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Now, i fully understand alot of concerns, complaints and hate that goes on with the current mmos we have these past years, but in all honesty, after going through the upteenth thread of said game of how they will crash and burn followed with i told you so threads, group hug sessions and the belated "the game's not so bad" rotations; it gets old after a while.
But too each his own, and onto my point.
the next batch of mmos that are being made for this year, the next and after, are being made by companies we seem to love to hate.
Lets start from the top :
Line of Defense - Derek Smart
with the recent masively interview, mr. Smart started off by saying:
"I didn't want to make another Derek Smart game because usually when you mention 'Derek Smart' and 'game', gamers tend to run in the opposite direction,"
People HATE this man, but you cant deny his stubborness in refusing to quit, let alone having a fan base that follow his work; good or bad.
It says alot when some one has to hide or downplay their own name in order to get their game to be played by the masses. they can call it a sense of shame, others can call it a sense of sacrifice to take such measures to prove their project is something worth to try out; sort of like a tasters test of product A and product B, both are concealed with a white wrapper. and when customers try out product B over A, the wrapper unveiled and behold.
product made by Derek Smart. Would be curious if customers then start to go into convulsions due to be mentally violated
"OMG i tried a derek smart game...and....oh gawwwddd..." then they would break out in hives due to being allergic, and so on. OR, just maybe, Line of Defense turns out to be a solid game, let alone a playable game, further more. a game that could be enjoyed.
but i fully understand some would need to be in a induced amnesia state after playing a derek smart game if it comes to that.
Additionally, even with such a small team of 12 working on this game. again mr. Smart is going full capt'n ahab on this project -- whether he finally harpoons Moby Dick would entirely be up to him.
The Secret World - Funcom
Anarchy Online blew up, Hard..Age of Conan, face planted head first from the starting line, Funcom seems to have a chronic case of launch failures. Though over the years and a large shedding their fanbase, they seems to settle with a humble group of people to play their games, and alot of tough choices in ways to make their income for their next project (see Age of Conan:Unchained)
So far it seems TSW is getting the time it needs to make their game right. adding features that got some people giving Funcom "Another" chance to try their game out.
Maybe Funcom will do better with TSW, maybe they will have a successful launch, perhaps they may just do "Just enough" to make TSW's launch better than AOC and AO, time will tell.
Planetside2 - SOE
"I will never play another Soe game ever again!" a phrase screamed for almost a decade, since the fall of SWG, the collapse of Matrix Online, the introduction of freeRealms, The Cancellation of Agency, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
Again, I personally understand, SOE like many other companies, screwed up hard. but in SOE's case They are looking to fight back and take what's theirs.
With ForgeLight leading the way, A engine made from the ground up, SOE born and bred, it was a clear "Up yours" to other companies that insist on using current engines that
A. spent more time fighting the code,license holders or 3rd party middlemen than making a good game (Huxley)
B. using a engine that screams cookie cutter and whimpers performance (SWTOR via Hero engine)
In SOE's case, i could see Smed at his office saying "F that, were gonna make our own engine Made by mmo makers FOR mmo makers"
whether this is to be a big gamble for SOE, imo it shows initiative that they want to push the envelope despite naysayers wishes of wanting the company to close down, I was one of them when BFR's hit the scene -- long story.
but i will add this: If indeed Forgelight becomes a force of nature in the mmo world, Then I will definitely anticipate what they can do with it when the time comes to make EverQuest Next.
StarQuest Online - AT Games
Lets see, Bad graphics - check, Painful learning Curve - check, Dictatorship like player community -- check..
completely new Company -- check, wait what?
StarQuest Online, i would call a game with small amount of resources and a very big heart. a very ambitious game that strongly encourages group play (emphasis on group play if you want to survive in this game at all).
AT Games is looking to step up to the plate and continue the dream of making a very indepth space mmo that will rival startrek online , if not surpass it. however the challenges of handling such a monster (Starquest online) will indeed not be easy.
ATGames solution? - rebuild the game from the ground up, new engine and graphics including.
In the meantime, the only two enemies ATgames really have to worry about is Time, and themselves, because no other company currently not interested in making a sandbox style space game with thousands of star systems to choose from and everything from a T-Rex to a pink rainbow butterfly to give you the most painful death possible.
I'll close to say this,
This year, personally rather look at the positives going on in the MMO industry, sure everybody is screaming for the old days, and when some no name company produces old elements, they usually run the other direction screaming just the opposite. but the leads directly to two other points
1. your own personal preference and 2. having realistic standards
Try not to fume so much when people like game X when they are suppose to like Game Y, then yell bloody mary the world is coming to an end, like how many "Wow Killers" are we up to now? Ya... i lost count.
Instead, pay attention to companies both big and small, and seeing if they have displayed improvements of any kind compared to their previous projects or previous actions towards the customers.
Measure them, audit them, pull out a measuring stick and see how far they can jump, whatever, pit them against one another to see not only which game is better, but which game company has displayed the most improvements compared to what they were 4, 6, 8 years ago.
Im sure there are other companies out there i have not mentioned - but be sure to count those too or post about them.
feel free to count how many spelling errors i have made, im out