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.

Project Gorgon – The New Black?

About a year ago I installed Project Gorgon and played around in the starter cave. It was mildly interesting but of course it wasn’t finished, the graphics were terrible, and there are so many other things to play. So I put it away again, filing it in the back of my mind.

Now suddenly everyone is talking about Project Gorgon. And by everyone I mean MassivelyOP which apparently has turned into the all-Gorgon-all-the-time site. :) Not that there’s anything wrong with that I guess–it’s not like Project Gorgon is a multi-billion-dollar corporation. It’s just a guy and his wife. At this stage in their development it doesn’t bother me to see them getting a media spotlight. And besides, it’s such a niche game that a thousand suns of media spotlight couldn’t possibly make it a mainstream hit.

Anyway I installed it again recently and played around in the starter cave, which is much better than it was last year. It’s still mildly interesting–maybe even somewhat interesting–but it’s still not finished and the graphics are still terrible. If we were living in 1999, the graphics would be awesome, but alas we aren’t.

Hey, it's a shrine just sitting out here in the middle of nowhere. Cool!
Hey, it’s a shrine just sitting out here in the middle of nowhere. Cool!

Still, there’s something very appealing about the game. Maybe not the game itself but the idea of the game. The idea of throwing out any pretense of trying to make a polished audio-visual experience and focusing in on interesting RPG elements is a revolutionary idea. The idea of making a game for role-players is revolutionary, and I think that’s the main reason MassivelyOP is so enamored with it. (I get the impression that 90% of their staff are role-players.)

For myself, I thought it was awesome that I could charm a rat.

The game definitely has a lot of old-school nostalgia appeal to it. It feels a lot like playing Asheron’s Call back in the day. (AC is my nostalgic MMORPG, not EverQuest.) It doesn’t play anything like AC, but the sense of “I wonder what’s over there and I wonder what that is?” is definitely there. The world feels really vast, too, which is something that’s lacking in a lot of modern MMORPGs.

 

Besides, how can you not love these kinds of patch notes? “Bugs! There are some.” LOL.

Gorgon Launcher Notes
“Weird stuff happens routinely!” That’s awesome.

Anyway I’m still keeping an eye on it and I hope it goes the distance.

Posted on Blaugust Day 15. Read all of my Blaugust posts here.