Opening the 2014 Time Capsule

So, according to my notes, this is my second year doing this. Instead of predictions at the end of the year, at the beginning of the year I try to capture my hopes, dreams, and thoughts for the year in one space, and then go back and look at them the next year. This change was inspired by SWTOR after I realized how I went from gung-ho-on-fire for it to hating it in the course of a year. How quickly things change in the world of online gaming, right? So here is where I was 12 months ago, and my reflections now.

I Was Looking Forward To Four Things:

    World of Warplanes: Vought F7U Cutless

The Cutless was my favorite tier 10 at launch, and was supposed to be my first end game plane. Its defensive handling and speed made it a great choice. But I ran into two problems. One is that the Corsair line has been perpetually underpowered in the game. It is unrealistically nerfed in its speed and handling, and tends to be one of the worst choices to fly at tiers 7-8 (where the grind kicks in). So while I unlocked the tier 7, I never went beyond that. It sits in the hanger, gathering dust. The more serious problem though, was Warplanes population struggles. While things are better now, its still hard to find any sort of decent size match above tier 7, and anytime they do a special (like the one that has been going on the last month) its impossible to play anything other than the tiers directed (in this case, tier 4) because that is where everyone congregates. Its good for the overall health of the game to get people together, and there is no real need for a tier 10 yet, but still, it is frustrating. I have used free XP to unlock and upgrade the FJ-1 Fury, at tier 9, and one that is probably better suited for my play style than the Corsairs were.

    Elder Scrolls Mania

I think I spent just about half the year on subscription for Elder Scrolls Online. I continue to believe it to be a great MMO. But it is almost exclusively used by me for playtime with my brother, and the last two months have been nuts for both of us. We talked this week and are anxious to make a return to the game in the coming weeks. Part of my joy is the flexibility in playstyles. Its not unusual for me to have a different weapon and skill set equipped each night. Oh and the crafting…my word the crafting. I collect crafting styles like some people collect stamps. Or pets. Or achievements. Yeah, lets go with those.

    Playing Old RPG Franchises

I tried Wizardry 7. Oi. Character creation alone was crazy frustrating to me. So I figured maybe I went toooo far back in time, ya know? So I picked up Might and Magic 10 on sale, and it was a bust too. So I tried M&M7 again. Also a bust. The magic just wasn’t there. And that’s when I realized the problem wasn’t that I had gone too far back, but that I hadn’t gone far enough. So, I busted out some Might and Magic 2. Its still hard as hell, but at least my expectations are in line with reality. And I don’t have to deal with an inventory system from hell – Might and Magic 2 restricts every character to 12 items – six equipped and six in the backpack.

MM2

And character creation evokes the feeling of classic tabletop dice rolling for some reason.

...can't quite put my finger on why.
…can’t quite put my finger on why.

So, nostalgia enjoyed, thanks again NWC and Van Canegham for making a timeless classic!

    The Return of WoW

Yeah, not so much. Not sure why, but by the time release rolled around, any enthusiasm I felt was completely nonexistent. I couldn’t tell you why, as I’ve said before, I think WoW today is much improved from when I last played regularly (2007-2008), but apparently, for me, that ship has sailed.

I Had Three Burning Questions:

    What Will Come of Wildstar?

It came, it saw, it had some success. But I wondered if it would have some impact on the MMO landscape. And quite frankly, I don’t think it did. It certainly did not aim to be groundbreaking in style, graphics, or gameplay, but I think they did want to bring back some of that old subscription magic. And for me at least, they did not (though I would argue that, again *for me*, ESO did manage to do just that)

    Will ArchAge Be Arriving in 2014

This was bizarre. After months and months of dragging feet, Trion finally put their full wait behind this thing and shoved it right out the door, along with a hefty preorder price tag. The long wait time, sudden ramp up, and ridiculous pricing levels muted my enthusiasm. I had hoped that this would be the next big thing, but the mindless development enslavement to PvP and propensity for people to be jackasses (ie, gank helpless players), doomed this game to a dark corner. Oh, sorry, “niche market”, that’s the spin we want to put on it. Sad.

    How Will WarThunder’s Ground Game Hold Up Against World of Tanks?

