I know I am a little late to the party (seven months a bit too late perhaps), but now I think is a good time for me to say something about a “little” game called Rift. I will not speak here about the game itself (that will happen in a future article), but about the hype surrounding it and the market in which it has grown its own segment. Some may have heard of Rift, some may have not, but at some point it had a shiny trailer which ended with the phrase: “you are not in Azeroth anymore”.
OK, now I am getting to some familiar grounds. For most gamers Azeroth is already famous thanks to World of Warcraft. Unfortunately many people do not seem to know there are other MMORPGs besides Blizzard’s mammoth. Heck, some of them don’t even know what the term MMO really stands for. Or the fact that WOW copied the key elements form a pretty famous game called Everquest. Or the fact that MUDs were the basic ground on which the whole “MMO” thing grew up to become what they are today.
After my last rant, several friends expressed interest in helping me create a browser-based MMORPG. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised. As I pointed out repeatedly on this blog, any gamer naturally dreams of creating their own MMO some day. Now, if you’re going to make one of these, a browser-based game is the easiest option by far. Especially if you’re an experienced Web developer, and we are.
The question is, what game to make? The possibilities are endless… but so is the array of competing titles. To navigate the chaos, let’s look at some of the existing options. What do they have in common? What works? What doesn’t? What do they lack?
These are my answers. Yours will likely be different.
So, the world of Warcraft is coming to an end… Wait, I am not a doomsayer and no, I am not talking about the “World of Warcraft” game itself, but about the current state of the virtual world inside it. In Azeroth the year 2012 will come sooner than expected. On December the 7th, 2010 to be more precisely. That sounds more accurate than the Mayan predictions, doesn’t it?
And, apparently we are not talking about any meteor, nor an asteroid, nor aliens but… a mighty dragon. Yes, the end of all will be… Deathwing, a bad-ass dragon.
Say what? A dragon? But wait, we’ve been killing dragons in WOW since 2005, how could a dragon put an end to the… world?
Every time some artist, or author, or publisher moves to a “pay what you want” or “freemium” business model, trolls inevitably show up to yell how this is never going to work, despite numerous examples to the contrary. A similar outcry could be heard a few months ago, when several high-profile MMORPGs announced moving to a free-to-play model. So I guess they’re in trouble by now?
In a word, NOPE. Ars Technica gives a quick heads-up on how Lord of the Rings Online is doing:
Less than two weeks ago, I wrote a glowing review of a browser-based MMORPG called Pardus. Yesterday, I cancelled my account.
Before I go into the gory details, remember that negative experiences impact us more strongly than positive ones. You know the saying, “Beauty is skin-deep, but ugliness goes all the way to the bone”? That’s how the brain perceives things. It’s why unhappy customers will complain about your service or product way more than the happy customers will praise it — which in turn is why any business should go out of its way to make customers happy, or at least not unhappy.
That’s also why last time I focused on my positive experiences with the game. I knew the good impression wasn’t going to last. I just didn’t expect things to go downhill as fast as they did.
For the last few weeks there has been an abundance of information related to Square Enix’s new title. And it’s well deserved since the new mmo seems to be the new “monster” in town.
Some would say it is too big of a monster — the system requirements are harsh indeed.These conditions alone will drive away a large chunk of the market. I mean – Intel® Core™ i7 (2.66 GHz) or faster, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 with 768 MB VRAM or equivalent – RECOMMENDED??? I really don’t want to find out what kind of rig is needed for all settings maxed out 😀
For the rest who do possess the “beasts” required… will they buy it? Play it? I mean, seriously… how many fans does the Final Fantasy IP really have? Quite a lot, apparently 🙂
I’ve been playing a couple of MMORPGs lately. Now, that’s not usually my thing, but sometimes one needs to try something out of the daily routine. And since we’re talking free-to-play, it was only going to cost me time. What I find interesting is that both games appeal to me considerably, despite being not just very different, but polar opposites in some regards. So I decided to try and review both side by side, and see if that turns out any useful insights.