Hard Gaming Choices: Looking for a New Virtual Home.

I’ve stopped playing WoW for a while so my gaming schedule has opened up a bit!

There are several titles out there that have intrigued me enough to spend the cash…but can they hold my interest?  MMO’s are my favorite genre and three MMO’s are vying to be a competitor if WoW is out of the picture.

Global Agenda is an “3rdPS-MMO” hybrid. There are quests and PVE content but it’s limited, clumsy and the AI is a bit wonky. There are only 4 (Assault/Tank, Recon/Rogue, Medic/healer, and Robotics/group utility) classes but each class has a similar the WoW talent trees that can differentiate people within the class. One of the downsides is that the player customization options are extremely limited.  Dyes are the only visual change that can be made as upgrading armor doesn’t change the look of your character. Also, there is no solo content beyond the initial training quest and most of the game is instanced. All players gather PVE quests from a centralized location and are automatically assembled for an instance.  I’m still in the process of testing this one out, but so far it seems to take a bit of effort to play.

Think: Anarchy Online meets Team Fortress.

Lord of the Rings Online seems like it should be the game to beat. It’s got a solid catalog of established canonical content and a pretty decent company behind it so what’s not to like? The graphics are good, although I must say, the character models are ugly…and that’s a problem for me over time.  The questing system is interesting and fun but I find that after playing for a half an hour I’m bored because I’m travelling, a lot, which means I’m usually heading off to play so MW2 soon after.  One of the really nice things about LoTRo is the class system which, at least initially, seems well balanced.  I’m also finding the LoTRo community is vast and Turbine has done more than the average company to promote and nurture this community.  The jury is still out and I’m still playing.  I WANT to like this title but again, it takes effort to play.

Aion is my favorite of the pack.  It’s a visually stunning game.  The terrain, environment, NPC’s and player characters are gorgeous…amazingly so.  The feel of the game reminds me a lot of WoW, although the UI’s are clearly different.  The inter-character dialogs are clunky as is the buying/selling functionality.  I’m not sure what the “add-on” potential is, which would greatly improve the gaming experience, as it did in WoW.  Aion takes cues from DAoC and WoW by offering people a choice to be in one faction or another, and just like the two previous games prohibits disparate factions from communicating with each other.  The classes are slightly limited but functional.  I’m not sure what the options for differentiating within classes the more experienced you are…but perhaps I’ll find out.

There are SO MANY factors that go into settling into an MMO.  I’m a very finicky person and I know what I don’t like.

So, it looks like I’ll be playing Aion a bit more!  Of course, my main game is World of Warcraft so I’ll be playing that as well.  There are quite a few interesting MMO’s on the horizon and I’m sure to try most of them!

Do you have any recommendations?

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