MMO ReRoll: Not so MMO
I always find it funny how many MMO players are so worried about whether an MMO is big enough for their tastes. If there aren’t thousands of players on a single server, it’s not worth playing, is it? It’s ironic that they turn around and team up with the same five players night after night, completely ignoring anyone else running around the world.
For me, I couldn’t care more if my MMO was built on a single server with a huge world with thousands of players sharing the same instance. I can have a lot of fun in a balanced world, where the only time you see more than 20 or 30 players is when you’re in any shared hallways between quests. All I really need is enough players so that when I want to run some team content I don’t have to wait an hour for a team to form. That’s big enough for me.
Regardless of your definition of MMO, there are a few ‘Non-MMOs’ that I always find myself returning to whenever my day-to-day driving puts me on the brink of burnout. 2nd Division, Road exile, and Qualified Am I hustling when some new single player title doesn’t steal my attention. But just like the classic MMOs I’ve reviewed for MMO Reroll, there are a ton of MMOs out there that I haven’t been able to connect with in years.
So for December, with all the distractions the holidays bring, I know I might not have the energy to plow through an MMO as usual. Instead, I decided to take a quick look at some of the MMOs that weren’t so to see if I should add anything to my burnout cycle. With a few hours each weekend to spare and four weekends left in 2021, I scoured my Steam and EGS libraries for four titles that deserve a second chance.
The last time I played Destiny 2 was right after it came out. I really can’t tell you what I don’t like Fate 2. It just doesn’t click for me. Regardless of my first impressions, Fate 2 still very popular. With the next expansion, The Witch Queen, coming out in February, there’s no brains to jump in and let Fate 2 second chance.
In the four years since I last played, not much has changed in combat. Combat is still a series of run and jump and shoot. However, for some reason, I really like the comb this time. Maybe it was the new story guide that got me moving fast. Or maybe how the Cosmodrome is set up; I could easily break out of the story, complete a few world events, and then slide right back into the tutorial. Whatever it is, the whole experience seems to flow more smoothly than it did the first time around.
Destiny 2 has a large number of stats to track, with weapons and armor each having distinct stats to deal with. I didn’t waste my time on any of that until I finished the tutorial missions on the Spaceport (current launch zone). I just equip whatever gear has the highest rating and, in the case of weapons, whatever elemental damage I need to complete the bounty quest. Finally, when I’m ready to learn about device development, I’m happy to see so many community-generated tutorials. Every question I type into a Google search is quickly answered with in-depth and up-to-date answers in text and video formats.
You can ask questions, is Fate 2 really free to play? If all you want to do is jump in every once in a while and kill a few baddies for a few hours, then yes, you should be able to play for free. But if you are looking for the full story campaign or to get access to all weapons and armor D2 yes, then you will have to purchase the expansions. The current expansion pack, Beyond Light, costs $39.99 and the Legendary Edition (which includes Forsaken and Shadowkeep) costs $79.99. However, until January 5, there is a promotion on Steam to help you Legendary Bundle for just $31.99! If the free-to-play version is as appealing to you as it is to me, it’s not too bad a price to pay for access to current content until The Witch Queen expansion comes out.
You know how gamers always complain that developers are not willing to take chances, that all they worry about is playing it safe by ignoring innovation and instead just launching sequel after sequel to squeeze every penny they can from a tired franchise? Well, every once in a while, a well-known developer will be cautious of the wind and change the formula in an old franchise. That’s exactly what Bethesda did with Explosion 76. Guess what? Bethesda has not received any awards for Fallout 76. That might be less about lack of innovation and more about bugs and glitches. Or maybe it’s the decision to have no human NPCs or the lack of an offline game mode.
While the majority of players – or maybe very noisy minority – ready to march on Bethesda Studios with plants and torches in hand, some of the players are having a post-apocalyptic time in Appalachian. And I was one of them, at least for a few weeks. Then, as usual, I lost interest and moved on. In particular, nothing pushes me away FO76. As usual, some other new release probably caught my attention and ended my time with FO76.
