What makes the Hottentot so hot?
What puts the “ape” in ape-ricot?
Whatta they got that I ain’t got?
The Ashes of Creation Kickstarter seems to be a rousing success so far.
The ask was $750,000 and, with nearly a month left to go until the June 2 end date, they have already passed a million dollars and are talking about stretch goals and the like. Op success.
And this didn’t happen by magic or anything. Intrepid Studios went by the numbers for this success with a long build up over time and clear advance notice that the Kickstarter campaign was coming so fans of the title were ready to go.
You can go over to Massively OP and search on “Ashes of Creation” and see the series of articles that they posted about the game, like stepping stones leading to this day.
This is the way it is supposed to be done. That whole, “Hey, surprise! We have a Kickstarter!” thing is generally a bust. Amateurs run out half cocked, professionals lay the groundwork so that the success which follows isn’t really a surprise.
And the team at Intrepid Studios has industry experience, even if they seem a bit young. If you show me a dozen people and say something like, “There’s over 40 years of MMO experience here in this office…” I am going to point at a co-worker of mine and tell you the pair of us are past 50 years experience in our industry combined. But youth can mean vigor and the desire to tackle problems and older hand might just dismiss with, “we tried that before, it didn’t work.”
The experience of the team seems to be a bit focused on SOE/Daybreak, which is probably why some of what they are talking about has an air of EverQuest Next about it. Again, not necessarily a bad thing. EQN certainly got many people excited back in the day. And the whole “node system” also seems to have a bit of EVE Online null sec in its mix as well.
All of this adds up to an enticing package and ought to spark the embers of hope that maybe there will be something new under the sun when it comes to the Fantasy MMORPG genre.
So why am I not excited about this? Why isn’t this helping me shake off the MMO malaise?
I have been watching that march of articles at Massively OP for a while now, yet the fact that the Kickstarter was on and doing well really didn’t hit me until Bhagpuss posted about it. Maybe I just pay more attention to him than Massively OP? (Also, not many of the bloggers I follow have weighed in on the Kickstarter. What does that say?)
Meanwhile, I think I may have had my enthusiasm for Kickstarter projects weighed down by past projects. I need to do another summary post about my experiences with Kickstarter. That might actually be a good one for next Wednesday due to the timing of a particular campaign. It won’t be a tale of all sunshine and lollipops as some of the projects in my post from two years back are still not done, with MMORPG projects being the most likely not to have wrapped up.
Complex software projects are complex. It is known. So any dates given for such projects… and in the case of Ashes of Creation, December 2018 is being bandied about… are automatically suspect in my book.
And then there is my capacity for enthusiasm over long periods of time, which is essentially zero. As I noted in a comment on Syp’s post about backing or not backing the project, I lack the wherewithal to pay close attention to/care about such a project as it winds its way through development, alpha, early access, beta, pre-release, and whatever other gyrations the creation cycle takes. (Cue footage of me collapsing from feigned exhaustion at the idea of a project that has an “Alpha 3.0” target some six years into the development cycle.)
From my investment in the genre about a decade back to now I have regressed to the point where I really just want to exchange money for some entertainment. Keep your development laundry to yourself. I can’t even bring myself to pay much attention to expansions for games I follow, at least not beyond the barest details, like ship dates. You have to have something really, really, and I mean really, special to get me to jump on the pre-release bandwagon at this point.
But I am jaded and cynical and in that state of malaise I keep talking about, all of which tends to add up to a hammer of an emotion which makes every new MMORPG project look like a bent, mis-aligned, and somewhat rusty nail.
So what is the fresh and enthusiastic perspective here? Am I missing something special? If you are backing this, what is the selling point for you?