Rift Prime – Too Late?

Looking longingly at the place where level 69 players–or patrons–can go.

I suppose the announcement of RIFT Prime deserves its own blog post, rather than an offhand remark in a news summary.

Like most of the other reactions I’ve read, I’m tentatively interested, but I’m certainly not jumping on the hype train yet.

See, here’s the thing. I’m probably only going to subscribe to one game at a time. Historically the main reason is that there are precious few games out there worth subscribing to. But in more practical terms right now I have drastically reduced disposable income and it would be pretty reckless to throw money away on something that isn’t amazing. I’m no longer working at a job where an hour of cubicle work time offsets months of subscriptions on mediocre games I forget to even play.

Right now, the undisputed king of games deserving my subscription dollars is FFXIV. In second place would be WoW. And that would be the end of the list, as far as I’m concerned. EVE could be in there but I’m just not interested in long-term market-driven gameplay.

So from my perspective, the question is not whether I think Rift Prime is a good idea or not. Obviously subscription business models are the best idea, and it’s been proven over and over again that subscription games are the best games to play. I mean, if the studio wants to create an immersive game experience, that is. If the studio wants to, you know, stay in business, or make a big advertisement for a cash shop, that’s a whole different story.

The question for me is: If I’m only going to pay one subscription at a time, is Rift Prime worth supplanting FFXIV and/or WoW? We don’t really know yet, but I’m going to guess probably not. If this was 2011 and we were talking about Vanilla Rift then the decision would be very easy: Yes, obviously I would and did subscribe to Rift over WoW, and FFXIV didn’t exist. Rift in 2011 was quite clearly better at being WoW than WoW was. Presumably Trion now wants us to think of Rift Prime as that great old nostalgic Vanilla Rift (2011 doesn’t seem old enough to qualify for “nostalgia” though).

Another way to look at this is: Do I want to pay a subscription to play old content in Rift–a game I’ve already played to death–or pay a subscription to play new content in FFXIV or WoW. And oh by the way, as an additional factor, I can play that old content just fine right now for free. There’s nothing at all stopping me from leveling a brand new Rift character from 1 to 50 to recapture that good old Vanilla Rift feeling, more-or-less.

The answer seems really easy if you have a budget. No, obviously I’m not going to waste my one precious subscription on a game I’ve already played. I’ve leveled every class to at least 60 once already. I’ve played a million different builds already, back in Vanilla Rift. I have no need to experience that again. It’s not going to be any different now. It’s not like they’re going to add new classes or builds or anything.

Or are they? One wonders if they will unlock all the new souls or not. Presumably not, if they want to preserve the old experience.

Now if you haven’t already played Rift, then I might recommend that you run, don’t walk, to Rift Prime and subscribe and play it, and I’m very jealous of anyone who still has their first experience of pre-free-to-play Rift still ahead of them. Vanilla Rift was awesome.

Just beware that Rift Prime isn’t Vanilla Rift. It’s going to be a new thing.

In the Spring of 2018, we will launch a new server, RIFT Prime.

Our goal for RIFT Prime is to provide the experience that many of you have requested: no lockboxes, a significantly reduced store with more of the current store-based items obtained through gameplay (or removed entirely) – plus the excitement of sequential progression through RIFT’s content with monthly milestones and achievements.

As a small teaser of what’s to come, dynamically matching characters to their current zone’s level, dungeons dropping loot specific to your character’s true level, caps on the number of professions available to a single character, and participation awards that carry over to your characters on existing servers.

No part of that last paragraph above was ever in Vanilla Rift (except the profession caps I guess). “Significantly reduced” store, but not eliminated. I imagine it will be somewhat akin to the cash shop that also exists in WoW and FFXIV, where you can buy all kinds of cosmetic items.

So no, not much hype from me. I am moderately interested in the “spectacular ending” referenced–mainly if one could experience as a solo player. I am also curious to know if subscribing to Rift Prime will also provide subscription benefits to your non-Prime characters.

UPDATE

I originally wrote that Rift came out in 2013. It was actually 2011.

