Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Releases, releases

Yesterday Legends of Norrath officially went live for all Everquest players. I'll play it some more, now also testing how LoN cards drop in EQ2, over the weekend and hope to write a review sometime next week.

On October 19 Tabula Rase is going to be released (Thanks to = # # = for the link). My preview of that one is already written. And as the NDA will be lifted tomorrow, tomorrow it is for the release of my preview.

Meanwhile rumors have it that the combat system wasn't the only thing delaying the Age of Conan release date. It appears the game simply wasn't ready, still having big holes in the design. Given how the first half of 2008 is going to be dominated by WotLK and WAR, maybe postponing AoC even further into the second half of 2008 would be wiser. Sure, no MMORPG was ever "finished" at release, otherwise we wouldn't have all those patches. But a negative first impression can really kill a game. See Vanguard, although apparently that game is in reconvalescence since they merged all their servers to just 4 of them.

No news on the release dates of Pirates of the Burning Seas or Gods & Heroes. Bets are still taken on whether these two will make their announced "Fall 2007" release dates. As we are already in September, and neither even has the date of an open beta announced, they would need to move rather quickly to be out by November for the holiday sales.

What MMORPG do you hope to find under your christmas tree?
I'm sort of counting on Pirates. I'm pretty uninterested in any of the ones I have at the moment, craving something new. And the only one I see on the horizon that really grips me is the Burning Sea.

Hoping Rusty is hinting correctly when he says on September 19th we'll know some solid detials of release. He also said that there'd be 42 days of Open Beta... but that seems like a lot. I didn't read that directly from him, just some poster on their boards.

If that's the case, and the 19th ends up as the beginning of the OB, that would put the release on Halloween.

I'm okay with that. Hellgate: London and PotBS on the same day. Might as well call it Christmas.
HellGate London

I think that both W.H.O. and A.o.C. will be about as polished and stable as Lord of the Rings Online. I think the spectacular flame out of V.G. sent a message to publishers that was simply too obvious to ignore.

Now, I don't want to risk my well earned reputation as a mmorpg cynic, but the days of unfinished mmorpgs being shoved out the door may just about be over.

I mentioned Star Trek Online earlier. I think it "could" challenge WoW for three reasons:

1. big budget
2. well known franchise
3. space genre
4. wide variety of gear, races, and powers

Of course, SWG had those same advantages, and we know how that went.
Ok, that was four reasons )
The sci-fi/space genre just doesn't have the same widespread appeal of high fantasy. At least not to my knowledge. I would take it back down to 3 reasons because of that.

The IP is great, but somewhat "cult-like". Star Trek is looked at as far more "geeky" than Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, or any other popular culture nerdfest. (I say these things will due respect, because I am a geek and a Star Trek fan myself.)

It's because of 2 reasons I don't see the game being more than a 100,000 or so seller (which is certainly not bad, just not the WoW contended you're thinking it may be).

1.) The Sci-Fi Genre
2.) The IP is almost too exclusive. Warcraft was identifiable as fantasy, swords and boards, in the wake of wildly successful fantasy films. Star Trek is geek culture at its geekiest. Though the new movie may reall help reverse this image if done well.
There's a new Start Trek movie? The problem with Star Trek is it has a bad image for non-fans; nerds learning Klingon and middle aged men dressing up as Romulans etc.
Oh, and that reminds me of an in-joke in Burning Crusade: A Goblin blows himself up with some quest items he had you retrieve, and another Goblin rushes up to help him out. The 2nd Goblin tries and fails to get the 1st Goblin back on his feet, and he quips 'I'm a Doctor, not a Priest! (Trekkies will have chuckled at the obvious Dr McCoy joke, everyone else would have missed it completely).
POTB Should be interesting. I think I'll upgrade my swg account to a station account when it comes out to check it out. I am totally burnt out on the fantasy stuff to be honest.
Exactly, Vlad. You said it better, my friend.

As for the new ST movie, yep. It's in pre-production now. Sylar from Heroes will be playing Spock, with Nimoy playing an older Spock. Apparently the plot involves Nimoy's older Spock going back in time to stop someone from murdering Kirk. Hence why the whole cast is being re-done as younger, and why Shatner has not been cast to reprise an older Kirk.

I think the idea is to make this film the catalyst for a relaunching of the franchise at least for the big screen.
Really...not much is coming down the pipe for the rest of the year..

I played Tabula Rasa actually, and I can't wait to see your single opinion is..
I will buy it...and will decide at the end of my 30 days...
Luckily I just found EQ2 (yes, yes,...weird..I know..)...but, the game never ran smoothly for me until now (8800GTS 640mb card helps)...and now I can realize all the, that should keep me busy for a year or until these other high dollar games come (ps: Gods and Heroes will NOT be this year either...nuff said.)..
Will wait for WaR and AoC

I don't think of =##= as an MMORPG cynic, he's just the High Wizard of Hyperbole. The days of "X" may be over very soon. or [insert new game here] *could* be the WoW killer

I'm looking forward to Tobold's TR preview tomorrow though.
Everyone waiting for PoTBS, have you looked at Darkfall Online? It has all the elements of ship battles, plus much much more!
The problems with Perpetual and Gods and Heroes does make one wonder about Star Trek Online (same developers). As for Tabula Rasa, if you liked City of Heroes/Villians you may also like it. But it will be rather niche. PotBS is also another interesting game (if nothing but EVE in the age of sail).

Now what Bioware is up to, that is the question. As well as 38 Studios...
have you looked at Darkfall Online?

With Darkfall Online the question is not *when* it will be released, but whether it will be released at all. This could very well be vaporware.
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