As my time in TOR winds to a close, as I feel it is, time has come to look to the gaming future. I know that The Secret World is on the docket, but the other game I have been looking forward to with great interest is Mechwarrior Online. The developers were good enough to release the system requirements this week…and I fail miserably in the video card department.
Now this is nothing new. I have struggled to run the new games over the last year. Rift ran just fine…so long as I kept the settings on low. TOR I literally have to keep on the bear minimum, and even then I don’t crack the 25-27 FPS barrier. (PVP is even worse, I never get above 8FPS there). The Secret World was running just fine until the latest update, which, while it was very much needed and utterly game changing, has once again dumped me into the minimum area, running about the same as TOR.
The benchmarks for the minimum cards for those games runs in the 500-800 category. Mechwarrior Online’s minimum runs in the 950 -1050 range.
My card rates a 305, and my fear is that this latest upscale in the graphics game will be just a little more than I can handle. As a result, I am now hesitant to invest in the Founder’s Package when it goes live tomorrow.
I did do some checking today, and it looks like a new laptop will set me back around $1100 for what I would want. So…that’s not really in the cards right now, and probably wouldn’t be until Christmas at the earliest.
Which sucks because a little birdie told me that the game is awesome, with solid gameplay and a deeply respectful bow to the tabletop game from which it originated. Not to mention I was really looking forward to unleashing my very awesome Catapult variant on the unsuspecting world…
On a larger scale, it makes me fear for the success of both The Secret World and Mechwarrior Online both. I call it the Walmart Test: can you run the game on the comp in a box you would buy from your local superstore? One of the undervalued cornerstones to the success of many of the most profitable online games, like WoW, Runescape, and even World of Tanks, is their ability to be played on literally anything. As a result, the potential market for users is huge. Once the minimum requirements creep up to where they are now (for Mechwarrrior especially), the limiting factor becomes not the number of people who want to spend money on the game because you did a good job, but the number of people who can spend money on your game because they have been able to play it and see that goodness.
The end result can be a game that fails even though everything else was done right.