MMO News Roundup

I’m trying an experiment here: A list of MMO news that I found noteworthy during the week. I’m trying this slightly retro blogging format because, to be brutally honest, for most MMO topics, I have a lot of trouble summoning up more than a few sentences of commentary, which results in a glut of unfinished blog drafts and a paucity of published posts (ha!). The challenge here will be finding a picture to use.

Not at all related, but something I did this week.

Chronicles of Elyria is dropping SpatialOS. I know almost nothing about this specific game, but you couldn’t throw a rock last year without hearing about how SpatialOS was going to change the world. Now we learn that changing the world is apparently too expensive. In the dev update, Caspian wrote, “In January of 2017 we began the long process of taking what was mostly an offline, single-player game…” Stop right there! Why?? Why ruin it?? Okay, and lastly:

Project Gorgon is coming soon to Steam Early Access. My standard rule for Early Access games is to avoid them unless they are under $10. In this specific case, however, I have played Project Gorgon before, so I know exactly what to expect and I might spend more for it. I don’t want to play it through Steam, though. I hate playing MMORPGs through Steam. I hope there is a non-Steam version.

Life is Feudal is now on Steam Early Access. The real one, that is, not the stripped-down lite version(s). This game is on my radar, but I’m not paying $30 to try it. Also, as previously mentioned, I don’t like playing MMORPGs through Steam.

Final Fantasy XIV 4.2 is almost here. I have almost nothing to say about this except, oh yeah! That new patch is almost here! I didn’t realize this until recently, but Square Enix has a whole page devoted to it. Presumably, they’ve been doing preview pages for every patch and I’ve just never noticed it before. No wonder everyone always knows what’s going to be in the patch before I do! I will need to review my 4.1 post to refresh my memory on where we are in the Main Scenario.

Amazon’s New World disappeared and returned. New World disappearing would have been in last week’s post, if I’d been doing this back then. Now New World is back. The biggest news was really the leaked New World video. I didn’t watch it. Why bother? I’m supposed to start getting excited about a game that isn’t even far enough along yet to announce–let alone release–a buggy, pre-alpha, barely-compilable, full price early access edition with fully-functioning, fully-debugged cash shop? (Don’t judge me, you know every AAA game from now on is going to release like that.)

And now we know why Chronicles of Elyria can’t afford SpatialOS. They can’t attract money because of an antiquated notion of “maintaining creative control” in a world full of cash grabs, loot boxes, and micro transactions. (Personally I think it’s because they used “MEOW” in public.) High marks for integrity, but I hope they (and their employees) are prepared to go to the figurative grave for it. How about sell that single-player offline game?

Raph Koster wrote about game development costs again. No comment except that it all rings very true to me.

Albion Online is fine despite secretly firing half their team before Christmas. Nothing to worry about. Perfectly normal. The game is expanding, even! (It is plausible to reduce a development team size after launch, but seriously, who is buying that Albion Online is going gangbusters? I actually mean that literally. Who is buying Albion Online?)

Rift will be opening a subscription-only progression-ish server in Spring. Didn’t Allods Online do this? I might be tempted to try it, because I think we can all agree that Trion cheapened Rift considerably with the increasingly-aggressive cash shop, but I’m already paying a FFXIV subscription and I don’t need/want another one.

And in the gossip section of this post, I suspect one of the above stories prompted this tweet from MassivelyOP’s Bree Royce:

P. S. I’m aware that all of these links go to MassivelyOP. It’s true I’m somewhat biased in that I like MassivelyOP, but it also happens that I almost always see news there first. I actively looked for interesting stories elsewhere and couldn’t come up with any.

YouTube – Death of a Hobby

I never thought this would happen, but YouTube finally made changes that affect me.

Previously, channels had to reach 10,000 total views to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). …starting today, new channels will need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads. We will begin enforcing these new requirements for existing channels in YPP beginning February 20th, 2018.

Now first, let me just say that I completely understand why they are doing this and don’t really have a philosophical or business problem with it. I mean, big brands like auto companies or Hollywood sure don’t want their ads going on a dinky channel with no barrier to entry like mine, right? If I were big business with big ads, I’d be complaining about that, too. It makes perfect sense.

