Planning for the Coming Summer Hiatus May 5, 2014Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Tags: Age of Conan
As inevitable as the turning of the seasons, the summer hiatus of the regular instance group will soon be upon us. The weather will warm up, kids will get out of school, vacations will be planned, and sometimes we’ll just want to something on a Saturday night besides play video games. The prospect of getting all five of us online at once will pretty much vanish so long as the weather stays warm.
The timing for this is usually pretty good. We’ve often spent the fall, winter, and spring playing a single title… World of Warcraft usually… and a summer vacation from that generally goes a long way to restoring our interest in that game.
During the time of hiatus, a couple of us… sometimes just Potshot and I, sometimes more… often pick up another game to play. With that in mind, I started sorting out potential candidates for a summer run. My driving criteria was not to spend $60 on a box and to avoid signing up for another monthly subscription plan. Basically, my commitment is low, so I want to keep my spending on par with that… especially since I will certainly keep my EVE Online accounts active (one paid, one comped by CCP for running a fan site) and likely won’t cancel WoW since my daughter an I still play.
But with the change in the MMO landscape over the last few years, I should have plenty of free to play options available. I am not saying that I won’t spend money on any of these games, just that I do not want to commit to doing so up front. That is the point of F2P, right?
Here are the titles that have potential at the moment.
Lord of the Rings Online
This is sort of the default choice for a summer hiatus destination. I think some combination of our wider group has gone back to Middle-earth at least five times since our first run at it at launch.
Pros: Familiar, everybody has an account, I have a lifetime subscription, and Middle-earth is still just a nice place to be. I keep the game patched up and log in at least monthly to get my Tubrine Point stipend, which should be closing in on 10K. And there is music. We could literally get the band back together.
Cons: With the big class revamp, starting over again seems to be in order. Relearning classes has always felt awkward in LOTRO after being away for a while, and the revamp pretty much doubles down on that. Not the worst thing in the world I suppose. I love the 1-40 game. But they haven’t revamped 40-55 which, aside from Hollin, I find a bit tiresome. Things pick up about halfway through Moria, but then get tedious again on the far side. The lifetime subscription makes this an easier choice for me than others. Also, I am not sure if anybody else has as much nostalgia for the game as I do at this point.
This was a game good enough to supplant WoW for a few seasons.
Pros: Maybe the most generous F2P model of any of the MMOs I have played. You can get by very well without a subscription. Most people I know already have an account and some familiarity with it. I own the expansion and have a pile of their F2P currency, so cannot forsee feeling the need to purchase anything up front. Lots to like about the game.
Cons: The Storm Legion blues. The expansion never really clicked with me and repeated attempts to get enthused about it haven’t really worked, and I am not sure that anything has changed in the department. Starting fresh with new alts isn’t as tempting as there are only four core classes, and I have all four up to at least level 50. And then there is the usual “we stopped playing for a reason, has that overall reason changed?”
Guild Wars 2
Everybody’s favorite buy-to-play MMO.
Pros: I own a copy, so it is a no-money-down proposition… at least for me. Lots of bloggers I read still play it. Most of the likely members of a potential summer hiatus group already own a copy, and for those who do not, the price of the box has dropped. Looks very pretty. Dev team is off the overwhelming 2 week content cycle and is adding features to the game itself.
Cons: The usual “never really got into it” problem that also applies to the original Guild Wars. Never really struck me as a group game in any way. I still have a “chicken and egg” password recovery issue from way back when.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
The Tortanic still lives in F2P form.
Pros: It has been our for nearly two and a half years at this point, so it should be relatively bug free… right? Does not require me to install Origin… right? Devs have committed to content updates every six weeks or so… right? Can space bar through the long and awkward NPC expositions, which are the
curse burden hallmark of recent BioWare games. It is, you know, Star Wars… in some sense. I have preferred status as a free player due to pre-ordering and then cancelling the game way back when. Still seems to have a substantial player base by whatever measure you can find. Will make me hum Pop Muzik a lot.
Cons: It is an EA game and, as such, I am unlikely to ever want to give them money. Sorry BioWare team, but that’s who you chose to get in bed with. Still have to endure the horrible “puts words in my character’s mouth” aspect of the game, which doubles down by rewarding light side/dark side points for consistent use of words you wouldn’t say in any case. The usual “if I didn’t like it before, what makes me think things will be different now” conundrum. Not sure my family appreciates my humming. Can you say “tropes?” Or at least a feeling of having experienced things before?
