Besides the weekly column that comes out on Wednesday, I will also run a livestream whenever I play the game. Of course, Massively's livestream sessions are abbreviated, so I cannot stream on that channel for the number of hours that it will take me to accurately get a taste of what the game is like. So I will run the regular livestream on my channel, then take over Massively's stream when I can. That also means that some of the choices made during the course of this adventure will be made on the livestream and not in this column. However, I will attempt to let the readers of this column make the major choices.
So let's decide what game I'll be playing for you. After the break, I've listed five games that I am interested in revisiting or visiting for the first time. Read the descriptions, then at the end, vote on the game you'd like to see me play. I will have to close the voting on Fridays, so that I will have the weekend to actually implement the choices you make. Happy adventuring!
Regarding PlanetSide 2: I am horrible at first-person shooters. But I understand the appeal of them. When PS2 released, all of my friends raved about the game, but I didn't play beyond the first day. I believe the biggest issue for me wasn't the quality of the game because as far as I could tell PS2 knocked the socks off all the other games of its kind. My largest hurdle was that I played the game solo. Given the level of strategy and coordination required to be effective in this particular game, I will need as much participation from the Massively audience as I can get if this game wins.
If you are unfamiliar, Sony Online Entertainment created PlanetSide 2 in 2012 as the long-awaited sequel to the 2003 online shooter PlanetSide. Despite some misgivings about the payment model when the game was originally announced, fans of the original PlanetSide were unsurprised by the game's overwhelming success. If PlanetSide 2 is chosen for this Choose My Adventure, we will be able to choose between one of three factions, six possible classes, and multiple ground and air vehicles.
I have a soft spot in my heart for DC Universe Online. It's always been one of those games that I believe did a tremendous job executing mechanics and storytelling. Artist Jim Lee and his Wildstar Studio created some of the best visuals in MMO gaming, and despite its release in early 2011, it still rivals some of the MMOs being released this year. I don't play this game now because I feel that I'm behind the curve. Although the game is familiar to me, I really don't know what's new and where I should go anymore. So, fans of this game, when I jump in, you're definitely going to have to help me out.
Sony Online Entertainment launched DC Universe Online in January of 2011. The game marked a major transition in MMO gaming by becoming the first full-blown action MMO. Despite some other games claiming to be the first fully voiced MMOs, DCUO quietly achieved this title. If DCUO is chosen for this Choose My Adventure, we will be able to choose between two factions, seven power sets, ten weapon types, and three movement types all, of which considerably change the gameplay style.
Why have I never played Aion? The game is gorgeous, and really, who has never wanted to have wings? The answer to the first question is not that simple. First, my computer simply couldn't handle the game at launch, but at the same time, I never really had the desire to pick up the game because some of my friends who game-swapped a lot told me that the game was extremely grindy. But when I watch MJ's Aion streams, I see a really amazing-looking game. I am not really sure what those naysayers were talking about, and perhaps the game has changed a lot in four years.
Aion launched in September of 2009 by NCSoft -- the same year that another NCSoft game, Tabula Rasa, shut down. So many MMO players shunned NCSoft games at the time. But after four years, the game endures due to its beautiful character design and majestic environments. If we go with Aion for this Choose My Adventure, then we will have three factions to choose from, four major classes to pick, and eight possible subclasses to narrow down to.
I've played a lot of Free Realms in the past. I have children, and one of them really would like to play more games with me. I believe Free Realms hits the sweet spot. Other games that are designed for children seem to simplify everything to the point that it's not really fun as a family game. But Free Realms keeps things fun for children and their parents, and to me, that's what family gaming is really about.
In 2009, SOE launched Free Realms as its first free-to-play game, sparking a change in the company's perspective about that type of business model. But from the gamer's side, it showed that SOE could let players play for free and still make an excellent, high-quality game. If Free Realms is picked for this Choose My Adventure, my eight-year-old son and I will play together, choosing from among 16 different jobs and a plethora of different activities.
I had to put a Cryptic game on my list because it does make good MMOs, but Star Trek Online made a Choose My Adventure a few months back and I couldn't use it again. I don't really like Champions Online, so that left Neverwinter. Granted, some people will say that it's not really an MMO, but I believe the game has a lot of potential and the action combat is a lot of fun. Again, the reason I don't play this game as much as I'd like is that my circle of friends don't spend any time in the game. If you choose this game for me, I expect some people to jump in with me to level and PvP.
Neverwinter launched earlier this year, and Dungeons and Dragons fans went wild. Seriously, I had friends who literally spent hundreds of dollars on this game and would blow whole paychecks each week to buy items off the store. But the Foundry stands out as one of the best features of Neverwinter. If Neverwinter is chosen for this Choose My Adventure, not only will we be able to pick between five different classes and seven different races, but we'll build a Foundry mission based on your feedback in these articles and in the livestream.
Here are your choices; choose wisely.
|PlanetSide 2||136 (11.1%)|
|DC Universe Online||191 (15.6%)|
|Free Realms||157 (12.8%)|
Larry Everett loves MMOs, but sometimes when he gets stuck in one particular MMO, he loses sight of everything else he's missing. Direct his game time in Choose My Adventure on Wednesdays and on The Stream Team.