A Very Late 2012 Predictions Review

It dawned on my today that I never reviewed my 2012 predictions.  Probably because I decided not to do them for 2013, and promptly hid from myself the fact that I had done them last year.   But what the heck, after yesterday’s deep trip down memory lane, something light is called for.

 

1) FunCom will be FunCom…they will release a conceptually brilliant game long before it is ready, and oblivious to whether or not they have enabled their target audience to consume it

 

Well, The Secret World was clearly made for a certain target audience, and I would certainly consider the genre-bending TSW a conceptually brilliant game.  And they released it before it was ready.  None of this is surprising, and this counts as mostly a hit.  But…I think they did a great job prepping us for what kind of game it was and how it was going to play out.   This is a niche game and that was pretty clear in all counts, from the setting itself to the way characters were built, to the investigation and puzzle quests you encountered early on.  The only real headscratcher is why it wasn’t F2P to begin with –  I guess they needed a cash influx.  And I’m surprised they have not embraced more of the successful F2P options from other games – TSW would be the perfect game to introduce something like STO’s lockboxes or TOR’s cartel packs into.  But maybe scoring the latest pair of hotpants for your virtual Barbie doll is the most lucrative way to go.  How should I know?

 

2) Guild Wars will ship to much acclaim and joy, and find its niche…and then promptly fall off the radar, as people complete is PvE campaign in the course of a week and are left with nothing but hardcore PvP or the next $50 box drop.

 

Yes and no…GW2 apparently anticipated this and has made moves to put some emphasis and elbow grease into their dungeon system.  The end result seems to have pleased some people.  I’m not sure how big of a slice of the PvP pie its taking though.   I can’t imagine its all that much, or games like Darkfall and Camelot Unchained (or Defiance and PlanetSide 2 for that matter) would probably be crying and shaking their fists.  Still, I gotta call this one a miss.  There is plenty of PvE space to explore and the game is reasonably healthy – not to mention it is arguably a bigger success than its predecessor.

 

3) World of Warplanes Beta will come winging our way at some point during the year.  My guess is that it will not be nearly the success that World of Tanks has been.  Primarily because the inclusion of joystick support indicates that the basic keyboard controls are going to be awkward, and lets face it, that’s what most people use.  Again..that whole “know your target audience” mentality.

 

I actually have been in WoW since Alpha – it just took me awhile to find the invitation in my spam box.  :-p  And we are still under NDA, so I can’t tell you anything about this prediction really.

 

In other, completely unrelated news, I am considering downloading War Thunder.

 

ETA:  The NDA was actually dropped a few days ago and I missed it.   So I can be less subtle now – World of Warplanes is a mess.  It can’t decide if it wants to be an arcade shooter or a flight sim, and the parts of the World of Tanks model that were “adopted” in are problematic as well.   End result – people who came for arcade are frustrated, people who came for a flight sim are bored, and people who came from WoT are quickly in over their head.  Sign up and give it a try for yourself, but for my two cents, its a crash and burn.

ETA AGAIN: Turns out, they manage to fix World of Warplanes at the 11th hour, and I freaking love it. Who knew?

 

4) Dawntide may not survive another year.

It didn’t.  The website is still up but the game is all but dead.  Its a shame too, it was a very well designed sandbox.  I would have loved to live in it a while.

5) Sony will find a new flagship.  They have to, right?  I’m shocked that Everquest 3  took so long to get off the ground, even in whispered rumor form.  To be the advance they want it to be will require a full development cycle, which means we are looking at another 4 years probably before it hits.  So part B is this: I fully expect Sony to pick up distribution rights to ArchAge Online.  They have shown no qualms about bringing other people’s developments into their fold (Vanguard, Pirates of the Burning Sea).  Pairing this with a PlanetSide 2 launch would mean fresh blood in the Sci Fi and Fantasy domains.  That’s not to say that ArchAge comes out way in 2012, but I think it will find a home in this time period (call that part C if you will).