Age of Conan
Pros: Not sure I have found anybody who truly hates this game. Has been on my “I should try this” list for ages.
Cons: Not sure I have found anybody who truly loves this game. Haven’t heard much about it in ages.
There are a few titles you might expect me to put on the list, but which did not make the cut. Perennial SOE diversions EverQuest and EverQuest II are not there. I am not saying, “never again” for EQII, but it has been black listed by a few friends and has a similar problem as LOTRO, in that I am good with the content up until what is now the mid-game… say level 60 in this case… but after that… not so much. EQ is much more of a focus of nostalgia… thus part of the post-summer hiatus routine… than a summer option. I probably need a new progression server option to get me back into it, and I have to wonder if we will ever see the likes of that again.
Other than that, I have yet to read anything to stoke any interest in The Secret World, Star Trek Online is dead to me despite having a lifetime account, and I could never bring myself to play more than a few minutes of Neverwinter outside of time spent with the group.
And I suppose we could forgo the usual MMO venue and spend the summer playing World of Tanks or War Thunder, both of which have a very low commitment, which seems well suited for a summer distraction. And a bunch of us own Diablo III.
We shall see.
Bloodline Champions Closed Beta Invite October 30, 2010Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment.
Tags: Age of Conan, Bloodline Champions, Funcom
Did everybody get one of these closed beta invites to Bloodline Champions?
Because it certainly seemed like everybody I asked got one.
Granted, everybody I asked had, in some way, given their email address to FunCom in the past.
Often the way was somewhat tenuous.
I mean, the email said this:
Funcom would like to thank you for your continued loyal support by giving you free access to the closed beta for Bloodline Champions, a player vs. player arena game that will truly put your gaming skills to the test. Easy to learn, challenging to master – Bloodline Champions is set to become one of the most important games within its genre.
But in my case, continued loyal support seems to be the fact that I signed up for the Clan of Conan newsletter about a year before Age of Conan shipped… and that’s it. I never played the game. Nor did I ever try out Anarchy Online.
Not what I would call loyal support. I supposed I never clicked on the unsubscribe link for the newsletter, though that was mostly because it seemed to show up so sporadically.
And just in case you somehow didn’t get invite, each person who did also got two beta keys to hand out to friends.
Really, one of the most open closed beta I’ve seen.
Too bad the game doesn’t interest me in the least, important to its genre or not.
And what is its genre anyway?
TTH Picks the Top Ten PvP MMOs February 13, 2010Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer Online.
Tags: Age of Conan, Aion, Dark Age of Camelot, darkfall, Guild Wars, Lineage II, Planetside, PvP, Ten Ton Hammer
Lists, especially ranked lists, are always good for some attention.
In that vein, Ten Ton Hammer decided to stir the pot a bit by ranking what they consider to be the Top Ten PvP MMOs.
I’ll spoil the surprise and give you their list ranked top to bottom. You’ll have to go read the article to get the justifications.
- Dark Age of Camelot
- Eve Online
- Warhammer Online
- Lineage 2
- Guild Wars
- Age of Conan
- Lord of the Rings Online
They used the phrase “out there” to describe their selections, by which I assume they mean they are measuring the PvP-ness you can get today from these games, as opposed to when they were at their peak. So no Shadowbane.
That also might explain the lack of Ultima Online on the list.
But if you’re going to exclude UO for its current state of affairs, how do you justify keeping Planetside on the list?
Scoring My 2009 MMORPG Progdictionations December 29, 2009Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, Diablo III, entertainment, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Humor, lego, Star Wars: The Old Republic, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, Dalaran, DC Universe Online, Free Realms, Planetside, StarCraft II, The Agency, The Matrix Online
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
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.
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.
December in Review December 31, 2008Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, Diablo III, DS, entertainment, EVE Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Month in Review, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Sony Online Entertainment, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Age of Conan, Cooking Mama, RMT, StarCraft II, Tabula Rasa, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King
1 comment so far
On Events in 2008
I sit here on the final day of 2008 looking back and saying, “WTF?”
