In other and far more relevant news, it's time for this week's installment of Ask Massively, which talks about the cycle of game announcement and subsequent disappointment. (Apropos of the recent beta weekends for The Secret World, naturally.) If you've got a question you would like to see answered in a future installment of the column, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it in the comments below. Questions may be edited slightly for clarity and/or brevity.
BlazeNor asked: It seem like players are always looking for the next great MMO and end up disappointed. So what is it that players are looking for in a MMO?
The cycle of anticipating a game, playing it, and being disappointed is tied to the eternal problem that we human beings are terrible at figuring out what we actually want. We just have guesses based on past experiences, and sometimes we misidentify what we actually enjoyed about those past experiences. But part of the problem is one of the current cycle of MMO press.RingBonefield stated: You heard the man! Massively has a desperate shortage of gratuitous pockets, belts, and stress lines! The women are running around with internal organs, of all things! Feet exist! Not enough guns and swords, or swords and guns, or horror at Rictor and Shatterstar kissing!
If you think back 10 years (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), the internet had yet to become a ubiquitous facet of life, and thus most news and information was passed through print media. That meant that you heard about an upcoming game a couple of times before it came out, and that was it. You had less knowledge, less to anticipate, and thus less to be disappointed by.
Flash forward to now, when news is on a constant flow and developers are expected to put out something for fans at least once per week. This has a lot of benefits, but it also means that you have a lot more time to read about, anticipate, and understand the concepts for a game before you actually get to play it. Rather than a single offhand comment in one magazine about a system, there are often multiple videos detailing a system. That gives players a lot of things to build a fantasy around regarding how that system will operate in play.
And yes, sites like Massively certainly do contribute to that. I know I scan for news about games that I'm looking forward to, games that might turn out to be nothing like I'm expecting. And because I know more, I can create a more complete picture in my head... which is still based largely on speculation.
What are players looking for? A lot of different things, many of them unique to each player. The trouble is that we're now at a place where you can get a blurry picture that looks like something you want without actually being that.
That's not all. Massively staff members have the same hairstyle from moment to moment, which is already problematic when you factor in that we don't have feathered '90s mullets. We also have proportions closely adhering to those of human beings, and none of the men has biceps as wide as his head.Looking for some advice on which class is best for soloing in Aion? Not sure who this Raph Koster fellow is? Curious about the release date of NCsoft's newest MMO? You've come to the right place! No one knows MMOs like we do. If there's anything you'd like to know about the MMO genre or the site itself, Ask Massively is here to help every Thursday afternoon. Just ask!
I do have a ring of pouches around one of my thighs, though. I use it for storing crackers.