Path of Exile Opens Up January 22, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Diablo III, entertainment, Other PC Games, Path of Exile, Torchlight II.
It looked, for a while, to be the third horse in the “Heir to Diablo II” race last year, but then never quite got there, leaving the field to Diablo III and Torchlight II.
Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It might have gotten a little more attention going up against one of those at launch, but it likely would have suffered for it as well. So the other two have had their launches and… have gone somewhat quiet since. Diablo III shipped without any post-launch follow up plan it seems, while the team at Runic that did both Torchlight and Torchlight II is reportedly tired of working on that franchise and want to do something different. (Where is my Mac OS version of the game?)
So it is a quiet time in the click-click-click RPG niche, which might be just the right time for Path of Exile to go… well… a little more public with their game. And so open beta has been announced.
According to their latest press release, open beta starts… tomorrow. Not that the previous year of closed beta was tough to get into. You just had to sign up and wait for a few days or a week and eventually you got an invite.
Now though… or tomorrow… you should be able to go to their site, sign up, and get access to the game right away.
This will also be the last wipe of the player base. Or so say the developers. This effectively means that the game launches tomorrow, as any progress you make with your character after that point is yours to keep.
And since this is a free to play, cash shop supported game, the transition from “open beta” to “live” seems to me to be more philosophical than anything; very much in line with every Facebook game being flagged as “beta” for most of their success.
And a year later, after playing Diablo III and Torchlight II, that clip still “feels” a lot more like Diablo II than either of those other games. It might be time to patch up and give Path of Exile another look and see what has changed in the last year.
Reviewing My Questions for 2012 December 18, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in blog thing, Diablo II, Diablo III, entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings Online, PlanetSide 2, Sony Online Entertainment, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Torchlight II.
Tags: Lord British
At the beginning of each new year I have a special post. Sometimes if it predictions. Some times it is demands. Last year I decided it should be questions.
I asked 12 questions of the new year. 12 questions for the year 2012.
I think it is time to see if I received any clear answers.
1. What fate awaits the Old Republic?
Love it, hate it, see it as a revolution in MMOs or as a symbol of that all is wrong, Star Wars the Old Republic is now a force to be reckoned with on the MMO landscape. It has everybody’s attention for good or ill. Where will it lead us?
That was the position at the beginning of the year.
Unfortunately, the answer since then seems to be “Over a cliff.” That cliff was described by the chart showing ongoing drops in total subscribers every quarter after launch.
Apparently story and voice acting will only keep people interested for so long. That works for a single player game. For a subscription game, not so much. And so the Tortanic began to sink, and it was heralded as the death of the subscription model for MMOs. They did announce an expansion, so they will have some content to sell along side action bars and raid access. But there do not seem to be clear blue skies on the horizon for SWTOR yet.
2. Can Blizzard stem the World of Warcraft subscription trend?
Sort of. The annual pass option, which got you a shiny mount and a free copy of Diablo III, kept at least a million people locked into their subscriptions. And while numbers still fell, they rebounded some with the release of the Mists of Pandaria expansion. The peak of “over 12 million” appears to be in the past, but 10 million isn’t so bad.
And, of course, WoW still rakes in cash like no other MMO out there. Reports of the death of the subscription model may be a bit premature.
3. Will Free to Play continue to be the gold mine/panacea for subscription games?
Panacea? It certainly seems so. SOE has thrown in fully for the free model, bringing all their titles save the original PlanetSide into the fold. And certainly SWTOR is looking to that model to rescue it and revive their fortunes.
Is it a gold mine though? Early reports from the LOTRO transition to F2P seemed to indicate that there was indeed gold to be had. However, since then, there appears to have been some iron pyrite mixed in with the real thing, leading companies to try and cast an ever wider net to get players to buy their RMT currency and then turn around and spend it in their cash shop.
LOTRO, which at least lets you earn their RMT cash in-game, went towards the odious prize boxes and started suggesting things like the hobby horse mount.
