Obligatory Wildstar Post
I’m not really sure what constitutes “obligatory” in the blogosphere. For example, there’s a whole ecosystem of World of Warcraft blogs that were no doubt all over the “no flying in Draenor” situation earlier in the week, but it’s not something that touches me so I won’t be discussing that. But I did see a whole lot of people talking about yesterday’s announcement that Wildstar would be transitioning to a free to play (F2P) model.
I am pleased with this announcement. WS is a solid game. It’s got a lot going for it, but unfortunately it seemed that the majority of people who made the initial purchase didn’t find enough enjoyment in the game to warrant paying a subscription. That being said, I feel fairly confident that WS has a bright future ahead of it. I suspect a lot of those initial players will return, even if just casually, and all of those “I’d try it if it were free to play” folks who seemed to pop up like weeds when the game launched will have the opportunity to put their (no) money where their mouths are. The game will be free to download, free to play, adopting the “free with more” model that doesn’t hamstring free players, and which layers bonuses on those who opt to pay the monthly subscription. We’ll call this the “carrot and cupcake” strategy, because it’s Wildstar.
Witcher 3 Horses
Talk about a niche topic…which is what I’m going to do.
People like mounts in their MMOs because if there’s one thing people love to hate it’s downtime due to traveling. There are those who take the “stop and smell the roses” stance that we should take time to appreciate the landscape, and that’s fine, but as anyone who commutes to work every weekday can attest to, the scenery is really only interesting for the first few times through. Then it becomes a backdrop to the miserable realization that you’ve yet to become independently wealthy.
So of course there’s a horse in The Witcher 3 because as an open world game, you’ll often be backtracking and covering a lot of ground in a single session. You’re driven by a need to finally find Yennifer, Geralt’s lost love, so time is always of the essence — in between taking care of villager tasks like recovering frying pans and killing griffons. Having a horse makes life a lot easier.
One big issue I have with TW3 is that the controls are stupidly sloppy. I’ve gotten the horse trapped by trees, rocks, villagers, posts, and other features which seem to just spring up out of nowhere. That’s why I have come to really appreciate the roads in this game.
See, when you’re on the horse (named “Roach” for some horse-shaming reason, I guess?) and are traveling on the road, you can engage the canter mode (faster than trot, slower than gallop), and when you’re in that mode your horse will auto-navigate the road. The only time you need to touch the non-power steering is when you come to a fork or an intersection, and even then it’s just a nudge in the proper direction.
In a game that’s been praised for it’s everything (except it’s really small text), the thing that I’m the most happy with is the self-driving horse. Either my priorities are screwed up, or I really should have saved my money on this game.