For how much I love to discuss video games, it’s weird that I’ve not gone into greater detail about this. Halloween is really such a geeky celebration these days, as we love a good chance to get in our favourite cosplays, or to watch horror films (which, in its own right, is a huge niche that sorta sits neatly with us geeks). In truth, geeks and horror go hand in hand and today, I’d like to show how video games like to collaborate in their own way to the celebration of the spookiest season.
I play Elder Scrolls Online quite a bit, so earlier this week marked a massive milestone for me. I reached CP810; or Champion Point 810. This is effectively the level cap of the game (as of the time of writing). I’ve spoken to people who’ve been playing for years and have never reached this level; and it’s not like I grinded specifically to get to this level. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts of the game now I’ve done sort of just about everything (with the exception of the absolute hardest content).
Hi, I’m Timlah – and I’m an Elder Scrolls Online-aholic. I’ve been addicted to the game ever since I picked it up on a whim for £15 or so. I’ve played the same character for quite some time, against a lot of the public opinion – and I’m still nowhere near maxed out. Having gotten past Champion Point 300 in a bit under 3 months, I feel like I’ve come along quickly… And since then, I’ve been able to share advice with other players. With the announcement from today about the next expansion, Elsweyr, now’s a great time to get into the MMORPG.
Through Azeroth, to Paragon City, I’ve played a number of MMORPGs in my life. All of them adhere to vaguely similar rules; create a character, run through a huge open world and do some quests. Get coins, do a few professions – If you’re a fan of MMORPGs, you’d know the drill. I’ve played so many, that I was trying to look for one that could potentially replace the massive void that World of Warcraft left in my heart. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before I picked up Elder Scolls Online – But what did I make of the world of Tamriel? Read on to find out more, along with a screenshot gallery of my journey.
When I think ‘free trial’, I used to suspect that I’ll be able to get through some of the introduction levels, before it comes up with a big splash screen saying “Buy the game now!” Fortunately, Final Fantasy XIV(FFXIV): A Realm Reborn’s trial is incredibly fair – Allowing you to level up to 35 with no time restrictions. As I’m an avid MMO fan, who thoroughly enjoyed World of Warcraft, Aura Kingdom, City of Heroes, Dark Ages of Camelot and more, I took a dive into the world… of Hydaelyn.
Free to play MMORPG, with a serious case of anime, yes it can only be Aura Kingdom. Or, as I like to call it, Anime: the Video Game. But enough joking about what this game is about, let’s look at the positives and the negatives of Aura Kingdom, a game I found in Steam’s many, many free to play titles. But just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s free from scrutiny, nor is it something to pass up. Let’s get our inner anime on! Believe it! Plus Ultra! Believe in the heart of the cards! Uhh… DRAGON BALL Z! Okay, I’ve said enough anime things now.
Ever feel like you’re living in a video game? Well Lord Momonga certainly does; a powerful lich who has been trapped in a virtual world, with no-one around except for NPCs who have come to life; He just wants to get to the bottom of why he’s stuck in this world. From level differences and HUD interface features, along with dungeons & dragons dynamics, Overlord is a wonderful telling of the trapped-in video game subgenre of anime. Does this series have a life of its own, or does it fall flat next to more established anime of its kind?
The name Runescape is synonymous with early 00’s gaming; with a really large number of gamers from all over the world, with many servers. Created by Jagex, a company formed in Cambridge, here in the United Kingdom, this MMO was an experience that encapsulated many gamers. It was an MMO before World of Warcraft was around, it also ran in a browser, as it was programmed in Java. These days, RuneScape has been officially recognised as the worlds largest free MMORPG made, with over 200 million accounts. As well as this, it holds the title for the most updated game ever – So with all of this said, I recently decided to play some ‘Old School Runescape’, so I could get a taste of my past. What I got… Wasn’t what I expected.
