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.