Friday, December 7, 2012

I Need Something New

I've been desperately trying to get back into some older games.  And aside from finding the same problems I experienced when I tried Everquest 2 (EQ2) again last month, I'm running into yet another disheartening condition - I've already done this shit before.

I was really into PlanetSide 2 last week, until I sat up straight in my office chair and wondered out loud "Why am I playing this game, I have played games just like it dozens of times before.  This is old, and boring, and I think I'm done here."

Multiplayer first-person shooters have been done to death and back.  Then they were resurrected, killed again, burned, and had their ashes scattered all over the digital landscape.  Yet people still flock to them.  I'm just as guilty as everyone in that regard - except I'm starting to come around.  I enjoyed the campaign of the most recent Call of Duty game (Black Ops. 2) and then promptly turned around and sold it on Amazon.  Not because it's a good game, but because it was a good game back in 2008 and I've already played it for hundreds of hours.

Oh, what's that?  You changed some perks?  I can customize my character with slightly different options now?  Wait, what?  The entirety of my gaming experience relies on my ability to aim and shoot any weapon, regardless of the other choices I made?  Cool story bro.  Been there, done that.  Needless to say, it's unlikely I'll be buying the next one.

Halo 4's very much in the same category as COD, but it holds a certain nostalgia.  I've played the Halo campaign's with friends dozens of times.  It's always a riot and there's seldom a better way to kill time at 3AM when you and your friends are bored.  Truthfully, I've never played a COD campaign more than once, even the original Black Ops., which I said had the best cut scenes of any game I've playedI liked the story that much. And only played it once.

FPS titles aren't the only one's copying the same format over and over and over again.  MMORPG's are just as bad - if not worse.  I'm so sick and tired of games that have the same gear-treadmill end-game raiding nonsense as the only thing to do at max level.  Gear should not be the only way I can improve my character once I reach the level cap - Everquest 1 figured this out over a decade ago.  Check out their alternate abilities options for higher level characters.  NO OTHER GAME that isn't a ghost town has that level of customization available in the end game.

But perhaps that says something.  While EQ1 has been around a long time, its mostly a place where older players return only to raid new content.  There hasn't been much of an influx of new players from their free to play options (there's been some, no doubt), but its a far cry from its glory days - and a damn frustrating game for new players to hop in and learn.  Not to mention that every single online resource available for the game is outdated by years

So the popular games remain the same ability/cooldown based equipment grind garbage that we've all been inundated with since the turn of the century.  Hooray.  Or perhaps they're just the less-buggy ones copying World of Warcraft?  The world (of Warcraft?) may never know.

I for one am ready for something different.  No more end-game gear grinds.  No max level in a week quit the game 2 days later nonsense.  I don't mind paying a subscription, nor do I mind playing the game for free and occasionally purchasing cosmetic/convenience items.  I don't even mind paying to win - if you want to blow $200 on a game, that's your problem - not mine.

I'm just dying for something that's fresh.  Is that too much to ask?


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