Boy is this one the opposite of my other questions. Ground Forces is, for me, an unqualified success. I have all but abandoned World of Tanks in favor of what I see as superior graphics, superior gameplay, and superior dedication to historical sensibility. I had no idea this was coming but I’m the happier for it. And while the game still has its struggles at times, the plane/tank crossover in one client has actually siphoned flying time away from WoWp as well. This is a case in point for why I do these articles. I had no idea 12 months ago I would be this deep in WT.

I Had Two Places I Wanted To Return To:

    EVE Online

I played again, I loved the visuals all over again. And once again, I quit after a month, because…well, I was bored again. There has never been a prettier game with less to do for those who came looking for an MMORPG. I think EVE is probably best classified as an MMOPBG – massively multiplayer online persistent battle ground. Because for all its wonderful variety, at its heart its a one trick pony. Still – what is it that GMC says? Do one thing and do it well? Well that is EVE – they do one thing, and they do it so well that a decade later, nobody else has even come close.

    SWTOR

I’m glad I went back, because I learned something. I learned that the problem I had with TOR was not all the random side quests. It was the story quests themselves. The terrible face choices and the arbitrary light side/ dark side assignation drove me away more than the slow gameplay and group advancement did. So when the 12x XP event happened last December, I literally laughed. I can’t think of anything less enticing to me than to say “just come and play for the story.” I probably have a stash of cash now, and who knows, maybe one day I will go back and putz around again, but right now, I have lost any latent desire or nostalgia that was present.

***

So there ya go. I’m in a different place on War Thunder, Eve Online, ArchAge, and SWTOR than I was a year ago. Stay tuned for the 2015 time capsule coming in the next couple of days to a blog near you (ie, this one!)

Cult of Personality

Syp has a great post about the personality of games, and I would like to say I agree 100%. My Wildstar title was chosen with great care – “things that turned me off” – and not just off the cuff. I don’t think its a bad game. I’m just a getting a bit of an eyebrow raise at the terms some people are using to describe it – innovative being the main one.

Which leads me to the one way I can see a game as being bad. And that is when it misrepresents itself to the wider audience. SWTOR got absolutely pummeled post launch, and gamewise, mechanically, its not a bad game. Its quite solid. But when it is not playing itself out the way you promised people it would, its gonna take a beating in social media and in sales and subs as well.

By the same token, this has been the concern with TESO as well – you are advertizing Multiplayer Elder Scrolls – that had better be what you deliver!

But if you can show people what your game is in a realistic manner, keep the expectations in check as a result of that, and then launch without too many bumps, things will be just fine for you and your game. And as you might have guessed, the expectations part of that is the difficult one. Games that are greatly hyped had to deal with frothing masses and their exponential growth of expectations (one of the things that makes me worry about Star Citizen). In other words, you have to be careful when you develop a cult of personality around your game. It might not be a bad thing for business. But if the crowds discover upon launch that the personality they have been worshipping is not the one they got, well…

frankenstein_villagers

Five Reasons Wildstar Turned Me Off

ETA: 10/8/15.  Many people are finding their way here as Wildstar goes F2P.  Please know that this was written from my beta experiences in the game and some things will have changed.  If the article is too long and you are just looking for a TL;DR summary:  I don’t like WildStar’s style or mechanics, but its not really a bad game.  Its just a niche MMO that really only appeals to a certain audience.   Now that its F2P (as predicted below) whether or not you fit in that audience is up to you to find out.

Its five for Friday, and while in yonder years I would do a full on write up of a game when the NDA dropped, these days…I’m just not that keen on it. So I’m hijacking my new Friday format to answer the burning question: “Why don’t you like Wildstar?”

Along the way we will answer that secondary question – why its perfectly legitimate to call Wildstar “WoW 2.0 In Space,” despite assertions to the contrary.

1) Turns Out Paths Are Not That Unique

So when I get into the Beta, I start doing some digging and asking around about Paths. I know they are loosely based on Bartle’s dichotomy, and so normally I would pick and Explorer. But the devil is in the details – how exactly do you let one explore? Well, turns out, for Wildstar, at least according to what I’ve read and the players I talked to in game, Exploring involves some wandering, but also a good bit of platforming. I hate platforming. So I decide to pass on exploring. I know its been a big deal (love it or hate it) in GW2 and I’m sure Wilstar wanted to capitalize on some of that as a trend in MMO gaming.

