Launch Recovery

Reading some words about Vanguard, I wondered how many of us form an impression of a game/company at launch and rarely look back. Is there any conceivable chain of events that would lead to my paying for Horizons? I am surprised that I gave Asheron’s Call 2 a shot.

The games can be entirely different a couple of years later, with few or none of the original developers or producers still on the project. They may have fixed all the old bugs and put in great new content, but I just see World War II Online… wait, let’s try a longer one with lots of swearing: World War II Online. A failed game launch is like a failed shuttle launch: all I see is a fiery explosion, and I don’t want to be the next passenger after you have duct-taped it together.

: Zubon

I hear WWII Online is doing better these days.

7 thoughts on “Launch Recovery”

  1. I’m a sucker for launches.

    AO launch – I was there…bailed when the patch that made NPC’s ultra powerful was loaded on a Friday and left for days. Went back when I had quit all games about a year ago since it was free. Played for maybe a month, got bored. Much better than it was, but that old launch burn still lingers.

    DAoC launch – over crowded newbie zones, vibrant to blah art, too-repetitive dungeons. Quit due to “artistic differences” with internal development after getting way too into it after a few months. Long story. Never been back.

    CoH launch – was there, loved it, played to 30, hated it, rerolled, loved it again, repeat. Eventually all I would do is log on to have “most insane newbie character” contests with a very good friend.

    Missed LoTRO and WoW launches. On purpose. Playing each game after they’ve had time to iron out the major bugs feels much better.

    Then again, I was there for EQ launch, and played for 7 years. However, it wasn’t the game that held me – it was the people (devs) and players of Test server.

  2. I’m with Oz. If I get a bad taste in my mouth at a launch I rarely give the game another chance, especially with the many options now available.

  3. So out of curiosity, how many never even made it to the launch after doing beta? I’m not going to name any games, but there have been a few i left before it went live and never looked back as i felt the problems i reported were ignored or other things like that. I tend to want to give games a chance, things change a lot a year or so after launch, but then you get the problem that no one is there. With the monthly fee it also makes me only really want to keep playing the gems, and be more picky about what ones i do play.

  4. I know what you mean. I steered clear of Vanguard because of the debacle that was their Beta test. However, I wasn’t sold on LotRO during that Beta, and after reading some solid reviews after launch, sub’d and played for a good chuck of time.

    I try very hard to seperate Beta from launch. They aren’t supposed to be ready to go gold or else they wouldn’t need a Beta at all. A lot of that difference though stems from how the developers interact and respond to the testers comments… like during Vanguards we were all screaming bloody murder and they seemed blissfully unaware, or if they were aware they made little attempt to address the issues presented.

    LotRO on the other hand communicated well, implimented changes suggested and made steady progress on bug fixes and content addition up until they launched.

  5. DAoC launch! Woo! I remember that! I spent a good chunk of time just camping some giant ants, because they were safe and close to town. Fireball some ants, sit down, fireball some more, go sell some antennae.

    The big thing I remember about crowded zones was the constant death spam. It is the sort of thing that resolves itself over a few weeks, as the population spreads out, but the first few days there is just a constant stream of newbie death messages. I wanted a way to limit its range, rather than shut if off entirely. *shrug* It went away quickly.

  6. This touches upon one of my rants for the past year or so that MMORPG’s really need to be comprehensively and comparatively re-reviewed after every major content update or patch that adds or changes game features.

    We’re already an extremely fickle bunch, and using Vanguard as a prime example of a Game Design: What Not To Do 101 course, even if they completely turn it around and it displays amazing quality and performance — will anyone care? The adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” very much applies, but we the consumers are also one trick ponies who make up our minds immediately and never give anything a second chance later.

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