I have always loved the act of going out to gather resources. There’s something so meaningful about the accumulation of raw resources, whether it be to take those resources and create something yourself, have someone else use them to make something for you, or to simply sell. Harvesting resources can be so much more than that, though, and should be if a MMO ever hopes to create a harvesting system that’s meaningful.
My days of meaningful crafting in MMOs were few, relatively speaking. My big claim to crafting fame was in SWG where I made millions and millions of credits as a Chef back in the early days when I could make various foods and drinks to radically improve people’s stats. I took those millions and invested them into a vast network of resource gathering harvesters (by purchasing other people’s slots to use them since you could only have one character). I took them resources and either used them, flipped them raw, or converted them into items that I then resold. At one point I even opened up a tailor shop and a weapons and armor shop where other crafters sold their goods on consignment — goods they made with my resources.
I’m a believer in harvesting resources being more than smacking a random node that then disappears. That’s lame, and I don’t find it ‘fun’ at all.
MMO housing systems are one of those topics we used to all sit around the table and talk about. Back in the good old days, when there were half a dozen major MMOs in development and everyone was talking about mechanics and features, etc., there would inevitably be a conversation about housing. Will the game have housing?! I remember the forum posts (remember forums?) with long discourses on the pros and cons, how it could be implemented, etc.
Devs would hype their game having houses when it comes out and there would end up being no housing at all. Open-world housing would be promised and it would end up being instanced neighborhoods or “islands” off in the middle of no where. For whatever reason, it kind of became a big joke to me.
I love housing in games. I love decorating them, building them up, collecting things to store in them, and visiting other people’s houses. But I love those things when the games are built around them. Does that makes sense?
I haven’t felt the urge to play so many characters in a MMORPG for over a decade. I think the last time I felt this torn between characters was in Vanguard. In WoW I’m currently playing my Paladin main, a Warrior alt (who has almost caught up to my Paladin in gear), and now a Monk who is a fresh 120. I like them all.
Trying to level up alts and then subsequently gear them isn’t always the easiest activity in WoW. Taking WoW at face value and keeping all things relative to WoW, it’s not alt friendly. Since most of the end-game activities I want to participate in are gated by gear grinds, I find myself stuck in a feeling like I’m running in place. I want to go do higher M+ keys, but my luck on drops sucks. I can’t get the traits I want, or I can’t get the iLvl upgrades I want, etc.
The experience of making a new character and thriving has significant barriers to entry.
Should MMORPGs be more alt friend? If so, how?
We’ve had a rough go of things this past week. Our pup was diagnosed with bone cancer last month and given 6 months to live. Despite our best efforts to help with treatments and numerous doctor visits, the cancer spread aggressively and claimed our poor friend. I tell you this because I feel the need to justify why I’ve felt withdrawn from blogging, gaming, and everything else this past month (in addition to having traveled for work and being busy). We’re those weird animal people who consider animals family members, and love them as much as people — often more. I’m starting to come out of that hole, and glad games are here to help.
I’ve had some time to dabble in a few things. I want to briefly comment on them here in this conglomoblog then expound upon them in their own entries.
The long-awaited Nintendo Online service for the Switch is out now. I picked up the $20/year version. With it comes the ability to continue playing games online — a feature now restricted to the Online service — as well as an array of classic NES games on the Switch’s version of the virtual console. There are also cloud saves and that phone app no one will use. I think it’s a fairly limited program and the price is perhaps justified only by the virtual console.
Super Mario Party Switch
Graev and I both picked up Super Party Party. I’m having fun playing solo and with my wife while waiting for Graev to finish playing Valkyrie Chronicles 4. Once he does, we plan to play online together. I think that’s ultimately where my biggest gripe with the game comes in… there’s no real online play, just mini-game shenanigans. I’m also really displeased with the control setup because you have to use a single Joycon to play. Yes, that means no handheld mode or pro controller, which are both the best control beauties of the console. We’ll write more Super Mario Party soon.