When the MMO joy ends

By Michael Vass | November 29, 2007

For all the fans of MMO’s (Massively Multiplayer Online) out there, some potentially bad news. The same can be said to fans of all things Star Trek. Of course this means that I can only be speaking about Star Trek Online.

It’s been reported that there are going to be massive changes to the up-coming MMO, and the end to the equally in development Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising. The creators of Star Trek Online, Perpetual has been sold to new owners and they want a new focus on the game. Those changes include a move to become a more casual gamer friendly format. I would call that a horrible move.

In addition there is the rumor that the subscription based fees will be removed. Now most games that do this tend to instead offer perks to the game that can only be gained by purchasing those perks in real cash. While that has been a huge hit in some games (like Second Life as I recall) it’s not something I like. Then again most Americans I would say are against that format. But in Korea this is a very popular idea.

In my opinion, the game is dead. Any potential that might have been there has been hit by a full force phaser blast. So it’s warp speed onto another MMO. That means Conan. So far expectations are that we can see the game out in 2008.

As for Tabula Raza, which you may recall I reviewed recently, the joy has subsided a bit. My review covered the first 5 levels to the game. The initial feeling of constant action and improvement has lasted beyond level 5. But it seems to be waning fast.

Now at level 15, I have to honestly say that this is not a long term MMO. At least not for me. While I still maintain it’s a nice change from WoW (World of Warcraft) it is not a keeper. The higher level stats and abilities are only slightly different than early levels. Weapon strengths do improve, but not quite as quickly as most opponents. The scenery of post-early stage lands are still well detailed and inviting, but somewhat still the same.

I’m playing the game as a solo character, no guild or groups. That makes most of the instances very difficult. Sadly that’s where the best gear is of course. Still several can be beaten by one character (at substantially higher levels and better gear). But the meat and potatoes of the game still leave me less than enthused.

Bugs are still present, and the latest patch was a while ago (pre-Thanksgiving).

And the difference in ability between my newbie and my level 15 ranger is sparse. The different abilities just don’t seem too relevant. And the logos still make little sense.

Probably the main thing keeping me going is the desire to reach Sniper at level 30.

So if you have a month or 2 to kill, or want to blow off some steam from work, Tabula Raza is ok. Otherwise, look for Conan in March 08.

**this can also be found at Video Gaming Blog where I am a contributing author.**

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