Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Those Are The Headlines. Happy Now?

There certainly does seem to be a lot of news lately. Come to think of it there always is. If it isn't some game about to close down or some company about to go bust it's another going into open beta or hitting a crowdfunding target. I could link all those but why bother? There'll be another bunch along tomorrow.

To render the whole thing manageable and comprehensible I have to compartmentalize. Does this directly affect me? Indirectly? Do I want it to start affecting me? Can I dismiss it out of hand as irrelevant to anything I'm ever likely to do or want to do or think about doing?


Funcom getting into difficulties is notionally troubling. I like The Secret World a lot; even though I don't actually play it these days I'm far from feeling I'm done with it. I own a boxed copy of Age of Conan and I've never even installed that one far less played it but I always have it somewhere in the back of my mind that I will one day.

Blade & Soul announcing a 2016 launch and a buy-in beta, on the other hand, barely raises an eyebrow. I wasn't interested in it before and I'm not interested in it now. A nudge closer to accessibility doesn't change anything.

Every day brings a torrent of similar stories, large and small, trivial and portentous. It's lucky MassivelyOP is there with a big net to catch them all. If we learn nothing else at least we know that if MMOs are dying they're certainly not going quietly.

I have to scan them all, at least. Sometimes there's real, solid information that I need to know. Details of the upcoming server merge for EQ2, for example. Like Wilhelm, none of my characters get merged with any of my other characters so, apart from waiting to hear what happens about names, (there was a bizarre rumour everyone would lose their names and there'd be a land rush to grab them back when the servers open) that one can sit and simmer a while.

Then there's the news that there's going to be news. That's possibly the most annoying kind. It's not quite PR fluff because there's a kernel in there somewhere but it's not really  much more than an appointment to find out a real fact sometime later.

Blizzard did it recently when they trailed the Big Announcement that turned out to be Legion. ArenaNet have just pulled a similar stunt:

"On Saturday, August 29, ArenaNet President Mike O’Brien and Game Director Colin Johanson will host a special fan and press conference titled “Guild Wars 2—The Journey Ahead.” There they’ll be making a number of big announcements that will define the future of Guild Wars 2 and—as many of you have been waiting for—reveal a major feature coming in Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™"

What the future-defining announcements are or the (presumably previously unnanounced) major feature could be I have no clue. All sounds mighty important though. Better not miss it. Pity I'm working that Saturday.

Whatever it is I guess it's something in addition to the "challenging group content...the intense challenges that will define your endgame experience in the expansion". That gets a separate announcement of its own. Or does it? Hard to tell.

I find myself less excited over this than I am nervous.It can't be good news, can it? Doesn't sound like good news. I kind of always thought of GW2 as an MMO that neither had nor needed an "endgame". I guess those days are over.

We'll just have to wait another ten days to find out. Hope I can weather the news onslaught until then. I'd hate to be all burned out before the big day.


  1. I'm not sure that Bio Break post you have linked is about the server merge. (Link me! Link me!)

    1. D'oh! Thanks for catching that.

      Move along folks. Nothing to see here.

  2. I thought the DBG forum news regarding the EQ2 prison server experiment was rather interesting. Permanently exile all the naughty players to their own dystopian copy of Norrath and let them run amok to their heart's content.

    1. Weirdest news for a while that was. Just did a post about it. It seems like a terrible idea all round to me.

  3. I definitely have a sense of impending dread over the challenging group content announcement.

    I have been trying to keep calm and carry on by telling myself that if the stats on gear aren't changing, that removes the issue of an unbalanced playing field and removes that factor from the development of a toxic, elitist mentality that rejects others from playing with them, no matter how GW2 decides to implement raids.

    I still worry about a smaller group limit, leading to people that want to play/contribute getting benched in favor of "better" players (be it more skilled, or more able to make a regular schedule, etc.) and general binary toxicity of "I can do X thing, and you can't" player strata being formed.

    Also, closed instances means that players can pick and choose, and kick. Giving them that kind of control means the easy way boot out for most, rather than the current situation of being forced into rallying the map and achieving cooperation/consensus through communication.

    My only real hope is that if they're going to implement it regardless, that they tie up some of the more restrictive, closed aspects of future raiding, or ahem, "challenging group content" with guilds and guild halls. I can understand guild specific instances being a closed group thing - though it's still nice to have the open world things started by guilds and open to people wandering by and seeing something cool happening and socializing from there. I can more or less accept the idea of striving for group progression via progressing your guild and guild rewards, which can then feed back to benefiting members as individuals..,

    1. I honestly have no real impression of what they are planning. Whatever they announce is going to come as a complete surprise.

      My personal nightmare is that the "challenging group content" turns out to be a revamp of all World Bosses to at or above Triple-Headed Wurm level. If its something they stick in instances then I can just ignore it the way i already ignore dungeons and fractals. Although a point will come where I'm ignoring so much of the game there's no point playing any more, I guess.


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