I'm back to work in both the real life sense and the blogging sense. A week and a half off, I'm feeling full of piss and vinegar.
So how much Eve Online did I play over the holidays?
Ok, I did log in for skill changes and I logged in every night for managing my PI in the wormhole (which continues to make impressive ISK for me, more on that later) but PvP-wise I was absent. There were three factors to this transgression. Prior to Christmas I was extremely busy helping my wife get ready for the 25th, either watching the kids or helping with the decorating/wrapping/clean up. After Christmas we traveled about Eastern Ontario visiting family. For the few days we were actually home, I found myself free for only a handful of times, and they were taken up by a new game in my life...
"OH NO!" you cry, "Is this the end of Kirith's exploits in Eve Online!?!"
Of course not. World of Tanks1, Star Trek Online, Planetside 2 have all taken my attention for a period over the years, some longer than others, but Eve is always there and I still logged in at least once a week for sweet spaceships and eventually the new fascination pales over time and I'm back to Eve with full attention. I suspect The Secret World will no different.
When the game was in development I remember being very intrigued. I like the setting of modern day with the supernatural lurking in the hidden shadows, and a small number of people fighting to hold back the darkness. I didn't jump in when it was released because I was put off by the idea of a monthly subscription for a game I didn't know if I had the time to get into. When the announcement went out this fall that the game was going free to play (after purchase of game) I quickly added it to my christmas list, and my wife got it for me. When I finally got free time and the game installed I tried it out and found my anticipation rewarded.
Get On The Ride
Make no mistake: this is a classic theme-park game. It may have elements of faction PvP battlegrounds, but the core of the game is missions and running the story. But where I find this game succeeds for me where Star Trek Online (aka STO, the only other theme park MMO I've tried for longer than an hour) failed was in the implementation.
One of my biggest complaints in STO was that the space missions were not very varied, while the "ground" missions looked and felt like shit. I remember complaining that the graphics felt like they were a decade old. Playing TSW I find the graphics very nice and smooth (not quiet Batman Arkham smooth but still good for an MMO) and the missions so far have been extremely diverse and interesting. For example, some missions don't require fighting so much as research and critical/creative thinking to solve riddles and puzzles.
I also like that the game abandoned the outdated leveling system for a skills system in terms of character progression, but I note that items are still tiered for all intents and purposes and that means the item grind still exists. We'll see if that becomes a problem for me later on.
All Rides Come To An End
So yes, the setting is great and the graphics are good and the missions are constructed well, but eventually this ride has and end. Its the problem facing all themeparks, players consume stitic content faster than you can create it.
So for now, I'll be dipping into TSW with both feet and seeing where it takes me. In the long run though, I'll still be in Eve blowing ships up.
1 - Note on World of Tanks - I was tempted to pick it up again this holiday, needed some credits, got in my Tier 7 Jagdpanther and in a Malinovka hill defense round I got 6 kills and was on the winning side. Still lost credits due to cost of my ammo. Fuck you Wargaming.net.