Tobold's Blog
Monday, March 02, 2009
Slowing it down

There is a huge excitement at the moment about the various features and changes that will come to World of Warcraft with the patch 3.1. Personally I think that is a bad sign: People are more excited about what they will have than about what they have. Don't get me wrong, I like many of the things I hear about the patch. But I'll wait until the patch is actually here, and I guess that will still take around two months. And I'm not going to report too much about various announced or seen-on-PTR class changes, like the big druid nerf: Over the coming week many of the things that are in the patch notes or on the PTR now will still change, and nobody knows how the final version will look like.

So personally I decided to slow down playing World of Warcraft a bit. Leveling the third character to 80 is still fun, but not quite as much as the first two, because the third one necessarily has to repeat quests I already did. And of course leveling the low-level druid is full of repeats. My raiding priest practically doesn't get any upgrades any more on Naxx10, and we're still having problems getting 25 people for Naxx25 together regularly. So I think I'll reduce raiding to twice per week, unless the recent tank shortage repeats itself and I can go raiding with my warrior. I don't mind going raiding with my priest even if I don't get any loot any more, but only if it helps other guild mates. And at the skill / gear level we are now, our 10-man Naxxramas raids would frankly be better off if we just took 2 healers and one more dps.

Another reason I'd like to slow down with WoW a bit is that there are so many other great games I'd like to play some more. Empire: Total War is coming out, and I still have Mass Effect, Call of Duty 4, King's Bounty, and Fallout 3 unplayed on my shelf. I also want to have a closer look at some Free2Try MMO's, like Chronicles of Spellborn, Runes of Magic, Atlantica Online, and Bounty Bay Online. Or maybe revisit some old favorites like Puzzle Pirates or A Tale in the Desert. So much to do, so little time! :)

I decided against taking a complete break from WoW. I'm still having fun. And the incentive structure of WoW favors a slowdown (which implies continuing to pay monthly fees) over a clean break: I can gain a lot of reputation and gold by just doing a few selected daily quests and AH deals every day, and using my long-cooldown crafting recipes. So I'll play a bit of WoW every day, and then play a bit something else. Probably the healthier option anyway. At least until patch 3.1 comes out. ;)
Try Fallout 3 first. I play it currently and it is a LOT of fun. Just *really* role play and you will not forget it :).
It also adds to the replay value.
I highly recommend to try out Dawn of War 2, if only for the single player campaign. It's more Dungeon Siege or Diablo than an RTS and very WoW-like in terms of character progression. This is something that can be played in small chunks, something that killed Fallout 3 for me, cause this game really needs huge marathon sessions and i limited those to my 2 days of WoW raiding.
Fallout 3 and King's Bounty really rock. Call of Duty 4 is not really exciting, a linear shooter with scripted storyline that totally fails at immersion. Tubular level design - after playing Fallout 3, you feel like in prison in CoD4.
Just got my hands on King's Bounty, can't wait to get into it.

@coldheat - Fallout 3 is awesome, but I agree it requires (or rather sucks you into) long sessions that I don't always have available.

Would be keen to hear what you think of those games when you do get around to playing them though, Tobold :)
I second the Dawn of War 2 recommendation - it's a really nice take on the RTS genre.
"People are more excited about what they will have than about what they have."

Even mediocre guilds are done with current content (except Sarth +3 obviously). Plus one of the biggest promised features of Wrath is coming out with 3.1, duel specs.

I too am slowing down my WoW play. I reactivated my WAR account and spend 2-3 days a week in WoW and 2-3 days a week in WAR. Also, I grabbed a box for LoTRO for $6.00 out of a clearance bin. Should give that a try sometime soon.
aTiTD just started the fourth tale a few months ago.... It'd be a great time to visit Egypt :-)
I rented Fallout 3 and returned it after playing it for 4 hours. I realized I need to invest around 30-50 hours on that game to get to the end.

@Cod4 comment
umm ... most fps campaign are linear. That being said eing linear isn't bad. Comparing it's style with an RPG is really unfair.

Enjoy COD4 for what it is ... a FPS campaign. It has a pretty solid story especially when you compare it with other FPS that came out the same time it did(resistance story just plain sucks). It's not about getting clues at the town to find who the thief was or doing side quest to get more skill points. It's about shooting and getting some cover. Shoot them first before they shoot you.
COD4 is the best FPS I've ever played from a story perspective bar none.

Which is probably like saying its the best Uwe Boll movie, but still.
Fall 3 is excellent, hopefully you won't experience the motion sickness you sometimes get with FPS games. Cranked up on your new hardware its a beautiful game, with a great story. Pick a 'role' (good guy / bad guy) and try to stick with it, as it does make the game more enjoyable. The replayability is also high, as you can focus on the main quest the first time through, then go again and play more as an explorer and see all the little side quests.

If you get a chance, I would like reading your thoughts on Kings Bounty. I generally like the Heroes-style games, but I've yet to really look into KB.
I recently just started slowing down my WoW playing as well. If you like fighting games at all I suggest looking into Street Fighter IV.
I think I'm the only person in the world who wasn't that impressed with fallout 3.

I second the recommendation of Dawn of War 2 though. The campaign mode is an rpg like dungeon siege. The RTS mindset applied to a tactical-rpg is fucking amazing. I've been enjoying it thoroughly so far. Hopefully a fantasy team will catch onto the idea and do it again with more complex classes gear and leveling.
Dammit, go play Mass Effect now! It's the best RPG since ... forever, maybe Baldurs Gate 2 (although KotoR 1 and 2 are arguable). The Storyline is compelling, the creative universe in its depth is only rivalled by certain Anime universes, and at least for me the game did what almost no game ever did: During play I realized things that sucked in other games, because the lack of it suddenly opened my eyes to these problems.

I could go into greater detail if you want, but for a long time computer roleplayer I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.
Mass Effect is not a bad game, but it's seriously overrated. Comparing it to BG2 is just setting yourself up for disappointment, it's simply not as good as older Bioware titles.
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