Investing in entertainment.

30 04 2012

Guild Wars 2

I couldn’t be less impressed or less excited for this waste of resources.

That’s a little harsh, even for me. Let me ease up a bit.

I saw some videos and was disappointed. No mind-blowingly cool tricks or new mechanics presented. Maybe they’ll come up later. Syncaine is presenting it as the game that Mythic tried to make. It’s funny because GW2 seems to me like Wrath of Heroes with a bit more polish and some grinding elements. (What, other people can make baseless, offhand comparisons and I can’t?)

Joking aside, I don’t see the appeal. To be fair, I missed out on the whole Guild Wars scene when it launched; I heard bad things about it early on (which were valid, by all reports) and by the time all of that was cleaned up I was deeply entrenched in other games with no desire or reason to seek out others. Possibly you were a huge GW fan and you’re all sorts of excited about the Mesmer. I wanted to be excited about this caster everybody wanted; I mean, casting gameplay is what MMOs really do well, as – up until Majicka – no other gaming genre really hit it (Arx Fatalis and Master of Magic being the only real exceptions). I’m not writing this title off just  yet, but I’ll let it cook a few months and see how the community is taking it. (Also known as: my original plan for Diablo 3.)

The Secret World

The Secret World’s beta starts on May 11 and I have a key that I got at PAX. I don’t know what the limits on the key are (if it’s only for the weekend, or for the run until June,  for multiple weekends, or as much up-time as they can get out of their fledgling servers, I’m not sure) but I think it’s safe to assume I’ll get to try it at least for a few hours. The goal here for me is to see if the game play is so terrible that is trashes my morbid curiosity with regards to the alternate reality game play. The idea of learning  real-world history and myth in order to conquer a video game is very appealing me. Also, let’s face it: Matrix: Online reportedly had tragically bad game-play and control issues, but it was a cult-hit due to its alternate reality game. I really don’t want to miss this…unless I can’t stand the game play, in which case I’ll just follow along as best I can via the blog-o-sphere. I am giving you a try, Funcom. I gave EVE a try. HOW COULD YOU DO WORSE?

(You are allowed to quote that line and force-feed it to me in the event that it does far, far, far worse than EVE in every measurable way.)

Diablo 3

Oh, Diablo 3. Should you fail, there will be no reason for me to follow you on the blog-o-sphere.

Initially I wanted to wait and see if it survived the first two months before diving in…but but so many of my friends pre-ordered and I honestly did enjoy what little of the beta I saw, so it seemed a small risk.

Unlike GW2, I 1. was part of the Diablo and Diablo 2 experience, from launch to vapors, and 2. see some remarkable new tricks and game play mechanics. Also, this right here is reason enough.

Where I discuss value for money, or

Where I title a section after the stylings of Spinks and other legendary authors.

$15/month for SW:TOR. $60 up front for Diablo 3. I may license Secret World and play it for a month or two before my interest in it buckles…or I may stick it out. I’m sure that’ll be like, $60 plus the expected monthly account leech.

By my reckoning, a night at a bar costs between $15 to $30, depending on whether I buy the lady and/or a friend drinks, or if dinner is involved. I do not go out to a bar often, but when I do, that’s a night of fun. $15 for a single night is now our model.

Choose your MMO. If you log in once a week, that $15 gets you four nights of fun after which you can legally drive at need and probably won’t wake up next to somebody strange. $60 will license Diablo, and if I  play that for four nights, it meets the model. If I play it further, I’m getting effectively free entertainment. If I play an MMO more than four nights a month, the same thing is happening.

Software-as-a-service is very common in the industry now, as including support, updates, and a finite time that the software you purchased will function is how virtually all business-to-business licensing transacations are making money nowadays. We’re now seeing this trend in the small-time (that’s us) with video games.

More to the point, paying for entertainment is not weird.

Maybe I should say that again.

$15 at a bar is paying for entertainment. $20 for a movie,  $60 for a concert, paying for entertainment. $15 to $60 to buy a video game license, you’re paying for entertainment. Paying for entertainment is not weird.

Changes coming to my rotation.

LoL is on the bench, though it’s still on the list. I like it but I needed a break. I’ll go into details in an upcoming post.

Minecraft is the best loading-screen game of all time. My friend and I are doing an improvisational collaborative structure, where each of us logs in, goes to the site alone, adds something, then waits for the other to do the same before returning. Also, I have built six stylized towers and am planning out two more.

I’m having a lot of fun with SW:TOR. Good people and the pinnacle of the theme-park genre makes for a nice time. Doesn’t hurt that a recent parsing of my combat logs shows me I do about 30% of the damage in a boss fight. (Please don’t nerf me.)

LoL will probably get bumped when TSW and D3 drop. I could easily reduce SW:TOR to a three to four night a week event and still have a spectacular time with it; really I have room in my rotation for one or two more games. The trick here is that D3 will fit that slot very well (easy to play solo and dynamically) while TSW by its very nature may be more EVE-like in it’s demand for my attention and time.

Remember my metric, however. If I play  Diablo 3 for four nights it’s already met the metric in terms of fun/dollar. Any more than that and it begins to exceed bar-night fun time in cost-effectiveness.

So will I lose anything by trying both titles? No.

Are you still listening to that guitar?

Because if you are, you know exactly what I’m feeling.

I can’t wait.




2 responses

1 05 2012

Wow. 15 bucks covers a drink AND dinner. I’m soooo glad I’m not your date!

1 05 2012

I lol’d.

$15 is the minimum to cover me, solo; $50-$60 is more of a ballpark figure for a date around these parts. Though it’s funnier not given that elucidation. Let’s go with $15 and you best order off the appetizer menu, Gank.

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