As far as those debates go I'll probably have to settle for the comments I made in the various threads. By the time I have a chance to sit down and weigh in at ponderous length with some posts of my own the moment will have passed. Never mind. I'll catch the train next time round. It's not like these topics are going to go away, after all.
Of course, it's not long since I was opining that I would rather blog than play these days. Oh heavy irony. It can, I suppose, only say good things for the state of MMO gaming right now, or at least my perspective thereon, that when I get home from work I'd rather play than write about playing. It's certainly not that I've lost the desire to blog nor run short of things to blog about. Entirely the opposite.
No, it's that even with no new MMO on the go right now I find myself still strongly motivated by and highly engaged with so many of the old ones. WvW in Guild Wars 2 is eating up most of my limited playtime, with EQ2 clamoring for attention from the sidelines.
Speaking of EQ2, Syp had a mini-rant today about another old favorite, Challenge. As rants go it had nothing on J3w3l's five-star boiler burster already linked above but you could still just about see the steam coming off the page. I was nodding away as my own experiences in The Secret World came back to me. A brilliant MMO almost ruined in places by badly-judged "challenges", in my opinion.
So how does EQ2 come into it? Well it just so happens that these past few weeks I've been working my way through the main timeline of the Chains of Eternity expansion that I got free when I ordered the upcoming Tears of Veeshan, which launches next week. It's been jolly good fun, with the difficulty pitched just about right.
Last night I completed what you might call phase one, wrapping up all the main quests in the first of the two overland zones, The Eidolon Jungle. My Berserker did all the overland content solo but for the rather good "Advanced Solo" instances he needed to call on his trusty friend-of-convenience, Dok-Tok the metal merc.
The instances were just right. Not too long, which was always my problem with Rift's Chronicles, not too unbalanced, which tends to be an issue in TSW. The rewards were useful and appropriate for the effort required. All in all, a very enjoyable experience. Solo dungeons done right.
As for whether solo dungeons should be encouraged in MMORPGs in the first place, that's a topic for another post entirely.