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View Full Version : Any good online games that don't require hours of play on end?


BigGameHunter
07-06-2006, 03:21:52
This may be a basic contradiction of terms, but I'd like the ability to have human characters around me (haven't found any games with good AI) without having to spend hours and hours and hours playing. I usually can't play for more than an hour or so until real life beckons.

Colon
07-06-2006, 03:43:04
It's sad there are people around who believe they have the right to distract a man from gaming.

DaShi
07-06-2006, 03:56:57
Guild Wars or one of those skirmish FPS games like America's Army.

HelloKitty
07-06-2006, 04:44:10
Guild wars or WoW. EDIT Or EVE

WoW is pretty much a solo game until lvl 60, but there are other people around you. If you play a healer you can group going up in levels. Other than that groups are hard to get because its faster and easier to solo. WoW is basicly grinding to max level then long raids. I think they are doing some buddy account 14 days free thing.

GW you can solo by hiring NPCs, or group. Everything is instanced and it is very easy to get groups since it is one giant server. GW is closer to a traditional RPG that has one story, very fast leveling, the complexity lies in the skill system. At endgame its all about PVP which you can log on and do for 20 minutes easy.

EVE is VERY free form. You advance at a set rate, no grinding. A bunch of us play together from CG and have a guild. Very easy to pick up and put down. Very HARSH world though. In WoW dying is a minor annoyance. In GW it really hurts your current mission. In EVE you know it when you fuck up. Has a 14 day free trial just ask anyone in the EVE thread for a code.

Koshko
07-06-2006, 05:27:59
Play my new game. I plan to have it done by around 2009.

King_Ghidra
07-06-2006, 08:36:30
yeah wow can definitely be played in 1hr bursts

even if you just log on and do some crafting or hit the auction house or something you can get something done in short time

i often log on for half an hour or so and potter around for a bit when i don't have time for a proper session

but as others have said, there are plenty of shooters or sport or racing type multiplayer games that you can get virtual human contact with that are definitely short time-span friendly

HelloKitty
07-06-2006, 10:09:31
Yeah but crafting and the auction house aren't much fun.

Buy 500 chinese farmed gold for 25$, buy your mats from the AH, click create all and take a nap.

All in all GW will be the most flexable and you will get the most out of your time. WoW and EVE you can do things in short times, but you will be very limited.

IMO, with GW, its great that if I have 20 minutes before I have to go to catch the bus I can hit the random team arenas and play a couple rounds of PVP, hit reboot and walk out the door.

Plus GW you only pay for the game, online play is free.

WoW, and EVE both cost about 15 a month, plus the cost of the box (50 for WoW, 20 for Eve). If you aren't playing lots is it really worth it?

For the cost of setting up a WoW account. You can almost buy the original GW and the expansion. If you ahve an EBGames they may have put the old collectors editions of the original under discount or preplayed (even though they are not preplayed). You may be able to get it for 15$ and the expansion for 50.

Dashi, Jon, Centura, and I all play GW. Although I play the same way I have been playing everything recently, not at all. :(

There are something like 10 CGers currently in EVE as well.

Probably the same number of CGers play WoW, but they are scattered around between different servers.

King_Ghidra
07-06-2006, 10:18:18
Originally posted by HelloKitty
Yeah but crafting and the auction house aren't much fun.



of course, i was just giving an example of something you can do in a very short space of time.

actually with my horde warrior i can pvp in half hour/hour bursts. the queues are so short i can basically log on and get straight into the BGs. a few sessions a week and i'm up to blood guard so far with very little time and effort invested

Beta1
07-06-2006, 12:00:34
but theres no queing in eve :)

King_Ghidra
07-06-2006, 12:11:37
in space no one can hear you queue

Greg W
07-06-2006, 12:24:51
In Space, please join the far queue.

Mightytree
07-06-2006, 13:20:24
If you're a PVP person, go with GW. If not, go with WoW. PVP in GW is great, but it doesn't really offer anything else.

