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Reader Comments (37)

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 8:12AM (Unverified) said

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nah, sometimes the best part of an mmo is the opening couple of months. then, depending on how things go, i may take a break and come back later, or i may just abandon it entirely.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 8:16AM terroni said

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The initial rush of a new game and being one of the first explorers is the best part.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 8:21AM gurutrue said

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I let them marinate because I've been burned by jumping on the bandwagon too soon. Tabula Rasa burned me bad when it shut down and I have watched other MMO's crumble. Star Trek came out for $50-60 when it came out. I picked it up for $7.50 on steam and I get to enjoy a lot of new features and content that were not available at release. Age of Conan is $4.12 on Amazon. LOTRO is free to play now. I mean after watching all of that who wouldn't want to sit back, wait, and play other games. The cream rises to the top. The price of your initial investment into the game comes down and the free content keeps rolling out until eventually the initial cost and value even out in your mind enough for you to take the risk of another MMO. In the case of APB it was a way better strategy to wait and see and I am glad I waited.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:08AM pcgneurotic said

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@gurutrue

Yeah, APB illustrates another point: Sometimes you wouldn't pay to play a game if say, the concept or genre are unappealing, but if it goes F2P you're happy to give it a go. That's me and APB in a nut shell.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2011 12:46PM wfseg said

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@gurutrue

Same here. I'm wary of new games nowadays. I haven't decided how long I should wait before jumping into an MMOG, but it's usually when the box price drops around $20ish (or a sale on Steam). That way, I can justify the cost. A 30 trial for $50 doesn't work for me.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2011 4:05PM Protoavis said

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@pcgneurotic

Agreed, even if only it means I'm going to spend stupid amounts of time in the character editor.
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Posted: Jan 30th 2011 8:27AM pixledriven said

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There is generally a kind of charm to the opening month or two of a new MMO. That new MMO smell, the weird launch bugs...

There's also the attraction of being in on the ground floor for "the new thing" and riding that wave.

That said, probably the only game in the current batch that is out/coming I won't be playing the "wait and see" game with is Guild Wars 2.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 8:56AM Bhagpuss said

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In general, the smoother an MMO becomes, the blander and less interesting it is. Watching the world change around you as things are fixed, altered, refined or removed is the most absorbing part of the hobby. Waiting until everything works is futile, anyway, because it never does, so why miss out on the best part, which is when mcuh of it doesn't work quite as it should?

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:06AM pcgneurotic said

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Yes, absolutely. From a few days or a couple of weeks to allow busy servers and crowded new zones to die down (for an expansion release say), to weeks or months for a new, popular game that I know is going to be either heaving with people or is suspected to be somewhat under-cooked.

I have to say though, that often my 'marinating' is the result of too-low budgetary resources. :D

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:11AM Seffrid said

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The problem with waiting to see how a game goes is that you risk losing out. I don't consider anyone who plays a game for a while before it closes down to have been burned, after all he got his money's worth while the game was running or else he wouldn't have carried on with it.

On the other hand, I rather regret not having played AC2 and also perhaps Tabula Rasa more than I did while I had the chance to do so. I'll probably feel the same way about both Vanguard and WAR if they close down, but there are only so many hours in the day and there are now too many decent MMO's to fit into those hours!

As for this year's new games, I'll make a judgement in each case but the chances are I'll play Rift, GW2 and SW:TOR at launch (or earlier if in the beta), although I can't think of any other MMO's I'm waiting on. If I find they're not up to scratch at launch then I'll see out my free month and give them another try later depending on how the reports of the games are going.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:24AM real65rcncom said

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No, they usually get just one shot with me.

If they aren't ready at launch after claiming they are, yet there are still gaping holes in their game you can clearly see mechanics wise.

I also don't like paying for a game while they 'work out' their issues. Some fixing is okay like polish or fixing quest dialogues or voiceovers. But the game would have to be MAJOR fun for me to pay them while they actually FIX the thing and I haven't played that many like that. Especially when you are doing dungeon or killing bosses and they don't drop like they are supposed to or bug and the company says "Sorry, we don't give you the items for this bug" or w/e you've just lost.

Usually by the time a game has it's act together, another one has launched so I move onto that one. Its rare I ever go back and revisited games like Warhammer only to still see huge holes in quality not worth a dollar.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:25AM Maraq said

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If i've bought the game at launch i'll play. I wont let it sit on a digital shelf on my hard drive and "wait" for the initial game bugs to be cleaned out and the community to have calmed down from its post launch trollers. If you've bought the game, in for a penny, in for a pound.

I am however very reluctant generally to play games at launch. Bugs and communities are often at their worst, with not much apart from stress to be gained by joining in. So, yes, i do let games "marinate", the term i prefer is "mature", by not buying them at launch. I recommend 6 months from launch personally. A game wont necessarily be perfect 6 months from launch, but will most likely have stabilised and got over the worst of its post launch gotchas. Hell, they cant even get a lot of large single player games bug free at launch, so why should mmos be any different?

