Free-to-Play Hour 2

So today, I’d like to talk about instances. As I may have mentioned in my previous post, I love that DDO is totally instanced. It means that not only are you (and your party) the only people fighting your baddies, you can also determine how difficult you want that adventure to be, and because of the inherent stability of the adventure, you can feel free to complete it as you like. I’ve made many characters with zero fighting ability because I knew that my guildmates would be there to kill things and I could just be a straight-up pacifist healer. You can also go through some dungeons without killing a thing (and get extra XP for it to boot!) if your rogue is a good sneak or your arcane can cast Invisibility. There are many ways to get through an adventure, and it is rarely as simple as “run in, shoot everything as you see it” as it seems to be in most of these other games. So… on to the 2nd hour!

DCU- I did a little “tour” quest where Booster Gold told me about the various places in Gotham’s East End that all had to do with Batman or Bruce Wayne. Then I got word that the villains were attacking and ALL HEROES GET HERE NOW! Turns out I, at level 4, was actually doing so little good against these guys who were “tier 3,” whatever that means, that I was dropped from the group! Tried to do a little goodwill with some of the guys hating on “teh n00bz.” Is it really their (or my) fault that they haven’t played the game as long as you have? Do you have to answer questions with biting sarcasm and rude comments? Gamers get enough grief from non-gamers. Do we really have to take it from ourselves as well? Anyway, I also found out, thanks to my rumbler going crazy on my PC tower, that my Gamepad works in DCU… although I’m not really sure what actions go with what buttons. Finally, thanks to my long trek to the PVP fight and the many clicks of uselessness, I didn’t get a whole lot done, so I finished *this close* to level 5. Instances- haven’t seen any yet.

DDO- Leveled to 2 almost immediately after logging in and took a level of Ranger. I’ve never really liked the straight up Fighter in D&D… too vanilla and boring for me. Figure I’ll make her a dual-dwarven axe wielder like my former level 6 or 7 permadeath character Hildawynn. Finished up the quests leading up to Misery’s Peak. You know how bad the easy button has gotten? I picked up 2 +3 robes and a bodyfeeder scimitar in the VILLAGE. You used to be lucky to get Masterwork gear in Korthos. You had to wait until level 8 or 9 for +3 gear. I had a level 9 in Permadeath (also no auctions or buying gear) and I still didn’t have a bodyfeeder! (Bodyfeeder means that if you score a critical hit on an enemy, you gain 15 temporary hit points as a sort of buffer… and a scimitar has the largest chance of criticals in one handed weapons). Anyway, I knew I wouldn’t make it through Misery’s Peak solo in the amount of time I had left, so I decided to roll back through the Village quests on Hard. I got 2 more Action Points, so I’m at Level 2, but the equivalent to other games is level 8. Instances- hell yeah!

LOTRO- Actually got quite a bit done here. Finished off the “Intro” series and saved Archet! Got my first reputation point and milestone, and learned that credit for a kill will go to the player or group who started the fight. Take that, kill thieves! Also, it helps me not feel bad when I come across some nearly dead player who is struggling to take out that spider. Now I can help him without worrying that I’m stealing his XP. I hated that about City of Heroes. I went to the nearby city of Combe where I was overwhelmed by how many quests were offered. Luckily my hour was just about up, so I chose a crafting profession (Weaponsmith, I think) and quit out at level 7. Instances- I would say I haven’t seen any, except that the big final fight for Archet was one. I almost didn’t recognize it as such! It warned me that I wouldn’t be able to complete any outstanding quests and to continue only if I was ready.

SWTOR- Started five quests, finished five quests, although only 3 were both started and finished. Made it to level 5. Instances- only in the storytelling cutscene parts so far. I don’t think there were any others yet.

WOW- Whew… quite a bit considering I actually quit out in the middle of a cave complex. I have 7 listed as started and 8 listed as finished, with 4 remaining open at the end. I also leveled to 8. I was having serious lag issues, and combine that with how this is the only game that actually feels like it’s just an extended free trial rather than a truly free-to-play game, and my motivation to play it is waning. Instances- none so far, that I’ve noticed.

I did some research on the differences between subscription and free-to-play with each game, but it is late, so I’ll leave it for hour 3. I’m also starting to feel my typical character creation regret with a couple of the games. DCU, I don’t really care for the bow, and would rather have something more like fire or light (though I think light is a subscription or expansion deal). I saw a Green Lantern look alike pull out a jet fighter in that PVP battle. Awesome. DDO- like I said, I have never really been big on the plain fighter types, so I’m not sure why I chose that role. LOTRO- the one time I tried the game for a day long, long ago, I was a human champion, so I wonder what is different about the starting parts… also I don’t really like having to run all the way up to my enemy before I can start attacking. Same goes for WoW. Now that I’m in it, I remember actually trying out one of those 10 day trials way back when… and surprise! I was a night elf hunter then too. Star Wars is about the only one I’m really happy with. I’m a Jedi, and primarily a force user. I’d like a Sith character just to see how it plays out, but I almost always play the good guy first whenever I play a game with that choice.

Final level count-
DCU- almost 5
DDO- 2.2 (Rank 8)
WoW- 8


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