Asheron's Call Redux
I reactivated my Asheron's Call (AC) account this evening, after a 6-month hiatus away from the game. For a good portion of the past 6 months, I have been playing the hopelessly doomed sequel, Asheron's Call 2: Fallen Kings (AC2). In spite of a markedly improved graphics engine, AC2 just doesn't cut it. There just isn't enough to do in the game, except kill the same boring monsters and go on the same quests over and over again.
It's too bad, really. AC2 had a rich foundation of lore upon which to build, with Asheron's Call nearing its fourth year of general release. Unfortunately, the game was released way too early — the game's chat system is severely bugged, the loot and crafting system is completely broken and the devs are still balancing out the character templates. I suppose it's possible that the game can be turned around, but it looks very doubtful at this point. A great number of players have left the game, and the development roadmap does not bode well (in my opinion). As a subscriber, I kept hoping the game would turn around, but I reached a breaking point in early April (as did many others). So, I cancelled my subscription.
I didn't think I would ever reactivate my AC subscription, but a friend of mine recently reactivated his account. So, I figured it would be a good time to reactivate for a short time to see what has transpired in that past 6 months.
As expected, a lot has changed in the game. The devs have completely reworked the player-monster balance. So, the monsters I used to hunt react differently than the did before (which is fine with me). There are new quests upon which to embark, and new items accordingly. I'm finding that my curiosity is piqued about the game somewhat. I plan to read up on the changes to the game as well as get in touch with some old acquaintences in-game.
It will be interesting to see if I decide to stay beyond the next 30 days (which, oddly-enough, are completely free-of-charge — I expected to pay the requisite $9.95 for a month's playtime). Not only with I have to fork over a subscription fee, but rumor has it that Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) will hit retail release in late June. I've been beta-testing SWG for about a month now, but I haven't really spent a lot of time playing it. I got into the beta test right after I quit AC2, so I was in a bit of an anti-MMOG funk. I plan to purchase the retail release, so I'm sure AC will be playing second fiddle during July at the very least.