Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Embarrassment of Riches

If you're an MMO fan, (and what are you doing here if you're not) then April is shaping up to be a heady month!  And yes, that is perhaps a thinly veiled 420 reference.  Let's take a brief look at the many dishes that are currently - or have recently been - available for you to dine upon!

Upon Gilded Wings
On April 14th, Aion went truly free to play.  That's their marketing term, not mine.  Like many others, I played this game initially at launch, but after awhile, was turned off by the increasingly long grinds, the lack of questing after level 20 or so, and for me - the personal market spam in the major cities.   Well they've gone a long ways towards remedying much of those problems, and now's a great time to check out this gorgeous game.  While I didn't play for more than a week or so, of what little I did play, I was quite pleased with the quests, the pacing, and the lack of personal market spam.  Also, supposedly they have made it so that you can't be open world ganked unless you throw a flag, which is another thing that appeals to me greatly.  Aion is looking as good as it's ever has, and now you can check it out for no more than the price of a download.

Walk Softly
Of course, I was drawn away from Aion's lush forests by the release of a new powerset over at everyone's favorite superhero themed MMO!  City of Heroes Freedom has launched the staff melee powerset, and it's chock full of incredibly satisfying animations and effects.  On top of that, they've released the overview for Issue 23 - and like all of CoH's issues, it's packed with content.  Included is an entirely new cooperative zone for level's 30 to 35.  My staff melee character is currently level 26, so I'm hoping to get her to 30 just in time for the new issue - but where will I find the time?  In any event, City of Heroes Freedom is also completely free to play, so if you haven't tried this one since launch, again now's a great time to go blast some alien butt.

What's a Rogue Demon?
I'd barely caught my breath when I received (finally!) an invite to the Diablo III beta.  Of course, that was exactly three days before they announced the next weekend would be an completely open beta!  Everyone come try out the game!  And many did.  I took advantage of the annual pass offer they offered last year, so I already own the game.  As such, I actually declined to fight the masses for server time.  This game launches in two short weeks.  I will be there.  It's not even a question.

How do I Fight in this Thing?
Instead, I was fortunate enough to get a PAX invite to the open beta of Tera.  That, combined with the fact that suddenly this game appeared on everyone's radar, was enough for me to bite off the download and give the game a try.  You can read my full thoughts here, but the short version is this is a solid game, and quite fun to play.  Since I wrote my blog, I've learned even more about the combat in the game, and turns out I was missing out on some substantial pieces, that might change me from a pass to a go.  Like the fact that the combat really doesn't pick up until after you get to level 20 or so, which quite surprised me.  It launches this weekend, and though I won't be there, it looks to be a great time.  At this point, Tera really is only being passed over by me by sheer virtue of the wealth of other things I'm more interested in checking out.

I had to make that pun at least once.  As if I didn't have enough temptations, just this week I received an invitation to play in the Mists of Pandaria WoW expansion beta test!  I'm actually looking hugely forward to this expansion.  Seven new zones, an entirely new class, talent overhauls - all of the stuff they're offering just sounds incredible to me.  And unlike many of my peers, I still actually really enjoy WoW, and continue to love the game.  But admittedly, I don't play the game in the way most everyone else is currently playing it.  In any event, I won't be in much this weekend, but I suspect this will actually be where I'll spend most of my free time after this weekend, at least until Diablo III launches.

Girl on Fire
No this weekend, there is only one partner on my dance card.  And that is Guild Wars 2!  This is the first open beta event for those that have prepurchased.  Though I've known since they announced the game, that Guild Wars 2 would be a game I would play, I've put off actually doing the prepurchase.  But ultimately, I know this is a game I'll be playing for years.  And with so many of my friends playing this weekend, I didn't want to miss out on the fun.  I purchased the game on Monday, downloaded on Teusday, and am ready to go!  This will be the actual first time I've played the game at all, and I pretty much can't wait.  I'm even contemplating taking off work early on Friday...  In any event, I don't really have to much to say about this one that you don't already know.  For now, I'm still pouring over the class descriptions, deciding what I want to play over the weekend.  I believe I'll be playing on the Maguuma server with many of my G+ compadres, so feel free to ping me, and I hope to see you there!

So for April - remember to get rest, stay hydrated, and take frequent breaks!  We're going the distance this month!

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