So, I have returned to the World of Warcraft.
It is not like I didn't try to find a alternative to this game. I even went back to Final Fantasy XI, partially because I found that most of my old friends from that game were there, and partially to try it on the 360.
1. Final Fantasy XI and the Now:
Let's be honest. As soon as I logged on, I knew that the game was still in trouble. Regardless of the bits and pieces of information on the upcoming expansion pack, going back was...draining.
The economy, which was one of the reasons I had left originally, had gotten into worse shape. Fire crystals going for as much as $12,000 Gil seemed extremely high. The consensus across the board is that it is only getting worse. While the economy was uneven to begin with, mostly because the Japanese had a year and something headstart on the game, it has gotten worse. TO be honest, I was expecting a collapse of the economy such as happened with SWG. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened and doesn't seem like it will happen.
So how are players coping?
Regardless of threats leveled to players time and time again, many players have now reduced themselves to buy gold online. Out of the twenty or so on my MSN list that play, and including a lot of customers that come into the store daily, they have all bought gold or knew close aquaintences that have done it. Why not? After all, to get some of the gear that you need, not to mention spells and songs, the cost tends to move to the astronomical realms. The gold sellers economy will always boom until SE moves into correct this situation. Will the company? Probably not. As long as you pay the monthy service fee, I don't believe they care.
And joining the 360 beta...Sigh.
First off, it took me over 6 hours to install on the system, and by the time that was done, my already small HDD was reaching capacity. And that was without updates. 6 gigs to install a game on a 20 gig hdd seemed a little unfair. Wasn't there someway it could be compressed or something? Regardless, I played for a bit, and nothing on the 360 grabbed my attention. The graphics were about the same, and the same amount of lag still lived there...so, why not stick to the PC?
2. Eve Online.
This was a departure for me. Unfortunately, I have never gotten into many space games, and this one didn't appeal to me. Six hours and I was ready to give it up. Pretty game, but not much else.
3. Star Wars Galaxies:
I think, like EverQuest, this is a game that you really had to be around at the beginning for. With a stagnant growth of this game, the new zones are empty. The players that are there have leveled to the top and doing their own thing. One person told me that they wouldn't play through SWG again because it would be 'too painful'.
4. Guild Wars.
Surprisingly, the only game I didn't give a try to. I have heard so much about the game that I had no interest in playing it at all. Your whole existance in the game being a instance and a level cap are the two major things that made me stay away.
I haven't read alot about DDO, but from what I have heard, it might not too bad. Immediately I scare off easily when I have seen ads in my game shop to join the beta. Wait, you NEED people to join your beta? What happened to "this is uber and leet, and if you don't sign up online and sacrifice goats to your god to get in to this beta, you'll be hated and outcast from society." Where is the must have-ness of this game. Certainly not anywhere in my radar screen.
Look, a long time ago, someone said they were going to make a online D&D. That was cool at the time. Much like Duke Nukem Forever, we never really ever expected it after years of anticipation. Now, you are running up against WoW, which seems to be a online juggernaut? Where is the strategy in that? Reviewers have left DDO for dead already, so what do you have as a draw in? It better be magical.
So, I went back to WoW. I joined a new server. I play a undead priest. I have a new guild. I own in PVP. Just doing that seemed to bring my universe back into order.
What can I say?