Adventure Log Update on Games I’m Playing

I’m slacking hard on blogging. Honest truth here is that I have a lot of games I’m enjoying right now. So let’s dive into an adventure log update!

Keen’s Adventure Log, stardate 2/10/2016.

Final Fantasy Explorers

I’m really drawn into FFE. Graev and I are having a good time taking out Eidolons and building up our characters. This is one of those weird situations where I know there’s no story, I know there’s not true ‘end’ to the game. Things just end when I feel like I’ve gotten the most out of making a character and I want to quit. I’m playing a Dark Knight right now, but I think I want to switch over to Red Mage. Something about chain casting and doing more magic with a balanced sword-wielding class seems fun. I’d feel more useful and less one-trick pony, though a DK’s one trick is to do a ton of damage.

A few of you asked about multiplayer. The multiplayer work where you turn on multiplayer mode in your singleplayer game. You then can choose local co-op or multiplayer co-op. You can make a room and have others join it, or join someone else’s room. These are like lobbies. You can password your room and let your friends join — that’s what we do.

Albion Online Closed Beta InviteAlbion Online

Really, really falling hard for Albion Online. Despite so much about the game being centered around GvG combat and taking territories, I find myself harvesting and crafting. What I’m worried about is the benefit of zerging. Zergs will win everything. Zergs will control the map, and despite it being huge it’ll still be that way. Zergs will feed crafters and outperform a solo crafter, or even a crafter backed by a group of friends or group of 10-15. It’s all about numbers.

The more I play, the more I realize there’s still a ton left to do to fix the balance. I think the devs know this. For example, crafting really is borked. To truly master one line of crafting would take like 2 years, but to get that far in combat takes 2 months. While needing to make crafting easier, they can’t make it something anything can just do on the side, otherwise they’ve ruined crafting. The entire game hinges upon how they balance this out. Please, PLEASE, get this right.

I’m about to upgrade my house and add more laborers. I’ll write up on those sometime here soon.

EverQuest

Every day I come home from work, go to the gym, and then log into EverQuest. It’s my routine. I think to myself, “I’m going to get a group and play!” Then I can’t find a group for 20-30 minutes. I get frustrated. I log off. None of this changes my desire to group. I -WANT- to group. I’m playing a Cleric FFS… It must be my schedule. I’m trying to play around 5:30pm Pacific time. Am I too late? Too early? It’s becoming frustrating enough that soon I’ll come home and go straight to Albion Online or FFE.

  • I also tried Albion online, its a very good concept, but I just can’t deal with the Isometric view.

    I’m sure you have heard of Black Desert online, it’s releasing 3 March, go check it out.

  • Your frustration over being able to find groups in EverQuest and your response to it has a bitter irony. The progression server concept revolves around a desire by players to go back to how things used to be but how things used to be is why things were changed. It’s easy to blame developers for taking the genre in the wrong direction but you’re describing one of the key reasons they had no choice: if they hadn’t then their players would have gone elsewhere, just as you’re considering doing.

    In the end, everyone only has so much time available and no-one is going to sit around waiting when just over there is something that scratches the same itch but that they can have right now. EQ and its contemporaries were able to sustain a lot of their gameplay because there was no closely analogous alternative. Which isn’t to say there’s not still a market for that kind of gameplay – like you, I think much of it was deeper, more involving and more satisfying that what replaced it. Somehow, though, it has to be paired with convenience and something close to instant accessibility or the audience that might otherwise appreciate it will just wander off and find something more entertaining.

  • It’s a complex issue.

    Changing the way grouping and experiencing content in EQ works would change the feel, and for me that would ruin the fun. I don’t want to solo. I don’t want to get randomly made groups. I want to join the group camped at the Unrest Fireplace.

    Sadly, nothing scratches that same itch. I want that experience. It’s just unfortunate that I am contending with a lot of other people wanting the same thing. The resolution would be to add more places in that game world in which to hunt. Unfortunately, EQ/Norrath is finite right now. When Kunark comes out I imagine things will be much better.

