Social Itch

Playing a lot of EVE when I get MMO time in. DoTA2 when I only have an hour and nothing is going on in the wormhole. I’m feeling a themepark itch, and it’s coming at me in a weird way. My eyes keep falling on Rift, which is a game I always enjoyed, but I just never got into. I think that was for a number of different reasons. If I recall, I was busy in a bunch of different games at the time, and it fell in when I was still happily engrossed in WAR. The biggest remembrance I have of the game, is that it was like my on-again, off-again, nostalgic affair with EQ2. A lot of the things I like there, I like in Rift (thanks Hartsman!). This gaming version of a casual glance I gave it wasn’t enough to cause me to set down roots and grow any social connection.

The social connection is really what keeps me in games long term. I’ve been playing EVE for longer than I ever have in the past, primarily because I’m in an alliance of people I really enjoying hanging out with. So, beyond just the fun pew-pew I get when we jihad enemy holes, or the carebear riches (that are a bit less rich of late) from phat sleeper loots, I just enjoy the people, and I’ve made connections that keep me coming back. So, a dalliance with Rift is tempting to me right now, but also worrisome.

I don’t want to jump into Rift, with expectations of fun and enjoyment, then find my ideas squandered on the solo-wonder of playing by myself. Conversely, I don’t want to start playing it and have it pull away from my EVE time. Basically, I want it all, and I want it now. I may have to accept that my reality does not allow for the gaming that I want when it comes to MMOs. Life is telling me to suck it up, jump into Dust514, and enjoy mowing down people and LAVs with my heavy machine gun.

Humorously enough, I said this about the game when I tried it over a year ago:

What they seek in their MMO is maybe some social interaction, and mindless gameplay. Chugging through rifts and quests with little planning or forethought in it. Quickly jumping into the game and just doing.

So maybe that’s what I’m looking for now. Or maybe I’m just wanting a change of scenery and I don’t really know what I want. Or maybe I just want to PLAY MORE VIDEO GAMES. NO REALLY, ANY VIDEO GAME WILL DO!

Anyway, any Corps forming up in Dust514 want a 30 year old, poor reflexes man to join them. I have a headset and mic!

Acceleration of Speed

These always remind me of my childhood.

Leveling speed.

This one facet of any game is probably something mulled over and over as the design process goes on. With good reason, it’s an integral facet of any MMO. How fast do you want players to move through each area? How quickly do you want people to reach the end? If you make it too fast, will it loose consequence? If it’s too slow, will players become frustrated, especially in today’s market of instant gratification? Is the focus of your game supposed to be on the journey, or the destination, and how do you create the curve appropriately?

WAR is an interesting beast in regards to how it approached level-progression. On the one hand, there is the 1-40 career levels you have to progress through. I remember before release, Jeff Hickman saying in an interview that it was a very time-friendly 10-days gameplay to reach cap. Yes, you read that correctly, 10 days of play time to reach level 40. The rampage system sped this up insanely well for highly coordinated individuals. However, for most of us, and eerily-so for me, he was pretty darn accurate. My very first character, my DoK hit 40 after 10 days, and some hours. My second character (my Shadow Warrior) did it in about 8. My Knight: in about 5. My Blackguard: in about 2 or 3. On the other hand, there are the 80 renown ranks, the amount of time needed for this achievement is considerable, I’ve only done it once so far, and I’m getting close on my second. 

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