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Scoring My 2009 MMORPG Progdictionations December 29, 2009

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, Diablo III, entertainment, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Humor, lego, Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft.
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The time has come to account for my January 1st predictions.

The real problem with me and predictions is that I set out to make a series of outrageous and humorous stabs at the future, but part way into it I get all reasonable and conservative and start making predictions that sound likely… or reasonable.

Not that I am any more accurate when I get conservative and reasonable.

On January 1st I made 15 predictions for the MMORPG market for 2009.  Below are the results.  I am going to assign each prediction a possible score of 10 points, with partial credit available.  How many points out of 150 will I get?

I am not going to paste in all the original predictions as it would make the post very long, plus I have a cold which has not put me in the mood to perform any more work that I absolutely have to.  But they are all right here if you want to see them in their original glory.

1 – Private Citizen British

This one was fulfilled before I managed to post it.  He wants to get back into fantasy gaming, but nothing came of it in 2009.  He did not, however, use the word “vision.”  7 out of 10 points.

2 – Bartle’s Test

Dr. Bartle was on the money with this one by extolling the virtues of Stranglethorn Vale from the aspect of zone design.  As expected, more than a few disagreed on that, STV being one of the more complained about zones in the game.  Dr. Bartle stood his ground however; he meant what he said and he said what he meant.  Not a huge controversy, but enough for my needs.  8 out of 10 points.

3 – Age of Anarchy

Funcom did not, as I predicted, merge Anarchy Online and Age of Conan into a single game with two different front end clients.  More is the pity, since Age of Conan seems to need some sort of boost these days.  0 out of 10 points.

4 – EverQuesting

The 10 Year Anniversary of EverQuest was not as big of a deal as I thought it would be.  There was no return of the Living Legacy promotion, the expansion was not as sweeping as I thought it would be, it was called “Underfoot,” and did not include any of the features I speculated about.  And it was only available as a digital download.

On the other hand, one thing I did suggest was:

and at least one method of advancing your character while off-line.  Not experience, nor AAs, but maybe skills or some other new character attribute.  It will be very slow, but will only work while you are subscribed, showing that SOE is trying to tap some of that EVE Online training magic to keep subscriptions going.

That pretty much sounds like research assistants in EverQuest II.  I am going to give myself 2 points out of 10 on that alone.

5 – Call Your Agency

Of the three games Sony has been talking about, only Free Realms saw the light of day in 2009, which was one more than I thought would.  On the other hand, there is still no PS3 version of Free Realms.  So I am going to give myself partial credit on Free Realms, since I said that PS3 development would be holding up the launch and they decided to go without it.

We have not heard, officially or in rumors, that PS3 is what is holding up The Agency or DC Universe Online, so only partial credit there as well.  3 out of 10.

6 – Elves of the Burning Sea

Flying Lab Software did not attempt to boost their subscription rate by re-skinning Pirates of the Burning Sea with fantasy creatures, so 0 out of 10 points.  I should not let my own LEGO fantasies influence my predictions.

7 – LEGO Dalaran

Nobody built Dalaran out of LEGO bricks… yet, 0 out of 10 points.

8 – Station Cash Balance of Payments

I predicted that any game that did not get a Station Cash store was pretty much marked for closure.  The Matrix Online was the first to go.  Planetside is down to one server and Star Wars Galaxies isn’t making any headlines of late.  I am going to give myself 5 out of 10 on that one because I think Planetside will be gone when The Agency shows up.  And as for SWG…

9 – Star Wars Galaxies to Take A Bio

I predicted that we would find out this year that Lucas was only going to sanction one Star Wars themed MMORPG and that SWG was going to lose out of BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I still think this is going to happen, so maybe I’ll roll it into the 2010 predictions.  But for 2009, 0 out of 10.

10 – Dawn of Darkfall

Darkfall did ship, but did not ship with the full list of promised features intact.  They suffered through launch issues like most MMOs, with things like skill exploits being closed off as time went along.  And they do appear to be walking the tightrope between PvP and other activities well for the time being.  You can argue amongst yourselves as to whether it is the second coming of Ultima Online or EVE Online in plate armor, but I’m taking 8 out of 10 points.

11 – Hero’s Slumber

Darkfall’s launch handed the MMORPG vaporware crown to Hero’s Journey which did not, as I predicted, ship in 2009.  That fact, however, was not the source of that much snarkiness that I could see, so 8 out of 10 points.

12 – Blizzard is Smarter Than You

I predict for Blizzard in 2009:

  • WoW Content patches – check
  • No WoW expansion – check
  • StarCraft II shipping – nope
  • StarCraft II and Diablo III news that will lead to whining – check
  • Info about their next MMO – nope

6 out of 10 points.

13 – The New Guys

Red 5 Studios, Carbine Studios, and 38 Studios provided practically no details about what they are working on.

On the other hand, I also said that nothing they announced would set the MMORPG market on fire.  Certainly saying little or nothing qualifies.  A point for that.

