Unlike 2006, 2007 looks to be a bright year for new MMOs. Many of the announced titles for this year appeal to me. This means making some decisions, since I cannot play them all, at least not at the same time. So I plan on a series of “2007 Outlook” posts that will cover my own views on the MMOs coming up, my own interest in them, and the likelihood of my actually playing them.
I am also going to toss in one more metric, which is the need to play a given game on day one. There are some games where playing on the opening day is an experience unto itself. EverQuest on day one was like that for me. It was frustrating, you could barely play, yet there was a huge amount of excitement in the air. You knew, waiting between server crashes and disconnections, that you had to get back into the game.
So with that said, I will start with the title that is first in my heart.
I have opined on this game before, and not always kindly. Pointy Ears. Monster Play. Mucking with the story line. Interacting with the Fellowship. What are they thinking?
I am not even keen on the name. Shadows of Angmar? Yes, the leader of the nine Nazgul was the Witch King of Angmar that overthrew the fragmented northern kingdom of Arnor, the scattered remains of which became the rangers of the north. But Angmar itself was thrown down by Gondor over a thousand years before the birth of Bilbo Baggins, so the shadows of this short-lived kingdom must be pale indeed by the time of the game.
Still, as far as intellectual properties that have a hold on my imagination go, there are few more powerful than Middle Earth. I have previously disclosed my affinity for the works of Tolkien. I cannot actually write in Tengwar (after years at a keyboard, I can barely pick up a pen and write in English) but I hung out in high school with people who could. So there is a strong desire to go and play this. I am drawn to it like Smeagol was to his precious.
My biggest fear, of course, is that they will take undue liberties with the story to facilitate game play. It is going to happen. It has to happen. I just hope it won’t be so huge that it becomes a deal breaker for me.
My second biggest fear is that this will prove to be a game that just should not be a traditional, mass of people in the forest, ‘where do I find this?’ on OOC, style of MMO. This might be one that would prove better in done on the GuildWars or Dungeons and Dragons Online model. Or it might be worth creating a new MMO model for this sort of “massively multiplayer online interactive literary tourism game.” (MMOILTG?)
And maybe they went that way. Maybe they have broken new ground in the genre for this title and its odd circumstances. I do not know because I have this odd “The more I want to play it, the less I want to know about it in advance so as not to spoil it” trait and I have been in full avoidance mode with LOTRO.
Affinity for the Theme or IP: Very High
Will I play: Very likely, even if I have to go it alone.
Do I Need To Play Day One: No. I’d be willing to wait if I heard it shipped before it was fully baked.