Is there such a thing as a casual MMO?

shihonage wrote:

Show me a village for a level 50 character in WoW which is akin to Redridge or Darkshire. A centralized multiple-quest hub with an inn and a gryphon ride, a few houses, and a repair guy. Where is it ? Did I miss something ? Please, partial matches do not count, and neither does the filler space that is Gadzetstan.

At lvl 50 your pushed out into the wilds of Un'Goro and all you get is the encampent at the very north of the zone. Not a town but you can get repaired and for you lucky new guys a gryphon point (wasn't there until right before 2.0)

Even after that your left with more encampents in WPL/EPL. You have a fort in the Blasted Lands which closer resembles a town but it's small compared to the ones you listed. Rougher world out there for the higher lvls

I think my problem with WoW ended up being that I could never see the "end-game". I felt like I was having to settle for not being able to see the storyline progress first hand. My play time would not allow me to run many of the level 70 instances, and trying to schedule my life around raids was just not an option anymore. I had to sacrifice 2 hours of sleep per night to accomplish anything at all (travel time, lfg, deciding which grind to work on). It just got to be too much.

I also had a backlog of about 15 games that were either unopened or barely played and quitting WoW gave me a perfect excuse to finally play them!

Don't get me wrong, World of Warcraft is a great game (too good if you ask me), I just don't have enough time for it anymore. Maybe when I retire I can play World of Starcraft!

Wow, someone else from Knoxville? What a coincidence!

fed wrote:

AnimeJ - some day, you will learn not to call your opinion "fact". Possibly the same day you learn to be nice about people's new cars...

But.. But.. I DO like it! I was attempting to verify something I'd heard! I'm innocent! *more screams as I am dragged away in irons*

ranalin wrote:

At lvl 50 your pushed out into the wilds of Un'Goro and all you get is the encampent at the very north of the zone. Not a town but you can get repaired and for you lucky new guys a gryphon point (wasn't there until right before 2.0)

Even after that your left with more encampents in WPL/EPL. You have a fort in the Blasted Lands which closer resembles a town but it's small compared to the ones you listed. Rougher world out there for the higher lvls ;)

Thanks for the constructive reply. I've been to Un'Goro but had a hard time finding quest-givers. I will check out the very north

AnimeJ wrote:

If you took that as an attack on you, my apologies; to me it's a matter of fact statement. Every time I've ever seen you post anything about any MMO, it's full of vitriol, just like here. You largely dismiss most points out of hand. My point there, was that if you're anything like that in game, then I'm not in the least surprised. You have this constant vehemence about these things here; pointing that out, IMO, isn't terribly wrong if it's remotely accurate.

definition of ad hominem wrote:

An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the person", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. It is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, [i]which consists of criticizing or personally attacking an argument's proponent in an attempt to discredit that argument.
[/i]

Dude, if the glove fits...

CoH/CoV is a very casual friendly MMO. Its a big instance grind though. You just happen to be able to solo the instances =)

Nightfall is the best of the GW campaigns. The heroes are much better than henchmen and much more varied. They have lots of options as you can switch their secondary class unlimited times, on the fly (in towns) and equip weapons for them.

Shrike, I got tired of the guilty feeling when I wasn't able to play mmorpgs often enough to justify the payment, so I switched back to the free version of Anarchy Online. It doesn't get much more casual than completely free, no obligations.

fangblackbone wrote:

CoH/CoV is a very casual friendly MMO.

Yes! Seconded. Easy to get into and out of for 10 minutes to an hour (and beyond). Gameplay is pretty repetitive but very fun.

For cheap, simple, and no PvP, Dungeon Runners > Guild Wars.

Running Man wrote:

Shrike, I got tired of the guilty feeling when I wasn't able to play mmorpgs often enough to justify the payment, so I switched back to the free version of Anarchy Online. It doesn't get much more casual than completely free, no obligations.

Light travel, fast instances, fun gameplay.

I find the problem isn't so much that you 'can't' play for an hour or two at a time, but that everyone else who plays so quickly outstrips you.

I've always tended to play WoW as a quickie, apart from the occasional Instance, where I set aside a day at the weekend for it. But everyone else I initially played with ended up zooming up the levels and I was still chugging away.

So then I have to group with randomers... who just aren't as much fun

So now I solo, which kind of takes the point of it out!

