Do you ever give MMOs a questioning stare and find yourself asking to no one in particular, “What is up with Daybreak these days, anyway?” The former titan of MMOs seems to have fallen both in popularity and selection.
Blogger Ancient Gaming Noob, no stranger to Daybreak himself, took a look at the state of the studio now that it’s just over 30 months from its SOE changeover. He looks at what’s been cut and what’s been kept, pondering whether the studio is moving forward or standing still.
“What differentiates a going concern from a company just riding out its end days and milking its current titles is ongoing development of new games,” he writes. “And I haven’t seen any of that from Daybreak. Moving one five-year-old title to XBox was nice, but hardly a substitute for new work.”
“I really feel it is time to start creating quests which can have different outcomes based on the individual decisions players make at first interaction […] Really, is this too much to ask after over a decade of just being asked to do the same old stuff, over and over again?”
“Let’s face it, we probably all have a special spot (or two) for that game. A game we want to love, that we keep installed or maybe even keep a subscription to, but we don’t actually play it. Every time we work up the courage to log in something stops us from going further. I can’t be the only one, right? For me that game is, of course, EverQuest II.”
“Tedium is not challenge. One tests your skill, while the other simply tests your patience. A lot of people who talk about MMOs being so much easier these days simply mean that you no longer need to spend hours looking for a group so you can spend an hour getting to your destination so you can spend hours grinding the same mobs over and over.”
“I still haven’t finished the campaign but I’m pretty close to the end, and I have hit level 20. Along the way I have unlocked a lot of content-systems. For the most part I still feel like the campaign itself is ‘fine’ but all the other stuff is pretty good and for me at least, more fun than the mostly predictable campaign missions.”
“After finishing up Vol 1 Book 1 on Spessartina, I headed east of Bree to the Lone-lands. It had been a very long time since I quested through and was pleasantly surprised at the reorganization. The Forsaken Inn was jam packed with quest givers to start you out, but one or two other Eglain camps spaced out to the east helped lead to Ost Guruth.”
“As I think of this I don’t think I know of any MMORPG with a system for player created content that would support well a wide-ranging treasure hunt style activity. The Dungeon Maker in EQ2 and similar systems like Neverwinter’s Foundry are highly instanced — so not supportive of the larger zone a proper hunt requires.”
“Star Trek Online is the only other MMO that I’m aware of that boasts in-game voice chat. Perhaps the increasingly solo friendly nature of subsequent MMOs has meant that voice chat is no longer considered important. Or perhaps the licensing of the technology added too much to development costs.”
“The cost of magic is high, very high. So high, in fact, that it’s killed the experience for me. They broke up the band, turned the earth’s underbelly into a mall, put slot machines in a Stephen King novel. ‘Get hyped for new content!’ they tell us while releasing the same content they did in December of 2015 (1 year, 9 months ago) with a new name and new systems slapped on top of it.”