Daily Archives: January 6, 2011

2011 – First MMO Check Points

I wrote a piece at the end of last year looking at 2011 and the MMO the titles that I might consider playing.

One premise of the the article was that, given past experience, I can probably only pick up and play one of this year’s titles in any sort of regular or serious fashion.

I also put up a poll asking people what they would pick, if they could only choose one of the leading titles that might hit the market in 2011.  The results of the poll so far actually ended up just about where I thought they would.

Most people picked Star Wars: The Old Republic, which is what I expected.  It was certainly the favorite going in.  And it certainly needs to be to not cause serious fallout in the MMO world when it ships.

Guild Wars 2 also had a strong showing, but the Guild Wars people tend to be pretty dedicated.

Rift was a distant third, which surprised me a bit, since so many of my fellow bloggers seem to be all a bubble about the game.  Well, the sample size is pretty small. Or maybe they just didn’t vote.  I don’t think you can through Google Reader.

Eight people chose other, but given their choices (two for Diablo III (not an MMO), two for EVE Online (not a new MMO), one each for Firefall (maybe an MMO, maybe not), World of Darkness (not shipping in 2011), The Secret World (an unlikely candidate for 2011), and none of the above) I’m not sure everybody understood the question.

And then there were five for TERA, two for DCUO, and one for The Agency.  (I didn’t know that Smed read my blog.)

But I am now at what I would call the first MMO check point of the year and the second one is not too far behind.

DC Universe Online goes live Tuesday.  The beta ended at 6:55pm PST last night with everybody getting logged off before I got to see Batman (apparently wearing green), and now I have to make the go/no go choice.

And I think I am going to pass.

It isn’t the camera controls, though they do still annoy me.  I could never make the camera stick over the shoulder and in frantic fights ended up looking the exact wrong direction more often than I liked.

It isn’t the interface, which is clearly geared towards consoles.  That makes it feel a bit slow and awkward on a PC, but it is not a deal killer, and it is a necessary compromise to accommodate console controllers.

It isn’t the game play, which can be intense and satisfying.  I like being able to break up much of the environment, though it does seem to respawn very quickly.

It isn’t even because, for some inexplicable reason, their Superman model reminds me of The Penguins of Madagascar.  There is just something about the shape of his head…

You didn't see anything...

No, the game is a gritty, well detailed world, full of action with a bit of a Matrix Online feel to it, if I had to draw some comparison.  Not a bad thing at all.

It is just that the superhero thing really isn’t my schtick. But I knew that coming in, so DC Universe Online was always a long shot with me. I enjoyed it in small doses, but never felt that burning need to get back in and play.  I wasn’t hooked.

Capt. Wilhelm to Retire

So I wish DCUO a happy and successful launch next Tuesday.  I enjoyed my short time with it, but cannot see myself getting invested.

Which leads us to the next check point; Rift.

Trion Worlds has announced that Rift is going live on March 1st.

Pre-orders, collectors editions,  and all the usual tidbits are being dangled to get people to buy early and often.

But I am really on the fence when it comes to this game.  I’ve said that before.  I’m still there.

People have had quite a number of good things to say about the quality of the game.  But nobody has really said anything to trigger the “must have” effect.  I am interested, but not excited about this game.

Meanwhile, almost universally, commentary about the game cops to the sameness of the game relative to other fantasy MMORPGs. While over at  Massively their latest beta review had four out of five generally positive views of the game overall, though still mired in sentiments of sameness, while two of the five staff members polled savage the initial stage of the game.

But the theme still seems to be running through all reports: Sameness.  And not in a subtle way.  It is always out front and loud.

Not that more of the same is necessarily a bad thing, but I still have a whole bunch of “same” on my plate.  What does Rift bring to the table, what does it do better than my other current choices?  That is the question I need to answer.

Well, there are almost two months to go until launch.  Plenty of time to make a decision.

But every time I read something that sends me towards the Rift pre-order, something else pops up that makes me think again.