MMORPGs I Really Want To Like

I’ve tried most of the mainstream MMORPGs that come out but there’s a been a few recently that I just haven’t been able to get into for one reason or other. The ironic thing though is that I really want to like them because their concepts appeal to me greatly in some way but, for whatever reasons, I’ve never been able to get fully immersed into the game for a long period of time. Thinking about it in more detail, it may be because I haven’t given the game a fair chance or it’s flawed in the fashion I require to enjoy it.

Here are the MMOs I really want to like but haven’t been able to.

Age of Conan

I was quite excited about Conan for a long time and when I played the beta and it up’ed my hype factor by another ten degrees. AoC was one of the major contributing reasons why I upgraded my PC last year, I was that into it all. I know graphics don’t maketh the game but I love the visuals and the whole feel and environment of the game. It honestly feels like playing in Conan’s world and, maybe I’m just a big kid, but the visceral nature of the play style makes me giddy. I also stand by the believe that Tortage is one of the best contained experiences (in terms of storyline, immersion, enjoyment, you name it) in any MMORPG ever.

The problem with AoC though is that it lacks depth. Once you get out of Tortage and gain a few levels you feel like you’re playing in a barren, pointless, poorly thought out world. There isn’t much wrong with the mechanics of the game per se, it’s just that the world hasn’t been created to feel like a true virtual life. It’s hard to verbalised but I’m sure people who’ve played Conan will know what I’m talking about.

I honestly believe Age of Conan will become a great game one day, Funcom just need to survive long enough to release a huge expansion with some major content and new play areas from 20+. Maybe then I’ll go back to it for an extended period of time.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning

WAR was one of those games that I wasn’t very bothered about until August last year and then I suddenly got sucked into the hype of it all. Plus, most of my old guild from Everquest 2 were moving over so we were all looking forward to playing together again and taking part in some casual PvE and full-on PvP.

My big issue with WAR is that the game feels soulless – the world feels like a tiered computer game, not a vibrant online culture. I hate the travel mechanics in WAR and I hate the zoning. Both are badly implemented and don’t give you any sense of immersion. Add onto that the fact that leveling up is extremely slow and the quests are reptitive grinds and don’t exactly have a fun experience. It’s odd because after I left WAR, I started playing World of Warcraft and found that it offered everything I was looking for. When I logged into WoW for the first time I actually felt like I was existing in a large, dynamic virtual world.

I want to go back to WAR one day because I love the idea of RVR and I miss Dark Age of Camelot. I’m sure WAR will improve in time once Mythic get their priorities straightened out.

Lord of the Rings Online

I played LotRO briefly but never got into it. Everyone talks about how beautiful the game is but I find the character models ugly as hell and the UI very difficult to use and totally not in-keeping with the style of the game. I’d also love to play an Uruk-hai as I find the race restrictions kinda dull but alas I don’t think we’ll see that happening any time soon.

Still, I continually hear a lot of great things about LotRO like how good the questing and grouping are and that definitely attracts me to the game. I don’t feel like I’ve given it a fair chance yet so I plan on resubscribing one day and giving it a thorough shot.

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16 Comments

  1. thorswitch says:

    I sent you a note on twitter, but in case you didn’t get it, this week would be the perfect time to try LOTRO again – they’re having a “welcome back week.” Now thru the 15th, players with lapsed accts can reopen them and play for free, plus get a 25+ XP bonus on kills during that time. I’ve been playing for 2 or 3 months, and just LOVE it! They’ve made a number of improvements (especially to the crafting system) just in the time I’ve been playing and recently released another “book” of new content.

    Just thought I’d let you know :)

    Thorswitch
    (aka Rocinante, Lyssandri, Belagarth, Thoradis, Zhari, Ygrainne & Isobriel on the Silverlode server)

  2. Carthalis says:

    Completely agree with what your saying about Tortage in Age of Conan, its certainly one of the best contained story driven areas in any mmo that I’ve played.

    Warhammer I’ve tried twice and left both times. Some elements of it I like, mainly the journal that records everything you do. The witch hunter class I enjoyed playing when I did but like you say the grind just becomes the same old story.

    Lord of the Rings online I have a lifetime subscription for so I like to dip into that now and again. I think they’ve done a great job re-creating Tolkien’s world and I think thats mainly why I play it when I do. Grouping is ok and it appears there going to be making changes to the epic story driven quests so that there will be solo versions as well if you can’t find a group.

  3. Jason says:

    “When I logged into WoW for the first time I actually felt like I was existing in a large, dynamic virtual world.”

    I find it odd that you say that when one of the reasons I left WoW was because I felt like the world never changed. Dynamic is that last thing I would use to describe it. I’d go with formulaic and predictable.

  4. spinks says:

    I always wished I liked LOTRO more. I don’t hate the game. I enjoyed levelling my burglar to 60. But there’s just something … I don’t know … I never could get myself to love it. Maybe it’s something to do with how unresponsive the characters are in combat — come to think of it, I never LOVED any of their classes they way I have the WoW ones.

    I think you’re onto something with WAR never really feeling like a coherent world. Again, I enjoyed it while I was playing, it’s a good game. But it never really felt like a world.

