Like that Chinese dinner that you’re always hungry for an hour later, I was back on This Week in MMO last night. Here are my expanded thoughts on Episode #64:
Yes, I got that shirt at PAX East in March, and that was the first time I’d worn it. It was only given out to groups (with awesome smuggler healers) that were able to beat the Taral V flashpoint. The crowd actually cheered when we finished. If you want to read about it, go here.
When it comes to the whole “one game influencing another’s release date” thing, I both agree with Gary and I don’t. I think that when it comes to people like us, who play a lot of different games, as defined by our jobs, we tend to think that other people are the same way. I think the gaming community is a little more segmented than that. Sure, Skyrim and TOR are both competing for a similar, RPG-loving crowd… TOR and Diablo? A little less so. (I, for one, have never gotten into the Diablo series and don’t plan to play D3.) TOR and End of Nations? Probably even less. TOR and Barbie’s Horse Adventures? Uhhh…
It’s sort of like any entertainment “genre.” If you’re a movie buff, you probably still prefer some types of movies to another. If you like comics, you might like spandex-and-capes and not so much moody, black-and-white affairs. There’s always some crossover, sure (I like MMOs and historical simulations, but not FPSes, go figure), but I think there’s a limit to it.
World of Darkness
The key point, IMHO, is that if you’re looking for a game where you level up and raid, if that’s what you think of as the best parts of an MMORPG, don’t even approach this game. CCP is going to do something different with this, and that’s fine. Every MMO doesn’t have to appeal to every type of MMO player, and probably shouldn’t (otherwise you get Tera, which sounds like it wants to make everyone happy).
As for the permadeath… I don’t mind it, but the notion of it being controlled by other characters frightens me. I could maybe see it if the cost of doing it (for the prince calling the bloodhunt) was tremendous. Maybe it costs humanity, maybe it causes some other kind of permanent stat loss, maybe it causes the insanity issue I bring up… something so that it’s at least not done capriciously. The other thing is that, IIRC, in the RPG, a prince doesn’t exactly have absolute power. If he wants a bloodhunt, he’ll need to get the approval of other powerful vampires in the city. So it wouldn’t be just one person deciding he hates you (or just randomly wants to see someone dead). Maybe that would work. Maybe.
In pretty much every episode, there’s that one segment where I’m thinking, “Other host, please talk as long as you like because I know nothing about this.” That was the case here.
Is this over yet? That sums up my opinion on the matter.
Final Fantasy XIV
Again, I’ve never played this game, but everything I’ve read and seen makes me think there could be a decent game here, but it just hasn’t come to fruition yet. Maybe it’s just my latent Final Fantasy love that makes me want to see it succeed. But if Age of Conan could overcome its initial blunders and transition to F2P a few years down the line, I don’t see why FFXIV couldn’t do the same thing. Right now, that’s probably the only possible solution, because I can’t see S-E ever successfully charging a monthly fee for the game.
And yes, I love the chocobo music!
Someone in chatroom said that my “Rift will go down when SWTOR comes out” answer was “very PC.” I also happen to think it’s very accurate, at least as far as I know. With “WoW killer” being part of the everyday vernacular, we all have a tendency to want to believe that some new game will “kill” another, successful, game. I think SWTOR will grab a number of people from every game out there, Rift included. Some of those games will be able to handle the 10%, 20%, whatever% loss, and some won’t. I think Rift will.
The question is, as I posed, is Rift an actual Good Game or is it just a Time Filler? My personal opinion leans more toward the latter, but I’m just one guy. If it’s a GG, then TOR won’t have a tremendous effect on it. If it’s a TF, then it could be disastrous. I just don’t have a great grasp on which category it falls into.
If anything — and this is probably more a subject for a future post — I think that we’re at ground zero of a paradigm shift in MMOs, and that the typical “level to max, run dungeons, repeat” gameplay is really starting to wear on people. A lot of people, myself included, are tired of Rift right now (and I’m even feeling the same way about LOTRO) because it’s a lot like the other games out there; two or three years ago, I don’t think that would have been an issue, but today? Guild Wars 2 could be the new model for years to come, and I hope that’s the case.
A Game of Thrones would be cool, but here’s another off-the-wall thought: The Medieval MMO. It would be based in the real historical world, maybe around the time of the Hundred Years War, when you had all sorts of conflicts and plenty of opportunity for sword-swinging adventure. I’ve come to realize that one of the main reasons I prefer Total War for my RTS fix instead of, say, StarCraft, is because TW feels more real. It means more to me to be Russia invading Sweden than to be the Zerg taking on the Protoss. “For the Horde!”? Cool, but what about “For England!”? And would you rather fight in Warsong Gulch or in, say, Paris? I’d vote for Paris any day.
Of course, you wouldn’t have magic — or would you? Suppose some wacky thing happens that unleashes magic on the world in the 14th century. Sure, the English have longbowmen, but what if the French could counter with wizards? And what if Catholic priests could actually perform miracles? Or if the Muslims, backed by their sorcerers, launched a counter-Crusade against Europe? Maybe I’m just a goofy cross-breed history nut/gamer, but this all sounds cool to me, at least.
I’ve got to figure out a better situation for that microphone. I love it, but I had to hold it in front of me the whole show. It’s not that heavy, but holding it for an hour definitely was a strain. At this rate, I might go back to the headset.
Finally, if you’ve been paying very close attention to my last few shows, I’ve been putting my pig in a different location each episode. Look out for him next time!