Today ArenaNet showed us the list of worlds that are available at the start of BWE3 which begins this upcoming weekend, and to the majority of people the list is just that – a list of servers. But that isn’t the case for Moxiedoodle and the other members of her Rift guild, Gaiscioch. To them this list is much, much more. It’s a personal remembrance for a wonderful friend who passed away this year. You can read her story about the remembrance on her blog (you may want to grab a box of tissues first, it’s quite touching).
This is just one way that a gaming company can reach out to their fan base and prove that their players are more than just wallets funding their next project, but actual people, with feelings and emotions. A lot of gamers are aware that community is what drives them to play online, the people they meet and relationships they form – it’s really nice to see the game company also recognize that it is community that drives people to play their game.
Hopefully we hear more stories like this, instead of the negativity that normally surrounds anything anyone seems to do these days. Congratulations to all of those who worked hard at getting ‘Sanctum of Rall’ added as a server. I’m sure your friend would be incredibly thankful, as I know you all must be.
Over the last few weeks I have discussed on the MMO Voices Podcast (sometimes briefly, other times not so much) the condition of hype with regards to new games coming out. Specifically I touched on the stream of content for SWTOR and yet also receiving the announcement of a possibly delayed release. Now I know this is old news but I have been churning around the idea of game companies creating desire and hype for their new products. I love to be informed about games coming out, but there is a tipping point on that scale where it begins to draw out negative and mouth foaming reactions from me.
SWTOR, in my personal opinion, has done a great job of letting the community know what is on the way. Yay! They have also teased me to the point that I feel like crying like a 6 year old denied dessert until after dinner. I missed out on the era of SWG and all the fun (and perhaps not so fun) players had with the universe. Star Wars has always been a huge passion for me. I mentioned on the podcast that I have in fact, destroyed two sets of VHS sets of the original trilogy with my compulsive desire to watch the oddly comforting story of the Rebellion’s struggle. Thankfully DVD’s hold up a bit longer. SWTOR is the first Star Wars game that I have looked at since KOTOR and thought, “There is a God.”
Since the announcement of SWTOR, I have followed the tid-bits of information with palpable anticipation. Unfortunately for me, this has led to just as much frustration as it has moments of glee. I’m a bit tired of hearing about a game that in reality is not something I will be playing anytime soon. The word soon is relative to the individual, but for me anything outside of six months might as well be an eternity. I have wanted to play the jedi or the scandalous bounty hunter since I was a small kid making weapons from sticks and air. (How I missed out on SWG is beyond me.) That’s roughly 20 some years of dreaming about the moment SWTOR is offering. It isn’t Bioware’s fault that I have waited this long, but now I am blaming them for making the last two years an emotional roller coaster for my Star Wars fantasies.
The irritation with early released previews isn’t solely dedicated to SWTOR. I have the same feelings about Guild Wars 2. I loved the first game. Although it has never been my primary MMO for any length of time, it has been my number 2 for the last five years. My emotions could be getting the best of my recollection, but I feel that the last two years I have been waiting for GW2 to make an appearance. Well, it has made an appearance but not in the manner I was hoping for. I wanted to play the game not read about it for another year. Games take time to develop, but I am a child on Christmas day ready for my parents to wake up and give me the goods!
One side of me loves that companies do give us these previews of what’s to come. The other side of me curses. Ive heard other gamers complain about how FFIX has been dipping on and off the radar for weeks, even months at a time. They grumble and moan and throw things wondering why they are not being given more info by Square Enix. Im jealous! I love it when game companies give me info that peaks my interest and then shut up for a few months. At least then I can forget about it and enjoy the games I am currently playing. It’s like an emotional time machine for my gaming. One day I am happy as a clam with new content, the next I am angry that the game is so far out, then I forget about it and 3 months zips by like nothing only to have my excitement rekindled by another preview and a closer deadline.
With SWTOR and GW2 I don’t have this luxury. Perhaps it’s because I read and participate in the community more than I ever have before. Im seeing more articles about the games than when I was busy chasing ladies down at my local pub or off on some rock climbing mission. All and all the exposure is making me feel drained and less and less excited about the games I really want to be excited for. I miss the days when I would read about an awesome title and within a few months be able to enjoy it. Now it seems like anything new and exciting is more like being shown a plate of food just out of reach when I am starving. So close yet so far!
I guess I am just really ready for something new that pulls me into a fresh MMO with some of my friends. I’m loving WoW right now but its lacking what I really want: A polished new experience to explore in an IP I love.
Ranting and whining aside, how do you readers feel about the trend of early content previews? Do you like that exciting games are becoming more accessible during their creation phase? Or are you like me and feel like your being teased?
Maybe watching Star Wars in my Wookie PJ’s will comfort my woes.