ArcheAge found its home with Trion – a good move and I think AA and Trion both will profit from it (and word is it will hit this year).  Sony let PotBS go, and seems to be relying solely on PS2 as its flagship game these days.  Star Wars – The Clone Wars Adventures (“the other Star Wars MMO”) got a quiet makeover while nobody was looking, and now it really is an MMO instead of just being an ambulated amalgam of minigames.  Much to my son’s chagrin, when he started a new trooper character and had to quickly learn how to shoot his way through droids, follow maps and quest points, and do all this if he wanted to get to some of those minigames that he knows and loves.  Quite honestly, I wonder now if EQ3 will ever see the light of day.   Call me a doubter at this point.  But don’t call that a prediction.  Please?

6)  Titan will lose its codename and we will began to get some information on it.  Quite frankly, my belief is that if you’ve been holding it in your backpocket for over four years, without even giving a hint of what it is, its just as likely rotten eggs as it is a hit.   But I’ll be curious to see what’s been rattling around in the heads of Blizzard and whether or not this is the time to unveil it.

Everything I said about Titan above is what leads me to believe that EQ3 is in the same boat.  The drivel of information is tiny, and both those games have been in development for over a full cycle now.  Entire MMO’s have been conceived, incubated, and birthed in the time that we’ve been waiting for information about these two.  That can’t mean good things, because as I’ve learned over the last few years – if its ready to talk about it, companies will trip over themselves doing so.  And if its not, they will do and say anything to put a sheen over the fact that its ugly as sin or broken as a wagon with square wheels.

Most/Least Anticipated and Biggest Fail.

WildStar still looks terrible – but it didn’t launch in 2012.  And it turned out what became my biggest anticipation became my biggest fail – and its one I haven’t said one peep about.  Mechwarrior Online is terrible.  The game will be good one day, like, a year from now.  But they took money and made promises, and its going to be a long time before they deliver.   And they did a great job getting lots of people to part with their money by promising all sorts of grand things, like launching 8 months ago (the game is still in beta) and giving us tons of mechs (I think they might be up to their original twelve now).   And the game itself?  The UI is so bad  – or rather so nonexistent and uninformative, that you might as well be doing freeform roleplaying  on your neared RPG forums.   You will have no idea what’s wrong, how much armor you have left, why you missed, what your heat level will change by, and where anyone is.   And good luck communicating with your teammates.   Oi.

And Guild Wars 2?   Well, I have no real beef with it.  But I also just can’t seem to get into it.  It bores me.  And I hate that I have to go running back to the capital city every couple of levels for a new storyline quest.   And the races, outside of humans, are fugly and awkward to watch.  Okay, so maybe I have a few things against it, but overall its a good game.  Its just not my cup of tea right now.

Anyway, there is your 1300+ word wall of text for today.   Enjoy.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some screenshots to balance it out!

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8 thoughts on “A Very Late 2012 Predictions Review

  1. Nobody

    “And I hate that I have to go running back to the capital city every couple of levels for a new storyline quest. ”

    as opposed to the traditional quest hub, where you’re constantly running back and forth across the map? those portals are so hard to click on aren’t they 😛
    seriously, how far did you level? i’m to 60 now as a human and for the past 40 or so levels my personal story has been in level appropriate zones other than a short stop in lion’s arch. and i have to ask again, what game to you play that has faster travel? certainly not wow,swtor or lotro.

    1. Ah, look, the very common Anonymous, come to tell me how awesome he is without having enough awesome to put his mouth where his money supposedly is…

      Perhaps the story lines do move beyond the capital city. I wouldn’t know – I stopped doing them before they got to that point. I gather from your emphasis on levels and being able to zone quickly that you are one of those Achiever types. I’m not. I’m one of those Explorer types. If I could play a game where I never had to go back to the ubiquitous “capital city,” I would. The traditional quest hub – no more or less traditional than the capital city or portals themselves – at least keeps me in the field, so to speak. If you read this blog more than this one post – you’d know I had fun losing myself all weekend in the Dune Sea of Tattooine. Not once traveling to the capital city, the space dock, the ship, or anywhere else…

  2. Nobody

    that’s Nobody to you, mr. harbingerzero….

    and how my name has anything to do with the merit of my comment/question i have no idea. and why you are so defensive is even more baffling. you choose to comment publicly on a game you’ve barely played. i chose to publicly question your comments. and if having one level 60 in a game with a level 80 cap that’s been out 6 months is your idea of awesome, then you might want to consider raising your standards. and obviously i am “one of those achiever types”, having made it 60 levels in 6 months. but then if you actually read the comment thoughtfully – you might not have made such an erroneous assumption.
    now, if i could possibly steer back towards some rational discussion?

