Choices

Recently I’ve been rather torn between two very different MMOs, Champions Online and Fallen Earth. On one hand you have a fast-paced action game with tonnes of customisation, and on the other hand you’ve got a slow-paced, rigid structure MMO with very little customisation.

For about a week and a half I’ve not played Champions Online, and before that it’s been about three weeks since I played my main (or atleast, my highest level character) – mainly due to frustration at the lacklustre PvP which, at that point, was required to level up post 30, and the fact that her main attack was Sonic Arrow, which to do any damage required a 5s charge. I’ve gone back now after that hiatus and tweaked Lasair’s build. She still has the tricked out AoE Stun of Sonic Arrow, but it’s no longer her main attack, it’s purely an opener. Followed by Sonic device + Machine Gun Blast to take out the henchmen. I also realised what a burden Strafe is as an energy Builder (it’s badly broken) compared to Gadgeteering’s Experimental Gun. I dumped my munitions bots, but kept my healing drones. Dropped Quarry and took Regen with Resurgence, and Ressurection Serum. Electrical form for nuking DPS and entangling mesh for Crowd Control. Lasair’s now a very rounded character and is suddenly fun to play again, especially with the ‘new’ content (1/3 of which was actually just un-implimented release content), which is soloable and fun.

Fallen Earth is almost the perfect companion to Champions Online. The downtime of both games is seemingly staggered so that when one goes down the other is up. Fallen Earth is alot slower paced than CO. I’ve recently got myself an ATV, and am in the process of building myself a motorcycle.

I’m level 14 and I’m crafting something that will take the best part of a week to gather the materials and actually craft. This is the start of the game. I’d say I can’t wait till high level, but to be honest I can. There is no rush to maximum level in Fallen Earth. The game is the journey, and the journey doesn’t stop at maximum level, so why rush there when you can soak in everything else. I plan on keeping my crafting as high as possible on the way up too. Working just to get the pattern for the motorcycle requires you to build an ATV, then use it to write a book, which you can either sell or read (to learn the motorcycle pattern) – and only then can you combine the bits and bobs you can already make into a motorcycle.

The time it takes to craft things is quite immense. Total time for all the parts and final crafting of an ATV gets close to a full 24 hours (4hrs 20 mins per item, 5 items = 21 hrs 40 mins) at most. If you log off at a Science lab your build speeds up to ~18 hours total, but that means you’re not out levelling, you’re not out scavenging. You have a choice. Faster crafting or faster levelling.

The only way to level in Champions is to go out and defeat enemies, you have no say in the matter. The manner of how you dispatch them is up to you, but it all boils down to target, pew pew, loot. With Fallen Earth you indeed have that choice, but you can also level purely through crafting and scavenging. It’ll take you longer, but it’s possible. At level 12 I was getting 1 bar of XP for each piece of ATV I was making. Questing can either be Kill, Scavenge, Craft or buy, indeed, some missions can be all of these, giving you a choice of how to complete them. “Get me 10 scrap copper” could be ‘Go kill things that carry copper”, or ‘go mine some copper’ or even ‘go buy copper from a vendor’. Quest items even drop when you’re not on the quest. This can be annoying once you’ve completed the quest (they take up superflous bag space, but you can just destroy extra items when your pack is full). On a few occasions I’ve gone back, cashed in a quest, got the follow up and completed it right away, as it was “go collect 10 badges from these guys”

I’m still at the start of Fallen Earth, I’ve not even started on the faction business yet. As far as I can tell, the Faction switching is the end game. Working your way up a faction to get it’s items and recipes, then working your way around the wheel to gain favour with another faction and get their items and recipes.

I still don’t know which MMO I’ll keep playing. I’ve got 6 months on Champions, and I don’t begrudge spending more money on Fallen Earth. When the 6 months is up we’ll see what happens. Perhaps by then Cataclysm will be out and I’ll be sucked back into that swirling vortex that is World of Warcraft. Who knows. Could I support 3 very different MMO’s at once? Most likely not.

But then again, who doesn’t want to play a Goblin Priest?goblin-priest-sml

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