Some of you know what I'm talking about. Where, no matter how invested you are in the current subscription game you're playing, your gaze is slowly drawn around looking for greener pastures. You begin to stare at new games, and even old ones you swore you'd never play again, with a sense of curiosity.
It's been quite some time, you tell yourself. Perhaps the game has improved. Or you start hyping yourself up over a game that hasn't gone gold yet.
Yeah, I'm in this phase, right now. As I have, for the second time, hit the maximum level in World of Warcraft, and once again done all there is to do, I'm finding my interests wandering.
I jumped into the stress test for Dungeons and Dragons Online yesterday. I'll talk a little bit about that for you.
First if all, it is very, very evident that the game is still in early beta phases. Connection was choppy. Some animations were uncompleted. It isn't close to that "polished" feel yet.
I'll do a quick rundowns of the good and bad, from my point of view.
- You can select a first and last name for your character.
- Character facial customization seems to be pretty diverse. Not as good as some, but better than others.
- Warforged are just a really damned cool race.
- Combat is completely in real-time. You don't just toggle attack on and sit back. A click of the mouse button swings your weapon.
- Ladders and climbing animations. May seem trivial, but really lacking in other games.
- Breakable world objects. In dungeons and stuff you can smash certain things to find loot.
- Very immersive world. As you explore a dungeon, you get narrative text that draws you into the invironment, in a very DnD-esque style. "As you descend into the tomb, your gaze is drawn to the large locked door in front of you".
- Quests develop side quests. Additional tasks you can accomplish while on your main quest for extra experience.
- User Interface seems a little clunky and unrefined. Buttons are small and non-descript.
- Awkward default control scheme. No ability to remap mouse buttons.
After DDO, I jumped into Star Wars Galaxies, because I was curious about their New Game Enhancements. I had played SWG during the beta test, then briefly at launch, and then again in early 2004. Hadn't touched the game since, and five minutes after I created my new character, I remembered why and uninstalled the game.
I know in a week or so I'll come around to World of Warcraft again. During my break though, I will continue to distract myself with other games, online and not, such as The Movies.
Hey, I wonder what Anarchy Online is like these days...