Fool me once, shame on you…

I miss that son of a bitch. Saurfang can go suck a dick, though.

Bolvar Fordragon: The Garrus Vakarian of Warcraft.

So I’m sure nobody here will be surprised to learn that I’m a recovering World of Warcraft addict. I played that god damned game right from launch up until the Cataclysm expansion came out, and it was only then that I realized that my raiding days were behind me.  Still, I occasionally get the MMO itch from time to time, but I haven’t found anything that’s replaced that old feeling – and considering the time sink that game used to be, it’s probably a good thing.

God dammit, Bolvar.

Why can't I hold all these limes?

Not that my time on WoW was wasted – in fact, quite the opposite.  I’ve met people through the game that have become friends for life, not to mention the fact that WoW led to me meeting my fiancée as well (November 11th, by the way; we put the deposit down on the venue this week!).  Not only that, but the amount of enjoyment that both me and my fiancée have gotten from playing together and with our friends has been immense.

CAN I GET A FUCKING HEAL, JESUS CHRIST

Ah, memories.

It’s just that the game has changed so much since its early days that it’s simply not really as fun as it used to be.  On top of that, I did the hardcore raiding thing right from vanilla WoW through the first two expansions, and between either main tanking or raid leading from Molten Core and Karazhan up through 10-man Lich King, I’m ready to hang up my shield and just relax.

Red!  No, green!  No, bl-- fuck it.  Wipe it up, guys.

Nobody downs Netherspite any more.

I thought maybe keeping up my WoW subscription for the social aspect would be a viable option, but it’s hard to justify $15 a month when Facebook is free – especially when you’re saving money for a wedding.  I was sorely tempted to do that Annual Pass thing, where you sign a 1-year contract for WoW and get a free copy of Diablo III when it comes out, but getting a $60 game for free when you’re contractually obligated to buy $180 worth of WoW seems stupid to me – you can just not play WoW for four months and save up for the cost of the new game.

Then, there’s the newly announced expansion, Kung Fu Panda Online Mists of Pandaria.  I hear there’s an actual shark you can jump in the pandaren starting area.

No, if I was going to pick up a new-gen game, it’s going to have to be something other than WoW. I was toying with buying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, based on enjoying the demo, but I wanted something I could play online with other people – and maybe something my fiancée and I could play together.  I had tried a few free-to-play MMOs out there, but they were absolutely godawful (I’m looking at you, Star Trek Online), and other paid subscription MMOs like EVE Online, while coming highly recommended and are quite awesome looking, are kind of not an option – not if I’m going to be shelling out $15 a month again, or $30 for me and my fiancée.

You better not suck.

Insert cynical skepticism here.

Then, a friend of mine told me to check out Guild Wars 2.  I scoffed.  “No way,” I said.  “That’s all PVP, right?  I’d rather get raped by a clown.”  No, it’s got full PvE play.  “Well, it’s probably all grindy button-pushing, right?  Stand in one place and hit the mob until it dies?”  No, there’s action elements where you can use your playing skill instead of just relying on the random number generator.  “Well okay, but so I’ll have to tank again, right?”  Actually, the tank-dps-healer paradigm is gone in this, every class has a self-heal and you can take on mobs of significantly higher levels by dodging their attacks instead of having to have heals spammed on you.  “Okay, so it sounds kinda cool, but I can’t afford another sub-”  It’s free to play, you idiot, just buy the game when it comes out.

More money than you'll ever make.  Ever.

This just in: Zynga dog uses $100 bills to poop on.

I groaned.  “Free to play” usually means “fucking awful shit” or “pay to win.”  Here you go, here’s a free game!  But if you want to get past level 20, or if you want the best gear, or if you want to have access to this character class, that’ll be $5 here, $10 there, $15 here.  Fucking microtransactions, it’s like one of those goddamn Zynga Facebook games where you either have to buy shit in-game with real cash or by spamming your entire friends list with inane and annoying game requests.

Apparently GW2 isn’t going to be like that.  You can earn gold in-game that you can actually exchange for gems, the currency used for real money transactions.  And you can also buy gems with cash and then either buy cosmetic items that don’t alter gameplay or convert these gems into gold, eliminating third-party companies like the infamous Chinese Gold Farmer.

“Well slap my ass and call me Susan,” I said.  “This game sounds pretty damn cool.  So let me guess – the downside is that it looks like something that came out of a cat’s asshole, right?”

Wrong again.  Check it out, my friend said, linking me to the site:

“All right, all right, I’ll look into it.  Maybe it’ll be cool.”

Void storage?  Pandas?  How about a house with a fucking door?

Bob's a little pissed at being homeless for six years.

My birthday’s coming up next month – and pre-purchases start on April 10.  Maybe I’ll toss a few bucks at it and see if it’s any good.  Even if I don’t end up playing it for years and years, with no monthly subscription it’s no worse than buying a single-player game; at least I’ll get a built-in chat room.

Oh yeah, and player housing.  Fuck you, Blizzard.

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6 thoughts on “Fool me once, shame on you…

  1. I think I played the original GW and I wasn’t overly impressed (I could be thinking of something else, but I am pretty sure it was GW). Watched the trailer you posted and it doesn’t look terrible …but before I plunk any cash down I’ll be awaiting your review. Not that I really have time to play anything like that, but it’s nice to know there are more options out there.

    My WoW history is much the same.. played til Cata came out but just didn’t play enough after a while to justify the cost of the monthly membership. I still talk to a number of my ex-guildies through facebook and phone but I miss having those chats.

    Now I just waste all of my free time playing Skyrim.

    • Skyrim is pretty cool innit? I just kinda got burned out on it. Happens ever time I play a Bethesda game – at first I’m all like THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER and then after a few weeks I just go “meh.”

  2. I had a similar experience with Oblivion. Played it for awhile, and then it was just ‘meh’. My buddy Chris used to play GW and he liked it when he couldn’t afford WoW for a few months. I’ll check with him to see if he’s picking it up as well, and his thoughts on it. He’s played pretty much every MMO out there at one time or another, from WoW to FFO to GW to FreeRealms. I’m actually looking to get back into CounterStrike, but I’m hesitant. If it’s as awesome as I remember, my wife will start plotting my murder….

  3. I’m kinda unsure about guild wars, not because it may or may not be good. I’m just burnt out on fantasy games, esp high fantasy. Skyrim is at least different, so I’m still playing that one, but Amalur was exactly the opposite of what I’m eager to play. I played the demo long enough just to get the Mass effect content.

    My most anticipated PC/MMO is Secret World. Which will likely bomb, but I have some hopes for it as it’s completely different in it’s premise.

    What kills me is that WOW is such a tired formula… It’s one of the reasons SWTOR only held my attention for a while, and why I am having such a hard time playing LOTRO for more than a short while.

    DDO was fun, and still is, but it’s dated and all that that implies.

    Really, asside from EVE online, all MMO’s follow the same tired ass formulas and boring ass settings.

    I am SO so sick of the Tank/DPS/Healer triumvirate, that I barf at the thought. It was one of the ok elements of SWTOR in that most of the game is solo able.

    Honesty my favorite games these days are Fallout (both of the new ones), Skyrim, Mass Effect , and Left for Dead.

    EVE is on that list too, but I have kind of played it so much that unless I have friends playing I don’t find myself actually playing much as so much of that game is about player interaction.

    Anyway, Good post Dave.

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