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[Column] General: Preview Panic

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 23,044MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

One of the things that MMO players are used to more than nearly anything else is the very popular preview option that we are often treated to long before a game is released. In today's Devil's Advocate, we take a look at this singularly unique feature of the MMO game space. Read on and then lend your voice to the discussion in the comments.

A significant thing to note about an MMO preview in its later stages is the general immutability of the process. Unlike the demo for that Aliens game I mentioned above, the possibility of bait and switch-like tactics happening between an MMO demo and an MMO at release is less likely, unless the MMO was designed specifically to have wildly different elements between its opening moments and its middle-to-endgame, such as in Age of Conan’s Tortage experience, which had more voiced content in it than the rest of the game at launch.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: Preview Panic.



  • bliss14bliss14 eleva, WIPosts: 572Member Uncommon
    Pessimistic here anyway.  I like to think the average person has more optimism than this forum displays.
  • ohpowerohpower ParisPosts: 72Member

    A very interesting article, especially the issue raised. Indeed, I tend to think that previews are quite unreliable due to the very strong control a company has on them, and as a matter of fact, previews tend to be very "my little poney"-like towards the game.

    On the other hand, and I think this could be more stressed, "previews" are events of great entertainment value. I love to read them even if I won't play the game, and I love watching the ultra cool video. It's a bit like a movie trailer: you often won't know if the movie's good (although you might get a decent clue) but it's often a nice two-minutes watch. In that sense, I think journalists should make a clear difference between "teasers" and real tests of unfinished versions, and ask the developers for both.

    In that sense, if I remember well, the way Anet handled the closed beta week-ends for GW2 seemed quite appropriate to me: a full week-end in marche with NDA lifted if I remember well, only for the press and a happy few. There were also a lot of "guided previews" but the two were distinct enough to see a good difference between hype building and real first test of the game in my book...

  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 664Member Uncommon
    Good read. I would only suggest a small mention of what Aliens did so that those unaware of it for whatever reason could get a general idea. Like "Gearbox showed off a demo of the game which was vastly different than the actual finished product. You can click this >link< for more information."
  • ScotScot UKPosts: 6,338Member Rare

    i try not to read Preview articles, just replace the word preview with hype. If you have been playing a few years and still don't realise that, shame on you.

    Hype Panic, thats sounds better and is way more true to product.

     25 Agrees

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