Friday, July 1, 2011

Canada Day Resolutions For 2011

It's July 1st, which means it is once again time to hono(u)r our neighbors to the north with PVD's annual Canada Day Resolutions.  How have my New Years' Resolutions been going so far?  What's on deck for the rest of the year? 

WoW Resolutions

  • Get both my Gnome mage (currently 84) and my Tauren warrior (82) up to the new level cap of 85. 
    My mage came up just short of hitting the milestone this year for reasons I've discussed
  • Complete every normal and heroic 5-man at least once on both high level characters.     
  • Explore some of the revamped old world on new alts.
    Currently, I'm a bit over halfway through a tour of the newbie (1-12) zones with a small army of new alts.  My favorite lowbie specs right now are Subtlety Rogue, Survival Hunter, Destruction Warlock, and Discipline Priest.  It's possibly telling that none of those are traditional leveling specs, which tend to make life too easy.
The mage made it to the cap in early February, though I was in no hurry to get there.  The warrior hit the cap last week.  I have beaten all of the normal dungeons on the mage, but I'm nowhere near through the heroics, much less the two bonus heroics that arrived this spring.  I will probably finish this on my mage next month, and I'm not sure if I'm going to bother on the warrior or not.  As to the alt tour, I did finish the level 1-12 newbie zones, but the low difficulty of playing the game as intended really sapped my interest in continuing with this project.

Revised Resolutions are:
  • Finish the heroics (including new ones) on the mage.
  • Check out the new daily campaign in 4.2.

DDO/LOTRO Resolutions
  • Actually get a character into the mid-high levels.  [DDO]
  • Complete the Vol 3 Book 2 content in Enedwaith (added during the F2P switch)[LOTRO]
  • Await Isengard [LOTRO]
Fail.  I've barely logged into DDO this year.  I did spend some time in LOTRO because they made the missing chunks of Volume II soloable, but I still haven't quite caught up to the present.  That said, I've also not paid anything for either game this year, and they're both waiting for whenever I want to sign in.  LOTRO does have its expansion coming this fall, and I'm sure I will play it eventually, but this may or may not be at launch depending on what else I'm up to in October.  Revised resolution is to take both games at whatever pace I feel like, which is basically unfailable. 

EQ2 Live/Extended
  • Write fewer news posts about the EQ2 business model.
  • Either find a Velious bargain or skip the expansion entirely
I haven't completely steered clear of the EQ2 business model, which is still mind-boggling at times, but I think I've done a better job of not over-covering minor changes, especially on the EQ2X side.   Ironically, I think I would actually pay less money under the F2P model, but I'm not prepared to take a one way trip away from my new server (after LDL finally merged with Crushbone in February).  Despite my expectations, I actually picked up Velious and have enjoyed it.  In general, I log in when I have a full evening to spend on a PUG dungeon run, and I've been saving the solo content so that I will have something to do while I look.  Overall, it's been going pretty well so far. 

Revised Resolutions:
  • Wrap up the Velious solo timelines, including any new content as it arrives.  
  • Complete each heroic dungeon at least once (I've currently finished the first six, leaving the three KD zones and the new ones in Drunder), and try to finish up the major dungeon questlines.  
Runes of Magic

At the start of the year, I had no plans to return to ROM.  Probably the biggest thing I did to improve my experience was to stop worrying about keeping my secondary class up to date.  Focusing on the druid side, which is the side that I really enjoy anyway, literally halves the grind, and the result is a level that I can enjoy as a pleasant non-subscription diversion. 
Revised Resolutions:
  • Advance towards the level cap on the druid (or as close as I can get before the grind and/or the need for gear kills it)
  • Pick my third class (probably either Warden or Warrior, leaning Warden if they improve it in upcoming patches) and take some of the additional options for a spin.
PS3 Resolutions

The original plan here was to sightsee in DCUO and pick up some misc single player games.  Unfortunately, the more I've heard about DCUO - including today's half-hearted introduction of a cash shop - the less impressed I am.  I may eventually pick this up on the PC if the price gets low enough, now that the station pass upgrade costs only $5 more for EQ2 subscribers.  On the single player side, I've beaten Portal 2 and Infamous, and now I'm working on Assassin's Creed 2.

