choose my adventure

Choose My Adventure tours a new MMO every month — with you, the reader, as the co-pilot, voting for how the writer plays from week to week. Our current captain is Eliot Lefebvre. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Choose My Adventure: Blade & Soul’s school of hard knocks (and mysterious, potentially deadly curses)

Hello friends, and welcome to week two of the February series of Choose My Adventure. For those of you who are just tuning in, this month I’m diving headlong into the mystical martial-arts adventure of NCSoft’s Blade & Soul. Last week, I asked y’all to vote, as first-week tradition dictates, on what my character’s class, race, and gender should be. Despite each poll receiving somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 votes, the contests were all pretty close. But in the end, of course, there can be only one.

The vote for my character’s class, against all odds — or against 4:3 odds, at any rate — went to one of the non-race-exclusive classes, the Kung Fu Master, which came out of the contest with 24% of the votes, beating out the second-runner-up, Force Master, by a respectable 21 votes. The vote for my character’s race, however, was considerably tighter; Yun, Lyn, and Jin all put up a valiant effort with 21%, 24%, and 25% of the vote, respectively, but it was the big, brawny Gon that wound up winning out with 30% of the total vote. And last, but not least, on the subject of my character’s gender, the vote was much more one-sided, and female emerged victorious with a fairly commanding 61% of the vote against male’s 39%. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to Aesong, the female Gon Kung Fu Master.

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Choose My Adventure: Entering the fray in Blade & Soul

Hello, friends, and welcome to a spankin’ new series of Choose My Adventure. This month, I’m going to be diving into NCSoft’s wuxia-inspired Blade & Soul. I know many MMO fans have been anxiously awaiting the Western release of the game, which finally landed stateside last month. For my part, I admittedly didn’t have a whole lot of interest in the game until I was able to futz around in the beta, which piqued my excitement with its action-centric combat and flashy martial arts. I didn’t get to delve into it too deeply, however, so I’m looking forward to see how the game pans out beyond the small taste I got during beta.

As is the custom ’round these here parts, this week’s article will be all about creating my character so I can jump headlong into the game for a new and (hopefully) exciting adventure.

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Choose My Adventure: Brewing disaster in Shroud of the Avatar

Hello, friends, and welcome to the final (belated) installment of Choose My Adventure: Shroud of the Avatar edition. Last week, I asked y’all to make a few final decisions about my character’s build. The blades-bludgeons-polearms vote was a close one, with polearms edging out victory, and it was by a fairly significant margin that you decided I should eschew a shield in favor of a two-hander, relying solely on heavy armor (which beat out light armor by a hefty 26% of the vote) for protection. Meanwhile, magic-wise, you folks decided that I should abandon all pretensions of being an even remotely benevolent wizard and take up the study of the Death and Chaos schools of magic which won with a resounding 36% and 29% of the vote, respectively.

I also, as you may recall, decided that I would close out my time with SotA by dabbling in a bit of crafting, and I asked you folks to choose which trade I should take up. Blacksmithing and alchemy were neck-and-neck for a while, but in the end, alchemy pulled away with the victory with 38% of the vote compared to blacksmithing’s 29%. Well, as always, I did as I was told, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily enjoyed the experience. I don’t know about you folks, but I’m about ready to wrap this one up, so let’s get on with it, hm?

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Choose My Adventure: Exploring Shroud of the Avatar’s (not so) open wilds

Hello, friends, and welcome to the penultimate installment of Choose My Adventure: Shroud of the Avatar. Last week, in addition to giving the game’s combat system a piece of my mind that I will never get back, I also asked you fine folks to vote on how I should build my character and how I should spend my playtime over the course of the weekend.

On the character build front, the vote went soundly in favor of melee-magic hybrid, which received a fairly sizeable 34% of the vote, though pure magic and ranged-magic hybrid both put up a decent struggle with 23% and 19% of the vote, respectively. Meanwhile, on the playstyle side of things, y’all resoundingly decided that I should put both questing and crafting on the backburner in favor of some old-fashioned exploration, which won with a commanding 51% of the vote.

