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Reader Comments (21)

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 8:26AM PaterFrog said

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I would say, the most prominent case of 'After-launch Fails' is Aion. Everybody was super excited, by this game that looked better than any MMO before, that seemed to have a lot of freedom due to flying and a great story too.
There was a real hype about it.

During the beta, people started voicing their first concerns, but you know, beta's only beta.
When Aion launched, everybody was more or less happy. That is, if you got in the game at all and didn't disconnect right away, which happened to easily 80% of the people around the globe.
Once that more or less died down, people started realizing what a monotone and restricted, AND TOTALLY UNSUPPORTED BUGGED game Aion actually is.
Service was and in many ways still is not on par to many F2P titles, neither Aion nor its playerbase get to feel much love... Kinda poor.

Then there are the skills. Skill chains sound exciting too, but if you don't give people many skills AND channel them, people are going to get bored very fast, for a lack of options and no change in playstyle.
I won't say much about leveling here, but unless you are a hardcore masochist, you won't get to feel much progress in this game and on top of that the leveling speed is completely inconsistend between the classes and brackets (1-10, 10-30, 30-40, 40-50)

And there are the graphics. Yes, all in all they look good. But half of the animations are half assed and look outdated way beyond relief, I say that if you want to give your game a beautiful look, you should make sure, that half of your content doesn't look THAT ugly in contrast to your good stuff. Take the glow 'around' your character for the different Divine Power levels for example. In a game that is supposed to have breathtaking visuals, why torture a players eyes with totally cheap and ugly animations of a buff that don't go away at all and look like something from pre WoW?

I still didn't say half of what annoyed and still got me annoyed with Aion.
In my eyes, Aion doesn't deserve to have it's good points pointed out, since, you know, NCsoft doesn't treat us fair either.

Anyway, NCsoft is hated nowadays, got a big dent in their economy due to players leaving their games has finally started supporting Aion a bit. Still not enough, though... I mean, who pays 50€ on a game, another 14€ a month and gets only 8 character slots for the whole account? Talk about poor judgement.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 8:40AM Dandmcd said

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Disgruntled much? Haha, I agree with most of your points, with the exception of your last point about the character slots. 8 slots seems generous, not sure why that was an issue in a game where you spend hundreds of hours on one character leveling and grinding to get geared up.
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Posted: Aug 8th 2010 9:27AM PaterFrog said

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@Dan, for me, character slots have nothing to do with the time you spend on a character, but with the money you pay that they should use to actually give you equal service.
Who says that I enjoy playing one character for hours? I get bored before I reach lvl 20 or once I reach lvl 20 on double xp weekends. So I go and play another char. Then I get bored of always seeing the same kind of movements so I decide to play a particular class as another race. BAAM. Shit, I already got all 8 slots filled up with lvl 10 to 20 chars.
Yes, you may delete a character once or twice, but would you seriously want to keep wasting days of playtime by deleting characters you ARE going to play again in a week or two?
Even if you weren't going to play them again, does that give NCsoft the rights to force you to delete a character you played for 24 hours, which you paid for? The hours, I mean.
I personally think that I have the rights on 50 char slots, 8 per server, because other games can give me that much, too. For way less money.
That just my opinion tho, I'd be happy with 16 slots, one for each class of both races.
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Posted: Aug 8th 2010 8:37AM (Unverified) said

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It's a matter of logic, to me: first it's the track record: when it comes to, say, Nintendo, Bioware, Capcom, you can pretty much assume it's going to be a good game no matter what. Then it's the early screenshots or footage, the fact if it's a movie tie-in or an original game, and, in the case of MMOs, the beta. When I played the STO beta I was shocked by the crappiness of it all, same goes for CO. And in fact they turned out to be duds, in my opinion

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 8:47AM Dandmcd said

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Warhammer Online is easily the biggest example of a game not living up to the hype in my book. I was in early beta and all throughout beta I had high hopes for the game, and felt it could succeed, even though they barely gave us a glimpse of T4 and city battles (they were so broken, half the time they didn't work). At release the game was very buggy and had problems with crashing and dissconnects, and other problems that should have been sorted out in beta.. It wasn't until I hit Tier 4 and realized how terrible the RvR and city battles were till I realized how this game didn't even live up even remotely close to how Mythic hyped it. This was a game that could have been so much more if done with a competent team.

