gone anywhere outside of Whiterun.