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September 26, 2005


Robert 'Groby' Blum

Sorry, cancelled my account. It seems promising, but once you reach the place where your skills takes months to train and you try running a corporation, it's just like work. (Well, except that I don't get to sign corporate bills for millions of dollars... But hey, such a small tradeoff ;)

MMOGs sound cool in concept and inevitable turn into the woodchopping treadmill of experience hell.


Have you tried Planetside? I know it's been out for a while, but I picked it up just recently on a coworkers recommendation, and I've found it to be a blast.

It's a nice change from games like WoW in the sense that you don't feel pressure to 'get to the next level', since all a level really means is more variety in the ways you can kill people.

Mark Wallace

Don't give up on EVE. It does have a learning curve that's pretty steep (I often find myself playing with two notebooks and a calculator in front of me), but I find it engaging in a way that few other MMOs are, mostly because you aren't constrained by class or level grind, and therefore can do whatever you want with your character. The PvP element is also fairly deep and amazing, as EVE is one of the few places where players can control huge tracts of the landscape, and vast running wars are fought over start systems. The economy is also much more robust and player-influenced than in most MMOs.

What EVE does not do is give you a clear path forward, and I think that turns a lot of people off, but to me that's an advantage. There's nothing you *have to* do in EVE in order to progress, so you're given complete freedom to become whoever you want and concoct a character with whatever ingredients you like. You never have to fire a shot if you don't want to. Stick with it for a while, it definitely gets better than the early stages.

J. F.

I always thought "Evercrack" was a reference to the sheer adictiveness of the game, not a metaphor for the process of drug dealing/consuming. ;D


PlanetSide was hands-down the worst gaming experience I've ever had, but I suppose mileage may vary.

I would recommend Guild Wars. GW has a lot more short game bang than your average MMO, because you can just log in, run a quest or two, log out. There's not a lot of time wasted just running around or collecting herbs.

And the best part is, since it doesn't have a monthly fee - you don't feel guilty for not playing every possible hour. It has it's flaws for sure, but I think it's hands down the best "casual" MMO out there.


Have you tried World of Warcraft? I'm an avid gamer and never tried a MMO until WoW this April. I'm completed hooked, so much so that my xbox gathered dust! I have no interest in the new fall TV lineup and no have idea what movies are in the theater. I decided not to preorder my xbox360 as I know I won't be at lvl 60 by November. I think the draw is that the game is easy to pick up and there is so much to do with instances "dungeons" and quests as well as professions. I haven't even explored the battlegrounds yet!

Give it a go...
Fleabowitz on Shadow Moon

Charlie Cleveland

I always thought Eve looked amazing, but was just was probably not worth the time commitment. The first time I played the game I distinctly remember paying my bills at the same time.

But the artwork, ambience and universe make me want to LOVE that game! I'm completely impressed with the polished website and community integration with their website, and their artwork really is amazing.



I've been playing Eve on and off since it began. It's deeply flawed, and many people will get very bored very quickly, but there's something about the depth of what players are able to achieve that keeps me prodding it. The capacity to capture stations and build structures means it's now like a giant RTS game with battle for sovereignty over regions going on all the time. As Mark said, the PvP is incredible, but it's also unforgiving and confusing.

For some idea of how the player empires lie take a look at this: http://www.eve-files.com/media/corp/CRII/Latest.jpg The layout of that map changes on an almost weekly basis.


MMO's are very much like Cocaine trees, and that's why I prefer the interveniously injected methadone trip that is single player RPGs. There really is nothing like sitting back and enjoying the fantasy realm within the hallucinigenic qualities of dignified anonymity that comes with playing offline. It's what Hunter S. Thompson would have played if he had a choice of felony-based gaming.

Remember Hunter!

Daniel Puzey

Quite apart from the difference in game type, Planetside and Eve represent almost opposite ends of the MMO gaming spectrum.

In Planetside, nothing you do makes any real impact. You can play for two hours, take out some enemy bases, fight alongside 50 of your team, and sign off... but when you come back, chances are that's all been undone and you're basically starting again. In a "regular" FPS like Quake, that's expected because everything's reset after 20 minutes. In an MMO it's unusual - and it always felt to me that you had no real impact in the world. You don't even feel much loss for your death - just tool up and get back out there. That said, it's the simplest thing in the world to get into.

Caveat: I haven't played since the early days, and I believe there's been expansions since then which may have changed things.

Eve is almost the opposite. The world is evolving slowly and gradually as the players act out their grand schemes. You can come back after a month of not playing and still pick up the thread of a war that started before you left, or a change in the market. It's flawed, but it's really alive in a way I've not seen anywhere else.

And yes, death there hurts: even for the advanced player, it can cost weeks' worth of earnings to replace a ship, or a pod. Eve garners a lot more meaning from that, but it does make it unforgiving - and it's quite a hurdle to get through. I still daren't risk my ship in dangerous combat because I know it'll take me weeks to replace - but I have to get over that and take the risk if I really want to get the most out of the game.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game