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Welcome to Ali's blog. A blog that has absolutely nothing to do with juggling monkeys. It doesn't really have anything to do with much, just me rambling on about random things.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005
I just got round to updating my blog archive. I have to say, the archive titles seem far more interesting than the actual posts. It's a shame that. I was also trying to work out what it is that has caused me to stop blogging. I thought it was to do with having Rex, but I have realised that my blogging has gradually tailed off for much longer than that and the main cause appears to be gaming. Since I have been playing MMPORPGs I don't have as much to talk about. Does this mean that I have become a shallow and boring person? Maybe I always was, oh well, it's fun playing WOW, even if it means that I don't have anything to tell people about. I would like to say that I don't play it that much, but as you can see from the counter I now have set up, that would not be true :-) Although it counts time when I'm on the log on screen, sometimes I leave it on that for a couple of hours, when I log out and forget to exit the game while I wander off. Though since it's been counting I've only done that a couple of times. Should I be bothered that I spend that much time playing? Maybe, but it's not like I watch TV ever, so maybe it's not so bad.

You know, I also had this impression that I had been boring people telling them all about the games that I was playing, but sorting out the archive made me realise that I haven't actually told you that much. I barely mentioned EQII at all, so I thought I should rectify this, by telling you about the games I've been playing and my evaluation of them:

City of Heroes

Regular readers will know that I loved this game. I think the main reason for liking it was the whole superhero aspect. It is also very simple and therefore a good game for a newbie to start on, as I did. There are however a number of bad points:
The simplicity, whilst good to start with, means that the game can get a little tedious. There are only a couple of ideas for quests and all of the quests are based on them. So it's either kill X number of these villains, or enter an instance, find X clues, defeat Y villains, rescue Z hostages. There are a limited number of maps for these instances, about 5 I think, so it really starts to get a bit dull. You don't see anything new.

One of the big advantages of COH is that you can really customise your characters. In the other games you seem to pick a path and go down it, so all rogues are similar etc. In COH your main type will be similar, only tanks can have the same sort of attacks etc. However, there are other features, such as superspeed and flight, that you can pick from, creating a completely unique character. The look of your character is very different tooas you customise body and costume.

I also love being able to fly, or use superspeed, it makes moving around far less tedious than in all of the other games and means that you can't get stuck trying to find your way up a cliff, just jump or fly.

There is also the way it's set up so that you can play with your friends. With all of these games as you increase in level you go after harder opponents and do harder missions. It is obviously hard for a very high level and low level to team, they either do missions that the low level can't possibly help in, as they would die in one or two hits, or do ones that the high level can complete in seconds. City of Heroes has an exemplaring or sidekick system where heroes of different levels can temporarily fight at the level of their team, so that the mission is appropriate for all.

In conclusion, City of Heroes is great for beginners, it has some big advantages over the other games, which I'd love to see incorporated into the others, although with some it's hard to see how, but it is sadly lacking in new content and areas to explore.

Everquest II

Having never played Everquest, I often felt like some sort of visitor in this game. Many of the other players seemed very involved in the world already and it was a very hard game to pick up. Crafting was never explained very well and it was only through asking other players that I understood how to do it. I enjoyed EQII, but never felt as invested in my characters as I had in COH. Levelling seemed a bit of a chore and you were forced through certain areas in turn, without much chance to explore and just go where you wanted. I played more out of obsession than out of desire and kept wanting to go back to COH.

World of Warcraft

The best I've played. It still has the disadvantage that you can't team with people of different levels, well, you can, but someone won't be getting XP. The main thing that makes this stand out is the sheer volume of content. Quite often I will stop questing and just go off exploring, there's no limits, you can try running wherever you like, the zones may be scary, but mobs aren't so densely packed, so you have a good chance of running unscathed through a high level area. If you get bored of an area then you can head to a different one, there are loads with quests of an appropriate level, you could never do them all, which also makes it much more enjoyable to play a second character, you do not have to work your way through exactly the same quests, if you pick a different race you will explore completely new areas.

In WOW, dying is less of a big deal, which is good for me, your armour suffers damage, which costs money to fix and you have to run back to your corpse from the graveyard, so you lose a bit of time, but you don't have to work for hours to repay the debt you paid.

The one thing I really hate about WOW is trying to get up cliffs. Quite often there are things that look like paths, you walk halfway up and then it just won't let you go any further, so you end up running along desparately trying to find the path that will let you up.

I play Horde in WOW, the other side is Alliance, although I have a couple of Alliance characters I don't really play them as I feel like a traitor, you can get quite into the game, feeling really drawn to your side. Though I think that happens more on the Horde side as we feel solidarity and support for each other because we are in a minority, we hate the Alliance because they constantly come over to our side and slaughter us. You do not have to engage in the player v player fights in WOW, or at least not on the player v environment servers like I'm on. I like this, it means that I can just fight computer controlled characters unless I particularly feel like it. The only times I tend to attack Alliance are to defend our areas.

So, there we have it, those are the 3 games I've been playing for about the last year (only one at a time). I am sticking with WOW now as I love it, my main character is Dozer, currently he's a level 46 Tauren Druid.

Oh, I've also been having a go at Lego Star Wars on Helen and Rob's PS2 which is currently at my house. It's fun!

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