Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When MMOs Collide with Geekery

This past week has been insane. Getting kids ready to go to Grandma's house and arranging the travel then getting my husband's new computer, which was an adventure. Then the shopping trip to try and get the kids out of the house for a while which turned into another adventure. This year seems like it's just going to be full of adventure. This does not bode well as my adventures tend to include missed potties and whinging teenagers and me having to build something. Somewhere in there I did get time to play video games, because if I didn't I would go insane.

As a long time World of Warcraft player, I have a pretty soft spot for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. As a longtime nerd I just like RPGs. So, after mentioning them in a prior post, I ventured out and played both the Star Trek Online MMO and the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. I have discussed my feelings about Star Trek and Star Wars, so as a hyoooge geek for both I had some really high hopes. STO was first up as it was free to play and as I was just coming off of two weeks of a full on Star Trek: TNG binge. The character creation was amazing, I had tons of fun going through the myriad options, I could spend all day just making characters. Unfortunately, as it has gone free to play there are lots of things that you have to buy Cryptic points for, having more than one character is one of those things.

I might like STO if it wasn't free to play, but somehow I doubt it. I am still contemplating going back as it was at least more fun than The Lord of The Rings Online. I may not though as I really hate it when a free to play game totally milks it and I mean milks it so hard the poor cow is chafing. The movement isn't as responsive as I've gotten used to in WoW and the ship play was slow and rather meandering (granted this probably gets better at higher levels, I didn't stick around too long). I could get over all of that though if it weren't for two things that just pissed me off so badly I logged out right then and there.

The first time I rage quit was when I had gotten to the planet Vulcan to complete a quest. I was playing a Vulcan and when I was faced with some serious allegations of wrong (or at least weird)-doing I was given NO option to try and find out what was going on without having to go through with letting the overly emotional VULCAN ambassador onto my ship and then take full responsibility for him. Every single bit of rpg and Star Trek nerdishness in me was screaming "IT'S A TRAP!" I did it anyway because I didn't have any other quests or ways to get experience other than this quest. Fine, okay, I can fudge this little storytelling thing and carry on. I get to the planet and three warbirds come out of cloak. They hail me rather than blowing my very small and insignificant ship out of space. Great! an opportunity to talk a problem out. NOPE!! I'm calmly asking questions (really, I was searching for the, I test the damn ambassador, because it's logical and turn him over, again, logical) and when there was no option but to attack, and my tiny insignificant ship blew the warbirds out of the sky. I logged out with a vengeance.

The second nerd rage incident was less story driven and more just my irritation on having to pay in game money to do a quest. I mean really, not having to pay credits for an item to complete a quest, no, I got the quest but to travel to where I would have to do the quest I had to pay energy credits, the same thing I use to buy gear. This felt like such an arbitrary way to reduce the amount of money I had so I would have to buy Cryptic Points, that I again nerd raged and logged off.

Ok, so STO is a bust. Maybe if I had more patience or wasn't as much a fan so I couldn't point out all the inconsistencies or, hell, maybe if they were just subtle. I left my illogical Vulcan and deleted the entire program. I do have thoughts that maybe if I don't play my favorite race or if I just spend a little money... nah.

On the other hand SW:TOR is a thing of beauty. The game play is responsive and I love that there is so much voice acting. Hearing my character talk is awesome, I just wish there were different voices per race as well as class. I really can't complain about much, the story is consistent, I love the social options and the conversations are incredibly immersive.  I don't like some of the choices that were made for the Jedi Consular, for instance, I hate Qyzen Fess. Consulars are supposed to be diplomatic, concerned for the welfare of others and generally trying to avoid combat (their spec lines bear this out at least) unless absolutely necessary. My Trandoshen companion on the other hand, hates it when I care about others and really can't stand it when I think of an option other than let's just kill 'em all and let the scorekeeper sort them out. Gah! I really just cannot wait until I can get another companion, but I think I'm going to be waiting a while. To make up for this, all of the Sith are British and I can't help finding this utterly hilarious.

SW:TOR just came out in December and it is most definitely not free and it's specification requirements are rather high if you want to be able to run the game at anything but low. The ongoing fee is $14.99 per account, per month just the same as WoW. So far though, I made it all the way to level 13 and I'm still having a blast.

Happy Hunting,
A Big Fat Nerd

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