SOE screwed up their RMT currency so badly with heavy discounts that they had to stop selling premium memberships and expansions in Station Cash.
And reports I have read indicate that SWTOR might not have figured out the magic formula for F2P success quite yet either.
So there appears to be a lot more work to be done on the F2P front. Merely being F2P is no longer enough, as there are a lot of choices out there.
Companies keep bringing their games to the F2P altar, but that alone is no longer enough.
4. Who will really win the “Just Like Diablo” battle of 2012?
It depends on what you value.
I started to write a full post about it with the objective of declaring Diablo III the winner, but only on technicalities. Basically, it does more to capture the atmosphere of Diablo II, while at the same time doing the most to destroy the game. It just feels more like Diablo II, if you ignore the auction house, the always online aspect, the need to play through the game repeatedly in order to get to the most challenging game play, and a few other things.
That said, I think Torchlight II is, overall, a better game if you take the “heir to Diablo II” aspect out of the picture. It doesn’t get anywhere close on story or atmosphere compared to Diablo II, but it managed to avoid the manifold mistakes of Diablo III while being light, fun, and full of options denied the players of Diablo III.
Basically, the answer for me is that neither game really wins the “Just Like Diablo” crown, mostly because it just isn’t the year 2000 any more, so neither game could really have the same impact.
5. When will we lose a game to hacking?
We seem to be safe from this still, at least on the MMO front. Lots of security breaches, but I haven’t read about a game completely brought down and destroyed, never to run again because of hacking.
So the only answer here I suppose was, “Not yet.”
6. Will SOE remain the only player in the MMO nostalgia game?
This stems from the Fippy Darkpaw time locked progression server, about which I have posted often.
And my answer up until last week would have been “Yes.” SOE is the only purveyor of MMO nostalgia. I even got impatient by mid-year and went after the issue in a blog post.
After all, it seems like WoW could make a bundle with a similar scheme. There are literally dozens of private WoW servers out there trying to recreate the “old” WoW, that being anywhere from day one to before Cataclysm. I spent a bit of time on the Emerald Dream server and can vouch for the cathartic effect of playing an old-school version of the game.
But no such official venture looks to be forthcoming.
And then Turbine showed up with Asheron’s Call 2, fresh from the crypt, electrodes bolted on firmly in an attempt to create life where there was none.
I am not sure if it is quite the same thing, but it is something. And it is nostalgic.
So SOE does not own the MMO nostalgia market completely.
7. Will Guild Wars 2 be the game changer in the MMO market in 2012?
Well, a lot was promised for Guild Wars 2. But did it really change anything?
I have seen a number of GW2 fans lauding The Secret World for adopting the GW2 revenue plan, conveniently ignoring all the details that prove that they did no such thing. Yes, there is the “buy the box” aspect for a free to play game that sure sounds a lot like GW2. But what about the continuing monthly subscription model that unlocks things and hands out RMT currency as a reward? That sounds a lot like an SOE game, doesn’t it?
I suspect that the “buy the box” aspect was a requirement only because they admitted they did not make their sales numbers, so it is either throw away all those boxes or find a way to keep selling them.
And, if we’re honest with ourselves, the “buy the box” plan was from Guild Wars, not GW2, so rationalize harder please.
Anyway, I think it is too early to tell. GW2 only launched at the end of August, which didn’t leave a lot of time for anybody to react to anything they did in 2012, conspiracy theories not withstanding.
Maybe next year?
8. Will CCP ever be anything but the company that makes EVE Online?
Of course, they also helped make Lazy Town, right? Next question.
Okay, yes, DUST 514. It looms. It seems like it could be something some day. But that day was not this year. So I can only say, “We shall see.”
Call me when DUST 514 is a thing and maybe I will be able to build enough enthusiasm to download it.
9. What will the earth shattering MMO announcements be in 2012?
Oh, and that 38 Studios fiasco. An MMO that never was will never be.
