It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Like the title states, I had this sudden thought in this age of cyber warfare and outright cold war internet subterfuge between companies (the DOS attack on WoW the other night was ample proof of this being alive and well and let's not forget about the Sony Playstation Network hack of last year).
Point is, if the new "thing" in the industry is to mass produce F2P games that are mediocre in quality (so we don't have to budget any big writers or thinkers) and yet make a respectable dollar with cash shop offerings, wouldn't it make sense to bash something that could detract from this newer production market in the mmo industry?
I'm not sure I recall this much pre-bashing of a title, perhaps of low budged free for all pvp affairs but not some mega budget game with a recognizable title. But I have a tiny thought on why this might be happening.
Anyone who's watched campaign politics knows full well that bashing the other guy is overly and disgustingly common. In this industry, we can have the same standard. The f2P guys have lobbyists of sorts as well and plenty of smear add to go around.
So, here's this new title coming out in April, i.e., The Elder Scrolls Online. This title boasts a few things that would be a pain in the rear for a studio to produce. In short, this title has a $200,000,000 pricetag (so the voices are whispering on the cyberwaves). There is little room for fail and yes, Star Wars: The Old Replublic is proof that you can't just hang a title on a flop of a game and expect success - you still have to make a good product.
What the f2P and smaller traditional pay monthly projects might be worried about:
1. Three realms. Who even does this? Sure there are a few pseudo tri-realm titles in sci fi FPS and lower end budget titles in general, but nothing anyone is chatting it up about at E3 or Gamescom.
2. The three realms have different races. Again, who does this? We live in an age where a game can be released with 4 archetypes and 5 races as standard. Did you know there's a game out there since 2001 that has 44 races and 24 classes in three separte realms? I actually had a guy laugh at me about that on a thread. I told him to look it up and never heard from him again (thank you Dark Age of Camelot for raising the bar so high that most can't even see it).
The competition offers 2 faction games galore and no faction games where guilds are the faction themselves. These simpler takes on politics in an mmorpg save money and time.
2.a. (A side note) The classes are the same: I think this is a lame mistake but at least it's nothing for the folks at RIFT to be worried about. By now we've realized that developers fear losing players to such an extent that they are afraid that if one class seems to be better than another (this is a pvp game issue only), that there's an unfair event going on. So, make all the classes the same and folks won't complain. However, the side effect is a bunch of flavor of the month builds within each classless class that everyone copies. Hence originality, and a sense of uniqueness (something lacking in mmo video games) is all but obliterated.
3. (back to what makes this title a threat) PvP is massive scale, it matters, and it's a title built to include all the theme park pve goodies folks like PLUS a reason to don one's armor and defend the realm. NO ONE does this. If you want more info on why this pvp matters, look up the title and read about it. Simply put, in today's pvp mmo experience, what Bob's guild does in a battleground does nothing for Bob's faction. That lowly serf of a warrior who is killing wolves for a pair of crappy boots has no benefit to the heroes of his realm taking territory from 2 possible enemy factions. In TESO, your realm will benefit from the victories of its heroes, just like it's supposed to be.
4. Each realm/faction, has its own land. This isn't everyone has a small starting racially profiled zone and then branches into endless shared zones where people pvp each other in the face because of guild/bi-faction variation. This is UNHEARD of. What titles can you level to end game in what is truly your own land. You wouldn't see an English knight riding his stallion through France during the War of Roses...and you sure won't see the enemy roaming around your same quest locations doing the same mindless drudgery of killing this and that - toss in some random pvp and the end level griefers that are bored.
What are some things we are missing in The Elder Scrolls Online?
Gone is the world of Tauren paladins and the endless expansion gear grind that makes your hard work valueless.
Gone is the mercenary system where we suddenly have races that the lore states are at war, working together to fill blank slots in immediate gratification battlegrounds and Rifts that never in truth change a single thing about the world other than adding to predictable repetitive experiences.
Gone is the world of necromancers running through Cimmeria with a boatload of undead pets and not being killed on sight.
Gone is my Asura, Human, Charr, Norn group, killing your Human, Charr, Norn, Asura team in an E-Sport battleground.
Gone is the free to play cash shop that proves to us that had we lots of real life $$$ we could win.
Gone is that feeling that you are just a copy paste of the guy you fight in pvp, because he has your same exact class animations and abilities...oh wait - that part still remains (can't have everything, I guess). At least we can't kill our own race...nothing kills RP or lore for me faster than this in a fantasy environment. Yes, humans kill humans, but would light elves really kill each other en masse in pvp? Tolkien's elves had to be twisted and mutated, and in essence, become a different race, before they killed their own kind. That's too much lore for a developer to consider these days, sadly, and so is TESO's lore offering.
So perhaps all of this is frustrating other companies. What if (in their worst case scenario) TESO turns out to be a decent game (I didn't say great, to be fair)...but what if it holds its own? The functions the game offers haven't been built on this scale since 2001 (Dark Age of Camelot). People will become educated to (a) that a monthly sub title can provide a lot more quality than their typical F2P fare and (b) that the common gamer will have raised expectations.
For once, gamers who play TESO might state: What? Your game has 5 classes and races? That's it? They are all forced to meet up in the same exact quest zones? Your pvp is in an instanced battleground? That sounds rather processed...You mean they don't have their own lands and territories to grow and develop in? My game has 3 realms...they are three different realms. We have territory to fight over and if we win at taking a castle or defending one, little Johnny Gamer gets a bonus. PvP matters and hence the lore and RPG viability of this game will matter.
So yeah, in TESO, lore matters, faction matters, the politics that would actually occur, matter. This means that immersion will matter. For once, I won't feel like I'm dumping quarters into a video game slot while waiting for my instant button pve/pvp experience group to appear before me.
This is unheard of.