Pirates of the Burning Sea set sail, but foundered. Excellent ship to ship combat turned out to not be worth a monthly fee.
Age of Conan should have launched in March because it came on like a lion, but is now more like lamb in size and competitive vigor. (Or maybe a salt marsh harvest mouse.) Folks in Oslo have since been heard saying things like, “Third time is a charm!”
Warhammer Online screamed “WAAAGH!” in September, but within six weeks the Mythic team was trying to consolidate its population rather than adding new servers, something that Mark Jacobs himself had previously said would be a sign they were in trouble. Not that Mr. Jacobs is now saying they are in trouble, but I just love that quote as an example of things not to say. Meanwhile, even some WAR fanbois have changed their mind on the game.
Tabula Rasa, after a statement of support by NC West President of Publishing David Reid, was declared untenable just weeks later and slated to be closed at the end of February 2009. The Bane issued a press release declaring total victory over the humans while General British, Colonel Blackthorn, and Major Miscalculation fled into space. A blank slate indeed.
Sony Online Entertainment talked a lot about cool upcoming products, but shipped no new games. Aside from two expansions and a lot of small content additions, the big headline of the year for SOE seemed to be, “EverQuest and EverQuest II: Now with RMT!” While I won’t argue with Grimwell’s declaration of success on that front, the reaction seemed to me to be mixed.
All the while the Wrath of the Lich King seemed to be getting lukewarm support at best over the summer with many a blogger picking apart individual features or weighing the whole and declaring it “too little, too late” after nearly two years of waiting. Then, as the day approached, people began filing back into Azeroth after their summer vacations in other lands. On the ship date Wrath broke previous sales records set by The Burning Crusade, pushed WoW to a new subscriber peak (sure, just half a million people… small when compared to 11 million, but still more than almost any other subscription based MMO you care to mention has total.), and was generally declared wonderful by those who have enjoyed WoW in the past.
So screw convention wisdom, I’m going back to wild and crazy predictions. Diablo III will generate more revenue than Toyota when it ships and StarCraft II will cure cancer and lead to the reunification of Korea.
I cleaned up the right hand bar quite a bit. The most obvious piece that is missing is the counter for Feedburner. I originally put it up there to encourage people to subscribe to the site via FeedBurner, since it offered some statistics. However, most of the people who read the site via RSS use the WordPress.com feed, so the counter was displaying about 10% of my RSS readership. Since WordPress.com has since added some minor stats about RSS, I decided to just remove the counter. The FeedBurner feed is still live and will remain so, there just won’t be a link to it now.
One Year Ago
December 2007 seemed to be a busy time for the SOE. First there was the whole “moving a whole guild from test to a live server” brouhaha. Then there was the rumor of SOE being purchased by Zapak Digital Entertainment. And, finally, there was the deal with Live Gamer to take over transactions on the Station Exchange servers, at which time Smed himself said that this did not mean that they were going to open the flood gates of RMT on any of their servers not currently served by SOE’s own Station Exchange RMT plan. All of which I wrapped up in one post.
The yearly EverQuest Nostalgia Tour was off to the usual activities.
I put up my predictions for the “Next EverQuest II Expansion,” which I have yet to score. I will have to get a post together comparing The Shadow Odyssey with my own guesses.
The Saturday Night Permanent Floating Instance Group was finishing up Blackrock Depths.
Dr. Richard Bartle brought up the “why so much fantasy” question for its regular beating to death.
And I bought a new gaming computer full of Quad Core goodness.
New Linking Sites
A big holiday thank you to these sites who link to The Ancient Gaming Noob.
- Blog MMO – Le Voleur dans WoW
- Dense Veldspar
- Mass Dispel – Musings of a WoW Priest
- Somewhere in England
- The Nothing Chronicle
- Word of Shadow
Please take a minute to visit these sites, one of them may be your new favorite blog!
Most Views Posts in December
- Play On: Guild Name Generator
- Getting Upper Blackrock Spire Access
- How To Find An Agent in EVE Online
- Howling Fjord Quest Night
- Best MMO Expansion in 2008?
- Do You Name Your Ships?
- 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Five LEGO Video Game Titles I Want
- The Name Generator (which has nothing to do with #1)
- Is There Hope for a Science Fiction MMORPG?
