Update (26/8/12): Yesterday, before going to work, I managed to log into the game and play for a couple of minutes. Just enough to make me regret not taking the night shift off. However I did book a week leave off work so that I can enjoy the new MMO rush as best as I can. Will try and post my initial thoughts of the game as soon as I have formed an opinion. In the meantime see you in Tyria!
(Original Post): Early access for Guild Wars 2 started today and I still don’t feel extremely excited about it. Don’t get me wrong. I want the game to succeed and I am dying to fall in love with it. Its been a while since I enjoyed an MMO at launch and I long for that experience. So, why am I writing this blog post instead of enjoying the game right now? For the simple reason that the GW2 login server won’t let me log in. Wouldn’t it be funny if I got a dialogue box saying Error 37 after each failed login? No it wouldn’t. Thankfully Arena.net know about the issue and are working on it but I will have to play the waiting game. And here I was hoping for a smooth launch. So, while I wait for a chance to get into the game I will share my thoughts on some relatively recent MMO news.
It was great to read that SW:TOR is going F2P. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the F2P model and I feel that SWTOR will fare much better after it makes the switch. I for one will be more than willing to throw some cash at it.
The announcement evoked mixed reactions within the community (apart from a unified chorus of ‘I knew it!’). Many claimed that SW:TOR failed: Failing can mean different things to different people depending who you’re asking. Bioware’s attempt at stealing Blizzard’s crown as the current MMO champion fell flat and in that regard EA definitely failed. Likewise, anyone suggesting that SW:TOR is not as successful as initially predicted by EA would be also quite right. These are both relative defeats though. The former relates to how WoW is doing at the moment and if it was in any way affected by SW:TOR’s release. The latter relates to EA’s lofty initial expectations of the game and its place within the genre. However, taken in isolation, SW:TOR is still chugging along and has plenty of room for growth. If Bioware, Mythic and – more importantly – EA handle the F2P conversion with enough thought and foresight I dare say that the game has a good chance of becoming one of the leaders of the F2P model. Meanwhile, various players and industry specialists are declaring the death of the subscription MMO. This would be true if most of the games converting to F2P didn’t also offer a standard subscription to those who desire it. In essence it is correct to say that subscription only MMOs are a dying breed but the model itself is definitely here to stay.
Turbine have also announced that the Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Riders of Rohan, will be delayed following feedback from the beta testing. The new release date is the 15th of October (as opposed to the 5th September). They have also announced a goodie bag to make it up to those who pre-purchased. This is good news to anyone who:
1) Is trying hard to get their main character to level cap before the expansion hits
2) Will be playing Guild Wars 2 at launch
Since I fit both bills its extremely good news for me. I am still at level 68, and even I have a lot to accomplish when I manage to hit 75. Personally, I value a polished product over a rushed job but, to be honest, I am not entirely convinced that this move was totally motivated by quality control as opposed to pressure from a very strong competition this week (in the form of GW2 and the Mists of Pandaria preparation patch for WoW). Whatever the case might be, it suits me just fine. Lets hope for Turbine’s sake that RoR’s launch is smoother than GW2’s has been so far. Let me in already!