It should come as no surprise that I'm just waiting for something to replace WOW. I'm not a WOW hater, but lord I need something new. I'm not playing LOTRO either because as much as I want something new, I'm not investing the time to level in a game that I have no intention of staying in for some length of time. So even though I'm whittling my time doing PVP on a Paladin in WOW, my eyes and ears are open until WAR arrives. In walks, Sword of the New World.
I recently remembered that I have a premium FilePlanet account. Duh. I know what you're thinking and I'm not nearly that stupid, but oh how the details of my life spin 'round and 'round. While cleaning up my "Favorites" I saw the FP link and decided to have a look-see. It didn't dawn on me that I had an account until I saw that it auto-logged me in, which served to jog my memory. If not for that, I still wouldn't have recalled the purchase. Anyway...I see the advert for Sword and decide to take a peak.
The graphics look really nice, and I'm nothing if not a sucker for graphics. That aside, what intrigued me the most about Sword was the period in which the storyline takes place. In addition, when you build other characters you add them as family members. But the coupe de gras is that you can control up to three of the members at once. Hey now, GW mechanics without the stranger sidekicks called henchmen. All sorts of interesting back story ideas immediately popped into my head and I thought, "Whoa, I could like this." And, "It sure would be nice to play something with some role-playing value." I immediately decided to avail myself of my special privileges and downloaded the client.
While it's downloading I'm playing WOW in the background, sucking up the drama of AV weekend when the AFKers and nubs decide to pay a visit to PVP and turn an otherwise pleasurable pastime into soul-sucking pain in my ass experience. Sword of the New World is looking better and better, as I tell these idiots for the 4th time to abandon Galv. And instead of engaging the attempt to turtle, move on to take the graveyard. But will they listen? Of course not.
/OCC In case you're wondering what a "nub" is, it's not a typo. It's the most derogatory form of noob in my book.
The download and install were painless enough. Creating your characters, although limited in visual selections, was still fun because of the variety of customs. But that's about where the fun ended. First off, I can't play a game where the text and buttons are off the screen or chopped off in the dialog box frames. I've done SW development. I've managed SW localizations and translations teams for commercial products. And with that experience, I know that all of that is avoidable if you test appropriately and have a quality team. Not being able to read choices, make selections or even use some aspects of the interface because it's chopped off is just soooooooooooooooooo unacceptable.
Yet I persevere because I'm intrigued by the promise of Sword. That and because it's only Saturday, leaving two more days of dealing with nubs in my AV. Oh the injustices I will endure because daddy needs a new chest piece and a pair of boots. The idea of playing something fun, interesting and free, looms large.
I create my little family of four characters: Wizard, Elementalist, Fighter and a Scout. They're all cute little vixens except for the Fighter, who is a male. After all, every family needs a little testosterone - hence the male fighter. Except that this male, with his over the eye hairdo, is actually prettier than the girls in a Prince, he who has no name, kind of way. *Hurl* I pick my Elementalist to use in the tutorial and it’s all downhill from there.
It isn’t until I’m in the tutorial that I realize it’s all “click-to-move.” I’ve only dabbled in Asian import games and that has to be the most annoying aspect of that genre. For goodness sake, is it really that hard to program the damn thing to let me move with the keyboard? Arrow keys – I’ve never seen an Asian keyboard but have a hard time envisioning that they don’t have arrow keys. I tried all sorts of reasonable combinations and nothing would move the character or rotate the view except the mouse.
I might have decided to deal with click-to-move if all the NPC dialogs weren’t cut scenes. It felt so old school and it immediately takes you out of the game, or at least one that is supposed to be MMO. Cut scenes in Fable, sure – no problem. The sprinkling of cut scenes in LOTRO, which add very unique and personal encounters are very acceptable. But every NPC interaction? Sorry, I don’t think so.
By this time I’m sort of miffed that I bothered to download the client and make my four pretty people. I try to make it through the rest of the tutorial, disembark the boat and head into the local town/harbor. But it was more of the same – too much moving around with the mouse, cut after cut as I checked out the NPCs and no one other my Elementalist seemed to be online. Or at least, I didn’t run into another soul in the starter area.
I wanted to hang in there long enough to try some combat but then I realized that the toolbar I couldn’t see much of at all was where my skills were placed. I fiddled with the interface for a few minutes trying to move the thing into view, until I got really aggravated and decided to just give up. I logged and immediately removed it from my hard drive.
I’m getting rather jaded about trying new MMOs. Perhaps I’m too naïve. I get all excited by the marketing hype and expect it to deliver something close to what they’re claiming. When they don’t time after time, it brings me right back to WOW – a quality game that delivers mostly what is promised. At least in WOW, I know what I’m getting and I’m already at the top of the dung heap.
Like Vanguard, the promise was there. I wanted to play what they described but I couldn't even make it through the starter area. This game might do well in it's native land, with clickers or people who can actually see on their screen what needs to be seen. For me, it was just three hours of my life that I can never get back.