Barbed Wire

This is basically my view as well. Enjoy paying for beta, and they should be ready to launch in a few months.

Here’s the thing: people are enjoying it. Bully for them. PC gamers, and MMO players especially, have a long history of working very hard to have fun. Gordon Walton called it “crawling through barbed wire” at IMGDC 2.0, and he talked about how it is something most people will not do. You want a very particular kind of fun, and you are willing to put up with an unimaginable amount of crap to get to it. I don’t know about you, but I have set my PC to change settings, boot differently, and all other sorts of chaos to get it to play particular games I really wanted, whether that meant the bleeding edge game or getting a 15-year-old one to run on a modern system.

Now me, I’m not willing to do that anymore. I have more money than time, even if I am cheap. I pay people to remove inconveniences from my life, not add them. But for those of you still crawling through the barbed wire, sincerely, enjoy the prize when you get to it.

: Zubon

9 thoughts on “Barbed Wire”

  1. “Enjoy paying for beta, and they should be ready to launch in a few months.”
    Does that really surprises anyone considering that Atari is the publisher?

  2. Seeing things going wrong can be part of the fun, though.

    I’d say that in more cases than not I had the most fun in MMOs during the first few months, when they were quite buggy, than a year or two out when they ran pretty smoothly.

    It often seems that once the bugs are gone, any character the game had goes with them.

  3. Everyone is welcome to keep to the 6 month rule, or jump in at the start. I’ve done both and each has its pros and cons.

    The thing is, the general complaint about “paying for beta” is true for every single MMORPG on its initial launch.

    When you’re having fun, or not experiencing the problems specifically yourself, it’s easy to ignore the issues that are showstopping for others.

  4. I’m with Rog.

    On whim I picked up CO the week it launched. I never buy games, much less MMOs, without at least giving it a shot first but I figured I might as well live on the edge for once.

    I had too much fun making characters, more fun than actually playing the game to be honest. I never did experience any of the UI unresponsiveness or rubber banding that the linked comments mention. Like any MMO things felt a little repetitive but the setting and slightly free-form character advancement kept me intrigued.

    Fast forward two weeks and I decide to give Fallen Earth a go. Another 50 bucks onto a game I knew only by videos, comments and pics online. Like any game at launch (pre-launch to get technical) it had its bugs but the story, setting and rich-beyond-words crafting system got their hooks in me. Champions Online is/was arguably more stable and less “beta like” than Fallen Earth but game content prevails. I find myself accepting the bugs and cruising around the wasteland of Fallen Earth on my newly crafted motorcycle instead of teleporting around Millennium City.

    Overall I think a game with a rough start that has a niche and promise can and will out-survive one with a smoother start but cardboard game-play. It might not become a hugely successful smash hit but more games than one have proven that need not be the case to survive in MMO land.

  5. I picked up on CO because I have a pretty large group of real life friends playing it and that makes it fun. That would make any MMO fun to be honest.

    Currently CO is sitting at number 3 on my list of games to play behind Fallen Earth and Lord of the Rings Online. It’s not that great or special. The only draw for me is my friends.

    1. Oh, I agree completely. The only reason I played WoW for as long as I did was because I had a number of friends from college playing.

      CO isn’t bad, just not interesting enough to keep me going. I feel the same way about Aion after having played a few beta weekends. Not bad, just “meh”.

    1. I appreciate it, but that is an entirely different argument. In this case, I want a “jump six months ahead in fixing bugs and adding content” button, along with a “just teleport and stop making me ride a horse or something for ten minutes” button.

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