But man, I was less than 1,500 views away from getting to 10,000 views. After like three years. I was so close to exploiting the system for my own personal gain! Imagine the tens of cents of free money I could have been pulling down every month.

Now I am roughly 980 subscribers and 3,800 hours away from the threshold.

With these changes, YouTube is very clearly saying, “We don’t want hobbyists as ad partners. We want committed, full-time creators only.” Which, again, makes perfect sense. YouTube is certainly big enough now that it doesn’t need hobbyists anymore.

It’s just a bummer for me. It’s now not even worth putting a couple of hours a week into anymore. So you probably won’t be seeing anymore polished videos from me, at least after I finish uploading the backlog on my hard drive. It’s mostly going to be “press the start button and hope for the best” content from now on, like when I started out. And like streaming! Zing!

And I just made a cool trailer for my Guild Wars 1 series starting next week. Arg.

Well, at least it prompted me to write a blog post when I otherwise wouldn’t have.

UPDATE

Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how far I could get after clicking the button to “apply” for monetization, despite knowing full well I didn’t meet the qualifications. After all, it said right there on the page that I was eligible! Maybe I was a special snowflake.

After you enable monetization, there is a 4-step process to go through where you accept some TOS and then setup an AdSense account, which is a tremendous pain because you have to insert some script tags into the header of a web site just to “activate” an account (a process that WordPress does not make easy). Then you setup your monetization preferences (which is basically how obnoxious do you want the ads to be in your videos).

It lets you go through all of that work even though you have zero chance of becoming a partner. Then you get to the final step:

I already knew those numbers from looking at my Analytics tab and doing some math (because it shows view time in minutes not hours–for me, at least, maybe it shows hours for Big Name People). YouTube, apparently, did not know those numbers until after I had given over all kinds of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) to the AdSense page. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

ARK Revisited Two Years Later

There is a wide variety of interesting sky effects, too.

I haven’t played ARK much since early 2016, so I decided to re-download it and give it another look. The game finally “launched” last year, after all. Presumably all of the problems I had with the game are now fixed.

Well, not exactly. Although to be fair I really enjoyed it before, too. I just ran out of challenge. I got to a point where I could go to any biome and survive, and kill any dinosaur in my path, and that is pretty much “winning” the game.

So to start off with, yes, if you have a controller plugged in, the game still vibrates it whenever you die, even if you aren’t using it. So the controller sitting over on a table somewhere will leap to life when you die, vibrating itself on maximum full power, scaring you and your pets half to death as it slides off said table and crashes to the floor. And no, there is still no way to turn off this feature, two years later, even though literally everyone who has ever played ARK wants the ability to turn off controller vibration.

But I will say that ARK does appear to run much faster. Then again, my PC is much faster than the last time I ran ARK. At any rate, I am able to run at 1920×1080 on Epic settings with minimal resolution scaling and a tolerable frame rate, so that’s a whole lot better than before, when I had to run it basically on just a few steps up from Low.

Initially, the intense motion blur and camera shake had a tendency to make me physically ill after a short time. I just don’t have the tolerance for first-person games that I once did, at least not without immersing myself in them for a while. Eventually I got used to it.

The basic gameplay is the same as before, but there is a lot more variety in the dinosaurs and a few crafting changes.

The menus have undergone a facelift. They look better (I would characterize them as higher-resolution), but unfortunately they still have the somewhat random organizational style that makes it hard to figure out where the clickable buttons are. Sometimes they are in the middle, sometimes they are on the right. You basically just have to memorize and get used to each menu page because there is no consistency.

Base camp until I built a house.

In terms of crafting changes, most everything is the same as before at the lower levels. (I have not gotten beyond level 15.) I did notice that there is now “raw fish” in addition to the regular “raw meat.” You get fish meat, obviously, from chopping up fish. You catch fish by jabbing them with your spear, which is by far the easiest way to get some protein in your ARK diet.

