By now pretty much everyone has heard the bad news about 38 Studios
. This makes me extremely sad for all of the people who have lost their jobs as a result, but it also makes me extremely sad for the future of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
. Despite having been lackluster about the game before launch, I fell in love with the demo and then fell further in love with the main game. The game has a lot of neat ideas, and it's a franchise that could really benefit from a sequel to polish things up. Sad news all around, really.
This week's WRUP
isn't full of bad news -- it's just filled with the facts about what we'll be up to over the weekend. It's also filled with our opinions on judging all MMOs by the same standard instead of more varied criteria. So skip on past the cut to see our weekend plans, and let us know in the comments what you're going to be doing over the long weekend!
: I am switching to The Pride of Taern
for my next installment of Rise and Shiny
. It's a nice-looking browser-based game, but runs in a sort of smaller screen that makes it occasionally hard to stomach. It feels a bit like Diablo
meets a point-and-click adventure game, it's interesting. For the rest of the weekend I will be visiting the farmer's market, doing some yoga, and playing the living heck out of some MUDs, especially Gemstone IV
. I am absolutely enchanted by that game. Your character can get scars, have their hands cut off, create custom weapons that no one else can have...it's magical, and all of this in text!
I do and
do not judge all MMOs by the same standard. I have to look for certain earmarks when I am playing for the job here at Massively (which is most of the time), but I also have to take a game completely by itself. I am so tired of people saying wonderful things about MMOs (especially ones that have not come out yet) or when they use titles like "hardcore sandbox." Give me the game, let me play it, and I'll tell you what it is.
A lot of this weekend will be spend offline, as the inimitable Matt Daniel will be up in our neck of the woods for gaming goodness. That means plenty of games like Summoner Wars, Ascension, and similar tabletop goodness. I would like to level a bit more in Final Fantasy XIV
From an objective standpoint, I do my best to judge MMOs based on the standpoint of what the game wants
to accomplish and how well it meets those goals. From a subjective standpoint, it's all about whether or not I'm having fun with the game. I think games in general are just too different to be universally judged by any standards beyond the most basic (such as "this does not destroy my machine when I run it").
: If everything goes according to plan, I'll be playing some Diablo III
this weekend. Journey
is demanding that I play it; it's sitting there, staring at me, wanting to know how it is I've resisted it this long. So if you happen to be playing Journey
this weekend, the chirping loon you meet who runs into stuff all the time just might be me. Other than that, Guild Wars
. I've been told that some fine folks are doing a run of Urgoz' Warren on Sunday, and I know another fine person who needs that trophy, so I'm hoping that all the stars are properly aligned 'n stuff for that.
To the question: Good heavens, no! Well, yes. Yes I do, and the standard is "How much do I like this? Does this meet my likes?" That's a very rigorous standard, and all MMOs -- yea, all games, and many things which are not games -- are held to it.
Aside from that, though, absolutely not. There are too many different approaches to MMOs for a universal standard. Guild Wars 2
, for example, aim to do similar things in very, very different ways. Their design fundamentals are too different for many easy comparisons.
Major family deal this weekend so I will be out of gaming commission for part of it, but since Sony Online Entertainment
has activated double XP in both EverQuest II
, I plan to spend some time in both (all while trying to avoid the siren pull of decorating!). I also want to see about hitting up one of the new 3.0 instances in Aion
or maybe just hunt the housing area. And I am already missing City of Heroes
, so I think I shall continue my story arc mission if I can. Thank heavens for a three-day weekend!
: I will be playing League of Legends
more this week, although this probably surprises no one. I'm playing a lot of Rammus, though my old favorites are still played quite a bit as well. My Diablo III
account got hacked, and after a malware scan that picked up nothing I'm a little bit ticked off at Blizzard's account security. Either way, I probably won't be playing D3
until I get my gear back.
I definitely judge games by the same standards for the most part. While I do take things such as F2P into consideration (a company has to make money), when I'm looking at gameplay I don't care whether a game is an indie singleplayer title or a AAA MMO; bad design is bad design and I am pretty ruthless about pointing it out.
: I will be in the Tribble test server on Star Trek Online
trying out a couple of new missions that have been released. Also (and this may come as a complete surprise to most) I patched up Champions Online and deleted my first character. I'm starting over. I'll see if I make it through the tutorial this time.
I do not judge MMOs by the same standard at all. I couldn't imagine why anyone would. They're all so different. F2P games are by their very nature going to have monetizing aspects that other sub-based games won't. It doesn't make either game better or worse.
At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!