Well I hope everyone is having an excellent weekend. It's time once again to look back on some of the news stories from the week. It was a pretty busy week in the MMO world, and I already had one news post on Wednesday, but as the old sales pitch goes, wait there's more! So let's see what else has been happening in our massively multiplayer world.
The Secret World is Coming!
Friday marked the drop on the press embargo for the latest set of media impressions of the game. A bunch of gaming press were invited to Montreal to get their impressions of The Secret World and they are now able to write about what they experienced. So I'm just going to link all the reviews I was able to find and you are welcome to peruse them at your leisure:
Computer and Video Games
PC Gamer #1
PC Gamer #2
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
I'm sure there are even more, but that should be more than enough to get you started. I'm putting together a comprehensive commentary on all these previews so I'll keep my comments here brief. There are really two things that I can say about TSW based on these new impressions. 1) This is a game for MMO veterans in all the ways that Star Wars: The Old Republic was not. It may not please the "sandbox" fanboys or the hardcore PvPers, but TSW appeals to a lot of "old school" MMO conventions. But because of that... 2) TSW is not going to be a huge commercial success. I believe it is going to attract a very dedicated and passionate following, but that number is not going to be large. I only hope it is enough to satisfy its backers and keep the game running, because I think it has a lot of promise.
Blizzard says NOT to get too Excited for Diablo 3
Ok I'm not sure if this qualifies as "big story" or not, but I found it so amusing that I had to include it. So Bashiok, one of the CM's over at Blizzard comments that players need to "lower their expectations" of Diablo 3. It is admittedly a very odd thing for a company to say. "Hey, please don't care too much about our product!" Reactions from gamers ranged from "He's obviously kidding," to, "See, Diablo 3 is going to suck. Even Blizz admits it!" My own thoughts were along the lines that this is just an overstressed and overworked moderator who's getting tired of all the negativity and naysaying directed his way. Does he think the game is bad? Of course not. But when you deal with ungrateful and ignorant people all day, it can become tiresome.
Well Blizzard obviously thought this was something worth a formal reply and so D3 Director Jay Wilson offered an official reply to the community where he basically says, "Yeah Bashiok was obviously kidding, D3 will rock your socks!" Now this is pretty much what you would expect a company to say, and makes the initial message seem all that more strange. I stand by my guess though and figure Bashiok just got pulled into the corporate office and told to cut back on the coffee and Red Bull before he fires off more forum responses.
Beta Test Guild Wars 2, Save the World!
This week ArenaNet threw open the gates for registrations for an upcoming beta test of Guild Wars 2. Initially the sign up period was to last only 48 hours. But after those two days, they came up just short of one million registrations. So they decided to keep applications open until they hit it. Well it didn't take long for those last few registrations to trickle in, and so GW2 officially has over one million players signed up for its beta. Apparently the size of your beta is significant these days as SW:TOR hyped its beta participation several times during its well publicized weekend testing phases.
I am actually not one of those million sign ups. I decided to take a pass on this one for two reasons. The first is that since GW2 is not a subscription based game, I do not feel as compelled to "try before I buy." I know that sounds a little silly considering I just lamented my $200 spent on SW:TOR. But that's just it, I really will only be buying or playing GW2 if other options do not pan out, which leads directly to the second reason I did not sign up. I am not that excited for this game, I'm just not. I know most MMO bloggers and enthusiasts are expecting this game to "save" MMO's. My response is just... "meh." I don't see anything that exciting here, I just don't.
Ok, should be a busy week for the blog. Look for my farewell impressions of SW:TOR as I decide to leave that game behind. And then I'll be discussing my return to RIFT in more detail, as I step back into a major game I left behind for the first time. Finally as I mentioned above I am planning a comprehensive look at my thoughts on TSW. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and please... keep reading, commenting, and spread the word!