Games i'm likely to join at launch however, GW2, World of Darkness, and maybe, just maybe The Secret World. Heh, i never said i was perfect :)

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:42AM MegaBubble said

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There's a certain amount of charm that comes along with being able to say, "I've been playing since launch", or even beta. Fighting through all the annoying bugs, being one of the first explorers in a digital world, months from now being able to regale newbies with tales of how that item that is so easy to obtain -now- used to have an insane .00003% drop rate, and yet you STILL had one. I love "feeling my way through" an MMO as one of it's pioneers - no "player guides", no preconceived notions about what the "best way" is to do things. Everyone's generally helpful in chat because it's all new to us, none of us are "jaded" yet. Good times.

For me, the first few months are always something worth playing, even if it is a bug-ridden mess. You appreciate the game so much more when you're aware of it's humble origins, and how many of it's issues have been overcome. Not to mention little things like VET rewards and items that are removed from the game and can never be acquired again, but that you have because you were there before it happened. Call me sentimental I suppose, but I wouldn't miss the chance to be one of the first to play my favorite MMO.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:44AM MegaBubble said

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Oh, also - what have you guys done to this site? Ever since you guys changed formats or whatever a couple months back, I can no longer access this site from my Blackberry. Just takes me to a blank white page.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 9:54AM Panicbutton said

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According to my wife I suffer from "next big thing" syndrome and can't help myself with new MMOs.

I have always like that feeling of being into something while it's still exclusive, indy and undiscovered. I've also always liked that exploratory feeling of being into a new world when the doors first open. So I suppose historically I have not been one to let games marinate before playing them.

However, I feel that is changing now, largely due to the terrible state of too many MMOs at launch. There is clearly financial pressure from investors and publishers to get these games out quickly and start recouping/making money from them (which is understandable). That drive to release has contributed to some godawful messes at launch though, of which AoC and WAR spring to mind most clearly.

There's nothing worse than getting excited about a new MMO and then discovering when you're already becoming invested in it that the game is in fact only 70% complete.

Having said all that I want to be in Rift, GW2 and TSW at launch despite the risks.. if the games pan out then it'll be worth it.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 10:01AM Jade Effect said

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I don't mind starting a MMO after it's been released for months. However, the flipside is that you'll missed out on low/mid level group content when the main bulk of the server population had passed you by.

Only after a few months after Lord of the Ring Online launched, it got harder and harder to find players to do the group-based storyline quests. Eventually, players resorted to bugging the higher level guild people to run them through, which is no fun for anyone. The players now have it so easy now that Turbine made it possible to solo them.

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 10:02AM Meagen said

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Guild Wars 2 = first-day purchase for me. I have every confidence they won't release it in an incomplete or buggy state. :)

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 3:13PM DarkWalker said

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@Meagen
GW2 is a first day purchase for me for another reason:
since there should be no monthly fees, even if it is released in a buggy state, I will not feel like I'm wasting a month's worth of subscription.

It was one of the factors that led me to buying DCUO at launch; given the lifelong subscription and my expectation that the game will be going for a long time, even if the game does currently have an unfinished feel, it's not like I'm wasting money by playing less while waiting for the fixes.
(this, and the fact my WoW subscription ran out just prior to DCUO's launch :)
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Posted: Jan 30th 2011 10:12AM cforciea said

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The answer is a hearty "it depends."

First, it is helpful to actually be in the beta for the game for two reasons. The most obvious is to see the state of the game for free. If a game is a buggy unbalanced broken mess late in the beta process, it is going to be at launch. But you also get to have a glimpse at how the developer is working with regards to bugs and player feedback. A great example of both of these things is Rift. The game is already pretty smooth in Beta more than a month from launch, but the beta process is also very controlled. We get new items to test in waves to focus testing, and there are also very regular patches to fix bugs even in the middle of testing waves. This is important, because it means the game is still getting smoothed out; too often, the beta process ends up being a free preview only and we get told that somehow everything is going to get fixed between beta ending and the game launching live, only nothing ever happens.

The second major factor that I consider is environment. There are also a couple of parts to this. Is this a game company that has a track record of putting out complete, solid products? That does a lot to build confidence. I think there is a strong likelihood that Guild Wars 2 will be polished when it comes out, because all of the Guild Wars campaigns were. Also, what is the company's financial situation? Are they a new studio with a publisher breathing down their neck because they are running out of money, or can they afford to release it when it is done instead of 90% done?

(Full disclosure: I am still on the fence about buying Rift at launch, but it has nothing to do with how complete and polished the game is.)

Posted: Jan 30th 2011 10:12AM Irem said

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I'm a big fan of the "rush in and absorb it all in its infancy, have great stories to tell about it later" method of trying new MMOs. Like most other things in my MMO career, this was probably shaped by my experiences with FFXI, because in XI the first few people to figure things out and do them often ended up way, way ahead of everyone else, either in profits or ability to get things done in a timely manner.

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