Unless there happens to be one of those duck-dinosaurs flying around nearby. I stabbed a fish one time and a duck-dinosaur flew down from out of nowhere and stole it from me! It kept circling around me and stealing all my seeds and berries, and knocked my spear out of my hands. It was very annoying but it was also a fun, new gameplay experience I hadn’t seen before in ARK. Eventually I had to run away from it. New gameplay experience in ARK = win!

The bow is considerably improved since the last time I played. It actually feels like a viable weapon now, and it’s much easier to hit things. The arrows fly reasonably straight, as opposed to before, when it felt like you were basically just throwing the arrows with your hands in a really high arc.

There are now “story” elements in the game, which take the form of finding journals in chests throughout the world. This seems like it will give much more incentive to move around, instead of just building a base near the best resources and staying there indefinitely. There was a story before (I think) but I never really encountered it. It will be interesting to see if exploring the world to search for things will be fun or aggravating. It can be very dangerous to move away from your “home base” if you aren’t prepared.

It’s hard to read that cursive font, though. :)

The lights that beam down from the sky and provide gear, which I just discovered were called transmitters, also have blueprints which apparently let you generate “portals” to boss encounters, like the “Broodmother.” I’m not high enough level to see one of these yet, so I don’t know how it works. But I don’t remember seeing anything like this in the transmitters before. The last time I saw anything about a Broodmother was at one of three big obelisks, which were rather difficult to get to. Now I guess you can get to a Broodmother from anywhere.

There are still problems, though. Once I got stuck among some rocks. This is when I discovered there is no suicide command. I had to wait until I died of starvation. As you might expect, I did not find this to be a compelling gameplay experience. You know, staring at the screen, waiting. It takes a good fifteen minutes to starve to death. I tried to fatigue myself by punching at the air to speed it up, and managed only to pass out in the heat. At least it gave me time to work on this post, so I guess they can call this getting-stuck-and-waiting-to-die feature a blogging tool. I imagine there are a lot of places to get stuck in this game so I expect to be seeing this feature again.

Just let me die!

It’s still totally safe to drink the salt water from the beach, too. I guess that’s the “evolution” in the survival they are talking about.

Anyway, it’s a fun game to kill some time in. I’ve been looking for something semi-fresh to putter around in while watching television, and ARK is perfect for that. It was worth the $20 investment in 2015.

Free Book Weekend

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post for a blatant, unabashed, self-promotional advertisement that has no purpose other than to shower me with cold, hard cash that I will not share with you.*

I have had a book on Amazon called Lute of the Sparrow under my writing name Everett Renshaw for about seven years now. This weekend (starting January 13), I am making it available for free. Please go forth, download it, read it, and post a review. Preferably a good review.

Actually I just learned, somewhat to my surprise, that you can also get it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Thank you!

* Actually the purpose is to get some damn reviews, which is far more valuable than money. :)

Single-Player Holidays

The last thing I mentioned playing was Divinity: Original Sin. I sort of gave up on it. It’s a great game and all, but it’s just too exhausting. I went through two boss fights in a row (SparkMaster 5000 and Radagoth) and both times, luck was the determining factor for success. That’s just not fun. I don’t know how all the people who play tabletop games do it. :)

I last logged into FFXIV on December 22nd, when I got the Christmas bear mount in about twenty minutes in the FFXIV Starlight celebration (I also got the Bard Perform skill, which was underwhelming).

I installed EverQuest II and started a new Conjurer, which seems to be one of the few classes in that game that I like (Warden and Necromancer are the only other two classes I’ve played more than like 5 levels). I had a lot of fun with it until I bought Divinity: Original Sin. I haven’t logged in since.

On January 6th, I finally re-installed ESO after my big SSD crash. This time, I realized that the breadcrumbs I thought had been leading me to Morrowind back in June of last year were not that at all, and I had been following some random quest that was totally unrelated to the expansion. My mistake I guess for thinking that the NPC who ran up to me after I logged in the first time after installing the expansion would actually be giving me a quest related to the expansion. It explained why it felt like it was taking such a long time to get to Vvardenfell. :) This time, I just waypointed right to Seyda Neen and looked around for a bit. It didn’t make much of an impression on me. I didn’t even take a screenshot. The most memorable part was an NPC guard telling me that her talents were being wasted guarding an empty building.

