Let the gaming begin!

I’m back home in California after a very tedious semester at school.  My comp is all set up and I’m ready to go!

This summer I have some really big plans.  I plan to catch up on my huge backlog of games, try out a LOT of console games which are coming out (as well as in the backlog) and play the heck out of some of the computer games I am currently playing.

The blog was quiet this past week, but it’s my plan to make a post a day again.  I have the free time and I have a lot to say that I haven’t been able to sit down and formulate.  Thanks for bearing with the silence and lack of activity for the past while.  I hope it was worth the wait!

Some Quick Notes to kick things off:

1. WoW’s 4.1 patch comes out Tuesday (Most agree it won’t be delayed again).  I’d like to invite anyone who has played with us in the past or simply wants to start playing with us now to return to Emerald Dream, Horde, and join up with HFG.  We already have ~5 people actively playing again with a note of intent from several others who are all interested in the content and raids.  If you’re interested, visit our forums for more info.

2. I picked up Portal 2 at the request of Graev.  Hopefully it lives up to the hype — I’m sure it will.  The Coop looked fun, and it’s the reason I bought the game.

3. Still 48, almost 49, in Rift.  I plan to hit the max level now that I have more time.  I’m not even sure if my friends are still even playing, since I haven’t had much time to dedicate to any gaming lately.  I’m anticipating the game to start fizzling out sometime in the next few weeks.  Friends of mine and some people whose blogs/websites I follow have already reported a decline in the overall number of people on servers and actively doing things.  Anyone else notice this?


  • 3) Rift is nothing but empty servers now. After they engineered their own server queues to boost the appearance of being a well thought of game, and were caught due to diligent bloggers https://www.keenandgraev.com/?p=4908 the response was mass exodus to the single player friendliness of WoW.

  • I think it depends on your server. Tearfall is still very active. Instant queues in the 40-49 bracket and my friend who is 50 says the same for his bracket. People are always looking for more people to run dungeons. (PST EVENINGS)

    This is kinda a pet peeve of mine. If one person experiences someting on their server they assume it must be the same on every server. Every server is different, from the amount of people playing at a given time to what the going prices are for items on the AH.

    I’m not saying the game hasn’t lost people. I don’t think anyone would argue that the population didn’t drop. I’m just saying I don’t think it is as “dead” as people make it out to be.

  • I don’t think it’s dead at all, even if a lot of people are leaving.

    I said the minute it happened that they should not release so many new servers. More servers empty < Less servers full.

  • Well Trion hasn’t shot there mouths off like MJ of Mythic did,and personally I don’t think its a sign of failure if server mergers happen. In fact, given that there are so many MMO’s today, its expected by a proactive dev team to keep the player base happy. So if server merges happen in the next 3 months, I’ll applaud them for futher proving they are the most customer oriented and responsive AAA mmo team to date.

  • I’m seeing very high activity on my server (Faeblight) in Rift. I don’t doubt that there are servers with low activity, but I imagine that that’ll be taken care of with server transfers and/or merges.

    Also, has anyone seen the 1.2 patch notes? They’re pretty darn impressive for a two month old game. If Trion can keep this pace up I think they have a very good chance of righting the ship and plotting a nice, steady course. WoW-killer? Naw, but I think they’ll wind up doing very well.

  • As some others have said, the main problem with Rift’s current population isn’t the fact it is bombing. Most MMOs expect ~5070% drop off rate after the first month. It’s just simple historical data. FFXI capped at 1 million players, and quickly fell to its 500K average. EQ2, WAR, AoC, LotRO, ect all showed the same steep population growth at launch, and an even steeper decline once the one month ‘shiny’ period is over. Yes, WoW went the other way, but then again there are VERY few MMOs who can say they broke a million subs and stayed there for any length of time. Lineage, Aion, and WoW are the only ones that immediately come to mind.

    Rift’s main problem, much like WAR and Aion right after launch, is all based on the same issue. Players complained about long queues, so Trion opened up more and more servers. Once the population crash happened, of course now servers are either semi-healthy or virtual ghost towns. Granted, Trion was in a tight spot, either leave a small amount of servers, and watch people leave immediately because of queues and still get hit with the population decline but potentially have healthier overall servers, or increase servers and buy some buffer time before the population decline begins but have far more servers then needed.

    Unfortunately I have yet to see an MMO add servers on launch without going overboard. The pessimist will say server merges are a sign of a dieing game, however I am firmly of the mindset that a successful game will remain successful even if such news was handling correctly.

    As I have said in a few places before, Rift will be around for a while, as overall it is one of the most polished MMOs in recent histories to be released. Even when the crap hits the fan, Trion seems to be more or less diligent in putting out the fires, one way or another.

  • I rarely log into Rift anymore, I just lost interest in it. I had a picture in my head of really cool world PVP over quest hubs/wardstones. Perhaps I was wrong to expect that, portal camping & ganking were not the type of PVP I was looking for.

  • There’s always a fairly sizeable drop in numbers after the free month ends. Always. Every game experiences it. Do I think Rift is dying? Not at all. Everytime I log in every server is at Medium Pop. Which is pretty decent considering the number of servers. If they slimmed off 5 servers those numbers would probably push the servers to high. You have to remember, the servers don’t support more than like 10k people. So even at high it’s going to feel small.

  • @Shadrah: I agree. It’s funny, I hated Rift in Beta…it felt derivative. But live, it’s a good solid game with customer service and pretty fun skill trees.

    If they continue to optimize the engine frame rates and manage to figure out live events, and if the community figures out how to be a community and not some kind of brittle cigarette butt frozen in liquid nitrogen, I could be playing this for awhile.

    I know. Big ifs.

  • I actually still feel Rift is the best MMO launch and possibly best MMO I’ve played yet here I am still about to hit L49 and still not touched it in over a week.

    World of Tanks came out and though it’s far from finished (they released a Beta as the Live client) I’m still having a blast.

  • I’m on Wolfsbane and it’s far from dead with mostly Oceanic and NZ playerbase,add an international playerbase to that and you have a server busy 24/7.

  • 1) The return of ZA/ZG should be a great time for you to get back into the game.

    2) Most people I know have bought Portal 2 for the same reason and they say that it definitely lives up to the hype and a great reason to get the game.

  • Keen , i think wow should offer an every third month subscription, because once you complete the newly released content, what are you left with? I wont argue with you that Rift seems to be a 3 monther, i would argue that WOW is also, only the months are spread apart. Now if wow ever offered an expert version of Deadmines with a super elite Van Cleef i’m there.

  • In Rift, I fizzled out in the mid 30’s. I’m not sure what it was, I really like the look of the game and how it plays. I was really wishing that it would last me until SWTOR came out. I resubbed to Wow, I guess we will see how long that lasts.