I've always tended to play WoW as a quickie, apart from the occasional Instance, where I set aside a day at the weekend for it. But everyone else I initially played with ended up zooming up the levels and I was still chugging away.

QFT. This frustrated me to no end.

Puzzle Pirates is probably the closest to what you want; you can pick it up for a few minutes or spend a long time with it. It's 2D and written in Java, but it's quite sophisticated underneath.

buzzvang wrote:
I've always tended to play WoW as a quickie, apart from the occasional Instance, where I set aside a day at the weekend for it. But everyone else I initially played with ended up zooming up the levels and I was still chugging away.

QFT. This frustrated me to no end.

Yes this is always going to be a problem.

There are people who play more speically true if you are really casual and if they are your friends you will soon find yourself left in the dust.

EQ2 and CoH/CoV has a solution for this in that they have mentor/sidekick programs. Both work slightly different and I like EQ2 version better but bascially it allows you to play with your friends despite the level differences. I am sort of surprised more games have not implented systems like these.

Running Man wrote:
Shrike, I got tired of the guilty feeling when I wasn't able to play mmorpgs often enough to justify the payment, so I switched back to the free version of Anarchy Online. It doesn't get much more casual than completely free, no obligations.
Light travel, fast instances, fun gameplay.

Have to agree AO has a lot of things going for it that would help make it easy to play in short burst. Unless things have changed much in the mission area you can even play almost entierly without leaving the city if you wanted.

Of course you would more then likely be playing solo doing this but still not bad.

AO had one of the best UIs I thought and the Grid, Flying Transportation, and close by instances make travel almost a non-issue.

Not to mention the mini game in AO of trying to squeeze into the biggest baddest implants that you can get your hands on which I always found to be fun for some reason.

Lots of good suggestions! thanks for them, even the ones i've tried already. GW is getting toards what I'm looking for except well, the community - it's full of {ableist slur}s. that anyway was the impression I got in a few weeks of attempting to find intellegent life. The henchmen were the only thing that made the game playable as a mesmer. I could go back to it as solo monk/warrior but that defeats the main purpose (for me anyway) of playing an MMO, which is socializing first, the game being tacked on as an activity while socializing second. the digital equivalent of playing a game of whiffle ball in the back yard as an excuse for hanging out with buddies drinking beers.

I think InterfaceLeader sums up the problem i face perfectly:

I find the problem isn't so much that you 'can't' play for an hour or two at a time, but that everyone else who plays so quickly outstrips you.

The people I enjoy playing with and actively seek out are generally leveling up much much faster than me in whatever guild I find. This is made even worse when traditionally MMOs keep setting the bar higher and higher. I understand the reason they do that, but that always becomes the death knell for players like myself: regular gamers who can theoretically eventually get to a certain level accomplishment in a game world but simply aren't the 2 percenter hardcore gamers that it seems (IMO) get catered to more and more as an MMO matures.

My first real long term MMO is a perfect example: Dark Age of Camelot was a fun game, it took me a year to finally get one level 50 character, Shrouded Isles expansion was terrific because while it made it easier to make it to 50 it also didn't set the bar higher than that (not counting realm points for PvP). I'd had a golden period where I could casually game with the more hardcore players, and if I had a few less Realm Level than they did no biggie, there was always a pick up group willing to accept me and if not I had a healthy crafting career to fall back to on slow days (because along with not creeping the bar, they did a great job making crafting important). I made good friends, helping them with crafting or filling out spaces in the smaller raid dungeons that were available at the rtime since I was not big into PvP.

Then came the second expanson, Trials of Atlantus: Hard core raid oriented, a new set of special levels to get that i'll never obtain but were all the rage and soon considered absolutely critical, and at the same time some crazy new items that effectively crippled crafting in overnight. In a few months I was obsolete as a "mere" level 50 without enough realm ranks or trial of atlantus fancy pants ranks, and no one needed a weapons crafter anymore unless it was for throw away alts

my friends were still my friends but i was a useless anchor to them: playing an obsolete class, with too few realm ranks or special levels, with no real time spent on any more useful alt classes, and it always made me feel guilty filling up a slot on an 8 man group that I knew everyone else in the group wished they could have had a more useful tank or whatever. that feeling really soured me to the whole genre. so when I tried out WoW, and then the burnin crusade pretty much did the same damn thing to me I'd figured that was it, and quit the week before it was released.