Right before I logged out I noticed that I had mail which had an attachment which I had to consume in order to finally start the quest that led me to Morrowind. It was a pretty convoluted set of steps hidden in a place I rarely look. I read my mail in MMORPGs about as much as I read my mail in real life–not very often. Mail is not a great way to deliver story content to me. I wish they would just put the new quest in my log without me having to do anything.

Anyway, I played ESO for about a half hour and felt like I had seen enough for the forseeable future. Maybe when they launch the new wardrobe system I will log in for another half hour to change my outfit. I don’t know what it is about ESO but I always feel like I’ve already done all of the new and interesting stuff way back in the months around launch time, so there’s never much of a “hook” to draw me into the game. It’s always just … more of the same.

Other than that I have been playing Morrowind (the old one) and Oblivion. I also installed the Skyrim Special Edition (the only other game I bought in the Steam winter sale) but I just can’t play three games simultaneously. It’s hard enough with just two.

Finally, the entire reason I’m writing this post is to test out a new Corsair K55 keyboard I bought to replace my 10+ year-old dying Logitech G110 keyboard. It was still mostly fine for playing games, but anytime I tried to use it to actually type words, for example, into a blog post, the keys would stick and it was just too frustrating to deal with. I got the K55 largely on a recommendation I saw on Keen and Grav–his criteria matched mine pretty closely. Non-mechanical, quiet, full-sized, etc. It “feels” different (the keys feel very tall to me) so it’s going to take a while to get used to, but overall it works fine. The “RGB” flashing disco lights thing is just ridiculous to me, but I was able to set it to a solid color by installing the “manager” tool. It still does a disco strobe thing every time you reboot though. I’m not sure this keyboard feels like it’s really designed for longevity, but we’ll see. (It does not feel any more solid than the old, dead Logitech it replaced.)

Incidentally, the best keyboard I’ve ever used for typing is the MacBook Air chicklet keyboard. My fingers fly across those keys at light speed with almost no effort. This Corsair K55 is a pale shadow of that, but at least it works without the keys sticking.

Top 10 Videos From 2017

It’s time for more video rankings! I know blog readers hate videos, but this is the only place I can put this information for posterity.

Major video releases from me in 2017 included:

  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (still unfinished)
  • Mass Effect Andromeda
  • Final Fantasy XIV – Stormblood, The Legend Returns
  • Guild Wars 2 – Heart of Thorns, Path of Fire, Living World Seasons 2 and 3
  • Dark Souls III – The Ringed City DLC (still unfinished)

Below are my top ten videos in 2017, according to YouTube running time. (This is as of December 27th, so technically it doesn’t count the last 4 days of the year.)

To nobody’s surprise, none of the videos that I actually worked hard on this year made the cut. In terms of video production quality, none of these would make my own personal top ten. (I would probably rate my Andromeda videos as best of the year. I was going to upload similar videos for Mass Effect 2 and 3, but my hard drive crashed and that was that. I only have the MP3s left of those videos from when I put them on my phone to listen to at work.)

10 – Battlefield 1 – Pt 9 – Cambrai (Through Mud and Blood). From 2016, the Battlefield 1 videos continue to have prominent placement on this list. I guess people like shooters or something. Down from #7 last year.

9 – Morrowind 12 – Dwemer Ruins of Arkngthand. New in 2017. The early Morrowind videos are not what you’d call super high quality, because I honestly wasn’t sure I’d even upload them until I got to around part 30 or so. Nevertheless, at least a handful of people watched them, and they are the only videos from 2017 that gained any traction. I think they are one of the first sets of videos that I’ve made custom thumbnails for.

8 – Morrowind 4 – Collecting Mushrooms for Ajira. New in 2017.

7 – Battlefield 1 – Pt 1 – Intro and Gallipoli (The Runner). From 2016. Up from #10 last year.

6 – Battlefield 1 – Pt 10 – Cambrai (Through Mud and Blood). From 2016, new to the list in 2017.

5 – Dark Souls II – Part 17 – The Pursuer Defeated. From 2015. Perennial favorite Dark Souls, down from #3 last year, but still hanging in there!

