I am withering away waiting for the next Guild Wars 2 beta event. I have dreams of a dagger-charged necromancer or elementalist that I can’t wait to realize. Yet, the gaming world seems to be darkening as the light of the last Guild Wars 2 beta weekend event is receding. I am trying to shake the feeling as best as I can with Steam sales, and the like. Then I hear what is going on in the news.
Except for the aforesaid exception, the MMO genre seems to be bleakening. With a gracious nod to Beau Hindman, I would say that this only seems to be the case for so-called “AAA” titles as F2P titles seem to flood across the land like a scute mob.
38 Studios MMO in-development now has Rhode Island managing some of it’s affairs. TERA launched, I guess, but it is going on sale within virtual minutes afterward, which as Syp says after only two weeks of launch it smells funny. Star Wars the Old Republic was a nice flash in the darkness, and its current state seems better than most. Yet, EA/BioWare is constantly sending out bat signals of free weekends, and other silly gimmicks, which seem to indicate a sinking ship, whether it actually is or not.
Yes, Syncaine, EVE Online glorious light of MMOs is standing by, and I’ve actually been somewhat interested in taking a peek at Rift again. Rift has remained rather solid, for lack of a better word. Perhaps “excellently managed” would be better, which only benefits subscribers all the more. They seem to be managed in ways to benefit both subscribers and the company, which even without stockholder-screeching subscriber numbers seems to be a pretty awesome way to go. That’s how EVE Online started, more or less. A sustained MMO is the most successful MMO.
This of course leads me to Storybricks, and I agree with Ethic that it would be a terrible shame if this project succumbed to the darkness. Yet, I can’t help wonder if they had stayed away from the three scarlet letters and simply likened the toolset to a creative tool with a rockin’ multiplayer aspect. Bhagpuss alludes in the comments that games like Neverwinter Nights might have been a better selling point. If you have a few extra bucks, Storybricks is a good cause to add light to the MMO world in a different way.
The ultra-blogs seems to be bouncing back from Diablo 3 woes quickly. Torchlight 2 and Grim Dawn are both claiming the tide with events like Torchlight 2 stress test weekend and the successfully ended Grim Dawn Kickstarter. Then there is a free-ish Path to Exile, which people are saying neat things about.
Yesterday morning’s RockPaperShotgun impressions on Diablo 3 really hits it home. Did Blizzard really spend this many years working on the perfect barrel crumble instead of simple UI updates? On some level I plan on getting Diablo 3, but it didn’t feel like a “must have” from the start. It definitely does not now with all the server woes and lackluster impressions. It will likely have a Metacritic rating above 90 anyway by the time all the reviews drop.
The Irreversible Point
Life goes on anyway. I just picked up Dear Esther for $5, which was exactly the amount I wanted to pay for the experience. The game broke 100,000 sales in doing so, which seems pretty good for thechineseroom already at work on two more games. I also picked up Gratuitous Tank Battles, which is a tower defense style game. The developer added a little campaign, but the crush of options would have been much better suited to a whole progression-scale campaign. For about $20, it is probably a tad expensive to have an ultra-deep experience. It really more amounts to fiddling with tanks and defense towers as toys rather than a deep tower-defense game.
I really think that if the developer created another “Gratuitous” game but took the time to create a tutorial-type campaign where a player was given increasing tasks to progress through the whole game instead of being handed a monstrous rule set, they would have a big hit for strategy enthusiasts. My favorite tower defense games seem to start with 2-3 towers instead of 10.
As a quick aside, today is Food Revolution day. Jamie Oliver is one of my personal heroes, and his first show The Naked Chef really transformed my ideas of food. We’ve really embraced the idea of “naked food” at our household. One of our favorite dishes is smoked salmon, roast asparagus, and pasta with olive oil. It’s simple, fast, and fresh. Our main dinners are usually stir fries and pastas because they can carry nearly anything.
I’ve spoken before on how it is relatively easy to eat healthy. I implore you all to cook something new today. Viva la revolucion!