Thursday, August 8, 2019

Business As Usual

While we wait for Daybreak to let the rest of us in on their corporate restructuring, life goes on for the games themselves. DCUO made the switch to The Switch, which certainly fits in with Smed's ambition to expand onto consoles. Shame he's not there to enjoy it.

There's activity over on Planetside 2 as well, with the New Soldier update finally making it to the PS4. In this corner of the blogosphere we tend to focus on the fantasy end of Daybreak's portfolio, often wondering how well ancient MMORPGs like EverQuest and EverQuest II can be doing and how much longer they can go on. We tend to forget that DCUO has been successful for many years on consoles and that Planetside 2 has a 9/10 Very Positive rating on Steam, based on over 45,000 reviews.

Looking ahead, Forbes has an astonishingly positive take on DCUO's future on The Switch. In an article entitled "How DC Universe Online is The Perfect MMO for The Nintendo Switch", David Jagneaux says

"Even though DCUO originally came out over eight years ago, it feels more modern than that when playing on Switch. The UI still looks good, triggering abilities is simple, combat is fluid and not like most traditional MMOs. The zones are massive and fun to explore whether it be by flight, super speed, or bounding around like a super-powered acrobat. And the character creation system is just out of this world."

H1Z1 had a good run before PUBG and Fortnite stole its lunch money. SOE/Daybreak's record on consoles is really pretty good. In fact, it's good to the point that you could begin to wonder whether they'll bother to develop anything for the PC again.

Future unclear.

But that would be to forget the huge legacy audience for the EverQuest franchise, most of which is locked into PC gaming. EQ vets are about as likely to welcome a mobile or a console version of EverQuest as Blizzard fans were to be faced with Diablo Immortal at last year's Blizzcon.

Speaking of Blizzard, it can't be co-incidence that the next EQII update arrives on August 27th, the very day that World of Warcraft Classic launches. While Yun Zi, the panda with no sense of proportion (or irony), has popped up in August these last couple of years, he's usually arrived a week or two earlier and as for major summer Game Updates, last year's "Return to Guk" came on the 31st July.

Whatever the reason, it looks like a tasty update. Kael Drakel, the Giants' fortress home in Velious, is gettigng the Fabled treatment. I like Fabled dungeons a lot, for the rewards and for the challenge, which, at least for the last few, has been pitched squarely in my comfort zone. I also don't know Kael that well so it will be quite fresh for me.

As for Days of Summer, it's a nostalgic trundle round some old haunts for a bucketful of upgrades. What's not to like?

Let's give a big hand for Fabled Guk!
I'm planning to resub to WoW for Classic, mostly so I can enjoy the chaos and get a few blog posts. I don't imagine I'll be there for the second month. Given the general disdain expressed for WoW in EQ and EQ2 chat channels even now I find it quite hard to imagine it will have any significant, lasting impact on the Everquest games. The people still playing them made that choice long ago.

It's probably time I gave some thought to what race and class I might play in WoW Classic. Joking! I'm joking! It's going to be a Dwarf Hunter because what else woudl it be? Gnome Warlock, I guess. Those two. There won't be any goblins or worgen so there's no other choice.

Meantime, maybe I should get back to EQII. I seem to have let it slip even though I had a ton of ongoing projects running.

So many games, so little much time!


  1. That person from Forbes was maybe smoking something funny. I tried the Switch version of DCUO and it was not good. Now granted this was launch day so it might have had to do with servers being overwhelmed, but it was super laggy. Like the kind of experience where you're fighting a mob and it isn't taking damage then suddenly another player pops-in and it's clear this person was also fighting the mob and has already killed it. Your client is just so far behind that it hasn't rendered the player or the battle yet.

    I do suppose, given that DCUO has never been a looker, putting it on the smaller screen means its lack of detail isn't as obvious. I'm going to give it another go after it's had a few days to 'settle.'

    1. I imagine the Forbes guy got to play it when only a select few were on. Lag from too many players on launch day (or week) is a problem a lot of game companies would be happy to have, I think.

      As for the look of DCUO I'm surprised you don't think it's a looker. I've always thought it's gorgeous. It takes fantastic screenshots, too.

    2. I played it for about two hours last night in the evening NA and had no issue. So the problems you experienced may have already cleared up.

  2. Doing anything with a Fantasy MMORPG on the same day as WoW Classic launches seems like an odd plan. But we've known that date since mid-May, so I have to guess that Daybreak just doesn't care.

    But both Blizz and Daybreak follow the industry common pattern of Tuesday updates, which means there are only 52 slots in the year, so I don't buy into the common conspiracy theory that Blizz drops things on top of other games on purpose. Something else is launching or getting an update every singe Tuesday of the year. It seems more likely to me that Blizz doesn't even notice other MMORPGs.

    Still, kind of bummed at the coincidence this time. I might come back for Yun Zi, but WoW Classic is launching that day.

    1. Well Yun Zi will be around for 6-8 weeks if previous years are anything to go by and you can wait til the end and do all the quests at once, so plenty of time to get to him when the excitement of WoW Classic tails off a bit.

      I think the timing is mostly co-incidence. I imagine every MMO will take a temporary hit as people rush to try the new hotness, but hardly any of them will stay. Give it a monsth and it will be back to the status quo ante.


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