10. Will MMOs get redefined in new and interesting (or bad and annoying) ways?
No, nothing new here, move along.
Okay, maybe PlanetSide 2 moved the ball a few inches down field with a really massive online shooter. But what else was there really?
11. Are we every going to get another decent MMO news podcast?
12. What will Lord British do next?
So those are my questions and the answers as I see them. I am sure somebody will remind me of a few items I missed… or will want to argue about Diablo III vs. Torchlight II. But that is about it for me.
Now to consider next year’s post.
Complex Gaming Declares EVE Online Best PC Game of All Time November 9, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Torchlight II, World of Warcraft.
Tags: I could make a little list, Lists, Ultima Online
Complex Gaming has a list, and we all love lists! Well, I love lists.
This list is a list of their Top 50 Best PC Games of All Time.
And their top pick on the list is EVE Online.
I cannot imagine that will cause any controversy.
Actually, the whole list is pretty controversial to me and seems pretty heavily weighted towards more recent games. I would argue about whether Civilization V should be on the list relative to past versions. (I prefer Civ II still, and I know there are Civ IV partisans out there.) And should both Torchlight AND Torchlight II make the list? And both StarCraft AND StarCraft II? Really?
On the MMORPG front, Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Star Wars the Old Republic and, of course, EVE Online make the cut. No EverQuest and no Guild Wars 2 though.
And LEGO Star Wars III but not LEGO Star Wars – The Original Trilogy? Heresy!
Ah well, such lists are pretty much designed to stir up controversy. How do you pick 10, 20, or even 50 “bests” out of such a huge body of work without leaving something out?
Maybe I should work on my own list.
September in Review September 30, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Month in Review, Rift, Torchlight II, World of Warcraft.
Hey, I got a WordPress.com achievement this month.
I bet you didn’t even know they had blogging achievements.
Meanwhile, I have written over 2,500 posts… so I guess only 1 in 5 items I put up are actually deemed likeable by a single individual.
And even then, while I get the occasional regular on the list, the profile of the average person who pushes the “Like” button at the bottom of my posts seems to be “random stranger who never comments and who seems to be hoping that if they click the button people will visit their blog.” There was probably some “how to get more traffic” post somewhere recommending this.
So, yeah, clearly as meaningful as most achievements I get in any game. Go me.
One Year Ago
I did the great survey of blogs that had, at one time or another, included this site in their blog roll over the last five years. Only 28% of them were still up and active. There was also the five year anniversary post and all that it entailed.
I implied that Tobold’s mother a llama. This had NOTHING to do with him not having a blog roll.
I was totally going to resist Steam selling me Rift for cheap. That didn’t work. I’m still playing a year later.
Star Trek Online announced it was going free to play, though I couldn’t imagine how it wasn’t already.
GameSpy had a post about re-imagining Diablo as a first person perspective game, which was met with much derision. Me, I liked the idea and even had suggestions for further topics in that vein to explore. Meanwhile, Diablo III was pushed out to the middle of 2012.
In other Blizzard news, the Official World of Warcraft Magazine went belly up after just five issues.
ArenaNet said something about private GuildWars 2 PvP servers. I wonder how that would play today?
There was no word about life on Planet Michael.
And, finally, I was wondering how 9/11, which took place just a couple months before the birth of my daughter, would influence her view of the world relative to my own.
Five Years Ago
Five years ago I was waxing nostalgic about the Thundering Steppes, complete with pictures.
The return to WoW showed something of a contrast with the way LOTRO played. I was asking why LOTRO was not as much fun as WoW while speculating on where LORTO might expand and making up silly sight-gag posts.
And I was responding to another blog meme, reading Play Money, warming to the Wii Virtual Console, remembering Adventure, looking towards the future of PvP play, wondering if I was a member of the press, and talking about getting naked.
New Linking Sites
The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.
Please take a moment to visit them in return.
