I’ve had a varied week of gaming in MMO-land and wanted to put up a few highlights of what I’ve particularly enjoyed this week.
1 Riding Eorzea
I’m spending a lot of time in Final Fantasy 14 just riding around, whether between FATEs or quest NPCs or just traveling between zones. The mounts are a real plus in the game, not just the Chocobos but also the other varied creatures. The world is so beautifully rendered, especially on my lovely new computer, that it is really worth spending time to ride around and looking at the vistas. Even if the world is rather fractured by borders and load-screens it’s still beautiful to explore.
2 The Spooky (& rather deadly) Secret World
This game is *the* game for atmospheric quests/missions, especially if you want something beyond the usual kill X/fetch X/click X tropes. Last session we did a particularly sadistic story mission (Mortal Sins tier 25) and then a sabotage (The Castle: a yellow stealth mission). These happened to be the two missions at random that we tried and both were solo, lengthy and pretty hard-core. I ended the session feeling a bit tense and tired as it was getting late, but both missions were so steeped in atmosphere and story. Despite my general dislike for stealth gameplay (especially in a game where no character actually has any stealth abilities!) some of these missions are pretty ingenious. Funcom as a company really does push the limits of the game engine and their quest designers’ talents in the design of some of the missions even if not all of it fits my idea of fun…
3 Wildstar’s wacky humour
This game’s humour is very in your face, it’s a bit like digital marmite – most gamers seem to love it or hate it. For the most part I’m rather charmed by the game, especially the awesome characterisation of the NPC races – something Justin mentioned this week in the Massively OP podcast (~7 mins in) that I really agree with. Evidence to support this opinion include the fact my engineer’s robots have smiley face emoticons for faces – the angry red versions when they’re in combat are great! Also see the ‘smarmy’ salesperson dialogue from the Protostar reps and pretty much anything a Lopp says. I could happily mute the swear-filled level up animations and the odd joke is perhaps a bit flat but all in all the game has a lot of charm.
None of these MMORPGs are perfect but they do have their own charms and own reasons to be appreciated. What do you appreciate, despite the flaws, about your favourite MMORPG/game?