- The Way Questing Used To Be
Best Search Terms
world of warcraft hot to get out of gnomergen
[A lot of people are]
[A question that plagues so many of us]
new lego emperor
[That is what we all seek!]
Spam Comments of the Month
ignorant christmas wallpaper cell phone :PPP
[Not a random string at all!]
I use WoW code all the time as it saves time!
[added to my Know Your WoW Code post and linked to a gold seller.]
Deleted Comment of the Month
Die in a fire you ‘tard.
[Like almost all of the really hateful comments I get, this came from an EVE Online player. The game inspires passion, both good and bad.]
EVE Has been quiet for me this month, not so much out of a lack of desire to play as a lack of time. The first half of the month I was busy shipping a product before the holidays, and then came the holidays. Still, I ran a mission or two, hauled freight when needed, kept production going, and brought in another pile of ISK. Still no freighter though.
I have not played ANY EverQuest. There has been no 2008 EverQuest Nostalgia Tour. EverQuest II might be old enough now that it is suitable for nostalgia. That certainly fits what I have been doing there.
In Norrath I have been mostly involved with the adventures of Reynaldo Fabulous of Freeport, a swashbuckling berserker who has been cutting a swathe through the original level 1-50 content in EverQuest II. With the support of his friends and his guild he has managed to get to level 52 and remain fabulous.
Lord of the Rings Online
The call of Moria seems to have hit Gaff. Having a lifetime membership means I can pick that game up any time. However, now he is talking about starting over on a new server. Damn his eyes, I finally have horses on all my guys on the old server.
World of Warcraft
Holiday commitments and illness has kept the instance group from playing as often as usual. Still, we are banging away in Northrend and expect full victory in Utgarde Keep any day now!
Santa delivered more than just LEGO kits to our house over the holidays. There were also a few Wii and DS games that I will mention in future posts, though it seems at the moment that Cooking Mama II is the surprise DS hit with my daughter.
And, of course, tune in tomorrow for my predictions for 2009. I’d better start working on them!
Scoring My 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations December 8, 2008Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Blizzard, blog thing, entertainment, Humor, Misc MMOs, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Vanguard SOH, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Age of Conan, BioWare, Funcom, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Richard Garriott, Tabula Rasa, The Agency
Back on January 1st, 2008 I posted ten MMORPG predictions. These were meant to be outrageous, humorous and not very subtle jabs at some of the tepid, obvious, and vague predictions being made elsewhere about the state of the industry and its future.
But now the year has nearly passed and it has come time to do the accounting for my predictions. I am not going to copy and paste the whole set of predictions into this post, but I will maintain the same titles and order, so you can compare the results to the original 2008 MMORPG Progdictionations list.
For the predictions, I am going to score each one out of a possible 10 points, so a prediction that is right on the money gets 10 points, while something completely wrong gets 0. With a total of 10 predictions, that gives me a possible 100 points.
How close did I get? Time to score the list!
1. Age of Conan
Funcom managed to avoid becoming major campaign issue in the 2008 US presidential elections. Still, the boys from Oslo managed to screw up quite a bit without excess negative publicity, angry mobs, or government intervention. I am going to give myself 4 points out of 10 just for predicting bad things happening with the game, even if they only led to layoffs as opposed to the complete dissolution of the company.
2. The Agency
The Agency did disappoint, if not in exactly the way I predicted. It did so by simply not shipping. Didn’t this game have a December 2007 ship date at one point? Anyway, disappointment is disappointment, so I am going to be greedy and give myself 3 out of 10 points here.
BioWare, EA, and LucasArts actually admitted that BioWare is making an MMO, and they even gave us a name. Star Wars: The Old Replublic will be coming some time in the next decade or so it seems. I was sure they were going to mess with our minds on this for at least another year on this, so 0 out of 10 points for me.
4. Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising
Nobody appears have picked up Rome Rising. Not Mythic. Not SOE. Nobody. 0 out of 10 points.
5. Pirates of the Burning Sea
The first three words of my prediction, “While launching slowly…” were right on the money.
I think that gets me 3 points, one for each word.
The rest of prediction was garbage. There was no surge of subscriptions in the UK, Spain, or France, certainly none large enough to influence gaming PC sales, nationalism in the three countries was not set afire by the game, and the summer of 2008 saw not one of these countries at war with another.