Rift Resolutions

I had planned to take a pass on the launch rush, but relatively reasonable pricing ultimately tipped me in favor of signing up at launch.  I let my sub lapse at the 30 day mark, I haven't been back, and I can't really articulate a rational reason why; I just didn't feel like sticking with the game over the other options.  Though the launch went exceptionally well by all MMO standards, there were some rough edges that got balanced out, for better or worse, over the last few months.  I figure that the game that I will eventually return to will be better than the one I declined to pay for back in April, so there's no hurry, especially with how quickly Trion releases new patches.

Revised Resolution:
  • Get to level 50 on my Cleric, PUG some dungeons to see how the experience compares with WoW and EQ2.  
Other MMO's

At the top of the year, I said that I'd consider Vanguard and STO if they went free to play.  The buzz on Vanguard has since gotten interesting enough that I will likely take it for a free trial spin, even though no business model change is in sight.  I remain not so interested in SWTOR or GW2 because I didn't care so much for their predecessors, and I don't feel like there have been enough hard details about TERA for me to say much about the game. 

The other game I'm vaguely curious about is Allods, which a lot of people seemed to enjoy until they discovered that the publisher intended to make money on the product, and which is supposedly adding its own take on dual/multi-classing.  That said, time is really the limiting factor in trying any MMO's I'm not currently playing, and I'm just not sure that Allods or anything else is going to fit in the calendar.

The Blog
As I predicted, I'm limping along at around three posts per week due to limited gaming/blogging time.  Some weeks, I've had so little time that I realize it's been several days since I posted anything.  Others, I've got something to talk about every day.  It's not ideal, but it's what I've got for now.

As always, thanks to my readers for sticking around, and we'll see how these resolutions fare in six months.


flosch said...

"The buzz on Vanguard has since gotten interesting" - are you talking about THAT Vanguard there? The one with the great promises, a lot of interesting features, but a start that at least rivals, if not beats, the one of Anarchy Online?

If so, pray tell the buzz; I must've missed it. I loved the game for what it could be, but lamented the game for what it was, and especially what it was without many players around. I'd be on it in a blink again if there's more hope these days.

Chris said...

"I remain not so interested in SWTOR or GW2 because I didn't care so much for their predecessors" - do you consider SWG or KOTOR TOR's predecessor?

(I mean, they both are in a way, I'm just curious which you didn't care for/is swaying your decision on TOR)

Green Armadillo said...

@Flosch: More hope is a relative term where Vanguard is concerned, but yes, I'd say there is more than there was six months ago. Anyone who had ever played the game before the great hacking incident was entitled to 45 free days of gametime (I believe the offer stands for another month or so), and there were at least a smattering of blogposts about people re-trying the game. Ardwulf has an unofficial forum going if you'd like more firsthand info.

@Chris: KOTOR, but also Dragon Age, since that's the most recent Bioware title I've spent significant time with. Bioware are great storytellers, but I walked away from DA feeling that the underlying game was a shallow version of MMO's like DDO; I felt like the gameplay was a chore I had to slog through to see the story. TOR could be different, but it seems that people who have seen the videos are really excited and people who have actually played the game are somewhat less so.

Anonymous said...

"I remain not so interested in SWTOR or GW2 because I didn't care so much for their predecessors"

To second Chris's inquiry, are you aware of any of the changes that are being made to the model and mechanics of GW2 that differentiate it from GW1?

I don't want to appear condescending when I assure you that GW2 is not a mere reskin, because I don't know what you know, or what you objected to in GW1.

Glyph, the Architect said...

That is a lot of MMOs to juggle at once.