There’s something about the months of September-December that really gets me, for no really explainable reason. I mean, as a gamer, these are the gravy months-a large number of high quality titles in popular genres, and often a chance to appeal to my snobbish side by playing and appreicating the diamonds in the rough (such as Hegemonia: Legions of Iron).
Along the way, though, something always happens-fatigue with sets in, and by the time the season’s over I’m ready to just sit down with a nice, relaxed, engrossing game and just have some fun. Usually that takes the form of a ‘innovative’ 4X strategy game- both Kohan and Disciples 2 have served as my early-year refuge from the mainstream in recent years, and I have welcomed them like mulled cider and hot cocoa at the peak of a cold winter.
This year, however, the funk came early. After the bust that were Metriod Prime and Fusion, not to mention a forced week-long hiatus induced by the region’s horrible ice storm earlier this month, I could feel the rut seeping into my bones, not unlike the chill of the cold outside. I knew I had to get out of the ‘game of the week/month’ club and find my escape from the hustle and bustle of the mainstream gaming machine. The relief has come in the form of Dark Age of Camelot (with the new expansion).
I’ll admit that I haven’t played a lot of MMO games in my time. I’ve played some muds, dabbled in UO and EQ, and tried Shattered Galaxy for a week or so. Everytime the problems are the same-the game’s hard to get into, things are broken (most MUDs and UO), or the game has ‘external’ problems (EQ).
Dark Age of Camelot, however, has been easy to get into (thanks in large part to MrAngryFace, who’s not nearly as angry after he’s had his favorite food). I created a character with some reasonable stats, joined the server and immediately started to explore the interface and tasks for the early-level gamer, and was suprised to see how inviting and comfortable the game was. The interface is easy and powerful, the quests in the beginning simple and fun, and the combat system ('con’ing and then attacking) was quick and simple to get a handle on. Now, six hours later, I’ve got a nice sixth level druid, some decent gear, and a nice chunk of savings I can use to move my way throughout Hibernia.
I’m not really qualified to get into the details of the later game, or even really comment on the flaws of the game at the earlier levels. What I can comment on is that DAoC is a lot of fun, and is a terrific change of pace from the RTS-CRPG-console game-TBS cycle that I’ve gotten into over the past year.
If any of you guys have low-level characters and are interesting in grouping up (or want to start new ones :) ), drop me a mail at [email protected]-this game is a lot more fun when you’re playing it with people you know.