New MMO malaise

I wish I could get really excited about one of the new MMO’s coming out.

Warhammer seems to be the biggest hype machine right now, but for all the neat-sounding gameplay offerings, I just don’t like the visual feel. It seems kind of lifeless to me, a bit like Everquest 2. Like the buildings are made of cardboard, and the players are painted wooden mannequins. Reminds me a bit of Everquest 2. WO’s gameplay may turn out fantastic, but I just don’t know that it’s a world where I’d actually enjoy spending time.

Conan looks much nicer to me, but I’m kind of iffy about the whole barbaric blood-and-guts vibe. The Conan universe is never something that I’ve felt drawn to in book or movie form, and my impression of the game isn’t feeling that different so far.

Like Conan, The Chronicles of Spellborn has some really beautiful imagery; that looks like a world I think I’d like to spend some time in! Unfortunately I don’t have much faith that it’s going to be a solid product. For example, their website doesn’t clearly explain how TCoS will differentiate itself in a way to make me want to spend dozens or hundreds of hours with it. Instead they spend time explaining to me that resistance rank zero to rank +5 is an exponential curve divided in 64 points, which may be a perfectly good design decision , but is just a tad more detailed than I’m really looking for. And if they can’t don’t even have a sense for what I, as a consumer, want to see from their website, I’m not too optimistic they’re going to have a good sense for what I want to see from their world.

So I’m waiting to see what 38 Studios and BioWare have up their sleeves, and keeping my fingers crossed.

– James

17 thoughts on “New MMO malaise”

  1. You’re not alone. I (and I believe quite a large number of MMORPG fans) am feeling somewhat blaise’ about the upcoming games.

    I don’t think that’s a reflection on the upcoming offerings as much as it’s a reflection on my changing tastes.

    I’m getting less likely to go “Oh boy…grinding and raiding!” than I used to be, and don’t see that changing back anytime soon.

    The new games look great, sound great…I just don’t get that internal emotional “buzz” that I used to get.

  2. I acually feel the other way around, to me the AoC graphics look more like the EQ2 ones, though I’d describe them as “plastic”.

    But I’ll admit up front that I’m a WAR fanboy at the moment.

    That being said I feel I must point out that those screenshots are devoid of the Lightning effects they’ve been adding to the game(the ones with lightning look much less cardbordy) and that the game’s graphics Isn’t maxed out in any of the screenshots afaik :)

  3. Like mentioned above, WoW lasted so long for so many that I’m not quite as excited about the upcoming MMOGs. However I definately plan on trying them out and seeing what they have to offer. I was so turned off from my EQ days that I didnt’ try WoW until 9 months after it was out.

    I won’t get excited about the new MMOGs supposedly being developed by other studios because development time is soooo long that unless they are already in year 3, it will be some time before we see anything with substance. I remember reading about Horizon and thinking it had some great ideas and then I learned how they failed to implement them when I got into their beta lol. oh well, hopefully AoC is exciting for a few months at least. I am no longers in any MMOG so am needing it to be a little decent.

  4. I’m with you on this one. None of the upcoming games are floating my boat and I don’t intend to buy any of them. Just not my gaming style from what I’ve read about all three.

  5. I, for one, am waiting for Aion mainly. Mixing the good old DAoC PvP with today’s gameplay/UI and Asian (magnificent) graphics is a winner for me. Plus, the game doesn’t require you to use a nuclear plant in order to have a decent framerate and have all the graphical settings set to the maximum (yes, AoC, I’m looking at you).

    Finally, the developpers want to go away from the “old Asian MMOs = grinding fest” thing, let’s hope that they accomplish that :) Plus, it’s an original IP/Universe, and not another license ;)

    For some videos, you can head there:

    AoC still looks interesting though, I’m afraid that the game won’t be in a very good state by the time it comes out…

  6. Hmm, I’d somehow totally missed Aion. It does look a bit intriguing, and the visuals are quite beautiful if you’re into that Asian anime look. Though I would love to see that “what makes this gameplay unique” article that TCoS also lacks. :-)

  7. If I were pushed to pick one, I’d lean to AoC. No humongous reason of any importance, just the best vibe available.

  8. I had the same reaction to the Chronicles of Spellborn web site. Dev journals and design details might be ok at earlier stages of the game when mainly the diehard enthusiasts make frequent visits.

    Now closer to release they sound change their message to actually market the game to a larger audience and tell them why this game is going to be really fun to play.

  9. AoC seems to have the most professional feel to it, but personally, I just can’t stand the world and lore.

    It feels more like you’re just some idioticly strong unit in age of empires. The whole ‘rape and pillage’ mentality just isn’t what I’m into.

    And it makes me laugh when people say a more mature IP will draw a more community to it. You know this thing is going to be filled with pre-teens looking for guts and boobies.

  10. Age of Conan: I am excited about some of their gameplay elements, but I worry about puerile revelry in the M rating.

    Chronicles of Spellborn: I am excited about some of their gameplay elements, but I don’t know much more than those elements.

    I seem to mainly care about gameplay elements. But that’s just me.

  11. It’s all about AoC for me atm, WoW is slowing down and I can tell its ready for the backburner again until the expansion, and AoC has the overall feel and vibe for me personally compared to every other upcoming MMO.

    The more I hear and see of Warhammer, the more unimpressed I am of the game, which is why I feel the delays are for the best – I think they need to continue to evalute where they stand against the market and what consumers are asking for in another title and better match that demand. Whether they can pull that all off before WoW beats them with the expansion offering similiar features.. only minus the greenskins remains to be seen.

    I don’t think there’s going to be some mass migration of immature gamers looking for pixelated boobies and blood splatters anymore than you had in WoW or every MMO before it.

  12. James – your original post sums it up. WO feels meh. I don’t care about the world, I am not passionate about the races or characters. I can’t name you even one of the core NPC’s of that universe.

    Conan – meh again. Barbarian adventure… the noble savage thing just doesn’t play for me. Never felt drawn to it unless you count the lust I’ve felt for the women in Boris Vallejo paintings.

  13. What’s next than? It seems like Warcraft has really changed the view of MMO’s. You can change the theme of the universe and try to eliminate or enhance some of the grinding for a better experience, but I don’t think that’s enough. Gamers are going to be looking for something new and different. I wonder what that will be.

  14. for those suffering from raiding burnout, my suggestion is this: take some time out from MMO’s for a while and you’ll enjoy them more when you come back.

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