Friday, September 23, 2011

Where did September go?

The greater part of September seems to have vanished. This has been one of those weeks where I got a lot done and still don't feel like I'm on top of everything. A lot of neat little news tidbits have caught my eye, but I haven't taken time out to comment on them. So now I ramble...

SWG: Star Wars Galaxies just launched atmospheric flight. You can now summon your space-ship and fly it around on planets. If you fly straight up you even zone into space once you get 6 kilometers up. They launched it just in time for me on the heritage quest chain, since I am now frequently being sent to targets in excess of 10km away. Not too bad now that I can fly there in my space-ship. It must have been a real up bitch up until last week.

This is the ship you get for free by doing an optional side quest in the tutorial area. I have no idea how you get a ship "the normal way."

DCUO goes FtP: DC Universe Online is going to go free to play. It seems a bit odd to have three different Super Hero themed MMO options available for FtP. In fact, as far as premium FtP MMOs go, capes and tights is now seemingly the most crowded market apart from fantasy. DCUO is unlikely to compete very strongly with Champions Online or City of Heroes/ Villains, since the bulk of its current audience is on the PS3. If it were PC only, I doubt DCUO really could compete with CO or COH given how much deeper the latter games are.

That said, as a full featured FtP console MMO I can see where DCUO might carve out a niche. Even if you are willing to sub, the other two MMO options on consoles are pretty abysmal by modern standards. Both are grindy and practically require you to group to make progress on most classes. On top of that FFXI, the most sucessful console MMO to date, has systems that are obtuse even by old school MMO standards deeply embedded. Console gamers are still an untapped MMO market.

LoTRO: The Rise of Isenguard launches on Tuesday. That's four days! A great dev diary/ preview of Orthank went up on the web a few days ago. It looks really cool to me. Those are narratives I want to experience. Between Isenguard, dabbling in SWG until it shutters, and hanging out with my DDO guild a couple of nights a week it looks like my spare time is accounted for until around the launch of SW:TOR.

KoTOR II vs SWTOR: Speaking of SW:TOR, playing SWG awakened an urge in me to play a Star Wars RPG with a UI that doesn't fight your every desire tooth and nail... and that has a storyline I'd ever give a crap about. I never quite finished Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II and so I spent an afternoon with it last weekend. The graphics are really dated. However, the storyline is really engaging. Soon I found myself not caring about the sparse environments and clunky animation, I just wanted to know what happens next. That's a feature lacking from most MMO narratives, and something I hope that SW:ToR will finally remedy.


  1. I'm so torn about SWG. I really want to play it but I don't think I could bear playing it while they slam the door on our fingers.


  2. @Stabs: I am pretty sure they are no longer taking new subs as of a week ago. However, I'm not sure if they will let you fire up an old account.

  3. I'm happy about the news regarding DCUO going free-to-play, as I've always been interested in that game but didn't want to shell out for a sub to try it out. But at the same time, we're beginning to reach critical mass here, I keep saying with each game going f2p that I'm totally going to try it out, but there's more than I can keep up with these days.

  4. @Mmmogamerchick: you raise a good point. On my list of FtP games I'd like to try, in no particular order now are DCUO, PotBS, Lego Online, Fallen Earth, and STO whenever that goes live.

    I honestly don't see where I'm going to squeak out the spare time to try out even those, and the market is constantly getting more crowded.

  5. It seems crazy to me that this month is almost over. It's been a wild one and, in some ways, I'll be happy to see it done.

    I agree with you and MMOGC. I have actually hit the threshold where there are more F2P games available than I can try. Maybe that's a good thing and I should focus on one or two good ones.

  6. @Anjin: this was definitely one of those "blink and you missed it" months for me.

    I'm starting to wonder if going FtP is still going to net good returns from this point onward for ailing sub based MMOs.