Or whatever the kids are saying these days.
Time for an MMO update. I've been coming close to the end of my WoW experience, at least in terms of my main character, Leonadril on the Drenden server. Leo is now halfway through level 68, and has visited every region in the game (although some sections of Netherstorm and Shadowmoon are yet to be explored). I cannot think of a single point since we've moved (last October) that I haven't been earning double XP for this character, making soloing a viable strategy. However, when you hit 70, the soloing stops working at all, so unless I have some sort of good high level guild that I join up with, that will be end (in terms of active play) for Leo. And perhaps for WoW.
However, the two MMOs that I've tried as potential replacements both have fallen flat. I got a copy of Guild Wars (that came with the original campaign as well as Eye of the North) and raced up the XP ladder to 8th within a couple of hours. While I like that pretty much anything that will involve fighting is instanced, at the same time the top level is 20th and then it's pretty much all PvP. Both Eye of the North and Nightfall have ways to play with "henchmen" or "heroes" so that you can solo more easily, and the graphics are pretty nice, I'm not sure this is the game for me. For one thing, this is a popular game for school-age kids and teens as there are no ongoing fees (I paid $30 for the software set, so I consider this to be a pretty good deal to try out an MMO). That means lots of names like "B U T T H E A D" and I'm not sure that this is the sort of people I want to play with. WoW is bad enough.
The other game(s) I've tried out were City of Heroes/City of Villains. Dave had said the main appeal for him was the other people, and to be fair I've not grouped with anyone else. Greg said that the game was pretty dull, at least at the early stages, and I have to say I agree in spades. Different sections of the city look pretty much like the last section of the city you were in, and I find the street grid to be less than enthralling as I explore. I have yet to try out City of Villains, which takes place on islands rather than in cities (I think), but CoH just isn't grabbing me at all. Part of the problem may be that it doesn't seem to recognize that I have a 256Mb graphics card, so I'm stuck at a relatively low resolution and the graphics all look extremely clunky, especially compared to the nice effects in GW. Even cartoony WoW looks considerably better. Note that both GW and CoH are being run under Boot Camp on my Mac, which is *not* emulation, so I would think both would do about the same when it came to graphics under Windows.
For now, the main thrust is on WoW and getting Leo to 70. I've got tons of quests left, even after ditching the various group and instance quests (I'm debating whether to ditch my 0.5 armor set quest, which requires me to go to Stratholme - not a lot of folks real interested in the previous endgame dungeons these days), especially as I already have armor that blows it away. It does look cool, though, and one of my WoW CCG decks is built around a gnome rogue wearing the Shadowcraft armor, so there may be a sentimental motivation to get it. I know one thing, I'm unlikely to get a flying mount with Leo unless I can figure out how to make a *lot* more money than I am. I bought my fast mount recently, and have collected less than 500gp in the level and a half since that time. I know that you can work the auction house and other methods to make money relatively quickly, but I've got 4500gp to go and am not real sure I'm going to make it in time. I may continue just to get the mount, as there are areas you can't get to until you've got one.
I do feel like I've missed out on a lot of elements of WoW by doing most of this game solo. I've only been in six or seven of the dungeons, for instance. It would be fun to play with a regular group that focused on these, but I'm not sure I'll find those people on my server, at least starting from scratch.
Anyway, some things to think about. Perhaps the Conan MMO will cover the bases that I feel are lacking, and perhaps some of the folks in Rip City Gamers will be involved as well. That would be perfect, even if the MMO was short in some areas. Only time will tell.