Shrike a game like EQ2 might work for you because of mentoring. I would check it out at least just that feature and keep an eye out for games that offer similiar systems as that is the only answer to the level difference issue in games like this currently.

I'm actually re-thinking CoH, it has a similar feature of "sidekicking" as emasculating as it may be to become a sidekick! I tried it out the first month, but never renewed my account - at the time the game as just a bit too raw. and taking the subway (before you get your movement powers) is the lamest thing in the world if you're supposed to be a superhero.

You can play Eve on a casual basis, depending on what you want to specialise in, as the skill tree is time based, not xp based.

CoH was the first MMO I really got into, played for about a year but rarely more than 2 hours a day. First travel power at lvl 6 is a bit disappointing, but I remember the sheer joy of hitting level 14 and getting Superjump...I felt a little more 'super' that day

I don't want to keep beating the GW drum too loudly, because I stopped playing myself a while back. But they do have a hard level cap at 20, which I'm confident saying they don't plan to change. Once you hit 20 there are a ton of things to do to "tweak" your character. Most substantial is your arsenal of available skills, weapons and armor are purely cosmetic - there isn't an uber-rare sword that does +1 damage more than every other sword.

Players find a way to design their own rules to exclude others. They strive for hard-to-get yet intrinsically worthless items to show off their rank. I don't know if a game has been designed that breaks people's instinct to form a hierarchy based on seniority.

Guild Wars eventually gave in a bit on this issue with "Titles". You can get them for fully exploring the map, completing all missions, completing bonus missions, running quests for a faction (in the Factions campaign), for finding lots of rare items, for not dying, etc...
They were a hit. People wanted to be able to show off their rank. SO more and more titles are developed.

I imagine that if I were a developer it would get harder and harder to stay in touch with what new players need to get hooked. You develop ties with player communities and veteran players whose feedback you trust, but their needs are very different from the ones that casual and new players have. I was a hardcore PvP person myself, and when I gave feedback it was mostly on PvP issues. I was also a tester for the game, and I can say that I thought the balance of testing was skewed more towards PvE content than PvP. Which didn't make us popular when we hammered at the same PvP problems that persisted.

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To cut myself off before I go further down that path, I don't really know what you're looking for Shrike, but an MMO without seniority snobs simply may not exist. Enough people want to have that hierarchy that it gets enforced. I think, more than a game, you probably need a really good guild that you fit in with. People whose schedules and goals match yours pretty well. Or at least a big guild where there's a big enough pool of people looking to play whenever you are.

With a set of good friends around, playing with you it's really easy to forget the rat race going on around you.

Scaphism wrote:

I think, more than a game, you probably need a really good guild that you fit in with. People whose schedules and goals match yours pretty well. Or at least a big guild where there's a big enough pool of people looking to play whenever you are.

With a set of good friends around, playing with you it's really easy to forget the rat race going on around you.

What he said.

One that I haven't seen mentioned is Planetside. Last I checked it is still going. The combat is FPS style but it is based around a cone of fire system so you don't have to worry about the BOOM HEADSHOT FPS geeks owning you with their psycho twitch skills. You can be an effective part of playing with just a new character. Gaining rank just gives you access to a larger arsenal of skills and allows you to drive more vehicles. I was never able to play this long term as I tend to put in MANY hours into a game if I have fun playing and I just burned out on it. But if you are only looking for an hour or so of play a day it would be pretty fun. It has an option for "instant action" or something like that which essentially just drops you near the current "hottest" spot on the game map so you can get right into the action. You can probably find a trial for this if you look around.

As far as traditional MMOs go almost any of them can be played casually. The problem is always going to be keeping up with the other players. If you are extremely competative you will probably lose interest in any MMO quickly with that little play time. Most people will level faster than you, have nicer stuff than you, and get to experience more of the game than you. If you can enjoy yourself just advancing your character, partaking of the lore, and exploring the massive world then just about any of these games can be fun. It's really a matter of what you are expecting to get out of your limited play time.

If you are into PvP and crappy graphics/interface don't bother you you can always try out shadowbane. You can advance from 1-soft cap in that game with fairly minimal effort but expect to be ganked pretty frequently. I think it may even be free to play these days. I wouldn't recommend it as a great game to play however and if you aren't extremely social then you may have a hard time getting through it with no one to talk to/hang with for protection haha.