Why write my own?

…when Elder Game does it so much better — and they actually know what they’re talking about, being insiders and all, rather than just blathering on the edges like I do.

Most fascinating, Captain. A little painful, as truth can be, but it matches up with what I experienced in WAR* and what I’ve read others experienced in Champions Online. I haven’t been too sanguine about STO largely because Cryptic insisted on launching CO way before it was ready — ok, an MMO is never ready, but there’s “omgnotready!” and “ok-we’ll-live-with-the-remaining-bugs-ready.”

Most fascinating of all was the obvious-once-you-read-it assertion that turning the screws on a game’s leveling because you’re afraid people will outlevel the content too fast means you’ll end up with NO players, instead of with players who outlevel the content too fast but who have fun doing so, and who therefore WILL come back when you do an expansion or add more content in whatever way.

Oddly enough, that’s been working pretty well for WoW since 2004. People copy everything about WoW except its way of retaining (or regaining) subscribers.

One thing everyone agrees on is that 2009 hasn’t exactly been a beacon of excellence in the MMO world. Full of hype, sure — but we need to not confuse vast amounts of hype with vast amounts of goodness. What I’m seeing in the last few years is a LOT of hype and not much actual delivery, going all the way back to 2007 and the Vanguard launch (yes, I was a Vangirl for a while). Eh, we could go back to Horizons as far as that goes, if we wanted, but we won’t — and the hype machine wasn’t quite as well-developed and pervasive back then.

These days the hype juggernaut’s good enough to show me a clog and make me believe it’s a glass slipper, and I’m pretty cynical and suspicious of hype-like things in general. I don’t froth easily, so when I do get enthusiastic the subsequent disappointment is almost worse; and boy has there been a lot of disappointment in the MMO scene lately. Thank god for little sleeper hits like Fallen Earth — and I could have told you that’d be fun a year ago but I was respecting the NDA /nod. (Hey, I can jump on the ToldYa Bandwagon if I want, there’s room at the back there!)

I guess that’s why I’ve spent most of the last year playing a 5-year old game. If nothing else, it’s lasted long enough to iron out most of the big kinks. And they added quite a lot of content. Can’t really quibble with that.


* And I’ll admit I’ve never caught on to the {insert developer name — in this case P Barnett} cult of personality thing. I don’t get it. He’s just a guy — they’re all just guys. (Actually, way too many of them are guys. Can’t we get some women devs in there please?). Is he really funny? Or something? What am I missing? I’m not saying he’s a BAD guy, I’m sure he’s very lovely and all. But fascinating in and of himself, and worth following all over various social media? Not that I’ve seen so far. Then again I’m not all that desperate to follow famous or quasi-famous people anyway. But that’s for another post some other day.

9 thoughts on “Why write my own?

  1. Paul Barnett just confuses people with his comments. They contain a little bit for everyone and everything, so that everyone can make out of them what he wants, so whatever he says causes major debates. Must be a natural gift/trait or a habit he cultivated. 🙂

    I think many blogs are pretty redundant and boring and I do not even read them once in a while, but yours isn’t. Take it as a compliment that I read you even if you mostly write about EverQuest 2, which I so totally do not care about.

  2. 😀 I love your blog Ysh. Don’t compare yourself so much to others, just compare yourself to your old self. And I enjoy reading about EQ2 because its an MMO I’ve never played and probably will not have time to play but is still doing interesting things.

    1. Heh, I guess the title came out more … something than I meant it to be. I have no ego problems regarding my own blog. Mostly I just wanted to point to one that I really enjoy. 😉

  3. I never heard that CO was “omgnotready” – all I heard was that it was easy to gimp your character, which I have not found to be true in my experience. Maybe I need to dig back in someone’s archives…who felt they got burned the worst on that?

    1. It’s drawn from the fact that they did that game-altering patch on the day (before? after? round then anyway) the game launched, thereby changing the basic experience pretty radically. To me, if you have to do a major patch on or around launch, you’re pretty much “omgnotready” — but then, most MMOs launching these days are in that state at least to some degree, because the cost/funding tightrope balancing act is so potentially dangerous if you fall.

  4. Cryptic did a lot of balancing right before release – they were really too late with doing that. The change they did was necessary though I believe, not because people would get to max level too fast, but that the game would become too easy for a number of people and thus also too boring.
    People get to max level quickly enough anyway, if they actually want to get there quickly.

    I really never felt that any of my characters became “unplayable” – with the exception of a bug that they managed to sneak during 2 days or so.

    Regardless though it was a bad move to do something like that around launch.

    I think Cryptic has some great ideas and work done on their games, but I must also agree with part of the Elder Game comments on how the company acts.

    And I am very much hoping the business models change in the path he is talking about.

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