Mightytree
07-06-2006, 13:28:28
Oh, and if you're weird, go with EVE.

Centara Fugue
07-06-2006, 14:48:26
I found the GW story quite good and engaging. The missions and quests are varied and interesting, and the different things you can do in the game are all pretty fun. I haven't even gotten around to getting into what the PVP has to offer in that game (as mentioned in some other thread). The story part of the game is a good challenge (talking about the original campaign... haven't gotten the expansion yet), and there's often more than one way to get stuff done. The endgame if you don't PVP is all about getting skills and equipment you like, like going after the more expensive armor sets or taking teams into the large endgame dungeons or soloing without henchmen using a good solo build and raking in the dough. As HK said, that one more than any other allows you to play just as much as you want without feeling like you're not getting all you can out of your $15 a month. Wait for a team as long as you want (I often waited 2 or 3 minutes and then if there were no takers, I'd make a henchman team and go it alone). The henchman AI is an interesting thing to deal with, too. There's a challenge getting the henchmen to do what you want, and unlike with a pickup group, if you screw it up, it is your own fault and not some other idiot's.

I currently play EVE a bunch and it is also good for a casual player because the skill system is real time based rather than effort based (the money you make for buying your equipment is effort based, though). In GW, you really can just play for 10 minutes and get something done, but in EVE, it seems to me you really want an hour or two, depending on what you're doing -- unless you're only logging on to switch which skill you're training and logging back off, but that's not really playing, is it? Some missions (these are combat missions I'm speaking of, the bulk of my EVE activity) can take a good 4 hours or more if you get yourself blown up. Fortunately you can see the mission description before you accept it, and if it is going to be a long one, your agent will wait something like a week before he gets miffed at you for not making a decision to accept or reject the mission. For that matter, there are things you can do in EVE that let you play pretty much afk, like mining or courier missions, and I've done some couriers while in the shower, for instance. Again, not sure that counts as "playing," but it does give you some money to spend on equipment for when you do play. Overall, I find EVE less a game and more an online space trading and economy sim with some combat thrown in.

All in all, those two are pretty good at keeping you from playing too long at a sitting if you don't want to, and I would recommend both. Everybody should get GW -- it is the best MMO type game I've played as far as the fun you have while playing, the lowest time commitment, and something for most whether you like PVP or PVE. Try EVE. If you like EVE past the first bit, you'll probably be playing for a while, and it won't eat all your time, either. I haven't tried WoW, but from what I've seen and read, the comments of the others are spot on - as in there is a lot to do for a solo player looking not to spend too long at a sitting.

I'm currently trying Saga of Ryzom, but I think it is more of a hardcore game. You can just sit down and play for a few minutes and get a skill up, but the progress is slow enough that I find myself wanting to play for long periods at a time.

Centara Fugue
07-06-2006, 14:48:59
Dang that was a long post...

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
07-06-2006, 16:47:15
Originally posted by HelloKitty
Yeah but crafting and the auction house aren't much fun.

Buy 500 chinese farmed gold for 25$, buy your mats from the AH, click create all and take a nap.

One could say that that's not really playing WoW, since you're going outside the boundaries on the game itself in order to gain an advantage. I mean, if you're going to do that, why not pay to get it powerleveled too? Then you don't have to go through all that tedious actual playing the game up to level 60 :)

WoW is playable in bursts, but grouping for instances will take more than an hour at times. With end game content, unless you're in a really really casual guild, you'll be dedicating more than an hour at a time or else your fellow guildmates won't want you to come along if you're constantly bailing on them when you're at the good bits.

EVE is okay, I had fun during my 14 day trial, but it was either that or WoW, and WoW is more to my personal tastes. That said, I did spend a lot of time sitting on my duff waiting for skills to train just to complete some of the lower end missions. The learning curve is pretty darn high because making mistakes can cost you big time.

Never played GW, but no subscription costs is a big draw.

D&D Online, I've heard, is not bad for casual play - easy to make groups, looks okay etc. but I've also heard is suffers from other drawbacks, of which I couldn't tell you. Go find a review or 5 and read up about it. A bunch of my WoW guildies abandoned WoW for it, but then they're long-time D&D fanatics.