    The model works for me. The ONLY issue is getting lucky enough to get a spot in the group. I’d change NOTHING about the game other than having better luck finding a group.

  • Bhagpusss: This is probably the best post on this topic I’ve ever read. Very good.

    Keen: When you compare crafting to combat, you are really comparing 3 Focuses with 1, and that is Harvest AND Crafting AND Refining to Combat. If you had someone feeding you refined resources the same way the game feeds NPCs to players, you would level crafting faster. In fact, you could probably max all crafting disciplines in a day if you had all the resources you needed. There is even a Food item that increase Crafting Speed, to power through resources.

    Jack of all Trades will be a poor Jack in Albion.

  • My issue with Albion is that the world itself lacks character. I love the isometric view and the way they have made crafting so time intensive but I have almost zero interest in exploring. Perhaps this changes as you move deeper into the world but zones are really just small maps with gathering nodes and npcs spread around them and the occasional cave. Nothing feels ‘lived in’ to me. The scenery changes and the names on some of the resources and npcs change but nothing drives me to explore outside of just looking for the next tier of a resource. I guess I can not be to critical though since the inverse of this would be a heavily scripted themepark MMO. I guess the big problem for me is that it is hard to get passionate or invested in a virtual world unless it actually feels like a real world that my character is a part of.

  • Nuke: What would make it more real for you? If it’s difficult to articulate, can you give examples of Isometric View games that have character? I’m interested because I enjoy programming small 2d games, and I am not a visual person (I love Dwarf Fortress), but I can appreciate that visuals and feeling are important.

  • Yeah ‘real’ is probably not the best world choice but I did not know how else to describe it. Visuals are not really important for me if a game has substance. Albion feels lifeless. Ultima Online was isometric but it felt alive. You could venture out and find dungeons, cites, caves, houses etc which all added up to a feeling of a more fleshed out world.

    I think in the end the biggest hurdle for me is Albion really plays more like a series of instanced MOBAs with some very involved crafting. It does not feel like an MMO to me and that is probably just my fault for initially approaching it as one.

    To be clear I have enjoyed my time with the game but I think as someone that hates PVP and really only enjoys crafting and PVE it will not hold my attention long term. Why would I go deeper into the world if it is really just more cookie cutter caves and woods with some higher tier resources?

    I applaud them for the way they made crafting so time intensive. In the current world of ‘everyone can be a master crafter’ that lots of MMOs adopt it is a ballsy move.

  • @Lokked: While having unlimited resources would, of course, speed the gain of crafting, it won’t be common. Even for a zerg.

    Even being fed resources, the difficulty of raising crafting vs. combat skills is very, very high. Very few players, even in this alpha, have reached the higher tiers of crafting compared to those who have reached higher tears of gear use.

    Some upcoming crafting changes have alluded to fixing the issues.

  • +1 to what bhagpuss said. EQ is a game for no-lifers who play all day and have an established collection of like-minded people to participate with. You are a casual plebeian, as are many of us, and it’s why games have changed so much, though I wonder if we’ve gone too far in the other direction at the expense of community.

  • You guys have a pretty slanted view of EQ if you think it’s a game for no-lifers. Most EQ players are 30+ with families, full-time jobs, and more of a life than most MMO gamers.

  • Agree with keen on the last post, but also agree with bhagpuss. As keen knows, waiting 30 minutes for a group back in the day was kinda short, even for clerics. And God help you if you were a gimped ranger like I was. Whole nights would go by without me earning any exp. Hell, it could take an hour just to get to the place I couldn’t find a group. And I couldn’t solo. Anything.

    So it is ironic that the people on the throwback server don’t really want throwback.

  • So last night I ended up getting a group after 15 minutes of LFG. Ended up playing for 2 hours and had a blast. That’s EXACTLY what I want out of EverQuest. It’s just an issue I’m having finding a group because the groups are all so popular and in-demand. People are grouping — they’re just all grouping and it’s hard to find a spot.

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