I blogged a few weeks ago about how I was trying some new things and some old things in the MMO world. After trying out a lot of different games, I've come to the conclusion that for replayability, content, gameplay, and plain old FUN, World Of Warcraft continues to be the best option out there.
I resubbed to WoW a month or so ago, and I've been leveling a Warlock. The lock himself isn't as nuanced or complex as say, an EQ Necromancer, but he's still got that same vibe to him and he's a ton of fun to play. I haven't really played him in PVP yet, but I'm looking forward to that. I think that's based on the frustration that Locks created for me when I was playing my Shaman a lot. The cool thing is that when I go back to instances now, I have had to learn and adapt to a completely different playstyle then I had been used to before. For reference, most of my playtime is spent in a Duo with my wife and her Fire Mage. The two make a surprisingly effective duo. We don't have much healing (health stones) but we can burn stuff down, my VW can tank, and we have CC in a couple of different forms.
Our trip back to EQ was ruined for me when we got through with the noob stuff and at around level 20, all the sudden it was duo or nothing. We rarely saw others around in the areas we would hunt, and I suspect that most of the people still playing are either max level or their twinks. Not conducive for reinsertion into the world.
LOTRO just failed to hold my attention. It was like WoW with a different art style. I did like a few things about the game, but overall I hold to my contention that if you want to be like WoW, you had damn well better BE WoW.
I have been testing Warhammer Online, and I can't really comment on that at this time. I can tell you that I like it and it's different from the other games out there, but you already know that or have figured that out for yourself. I can't play that at the moment because of what is reported here at Slashdot.
CoX games feel like a grind for the grind's sake. Lineage ][ is awesome, as long as you don't mind competing with gold farmers for every spawn and being practically compelled to buy Adena (Gold.) EQ II always made me feel claustrophobic, and the population that was never what I had hoped it would become. Branyanu and I were talking last night about how much we missed the old SWG, warts and all. Sure it shipped incomplete, and sure there were some content problems, but it was a world, and you could do almost whatever you wanted to in there.
One of these days I would love to talk with you guys about which (oversimplified) side of the design argument you come down on; Sandbox or Amusement Park. I find myself enjoying the Amusement Park (WoW) a lot right now and longing for a Sandbox like Star Wars: Galaxies of old.
I'm not sure how much longer WoW will hold sway over me, but just in the last few weeks we've had Brewfest and Hallow's End and their attendant quests. No one else has done as good a job as Blizzard in keeping things changing in the world on a week-to-week basis. When my Lock gets to raiding levels and we start into that world again, I will be interested to see if it continues to hold my interest. For now, I'd challenge you guys to convince me that there is something out there that is more FUN to play right now than WoW.