Perfectly-imperfect worlds

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.

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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.

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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…

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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?

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2 Responses to Perfectly-imperfect worlds

  1. Sylow says:

    On TSW:
    Yea, infiltration is something the developers really seem to like. There’s also a number of achievements in game, basically one for each infiltration mission, for completing these missions without being spotted at all.

    Rewards for them are mixed, there’s several clothing items (like the baclava) which you get for completing a certain set of stealth missions, but you can also get the moonwalk_pro from one such achievement. (Which in turn again makes a later mission more enjoyable, as the pro version of the moonwalk moves faster than the standard version. (Either version can be used to trick some sensors. )

    On the Castle you refer to, indeed the first time doing it is hell and next to The Cost of Magic it’s perhaps the most hated mission for many people. But if you repeat either of them a few times, to learn their tricks and mechanics, they are actually great fun to do and yield a lot of XP and thus AP in very little time.

    On Wildstar:
    Hehe, yea. Here i am on the other side of the fence. I used a trial week there, and i don’t plan to ever return. Part of it is brute force humor. Too often i had the feeling that the developers were given a quota of “jokes per hour”, so they worked the laughs into the game, even if it required excessive use of a crowbar to get them there.

    Testes differ, and this kind of humor just does not match to mine.

  2. Sylow says:

    Addendum: The engie pets have colored smiley faces? Do they also have the Orochi logo on them? *grin*

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