Only game I thought I'd never want to play based on previews was LOTRO. I hated the Lord of the rings, that was not my favorite kind of fantasy, but one day I decided to give it a trial after I saw a couple screenshots of a beautiful lake in the game, and had to try it to see the beautiful landscapes and design. Now I'm hooked and can't wait for it to go F2P, as I will continue to play for sure as lnog as I don't need a subscription.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 9:35AM (Unverified) said

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You want to hear something really funny? Even though it may be popular, I was in Closed Beta and was a founder at launch for LOTRO...and I think it is the biggest shite I have ever played, and feel it was the biggest letdown. It could have been so much more...and the IP should have made WoW quiver in it boots. Yet the game "gets by" with the same number of servers it had at launch. THAT is what I call a disappointment. Disappointing character models, ugly UI, boring quest styled grind, with forced grouping to enjoy any story based pieces (though they ARE fixing some of these...good for them...only took 3+ years)

Even funnier? I avoided Warhammer Online like the plague, as I just knew it was going to suffer launch-itis and get railed at for being this or that...but, it is now the only MMO I am playing, and has proven to be the most fun I have ever had in a game in a LONG time.

Disappointment is all personal opinion I feel. But, even moreso...it is the LAUNCH that ruins these games. People expect more out of their hype (like WAR or Age of Conan) with these games...and then only suffer afterwards. Yet take these two games which still exist and are expanding (AoC already a new expansion and WAR discussing one)...or even Aion, which someone here has touted as the worst possible thing to hit the planet, yet as NCSoft has stated "We have more subs than you think"...

People need to stop expecting so much, and hope for just a fun game to play. And NEVER, NEVER log into an MMO at launch, as it will only lead to regret.
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Posted: Aug 8th 2010 9:55AM PaterFrog said

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@Rank-N-Vile:

Quote:
'...or even Aion, which someone here has touted as the worst possible thing to hit the planet, yet as NCSoft has stated "We have more subs than you think"...'

Which isn't what I said.^^
And that NCSoft has plenty subs isn't that surprising. Aion is the best looking MMO after all (until certain other games are launched) and they are trying to improve it. It just never was and still isn't half as good as they made us believe It likely won't be for years to come.
Just way too Asia grinder... In quest style.
Which - again - is my opinion (Ain't that what this 'The Daily Grind' is all about? Our personal feelings.).

Even I have an active sub running, cause I do care for this game. I wouldn't scream bloody murder if I didn't care for Aion... I want NCSoft Korea to finally let NCSoft West do what they need to do to make Aion better.
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Posted: Aug 8th 2010 9:02AM (Unverified) said

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Star Trek Online... I thought I'd be able to fly to planets visit cites, have some open world pvp... Game turned out to be totally instanced. I guess I expected a lot of what was in the game to be like it is... but I didn't expect the game to be instanced everywhere you go. That takes the Massively out of MMO for me.

On that note.. maybe I just didn't want to "hear" what Cryptic was saying in the press release? ... Game was just not what I expected.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 9:48AM (Unverified) said

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I'd have to say The Matrix Online was my biggest disappointment. I was a huge fan and I thought a Matrix MMO would be perfect, I was so primed for that game, and was really underwhelmed when I actually logged in for the first time. I'll put in a vote for STO as well, as much as I want to like that game, I do not feel like I am in the Star Trek universe. It's got Star Trek trappings but feels really small in scale to me.

A game that I wasn't interested in and ended up enjoying a lot is Fallen Earth. I was in the beta and was not at all hooked, but I came back to it months after launch after reading a lot of good things about it and really got into it.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 10:35AM (Unverified) said

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Actually, almost all of the MMOs I've tried have turned out exactly the opposite of how I initially imagined them in terms of how much I'd like them.

First the exceptions: Ultima Online (when it was new) and Star Wars Galaxies (when it, too, was new). I was really looking forward to both and really enjoyed both for some time. A year for UO and two years or so for SWG.

Guild Wars I started with no intention of playing for long, because I was only going to play it to mess with a friend who wouldn't stop talking about it. As it turns out, it's still my favorite MMO to date. I thought it was fantastic pretty much right away, and although I don't play anymore, much of my experience in GW has stuck with me more than any other MMO I've played. I'm more looking forward to GW2 than any other game on the horizon.

