Friday, March 12, 2010


It appears, that possibly my burn out isn't just around WoW but around MMO's in particular.

I haven't played WoW for so long I can't remember exactly when I logged in last. I haven't played Allods either. So what have I been doing?

Well, long, long, long time ago, I had an addiction to city building/tycoon types games. Zoo Tycoon, Zeus, Pharaoh, Emperor, Caesar...all of them. I played them non-stop. Any and every tycoon game I could find, I bought it. Some where good...some where just plain bad.

But the general concept was the same. Build over and over again, to make the city functional and pretty. Disaster struck, do it all again. Then I found WoW.

Well I found that I had gotten board with WoW. Three years of playing the same game and nothing more. So I tried Allods. It's a nice game, pretty graphics, fun content...but it's still an MMO. So I stop playing it too. Reload Caesar IV on my computer and start playing it again.

Then one day, I come across a game on line that looks pretty interesting.

Settlers: Rise of an Empire.

Turns out, it's REALLY good. Not your standard Tycoon/City Builder game. There is a lot more to it then that. But the graphics are unbelievable for a city building type game.

You basically are sent on various missions, helping settlers, capturing land, building armies, etc, etc, etc. It has a storyline, that is somewhat compiling. But it's very addicting.

Build up the basics for you city, promote your knight to gain rank to allow you to build more, develop your armies and then it's time to capture objectives.

It's not heavy on the battle side nor heavy on the city building side. It's a comfortable mix of the two. Yes it's a little glitchy at times. Somethings are hard to figure out and it would be great if it had better tutorials. All of this is easily overcome and after a mission map or two, you've gotten the hang of it.

Best of all, it's easy to pick up and easy to put down. So I'm able to do other things as well. Spend time with my family, play some Dokapon Kingdom with Matt and Zack, hang out with friends and just relax. There is no schedule to keep, no raids to remember, etc. Just some relaxing fun times.

Who knows, looks like I'm getting back into scrapbooking again too!

I know the big question now is..."are you ever planning on coming back to WoW?". As of now, my answer is still a resounding YES! I have preperations to make for Cataclysm, toons to prepare. But it will be awhile. I'm enjoying my break. I'm enjoying other games.

Everyone has to break for life every now and then!

Happy Friday!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Second Chance

So, decided this weekend to give Allods a second chance. Not that the game was bad the first time I played it but it was so crowded you couldn't really get a feel for the true game. It was so bad you couldn't get a feel of what the combat was really like because there were no mobs to kill. Just waltz in, pick up your quest items off the ground and walk back out again. The mobs were already dead from the mass of people that came in before you.

This weekend was a little better. Nothing like I would want it be. We were still standing around at times waiting for named mobs to spawn so we could kill them. We didn't have to kill many trash mobs to get to the quest items. But we did actually make it out of the starting zone.

I decided to reroll a healer class. Since it seems I'm never content with a straight DPS class. I opted for the humanish type race since they get a racial ability similar to a WoW priests bubble. It's not as easy to use but it's still helpful. It has a 3 minute cool down and will block ALL damage for 12 seconds. Looks and works more like an OS button.

So far the healer class isn't impressing me. My heals are very very puny. But I keep telling myself to be patient. I'm sure Kalyanna didn't have great heal ability at level 7 either. But the really cool thing? I can wear leather at level 10 and then plate at level 30! Oh yeah!

Interestingly enough, you get thrown out into the real world pretty quickly in this game. Shortly after we dinged level 6, we had finished up all the starting quests and were literally, thrown in pretty little bubbles, out of the zone.

Novogrand was our final destination. It's the major faction city for the League. It reminds me a lot of Stormwind as far as the layout goes. But that's where the similarity stops.

It's broken into districts, one for each race and a trade district. There is one central "Castle" where the king is located. (Note* As a healer, this is also where I picked up my class quest to learn to bubble)

If you ask Eto I'm sure he'd tell you I was just like a kid at Christmas. The sheer size of the city alone was enough to have me running and squealing with chants of "oh, I want to go in there", "LOOK AT THIS" and "Soooo pretty"! I'm sure it was similar to seeing Stormwind or Darnasus for the first time.

First look at professions....they are pretty basic. Alchemist, Blacksmith, Tailor, Leatherworker, Miner, Herbalism and Disassembler. Disassemblers take high quality items (green or better) and break it down into parts that can then be used by Leatherworkers and Tailors.

I haven't picked my professions yet, but it appears you can only pick one. There is a series of quest lines that send you around to visit all the profession trainers and at the end of each you visit the "Grandmaster" of the gathering profession and the creation profession. The last thing they both say to you is something like "Should you choose your path on a gathering/creation profession, come back and see me, I will have many tasks for you to complete." I'll test this tonight and update for sure.

Up to this point, here are my standings on the game:

Zones/Graphics/Locations - The game is beautiful and the more I explore the move I'm captivated.
Music - The music is pretty constant in the game, so if you don't like that, turn it off. But the music is very calming in nature.
Combat System - It's standard MMO as I know it, so easy to follow

Controls - Only because they are a little "sticky" at this point. I'm sure after I get use to them and realize what buttons are causing my camera angle and movement controls to jump around, they will be second nature to me.
Raid/Group Frames - It's hard, as a healer to tell who's got aggro and who's health is dropping based on the party frames in group. I hope that eventually I'll be able to easily distinguish who needs healing...or better yet, maybe someone will create a "Healbot" type mod!
Character Creation - Seriously, I would love for a game to give me the ability to really customize how my toon looks so that not everyone I pass looks just like me!
Over population! - More servers soon? I hope!

As always, when I learn more, I'll update more! Happy Monday everyone!

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