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It's Old Republic that's prompting this thread, but I'm not singling it out- they all seem to be this way. There is literally zero challenge in the MMOS I've played lately. I'm only level 10 in The Old Republic, but I've only died like one time- and when I DID die, I just got back up and continued fighting the monster that killed me with no apparent downside. The death penalty in the game seems to be 'lay on the ground for 3 seconds, then get back up with full life and several seconds of invincibility'. I've noticed that all my abilities are fluff, and in fact, I can win all the same-level fights just by using the one low-cooldown 'auto attack' type ability over and over.
I understand that games are for 'casual' players now, whatever that means...but this just isn't any fun. When I don't have to try, the thrill goes away almost immediately. Without a risk of getting beaten, or some strategy involved, the game just feels like a really inconvenient way to watch a movie. I already learned how to press 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 1 like half-a-dozen MMOs ago. "But now you're doing it with a lightsaber" isn't enough.
Age of Conan was basically the same- the only time you ever died was if you chose to push yourself into areas way outside your level. Fighting things 5 levels higher than you, you have to pay attention and try real hard. But in areas that it says you're supposed to be in, the game is so easy you're just monotonously hitting the same combinations over and over to kill the same monsters without even the possibiilty that you might lose, barring a cat jumping on your keyboard or something.
So are there any games that are an exception to this rule? I seem to recall when I was soloing in City of Heroes, I had to pay attention a little bit, but I could be wrong.
And, BTW, does The Old Republic actually require me to look at the screen or use these abilities I'm unlocking at some point, or is it going to be a yawnfest from start to finish? I realize I'm not high enough level to judge the game, but I'm just sort of assuming based on what I've seen so far that it will be the same as other games.