And I never wanted to play WoW because of all the hype and it just didn't seem that interesting. I tried it out last summer just because there was a dearth of new games I was interested in and I have to say, it's a lot of fun. It's easy enough to get into right away, with enough to do to last more hardcore players for a long time. I'm really looking forward to Cataclysm.

As for the rest...I've been disappointed by every other MMO I've tried. That list includes Conan, LotRO, DDO, Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Fallen Earth, Tabula Rasa, Vanguard and I'm sure a few others I'm forgetting.

The biggest disappointments, though, have easily been the Cryptic titles (Champions Online & Star Trek Online) and, of course, Aion, which seemed so promising and fell entirely flat.

Both in the case of the Cryptic games and Aion...and I would say NCsoft titles in general, including Lineage II...the issue seems to be that the developers simply don't "get it" in terms of what makes an MMO a great game.

Aion's characters look fantastic, but the game was SO boring. Dialog was boring. The scenery, while lush, was also pretty boring. The music was boring. If there was a story there, it was boring, too. And don't make an MMO touted as having flying player characters with aerial combat and then not let players access that element in full until much later in the game. There was almost no difference playing one faction vs. the other...the starting quest progression was nearly identical. And then there's GameGuard. Please, NCsoft, get your act together. If you're going to port a game from Asia to North America, you need to do a better job of appealing to what we like here.

And the Cryptic games are just not good either. Not only are they also boring, but they don't even look good. They look like they were made about 10 years ago. And did I mention they're boring? I remember when I was supposed to choose my first officer. I hadn't met any of the three "characters" prior to my having to choose. There was no interaction with them. They had ZERO personality. They were just standing in a row and clicking on them said stuff like "If you want a first officer who is good at tactics, choose a Science Officer" B-O-R-I-N-G. And to make matters worse, these lame-looking, boring games taxed my (old) computer more than any other game I played other than Modern Warfare 2. Why on earth would games that look so lame need to use so much graphics power? The only answer I can think of is that, again, Cryptic just doesn't get it. Even if you ignore everything else, look at the color palette of a game like WoW and see how everything pops in the right way. Then look at Star Trek Online and then good luck seeing an enemy across the room sometimes because everything just blends together. Good Game Design 101, people.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 11:12AM thebillyman said

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My biggest complaint in this department is with AI. In games like Age of Conan, Darkfall, and Mortal Online, they claimed things that the AI would do, like actually be roaming mobs. And no one has yet to do those things. Darkfall is still my favorite game though.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 11:15AM Pingles said

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Age of Conan was the most disappointing but not for the reasons that the launch got so much bad press.

For me it was simply because the storyline and quests NEVER grabbed me.

As a huge fan of Robert E. Howard (the original Conan novels are spectacularly written) I was hoping that the developers could capture just a smidgen of the richness and excitement of Howard's worlds but as I slogged along into the game (I made it to half level cap) I couldn't take it any more.

I was just killing ten rats. Heartbreaking.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 11:32AM Jade Effect said

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After getting disappointed a few times, cautious optimism is my watch-word nowadays and I add a good dose of skepticism for good measure. When a game says "Oh, we'll be doing this and this and the game will be so exciting!", I respond with "Fine, show me some gameplay videos or give me a few days beta/trial. Then we talk"

When I heard about Age of Conan's bar room brawls, their system of using directional inputs for combat and stuff, I was quite excited. When the game released, it was just so disappointing. Dealing with the terrible memory leak, the crashes and the stupid patch updater (which claimed I had 156mb of patches to install just after I crashed, which was ridiculous) was frustrating enough. The game world looked so lacklustre and bland after the adventure in Tortage island. Then we had drops in which the description made no sense. You would never know such problems exist just by reading all the pre-release info.

I just dumped Age of Conan and left. I heard the game is much improved now, but I'm never going back.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 1:08PM Controlled Chaos said

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I always make sure to leave myself floating a bit when it comes to games. I've bought so many games with the idea that something will be in it, but actually isn't (Fable is a great example). Thus, I've started not getting my hopes up and consider that anything SAID to be in the game might not be until future updates.

These days, getting your hopes up as high as the hype tries to push things is usually just a recipe for disappointment.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 1:28PM cray said

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I think it's all too easy to have mixed feelings about a game when you are reading information (hype), while having certain expectations. The results vary from person to person because we have our own expectations and/or we are reading information (hype) differently.