3 out of 10 points total.
6. Star Trek Online
The ghost of Gene Roddenberry may very well have possessed Daron Stinnett and taught him the true meaning of Star Trek, but a fat lot of good it will do anybody unless Daron passed that information along to somebody at Cryptic Studios, the team now working on Star Trek Online. There was no return from the brink for Perpetual. And so it goes.
Still, Star Trek Online is still alive and may still be able to prove (or disprove) that life in the 25th century is as dull as dishwater. That fact alone has got to be worth 3 out of 10 points.
7. Tabula Rasa
My prediction that General British would be ganked in Tabula Rasa was completely turned on its head when Richard Garriott, in a surprise twist ganked NCSoft and fled the scene… hell, he fled the planet, at least for a while. If only he had ganked them in a theater and had then fled to a warehouse so I could tie in the whole Lincoln/Kennedy thing. Okay, maybe “ganked” is too strong a word, but nobody is coming away from Tabula Rasa smelling like a rose. So there was some drama remotely related to something tangentially connected with something I predicted. 1 out of 10.
Brad McQuaid remained completely silent in 2008. I have to give myself 0 out of 10 points on this one. Honestly though, not having to read any more forum posts from Brad makes it worth being wrong.
9. Warhammer Online
I said I was not going to quote the original post, but I think I have to for this one.
Scared straight by the Conan debacle, Warhammer Online will slip further into 2008, and will only ship after the US presidential elections and the short war in Western Europe. While getting decent but not extravagant reviews, it will get a significant subscriber boost from players leaving other MMOs. This timing will allow Marc Jacobs to declare success immediately.
I am giving myself 8 points for that part alone. My ship date prediction was a lot closer than Mythic’s first few guesses (not to mention being just six weeks off from the election), WAR certainly got a boost from people leaving other MMOs, and Mark Jacobs has not been shy about declaring success.
Mythic did not, however, adopt the “Mythic Ticket” subscription plan I predicted. But given the end of the WAR launch euphoria, I have to imagine it might start looking like an attractive idea. Plus, you cannot beat the name “Mythic Ticket.” It makes “Station Access” sound like a low end cable TV package.
8 out of 10 points.
10. World of Warcraft
Blizzard shipped Wrath of the Lich King before the end of 2008, it was a huge success, it dwarfed past game sales records (also set by Blizzard), piled up huge revenues, and perhaps even saved PC gaming for another year or two. I heard that a display of Wrath at a Best Buy in Ohio tipped over and the boxes fell into the shape of the Virgin Mary, which in turn healed everybody in the store. I fear Tobold is going to have to keep his current job, as Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce, and Rob Pardo are secure in their positions for the time being. 0 out of 10 points.
Total Score: 22 points out of 100
And a very generous 22 points at that.
But that is what you get when you go for outrageous and specific, which is why so many yearly predictions are tepid, obvious, or vague. Some people prefer to be mostly right than patently wrong. And since I set out to be patently wrong, I take those 22 points and as a condemnation that I was not outrageous enough in my predictions.
I will have to remedy that with my next round of MMORPG Progdictionations, coming January 1, 2009.
AoC-Daily.com May 24, 2008Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest II.
Tags: Age of Conan
For Age of Conan fans, the minds behind the EverQuest II news site EQ2-Daily.com have applied their knowledge to create a sister site devoted Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures.
It is called, of course, AoC-Daily.com.
I do not know if, like EQ2-Daily, there will be an accompanying podcast, but it is a good place to start for a round up of Conan news and reviews.
Age of Conan: Hystarian Adventures May 22, 2008Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Age of Conan
On Tuesday I saw a quote declaring that “players don’t seem to be flocking to Age of Conan.” Yes, it was in the context of “Will Conan Kill Vanguard,” but still, it was freakin’ official launch day!
And then, in a rush to judgement, I see Tipa saying she was wrong and that Conan is a success, Genda saying that Conan will be chewing on WoW’s subscription numbers (focusing on that as yet unproven theory that WoW players want something new), while others are saying Blizzard had best put on their “A Game” now and show us something new if they want to remain the top dog.
All I can think is, can we at least get through the first full, live weekend, when most of the people who ponied up cash for the box will actually get a chance to sit down and play for an extended period of time, when the servers will actually get loaded up with players, before we start declaring success or failure?
