Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011
Metagaming at it's finest. Achievements aren't just limited to World of Warcraft after all. Most flash gaming sites have incorporated the system in some way or the other. There's Kongregate, Newgrounds, Armorgames, and oh so many more. Kongragate has implemented an achievement system that spans a large variety of games and even put a few "achievement packs" together in the form of some small quests. Newgrounds has simply a ton of games, but it's falling behind the others as they are simply not sorting the system very well. Complete idiots can add the points to their games, and the whole list of games is just a huge single list. Of course, it is still "beta", but it has been that way for well over a year or two. There has been plenty of time to improve on it. It's just not happening. Kongregate has em nicely sorted by genre, year, and 20 per page. Even the list on your user page is neatly ordered compared to the giant list of don't press this link unless you want to crash your browser. Yeah... Armorgames is "in progress" on version 3 of the site. Many things will improve when it's released, but until then we're stuck with version 2. Still an awesome game available there, is the latest version of Gemcraft. Tower defense in a way that just completely redefines the genre. Champions online A WoW clone, but not quite. Perhaps the biggest thing this game has going for it, is that it's free. It does have a huge number of microtransaction options to buy special costume parts, a hideout, extra missions, more character slots and so on and so forth. The second big thing is customizeability. (Is that even a word?) You will be very hard pressed to find two characters in game who look exactly the same. (Excluding the NPCs obviously) First, you can change the thickness, height, fat, muscle, arm length etc of your body. After that, you can change the colors of your custome. No big deal, Eve Online can do as much. But then you can mix and match the rest of your costume from a large variety of parts. As shown above in my Fire and Ice characters. Fire is the predefined "dps" class, or archetype as it's known here. Ice is a "tanking" class which gives you high health, high threat and so on. Almost all classes have ranged spells. For faster travel you can get giant jumps (Like hulk, rawr, hulk smash!), flight like superman, teleportation like.... I dunno, fast run like the flash, and a variety upon those types with different graphics. Before I bore you too much with simple stats I'll just give you a quick few points: * Crafting system, which is rather limited. * Equipped items do not show on your avatar, hence you can customize your suit and looks yourself. * Level 40 is currently max level. * Dungeons and heroic dungeons. * No ingame achievement system - but over 600 achievements directly linked to steam. * Gold membership / pay per month is an option if you choose it. A fun bit about gold membership (normally you are silver) is that you can "create" your own class. You basically pick whether you want to tank/heal/dps, and can select all the base abilities from there on. You want to tank with ice shield, and have a high dps acid bolt? Healing aura? No problem, no restrictions. Sadly, the game itself lacks the huge world that you can explore in World of Warcraft or the decades worth of lore. In the end it all feels a bit stale. Sure there's the continuous stream of quests, daily quests, event quests (basically a fixed location world boss on a short spawn timer which awards loot to those who did the most damage), 5 man instances and pvp. Even an auction house which is underused, and all the spam in /1 just like old barrens chat. The graphics are so-so. Not as comicky as in WoW, but nowhere near as high res as for example Eve or Rift. Mostly you'll be soloing, and leveling up is somewhat slow. Since it's free, there's not much harm in giving it a try. At worst you don't like it, at best it's a few hours to keep you off the street. I highly recommend getting flight as travel form - since you can avoid enemies more easily, but heck, try em all! Swords and Potions This game is like a cheap rip-off of Recettear, without the ability to do the cool dungeon crawling yourself. Still, a decent game, but with a lot of flaws. It should keep you entertained for a bit though. It (currently) has a 30 min wait time for "game turns", which is too long a wait to really get into it comfortably, and too short to allow it to be a casual game like for instance Dragon tavern, where you can log in once a week and not miss out on anything. It's basically designed to make you spend real money to buy extra turns, recipes and other upgrades. The "guild" system is awfully designed, I'm not even going to waste any words on it. I'll just tell you, avoid joining a guild other than for point trading. Which is another oddity. As your crafters "work" they gain points which stack up to 1000. These points you can use on other players to improve some of the items they bought. Indeed not even on your own items if you have the proper crafter for it. You can't send or buy items or points, you have to physically join a guild with the other player and then click the vendor to improve their items. No safety net to prevent scamming either for that matter. The NPCs will rip you off at every chance they get and curse you in your face if you don't have the item they are looking for. Vendors will bleed you dry, and other players will send ruffians to steal your items or vandalize your shop. Oh yeah, and if you open a tailor + sorceress shop, don't be surprised to find yourself annoyed at the huge number of customers that simply keep on asking for swords, armor, bows and flutes. It seems the signpost outside of shops is yet to be invented. On to quests, unlike the first quest where you are kindly offered the suggestion to please keep an eye out for an old guy's bag of clovers, the other quests are "hidden" in the form of extortionists and blackmailers. If you, like most other players are in any way intelligent enough to not fall for blatant blackmail from NPCs, then you're apparently doing it wrong in this game. You have to pay huge sums of money in order to unlock the following quest chains. If you tell the NPC who is coming to your front door, asking for 4500 gold "welcome tax" to take a hike. He won't come back, you won't get the follow up quest, and you won't get the 25.000 gold quest reward. How is that for logic then.. eh? Well, give it a try, hope the creators adjust the difficulties later and enjoy it for what it is. A quick time killer.
Here's an example of a shop with two crafters. On top the Sorceress who makes potions and mixes herbs. In the bottom the Blacksmith who mainly makes weapons and armor.
*Puts on his robe and wizard hat* Sorry, but this is not that kind of game.


Dave Cushley said...

I don't think that sequel to City of Heroes, which pre dates WoW could be considered a WoW clone, on Apple work on that logic

bbr said...

City of heroes from April 28, 2004.
WoW November 23, 2004.

CO-FFA is actually from September 1, 2009. - Being a descendant from CoH, doesn't "not" make it a wow clone however.

Heck, everquest is from 1999, and UO is from 1997. Wow would be considered a clone of those games if you stretch the MMO genre.

WoW has set such a marker on current day MMO gaming, that most MMOs with similar gameplay are simply titled WoW clones - that in itself does not actually make them a clone though. It's a term more than anything nowadays. Hence the "but not quite".

See Rift, now that right there is a 1-1 copy of WoW, with a few changes. You'd almost think they used the same engine and source code.