Well, no big deal, I’m also a lore hound, and so I figure Scientist works for me. It requires you to carry around a noncombat pet that can die in combat but can’t fight for you (strike 1), but hey, I play a lot of pet classes, so I can live with that. Somehow, I managed to not complete my first Science mission, in the tutorial arc, which is bad. Because you can’t go back and finish it, and this is a themepark MMO – which means now my science level will now never be as high as it could be. Granted this is Beta, but how often will this happen in the full game? Is it just this one mission I can’t go back to? And with that one miss, we have turned what could be a fun – well, path – into something that feels like a must do (strike 2). And so I dive with enthusiasm into the next couple of missions only to find one that requires me to…wait for it…go platforming to complete it. And sure enough I miss. And miss again. And miss again. But I have to complete it, because if not I’ll be behind! And then I won’t get the rewards and XP that everyone else has and….you know what, forget it (strike 3). Someone tell me why being a lore hound means you have to saddle yourself with a noncombat pet that dies every time you get into combat and platforming?

I guess “loosely” really is the key word here. In reality, its just four bonus rounds to give you a crutch through replayability (and some are not even that – some of the soldier missions basically amount to killing extra waves of the same enemies in the same area – ::yawn::) Because Wildstar is going to be a game that looks to get you to level multiple characters to the top of the charts to keep that sub going, and this is a way to help swallow that bitter pill. Quick, can anyone think of another themepark MMO that has become famous for getting people to level alts all the way to the top?

2) Why Am I Paying For My Abilities?

I’m just not sure I get it. For the most part, developers have figured out that artificially slowing you down and capping your power is a bad thing. Its just not fun to hit that ding finally, be stoked about a new level, and have nothing to show for it. We want those abilities to pop up in the hot bar. We want to see tangibly how we are now more powerful and can kick more but. That we have indeed climbed higher on the curve. But not here. Get your hoverboard ready kiddos, because you are going to need to ride back into town to buy that new sword swing.

That’s just a money sink right? What kinds of games need money sinks? And how many games these days make you buy your abilities when you level up?

3) I Can’t Play What I Want To

Many bloggers have been over this before, but it truly is one of the things that turns me off. I want to play a Mordesh Esper. But space zombies don’t have brains. Or something. Look, to paraphrase legendary game designer Luke Crane, if I as a developer create a game where magic is dead, and I have a player that says, “I want to play the last living mage,” the answer is always and emphatic, resounding “YES.” Particularly in a game like Wildstar where your character is supposed to be a hero. Heroes break the mold, the do the extraordinary. I don’t care that space zombies don’t have the brains to be an Esper in your lore. That is completely irrelevant. The real question is why my extraordinary, heroic Mordesh can’t be an Esper. And the only viable answer to that question is a developer saying “because I don’t want you to.”

This isn’t 2004, and you don’t have an 11 million 9 million person playerbase. Open the options up.

4) The Totally Original Art Style

Its cute, its whimsical, its fun, its like nothing you’ve ever seen before!

wildstar art style

5) I Got Deus Ex‘d Into Playing The Exact Same Area All Over Again

I can’t believe this actually happened, but it did. I completed an sub area, to finish off a greater area. I had succeeded, mission accomplished, well done, good job! Go stand here and watch the victory animation unfold so that you can move to the next area!

But then, the hand of God descending…well, not really, because they hadn’t put in the graphics for it yet…but I gathered from the quest text, that the spaceship I was waiting for had been blasted into oblivion. The NPC I had spent time and effort saving was now dead. The NPC whose gratitude I had for saving said NPC is now pissed. And to make things even worse, to fix things, I have to go back into the same area and do more missions. Why?

Because the developers decided that having the players move to a new area was not as good as reusing space they had already designed for yet another leg of missions.

Really? We are skimping on areas now? We are reusing the same areas over and over again for new quests, just to squeeze some extra time in them and to keep from having to design new areas and new levels? And we’ve done it in such a way as to make you absolutely powerless in the storyline, and to reveal the “do-over” as a result of that, well, it doesn’t come off as anything other than a punishment for a crime you did not commit.

That’s not smart design. Its not good design. Its crappy design, and perhaps even worse, lazy design. If we are going to make a themepark MMO, what is the point of making people ride the same rides over and over again? Isn’t part of the reward the progression of uncovering new rides?

Of all the things I’ve mentioned here, this one took the cake. I still am shaking my head as I write this. Whose idea was it? Did they think it was a good one? I mean isn’t having to double back into areas for quests the epitome of bad quest design? This is basically that, but more.

