Be careful what you wish for

Ardua has been hot on the trail of any info about The Secret World, including possible interviews and information and whatnot. I could claim that I’ve just been doing what Dragons do best, which is wait in the background while the wannabe-Grail Knights do the actually gumshoeing, but the truth is — well, two-fold. One, so little information has come out that I’ve pretty much forgotten about it, or at least forgotten to keep an eye out for news. And two, there’s only so much teasing a body can take.

Secrecy, I get it – it’s part of the game, it makes good hype, it’s very Lovecraftian and blah and blah and blah. BUT. I don’t want to sit on forums all day every day rehashing the same 2 bits of information as we try to guess what might be coming down the pipe; and the reason I don’t want to do that anymore is that I’ve done it before, notably with Vanguard and more lately with Warhammer, and we all know that the wages of excessive hype is — always, mind you — disappointment.

That’s because nothing can live up to excessive hype. Maybe hype and excess are inevitably intertwined, but wouldn’t it be nice just for once to have a game that’s normally hyped? Sure, it wouldn’t give nearly as good advertising copy; still, it’d be a nice change.

“Try this game, we think it might be really rather good!”

Oh, and advertising that eschews the word EPIC will also win YshBrowniePoints. That goes for movies and books too, by the way.

All that being said, the game itself has definitely not slipped off my radar. It’s certainly the game I’m most excited about these days, not only because it’s skill- rather than class-based but also because it might, just might, offer a game world that I can really get into for a change. As with hype, there may be only so much generic fantasy a body can take these days; if nothing else it might be a fun change to shoot guns as well as waving swords. Fallen Earth offered me that for a month or two and although I’m not playing it right now, the change of genre really was refreshing. (EVE isn’t fantasy either of course, but I feel very distanced from the EVE world, probably because I don’t take part in the PvP stuff. Maybe it’s also got something to do with the lack of a non-ship avatar — that’s always been a problem for me.)

With that in mind, I thought I would see if I can’t improve my chances of getting into the beta, if and when such a beast comes to town. When you can’t get interviews, call on the Gods instead.

Come and open the door

10 thoughts on “Be careful what you wish for

  1. Recent Betas, especially LOTRO’s F2P Beta, have been very NDA heavy. People were not even allowed to state they are in the Beta.

    Such NDAs are dealbreakers for me. If I am not allowed to communicate outside the beta tester forums, I will just let it be. Otherwise they can of course hire me as part-time alpha/beta tester with a real contract, then I would oblige and shut up.

    1. Eh, that’s been the modus operandi for most AAA MMO titles in beta testing in the last decade. *Some* companies have been “nice” enough to let you at least say you’re in the beta, others insist on the veil of secrecy that is both unrealistic an unenforceable.

      I don’t mind NDAs per se, though I do think they’re pretty useless. The ethical testers will keep their mouths shut while the “I just wanted a preview” or “I just wanted something to rant about” crowd will break said NDA without a second thought. Lose-lose all round.

      But not even allowing people to SAY they’re in a beta is just daft. For one thing, it’s practically begging to be broken by just about everyone. For another it’s (EDIT!) NOT particularly enforceable and has rather dubious legal standing too. Can I tell my husband I’m in the beta? If I do and GamingCompanyX finds out, can they throw me in jail? Get real.

      Course in the case of TSW it’s almost expected that the beta should be extremely secretive, since it fits with the game world. It could also be that I’d know a great deal more about it (or plans for it) if I bothered to check the forums. As an ex-forum ho, however, my trawling (not trolling!) days are over. The signal:noise ratio on forums is just too high for me these days.

  2. Not too related to the article, but I have given up on forums, too. Either I get worked up too much, turn much into a troll myself or it is just finding only very few pearls among a lot of rubble. It is rather sad, but well moderated forums that prevent such climates from day one probably don’t exist anymore. Official game and fan forums are probably beyond hope anyways, unfortunately.

  3. Something to note is Ragnar tweeted when asked how good TSW is…

    He called it “Shite”

    I think he really wants to push away the “hype” and release when AoC has finally bit the bullet, which it seems to be doing slowly but surely.

    1. Aye, Ardua has a post about the shite in fact. 😉 However, what Ragnar says and what the TSW hype machine are doing are two different things — or not so much. Anti-hype as reverse psychology? 😀

  4. I’m with Longasc. I don’t do betas anymore. I do, however, sign up for open betas so I can gain early entry or play a questionable game without having to pay anything. Beta testing ruins games for me. And I don’t like NDAs either. I can appreciate the exclusivity they want to give mainstream media sites and such, but I’m a blogger (barely)…dammit. There are other ways that TTH, Massively, Gamespot and others can cover games.

    Outside of that…I think there are companies that are handling the hype well. I think BioWare is doing a great job with SW:TOR. They have planned their information well. You know when to count on it…and they deliver.

    I also like the way 38Studios and EA are handling Kingdoms of Amalur. I would even call what they are doing as “hype”. It more or less comes across as…”This is what we can tell you right now and as soon as we have more…we’ll get it out to you.” I think the Copernicus MMO hype will be wrapped up in a longer-term hype burrito of the single-player game, toys, comics and books.

    1. You may have a cookie – nobody else mentioned it. 😉


      Edit – which might be because I misquoted. Unintentionally this time. Have stuff on my mind. Picking up something good. ( 😀 )

  5. I pretty much take a wait and see attitude with everything. I have been smoking the hype pipe when it comes to SWTOR I’ll admit. I’ll be shocked if it isn’t at least on par with the KoTR games. But in general I don’t get too excited for anything until I’m playing the open beta, or the post launch reviews start to come out. Even WoW I was only cautiously optimistic about, and they were raving about it all over the net the month or two before it launched. In most cases that has served me well, but in a few I’ve missed out on the launch of a game I later discovered I really love. Of course even in the latter cases, there’s no way of knowing if the launch game was as good as the game I tried 6 months or a year later and really dug.

  6. I’m not really a long-time MMO player, but I do classify myself into 2 distinct MMO phases — before 2008 and after 2008. The me of after-2008 is definitely *not* interested in hype and definitely is interested in waiting for the free trial.

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