So, apparently Allods Online is releasing a Russian subscription only server.Â No cash shop, no pay to win, no ridiculous design choices to force you into paying inordinate amounts of…
I’m going to rant for a few minutes.Â I watched the video announcing that TERA is going free to play, and I heard Brian Knox (on behalf of En Masse Entertainment) make a statement that completely contradicts their situation and the reality of this industry.Â Â Brian says that the reason TERA is going F2P is because the MMO industry has changed for the better.Â Those two things are simply not true.
TERA is not going free to play because the MMO industry is changing.Â TERA is going free to play because no one is playing, and they are not making enough money to pay their bills.Â There is no reason to change things up, risk damaging the public’s perception of their product, all because the “mmo industry is changing.”Â They’re going F2P because they don’t have another option to survive.
Stating that the MMO industry has changed for the better is asinine.Â En Masse’s own product can’t stay above water and has to make a huge change to the game’s design philosophy in order to survive in this “better” landscape.Â Instead of relying on a model designed to prosper when players are successfully enticed to keep playing, they change to a highly exploitative business model withÂ high burn and churn rates. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, not playing MMOs, or happen to be one of the few people who love what’s happening in the market, most games are having to do what TERA is doing, and that is usually followed by a ton of layoffs. But the industry has changed for the better, right?
Obviously they’re not going to speak poorly of their own product and they’re going to say how going F2P is only going to improve their game and not change it in any way.Â Obviously they have to somehow make the best out of a situation where they change or die.Â Just don’t believe for a second that they’re changing because things are going really well for them.Â I can’t stand when devs spin a change to F2P in a way that misinforms people.Â You can watch their ridiculous announcement trailer after the break. (more…)
Another year has come and gone.Â As I reflect on a year of blogging, gaming, and industry events, I’m full of mixed emotions.Â Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog in 2012
We had more traffic this year than ever before!Â We started blogging in February 2007 meaning we’re almost six years old.Â I’m extremely proud that last year we grew our daily readership by 53%.Â That’s insane!Â I can’t believe so many more people now visit us daily compared to the start of 2011.Â We didn’t hype any major MMO releases, come up with any new phrases adopted by the industry, or receive any magical exclusives to drive traffic.Â Â I think the biggest increases came from two blog posts that were done simply to help people:
- Diablo 3 stuck at “Updating Setup Files” Fix – We came up with a fix to help thousands of people get Diablo 3 to install.
- Wii U WiFi Connection Error Fix (103-1001, 101-1002) – The Wii U launched with issues connecting to certain routers.Â We came up with a very quick fix that was linked around the web on dozens of major sites including Nintendo’s.
Each of the above brought in hundreds of thousands of people.Â Maybe this means we should go into tech support instead of musing about games all day?
I’m always fascinated by how I wrote during the year.Â Some years I’m hyped up, others I’m negative.Â Some years I feel full of ideas and inspired to share my thoughts on how games should be made, and others I just analyze what’s happening.Â This year was really ‘matter of fact’.Â I commented a lot on the state of things.Â Although this isn’t my favorite style (I prefer sharing ideas I have for how games can be made) it was needed, and fit the events of 2012.
‘Sandbox vs. Themepark’ and ‘Old school vs. A New Trope’ were extremely hot topics that came up in some form every month.Â I didn’t debate F2P as much as I did in 2011 because that topic took a back seat to analyzing why games are 3 monthers, or why MMOs die.Â Â I think we really dug into what MMOs are doing to deserve their classification, and discovered together what makes them fail and succeed.Â I’ve had a wonderful time learning from what you have to say in the comments.Â Keep it up!
Check out more of my 2012 in review including my year-end thoughts on specific MMO’s after the break. (more…)
I’m finally getting around to giving you guys my thoughts on Planetside 2.Â Aside from being extremely busy the past two weeks, I had an issue with Planetside.Â Every single time I would play my computer would completely lock up after about 10-20 minutes. I finally identified the problem: STEAM.Â Uninstalling from STEAM and reinstalling via SoE’s standalone client solved my crashing,a nd I am finally able to enjoy the game.
I want to touch on just a few points that I feel make Planetside 2 a game worth playing.
Tonight we were defending a research station close to Vanu’s WarpGate when suddenly the entire sky was filled with aircraft.Â It was one of those mind-blowing moments that are so awesome they make you slam your hands onto the keyboard desperately trying to hit Print Screen.Â Although it felt like hundreds of fighters, bombers, and galaxies, in reality it was likely closer to 40.Â Still, 40 aircraft suddenly flying over is insane.
Those 40 aircraft proceeded to wipe out most of our defense, then a handful of galaxies deployed several dozen ground troops.Â While I was watching the enemy rain from the sky down upon us, a Sunderer burst over a wall and smashed into position, deployed its spawn beacon, and proceeded to flood our base with dozens of more enemy soldiers.
The entire experience was glorious, horrifying, and exactly why I play Planetside 2.
More after the break. (more…)
Shortly after I wrote about an ideal MMO sandbox which takes elements from very specific games, I discovered details about a SOE game in the works called Dragon’s Prophet.Â Dragon’s Prophet seems to come close to what I want, but illustrates how easy it is to miss the mark with a few awful decision.
Features in Dragon’s Prophet
Dragon’s Prophet will feature an odd skill system that I am still trying to wrap my head around.Â Someone correct me if I’m totally wrong, but what I gather about the system is that you find a dragon and gain a random set of abilities.Â There’s an element of fighting, taming, and training going on here. I’m sure another class system will also be in place.
Non-instanced housing will let players claim plots and plop down a house out in the world for all to see.Â I want to know if it’s like SWG and houses can be placed freely anywhere, or if there are designated plots of land.Â I’m leaning toward the latter because what I’ve read seems to indicate that certain plots cost more. Sounds better than most systems, as I am a huge fan of open-world community-centric features.
What sounds really neat about Dragon Prophet is the idea that players can claim areas of land almost like the kingdom idea from my previous entry.Â Out in the frontiers, areas of PvP land that can be colonized (again like my ideal MMO), players can become subject to taxation from other players.
Combat will use what the official site calls “auto-targeting”.Â It has been likened to DCUO’s combat, which isn’t bad, or like TERA but faster (or something like that).
Overall, a nice set of features.Â Implementation could be all wrong, but at least the ideas on paper are good ones.Â That said… (more…)