The best thing Massively can do is be consistent in their reporting, so that we get accustom to what to expect in terms of information (hype). In other words if give the same enthusiasm you gave Aion at launch date as upcoming Guild Wars 2. Don't make it bigger deal out of it, otherwise it's only going distort people's expectations.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 3:42PM kasapina said

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I just don't get hyped up, and thus I am never too disappointed. Guild Wars 2 - I skip most of the Q&As, I haven't watched more than 20 seconds of both class previews, I haven't read the written info about the classes or the quest system. I just don't like spending time getting hyped up about a game that I will, eventually, play every day after it launches anyway. The same goes for SWTOR: I know next to nothing about the game, only what I've seen from the headlines of the articles. I have yet to read anything about the classes, and I like it that way. Every MMO nowadays claims to revolutionize the market and to blow us away, but none does, in the end.

Having said all that, Aion and STO were disappointments for me. STO less so than Aion, since I already believed that they will be relying a lot on the franchise reputation and might botch it. But I really hoped that Aion will be something new and exciting, and at one point I was actually hyped up about it (the only game I've been hyped about, SC2 and Stellar Dawn aside).

I believe that this is what will happen with TOR and GW2 too. Surely you people don't believe that those games will bring eternal rest to our wish for improvements? And again, I believe that TOR will be a lot more disappointing than GW2, since it is based on a famous franchise. Sure, I know it's Bioware. But those guys make long, nice lore. Sadly, the mainstream doesn't care about lore. GW2, to me, is making too long-winded promises, and that is the only thing that would be hard for them to satisfyingly fulfill, for me.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 3:53PM (Unverified) said

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kasapina, I disagree that mainstream doesn't care about lore. Just look at all the fan sites dedicated to the lore of their favorite games.

Plus, for me anyway, one of the reasons Guild Wars was so much better than any other MMO is because of the writing and how the entire game (within each campaign, meaning Prophecies, Factions, Nightfall) had an actual story that you kept coming back to throughout the game. And then along the way, you see all sorts of other stuff and meet other NPCs who are either tangentially related or have their own little stories.

But I will say that I agree with you regarding MMOs based on an existing franchise from another medium. It's so hard to bring in the existing lore and make great new lore based on that without dumping all over what's canon to the diehard fans of the franchise.

For that reason, I agree too that TOR will probably be more of a disappointment than something that amazes us.
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Posted: Aug 8th 2010 5:25PM (Unverified) said

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If Guild Wars 2 does only half of the things it promises, it will still be three times better than WoW. Arenanet is laying out what is ALREADY IN THE GAME in pure, simple language, detailing exact mechanics. Bioware is just saying vauge things like "this class fufills this archetype, and has this type of skills." not getting into specifics of how these spells affect enemies, or how they can be used in stretegic ways or anything. I'm not an idiot, though. I still demand proof. Luckily, soon we'll see actual gameplay of Guild wars, and players and journalists will get hands on time with it. Gamescom. Untill after gamescom, no sceptic should judge guild wars 2.

Posted: Aug 8th 2010 10:17PM UnSub said

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The reality is that a huge gap exists between what the devs say you can do in a game and how it actually plays. They don't even have to be dishonest about it - they may say, for instance, that there are a huge number of costume / armour options - and there well may be - but if the practical reality of them is that only 1 set is worth wearing, then that's what the players will choose.

It's a huge issue that devs announce something - "SWOR will have space flight!" and players build it up into something fantastical in their head - "Full 3D space dogfights with the exploration depth of Elite!" - when the devs actually mean something entirely different - "time sink mini-game". Devs do need to hype less, but players also need to avoid being such willing dupes.

Posted: Aug 9th 2010 3:43AM Jade Effect said

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I have no doubt that if there's a poll asking "So what MMO are you most excited about?", it's always some MMO that's not yet released. That's the best MMO. Nobody has tried it and everyone is free to fantasize how great and wonderful it will be.

The thing is, one of the things that really break MMO is player behavior. The developers can make the most massive world ever, complete with millions of stuff to do. However, when developers fail to anticipate how players will act, the whole thing goes nuts.

Take Warhammer Online for example. Mythic would be completely truthful when it said, "You can level through pve or pvp! We have lots of zones and lots of quests you can level in!" Yet the reality is that people would take the easiest path and not only queue for scenarios, but keep queuing for the easiest one to win. So all the other content go down the drain and players get burned out doing the same scenario over and over again. The game soon become boring and players start leaving.

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