Bonus) The Silver Lining

Wildstar isn’t all bad. It has its moments. In the good ones, it feels almost like a sort of fantasy version of Firefly/Serenity. A Wild West Fantasy Sci-Fi Pulp Mashup. And I can see the appeal in that, despite the fact that I’m not a big fan of space bunnies and space zombies.

The abilities are fun, despite the generic three tree of skill progression (tank/heal or DPS? Oh, the choices…), and the limited bar is part of that.

This is one of those games, that I could see dipping into from time to for fun. But the sub really does make that an impossibility. Perhaps once the game transitions to F2P – and make no mistake, it will eventually do just that (once they figure out that they are WoW but without millions people willing to sub up) – then I could see giving it a run through.

And one final thing – I have always said Wildstar was “WoW 2.0 in Space.” It is an improvement over WoW, there can be no doubt about it. There are things here that, while not really innovative, are steps forward from where WoW is. In fact, you might say that if Blizzard were to remake WoW today, Wildstar, at least mechanically, is probably what you would expect them to do. In that sense, it is not a bad game. But the comparisons are aboslutely deserved, and nobody can complain that they don’t know what they are getting out of this game. Its all but written on the tagline.

Quote of the Day: Childish or Childlike?

Syp has a few things to say about Wildstar today. I have not been a big advocate of the game, which I have IRL taken to jokingly called “WoW 101 In Space.” But today’s post help me put a finger on one of the things that I have struggled with in everything I have seen about the game so far.

“WildStar is… well, very much in your face about everything. It’s not a game for subtle beauty or sublime moments. It’s a hyperactive kid with a tin foil helmet running around going “PEW PEW!” while giggling maniacally…In my book, there’s a difference between being childish and being childlike, and I see WildStar as the latter.”

And in my book, it is exactly the opposite. Childlike implies an innocence regarding the world. That innocence takes the form of an unawareness of what the world thinks. Childish on the other hand, knows what the world thinks and continues its antics without abatement for the sake of self-entertainment or out of a desire to prove the antics have merit.

See, its okay for my five year old to run around doing what Syp’s hyperactive kid is doing. Heck, its okay for a thirty something do it, in the right circumstances (the lock in I had with my youth group this past weekend comes to mind). But its not okay for either the five year old OR the adult to do it through the isles of the grocery store on Senior Discount Day. Savvy?

Because if they did, it would stop being childlike and move to childish.

Now, I have not played the game yet, and so perhaps the atmosphere of the game itself is the real golden egg here that makes the game standout. Atmosphere, the “feel” of the game can really make or break things both in games and in real life. Its the difference between the lock in and the grocery store, and so maybe that is what makes this all work. Maybe that is what takes shooting people to heal them from stupid to fun.

shootoheal

But an atmosphere like that…can it really have lasting success as an MMO? Particularly an MMO that wants to command a subscription from its users? Doesn’t that atmosphere get old after awhile outside of a very small niche market?

As with all things, time will tell, but color me, as I have been from the beginning, as skeptical. And nothing I’ve seen or heard so far has done anything to change that.

Time Capsule 2014

I really liked the format last year and enjoyed coming back to it. So the concept will go on for another year, but with a new name to better reflect what I’m looking to do.

The truth is, this post is a time capsule. I mark this place to show where I was at in my thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires, and questions at the beginning of the year. That is what is fun for me. So there are basically three sections below. The first deals with my hopes and desires for the coming year – what I want to accomplish or would like to see come to pass. The second is staking out, in the grand blogging tradition, what games I will return to to try again or just to enjoy again. And the third is my list of burning questions – my musings and ponderings about what 2014 might hold.

The Crypt of Civilization, the world’s most ambitious time capsule, and one of the inspirations of this post.

What I Am Looking Forward To

The Vought F7U Cutless. I’ve played around on the WoWp test server with enough of the high tier aircraft to know that I was made for this plane. Originally the fastest of the tier 10 jets, that has been eclipsed by the new British line. But, unlike its real world counterpart, this plane handles like a dream. I have led a two plane chase column from one end of a high tier map to the other without getting shot down, because of its incredible pitch and roll rates. It also has decent firepower and a great climb rate, making it the perfect ending to a line that already has those traits going for it. I’m finishing up the F4F Wildcat right now, and then its on to the Corsair for a couple of tiers, before transitiong to the F6U Pirate, the only hiccup in the line. It follows a bit too closely to its real world counterpart. And quite frankly, its an odd choice – the line would more logically go through the F2H Banshee, a production aircraft, rather than the Pirate.

