I’ve been pondering the new year a bit. Predictions aren’t terribly fun (for me anyway). Looking back to last year, I am still stunned at how quickly TOR crashed and burned, both within the gaming sphere and for me personally. I was schlumping along with my rifle and my companion one day and the next day I just looked around and went…man, is this it?
So I thought maybe instead, I would record everything I am looking forward to in the coming year. Then I can come back next year with some wisdom and hindsight and laugh and make obscene hand gestures at myself for how dumb or idealistic I was. I get to write the schtick that so many people seem to eat up, but nobody gets a face-full of pie but myself. A win-win.
I Am Looking Forward To:
Hearing More About ArcheAge Online and Possible Release Dates
With Russian and American publishers confirmed (but not yet disclosed), we know this wide open sandbox title is headed our way. We don’t yet know when, thought it’s debut in Korea occurred yesterday. A few computer done translations of the website yielded no new information, other than there was a brief server outage today that players are being compensated for, and that there are several contests wrapping up and starting off. And that they are offering, out of the gate, a 10 hour free trial. That last is interesting – it is rare for new MMO’s to give away trials when they are so desperate for sales. Its an indication of the game’s confidence level.
For those who don’t know any thing about ArcheAge, you can read some of my previous posts on here. The sandbox elements are what draws me. The manga/eastern style is probably off-putting to some, but I enjoy the stylized, over-the-top caricatures that it brings with it. (Nobody seems to get that the whole point of the style is self-depreciating, but that’s a rant for another time I suppose.) In particular, the idea that your character is comprised of you choice of three of ten skillsets is quite welcome. Imagine Rift, only you can combine any three souls from any of the classes. Mostly though, everything about XL Games screams quality, polish and dedication (much like Trion as well I might add). I’m really looking forward to seeing and hearing more – and, hopefully, getting a chance to play it myself.
Expanding My Tier 10 Garage
I qualified for my free t-shirt by virtue of the fact that I knew from late in Beta that I was going to concentrate most of my time and energy on the American Heavy Tanks line, followed by the Russian Medium Tanks line. So I already had a T30 in my garage when the changes went down to the US Heavies. The end result was that my T30 became a tier 9 Tank Destroyer, I got a free copy of the T34 tier 8 premium, and I have the much-in-demand T110E5. With the addition of tier 10 tanks for every category though, I have been working on getting that T30, along with my T-54 (tier 9 USSR Medium) up to the top of the stables as well. I am very close. The T-54 will be wrapped up in the next two weeks, and the T-30 will be done in the next month or so. I’ve taken a good hard look at what two lines I want to work next, and decided to put my energy towards the two Russian Heavy lines, culminating in the IS-4 and IS-7. I’ve been saving my Free XP for quite awhile, and I have enough to skip the miserable KV-4 and head directly to the underrated ST-1. And the IS-3 is getting me XP like I would have never believed. As much as I have enjoyed (and done fairly well with) US Heavies, the IS-3 fits like a glove. I have an 85% win rate in it, and it doesn’t look like a First or Ace class Mastery badge is all that far off.
In other words – in a year’s time, my garage of tier 10 tanks will have expanded from one – to five. Already I’ve started the process of looking at potential Clans for Clan Wars, even as Wargaming announces that they will be spending a significant amount of resources to expanding and polishing that portion of the end game.
And that’s not all. I’m also halfway through tier 8 on US Mediums and German Heavies as well. I could end the year with more than I bargained for.
One of the things that I really thought I wanted to do is take some time, perhaps one night a week, or one weekend a month, and visit some familiar places. But the more I thought about all that I had played or recently played, the only one I really had a passion to go back and visit currently is Vanguard. The Druid class in the game is one of my all time favorites in terms of gameplay. And the world of Telon…well, it has the late, great Keith Parkinson’s fingerprints all over it.
I’m curious to see how the game has fared, what the leveling experience is like (I’m in the lower 20′s if I remember correctly), and if they finally fixed the stupid log in bug. It was still active two years post-launch. I generally get nostalgic for Vanguard this time of year. It was at this time that I was playing it, and enjoying the seasonal flying mount (Randolph the Flying Reindeer, of course). After a few months though, our little group lost its tank, and EVE beckoned with a free trial.
The odd thing about Vanguard, is that as I recall the interviews Brad McQuaid gave about the vision of the game, back in the day, at that time, I said: “No way would I ever play a game like that – too hardcore for me.” Now though, I look beyond that to some of the things he wanted to implement, and think, wow, how sweet would that be? Things like having the global chat channel only open to Psionicists, and not at 1st level, but as a later passive ability. Or that Druids would have high end abilities to control the weather, able to force rain on the server itself. And even some of those abilities that were implemented – like the Bard crafting its own songs as its slate of abilities – are a breath of fresh air in stale MMO diatribes everywhere. Many of the things that Vanguard wanted to pull off – boats, housing, diplomacy, detailed crafting systems – are things that are surfacing also in ArcheAge. Assuming we get it here in North America this year – doing a compare/contrast would be a fairly interesting exploration.
Don’t tell my regular Monday night gaming partners…but my interest in BF3 is waning quickly. After a year of blazing good times in it, and after several expansions, I’m mostly frustrated these days. I’m done with servers with 1500 spawn tickets, which invariably end with one team spawn camping the other for the last 500 kills. And I’m just not all that interested in the latest expansion. If it weren’t for some new maps to hopefully breath some fresh air into the game, I probably wouldn’t buy it at all. I’ll be curious to see how long this lasts, and what the future brings. It may be that Nostalgia night replaces Shooter night in the HZero household in 2013.
Star Trek Online
I haven’t logged in since before Christmas. My guild, whom I was enjoying time with, had stalled out in the building process for our Starbase, and queued a bunch of projects that were dilithium only – and I don’t spend dilithium on things that I can use in game items and currency on. So I had nothing to do really, other than grind my diplomacy level, and that got old after awhile. I am watching closely for the three year anniversay, in high hopes that the Ambasssador Class will finally make it into the game. And for the release of whatever season finally allows us to use all these bridge officers I have stashed in every corner of my UI and inventory to crew the half dozen ships that are in dry dock right now. The game is headed in the right direction for sure, but for right now, I’m just not as interested. But I think its still one of my long term committments – so I’m curious to see how I feel about the game when it nears its four year anniversary!
Will the small indy developed sandboxes of Dawntide and Project Gorgon be revived? I’d like for them too…
Will some unexpected MMO suck me in this year, much as STO did last year?
Will we finally see some information on Titan or Everquest 3?
Is there any chance of me logging into TOR in 2013?
Will Wildstar be the unmitigated failure I think it will be?
Only time will tell.