I started off this year where I had been for the past 4 years: in World of Warcraft. My guild was close to finally killing Illidan Stormrage and moving on to Sunwell Plateau. In between hardcore raiding and mats farming, I was leveling up the 7th or 8th of my 9 level 70's. After killing Illidan and putting Black Temple on farm status, I started to feel an ennui which even tackling the new challenges of Sunwell Plateau couldn't dispel. Around May and after finally leveling the last of my level 70's, I bid my guild goodbye to seek greener gaming pastures elsewhere.
The first stop was Age of Conan, based on the positive experiences I had during the Open Beta. Unfortunately, the experience I had during Open Beta which had a level cap of 20 proved to be the shining moment for this MMO. You know that standard warning for online games where they say: Game Experience May Change During Online Play? That's exactly what happened after level 20 in AoC. It soon became clear that the title was rushed out into production before important MMO mainstays like content and polish were applied. I think I lasted until level 63 before I stopped logging on which took about a month or so.
While I was waiting on Funcom to fix their game, I downloaded the trial for Eve Online. When I found out I was having more fun with the free trial than my subscription to AoC, I knew it was time for a change. In the second week of my 21-day Steam trial, I applied for and was accepted to Eve University. This was around June and Eve consumed my playing time as I strove to learn everything I could about this complex MMO. Started reading and following the various Eve blogs which inspired me to try my hand at this here blogging thing.
Around August, intrigued by the reports of various gaming blogs of the unique features of the upcoming game, Warhammer Online, I decided to pre-order the game which allowed me access to the Open Beta. Before this, I thought I might play this title but wait until a few months had passed in order not to repeat my AoC experience. At literally the last moment, I decided to apply for Casualties of WAR and they were foolish enough to accept my application.
Events after that have been covered already on this blog so I won't go into them again. I do want to mention that I've trialed some more games recently that were on my to-do list. Among them were Vanguard, Everquest II, Lord of the Rings Online, and even Tabula Rasa. Sadly, the title that I was most impressed with turns out to be Tabula Rasa which will unplug for good in a few months. I don't think I can ever get over the art direction in Vanguard and EQII enough to actually enjoy the gameplay offered. In my younger years, I would've jumped at the chance to live in Tolkien's world but now I just yearn for a good game to play and I don't think Middle Earth can really provide that for me. But we'll see as I still have some time left in the free trial.
I can't wait to see what the next year holds for the future of WAR and other MMORPG's.