Right now I find myself struggling a bit to gain purchase in most of my MMO options right now. World of Warcraft I am back and active in because of the Wednesday night Mythical Nonsense thing we are doing. I was logging in every night to try and eek out the last bits of experience needed to unlock the Void Elves and Lightforged Draenei but even then… I have faltered considerably. I really do not enjoy Argus, so logging in every night and grinding every single quest available just seems grossly unpalatable. Final Fantasy XIV failed to catch my attention with Eureka, and I lost momentum catching up on the main story quest patched in with the latest expansion. Destiny 2 is sitting there largely untouched because when I log in… there is really nothing that I want to be doing which is ultimately where that game falls short of the original.. there are no long running breadcrumbs for me to follow when I spin out and lose purpose. Monster Hunter World is always easy to get back into… but there are nights that I just don’t want to spend my evening upstairs and the fact that my PS4 is there limits my play time.
In the end I keep coming back to Project Gorgon and its weirdly charming neostalgic experience. On the podcast Tam talked about the game feeling like the way we remember playing Everquest. While this might sound confusing at first… this is exactly what this game feels like. We have incorrect rose tinted feelings about how Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot for that matter felt to play. If you go back today you end up with a cludgy mess of a game that feels ancient and quite honestly not that enjoyable. However our in our memories the Everquest experience is still vibrant because we have edited out the rough spots and filled in the way those actions made us feel in place of the hard facts of just how limited that game actually was. Project Gorgon remembers those things that were lacking in Everquest and has supplied the spackle and paint needed to make those memories feel true and vibrant.
Sure I am doing the same kill ten rats quests I have been doing my entire MMO gaming career, but the fact that I seem to have a relatively limitless quest log… and the fact that I can complete the quests by killing ANY ten rats… not just the ones five feet away from the quest giver makes the experience feel more open ended. If I have a quest to kill wolves… Sickly Wolves, Mangy Wolves, Supporting Wolves, just plain wolves… specific named character wolves… all count towards a quest that says “kill wolves”. This means you can do the quests while roaming around the world and exploring… rather than feeling tethered to a specific location to be able to clear out your log. There are quests I picked up on my first day that I just managed to finish two weeks later because I had not actually encountered the thing I was needing to find yet. I dig the long tail that this cycle has and the fact that it feels like you are “questing” for something more than just completing a task list.
I am sure some of this is just my inherent lack of familiarity with the world or the fact that the maps don’t really have locations marked on them, or my habit of running the opposite direction I need to go. Whatever the case the specific combination of broad objectives and happy accidents along the way lead to a very immersive experience in spite of the fact that you spend a good deal of time running along and encountering nothing at all. The only real complaint I have so far is the fact that most of the gear that I use looks like complete nonsense… like right now it feels like I am wearing thermal long-johns… but they were unfortunately the best item I had and finally got rid of that horrible yellow bandage appearance.
At this point I have managed to hook two more people on this game, in part because I knew it would be down their alley. For the most part I am limiting myself to just Sword and Psychology… but I am contemplating trying out a few other secondary skills. I spent the 2000 councils aka gold to learn beast taming so it might be interesting to try a pet secondary for awhile. Similarly I now have the ability to learn fire magic, so that might also be interesting to shim in over top of Psychology. The one thing that I am finding weird… and cannot quite reconcile is that our hotbars have six abilities on them… but right now I have seven in both psychology and swords. I cannot however seem to be able to replace the spells from my bar… so how exactly do we use that last one? I might try dragging it to the optional bar and see if it becomes usable that way. Among all of the other games that I have access to at this very moment… this one feels the most comfortable and suited to whatever I am needing at this very moment. I’ve not really streamed much because nothing I am doing right now seems interesting enough for someone to watch. Grinding factions in WoW is boring as hell… and I am afraid me wandering around aimlessly in Gorgon will also be boring to watch.