Most Viewed Posts in September
- Diablo III vs. Torchlight II – A Matter of Details
- Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
- And Then The World Reached Into Our Game…
- SWTOR – Did The Lore Choice Hurt It?
- Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
- Remembering Spaceship Warlock
- Theramore Fell While I was at the Auction House
- Two Hamsters, One Wheel
- Blizzard – Taken Over by The System
- Darkfall: Unholy Wars is What Now?
- Torchlight II – First Night
- But Now I am Six, I’m as Clever as Clever
The war against Northern Coalition and its allies continues. The CFC is deep into the Tribute region and there are a few fleet operations, which is pretty much what I do in null sec, running almost every day. The problem is with an around the clock game with a world spanning population, it can be tough to get in on some of those operations. During the week, there is a fairly narrow band of time, call it 02:00 to 05:00 UTC, when I can start an op. Otherwise I am at work, eating dinner, or sleeping. And not a lot of ops have been falling in that time.
Still, I got in on a couple early in the month, got my requisite kills on the kill board to show that I am out there PvP’ing, and then flew logistics for the rest of the month since a Scimitar is the one ship welcome in almost any fleet.
The Saturday night group has slowly started rolling again. We knocked out another instance and have a couple more on the list. We are also getting closer to level cap, which is timely, as the Storm Legion expansion is due out in a little over a month.
In the mean time, I have also been working a little bit every night on my mage. I will have at least 3 of the four classes at level 50 before Storm Legion launches.
Runic launched their contender for the Diablo II crown at last. It is good. Light and fast and solid, I have spent a lot of time playing it. Unfortunately, that time has been 100% solo, and solo play makes for boring posts in my opinion. Still, once I get through the story line, it will be time to match the game up against Diablo III to see who I think best captured the spirit of Diablo II.
World of Warcraft
Pandas were unleashed, but I opted not to buy in. Which, I guess if early reports are accurate, was not an uncommon reaction. It isn’t that I am anti-panda. It was more a matter of Cataclysm breaking my bond with the game. And while I have one character at level 85, I was clearly only putting in a token effort over the last 8 months or so. And then there was the “please stop charging my credit card” encounter with Blizzard customer support that left me unhappy with the company in general. And so I count the days until my subscription expires… October 22, 2012 at 10:03 AM PST. Then I have 19 hours to unsubscribe before they charge my card again. And that will be that.
It will be October shortly. Guild Wars 2, Mists of Pandaria, and Torchlight II have all launched at this point.
November should bring Rift’s Storm Legion, along with Something or Something expansions for EverQuest and EverQuest II.
And what does October bring? Riders of Rohan, which is yet another expansion I won’t be buying, primarily because I am nowhere near high enough level to access any of the content. Do level based MMOs contain the seeds of their own demise in the form of expansions?
So I suspect that, for me, gaming will mostly be Rift, EVE Online, and Torchlight II in October.
It is fall. Once the weather turns a bit chilly, it will be time for nostalgia. Maybe I’ll make another video or something.
Torchlight II – First Night September 21, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Diablo II, Diablo III, entertainment, Torchlight II.
Of course I got home last night and the first thing I did was get into Steam to see if Torchlight II was ready.
It was available, it just wasn’t quite ready yet.
The game was now unlocked, but Steam had to download some additional… something… that apparently wasn’t installed with the pre-load packages. This was hindered by Train Simulator, which just released its 2013 update, and which was hogging bandwidth. I paused that, which somehow also paused the Torchlight download, which I didn’t notice immediately. All told, something that was estimated at about 2 minutes of download time took nearly 20 minutes.
I suspect the popularity of the game was also hindering the download a bit, even on the might Steam.
Meanwhile, the other sign of launch day popularity was that the Torchlight II site was completely overwhelmed. You couldn’t get there, much less create an account for online play. Even this morning, while you can now reach the site, it has been configured as a special “low bandwidth” version to facilitate the masses. This is the extent of the site:
And, because I couldn’t get to their site online, I had to just sit there getting the same error 37 over and over again.
