I have a lot of different games installed, and many of them are MMOs. I do not, however, have free time to match. I need to narrow it down to one or two games to play at a time so that I can make some progress in those games, at least.
I had been playing Black Desert Online as my main game for much of 2018– 851 hours worth as of tonight, according to Steam. When I started this blog, I also started looking around at other games a bit more, and I haven’t really gotten back to BDO much.
As 2018 begins to wind down, I’ve been thinking more about my life goals and what I hope to accomplish in the next year. I do plan on continuing to play games and to write about them in this blog (and stream them on Twitch when I can), but I need to balance that against the other things I want to do in the time left over after my family and full-time job.
I won an alpha key to an upcoming game that is under NDA, so I will be playing a bit of that and not writing about it (at least not while it is under NDA). That probably won’t be my main game, though. I am excited about getting in to give it a look and see how it develops, but I am also aware of the limitations of games in alpha.
So what does that leave me? BDO, of course. Elder Scrolls Online, the game I should love but can’t seem to really engage with. Bless Online, that troubled game I have been covering lately. Revelation Online or Blade & Soul — kind of a toss up which of those I would play, but I found both at least entertaining to a degree. I’ve played a tiny bit of Riders of Icarus, and it is still installed. I have Guild Wars 2 installed, but I don’t feel like I have given it a fair shake yet. And that’s just scratching what I have already installed. I haven’t even gotten into what’s available that I don’t have installed.
I will have to think about this. Suggestions and invitations are welcome.
I follow a number of MMO news outlets, and while they all reported that EverQuest 2 is getting an expansion, they did not mention that the original EverQuest is also getting an expansion. The Burning Lands will be the 25th expansion for this granddaddy of the genre, scheduled to arrive in December.
In addition to trying out Maplestory 2, I played a few hours of Bless Online over the weekend . I decided to check out the Hieron faction, which also meant going to the other server, as you can only create characters in one faction on each server. Two factions, two servers, it works out fine.
I created a sylvan elf and found myself getting into the story a bit. That is pretty unusual for me. Maybe it was just my mood.
I decided to grab the Halloween quests. One of them involves collecting different pumpkins from gathering, and that seemed the simplest to do while working on my newbie levels. As I was gathering, a strange jack o’lantern creature appeared from the node. I tamed that critter. It is a neat pet, but it makes the most annoying sound imaginable.
There were people in chat organizing to go kill the Halloween boss, necessary for one of the event quests. I saw a few people around, too, but for the most part, it seemed quieter than I was used to from the other server and the other faction. I don’t know if that was a server difference, a factional difference, or if I was just on at a particularly slow time. The community seemed really nice, though, so that’s a definite plus.
I have seen a lot of negative reactions to Bless going free-to-play, mainly from people who have decided that they hate the game and are going to take every opportunity they get to announce it to the world. I really hope that more people give it a try when they don’t have to pay up front. I think the hype killed this game, which, to be fair, is a perfectly average MMORPG, and it could be a nice filler game for a while for a lot of people, if they weren’t expecting anything extraordinary out of it. I realize that’s hardly a ringing endorsement, but I can say that I am enjoying the time I put into it here and there.
My internet finally decided to stabilize last night, so I was able to get in to play some Maplestory 2. It’s cute, the translation/localization is good, it plays smoothly and it is pretty fun. It is worth checking out if cuteness isn’t a dealbreaker.
I can’t decide how I feel about the aesthetics, but I can tell you that I don’t particularly like either set of controls. There’s one using arrow keys (keyboard only) and the other using WASD (keyboard and mouse). I played each for a significant amount of time while trying out different classes. I ended up preferring the keyboard only/arrow keys set-up because it separates movement and actions to right and left hands, respectively. It didn’t take long to get used to. That’s 100% personal preference though, and you may find that you prefer the other.
Each class seems to have a different starting story, but they all converge into the same main quest line. Luckily, you can skip a lot of cut scenes, so you don’t have to watch those every time you try out a new class.
Without further ado, here’s some of that sweet, sweet visual content:
Our internet has been unreliable for the last few weeks, and that is not a very MMO-friendly situation. I was connected for over an hour earlier and it lulled me into thinking maybe I could get some gaming in while my son was watching a movie, so I logged into Bless Online to see what the Pantera newbie experience is like, and… well, you can probably guess what happened next.
My life hasn’t been very MMO-friendly lately either. I have had to work 2 Saturdays in a row, and the weekdays I got off in the meantime were full of appointments for myself and children.
It doesn’t help that my husband isn’t a gamer and looks askance at this hobby. He frequently points out that he hasn’t played video games since he was 15. I haven’t played them consistently throughout my life, but I really do enjoy them when I am playing, and I just can’t feel bad about that. I look at it as a TV replacement– I don’t enjoy just sitting and watching TV, but sometimes in the evening, you just want to kick back, relax, and not worry about being productive. Some people watch sitcoms, and some people run dungeons.
I have a secret life goal of getting my husband and my mom to at least try some video games. Neither of them thinks it is a productive use of time, but they should at least see what it is about. I think they’d like the feeling of setting and achieving goals in the evening, and there’s nothing to lose because failing doesn’t mean anything for your real life. My husband has shown some curiosity about Night In The Woods, so maybe there’s some hope.
(I could get into a whole rant about the cult of busy and the insane need to make every moment productive in the conventional sense of the word, but that would be too much of a tangent for this blog.)
Bless Online has announced their official launch date and it isn’t too far off– October 23, 2018. It will go free-to-play at the same time. If you’ve already paid for it, you’ll get some perks based on the package you purchased. (Here’s the announcement on Steam, if you want the details.)
Today’s update to the game includes a new raid and a Halloween event. That is in the announcement too.
If you haven’t played Black Desert Online, this week or next week might be a good time to try it out, especially if things are a little slow for you right now and you have some time to kill. They are having an event which converts your 7-day free trial into a permanent Starter’s Package if you can get to level 56 and complete your Awakening quest within those 7 days.
And you can. Trust me. Run through the main story line quest, and you should find yourself leveling really fast. The bad news is that from 54 to 56 might be a bit of a hard grind, but if you leave yourself time for that, you should be ok. I’ve done one Awakening, with my Maehwa, and it wasn’t super-difficult or anything.
You don’t really need to sweat gear too much while you’re leveling up. You will want it eventually, though.