No doubt by now you have heard that the indie steampunk City of Steam has been shuttered. And while its demise won’t change the lives of most of the people you know, it has made at least one blogger sad, as he attempted to squeeze out the remainder of the game story in those last couple of weeks.
Bhagpuss writes that he found City of Steam surprisingly populated for a title under a death warrant: “For an MMO that’s about to close for good in a week’s time it seems in unusually robust health. A deal of content’s been added since my last visit including airship missions and holiday gifts. Arkadia’s central plaza still buzzes with activity. Endless messages ping across the screen exhorting players to join in this activity or that. The chat box ticks with reports of purple and orange purchases and discoveries. For a game about to die it feels oddly alive.”
Why can’t all MMOs get their act together and make it easy for players of varying levels to group up? Telwyn can’t understand why most of the industry seems to be dragging its feet on this while RIFT has made such an approach look downright easy.
“All in all, I was mightily impressed with how easy it has become in RIFT to play with friends regardless of level, faction or location,” he wrote. “Not all of this is new to the genre of course; mentoring for instance has been in EverQuest II for many years. But RIFT does combine all these features to great effect. I’d like to see some more thought put into this by MMO devs and less of the ‘go PUG everything’ that these games favour.”
Arwyn is still tending to the wounds that ArcheAge caused after having fallen in — and then out of — love with it. She vowed never to look back, but her desire for a good sandbox game has made her start to pay attention to a new digital suitor: Black Desert.
She walks us through her thought process: “This… this sounded like the sandbox game that I wanted in ArcheAge but didn’t get. This… this could be… the game that has the features that I’ve been looking for. […] If I’m already making goals for a game I don’t own… well, I guess that means I’ve almost talked myself into getting it.”
Ironweakness expresses a growing appreciation for how The Secret World is able to create a game without (traditional) levels. He says it’s gotten him to see past zone levels as a measurement of progression and instead gauge progress by how many of an area’s quests he’s done.
“I’m enjoying the different style of progression that a level-less game like The Secret World provides. As a result I’ve seen far more of what the world has to offer and I don’t feel the usual rush to reach the end. As long as I keep getting the AP and SP at a rewarding rate, I’ll continue to be a happy little vampire slayer in this new life without levels.”
Have you ever returned to an MMO years after you played it and felt lost and struggling to understand all of the changes that happened in the interim? Azuriel is going through this in Guild Wars 2 as he notes all of the improvements and stumbles the game has made in the past three years.
“People gripe about all the planned obsolescence in MMOs like WoW, but GW2 seems to be the ultimate offender here. Lion’s Arch got destroyed or something, right? I’ve read about it, but I don’t think there is ever a way to see it. Unless it is in the Living Story bundle, perhaps. Someone might be able to breeze through the entire Mists expansion in WoW without leaving Jade Forest these days, but at least all that content still exists. In GW2’s sake, it is straight-up gone like a fart in the breeze.”
Community manager Frank has a unique perspective on game veterans and how some of them seem to endlessly bash the game that they supposedly love and have spent countless hours playing. He sees the problem as people’s inability to stop playing a title once it’s ceased to be fun.
“I feel like people need to practice and refine the idea that a game that isn’t enjoyable to them isn’t one that they should stick with. That’s not to say that there isn’t merit to doing so since development cycles are marathons and not sprints, but there has to be an identifying point, unique to every gamer, where enough is enough — where the Sisyphean task of rolling the boulder that is the game up a hill over and over isn’t worth it and quitting is the better option.”
As someone who is relatively new to Final Fantasy XIV, I can certainly related with Harb’s post here. You can feel his struggle to like this popular game even as it feels partially alien and annoying to him.
“Then there was the moment when I realized that I was drawing arcane geometric symbols to cast my spells, and that I was apparently able to do so even though I was wearing mittens. Wait, why the *@#$ am I wearing mittens?!”