I only realized/found out today that World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Mists of Pandaria (MoP), is set to released in late September. That seems pretty quick. My gaming situation is a bit stagnant at the moment where I’m really only playing a few games, and not as much of them as even I’d like. I went from WoW casual to Skyrim when it released, and then Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR) when it released, and then Diablo 3 when it released. I’ve really not gone back to any of them since. I’ve only moonlighted in a few other games, and my XBox Live account has probably lapsed since I last logged in; I’m just not in front of my television at all (have not watched television in about 10 years, so it’s just movies and gaming).
Diablo 3, unfortunately, is just not the same crack it used to me. I mentioned my thoughts previously, and I think the points all still stand. The one exception is that I just don’t think the loot is quite the same for a variety of really small reasons that add up in the end. I have not had a single set piece drop. I’ve seen 3 uniques. The rares (yellows) are just random names with random stats, most of which I don’t want so it’s trash. None of the gear seems memorable enough, and doesn’t drop quite enough to justify further grinds just for it. I think I might ultimately blame the Auction House (AH) for that. Also, after years of social FPS and MMO games, D3 just isn’t that social and the attempts it has made just aren’t that compelling. I don’t know how you fix that, since D2 really was similar. As it is, I have a few toons, my Wizard is level 60 and basically bogged down near the end of Act 2 Inferno (I don’t expect to have an easy time of it with the end boss, so I’ve just drifted away).
TL;DR: Diablo 3 isn’t really beckoning me to play it unless it’s with a few friends in coop.
SWTOR is a great game with great stories and I really like the gameplay. The problem is still twofold as I’ve mentioned from launch: underpopulated servers and lack of Looking For Group (LFG) tools. LFG is coming in the next major patch, but it’s really freakin’ late. I should get back to this game, but it would just to achieve the bragging rights of finishing my Smuggler’s story arc and getting the last few levels to 50. The social part of SWTOR just never hooked me, though that’s hard to do when you don’t raid or care much for guild affiliations anymore.
WoW MoP will get me back to WoW, but I’m not sure if that will be lasting. The content doesn’t much excite me, but the biggest draw of WoW has always been the guild/social factor, as well as catering to both hardcore players and casual players. I’ve been in both boats, and I have exceedingly fond memories of both, but I really love the idea of just wasting time with virtual friends in a casual manner.
Skyrim. It has its faults and it’s strictly single player, but of all the games I’ve played in the last year, I think Skyrim is the one that beckons me the hardest to get back into. It’s huge, long, varied, fun, and deep. I just feel a bit lonely when I play (single player), and sometimes you hit walls that are frustrating (killing a priest/dragon combo as a thief-type is maddening). But it’s a beautiful game.
Hopefully MoP is fun and hopefully Elder Scrolls Online is Skyrim+social MMO, which would be amazing. SWTOR did most everything right, in my opinion, but two glaring issues really have held it back (and some smaller ones that were actually fixed in earlier patches).