  5. Scarybooster says:

    I agree whole-heartedly. AoC was just blah and WAR felt empty and a disconnected world. WAR was not a world but several instances linked together. WoW is the only game I ever played from beta and still play. Eah, I have left WoW several times out of drama, boredom, and other games but, I keep coming back because there is so much to do. I have found new quests after 4.5 years of playing that were there from day 1. It is amazing at all the stuff you can do. Yeah, it is a vertical progression game but isn’t that what real life is? You spend your life getting new gear, growing more experianced, and doing quests to keep busy.

    WoW amazes me everyday and gives me goals fir the future. It is modeled after real life in the simplest form and the world of people complete the experiance. You have jerks, elitest, whinners, helpers, haters, attention whores, shy people, greedy people, and the nicest people you will ever meet. It is your choice to have a good or bad experiance with it. “It is a game”, but it is a “life” to some. I love WoW and any other game will be hard pressed to compete against it unless they can capture real life experiances better than WoW can.

  6. guaka says:

    I’m trying Age of Conan again with their free two week ‘re-evaluation’ (seems like everyone is doing that just now). I started a new character and I’m in Tortage again but the game feels different from when I first tried it. It seems more stable(apart from weird lag spikes that seems to affect players randomly) and just ‘fuller’.
    I’ve been out of the MMO scene for a while but AoC could bring me back, it just depends on what’s new after I get out of Tortage…

  7. Andrew says:

    I desperately wanted to like EVE Online because the metagame/politics are so bloody fascinating. The actual play mechanics killed me though – I just can’t get behind the click-and-wait model like I’d need to. I guess I’m a bit too action driven for what they have going there.

    The good thing is that I can still read about all the intrigue and backstabbing and bank implosions! =)

  8. Sin says:

    I have to mirror your feelings about LotRO. I have a fellowship founders or whatever account; the lifetime subscription that was available first for pre-order then later at a higher cost. Even so, just over a month into the game’s release I basically finished and couldn’t find anything else compelling to keep me going. I should probably give it another try since, well, it literally wouldn’t cost anything, but… it still seems rather uninteresting.

  9. Longasc says:

    I also started “re-evaluating” AoC. I just left Tortage and I wonder if the feeling starts to suck me in.

    I really like Robert E. Howard’s low fantasy world Hyboria, I am a huge fan. So I really try to love Age of Conan. The devs also tried to capture that feeling.

    But somehow… I do not get immersed into the game that much. Despite the nice graphics. I even think they are lacking something, even at high resolution – Aion draws you into the game, even if you do not like this asian art direction at all, as I do.

    So yeah – back to AoC, again trying to fall in love with it.

    EVE is different – I would like it, but I am not content with the super casual playstyle method, and I do not have the time or will for the highend-corp megawars. It might also be that I am just too impatient for this game.

    • Gordon says:

      I’m trying the 2 week re-evaluation period of AoC too. I love free play time! It’s great being able to try out games again before you have to pony up the cash for them. Apparently WAR I doing one too but I never received the email with the link for some reason.

      I’m still really impressed with the graphics in AoC. Extremely impressed actually, especially now with DX10. It’s definitely a draw for me.

  10. Sharon says:

    I went back to AoC this week, as part of the two week thing for returning subscribers, but I forgot how to play my old HoX, so I rerolled. I just got out of Tortage last night, and I’m eager to see if anything has changed beyond that. I’m a big Robert E. Howard fan, so I really want to like AoC.

    I know what you mean about LOTRO. I *should* like it. It has everything I think I want in a game. I like the IP, the visuals are pretty, and there’s lots to do. But the whole game feels very lackluster to me. Combat lacks a sense of responsiveness. I never found a social community within LOTRO either, so I maybe that would have made a difference? It’s one of those games I tend to go back to every so often, and it’s the only MMO that my husband has ever expressed interest in playing.

  11. openedge1 says:

    Out of all 3 games listed, the only game that felt like it had life was Conan. The secret was interest in the story and the setting as Sharon and others have stated.

    For the player who is use to the WoW mentality of click click click to accept quests and ignoring the reasoning or the why of the main adventure.. then of course it will feel empty.
    Lets use the example of Aion stated above. There exists no reason to read any quest as they have nothing to do with anything but to kill 10 to 20 more mobs to get xp and money and maybe an item, and move on to the next quest to do the exact same thing.

    There are real stories and real people in AoC, and we cut away to their story every time we accept a quest…and there we are as the adventurer in that story with them and being a part of that. From the woman who lost her son in the mountains and sits and waits for the spirits to bring him home. To the stories of the dragon who waits for one to master it..
    If you want gear, xp and money, then play WoW, play Aion, but if you want a reason to go on, AoC offers that.

    As to LOTRO, we know how this story goes and how it ends…so why play that again and for WAR? WHO NEEDS STORY…you have WAR.

    We each have a reason to play these games, and I am sorry none affect you in this way…but for me, AoC was the most compelling even when buggy, as I feel like I am THERE in Hyboria.

  12. Beej says:

    I think WAR has a lot of potential, but that potential has to be realized in a closely-knit group which I can’t get there. I hope I can one day, but I doubt it. It does feel soulless, and I guess that’s why I want to have an established friend-base as I go in because making new contacts in-game seems rather…off.

    I tried the LOTRO beta, but never past that. I can’t talk about it at all because I’m not qualified. It was funny looking WoW when I tried it; I didn’t like the graphics, either.

  13. Twan says:

    I feel the same you did with WaR. I upgraded my PC to be able to play it on max settings but no longer play WaR so the PC blazes through everything~!

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