So as always, I have done as you bid me to do, and I’m here this week to report back on my adventures, though in this case, “misadventures” is probably the more appropriate term. At any rate, let’s go ahead and get down to it, shall we?

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Choose My Adventure: In which my Shroud of the Avatar plans are foiled

Hello friends, and welcome to the next installment of the Shroud of the Avatar edition of Choose My Adventure. Last week, as I’m sure you remember, I had but one choice for you to make: Should my Shroud of the Avatar character choose to follow the path of Truth (i.e., Mage), the path of Courage (i.e., Fighter), or the path of Love (i.e., Ranger)? Well, the votes are in — they have been for some time now, really — and the path of Mage-Truth came out on top, but it was a close competition; Mage-Truth edged out Ranger-Love by only 13 votes.

This, all things considered, makes the current situation rather convenient. See, there was ah, uh… a bit of a hitch, you might say. But don’t worry, everything’s fine! I mean, I’m sure everything is fine, like, on the cosmic scale or something. But to those of you who came out in droves to force me down the path of Mage-Truth, I’m sad to say that your efforts were for naught. Whoops.

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Choose My Adventure: Trying on the Shroud of the Avatar

Hello friends, and welcome to the new year’s first installment of Choose My Adventure. As you may have noticed, I took a bit of a hiatus back in December in order to focus on the tempest that inevitably results from the confluence of final exams, the holiday season, and my superhuman ability to procrastinate, but now I’m itching to get back in the proverbial saddle. For this month’s series, I’m going to be throwing myself headlong into Shroud of the Avatar. For the uninitiated, Shroud of the Avatar is the first project from development studio Portalarium, which was formed by creator of the Ultima series, part-time astronaut, and famed virtual-assassination-victim Richard “Lord British” Garriot.

As one might expect from the man who brought Ultima and its many sequels and offshoots into the world, Shroud of the Avatar is a fantasy RPG that boasts, according to the game’s official site, a classless character system, a player-driven economy, “skillful combat” (whatever that means), non-instanced and finite player housing, and more. It’s also notable, at least the fantasy bookworms in the audience, that the game’s story — along with some tie-in novels — is being penned by Tracy Hickman of Dragonlance fame. Although the game is currently in, as its Steam store page describes it, an “early access pre-alpha” state, I thought it might be a fun little jaunt into the unknown for the first CMA of the year, so let’s just give it a go and see what happens, shall we?

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The MMORPG adventures you chose in 2015

When the Choose My Adventure column was first begun many years ago on Massively-that-was, it was an adventure entirely in the hands of the readers. The author, often different from game to game, left every decision to the whims of the voters, including the game itself. CMA has evolved over time to be less susceptible to community brigading and more an extended hands-on deep-dive into MMORPGs, but its core purpose is the same: You still nudge the author away from his or her comfort zones to really experience a game.

Mike Foster and Matt Daniel drove the Choose My Adventure bus this year. Here’s a look back at the games they played at your command.

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Choose My Adventure: Wrapping up my Guild Wars 2 adventure

Hello again, friends, and welcome to the fourth and final installment of the Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns edition of Choose My Adventure. You may have noticed that this column is a couple of days later than usual. Sorry about that; it’s been a busy time.

At any rate, you may remember that last week, I asked y’all to vote on which tradeskills I should take and which zone I should conquer next. Cook took first place in the tradeskill vote by a fairly significant margin, while weaponsmith barely beat out armorsmith for the second spot. Meanwhile, for the zone poll you all decided that I should go sightseeing in Sparkfly Fen. So over the course of last weekend, I did exactly that. Here’s how it turned out.

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Choose My Adventure: Rising through the ranks in Guild Wars 2

Hello, friends, and welcome yet again to another installment of Choose My Adventure. Over the course of last weekend, I’ve continued my journeys in Guild Wars 2‘s fantastical land of Tyria, and although I didn’t manage to accomplish quite everything I set out to accomplish (more on that in a bit), I still managed to get quite a bit done. As such, I’ve got a lot to talk about, so I’ll keep this intro brief so we can go ahead and get to business.

