Global Chat: A blast from the past

As many of you know, Massively doesn't really believe in reviews of MMOs, as they are ever-changing and shifting targets. Instead, we've provided impressions and continuing coverage of these games during their lifespans (and even after), which is something that many bloggers also favor.

In this edition of Global Chat, we have several hands-on impressions of MMOs both new and old from the blogosphere. What is it like to head back to Asheron's Call after a long time away? Is Guild Wars 2's and Lord of the Rings Online's new content hitting the mark? And what will we miss most of all now that Vanguard has departed? It's all there and more, right after the break!

1. Junkies Nation: Returning to Asheron's Call

What's it like to return to an MMO you played after a decade away from it? The answer is the fascinating tale of T. Striker, who delivers an honest opinion about how Asheron's Call is holding up as it transitions to free-to-play.

"A lot has changed," he writes. "He gets me back to civilization but not the civilization I knew. Nothing looked familiar. A town that was once a giant hole in the ground is completely rebuilt, with NPCs that are races I've never seen."

2. Why I Game: Guild Wars 2 Entanglement first impressions

Even as we move on to the third episode of Guild Wars 2 season two, I liked this analysis of Entanglement, especially how Jeromai describes the success that the devs are having with creating layered content.

"Much of GW2's first season reminded me of a family roadtrip where the players kept stridently asking 'Are we there yet?'" he notes. "In season 2 of Guild Wars 2, I can confidently answer, 'We may not be there yet, but we're certainly 'moving.'"

3. LOTRO Players: First impressions of Western Gondor

As Lord of the Rings Online players move into a completely new country, and as the studio experiments with a different pace of content rollout, it's understandable that many folks might be curious how it's all going. Andang is cautiously excited about the move: "Not only does Gondor provide the rain to our content drought but it also brings several new types of architecture, social structure, group of people and, possibly most importantly, new landscape."

He also provides a playthrough video of his adventures in Gondor in the same post, which is well worth a watch!

4. Cogitationes Astalnaris: Why we transmog

I'm not big into the World of Warcraft scene these days, so I was oblivious to the notion that there's any sort of controversy and passionate feelings in regard to the transmog system. Astalnar set me straight with a complex post about the reasons and motivations behind choosing a look for your character.

"I never imagined there were people in this world that try really hard to be so anti-transmog through transmogrification. To transmog not in order to be different, but because everyone else is the same," he wrote.

5. Casual Aggro: ArcheAge noob closed beta impressions

As a self-proclaimed anti-social, anti-PvPer, it's quite intriguing to hear Ocho talk about his attraction to ArcheAge. Even though these impressions just scratch the surface of the game, it looks as though he'll be coming back for another helping soon enough.

"Yet it's the pureness of the concept, the overwhelming statement of 'this is not the game for you' that is quite tempting," he notes. "It's a challenge and feels like the perfect chance to test whether this MMO style really is for me or not."

6. Inventory Full: Sailing into the sunset: Vanguard

It's time for Bhagpuss to say goodbye to one of his old MMO favorites, Vanguard. We all deal with the shutdown of our beloved games in different ways, so how does he?

"I thought it might be appropriate to commemorate the characters that have given me so much pleasure over these last seven-and-a-half years." To mourn and remember, Bhagpuss took screenshots of all of his Vanguard characters and gave a brief eulogy about each.

Awesome MMO blog opinions abound all over the internet -- and Justin "Syp" Olivetti reads them all (or skims really, really fast)! Global Chat seeks to round up the most interesting and zany posts from the MMORPG blogosphere. Who knows? You might discover a new favorite blog this week!