Ha ha! Of course not. I just chose a local game and ran off and played.
I went back to the same class, the berserker, as I did back in May when they had their beta weekend. A berserker with a ferret pet because… OMFG it is too cute it has little goggles!
And it was good.
I cannot compare the May version side by side with the release version, but my gut and my fragmented memory say that the last few months were well spent on the game, as it feels tight and well put together.
There are still bits that annoy me. I hate that you cannot click on the action bars to use them, that they respond to keyboard commands only. You click on them to associate them with a skill, spell, scroll, or potion. And I know in a click to kill game, your cursor should stay on the bad guys, not the hot bar, but every once in a while I’ll need a scroll and I’ll click on the hot bar by mistake and get the associate options rather than my option to identify an item.
And I keep pressing “M” for map, which toggles through all the map/mini map on-screen configurations. Bleh.
Fishing is also a bit odd. I don’t really like the way it dominates the whole screen. But my pet likes the fish.
The skill tree is, at least, something of an improvement over the Diablo/Diablo II raw trees.
It isn’t as on-the-fly flexible as Diablo III’s skills, but it also has more depth and you can respect your last three points spent if you make a mistake. That won’t fix things if you decide you want to go another route, but it is better that the Diablo II “one free respec and you are stuck.”
Minor complaints aside, and I see those all as minor, the game is fun and draws you in with a “I’ll just go a little bit farther” that is completely parallel to the Civilization “just one more turn” and suddenly it is 2am addiction.
I ran around for a couple of hours, finding every corner of the overland maps, which as Gnome said in the comments of yesterday’s post, gives the game a much bigger feeling that the never ending dungeon crawl of the original Torchlight. Dungeons are spread out amongst the open areas.
Dungeons are good, even if they are well lit. (Cue my atmosphere rant with accompanying Diablo II video clip.) The ways are constricted but well designed. There are plenty of urns to break (the Torchlight version of Diablo barrels) and occasional not-all-that-well-hidden secret rooms to find.
And, in a parallel to Diablo III, big bosses always have their own room in dungeons it seems, so if you die you can spawn again just outside to try again. I had to do that when I went in and realized I only had to health potions. I had to send Snoogums back for more potions before I tried again.
My daughter watched me run around for a bit and was very keen to play. This enthusiasm doubled when I told her it was multiplayer and we could play together. She made me hand over the controls so she could look at the character options. She decided that an Outlander with a puma pet would suit here. She was quite excited about the prospect and it was tough getting her off to bed.
This lead to the big disappointment of the night. After my daughter went to bed, I went to get a copy of the game for her only to find that the Macintosh version is not out yet.
Spoiled again by Blizzard and their simultaneous Mac OS/Windows releases.
Thinking back, this is how it went for the original Torchlight as well, but for some reason that slipped my mind. So I will have to break the news to her tonight that we won’t be able to play together for a while yet.
I am probably going to have to let her play on my computer for a bit. Hopefully the Mac version will show up by Christmas.
Torchlight II – Here At Last September 20, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Diablo III, entertainment, Torchlight II.
The day has finally arrived. Torchlight II is finally available.
And so the other claimant to the title of successor to Diablo II is on the market, though I am still mildly annoyed that it took until 2012 to get something like a true sequel to a game that shipped its sole expansion back in 2001.
I pre-ordered the game on Steam a couple days early so I could download it in advance. It is at home waiting for me.
Runic also appears to have done an early release to some press and bloggers, so there are already a bunch of review and impression pieces popping up around the web, all very much praising the game.
Certainly, at the $20 price point, it is hard to see how you can go wrong if you like the click action RPG genre at all.
I am not sure I agree on all of Kotaku’s points… as much as I like fishing in MMOs, I never found it to be that compelling in the original Torchlight. And celebrating that Torchlight II has all the same potions as Diablo II seems like one of those points you stick in the middle of your list just to pad it out.
