Tobold's Blog
Friday, April 13, 2012
 
Deliberately missing the bus

There are four things I *could* do related to online role-playing games of 2012:
  1. Play the Mists of Pandaria beta
  2. Download the client for the TERA open beta starting in a week
  3. Pre-purchase Diablo III
  4. Pre-purchase Guild Wars 2
Unfortunately none of these look really attractive to me. I might try the TERA beta for the simple reason that it is free and thus I can have a look at the game for myself without having to wait until it goes Free2Play, which will presumably happen next year. ;)

I am not at all interested in the MoP beta, although I have an invite. My experience with World of Warcraft expansions is that they provide not enough content to cover the two years between their releases. Thus getting a sneak peak before release is shooting myself in the foot, or even both feet, as I not only will have less fun in the release version but also will have to redo stuff I already did in the beta.

While I am in the Diablo III beta, and played it through several times in earlier incarnations, I can't even bring myself to play the latest version again. Action RPGs tend to bore me quicker than games with more tactical combat. So why would I want to pay for this game before it is even released?

Same thing for Guild Wars 2, why pay full price for a game before it is even released? I'd rather wait until the game is available on Steam, hopefully for a more reasonable price than the one on offer for the pre-order, which here in Europe is €54.99 or the equivalent of $72. And that is for the cheapest option with no extra goodies!

I have been in enough betas and launches to know that not every launch goes smoothly, and that games tend to become cheaper more and more quickly after release. The hype-then-disappointment cycle for games is bad enough without the current trend of developers to try and cash in on the hype before the first reviews are out. Diablo III and Guild Wars 2 might well be both better and cheaper three months after release. So I consider waiting and playing open betas for free instead of pre-purchasing.

Comments:
I did break down and play the SWTOR Beta but otherwise avoid them.

Partly it is the surprise factor. But mainly it is that I am old-school: betas are for testing and there is not many games I want to go do that in. In particular, considering how buggy most MMOs are, let alone new 1.00 MMO releases, then I can only imagine how buggy the Beta is.

There is an argument that the .1 or .2 release is the time to start any new software but especially MMOs. Beta is going the wrong way.
 
> I'd rather wait until the game is
> available on Steam, hopefully for
> a more reasonable price

Because Steam has a long history of not charging much more to not-us-citizens? :)
 
Tobold, have a look at the dungeon master "rebuild" : www.grimrock.net

if you played DM when young, you'll like this :-)
 
Tobold, if you're interested in pre purchasing GW2 but you don't want to pay more then the game really costs (I for one never understood why most publishers' european pricing strategy is to change the $ sign to €), try at a local brick and mortar. I bought a pre purchase at a store for a bit less then 60$. Although prices in Serbia might differ from wherever you live, it's apparently cheaper to buy it physically then online (I have now idea why).
 
try at a local brick and mortar

That should work. For SWTOR the brick and mortar price was €15 lower than the digital price. Might be the same for GW2, €40 instead of €55.
 
here's an interesting read on the pricing of videogames (GW2 in particular) - http://www.wartower.de/artikel/artikel.php?id=627

leave it to the Germans to be exact and prudent :)
 
So Kickstarter is good, but pre-purchasing a game from an established studio is bad?
 
Have you considered The Secret World? No levels, no classes, and a nice break from the usual fantasy pulp out there.
 
So Kickstarter is good, but pre-purchasing a game from an established studio is bad?

Did you actually read what I wrote about Kickstarter? In my opinion Kickstarter is even worse than pre-purchase. Kickstarter is just useful as a way to "donate" money publicly to make game developers aware what kind of games you'd like to see.

Have you considered The Secret World?

Yes, I will certainly at least try to play the beta.
 
Why prepurchasing is wrong, when you more than surely will play a given game?

It's a genuine question, not trolling.
 
Why prepurchasing is wrong, when you more than surely will play a given game?

What is "wrong" is that by pre-purchasing you pay the highest possible price for the game, without knowing how good the game is. As already mentioned, you can probably get the game cheaper already on release day in a brick and mortar shop. And if you wait a few days, you can read the reviews before buying, reducing the risk of buying a game you end up hating.
 
Okay, so - for you - it's a price issue and that's completely valid reason, though you framed your argument to be a bit misleading :)

Thanks.
 
I actually cannot think of a single reason to pre-purchase Diablo 3. So why are people doing it?
 
Did you actually read what I wrote about Kickstarter? In my opinion Kickstarter is even worse than pre-purchase. Kickstarter is just useful as a way to "donate" money publicly to make game developers aware what kind of games you'd like to see.

Sorry, I remembered your post about Banner Saga, but thought I had read the more recent one about Kickstarter somewhere else.
 
If you're going to wait out a Blizzard game until it gets discounted, you might have to wait a long time. And even then, it'll still be $40 instead of the lower prices you'd see on Steam. Starcraft II took almost a year for $40 sales to start showing up, while the lowest it's ever been is still $30. World of Warcraft and its expansions similarly took a long time to get small price drops.

Most other MMOs do follow the cheaper quicker trend, but Blizzard has so far held out. It makes sense to wait a few months before buying an MMO if you're reasonably sure it can be had for 30% off by then. But to wait almost a year while everyone has hit the level cap for a Blizzard game to be discounted the same amount.

I didn't buy WoW until I found it on sale almost 2 years after it came out. But my leveling experience was different from the leveling experience of the players at launch. I'm sure it was less buggy, but I didn't get to experience the bustle and social vitality of a mass of players learning the game at the same time when 80% of the server population were playing lvl 60s or speed-leveling alts.
 
"If you're going to wait out a Blizzard game until it gets discounted, you might have to wait a long time"

Nah, just pre-order from a retailer who is offering a discount.
 
spinksville, name me a US retailer offering a Diablo III pre-order discount and I will.

I did manage to pre-order Guild Wars 2 for $47 from Amazon back when people still assumed PC games were going to be $50 when they came out.
 
I'm more excited about TSW than any of the above.

While games do become cheaper.. an important point if you are going to play many of them (MMOs), I think there's an energy and excitement to experiencing a new game for the first time with people around you who are also seeing it for the first time. When a game is coming out that I'm really hopeful about, I won't trade that to save a few bucks. Even if the game winds up being a flop, that beginning is still a blast.
 
Pre purchase Diablo 3
Download client for Tera open beta.
YEP!
 
Ran: I'm really not an expert on US retailers since I live in Europe. However, amazon.co.uk offered a good discount if you preordered several months ago so I'd assume the US site did as well.
 
Of course, all this D3 preorder talk is immaterial for the million people who are getting it for no additional charge. I would think the majority of the most motivated D3 fans already committed to getting it many months ago.
 
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