But first, of course, let’s talk about the results of last week’s polls. I asked y’all to vote on which zone I should venture to next and what I should try to accomplish over the course of the weekend. The votes for the next zone were pretty all over the place, which is probably because there were 11 different options to choose from, but in the end, the vote went in favor of the Fields of Ruin, a zone recommended for levels 30 to 40. The votes for which activity I should try to take part in were also pretty close, but the Ascalonian Catacombs dungeon ended up pulling out the victory. So how did all of that go for me? Gather ’round and I’ll tell you all about it.

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Choose My Adventure: Running amok with Guild Wars 2’s Revenant

Hello again, friends, and welcome back to Choose My Adventure. As you may or may not have noticed, CMA took a little hiatus last week on account of my having some computer issues that ultimately ended up requiring me to reformat. But now I’m back with a fresh, clean hard drive, and not one but two weekends’ worth of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns playtime to talk about.

But before we get down to that, here’s a recap of the last column’s voting results: While the gender vote was a close contest, with female eking out a victory by a slim 12 out of 274 votes, the polls for my character’s class and race were considerably more decisive. The race vote went to Sylvari with a commanding 41% of the vote (the next-closest contestant, Asura, had only 19%), and as predicted, the class vote was little more than a formality, with a sound majority of you voting to see the newly added Revenant class in action. Well, I did as I was told, and I’ve got a lot to talk about, so let’s jump in.

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Choose My Adventure: Into the Heart of Thorns

Hello again friends, and welcome back to Choose My Adventure. November is upon us, and that means two things: It’s time for another round of the annual cries of, “Why are all these stores decorating for Christmas when Thanksgiving isn’t even over yet!?” and perhaps more relevant to our interests, it’s time for a new series of CMA. As the particularly quick-witted among you may have surmised from my cryptic, totally-not-obvious remark at the end of last week’s column, this month’s series will be focusing on Guild Wars 2‘s first expansion, Heart of Thorns.

You all know the drill by now, I imagine, but as is customary for the first installment of a new CMA series, this week is all about creating my character before I jump into the game itself. So with that in mind, I’ll stop dillydallying so we can get right down to business.

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Choose My Adventure: Settling the homestead in WildStar

Hello everyone, and welcome to the latest (and ostensibly greatest, depending on your perspective) installment of Choose My Adventure. This week, we’ll be bidding adieu to the wild world of WildStar, but that time hasn’t come just yet, so let’s save the tearful farewells for later and go ahead and recap last week’s vote: As I’m sure you recall, with your minds from which nothing escapes, last week I asked y’all to choose where I would focus my efforts during my playtime over the weekend: PvP, PvE, or player housing.

The PvPers in the crowd were roundly shouted down, with PvP pulling in only a paltry 9% of the total vote, but the contest between PvE and housing was a heated one, indeed. In the end, however, player housing managed to edge out a nail-bitingly narrow victory with 47% of the total vote against PvE’s 44%. And so, with that decision being made, I spent a great deal of my weekend — and a not insignificant amount of Bonongo’s gold reserves — exploring the intricacies of WildStar‘s player housing. The end result? A rather comfortable, albeit humble, abode where Bonongo can retire after a long day of Spellslinging.

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Choose My Adventure: WildStar’s crafting frustrations

Welcome, everyone, to another installment of Choose My Adventure: WildStar edition. Last week, Bonongo Jazz, Chua Spellslinger-slash-Explorer-slash-Architect extraordinaire, arrived at the Dominion outpost of Lightreach Mission in the (relatively) untamed wilds of Ellevar. Here, a new world of opportunities opened up to me as I entered what is arguably the first “real” — that is to say, non-starter — zone of the game so far, and I asked you folks, as always, to choose which of those opportunities I should pursue.

The vote on Bonongo’s tradeskill choice went overwhelmingly in favor of Architect, the profession responsible for crafting furnishings, decorations, and other assorted accoutrements for player-housing customization. Accordingly, I picked up survivalist as my gathering profession in order to supply myself with the ecosystem-destroyingly huge quantities of lumber needed to make sweet couches and beds and stuff. Meanwhile, in regard to which role I would build Bonongo to fill, DPS managed to creep ahead of healing for the win. I guess there really isn’t much point in having guns that shoot freaking magic unless you’re going to use them to viciously kill everything in sight.

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