Friday, June 15, 2007

Rocket Surgery

It's an interesting time in MMO-land at the moment:

  • SOE just released their first massive patch for the wounded Vanguard:Saga of Heroes, which is actually a great patch fixing 309 tangible bugs, amongst other issues such as memory leaks and general performance issues.

  • Turbine just released their first free content and balancing patch for Lord of the Rings Online here, here and here, causing an unprecedented uproar in the online community for the game (including myself) given that most of the changes are absolutely atrocious, and that many of the 'promises' made in the patch notes were not quite as they seemed. Deviously, Turbine delayed this patch until after the first month of subscriptions had rolled over. Many of us decided to stay onboard with the game based upon the promises made in the patch feature list, and so now feel cheated into staying around (and paying our monthly fee) based upon misleading information.
    Yup, Turbine: you can change your spots but your colour remains the same.. sad, and such an opportunity lost (or at least slowly sliding down the drain).

  • SOE, despite releasing the Vanguard patch I mentioned above, are fueling mutinous fires with a server merge announcement. Given the relatively low populations of the current servers, it actually makes sense to me as Vanguard is the first MMO I've ever played where I can go for 3 hours without seeing another soul. Literally.
    However, as expected, the logistics of merging RP, PVE, Team PVP and FFA PVP are slightly complicated, and each member of the community over there deciding to post about it has a different opinion to everybody else. Sadly, it will most likely end up the way of Star Wars Galaxies and The Matrix Online (two of SOE's other miserable management failures). You'd think they'd have learned not to rest their hand on the burning hot element by now huh?

Funnily enough (and ultimately, ironically) I've found myself spending more and more time with my original favourites of late - driven back by the vast sea of MMO mis-management that appears to be occurring all over the place wherever a 'new' title has cropped up.
EverquestII, Guild Wars, World of Warcraft and Eve-Online all seem extremely trouble-free in compare to these more recent MMO cash-in attempts, and as I have already mentioned elsewhere, these latter games are most certainly extremely polished and fun.

The new releases have actually solidified my loyalty to their competition. Odd.

But I guess there's some assfuck corp-tard at the apex of all of these decisions, making ill-informed and greedy decisions under a narrow-sighted perception that they'll be able to retire early. And they've most likely never actually laid eyes upon their own product. (Gamers?? eww.. bet they also do drugs and have sex with each other in the back of cars. And I wager they never go to church either!)

The common theme I am seeing repeatedly, is that these publishers (or developers) of new titles seem to think they know what their paying customers want. To the point where they will almost argue *with* their customers.
Yup - guys - that's bound to guarantee your subscriber base stays loyal and is happy to fork out their $15.00 per month. I mean that's what we all want to do; pay for something we don't like, and invest our time into something that puts that investment at risk through ridiculous changes to the rules of the universe we signed up for.

Rocket Surgery (sic) at it's finest.

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