April 24, 2006
Where have my weekends gone? Where has my after-work time gone? Oblivion. Not since the early days of EverQuest have I really been this enthusiastic and devoted to a game. I'm well into 110 hours in my primary saved game and that doesn't count the hours lost to stupid mistakes, roll-backs, occasional bugs and crashes, failed experiments, other characters and more. I'm easily looking at another 100 hours of enjoyment from this title.
DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) was fun for a while. The graphics are nice. The game is as faithful to the pencil and paper version as a persistent world massively multi-player online game could be. There's just a major short-coming. There's a severe lack of content. The entire game takes place in one city and a few remote locations (with insta-travel, yay!). But more on that later.
Interestingly, Turbine has more-or-less solved the Chinese Farmer problem in two ways. First, loot is not rare at all. It's not uncommon to see people giving away a decent magic item just because someone in the group wants it. Second, there's no indivual level grinding. The game has a modular feel to it. You and your group go through a specific adventure for a (somtimes predetermined) reward. There's no mob farming. There's no item camping. There's no point in buying anything on IGE with real money when it's so easy to get something in the game. Of course, this also means there's no player economy.
This module system, however, is exactly what turned me off from the game. The modules themselves are by and large good, interesting and entertaining. There are so few modules, though, that most of the game is spent repeating the same modules over and over again with diminishing returns on experience and eventually loot. What's more, groups tend to repeat the most rewarding (loot) modules over and over again so that effectively reduces the number of modules further. I mean, the Water Works series is fun--just not the 18th time I've run it.
DDO was definitely worth checking out, but it just can't hold a candle to the diversity, complexity and endless entertainment that Oblivion (and its thousands of mods) promises and delivers.
Posted at April 24, 2006 11:40 AM | Gaming/Roleplaying
I have to check out Oblivion some day when I have money and time.
Posted by: Bjorn Tipling at April 27, 2006 10:19 PM
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