Like MMORPGs and Superheroes? Then this mix might be right up your alley, although this isn’t City of Heroes, but it’s made by Cryptic Studios – The developers of said City of Heroes. In my bid to turn people’s attention to free video games that are at least worth a look, I stumbled upon this free-to-play MMO with a heroic touch. So join me and my Superheroic avatar, the almighty… uhh… Timlah. I never said I was a creative sort.
|Platforms||PC (Windows), Xbox 360|
|Windows Release||September 2009|
|Genre||Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game|
|Price on Steam||£Free|
We’re going to completely forgo the story in this; it’s really hard to judge an MMORPG on a story, as really it’s a mish-mash of many stories. However, if you want to know, you play a hero who has been called to help the city from baddies.
Start the game as one of many different classes, go around and beat up bad guys, claim the rewards. All in the day in the life of a Superhero, right? Well that’s what Champions Online would get you to think, as an MMO built to reward you for being the best hero you can be. Help citizens, fellow heroes, people of interest and more as you combat the evil-doers who have infested Millenium City. Experience, money, skills and much more for those who play long enough.
Don’t be deceived by the above however – It’s a long slog until you’re anywhere near that level of heroics. It’s going to be a game with a lot of grinding, a lot of character progression and a lot of meeting people who don’t know how to get to a quest, so they aimlessly chase after you in a hopes that you know what you’re doing. Then you ask them if they know where they’re going, but they look at you with those big dumb avatar eyes and say “u noob”. People can be so classy at times!
“We’re all looking for that one person who has a clue.” – Kevin Kutlesa
So what I’ve learned is that stat allocation is a bit different to a typical MMORPG – You don’t either manually upgrade the stats you want; nor does the game do it all for you. Instead, the game at key points will ask you to upgrade stats you want. This means you’re able to increase your stats even if it’s a stat you don’t necessarily need. This helps those who are making completely free-form champions, which is an option. Meanwhile, I decided to go pretty easy, so I picked a sword-swinging champion who just dishes out the pain. Sadly, he doesn’t have much health, but ho hum, it’s good enough to take on small groups solo!
There’s free auras in the game, allowing you to emit a cool glow. As well as this, you get a travel power. I picked Mach Speed, to move around super fast… However, you can pick flight right from the off. Why didn’t I choose it? I dunno. I was happy with just being super fast and I can tell you – I think I picked the best travel option. Nevermind that though, you go about quests, entering instances of varying toughness. You attack enemies by clicking on them, then pressing 1 for an auto attack (more or less), or other numbers which corresponds with the position of your champions abilities.
As always, we believe seeing is believing here on GeekOut. The first thing I noticed is that the game looks pretty good for a free game. Ultimately it won’t blow you away graphically, but it’s entirely non-offensive to look at. In fact the hero creation screen was fantastic! The amount of customisation is truly exceptional, so top marks for the character side of the game. As an aside, within minutes of being in game, I saw someone who made their avatar look exactly like Nightcrawler, so excellent job there. The backgrounds aren’t as detailed, but this doesn’t bug me much… unlike these bug-men in the first area!
Slightly disappointing, except that opening screen, the music is pretty basic. But then again, would you want music blasting your ears off when playing an MMO? With this said, there’s enough ambiance to keep you sane throughout, so it’s not all bad. With a catchy enough beat, it’s all pretty well done. Just a shame there’s nothing more exciting when in the main cities! Still, there’s enough variety between different instances, that it does just about enough to keep you at least amused.
Is this a World of Warcraft killer? Oh God no! Is this the MMO to beat all MMOS? Definitely not! But shall I tell you what this game is? Simple, free fun. If you’re unable to afford a monthly price tag on an MMO, this might be a good time killer and a good way to get into the genre. The community seems nice enough, the customisation and the graph settings are excellent and the variety of classes seem varied and interesting. With this said, there are obvious flaws with it, such as the simple gameplay and weird selecting-then-talking mechanic previously discussed. If you’re interested in giving this a whirl, check it out on Steam.
Overall It’s a great fun time sink, exactly what you want from an MMO. I would recommend taking a travelling party with you in the world, but ultimately, you can make some friends on there. It’s a social game with a community who seems half interested in partying up and half entirely disengaged. The latter are probably just there to play a free game mind. Now we take it over to all of you – What do you make of Champions Online? Is this an MMO you would play, or do you think it’s not heroic enough for you? As always, share your thoughts below or over on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.