Posted by: L1H | September 18, 2008


My first clan was in America’s Army: they called me Caveman back then.  You learn quickly that you’re not the only hero on the battlefield, that you’re probably going to die over and over again.  Also, you’re going to be running around the same silly maps over and over again.  Sounds repetitive, yet somehow these types of games stay fresh for me.  In my judgment, the reason is simple: Human opponents are infinitely more interesting and challenging than scripted AI mobs.

I would like to add the disclaimer that I actually suck at these games.  Playing games such as Counter Strike: Source taught me that sucking isn’t a barrier for entry for competitive online games, however.  After being continuously pwned by a thirteen year-old with reflexes of a mongoose, you’ll have to make a choice: quit or check your ego at the log in screen and just have fun.  I choose fun (and accuse the thirteen year-old of being a haxor!)

I’m currently a Team Fortress 2 addict, the very definition of FPS fun, although I’m not plugged into any specific communities beyond playing on a few favorite static servers, I still enjoy myself: short to moderate play sessions that are great fun.  The clever folks at Valve have implemented achievements to the game via Steam as well as very cool class customizations and unlocks.  This added layer of advancement and persistence is great, but the core game play is so perfect and balanced, it’s like ice cream on cake: goodness overload!

In contrast I’ve always thought PvP exchanges in MMO’s were lacking.  Even if you get past performance issues, lag, and the whole “gank squad” culture, etc … MMO PvP often felt like putting wings on a car: it sounded cool, but it never got off the ground.

That being said, I’m not stretching the truth when I say: WAR is special.  It’s not a sandbox, the ultimate WoW killer, or the next great evolution of MMOs.  WAR is just a silly little game that has somehow captured what I love best in FPS and MMOs.  It’s social and competitive, for better and for worse, and makes PvP in an MMO actually fun.  I’m talking clapping your hands like an idiot kind of fun.  I haven’t raced home from work to play an MMO since 2003 (hint: a more civilized time).

Is it competitive?  Sure, but getting rolled in a scenario by a well organized Guild feels like it should: it hurts, but I take comfort in the fact that I’m now getting pwned by a gang of thirty somethings ... and it makes a hard fought victory all the sweeter if your Realm can manage to turn the worm.

Hey, I’m a hi-five-good-game kinda guy, but there’s a WAR going on in my server every night.  To all the XBox360 l33t boyz who think they have the competitive online gaming market cornered: to that I say: my Dad’s Tome of Knowledge can beat up your Dad’s Achievement’s.  So bleh!  /rasberry

Can I dream of a Team Fortress MMO?  Oh yeah, it’s called the Agency!  It’s like ice cream on cake!

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