Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You Never Know Until You Try

At Achievos, we are constantly encouraging people to branch out and try new things.  Swear your loyalty to shooters alone?  Try an RPG or action game.  Refuse to buy a Kinect without having played it ?  Spend an afternoon at a friends' house to see if it's a better fit than you think.  I had always sworn off MMO games, so when Star Wars: The Old Republic came around, I thought I finally found my way into the genre.  As the blog title suggests, it didn't go so well.

A lot of my friends play one MMO or another, and they have all warned me that they quickly become a giant time suck.  I was warned to get all of my affairs in order and stock the kitchen because I wouldn't be leaving my apartment any time soon.  With all the praise and warnings, I was optimistic and ready to dive into a world of video games and never return.  But when I arrived, I was so miserable.

My very first problem, is the computing requirements for such a game.  This is going to sound braggy and gross, but I happen to have a really awesome laptop.  It has the latest and greatest chip, cards, and processors (at least for the next five minutes) and it was burning up and loud as hell trying to keep up with this game.  There wasn't any lag and it looked great, but these games put a serious strain on my machine.  Some people are totally okay with tying up a huge portion of their hard drive with one game, because maybe that's the only PC game they really tackle.  That's just not my style and I'm over-protective of my baby.

Hardware aside, I really did not like the game play.  The things I didn't like were not exclusively linked to SWTOR, they run common through most MMOs.  First, I don't like the locked camera angle.  In most games that I play, be them PC or console, I can shift around the camera much easier.  Being locked in place really gives me that sea-sick feeling.  And as Linz can tell you, it's tough to play a game when you need to barf.

The other main thing that I didn't like was that the game play in general was not my style.  I absolutely love opening every chest, exploring every corner, and defeating every last enemy.  But with an MMO, it can be nearly impossible to visit every corner of every world.  As I found out with SWTOR, the enemies regenerate in an area within minutes, there is no way to completely clear the field.  In some games, a player can clear out a dungeon and when they come back later in the game, some of the more minor enemies have respawned.  But in SWTOR, and I'm told other MMOs, enemies respawn so quickly that the idea of completely clearing out an area really isn't logical.  For most people it doesn't matter, but for me, it drains out all the fun.

This isn't a hate blog about SWTOR, and I'm smart enough not to bash all over MMOs given that millions and millions of people play them.  I wrote this as yet another example of how important it is to try something new.  Before I played this game, I had always wondered if I was missing out on something that I would really like, or even better, be really good at.  I can now rest easy knowing that I'm not missing out on something.  I've given it a try and it's not for me.  Better yet, I now have some experience with MMOs that I never had before.  When it comes up in conversation, I not only understand, but I can contribute.  I can also now use it as a comparative reference. 

That may not have been my end goal, but I'm glad I tried it anyways.  I learned something new and now the very large gaming portion of my brain can rest a little easier.


Linz said...

This makes me miss MMO-ing. Le sigh.

amandaveronica said...

So are you writing about just your experience with SWTOR? Did you try any other MMO's?

Just curious..

Have you tried Diablo? If so how does it compart to MMO experiences for you?