Thursday, July 23, 2009

MMO's almost rotted my brain

I looked at a stack of games I never finished because I felt the need, or the push, to keep up with friends or constantly level in generic MMO’s. I realized in a few recent betas that I was doing basically the same thing I had done since 2004 and suddenly now I cannot play any of them unless they play like a console game. Hence the only titles that kept me remotely interested were AoC (Age of Conan) and Dungeons and Dragons Online. However, looking at the stack of games I own and the money wasted got me to get off my gaming ass and click other icons on my desktop. Ok well, technically I am still sitting, but I managed to engage my brain a little bit more since many of these games required me to use skills long dead.


That part of my gamer brain that holds RTS strategy, micro management, assigning actual skill and ability points on leveling, and solving puzzles was long dormant thanks to years of blindly accepting quests and killing packs of 10 monsters (or 100+ if you are in a Middle Earth MMO).

I have the following to either complete or master to a level that I consider fully explored:

  • Elder Scrolls Oblivion. That is right, the entire thing including Shivering Isles.

  • Fallout 3. Getting through Megaton and actually finishing it.

  • Dawn of War 2. At least finish the single player campaign. I have already unlocked a good amount of multi player achievements

  • Spore plus all the add ons. This includes unlocking achievements in Galactic Adventures and winning trophies for completing missions in record times.

  • Empire Total War: I want to finish at least one Grand Campaign as a major world power.

  • Company of Heroes plus all the expansion packs

  • Sims 3: get through at least one session and finish a career

  • On the XBOX360 I need to finish Red Faction, Too Human, Saints Row 2, Star Ocean, Mass Effect, Grand Theft Auto IV and look out for Madden 2010.

As you can see, I have been a terrible gamer in ignoring some the best selling titles in 2-3 years in favor of “logging in” and repeating the same process in a MMO over and over again. Add to this the game that my Champions Online money will be going to, Dragon Age: Origins (game has a built in world editor as well), and I have over 120+ hours of gaming to do and less time to do it than when I played MMO’s religiously.

So where to start. Well this week has mostly been devoted to Spore and my attempt to get one race into space so that I can start running Galactic Adventure missions and designing my own. After Spore takes its mits off me I may have to head back over to Sims 3 and at least finish the career of my politician Chester Brock. Looming ever present is Fallout 3 and Oblivion, but I need good chunks of time to play those and prefer at least 3-4 hour blocks.

As for Dragon Age: Origins it is a single player game yes, but with a refined and powerful world editor toolset that will keep my going for ages. I have already sketched out a few modules to be planned out with it so I hope to hop in ASAP and start making content.
Dragon Age: Origins delivers a focused, single-player RPG experience. Since this is the first game set in the world of Dragon Age, the team wanted to concentrate on a single player experience that would allow the players to learn the incredible history, story, and lore in the game.

In Spore, I have given much thought to my Galactic Empire, the Atraxian Enclave. In my mind, I need to make sure all their buildings and vehicles maintain the proper racial appearance and look fluid, so I have spent some time planning out how I want them to look and what type of vehicles they would use. They are primarily a four armed, bi-pedal race with war like tendencies (go figure) but maintain a strong tribal heritage.

I have long ignored my really nerdy side and I think I need to get back to that. I used to spend hours developing a Neverwinter Nights world that had connecting zones and NPC’s and I even had a website describing all that. I need to get back to doing that sort of thing.

Now is the perfect time. It is too bad I am not a good Fallout 3 mod designer or I would be all over that.