Daily Blogroll 1/19 — Game of Mass Destruction edition

I absolutely would love to know how many people people are REALLY playing World of Warcraft vs Lord of the Rings Online vs Warhammer Online vs Total Global Annihilation (Online) and so on. Heaven knows its not in the interest of gaming companies to tell us. To me, it means they have something to hide. Every company is all so excited to reveal their numbers when they are trending up. When they are silent, that can only be bad news.

So I’m a big fan of Openedge’s “XFire Game” that he runs most Mondays. By tracking a game’s performance week to week, you can get a sense for how well its doing. But there’s a LOT of variables! XFire doesn’t track every online game — if it did, Farmville and Scrabulous would be knocking the gnome out of World of Warcraft. Most players don’t have XFire installed. Competing game time trackers like Raptr could be draining numbers from XFire across the board. Some players could decide XFire really isn’t doing much for them and abandon it. Games with both an Asian and Western presence could find their true numbers under-reported. Games that are popular on non-PC platforms, such as DCUO for the PS3, might find their numbers VASTLY under-represented.

We really need a better metric for this. Something like a Nielsen ratings for MMOs, with a bit of code attached to each game that “phones home” when run.

I’m sorry, did I say that DCUO is doing well? It’s going gangbusters! Check it out after the break!
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The Magic 8 Ball predicts the losers and winners of 2011.

I suck at predictions, but everyone else is doing them. Luckily, I have a Magic 8 Ball. I’m just gonna list some games, and ask the Magic 8 Ball what it thinks of them. Question to the 8 Ball for all of these games: Will this game have a good year in 2011?

Age of Conan: “Outlook Not So Good”. AoC released its first expansion, “Ride of the Godslayer”, last summer, and that’s pretty much the last I’ve heard of the game. I don’t think the Magic 8 Ball is correct; I think Funcom is content to support their current player base without feeling the need to go F2P. Their massively hyped launch should have helped them recoup their development costs years ago.

Aion: “Concentrate and Ask Again”. November saw Aion publish a massive revamp which added more loot to the game. December brought with it a rebalancing of the world PvP via rifts. Perhaps the Magic 8 Ball’s confusion stemmed from the game’s more Asian market?
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Daily Blogroll 12/23 — Christmas Eve Eve edition

Scott of Pumping Irony was chiding me and other bloggers today on Twitter for getting totally excited about a game, writing loads about it, then dropping that game the moment something new came by. I was all defensive, pointing to my long-term coverage of W101, STO, DDO and, when I played them, EVE, EQ and EQ2 when — I remembered Fantasy Earth Zero, Dragonica, Dream of Mirror Online, Dragon Oath and so many other games I played heavily for a few weeks, then totally forgot.

I can fix this! So I logged into FEZ tonight. Couldn’t figure out how to rest — sitting, which used to work, no longer seems to. A guy in red started teabagging me. His friend apologized for his behavior. I went to a beginner field and killed some stuff… meh. Just can’t go back.

Will I be the same with Rift? I dunno. I guess it depends on if I can find a good bunch of people, get in a nice guild. I have really good friends who hate guilds, but me, I think they shape and define your experience with an MMO. My best MMO memories have always been shared with friends.

Big news today is, of course, the dropping of the Rift NDA. Read about that and more, after the break. No, this post isn’t going to be JUST about Rift.
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