Well things are looking up for me in the MMO world these days. One of the biggest things that ruined my potential enjoyment of World of Warcraft towards the end, as well as RIFT and Star Wars: The Old Republic was the fact that I had no in-game friends to speak of and no guild to play with. I am really big on the social aspect of MMO's and when that is missing for me, it is very difficult to enjoy my time in the game, no matter how good of a game it might be. As I have said before, I would probably still be playing either WoW or RIFT if I had any social connections in either game. And you might recall that I staged a little "campaign" here on my blog to try and find a guild for my SW:TOR characters. I'm actually kind of glad nothing really came of that. The game really is a bore at max level. I'm not sure even a guild would have helped hold my interest there.
So I was very excited to find a guild for the upcoming The Secret World. They seem to be a friendly bunch with a variety of people from different walks of life, and the overall age of the guild trends a bit higher, which is also a positive in my mind. I have nothing against young gamers, I used to be one myself. But at this point in my life, I prefer the company of peers to that of adolescents. Age is no guarantee of maturity, as I have met my fair share of "children" in their 30's, but let's just say the odds are more in your favor with an older group.
I've been active on their forums for the past few days and it feels like this will be a good fit for me. There is a common interest in the game itself, "theorycrafting," role-play, even some of our real life hobbies. The guild leaders are a husband/wife duo that have been running MMO's guilds for several years now. Overall I am feeling really good about this development and I hope that between this, and my earlier decision to go "lifetime" on TSW, that this game and this guild will be my MMO "home" for a long time. I never wanted to be a "game hopper," or a "guild hopper." I've always tried to be loyal to the people that are loyal to me. The problem is that, for me at least, those people always ended up changing and leaving me behind somehow.
This weekend also marks the third of TSW's open beta weekends. This time they are taking the "training wheels" off a bit and opening the game's second zone, as well as two dungeons. Funcom announced today that the game has "gone gold" and remains on schedule for launch on 3 July. "Going gold" doesn't mean as much as it used to, and certainly not for an online game that is going to be constantly patched anyway, but it still sounds good in a press release. Funcom also announced that they have 1.3 million total beta sign ups for the game. If true, that is astounding to me. I have always thought this game would be more of a "niche" game in the broader scheme of things. If it does have that much interest, I truly, TRULY hope Funcom sticks to its vision for this game and doesn't "dumb it down" for the WoW-attuned masses. That would be a huge personal disappointment.
So that leaves me with a couple things on the "to do" list for the week. I'm hoping to get the next chapter of my character's story posted this week, and then this weekend I would like to have a full "report" for you on my participation in the open beta. This will be the first time I've had a guild to play with in a long, long time and I am really looking forward to it again.