There have been a lot of changes to Fallout 76 ever since I left my character abandoned, standing in front of the bridge in full Power Armor, Super Sledge is always at hand. Gone are the days of following the trail of holo tapes (technically, they’re still there). Today, the real humans – not the ones in the cellar – have returned to West Virginia, and they’ve brought new missions with them. I’m perfectly happy with the holo tapes myself, but I do admit that having human NPCs is a positive addition to the robots and mutants that have popped up since launch. Quests have given me something other than my obsession with collecting every piece of debris (and I mean everything I come across) to keep me focused on progressing while playing.
I have to admit that even with the addition of NPCs and other quality of life improvements, there’s not much for me to keep playing Fallout 76 New Year. I don’t blame Bethesda for their effort in taking the franchise in a new direction with the persistent online world. I just love making my adventure in the wasteland a private endeavor (first members can create their own servers now). FO76 not terrible or anything, but it doesn’t work for other titles in the franchise, so even if I get Fall out itch in 2022, it will be a new escape New Vegas or Fallout 4 that will scratch.
When Dauntless launched in May 2019, it really caught my attention. I’ve always enjoyed playing melee classes in any RPG, so the focus on melee, big weapons, and even bigger monsters is the godly trio I’ve always wanted. But you know the old saying, be careful what you wish for.
I like the core gameplay Dauntless bring to the table: go out with a group of hunters, scour the area for large beasts, gather everyone to slowly kill the monster, then craft armor and weapons from the parts their bodies when the war is over. The battle is slow and methodical, in stark contrast to most other action fighting MMOs. You still have to do a lot of dodging if you want to avoid the monster’s massive attacks, but the fighting still feels more controllable than usual, rewards patience and time to overcome reflexes convulsion.
Unfortunately, fighting isn’t my problem Dauntless when it was first released. The idea of a group of players being released on a floating island and spreading out in search of prey sounds good on paper. In reality, players will just start fighting, and if you don’t get to the scene of the action fast enough, you could miss most of the fight. You’ll still reap the rewards, but that’s not the point. I want to get some good hits and do my part well.
This time around, going out hunting feels much more rewarding. A constant stream of volleys meant that even if I missed part of a fight, I would attack and slash at another monster a few seconds later. And with all the passives to unlock on Slayer’s Path (aka the skill tree), all of those skirmishes are worth the time spent in the field.
Out of all the games I’ve chosen to revisit, Warframe was my favorite first time around. I bought the Founders Pack (or whatever it is called) to get into the Closed Beta in 2012. It’s pretty rough around the edges, but hard to deny how good it is. Warframe combines hack and slash melee with running and shooting combat. Advanced quests were right up my alley, and even after the Beta’s limited gameplay round started to thin, I logged in regularly for a couple of months before I booked. Warframe out to the grasslands with all intents to revisit it at a later date.
I keep subscribing Warframe for several years, and it seems every time I log in, something new has been added since my last visit. However, those hits are always short-lived, and I continue to fall further and further behind Warframe The universe. In the end, I stopped playing Warframe in general, and it’s been two or three years since I logged in.
So how was my weekend with Warframe Go? Well, not much different from all the other times I’ve tried picking up again. I spent most of my time getting used to the fighting again, but I did get a chance to wander into the open maps introduced with the Eidolon expansion. I’ve always liked fast, linear maps. That said, the open world map is a game changer for me. Instead of previous visits where I wasn’t worth pushing into new and added sections Warframes, the open world map made me curious and ready to dig deep. I plan to take the time needed to learn all the new mechanics and systems that are added in my absence.
Four weekends, four games. Fallout 76 still doesn’t compare to the rest of the franchise and has been removed from my hard drive. For Dauntless, it works better than the first time I played it. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different action fighting breed. If I had unlimited gaming time, Dauntless would easily be a part of my Shouldn’t MMO spin
However, I do not have infinite time, and both Fate 2 and Warframe to push Dauntless finished in distant third place. Both shooters make me wish their weekend wasn’t over, and neither title is leaving my hard drive anytime soon. The only real question is whether I have enough time to add both to my game spin, and if not, which one will be the winner in the end?
https://www.mmorpg.com/columns/mmo-reroll-the-not-so-mmos-2000123983 MMO ReRoll: Not so MMO