Every now and then I get an itch to play an older game that I enjoyed years ago on a regular basis. If you’ve read this blog regularly at all, you know that almost yearly I return to City of Heroes for a month to check out the changes and enjoy the Super Hero atmosphere. But CoH isn’t the only MMORPG that I like to return to from time to time, there are others and for the last couple of days, I’ve been wanting to return to one in particular: Asheron’s Call.
I have no idea why. Maybe it is because a couple of months ago I got an email from Turbine telling me that they are celebrating their 10th anniversary (a fact that the game has been around for 10 years still amazes me!!!). Maybe it is that I have a yearning for a real MMO, not the WoW-styled crap that seems to be swarming the internet gaming sphere these days. Maybe it is the want to return to the olden days of MMOs when I actually enjoyed them. Maybe it is that I just miss playing MMOs for real. I don’t know but I’ve been wanting to play AC again of late.
I do think that a good sign of a quality game is one that you return to over and over again through the years. Even if it is only for a month or two. I don’t think that is much. I mean obviously there are reasons that we have all moved on from older games, many of them have run their course. It really is difficult to play these games for hours on end if the graphics are subpar than what we used to. They are broken, deserted, etc. But they still are quality games that were very fun for us to play at one point, and likely still are for short bursts still.
My list of games that I probably would return to from time to time is Asheron’s Call, Ultima Online, and City of Heroes obviously. Champions Online I’m not sure how that’ll turn out, I am guessing not well considering I grew bored so quickly. I don’t feel it had the magic that CoH had even though it fixed many of the issues CoH did. EQ2 I also am unsure of. That game wasn’t ever really fun playing alone, you had to be in groups, and much of the content you could play alone with was repetitive to the point that I overplayed much of it already. And then it was also a game that was dictated more on raids. These types of features don’t lend well to returning to it very much and I’m also unsure of how high I rate it, probably not in my top 5, it was just my top 1 for the span of a year or two, not all time.
So with that, I’ve re-activated the account. Let’s say it is in honor of its 10th Anniversary. As we speak I am at 5% of downloading updates (hey Turbine, update your client download to include the patches!!!). I feel like I should read up on some of the changes in the game so that I can explore some of the new stuff but I don’t really have a ton of time to read through all the patch notes and from what I can see, it doesn’t seem to be as well organized as what it used to be.
I know not many people actually play AC anymore. From what I can tell to this day it is mostly populated by bots and macros. This is the primary reason that I stopped playing AC years ago and is a big reason why instead of playing a little every year I am playing a little every few years. It is a system that works well for the players and the developers that are still there. But works extremely poorly for trying to maintain or bring back older players who want to play the game honestly.
But it is there thing, I just need to plan on not talking to anyone. I am glad they finally got global chat going in the game. In some ways it sucks that it is there. I remember people complaining about the lack of global chat in AC back in the old EQ vs AC debate. But after playing many games since then, I think I honestly prefer the globaless system of AC and UO far more to the constant chatter, bickering, spam, selling, trading, begging, and flaming that goes on in those systems. Even guild chat tends to be like this (though not as bad) and I guess I just prefer that if you have a group of players who want to chat, you gotta be near them. There is something special, it adds something to the feel of the game, whereas I think the global chat detracts from it.