The key items though are the lack of an “always online” component, which I still don’t think was as big a flaw in Diablo III as some people make out, and the lack of an auction house, which is what really seemed to kill the game. (Oh, I forgot that I posted something related to that too.)
And then there is the whole modding aspect. I am interested to see what the game will become as to play what it launches as.
Anyway, I know what is likely to be my most played game this weekend.
Added Random Torchlight II links due to Gank’s pressure.
Random Items for a Friday – Wii U, Wallpapers, and Nostalgia Edition September 14, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest, Torchlight II, wii.
Tags: Wii U
Remember the Sleeper
Over at Giant Bomb there is a post up titled Tales from Norrath: Don’t Wake the Dragon. It recounts the famous, one-time (per server) event, the waking of The Sleeper in EverQuest. A unique event and a bit of MMO history.
What Ever Became of Wallpapers?
Walltreipers, the SoCo alliance that defiantly held onto the system T-IPZB in the 2012 Delve War after the region had been abandoned by its allies and Nulli Secunda had thrown in the towel (see Notes from the War in Delve), were hailed as champions on par with the 300 for a short bit.
There was all sorts of loose talk about bringing them ammo or coming to some sort of honorable accord with them, and then the Honey Badger Coalition finally brought their weight to bear and stomped them, thus completing the conquest of Delve.
What are they up to? It looks like they are still together and active and gate camping TEST in Fountain these days. I just wonder that nobody has found a system for them to hold. This seems like the type of alliance you want guarding sovereignty in a corner of your region, not as renters but allies.
Launch of the Wii U
Consoles were never really my thing. Yes, I had an Atari 2600 like… 35 years ago… but after obtaining a personal computer, console gaming fell by the wayside, as did arcades. (My arcade memories are pretty old.)
That changed with the advent of the Wii. The Wii became the favored past time for my daughter and I. For a long stretch we would get up early on Saturday morning, jump into the big beanbag chair parked way too close to the TV, and play Mario Party 8 and LEGO Star Wars and other titles, including some classics from the Game Cube era. It was a golden age.
The Wii has since fallen into disfavor at our house. After a couple of years, the computer started to take over. Like father, like daughter.
My daughter plays the Wii when she has friends over, but it ceased to be a daddy-daughter thing after she began to favor games at which I, frankly, suck to an embarrassing degree. And her favorite games aren’t on the Wii any more.
Now the Wii U is coming out. It promises backward compatibility with the Wii, which is good, and a controller that looks like a PDA, which is… I don’t know. Ars Technica has all the Wii U answers, at least around the technical side of things. And the price isn’t that bad, relative to the the historical launch costs of consoles (thanks Tesh). But do I really need this thing?
Indications are that I do not. Sure, Penny Arcade seems hot on the idea, or at least its potential, but they are hot on a lot of games for about two minutes before they are installing the next thing. And then there are the forecasts by those who purport to know.
On Wii U success/failure: I think that it will sell 50% as well as Wii, but will start as well because of fan base and supply constraints—
Michael Pachter (@michaelpachter) September 14, 2012
How about you?
Torchlight II Next Thursday
The next game on my “must have” list is less than a week away. I did not pre-order it, as the incentive was a copy of Torchlight and, well, I already have that.
This means I probably need to get my mage a lot closer to level cap this weekend.
Then again, my daughter is insisting that I play Minecraft with her, which is all the rage with her and her friends these day.
As I always say, we shall see.
Torchlight II Launches September 20th August 31, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Diablo III, entertainment, Torchlight II.
add a comment
Runic Games put the launch date for Torchlight II up in their forums last night.
The official press covered announcement will no doubt come at PAX today as previously mentioned.
The big date is September 20th, which is a little earlier than I suspected it would come. I was calling November 5th, but I will take it earlier if it is ready!
