Let me tell you, it's plain painful to log into an MMO and realize just how much good content, events, and player interaction I have been missing. I'm sure this is a common issue though, right? In today's Free for All, I want to take a look at five MMOs that deserve more of my time.
I've grown since then and know that a game needs time to mature, that I should never, ever trust only my gut instinct about an MMO. Like a good, long book, an MMO needs time to grow on you. RIFT took its time, but it eventually grew on me. Unfortunately, it is still a linear sort of themepark. I say "unfortunately" only because the sort of content you'll find in RIFT takes a lot of time to wind through it all. You can't really log in and just kill stuff for 30 minutes. A good bout of rift-running will take easily twice that amount of time.
Luckily for the time-strapped, the game features clever systems like instant adventures, which are easy-to-score quests that automatically teleport and group you to and with others of the same level because it all scales. I need to make more time to play RIFT. It's easily one of the most well-made MMOs to come out in a long, long time.
RuneScape gives new (or maybe old?) meaning to the word "quest." There are quests or questlines that will spread out over your character's lifetime. It can be a bit daunting at times to work on a quest that requires your character to become better at certain skills, but I simply put those quests aside and come back to them when I am better at what is required. I feel as if my character actually grows in RuneScape.
Even with all of the quests, adventures, and monsters in RuneScape, I can log in and take part in world events or quests that put no emphasis on level at all. Jagex will often produce content that introduces brand-new systems that any player, from a newbie to a vet, can participate in.
Grepolis has a nice mobile app that helps with the time constraint. I've often bragged about how lovely the MMORTS genre is for those of us who are busily playing a dozen MMOs at once, but to truly take in all there is to see (meaning a lot of dead, tiny armies), you need to pay close attention. Building up your city is not the great timesink here; what takes time is zooming out on the map, planning an attack, contributing to an alliance, discussing strategies with someone else... the things that a real virtual general needs to do.
Travel, building, and general survival in Wurm Online takes time. A lot of time. I sort of lose my lust for the game once I am part of a successful project. Once a city is built and there's water to drink and food to eat, I feel the urge to wander. I'll have to clear my schedule to do some wandering again.
But now that I have spent time with the game and have started to see just how twisted some of the plots get, I really want to play The Secret World a lot more. While I cannot pretend to understand what is supposed to be motivating my character yet, the game feels unique within a genre that rarely makes the effort to suck you into an involved storyline. The voice-acting is sometimes brilliant, and even though I do not fully enjoy the combat, the combat system allows me to change it up a bit whenever I get bored.
Perhaps I'll clear the next several weekends and spend some real time with these titles. I need to. After all, I know there's some cool content within them. What MMOs do you wish you had more time to play?
Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!