Then there's the FPS style games like, what, Counterstrike or Halo? Dunno, not into that scene myself.

Finally, I guess there's also RTS games like Starcraft, Age of Kings etc. and whatever the current versions of those types of games are.

Diablo II has a fairly strong following still, doesn't it? I would imagine that's pretty easy to play in short bursts. Not entirely sure what category that falls under either...

HelloKitty
07-06-2006, 18:42:31
One could say that that's not really playing WoW, since you're going outside the boundaries on the game itself in order to gain an advantage. I mean, if you're going to do that, why not pay to get it powerleveled too? Then you don't have to go through all that tedious actual playing the game up to level 60

Powerleveling is expensive. Thanks to farmers WoW has a vast amounts of gold that is inflating the costs of everything. The bigger servers you can get 500 gold for 25-35$. Compare that to how long it would take a new player to earn that (probably hit the level cap first unless you heavily farm IIRC, and even then have to farm grey instances for awhile), it would make sense. Why spend dozens of hours just killing low con things after getting level capped when for 20 bucks you can get a few hundred gold and actually play the game?

Powerleveling I am sure costs hundreds of dollars and would actually cause you to miss gameplay/content. ANd since you can earn a level every few hours up to the mid/late 40s, its just not cost effective. Especially someone who wants a game where you can pick up and play for short bursts. The end game is all about long raids where the primary requirement is a few hours and X number of people and doing the same 4 or 5 instances over and over again.


DO NOT PLAY D&D ONLINE. Its crap. It is guild wars without the fun. They fucked it up very very badly. Everyone I know who has tried it hates it.

Oh and yeah, Eve does have a nasty learning curve.

HelloKitty
07-06-2006, 18:54:03
Oh and I guess we could also mention that if you aren't sure what you want to play, you could always try the Sony All Access pass. Its 25 a month rather than 15 but you get EQ1, EQ2, Star wars galaxies, Planetside, Matrix online, infantry online, cosmic rift, tanarus, and EQonline adventures (if you own a PS2). Plus they will be adding Vanguard (will not be a casual game at all) and a few other MMOs that will be released over the next year.

You can buy all the base games as one box now.

IMO the games on that list worth playing are not very casual though, but you may like SWG/PS/MXO.

Centara Fugue
07-06-2006, 18:54:49
You probably saw it already, but this other thread deals with D&D Online. I still may try another free trial, but I think it doesn't have what you're looking for in any case, since you will need to find a group to do anything and the stuff can take a while to do.

http://www.counterglow.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=34075

Centara Fugue
07-06-2006, 19:01:11
Have you tried bzflag?

It is free. It is easy to pick up. It is somewhat like an FPS, but simpler. I mention it because HK mentioned Tanarus. My wife likes it, and she doesn't really play videogames much.

Planetside actually looks like it might be good, too. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like a bigger version of Tribes (which I also didn't try). X-Play gave it a 4 out of 5, and they don't give out many of those.

Darkstar
07-06-2006, 21:30:45
BGH, have you looked at the casual play online sites? That sounds like its what you want. Something you can do for 30 minutes to an hour, and then bail out of, as your leisure time permits.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
07-06-2006, 21:33:34
Originally posted by HelloKitty
Powerleveling is expensive.

$270+, I've seen advertised, for 1-60 leveling. This equates to 18 months of actual subscription rates. Absolutely not worth it, IMHO. In that time, you can learn the game and level untold numbers of characters to 60.


Thanks to farmers WoW has a vast amounts of gold that is inflating the costs of everything.

Disagreed, but this was covered in another thread.


DO NOT PLAY D&D ONLINE. Its crap. It is guild wars without the fun. They fucked it up very very badly. Everyone I know who has tried it hates it.

I have to say my small piece about it was rather more neutral than I care to admit. I've heard from more people that it's crap than from those who love it. So this advice is probably good to follow :)