In any case, this is probably my first planned foray up the tech tree in WoWp, along with the Messerschmitt line culminating in the severely OP Me 262 mark 3. Because you can’t ignore the OP stuff in the world of PvP. You could also include in this that I am overall looking forward to a growing player base for WoWp.

Elder Scrolls Mania. I got Skyrim for Christmas and have been enjoying it – except for the random murders of important townsfolk that I have no power to stop, which apparently happens at random. And I got to try my hand at the ESO Beta, and while its under NDA, I think it would be okay for me to tell you that I went from being “meh” on it to being very excited for it. I am not excited about a subscription fee, but I honestly don’t see that lasting more than about six months time. How about you?

Playing Old RPG Franchises. I picked up Wizardry 6-8 from Steam over the holidays. I was a Might and Magic fan growing up and just didn’t have the money to follow both series. So I’ve always wanted to go back and try it out, and that is exactly what I intend to do – at the bargain basement price of $2.75, which I could have afforded even back then, had they been on sale that low! Speaking of Might and Magic, UBI continues to develop MMX: Legacy, and I will continue to watch and wait eagerly, thought I have not been ready yet to drop the $30 they want for early access and testing on Steam. I may not be able to contain myself much longer though. Speaking of which, my other holiday Steam purchase was Conquest of Elysium 3, by the same people that created Dominions 3 and most recently just released Dominions 4. It takes more of an RPG flavor than the grand strategic scale of Dominions, but there is no denying the connections between the two. Speaking of which, you can now also get Dom 3 for a mere $20 on Steam. I absolutely guarantee that this game is worth its original asking price of 3x that amount. I can also include the Agarest series on here, as hopefully Ghostlight makes more of them available on Steam. The game got a terrible rap for confusing combat and its supposedly heavy fan service. So far I’ve seen less fan service than your typical Bong movie, and the combat is quite excellent – thought if you jumped the tutorial because the game looked a lot like Final Fantasy Tactics, I can imagine you got your butt handed to you more than once. The game looks the same but the system is very, very different.

I could have included this in my “Return To” section below, but I tend to think of that as more in the realm of MMO’s.

The Return of WoW. I am excited about the possibilities of the new expansion (especially the base/home), and the inclusion of a max level character. I have actually been playing around on my free WoW account some over the holidays. It seems strange to say it in some ways, but I firmly believe that WoW is a better game now than it was when I left it 5 years ago. At this point, unless ESO just absolutely grabs me by the head and won’t let go, I intend to spend a few months in Azeroth towards the end of the year (assuming that is inded when it drops).

Burning Questions for 2014

What Will Come of Wildstar? I’m not sure it can be said loudly or clearly enough, but Wildstar wants to be the WoW killer. From the art style to the considered goals, to the planning of races and classes, the goal can’t be seen as anything other than an attempt to invade the fertile subscription lands that WoW occupies. Maybe its just me, but when I hear ESO talk subs, I think its just a placeholder to recoup costs. When I hear Wildstar say it (perhaps because of the announcement of its version of Plex/Kronos), I think they intend to stick with it. I can’t help but think they will fail. I have no ill will to the game really, though I do think its a major step backwards to limit your race/class combos, so I’m not looking to be right here in the vindictive sense, but I just can’t imagine what it is about this game that will make it a lasting presence on the MMO landscape. On the other hand, I felt the same way about Guild Wars 2…

Will ArcheAge Be Arriving in 2014? Its been out for a year over in Korea. Its in testing with players over in RU as we speak. Yet we have nothing more than a basic placeholder site and zero information about release dates or just about anything else with regards to a timeline here. I submitted a question for the Game On Podcast (about the PR machine) and Victor Barreiro seems to think that Hartman was encouraging, but I was disappointed with the overall lack of response, not just on my question but on the game overall. One the one hand, the game is ready – just translation issues remain. On the other hand, we can’t give any further information or dates or even a range of dates. If we can’t give a range of dates even on a PR buildup, I have to think the game is really far off. Any yet I can’t imagine that if all that is remaining is the final stage of localization, that it would be on hold for another full year. The bottom line here is that this is my next big game that I have great hopes for, and the sooner it gets here, whether that be to fulfill my expectations or dash them, the better I will be.

