The Circle (of Game Selection) Life
Being Old(tm), I am rarely able to sleep in past 6:30 AM, 7 if I’m exceedingly lucky. My usual routine on the weekends, then, is to try and make my way downstairs without waking anyone, which usually fails in spectacular fashion: my wife has a sixth sense, my dog wants to go outside and since he sleeps in my daughter’s room, his antics wake her up as well. No one usually follows me, though, since apparently I’m the only one who has trouble sleeping in the morning.
The upside is that I get some interrupted time to myself. I am generally a morning and night person, although knowing that I’ll be wide awake before the sun really makes an appearance kind of limits my willingness to stay up too late. Either time is fine by me, except in the morning I can start something and not have to worry about it stretching from minutes into hours of time spent.
This weekend I spent more time with Wildstar because I really don’t know why. Because is the best reason I can offer. I suppose it’s the impending free to play conversion. Also, I’m paying for it, as my year sub is finally reaching it’s conclusion. I’ve signed up for a recurring payment to capture as many F2P loyalty rewards as possible, although I technically “cancelled” my sub very early after having purchased that year’s sub, so I don’t know if that qualifies as “having been subscribed”. Knowing my luck, I suspect not.
What I didn’t play, and what I haven’t played recently, was Skyforge. Some folks would take that admission as carte blanche to pile on about how the game sucks and all that, but my reasons for not playing aren’t in any way tied to my overall feelings for the game. I figured that Skyforge is for me what Diablo III is for others: a jump-in, hack and slash game which really doesn’t require a whole lot of brain-related activity. But you’d think after my to-the-mat grudge match with the operators that I’d want to work the hell out of my Premium subscription. That bugs me, not taking advantage of it, but the pendulum has swung away from Skyforge and towards Wildstar it seems.
I’m still not 100% sure what triggers these seemingly arbitrary about-faces, especially when I’m wholeheartedly invested in a specific game yet stop playing it cold turkey. I suppose I could blame burnout for Skyforge, because I haven’t technically left it for a more recent title that’s exciting me this week. In thinking about it, switching back to a game I’d already left means more pain than gain: I had a tough time re-learning how to deal with Wildstar and there was an initial point where I wasn’t sure I’d actually feel comfortable playing again. That alone should have tempered my decision to return, but I stuck with it for whatever reason, and most of my time on Saturday was spent on Nexus.
Really, it’s not much of a surprise that this has happened. It’s how things work around here, and with a lot of my friends. It’s either burnout, or a rediscovering, or something new, or just seeing other people playing another game. The good thing about it is that every switch back to a game that results in a game being left behind is only a temporary situation which is a rule that proves itself.
In other news, Project Gorgon, the hard-luck MMO that failed at least two Kickstarter campaigns, completed it’s final campaign sometime over the weekend, raking in $74,000 out of a $20,000 goal. GG PG!
I don’t know what it is about PG that interest me. It’s old school. It’s graphics are nice, but not cutting edge. It’s unpolished. But it’s a game I always regret not spending time with. Considering it’s being made by two people, more or less, it’s got an insane amount of depth…like “I seriously need a guide written for this game, and won’t feel like a douche using it” kind of depth.
Several years ago I attended a panel on “the future of the MMO genre” at PAX East, helmed by representatives of AAA titles. Based on the lineup, I kind of felt that the answer to the question was going to be that AAA titles would continue to rule the roost (Curt Schilling was on the panel, so make of that what you will), which made me want to take up the mic and ask them where they saw niche titles fitting into their New (Old) World Order?
I didn’t get to due to the crush of neckbeards but I think waiting it out was as good an answer as anything they would have given me. “Blessed are they that play the niche MMO, for they shall inherit the space”. I don’t see anyone actively chasing WoW any longer; if it happens, it happens, or at least it’s not trumpted or implied, and if anything, people are spreading out and adopting games that are anti-WoW or are more accepting of games that don’t follow WoW‘s single-minded formula of raid-gear-repeat. I’m hoping that Project Gorgon receives it’s due in users because Elder Game has busted their asses to keep going even through two failed Kickstarters, and have been actively developing it in between. It’s obvious that they have no intention of stopping, so I was glad to break my “no KS, no early access” rule because I think they really deserve it.
The “alpha” version is available now and free to anyone to try, so if you’re a fan of old-school MMOs like Everquest and Istaria and games of that era, you should give it a shot.