Sunday, February 8, 2009

Current Trends

The most blatant current trend in the MMO market is that of failure. Failure to retain launch numbers, failure to fix bugs in a timely manner, failure to communicate honestly with players, failure to take proper responsibility for their failures.

From Tabula Rasa and Hellgate: London to Age of Conan and Warhammer, the current string of failures in the AAA range of MMOs is unexceptibal. The player community should NOT be holding its breath over Blizzard's mysterious Fourth Project. But this is exactly what we have been reduced to. Since everyone else is either failing utterly or incapable of impressing us with new concepts we have turned to Blizzard in the hopes that they will give what the community has been craving: an engaging MMO full of new concepts and playable content that takes advantage of new technologies and ideas. While everyone else has been producing one failure after another, Blizzard has been perfecting the MMO craft.

Thankfully, the Old Republic MMO has some potential, but one has to ask if the developers will be giving players something more than lightsaber duels and drab-colored robes. When everyone is melee with a side of Force range and all their clothes are shades of gray and brown, how long can players stay interested? If they intend for the stories to keep people interested then the developers certainly have their work cut out for them.

NCSoft's Aion looks beautiful and will certainly have a cult following, but it utilizes the abysmal click-to-move mechanic and that alone is enough for me to keep my money in my wallet. In today's world of WASD usage, what were they thinking?

We have two super hero MMOs on the horizon to compete with City of Heroes. Champions Online and DC Universe Online. Can DC Universe avoid the current trend of high-profile IP failures? I am not optimistic.

I don't know what to say about it, but there seems to be a whole lot of failure going on.

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