How Will WarThunder’s Gound Game Hold Up Against World of Tanks? WarThunder’s vision is ambitious. Put planes and tanks together on the same battlefield. I can’t think that this will be easy to implement or balance, let along do those two things while making it fun to play. So I’m curious to see how it plays out. WarThunder and WoWp are different enough that they draw their own individual crowds, but there is something about the ground game that will be interesting to watch play out. Maybe just because Wargaming has more to lose than Gaijin does. Then again, WoT is the WoW of the military battleground world. Their position is going to be tough enough to assail without the added design complications that Gaijin is imposing on itself.

Return To…

I’ve pondered this one a lot over the past few weeks. Initial thoughts included Age of Conan, Dark Age of Camelot, or Neverwinter Nights. But NWN still doesn’t have a class that really drives me to want to play the game. Conan I got as far as downloaded and taking my old character out for a test drive, but an hour later I was done. So done. Dark Age is an old title, but with the coming of Camelot Unchained, I thought it might be fun to play for a bit and do a compare contrast as the year brings more information. Still, it is dated and we may still be a ways from Camelot Unchained. Plus, as a divided market now intends – it is still a subscription game, and that means there is a barrier to entry there that other options don’t have.

In the end, I thought about what I wanted out of the experience. I said to myself that these will be long term, but part time efforts. I have main, “every night” kind of games, but I want games I can “marathon” in – play one or two nights a week, draw the experience out for a year and really enjoy it and not feel like I have to log in every night to keep the world turning. With that in mind, I settled in on two:

EVE Online. On a whim, because I loved the idea and what was inside, and boosted by Wilhelm‘s glowing review of it, I placed the EVE Second Decade Collector’s Edition on my Christmas Wish List. I honestly didn’t think I would get it, but…what the hell, it was Christmas, right? Well my parents spoiled me, and I absolutely love it. The Rifter looks great on my desk, and I’m super excited about the board game, which looks like fun. And the soundtrack and history book are absolutely worth the price alone. And the game itself is perfect for the drop in/drop out mentality now that I think about it. I’ve always been desperate to fill time in EVE – but the long time EVE players like Kirith Kodachi and even Wilhelm, don’t seem to be people who play it every day. Maybe my pacing has just been off. If nothing else, I always enjoy just flying in space. While there is a subscription barrier here as well, but I think its worth it given my past experience with the game.

SWTOR. I have decided after long consideration to hit the reset button on SWTOR. I never did get past the starter planets on the side of the Republic. I would love to see the other half of the galaxy. And the idea of just following the storyline, and filling in the blanks with the minigame, ducking the sometimes irritating side missions – which also cuts down on the overly long leveling cycle, particularly towards the end. And, free to play, very good if I’m burning my two sub limit on ESO and EVE.

I don’t like that SWTOR under-reached for their Galactic Starfighter expansion, I think it was dumb and yet another let down, on top of being blatant plagiarism. But while I think that, I’m more interested in blogging about my experience in the game, than spending more time shredding them for the move. In other words, it sucks for the MMO world but it benefits me, so I’m gonna roll with it.

A Bold Prediction for NCSoft

I was reading Ysharros’ recommending reading around the closing of CoX.   I just realized I have never blogged about this, but I did play City of Heroes/Villains for two stints, and really enjoyed the game.  The first time Vanguard pulled me away (lol)  and the second time EVE did.

 

And let me say I enjoyed the article and understood the background behind the argument that closing CoX is the best thing for NCSoft.  I do get a little bit of business strategy even if I do not operate in that sphere in real life.

 

But what stood out to me the most was this tangential line in the post:

 

If the money might be better off going to ArenaNet (you bet NCsoft wants Guild Wars 2 to an incredible success) or Carbine Studios (Wildstar is on its way) than staying with Paragon Studios, then it makes sense to divert the cash.

 

Let me be the first to predict:  Wildstar will be an unmitigated failure of a game.  A disasterous underperforming WoW clone of the worst order, arriving on the MMO scene about five years too late.  That is not an argument for saving CoX, that’s just something I need to put out there because if I hear another person glowing over how “great” that game is going to be, I may scream.