It turns out that my fascination with World Of Warcraft was incredibly short lived - I cancelled my account after the free month. I'll play it again, certainly, but I saw no need to pay the monthly fee unless I was going to play the hell out of it. So, it was back to the free MMOs.
I've mentioned Space Cowboy Online before, a game that would probably be much more popular if not for the silly name. My ANI I-Gear has ascended to level 39, but it was level 38 that was more important. You see, at level 38 I-Gears get the third level of their "Frenzy" skill, and it is at this level that the skill shows its true power. No longer content to simply increase the attack power of your missiles, the skill now allows you to fire off an extra volley of missiles with every shot.
With my level 3 "Frenzy" skill attained, I now felt ready to enter the large scale PvP the game had been promising to me from the start. I didn't want to simply charge into BCU territory and start dying immediately, seeing as I'm completely unfamiliar with the their maps, so I waited until I heard that we were being invaded. After waiting a few hours, the moment finally came. I swapped my Power Arrows for my Edrills (to increase my chances of actually hitting the enemy) and headed for the front lines.
Well, not exactly the front lines. The enemy had advanced to one map beyond where I had stationed myself, so I parked outside the gate with a dozen or so others and waited for the storm. At first they trickled in - one or two gears at a time - they were taken down by the mob before I'd even had a chance for my missiles to lock on. Then the attack started. The sky became a flurry of gears in a matter of moments.
I tried to stay on the outside of the battle, hurling missiles at the few stragglers who would venture to the outer reaches of the fighting. Bored, I headed in to check out the action for myself. Did I get shot down? Sure. Everybody did. We'd simply respawn and attack with added ferocity. By the time I took a break to check my inventory, I noticed quite a few Killmarks - an item gained when you down an enemy gear - and to my surprise, some of them had come off of gears much higher in level than my own.
Simply put, I believe that SCO has some of the most compelling player vs. player of any MMO I've ever encountered. I love the fact (and I've mentioned this before) that skill actually factors in to the equation. Even if your opponent is 20 levels higher than you - if you can fly better, you've got a chance, even if it is a slim one.