The wife’s been playing Warhammer using 30-day cards. She enjoys the fast pace of the PvP, the come as you are, as often as you want, pace of the activity, without having to be in a guild, raid, or party even. This isn’t just the scenarios, but the RvR action as well. She also appreciates the graphic quality of the game. When she next re-ups for another 30 days I’ll probably join her and check out what’s changed since I was last in. If I do, I’ll concentrate more on the PvP side of things. (I already have a fun PvE game.)
I decided not to continue my LotRO account. At level 34 I managed to acquire 2 gold and some silver. Before I boarded the ship sailing for the Undying Lands I sent all my money to my wife’s main character, a Rune Keeper, and she’ll get herself a horse in a few short levels. I was playing a Warden. Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my miserable hand-eye coordination (though jousting in WoW comes easy), but I wasn’t getting the Warden’s Gambits. It was not a responsive tanking class. A Warrior’s (and Paladin’s, and Druid’s) taunts are instant. They tell a mob “Get your butt over here. NOW!” A Warden builds up gambits. First you use a “fist” ability, which is always accompanied by a yell. YARRRRR. Then you may use a “shield” ability. This has a satisfying shield slam sound. Then you use another “fist” ability. Meaning another loud yell YARRRRRRR. (You still don’t have aggro guaranteed.) Then you play your gambit. Did that get the aggro? Maybe. Was it fist-shield-fist? Or was it fist-fist-shield? Or spear-fist-fist. (Oh, it’s not 3 abilities. It’s many abilities, each of which is one the three types.) Taunt. Maybe I should have played a Guardian. I wanted to like the game. And there’s much to like. Oh, we got to the point where we didn’t know where to go. All the quests we had to do were Fellowship quests. And the Chapters are “gated” so you had to get through certain instances. Since I was playing a Tank character I wanted to be good at it before having a group rely on me. I wasn’t there, not with the Warden, and thus had run myself into a deadend of my own creation. And repeating content? Uh, not if I don’t have to.
I downloaded Dungeons and Dragons Online. Since it’s free to play now. (They sell you stuff, RMT I guess, like extra character slots, certain character classes, i.e. nothing you can’t live without.) The graphics are very nice. Like LotRO but another world. The tropical island you start on with the snow falling, and the fishmen, is very nice looking. The action commands are opposite to LotRO (and Warhammer and WoW) which meant my sword was doing swinging all over the place. The wife and I both tried Paladins and knocked out a few quests. It’s not bad. And actually very good for being totally free. One thing I absolutely like: adjustable dungeon/instance sizes. If you want to solo it, tell it you’re solo as you enter. In a group? Tell it you’re in a group. I’d still be in LotRO if it could simply have been my wife and I going through the “fellowship” quest instances. (I don’t need it to be easy. Just possible.)
Otherwise I’m solidly in WoW right now. My Hunter donned heirloom leather shoulders and chest at level 74, and still using the blue quest reward weapon from the Borean Tundra quest, blasted apart Zul’Drak content. He even managed to get into an Amphitheater group. He did every quest but the two group quests and is 1 quest short of completing Fo Shizzle my Grizzle achievement. Uh, wait, wrong zone. Whatever it’s called in Zul’Drak! ;) Then he went and made Hemet Nesingwary proud in Sholazar Basin. (I need to go back to Nagrand and knock out those quests of his there to get the achievement for completing all of Hemet’s quests.) He’s 79 now, in a very short amount of time. (That +20% xp really does work.) He’s surprisingly capable, and his pet, the demon dog from Zul’Drak, is a very capable killing machine.
Working on the goodies they offer to Champions, my Hunter, Shaman, and Paladin are all working on Argent Crusade reputation by doing the Pa’Troll dailies. The Hunter is still working his way through the first Valiant stage. The Shaman’s graduated, but is now working on getting exalted with everyone. It’s funny, but my oldest characters had the least reputation with the cities. Like they’d never been there. My tournament goals remain: Hunter to get epic staff and rifle. My Shaman and Warrior to outfit my Goblin Warlock in Dreadmist and skull staff with the swirling skulls. My Druid will worry about the Worgen recruit.
What I’d read about the next expansion, even though it’s only 5 levels, it sounds like there’ll be another big gear reset. What I’ve heard is they’re wanting to slow down the pace of the PvP, and the boss fights, by greatly increasing our health pools. Obviously they can’t improve existing gear, since the damage output from currently existing dangers would also have to go up in order to keep the pacing. So that means gear from level 81-85 is what’s going to see the big bump up in health (i.e. Stamina). And that will relegate level 80 Epics, of any iLevel available today, to the trash heap by 85. (And that’s certainly what they’re intending on doing with such a implementation.) Since I’m not raiding, or even worrying about it, iLevel 187 (i.e. crafted blues and epics) are going to be plenty fine for what I do today. And knowing the reset is coming, eventually, inevitably, how much blood, sweat, and tears am I willing to sacrifice in the name of gear upgrades? Not much. Not when I have some characters not yet level 80.