After hours of agonizing labor pains, SOE popped Free Realms out last night, just before midnight in California. They were just half an hour from having to have their launch party in Fairbanks, but they technically shipped it Tuesday, despite it being Wednesday in four-fifths of the world. Despite the late hour, the server was bustling with new chefs and brawlers. It doesn’t look like Station Access members are considered members in Free Realms yet, or maybe it’s just me. Look for me in the game, my character is Tipa Tanglewood. Speedy custom name approval FTW!
Syncaine of Hardcore Casual feels there’s no way Free Realms can be a success because at a subscription rate a third of a normal MMO, they would need three times as many subscriptions as another MMO to be a success. I’m not sure FR is working with that business model. Wizard 101 is about to announce its two millionth account, and they have three pages of servers which are filled with people at all hours…
Keen of Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog took a tiny off-the-cuff post about EQ3 (hinted at a year ago), and came up with some really good thoughts on how a next-gen EverQuest could attract new players while not alienating the old. Toldain picked up on it as well, trolling through forum posts to find out what players really wanted from an EQ3.
I shouldn’t have put Syncaine and Keen that close together, because now Syncaine is playing the “Not Cool Enough for Darkfall” card on Keen. Keen (wisely) hasn’t responded, but the comments are full of people coming to his aid. First, it’s not fair to make Keen the spokesman for anyone who doesn’t stick to Darkfall. People should ALWAYS play the game they enjoy playing, and if you’re not having fun in a game for whatever reason, why stick with it?
Isn’t it cool how a massive success story like Wizard 101 receives only a small, small fraction of the press that Age of Conan, Warhammer, or EVE Online receives, despite being arguably more popular than all of those put together? Ever wonder why there are so many shooters, war games, and other opportunities to crown yourself the king of the coop and destroy your friends and enemies with equal joy? If you’re a guy, you’re probably loving this because you are being targeted by marketers who want every bit of your spare change. Spinks of Welcome to Spinksville points out that not only are males being singled out by marketers tempting them to always have the newest toys, but that females, because they don’t often fit the marketing definition of “hardcore gamers”, don’t get as rich a selection of games.
Copra notes that World of Warcraft has so trivialized MMO gaming that devoted players easily become bored with it, yet find all other MMOs different, difficult and strange and are forced to return to WoW as the only MMO that is familiar enough to be fun, at least a little. Me, I enjoy seeing WoW players try other MMOs. They might see something there they like, and even though you know they will return to WoW, it’s nice to see a bit of another MMO through their eyes.
Lars of MMOment of Zen has some ideas on how tanks could be changed to work better together in groups and raids to make them a little more desirable. Right now, the perfect number of tanks in a group is one, and for a raid, maybe two. Crusaders (shadow knights and paladins) have buffs which grant the main tank in a group additional bonuses, but Lars says these minor buffs don’t go far enough.
Well, I’m shambling like a zombie with one leg and both arms missing today after waiting on Free Realms to launch last night, so I have to rush off to work. Have fun wherever gaming takes you and see you all tomorrow for another edition of the Daily Blogroll!