This was an exciting last week in gaming news. Drama unfolded as WoW announced a new expansion and LotRO moved to Helm’s Deep DEFCON 1 status.
Both WoW and LotRO announced intentions to allow players to auto-level. As usual, LotRO spun this to sound like it’s catering to player desires out of paternal beneficence, while they’re actually teleporting players to the point where they need to pay for Moria.
So if LotRO charges you for this, you get to pay more so you can pay more. It’s unclear how WoW is handling it.
In WoW, traditionally you have to buy each expansion in order to unlock the next in your account. I haven’t seen details on how that skipping will work. If it works like normal leveling in WoW, then it will be free but expensive. I thunked hard this week about having a L90 in WoW, and I’m not sure I can go back to WoW at the expense of Rift.
There is no class in WoW (or any MMO that I know of) that is more fun than my Rift mage due to her skill trees, which make the new LotRO skill trees look very simplified.
I continue to think that while the LotRO class revamps are frustrating, they are necessary and good for the long-term game. The ability to switch roles in the field and save roles was desperately needed, and so was more room to grow and more ease of entry and re-entry for casual players.
That’s the functional bottom line. Look at the kitty. She’s a cheerleader.
The 2-point penalty for mixing trees is beyond my ability to comprehend, however. It’s like the devs couldn’t cope with the complexities of designing otherwise, so they just put a severe restriction to make their headaches go away. Not so great.
PS4 and Dual Shock 4
Tonight I was watching Angry Joe unpack his new PS4. His enthusiasm is always infectious. I could be entertained watching him jump on a trampoline or take a shower, but this blog is PG-13. So.
I’m not buying a new console since I just bought a new PC. I’m hoping the new consoles will translate into more and better PC gaming though. I’m also intrigued by official PC support for the new Dual-Shock 4 controller (according to Joe). I love my Dual-Shock 3, and the 4 is supposedly even better.
Keen says the Dual-Shock 4 is his favorite controller now, and both Keen and Joe are good old XBOX boys, so that’s saying something.
Rift, Trion, and Trove
This week I got only a third of a level in Rift, mainly because I’m working hard on my browser-based RPG with my bro-ski, which I mentioned in a previous post. Doing the game art for this is taking up huge chunks of time, but we’ve got some really nice ideas going. I hope to share some pics and progress here on my blog.
I learned this week that an Appearance Pack was released for Rift in the 2.4 patch. I had no idea. Who else has no idea? Probably the new players starting characters and trying the game. Appearance pack is bad. F2P marketing is often short-sighted.
I’ve said it before. You have to invest in letting players create characters they love up front. SWTOR and DDO F2P are both non-starters for me because of this failure.
Rift already has the most limited character creation options of any AAA competition that I know of, and they are selling a small tincture of relief for a chunk of change large enough that a new player will not want to invest in that compared to other more important unlocks.
This is a strategic error in my opinion. The newly announced Trion effort “Trove” is not.
There was a lot of hubbub about “ripping off” other indie-type games with the F2P Trove, which is ridiculous. Art has thrived for centuries on imitation, riffing, and revivals. Neoclassical. Postmodernism. 8-bit Retro. Humans do curious stuff, and 99% of it isn’t really original.
I haven’t played Minecraft or Cube World, but I did explore the Super Adventure Box in Guild Wars 2, and I found it to be surprisingly fun. I only stopped because I reached a boss that I couldn’t beat solo.
For more about Trion’s Trove, Junkies Nation has a write-up. I’ve got some Tumblr stuff to share, but share will I next time maybe. Happy gaming.