4 – Morrowind 1 – Arriving in Seyda Neen. New in 2017. The one that started the worldwide phenomenon! (As of this writing, I have recorded 72 parts, not counting 9 “side quest” videos that I am cutting out of the series.)

3 – Dark Souls – Sorcerer vs. Sif the Great Grey Wolf. Also from 2015, down from #1 last year. I still don’t know why this video is popular. I mean, other than the fact that I rocked the heck out of Sif and made it look super easy.

2 – Morrowind 2 – Finding Caius Cosades in Balmora. From 2017.

1 – Battlefield 1 – Pt 8 – Cambrai (Through Mud and Blood). From 2016, up from #5 last year. People really dig that Battlefield 1 tank gameplay I guess, because all three of my videos from Through Mud and Blood made this list.

In case anyone is wondering, I am planning to finish up Morrowind and record abridged videos of Oblivion and Skyrim in 2018. (I have played both of those games before so I want to keep the videos focused on the story.) I have recorded a bunch of Guild Wars 1 Prophecies videos. And I’ll continue recording Let’s Play-style videos of Guild Wars 2’s Living World Season 4 and probably FFXIV content updates as well. I also need to finish The Ringed City DLC.

I am up to 8,291 channel views as of this writing, so feel free to watch more of my videos. You don’t even have to watch them, really.* Just “press play and walk away” as John Hodgman used to say about his Netflix Ragnorak special. :) Because once I cross 10,000 views I should be able to start monetizing and then I SHALL RULE THE WORLD!

* Honestly most of my videos are designed to be listened to more than watched anyway. I have even considered the possibility of making a podcast out of RPG recordings.

On The Radar For 2018

Here’s my annual summary of PC MMORPGs that are on my radar for the new year 2018. (Here is 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014). I am only considering “traditional” style MMORPGs in this list, not things like MOBAs or brawlers or Diablo-clones or whatever else people call MMOs these days. Actually, since I find out about these from MMO sites, and most MMO sites now cover things that aren’t traditional MMORPGs, some of these might in fact not be traditional MMORPGs. But I try to weed out things that are obviously not MMORPGs, like, say, Conan Exiles.

Note: I only thought of two noteworthy new games announced in 2017 and I have made no attempt to find any others. I’m sure they are out there if you go digging for them. But I can’t think of anything else that got any traction.

Games I Want To Play

These are games that I’m genuinely looking forward to sinking my teeth into and playing longterm (which is roughly a month, for me).

Shroud of the Avatar. I thought about changing my feelings after playing the free trial in 2017. The game is a bit, well, odd. But it is certainly not a mainstream game so that alone makes it interesting enough to remain on the “looking forward to” list. It really just depends on the price point. I have a lot less disposable income these days (basically none as of this writing).

Project Gorgon. No reason to change from last year. I did not think about, read about, or see this game at all during 2017. It’s entirely possible the same will happen in 2018.

New World. No change from last year. We heard absolutely nothing about this game in 2017. Not even one new screenshot. It’s a completely blank canvas, and thus, the game upon which we can project all of our MMORPG hopes and dreams! (In reality, it will almost certainly just be a PR-driven vehicle for building Twitch audiences, and the minute we learn more about it, I will probably drop it down to the “undecided” category.)

Games I Want To Try

I changed this category from “games I’ll probably buy” to “games I want to try.” These are games that I’m interesting in seeing just to see what all the talk is about, and might buy just to be part of the “in crowd,” but for whatever reason I don’t think they will be a good long-term fit for me.

Crowfall. No change from last year. Still sick of hearing about, still don’t think I will like it, still think it will be “old” by the time it launches, but am still interested in trying it out.

Camelot Unchained. No change from last year. Same as above. Don’t think I will like it, but I’m interesting in trying it out.

Games I’m Undecided About

These are games that I just don’t know enough yet to make any commitments. (Technically all of them should go here, but you know what I mean.)

