MMO News Reactions 5

A series of short reactions to the week’s MMORPG stories, otherwise known as “just about giving up on blogging” because I can’t be bothered to write long posts lately.

Sorry about last week’s post. I was scrolling through Twitter last Friday and much to my own surprise I found that I’d posted something to my blog without even looking at it or setting a header image or anything. This time I will refrain from scheduling this to post right after creating the draft!

Camelot Unchained to announce beta date. An announcement to announce an upcoming announcement… funny stuff. The beta date will have been released by the time this post publishes, but I’m not going to include it just to be spiteful. It’s unlikely I will be playing the beta anyway. I’m curious to see the game but it’s obviously not a game meant for people like me, who don’t want other people to be the main content in their games.

Ashes of Creation released some alpha gameplay video. My first draft of this post had a whole lot more negative words here, but I’m editing it way down to just this: I didn’t think the game looked very good, and I’m shocked that they released that video. (I watched it with the sound off, so that the streamers’ enthusiasm wouldn’t influence me–take that, influencers!)

Project Gorgon will only be playable through Steam. Bummer. Still waiting to hear the price.

Hawaii congressman talks about regulating loot boxes. This news seems to be generating some excitement in the blogosphere. My reaction is as before. It’s either a) feel-good legislation that has no impact (labels, which puts the enforcement burden on parents, where it should already be), or b) unenforceable laws that have no impact (can’t sell loot boxes to minors–publishers will simply add an “are you over 21?” checkbox to the purchase page to absolve themselves of liability).

MMO News Reactions 4

A series of short reactions to the week’s MMORPG stories, otherwise known as “just about giving up on blogging” because I can’t be bothered to write long posts lately.

Nexon laid off some people. I don’t think I play any Nexon games.

Forbes interview on WoW Classic. I don’t think I mentioned this at the time, but while Blizzcon made it sound like WoW Classic was right around the corner, I secretly thought it sounded like they hadn’t even started on it yet. This confirms that it sounds like they haven’t even gotten out of the “memos around the office” phase of this project yet. How many years away will this thing be? Will Star Citizen be out before WoW Classic?

There is more talk of “official” classifications of gaming addiction. My only comment here is that I find it a bit ironic that gamers quickly rush to decry gaming addiction as made-up out of thin air, and simultaneously crusade against predatory loot boxes.

MMO News Reactions 3

Gloamwood. I played a new character through the first two zones in Rift to imagine what Rift Prime might be like.

A series of short reactions to the week’s MMORPG stories, otherwise known as “just about giving up on blogging” because I can’t be bothered to write long posts lately.

Sea of Thieves was in closed beta. This is a game on my radar, but the more I see, the less I’m interested. For starters, I’m one of the rare people in the world who has never had a “thing” for pirates, so the gameplay loop itself must attract me. But a) it’s clearly not an MMORPG and b) it’s clearly designed to be played by a group of real-life friends manning a ship, a la Guns of Icarus, with their interpersonal socializing being the biggest part of the game’s fun. Dragonchaser bravely tried to play solo, which is how I would have played it, but it’s fairly obvious from his narrative that the developers don’t want you to play like that. $60 saved.

Blah blah Sentator investigating lockboxes blah blah. Controversy time! I have a long post about lockboxes, gambling, and regulation in draft form but I can’t seem to chisel it down to a publishable form. The short version of my outrageous pragmatism is that I don’t see regulation happening anytime soon, unless it is regulation to maintain today’s status quo. Casual observations suggest lockboxes are very popular with both studios and consumers. The only people who don’t like lockboxes are old-school purists who grew up without them, and we are a minority now, as far as I can tell. On this particular story, regulating Internet games at the state level sounds ludicrous, and trying to force parents to monitor their kids’ gaming habits by adding a disclaimer sounds even more ludicrous.

H1Z1 nerfs ENAS. I had never heard of “ENAS” (East North American Strafe) but I am almost positive that some variation of the “move mouse, strafe, jump, run” exploit existed in (at least) Quake 2, 3, and the original Tribes. It is not surprising to hear about an exploit like this surfacing in H1Z1, the game whose entire reputation is built on how buggy it is. :)

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 4.2, Rise of a New Sun is out. I tried the Glamour Dresser. It’s not that great. :) I mean, compared to how glamours used to work in FFXIV, it’s fantastic. But compared to wardrobe systems in other games, it’s not that easy to use. It’s a bit like WoW’s “improved” transmog system a while back: Great for WoW, but not so great compared to other games.