September 20th does put it right before Blizzard’s big panda expansion, but I suspect that while the fan base for the two games overlap, they probably do not compete to the exclusion of each other.
Now what becomes of Diablo III with its main competitor coming online in just three weeks?
Torchlight II – A Date for a Date August 27, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Diablo III, entertainment, Torchlight II.
1 comment so far
Diablo III has been walking the earth for months now. It has effectively added 100 levels of character development (sort of) and resolved any number of issues, save the issues that seem to bug people the most… such as that fact that you must be online and logged in to play.
Meanwhile, the challenger Diablo III’s position as the rightful heir to Diablo II has remained fairly quiet. There has not been much in the way of “real” news about Torchlight II.
There have been tidbits. We have seen updates about which acts have been completed, comparisons with the original Torchilght, and complaints about other studios stealing assets from Runic. But nothing really concrete has made its way to the public.
So we will know soon.
My guess is November 5th. That would put it just before the holidays with enough time for some fixes before the long winter break play sessions begin in earnest.
When do you think we will see Torchlight II?
Panda-monium Breaks Loose September 25th July 25, 2012Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, entertainment, Guild Wars 2, Rift, Torchlight II, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Mists of Pandaria, Storm Legion
The date has been set. Blizzard has announced that the Mists of Panderia expansion for World of Warcraft will launch on September 25, 2012.
Digital pre-orders are available now in both standard and deluxe versions.
I am sure there will also be a physical collector’s edition with the usual making of art book, music tracks CD, and other extras.
One of the biggest reactions I have seen to the digital deluxe edition is because it does not include a pet. A special pet… or three special pets… has been one of the traditional bonuses for collector’s editions.
It does however include a special mount. Mounts go for $25 at the Blizzard store, and the deluxe edition is only $20 more than the standard edition, so you could view it as a discounted mount purchase I suppose. The other items, more sigil fluff in Diablo III and some StarCraft II portraits seem, well… pretty meaningless to me.
But that kind of sums up my feelings about Mists of Panderia at the moment. The expansion is adding a new race, a new class, five more levels, pet battles, and some new lands to explore.
But nothing about it has me very excited. For starters, creating a panda character means 10 new levels of content, then 50 level of solo focused Cataclysm, 10 levels of Burning Crusade, 10 levels of Lich King, and 5 levels of Cataclysm until you get back to the new content.
Or you could just take one of your probably already at level cap characters and try out the new high level content.
Pet battles interests me mildly. Not enough to actually download the beta now that they are finally in, but enough that I will certainly poke my nose in to see what it is about at launch. I will still be in the last 30 days of my 1 year subscription commitment when this goes live.
But otherwise I am just not feeling it.
Of course, that might be a good thing.
If you are a long time reader you might have noticed a correlation between games about which I have been excited… Warhammer Online, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Replublic (now officially Tortanic), and the Cataclysm expansion… and games which have disappointed me. The higher my spirits, the further they fall.
A sad commentary on life I suppose.
Meanwhile, I have often ended up enjoying things that I was initially unexcited about. Rift, Wrath of the Lich King, EverQuest II Extended… I was skeptical of these, yet ended up enjoying them quite a bit.
It is sort of a variation on the Oscar the Grouch “happy when I am angry, angry when I am happy” thing. Sort of.
Anyway, it is going to be an interesting third quarter this year. Guild Wars 2 goes live on August 28, the LOTRO Expansion Riders of Rohan shows up on September 5 last I checked, and Torchlight II is threatening to ship in September as well, though nothing is official there so it might change.
Meanwhile, I am still playing Rift and EVE Online. The instance group, once the summer hiatus comes to an end, still have a few dungeons to do before hitting level cap in Rift, at which point there might be an official date for the Storm Legion expansion. It was previously slated for “Fall 2012.”
And EVE Online… well, they release all sorts of stuff all the time there.
So there will be pandemonium in just the number of like games launching or launching new content.
What else is going to launch between now and Christmas?