MMOs are a long haul proposition.
Shut Up We’re Talking #26 May 20, 2008Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest II, Podcasts, Vanguard SOH, World of Warcraft.
Tags: Age of Conan, Guilds, MMO Trials
1 comment so far
For the show regular host, Darren of The Common Sense Gamer, was joined by:
- Show Sponsors – Completely ignored
- What we’re playing
- Listener Mail – From Seritaph
- What’s Beta Got To Do With It? – In light of the AoC open and closed betas, we talk about what betas ought to be and what they ought not to be, inspired by posts at Keen & Graev’s and Bildo’s, plus my own crankiness on the subject.
- Guild Hopping That Nobody’s Stopping – Primarily about WoW, with other games drawn in for comparison, we explore how to make a guild something more than a chat channel and a guild bank. Inspired by posts from Tobold, Potshot, Karen, and Cameron.
- Demo That MMO – Some chat about the dynamics of MMO demos, how long should they last and what content should you get, brought up originally by Kanthalos at MMOre Insight.
- Blog of the Week – Outland Bound
- Out Takes – Only one this week… Darren left most of the incriminating stuff in the show
The show runs for one hour and seven minutes and you can get it here as well as via iTunes.
Another fine podcast done under the guidance of the polite barbarian and audio engineer Darren.
If you want to help support the show, digging it over at Digg.com couldn’t hurt!
I Want to be a Fanboy! January 29, 2008Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Lord of the Rings Online, Misc MMOs, Star Trek Online.
Tags: Age of Conan, Huxley, Stargate Worlds, The Agency, Warhammer Online
I have the curse of the cynic.
In my life I have sat through pep rallies, sporting events, concerts, company team-building exercises, prayer meetings, and multi-level marketing seminars with groups of people who have been shouting, cheering, and immersed to the point of being practically overcome by what has been going on.
And there I am, somewhere in the middle, mildly detached from things, wondering in the back of my mind if whatever I am attending is going to end on time, what traffic is going to be like on the way home, and if I should finish off the rest of that pizza in the fridge before I go to bed or if I should save it for tomorrow.
That’s just me.
It isn’t that I despise this passion I see in others. I am quite envious of it.
And isn’t that I have not had passion for things in life myself. That passion just doesn’t come easily, it certainly does not come on command, and it definitely does not show up for anything that requires me to recruit friends and family into a sales network.
Still, I have hope.
I have something of a passion for online gaming, but no real passion right now for any particular game. I want to find a game that sparks my interest and imagination, one that will make me proudly wear the fanboy badge.
But where will I find this game?
I thought Star Trek Online might be it, but that seems to have fallen flat now. Plus I started off annoyed and opposed to some of the general directions the game was taking, and things just got worse from there.
Lord of the Rings Online had a chance. I love the books and two out of the three movies, but as much as I enjoyed the virtual tour of Middle-earth, I found the game itself tepid, something of interest but not passion.
So I found myself wondering last night about which future games might spark some passion in me?
Well, there are the usual suspects.
Age of Conan – Robert E. Howard‘s works always left me a bit flat and the whole “M for Mature” thing is lost on me, seeming to be more of a bit of titillation intended to bring in younger gamers rather than keep them away. In the end, I could never really identify with Conan, and now the actor primarily associated with him is the governor of my state, further muddying the mental waters for me.
Warhammer Online – I didn’t like the table top game and, frankly, I dismissed World of Warcraft at first because it looked too much like Warhammer, so I start with a bias against on this game. Besides which, Warhammer seems to be camped by the PvP fanboys, all holding out hope for a mainstream PvP success. While I have wished for a true, immersive PvP experience, Warhammer does not look like it will break the PvP curse of “victory to those with the most free time.”
The Agency – Maybe… but maybe not. I am more of a John Le Carre or Len Deighton fan when it comes to the genre. I enjoyed “Sandbaggers” more than most Bond films. And couldn’t SOE have come up with a better name than “United Nations Intelligence and Tactical Experts?” While the game could be a lot of fun, the whole RMT thing might upset the tea cart.
Huxley – Somehow I do not see Webzen Games as a source of gaming passion.
There are some possibilities, but no shoe-in candidates.
What else is out there? What else is coming? What might ignite some gaming passion?