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First a little words about myself: i currently only play WoW but i'm totaly aware of its huge limitations. In fact i play it more as a social tool and mainly because leading a guild is a fun challenge. I plan to buy GW2 in a few weeks, once the launch storm calm down and enjoy it in a casual way. But in fact i'm a sandbox lover: looking forward to ArcheAge, The Repopulation and especially World of Darkness. I really think MMORPG should be about a world to live in.
Anyhow, lets talk about TSW. I won't repeat what others said here before about the gameplay, but i'd like to focus on the themepark/sandbox concept.
This game setting is awesome: Lovecraft, X-Files, the Illuminaties, dark secrets and conspiracy... who wouldn't love that ? Plus it's totaly original so it could have been a good niche game for the spooky kind.
But... sadly the theme is not enought, you need to have a WORLD for people to enjoy. And Funcom failed at not only delivered, but understand that. Like Bioware and others before, they look at WoW and forgot what an MMORPG was. Like most of the game released those past 5 years, they created a swallow themepark, a single-player ride-once experience.
And that's alone is totaly amazing. I can understand big guys in suit looking at WoW and dreaming of big $. But game designers and project managers should know better: they should know the difference between a game that you play once and one that you'll play for years everyday. I don't get how they create games like TSW (or SWTOR), games that cost years and millions to dev, and don't realize 95% of the players will experience all the content in a couple of months and then never come back.
I mean: it seems *so* obvious to me ^^
_ If you spend 5 years creating 2000 quests, people will do them in 2 months and go away. Because you tell the players to do so: from the start you tell them "do this quest, then this one, then this one". and when they finish them all, there's nothing else beside some dungeon/battleground.
_ If you spend 5 years creating a WORLD with *interractions* between players (ie: deep economy, diplomacy, pvp, roleplay, crafting, housing/frontier that evolve etc.), people will stay for years. Because you tell them at the start "here's the world, explore and have fun!". That's what EVE did, that's maybe what GW2 will do (i know it's not a sandbox, but it this non-grinding, non-solo mentaly).
Somehow, when i read that Funcom expected 1 millions boxes sale and 500 000 subs, i can't say if they were serious or if they just lie to investors so they could get the cash to make the game they wanted. Because even if you like TSW, there's no way more than 100k people will ever sub to it, and even with (expensive) changes, it will never works. That's the themepark curse and only one in a million survive (ie: WoW).
I kinda unhappy writting this because Ragnar Tørnquist seems like a nice guys with cool ideas. but at the same time it bother me so much that they screw this...