Sunday, November 11, 2012

This Is A Well You'll Never Drain Dry

Look, I don't want to complain and I know I'm always going on about this but hasn't it been an insane year for MMOs? From the Guild Wars 2 beta weekend ramp-up in the spring through The Secret World's early summer launch, bleeding into the GW2 headstart there's barely been a moment to breathe.

It's not getting any easier, either. Everything is beginning to pile up. Tuesday sees not only the start of Rift's Storm Legion expansion but also EQ2's Chains of Eternity. Just three days later we get GW2's Lost Shores event and the first City of Steam beta weekend.

That's some week! Ideally I'd like to give full attention to everything on that list. A major one-time event in an MMO I'm playing every day? Why would I miss that? The first five-day beta window for a new game I've been following and raving about since pre-alpha? That's has to be a priority. Expansions for MMOs I've played from launch and in which I have much-loved characters I'm still very keen on developing? That's got to be at least two or three months solid gaming right there.

No, you cannot have a "steam bath"!
It's all very well mithering on about whether one-time "dynamic" content is a good thing or not but as first-world problems go that one pales into insignificance compared to how all this potentially great entertainment can be fitted in to the hours left after work and sleep take their essential bites out of each day.

I'm well aware that there are a lot of jaded MMO bloggers out there, filled with ennui and disenchantment, struggling to find the motivation to log into anything at all, reverting back to older patterns of minorly-multiple, offline or even tabletop gaming, or in the most extreme cases no gaming at all. I'm not one of them. I have a very different problem.

There's too much good stuff! It means I have to make choices and I really hate that. I hardly dare raise my head and look any further than next week - if it's like this now, what's it going to be like when WildStar, Neverwinter and the slew of other championship contenders slip the stalls?

I have to have a plan. I'm not going to go as far as Syp and make an actual schedule but I am going to have to come to terms with a new reality: there is just more MMO fun worth spending time on than there is time available to spend. If I had nothing else to do but play MMOs I still wouldn't make much of a dent.

This week's plan involves shelving the EQ2 expansion. This morning I read Niami Denmother's excellent overview of the new crafting content. In normal circumstances that would be enough on its own to nail down my pre-order even without the reportedly fine adventure content, new levels and all, but these aren't normal circumstances. Those Chains of Eternity are going to have to dangle for a while.

Well, well...
Mechanist Games are doing their best to make life a little easier by not sending me a beta key for City of Steam. They seem to making quite a song and dance about beta access, with a whole raft of competitions related to Likes on FaceBook and followers on Twitter and giveaways on podcasts and websites. I have neither the time nor the patience for any of that nonsense.

If I really wanted into the beta I could buy one of their unfortunately named Collaborator Packs (really guys, did no-one spot the connotations there?). I don't have any objections in principle for paying for beta access but in this case having to do so provides a handy get-out clause. I've seen as much of City of Steam as I need to already. I know it's a fantastic quasi-MMO that I'll be playing a lot. I'm happy to wait for launch.

That leaves Rift and GW2 as the main courses in this week's banquet. I guess the "plan" boils down to Rift for the week and GW2 for the weekend.

That'll be the weekend when I get my long-awaited 7" Tablet PC. I wonder what MMOs run on that?


  1. I think I have some spare beta keys for CoS... Just sayin'... :)

  2. D'oh!!

    If you do, I'd be happy to take one off your hands to use for the following weekends. I'd definitely get a couple of blog posts out of it if nothing else. It'd be nice to be able to write about whatever's changed - there were certainly quite a few changes between Sneak Peak and Alpha.


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