Ashes of Creation. One of only two noteworthy new MMORPGs announced in 2017. Most people are excited about this game based on a few videos, but I am very much reserving judgment until this game is much farther along. They have two strikes against them for resembling and copying the acronyms AC and AoC, both of which were seminal works in the genre they are supposedly familiar with. It’s hard to trust people with the future of a genre when they apparently know or care nothing of its history.

Bless Online and Chronicles of Elyria. No change from last year. I keep hearing positive things (or at least “things”) about them, but I don’t know enough to make any decisions.

Pantheon: Something of Something. No change from last year. I would very much like to be able to try this game before buying it.

Sea of Thieves. I am not as excited about this as apparently the rest of the world is. Pirates don’t hold any special mystique for me. I saw an E3 trailer and it honestly didn’t look that interesting.

Worlds Adrift, Lost Ark, Saga of Lucimia, and Twilight Spirits. No change from last year. I did not read, hear, or see a single thing about these games in 2017. I don’t even know if they still exist.

Games I’m Not Interested In

These are games that I’m not planning to spend any money on without considerably more convincing.

Life is Feudal. Little change from last year. However it appears the MMORPG version is now in closed beta and might see a release in 2018. I am still not holding my breath.

Gloria Victis. Little change from last year. Still in early access and I’m not holding my breath.

MapleStory 2. No change from last year. Probably not for me.

Moonlight Blade. Moving down to “not interested” for the same reason as Peria Chronicles. If it’s free, I might try it, but I doubt I would spend money on it.

Peria Chronicles. I moved this down to “not interested” simply because I have less money to spend now and anime doesn’t resonate with me. But if I can try it for free, I probably will.

Project TL. Formerly Lineage Eternal. I haven’t played any of the Lineage games, so why start now? Also it is not clear to me whether this game will be an MMORPG, or even a PC game at this point.

Star Citizen. No change from last year. I didn’t back it and I still don’t care. If it ever comes out, I might buy it, but you can safely bet that I won’t be spending a dime on this until after some reviews from non-backers start coming in that rigorously critique the game.

Wild West Online. The second new game announcement in 2017. I thought about putting this under “undecided” but I just don’t have very much faith in this one. I actually think it’s going to be more of a Quake-style client/server game than an MMORPG. If so it doesn’t even belong here. The screenshots look nice, though.

Removed Games

These games were removed from the radar this year:

Albion Online. This game launched in 2017. I am interested in trying it, but haven’t heard any positive buzz so I am fine waiting.

Darkfall, any remake. I think one of them launched in 2017, but I don’t know about the other one. In any case, I’m not interested.

Destiny 2. It’s out, I played the open beta, and it’s a mediocre shooter propped up entirely by PR/fan hype.

Ever, Jane. This game went into “open beta” in 2016 and remained so in 2017. While it hasn’t “launched” per se, since there is no more barrier to entry, I think it’s now beyond the scope of this list. I haven’t tried it.

The Exiled. Formerly Das Tal. This was launched as “early access” in 2017 … for free. Which I think could be considered a regular old soft launch. So it’s not longer “approaching,” it’s “here,” and thus beyond the scope of this post. I haven’t tried it yet but since it’s free I might. I don’t expect to like it though, as it’s an isometric PvP game.

Lineage Eternal. In one of the most puzzling branding moves in recent memory, Lineage Eternal, believe it or not, was renamed to Project TL.

Nostalrius. I only included this last one year as a joke. :)

The Repopulation. I’ll be honest I’m not entirely sure what the current status of this game is, whether it’s launched or not, or even running or not. I got it on Steam Early Access in 2015, and it’s gone down and back up since then. In any case, I think it’s beyond the scope of this list now? Maybe?

Revival. Given that the lead developer left for Chronicles of Elyria, I think it’s safe to assume this game is dead for good now. Bummer.

Revelation Online. This game launched in 2017. I tried it, and didn’t particularly care for it. (I mean, it wasn’t bad it was just average.)

Shards Online. This game was renamed to Legends of Aria.

Tree of Life. This game launched in 2017. Similar to Albion Online, I am interested in trying it, but perhaps not enough to actually spend money on it.

Wander. I think this game is dead. As an idea, it had potential, but the implementation wasn’t very good.