Wait and See

I will not play Age of Conan or Warhammer Online on launch day. I am taking a wait and see attitude on new games. Prove to me you are worth playing and I will play. Blind faith and hope are not rewarded.

There is no rush. A good game will be around for many years. The longer you wait, the more content gets added. A lot of folks are getting worked up about Age of Conan’s early access program. They have a limited number of slots and they can’t handle more, because they are not prepared. You do not want to be a part of that. Besides, what is the rush? Seriously, it’s not that important.

Relax.

– Ethic

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I’m more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

27 thoughts on “Wait and See”

  1. This is a very microeconomic view you are taking there. While good for you personally, if everyone did it… ;)

  2. If everyone did it, game companies would have to release games so good that players wouldn’t need to wait and see.

  3. Oh I used to be one of the masses. It was exciting to get accepted into a beta and eventually log in on the first day of launch. But over time I have learned that in most cases there are more problems than it is worth and now I’ll happily wait to hear how the game is doing over time.

  4. Don’t get me wrong. I hold the same attitude towards MMOs today. But when games launch unpolished and bugged it’s usually because their out of development money and need a cash injection. If everyone waits, those will go bankrupt right away.

  5. Chicken and egg.

    It’s because games launch unpolished and bugged that I urge people to wait and see. Perhaps the planning of the game development could be better managed so as to not run out of money before the game is ready?

    It might be good to see poorly designed games go bankrupt in order to encourage better financial responsibility. If I make a crappy product, I don’t release it early to get some sales that will only turn around and screw my future sales by bad word of mouth. I find a way to get more investment to make a good product. If I can’t, I fail. It’s ok to fail. Failure makes the future products get better.

  6. “If everyone did it, game companies would have to release games so good that players wouldn’t need to wait and see.”

    Go Ethic. My dream world and amazingly enough the world in which the rest of all other companies’ products and services exist… or cease to exist. Which is also why there are very very few companies from which I’ll buy a game or expansion at release. Blizzard is one.

    I’ve got to assume that the reason they run out of money before launch is simply mismanagement of the development process of which scope/feature creep is probably the biggest culprit.

    Why don’t more companies start with a well polished core and plan on frequently releasing additional polished content once revenue starts rolling in? Why is having 50 fully populated zones better than having a compelling combat experience, smooth avatar animations/actions, etc.?

    Turbine’s been doing this with LotRO and while the risk is that powerlevelers will exceed the scope of your content, its better to apologize for content you don’t yet have than for that which you do.

    I too shall wait.

  7. I can see where you are coming from… However, for me personally, there is a certain rush about opening day. Everything is new. Everything is chaotic. Everyone is a lowbie. Few, if any, websites have accurate information about quests, items etc. It’s the boom time for the explorer type.

    All that does assume that the game is at least reasonably stable… but if it is, it’s a once in a lifetime experience. Which is either a good or bad depending on whether you’re into that sort of thing… :)

  8. Personally the only valid ‘fear’ that would make me rush is that I might fall behind and have no close friends left to play with. Once you have a circle that shares your attitude and start the moment you do it doesnt matter anymore you will have fun and opportunity enough to enjoy it all fully.

    Only a very small % will actually have a significant advantage that is gained by rushing a game, e.g. Max Crafting sell items early on for good money or get decent gear when everyone else pvps in trashy rags.
    And i guess most of the KTS crowd have a job to attend to and do not match that low % anyway.

  9. Right there with you, Ethic.

    It’s largely *because* I’ve been a part of too many games released too early and too buggy, that I hold the view I have today. Let the younger generation take up the torch, I say!

  10. I’m not buying Conan, but I’m in the Early Access program thanks to Amazon. It’s worth the $5 to try the game to see if I want to play it.

  11. I won’t do any MMO from launch day, too much frustration with too little pay off. I will wait a couple months for both of them. Also for AoC in particular I will wait, FC has AO in it’s history which has to go down as one of the worst launches in history.

  12. And why not see how them bugs be gone, it interface be fixed, him balance be neared more and more with each patch? Why not dive into a world unknown, uncharted, untamed, where the lust for riches unknown drives whole guilds into civil war, while others prosper in their bloody wake, defining future prices, builds, tactics?
    Why not be the one who finds the proper way to beat that dungeon, instead of the newb, aggroing good advice from almost anyone.
    Enter a land untamed, or see later the mere shadow of what it once was – as these days I explore wow for the first time and there is hardly anything left to find…

  13. I’m getting mildly hopeful about the future again.

    Anything that stands out on the horizon yet? AoC/WAR will show their true colors in time, but after that I don’t really see anything to hope for improvements to the genre. Perhaps Spellborn (for the design, not the quality), or Earthrise?

    Everything else is too far off in the foggy distance to tell.

    Will there be a game that stops the endgame PvP/PvE focus someday? The gear focus? I certainly hope so.

  14. Ikew: Expansions. In MMORPGs, it’s usually just a matter of time until basically everybody is back on the same footing, everybody a noob gawking at Northrend or wherever.

    Ethic: I agree, with one exception. Generally, I sign up for all the betas they’ll take my email address for, ’cause I’ll play almost anything for two hours if it’s free. Hell, I played RF Online for two hours because it was free.

  15. I have no qualms with people waiting for stability, but I’m a realist. I think it’s a pipe dream to think there are a ton of companies to spend for what you’re demanding.