And MetaPlace looks unlikely to become a talent incubator for the next generation at this point.

1 out of 10 points.

14 – Heroes and Champions

This was a silly and complex set of predictions, all built in parody of NCSoft West President David Reid saying last year that Tabula Rasa was here to stay shortly before they announced it was being shut down.

Key predictions -

  • City of Heroes will shut down after David Reid announces things are going well – nope
  • Champions Online will launch in the Fall of 2009 – check (okay, Sept. 1 isn’t quite fall, but close)
  • David Reid will lose his job at NCSoft – check

6 out of 10 points.

15 – Tobolderized

No Toboldipedia or Toboldwiki created this year.  I blame Tobold’s summer break.

0 out of 10 points.

Results

The final count gives me 46 points out of 150, or 30.67% which, while abysmal, still beats last year’s 22%.

I think the Tobold predictions are dragging me down.  I may have to jettison him for 2010… or come up with something more plausible.

Now I just have to come up with some predictions for 2010!  Though right now, what I really want to predict is an over-the-counter decongestant that really works.  Stupid cold.

The 10 Year Anniversary of EverQuest was not as big of a deal as I thought it would be.  There was no return of the Living Legacy promotion, the expansion was not as sweeping as I thought it would be, it was called “Seeds of Destruction,” and did not include any of t

he features I speculated about.

On the other hand, one thing I did suggest was:

and at least one method of advancing your character while off-line.  Not experience, nor AAs, but maybe skills or some other new character attribute.  It will be very slow, but will only work while you are subscribed, showing that SOE is trying to tap some of that EVE Online training magic to keep subscriptions going.

That pretty much sounds like research assistants in EverQuest II.  I am going to give myself 3 points out of 10 on that alone.

Comments»

1. Cyanbane - December 29, 2009

“he meant what he said and he said what he meant”

Bartle never forgets.

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2. Wilhelm2451 - December 29, 2009

And he means his words 100%.

Now go fix the EQ2-Daily blog scanning bot. I’m tired of angry EQ2 players taking offense that I found five things I felt WoW did better. (Oh, it looks like you gave it a kick already. I’ve been waiting for that article to be swept into the obscurity of the “next page.”)

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3. We Fly Spitfires - December 29, 2009

Nice stuff :)

I don’t think Lucas will sanction only one Star Wars game. I mean, there’s tons hanging around already. Plus, money always prevails over intellectual property rights. Remember how Universal said we’d get no more Star Trek games? And now here’s Star Trek Online…

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4. Wilhelm2451 - December 29, 2009

@Gordon – While it can be tough to argue that Lucas hasn’t gone after every money making opportunity with gusto, they do have a history of getting the most out of each deal by offering up an exclusive franchise on a give aspect of the merchandising. So not one Star Wars game, but one Star Wars MMORPG.

It is just speculation on my part, but we’ll see.

Meanwhile, if Trek were a person, it would be in a shelter for battered spouses the way it has been treated as a franchise over the years.

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5. Graktar - December 30, 2009

Wait, you gave yourself a point because Blizzard patched in some content in the course of 2009? While I realize the possibility of at least one content patch a year is a bit of a stretch for Blizzard, that still seems like a bit of a gimme :P

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6. Wilhelm2451 - December 30, 2009

@Graktar – Hey, that was worth all of 2 points out of 150, but I predicted that Hero’s Journey wouldn’t ship and gave myself 8 without a peep from you. If you’re going to claim fraud, at least call out the more drastic example.

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7. Xyd - December 30, 2009

Four points for “No WoW expansion” and “StarCraft II and Diablo III news that will lead to whining”?? Those were gimme’s too. Hey, maybe next year you could predict that Duke Nukem Forever won’t ship.

;-)

.xyd

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8. Tobold - December 30, 2009

Note that given your prediction I would have looked as bad at 10/10 than at 0/10 points. It was designed to make me look stupid either way. Not sure why you thought that necessary.

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9. SynCaine - December 30, 2009

So touchy of late. Cheer up and go ask for a good tanking mod.

I’ll back you up Wilhelm on the WoW content patch, that was a ballsy prediction. You should make the reverse prediction for 2010, that outside of paying for content, nothing new (LFG being fixed does not count) will be added. Easy points there.

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10. Wilhelm2451 - December 30, 2009

@Xyd – you’re just jealous.

@Tobold – I’m not sure how predicting the behavior of people other than you makes you look stupid or not. In fact, you seemed to approve of the only behavior I ascribed to you back when I made the prediction. But if you feel that it made you look stupid, I apologize. That was not my intent.

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11. Tobold - December 30, 2009

My apologies for being somewhat touchy, Wilhelm, but I had bad experiences with internet “cults” this year, which made me very wary of the phenomenon. I would have wanted blogs to encourage people to think, not to become part of an unthinking movement to “defend” a single idea or game.

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12. Wilhelm2451 - December 30, 2009

We’re back to “Life of Brian” again, aren’t we?

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