Something Something Crowfall Crafting. No comment, except that I recently won a 2017 Crowfall Backer package thingy in a voiceover contest. Unfortunately I have no idea whether I can play this game or not. It says I get Beta 1 and Beta 2 access but I think it’s still in Pre-Alpha? I can’t make any sense of it. I get the impression you have to immerse yourself completely in that community to really understand what’s going on. The point is that eventually I will be giving a full report on Crowfall, something I didn’t expect I would ever do.

Something Something Mortal Online Weather. No comment, except a reminder that Mortal Online is one of the best old school-style virtual world MMORPGs that nobody plays, because of the full loot PvP. Sadly I don’t have the time to dedicate to this kind of game (it’s the kind where you have to be able to drop everything in real life to spend hours dealing with things in the game).

Truthfully I haven’t read much news this week because I’ve been too busy playing Fallout 4. It’s entirely possible I’ve missed a huge story that everyone else is talking about.

MMO News Roundup 2

I found this Moonshade Highlands library in Rift for, I think, the very first time this week. Weirdly I got to it from Sanctum. I have no idea what it’s for, except to give me a little bit more experience as I level up.

Final Fantasy XIV 4.2 releases January 30. Yay! The nostalgia part of this patch means nothing to me, as I’ve never played any other Final Fantasy game. But I’m looking forward to continuing the story. I don’t care much about any of the “progression” aspects, though. I have the gear I need to do the Main Scenario and that’s pretty much all I care about right now.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, since I’ve repeatedly said FFXIV is the best subscription game to subscribe to, I’m thinking about cancelling my FFXIV sub before it renews on February 18. I’ve already cancelled all my extra retainers (I was paying for 4 extra over the 2 included). I haven’t played regularly in a while, so that money is about 99% wasted. I’m pretty sure I’ll be done with the new content in 4.2 before the 18th. I can just re-sub for a month every quarter when the new patches arrive. I might once have fretted about losing out on the Veteran rewards but I’ll be honest, I haven’t used a single one of those rewards, like, ever. Certainly not the longer-term ones, which are exclusively costume items.

Devilion is closing. It’s probably my fault. I only played about 45 minutes of the open beta and never returned. On a more serious note, it’s very classy of them to enable bonus events as long as the game remains running.

Conan Exiles will be launching May 8. This is the first time I’ve heard a launch date. I’ll give them points for at least getting within six months of their projected one-year early access period. Most interesting to me is their decision to completely revamp the combat system right before launching. That sort of suggests the game will continue with frequent bug fixes long after launching. :)

Fragmented is in maintenance mode. I actually bought The Repopulation on Steam so I also got a free copy of Fragmented. I played it for a few hours once. It actually wasn’t bad. Better than a whole lot of other survival games. Kind of a shame to see it dying out.

Age of Conan is getting a progression server? Well, it’s not the game I would have picked for a nostalgia server, but okay. It still plays much the same now that it played at launch, last time I checked, so what’s the point of a progression server (besides publicity)? My highest-level AoC character is around 50 I think, though it’s possible I used a level boost of some kind recently–I don’t have it installed right now so I can’t check. I’ve always liked AoC. The only problem I ever had with AoC is the unrelenting onslaught of quickly respawning mobs you have to kill to get to and from quest objectives, making every little quest an hour-long marathon. I said “AoC” repeatedly by the way to make the point that Age of Conan is the game that was on the market long before Ashes of Creation.

Speaking of Ashes of Creation, they revealed a preview video of the UnderWorld. I wasn’t going to include this news, but it dovetailed nicely with the previous paragraph. The video looks fine I guess, but it didn’t blow me away, because it continues to illustrate my personal belief that the folks at Intrepid have never played an MMORPG before. “The UnderWorld” looks quite a lot like Rift’s Goboro Reef, and I would swear there is at least one place in WoW that looks similar, too. Maybe one of those Night Elf zones? I can’t remember.

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.