    1) i played swtor also. played all the starter zones, my max level toon i left in tattooine at level 28. i quit because i couldn’t stomach any more of the back and forth questing and even more frustrating was all the invisible walls, kneedeep water, etc that broke my immersion and ruined any sense of exploration i could imagine. (and that was months before gw2 released). so i’m curious how you, as an explorer, find the game appealing?

    2) i would point out that the gw2 personal story is completely optional. i’ve read of many people who have skipped it. personally, i do the quests every 5 or 10 levels – whichever is convenient. i spend the majority of my time wandering the zone(s) and helping with whatever events i stumble into. in my wanderings, i’ve found several hidden areas that are actually mini-dungeons with champion level bosses and loot chests. i’ve mentioned this very fact on numerous other blogs and have yet to find someone who was aware of their existence. were you?

  3. I’m not defensive, I’m annoyed. Those are two different things.

    See, let’s say someone writes a blog making passing commentary on a number of games. And lets say one of those games, that person says in the post that this game is a *success* that its *population is healthy* and *admits* that its a better game than he thought and that he missed on his prediction that it would fail and that its a *good game.* Then lets say a fanboy of that game comes in and fails to read or acknowledge *any* of that and instead hones in on one minor negative thing this blog writer said about the game – a nitpick about the story missions. And that he leaves long winded posts criticizing the author for being a dimwit and hating on his beloved game. *That* is being defensive.

    Now let’s say the author of the post has to put up with this nobody, thumping his chest and peacocking his level 80 E-peen in several derogatory comments, when he clearly didn’t read the blog post and is ready to go all out to defend his Precious. That author might comment back that this nobody is a dumbass. *That* is being annoyed.

    See the difference?

    1. Nobody

      well, thank you for straightening me out on *all* that…i thought we’d had some sort of misunderstanding. but seeing how you continue to hurl insults in the guise of pseudo-intellectualism, i’ve made a huge mistake and am *clearly* in way over my head.

      i’m glad you’re loving swtor and i sincerely hope you find pleasure there for many, many years to come.

      1. I hate TOR. But if its “way over [your] head” to read the current blog post you are commenting on, then I would imagine reading any of the other posts here to know that would be as well. Or even reading the blog post just before this to know why I spent the weekend in TOR in spite of that.

        Perhaps its time to go back to scrolling through your news feed for the next article tagged with GW2 so you can find someone that actually thinks its a bad game?

  4. Whew! Just got up off the floor laughing at that interchange.

    I guess I’ll focus in on just one little thing, too. I hope TSW *NEVER* introduces something as inane as the lockboxes to be found in STO, SWTOR, or GW2. It’s gambling by another name and annoying as hell. Apparently, fluffy bunny slippers and miniskirts do in fact serve them well in the Funcom cash shop. GW2’s “gem shop” on the other hand, has been pointed out to be a disaster on many levels. But then, it may be making ArenaNet plenty of money, too. I only ever bought an extra character slot and some bank space.

    1. In his defense, I did miss that his E-peen was only level 60 and not level 80. So, shame on me for that, I guess.

      Anyway, yeah its hard to know what is successful and what is not. I don’t mind the boxes. If people want to gamble, great, my game gets more cash and stays stable. And if there is ever anything from the boxes I want, I can save up and buy it in the auction house. And since the boxes doubled the number of developers working on STO, which is directly responsible for the launch of the Romulan faction next month….go lockboxes! But I do understand the irritation with them, especially when it feels like all the new modeling and creative efforts are going there instead of to the main game itself.

      If GW2’s shop does have a weakness – its the lack of currency levels outside of direct CC input. If I go to the store and look at the rack of prepay cards and try to decide what F2P game wallet I am going to fund this time, I have choices of $10 or $20 for every game except GW2 – where I can only get $25 cards. That’s a hurdle.

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