    This kind of thinking would doom us to just one great MMORPG and personally it’s like getting stuck listening to nothing but pop music.

    And you’re counting Blizzard as the hero and saviour in this scenario? That’s a pretty short term memory. WoW had plenty of problems, very significant ones, for months and months. But we played it because it was so obviously fun and the faith we had in Blizzard was that they’d fix it and improve. They did. Sorta. Lots of compromise.

    If you only played games with clean launches, you’d be stuck with just City of Heroes. Maybe LOTRO.

    Sometimes you’ve got to invest to collect your rewards.

  16. I’m with Brent Brown on this one. While I can understand why you will wait Ethic, I will be noobin it up with the rest of the people on launch day. /carries the torch

  17. The “great” launch can backfire as well for a company…

    LOTRO may have been smooth….but, I still want an apology a year later for having no reason to play…boredom ensues on each boot up…
    NPD may have them as the #3 MMO, but I feel it is because nothing else excites anyone at this point…

    AoC excites! Changes the landscape to try something new…
    And Funcom may not be totally ready, but the ride will be quite fun…

  18. Turbine should “apologize” because they are the #3 subscription MMO but it wasn’t the game for you? Sorry, mate, but get over yourself. I personally can’t stand EQ2 but there are a few hundred thousand people who love it. I don’t begrudge them, and I love reading of their adventures. Same for EVE, it’s not for me but it’s entertaining reading of others’ exploits in that universe.

    AoC isn’t going to be for everyone either, but I certainly won’t expect Funcom to “apologize” to all the people who dislike the game. They’re aiming for a specific audience. Cater to that audience, let everyone else find their own niche.

    I enjoy the overall “MMO meta-community” but I don’t see any reason I should feel “required” or “obligated” to like/play every single MMO that comes out, nor do I feel everyone else should bow down, love and offer their souls to the same games I like to the exclusion of all others.

    It’s only after this morning’s patch to AoC that I’ve even decided to give the retail game a shot, and even then, it won’t be for several months to let things smooth over.

  19. If I weren’t bored out of my mind I would be waiting there with you Ethic. Alas, I’m going crazy browsing the web all day. If the game sucks it sucks. If it’s good then I have a distraction until WAR.

  20. It looks like you’ve come down with the lazy unemployed bum that is bored with WoW (or insert MMO of choice) syndrome that I have come down with, Keen. I’ll be frying people tomorrow afternoon with my brother on the Bane server. I can’t wait either…I’m much too bored and had enough fun in the open beta that I figured I’d give AoC a shot.

  21. I think it’s a pretty serious mistake to equate ‘subscription numbers’ to ‘quality’. I think it’s much more like movies; there are a lot of very well-made movies that don’t get a lot of people going to see them, ’cause they don’t have a lot of mass appeal. I’m looking at you, Lost In Translation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Similarly, MMOGs can be very well-crafted games with a lot of niche appeal without having a chance in Hades of competing with WoW and LotRO and whatnot for subscription numbers. EVE and A Tale In The Desert are good examples of this.

  22. @NBarnes
    Agreed on this statement…
    Again…LOTRO may be #3 on NPD’s charts, but it does not make it a good “quality” game..
    Stability does not equal quality
    Landscapes does not equal quality
    It is a lackluster game for people who don’t have much time to game or need a simple game to play to pass time…
    It did not bring anything new to the table..
    Design decisions make the game a truly boring enterprise to pick up…
    I still always remember a friend of mine who said he would always watch TV while playing the game…
    Some people may like it, but it is because they maybe burned out on WoW and needed something different, or they are lore junkies and just are not worried if the game is fun…
    To me, Age of Conan has proven to be fun, has changed the landscape a bit in the way a story can be told, has shown that combat does not have to be “hit key and watch your actions…” and visually is a step above LOTRO and their landscapes (as they also decided to make their people and animations look great also…something LOTRO did not do)
    AoC is not a WoW killer, or even an LOTRO killer (maybe…time will tell)…but it is a good game that shows the MMO genre is not dead and full of copycats (Tabula Rasa and LOTRO being two of those…)

  23. Age of Conan is in an ugly position. Anyone interested in it right now is mostly just killing time until Warhammer comes out. LotRO fans and WoW fans are most likely not that interested in it. Most WoW burnouts are waiting for WAR. LotRO fans are happy where they are. The biggest thing AoC needs to worry about is the release of WAR.

  24. @ Ethic
    I would beg to differ on this point…
    According to a small poll here
    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/180457/page/1
    When asked if leaving a big MMO to play…besides people staying with their game…WoW has a surprising lead as the top game people will leave…which seems normal with how many people actually play it…
    But, the 2nd “named” MMO that people will leave is….LOTRO

    So, there is a good possibility that these “fans” are not such big fans that they would not be interested in trying something new or even leaving their game of choice..

    I do agree with the WAR statement. If Mythic can start to make the game look pleasing…then we will see defectors from all games..
    Right now though…it sure is one major WoW looking clone..and it does not make me feel like the next “evolution” of WoW.

  25. Well that’s just common sense right there. The more popular games are going to lose more players than the less popular. I also think many MMO players “try” all new games but they don’t always make the “switch”.

    As always, time will show us how much the new MMOs will drain players from the old ones.

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