Games I’ve Been Playing

I’m still lurking around online. I’ve just been quiet for awhile. There was quite a few months I was without a computer. My old one died and needed a huge upgrade anyway. Right now it seems my modem is experiencing a slow death. I can not reliably log on to Second Life for the past 6 months. No it’s not because of the infamous client 2.0, it’s because my 7 year old modem has been trying to chug data for 2 computers and an Xbox, sometime a 3rd one is running in the mix. The Xbox isn’t usually on with all 3 computers. Anyway because of the Xbox we all have been watching more streaming movies through Netflix on there. More data to chug. Then you throw in the massive amount of data Second Life streams and well, the modem will simply turn off the entire network and crash. Yeah, that’s what I’ve been dealing with for months. At first I blamed my new fancy router for the cause and kept fiddling with that. But when it crashed out after taking the router out of the link, well the only thing left was the 7 year old modem. *sigh* So hopefully I’ll buy a new one soon.

I have been playing a few games of late. PC games that is. Allods Online and Wizard101.  Both are considered free to play, although I don’t think Wizard101 is entirely that. They have a very different option for playing without a subscription. You pay for the new section as you go along, there by “buying” it for your entire account. Plus there’s no monthly charge that. For me it works out well, since I will go months without playing it. It’s also considered a kids game. There are many other adults that enjoy this game as much or more than I do. It’s nice change from a hack/slash RPG to a turn based card battle.

The other game, Allods Online, is much more of the traditional hack/slash RPG. It can be easily called a WoW clone, but there are enough differences in the game to set it apart. One of them being ship to ship battles in space. But they had a recent patch which has soured the majority of the population from logging in anymore. The problem with the patch is what they replaced their death penalty with. Permanently cursing a random piece of equipment. It is emphasized that it’s a slight chance of being cursed. But you can also receive cursed items from treasure chests or as dropped loot. Oh sure, you can uncurse it by being forced to buy a scroll from the cash shop, or a charm to save yourself from being cursed in death. Or as the developers will insist that you can buy it from the auction house from another player that bought it from the cash shop. The other thing they did was to bump up the damage and health of the mobs. That basically caused a 50% decrease in the damage players were able to deal out. Yes there is a cash shop link to this change also, it’s forced many to buy incense which will bump their damage back up and give them some self healing spells. Although I sort of like the challenge with the mobs, but I play a class with some small healing spells.

Now I am not at all objecting to developers of free play games from trying to get players to use their cash shop. I do use the cash shop in Wizard101 and I have in Free Realms and Dream of Mirrors. (Both are free to play games.) The big difference between cash shops on those games and with Allods is I’m not forced to use them because I need to in order to play the game successfully.  I would go and buy a mount in Allods now but I have no idea if the mount I’m buying is going to die on me or not. There is a health bar for the mount.  Oh yeah they have $15.oo vanity clothes also….with no vanity slot on your character for your overpriced outfit to show off while questing. Yes, that’s the big problem with their cash shop before the patch, no one had a need to use it. The things they had in there were either overpriced or simply not necessary so in order to make players use it they did this weird item curse and damage nerfing. *sigh*  There are much better ways to get people to use your cash shop without messing with game mechanics so much that you lose more than half your population in the higher levels. I mean who wants to PVP now?

So my suggestion is not to reply to your players with a double speaking post on how we don’t have to use the cash shop and can buy from the auction house from a possible gold seller instead. Instead create some new armor for the mounts or pets to wear. If it’s just for show, that’s ok. How about an armor/weapons set for players? Yes, with stats. People would buy it and wouldn’t feel like they were forced into buying it. Check out the other games I mentioned and look at what they have to offer in their cash shops.

I actually really like Allods but it’s becoming more and more like a ghost town past level 21. Which makes it rather depressing to play. It is still a very young game and considered in open beta. So I am hoping that something will change where they won’t feel the need to force the cash shop on to players. Just make some interesting things for people to buy instead. Please not the whole mystery chest stuff either. We all know that mystery chest is just a gamble and bordering a scam. Yeah, just about all the free to play games have that in their cash shops too. Bleh!

I’m not so naive as to think that this fun game could continue on the way it was, with a rather crappy cash shop that had no use for the players and expect the developers to be able to afford to continue offering this game. They needed a way to make money off it also. I just feel their solution is a poor one. I rather they added subscriber only areas/quests or something like that instead of this.  I also hope that they are aware of LOTRO going to a free to play model in the near future. I suspect that many people will be jumping ship to them since that’s a polished and established game.  And Turbine listens to their customers closely without responding to them with double speak.

So there’s my long winded post/rant on the games I’ve been playing of late. I think I’ll go off and play Red Dead Redemption now.

Edit Note:  I love Akismet! Yeah, even on my sleepy little blog I get spammers. On this post alone I’m getting spam from gaming sites. Really? This rant-ish post needs spam from a gaming site?

Edit Note: To clarify things for the spammer. I am only familiar with the North American version of Allods Online. The links are all to the North American version. So I can only say that since the patch for the North American version, areas for 20+ level are very vacant. Zone chat is extremely quiet now. Gala-Net is offering a contest of sorts that does get people to log in for at least 2 hours a day. Most of the people are usually AFK in the main cities though. 😦   So spammer guy, I hope that clears up things for you.

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~ by Kittenanne Mousehold on July 15, 2010.

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