Angry MMO Gods

Perhaps my blasphemy is being punished.

For the last two or three years I had written off MMOs. The last time I was playing anything, I had reconvened in Norrath — Everquest II to be exact. It was sometime after an expansion’s release, hell I don’t even remember the name of the expansion, but I think there have been two or three since. I usually would go back and experience new expansions as they released, and then go back on hiatus, but I didn’t do that for the last several. There have been several times I almost played something, but either my computer wouldn’t run it sufficiently, or I would remind myself why I wasn’t playing MMOs anymore, and go back to something less massive. This was the case with Neverwinter, and Rift when it went free to play. I checked system requirements before downloading either, and despite my system surpassing the minimums, the games ran like shit.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I have recently been mentioning my itch that needs scratching. A couple of weeks ago I was itching for a FPS deathmatch slug fest, and I found a temporary bandaid for that desire. This last week I have been itching to delve back into an MMO. My first instinct is to go back to familiar territory, and EQ2 is the game I have spent the most time with. I bit the bullet a couple of nights ago and downloaded the patcher, and let it run while I slept. The next day it seemed that for some reason the patcher crashed in the middle of the download, so I started it again. At that point I wasn’t taking it as a bad omen, I’ve had patcher issues in the past. When I got home from work a couple of hours ago, I was all set with the game being fully installed, it was now time to jump in. I wasn’t sure if I was going to play on a new account and just do some free to play stuff, or pay for a month and jump onto my main account. The part I was having trouble with is that I wasn’t sure if I would want to play much of what I have access to, being a couple of expansions behind. I don’t have the money to get current right now, so it made more sense to start a new free to play account and then see how I felt about the game after playing for a little bit. Then if I was really wanting more, I could grab up the new content in the near future. Everquest II had other plans, though.

The game won’t load on my system. I’ve played it before from this very laptop, so there shouldn’t be any new issues, but for some reason the game would start to load, and then crash. This happened repeatedly, and even after digging around the support forum I didn’t find any options that worked. So I uninstalled, again. It just wasn’t in the cards old friend. This left me looking at my other options. I have played LOTRO in the past, and I know that it will run on this system. But I know that the free to play experience will leave me limited, though I don’t have any high level characters anyway. It’s tempting, but there has to be a reason I never got very far in this game, and I think it just never clicked for me. I searched Google for a while looking for some desire, some kind of spark that would get me in the mood to play an MMO, and maybe one that I’ve never really tried before. I found a video on YouTube about the top ten free to play MMOs of this year, and in that list were mostly the same games I had on my mind. As I mentioned before, I had already tried Neverwinter and Rift, and was a sad panda when they didn’t run well. Those were included in the video list. As was EQ2, LOTRO, SWTOR, Tera, and Star Trek Online. The latter three are titles I have yet to try, but from the video I was only interested in SWTOR and Tera. STO seems boring. I was trying to figure out which of these games I could run, and in the process ran across this helpful tool. It allowed me to test my system against the requirements of each game, and that produced some interesting results.

According to the site:

Didn’t meet requirements: Tera, SWTOR
Meets minimum requirements: STO, Neverwinter, Rift, EQ2
Exceeds recommended requirements: LOTRO

I knew I could run LOTRO and EQ2, but again, Neverwinter and Rift ran like shit. And from the requirements I read, I met the minimum for SWTOR, but this website is saying otherwise. So I’m starting to think that maybe I didn’t mess with settings enough on Neverwinter or Rift to get them to run well. Maybe I was being too picky? Either way, those are the two games I would be most interested in playing, as I’m more into fantasy than sci-fi. Both are cool, but I digress.

So I’m now downloading Neverwinter, and seeing if perhaps I was being picky. Maybe there have been other tweaks in place that will help me out as well. If this doesn’t work, I’m going to try Rift again, and if that doesn’t work well then maybe I’ll try one of the others, or I’ll just try LOTRO again. Either way, I started looking up prices on parts for a new PC I’m planning on building, and I should have the money to do so once I get my tax return. When that happens none of this will be an issue anymore. So stay tuned, there might be some actual MMO commentary very soon.