Taugrim raises a very interesting question this week on his blog. Namely, is it really worth your time to alpha test MMOs these days? For him, at least, fickle players and unresponsive developers don’t make it a beneficial activity.
“A decade ago, I used to get super excited about upcoming MMORPGs,” he said. “And then I experienced those games losing their playerbase in droves while the developers/publishers failed to meaningfully address the concerns of the community.”
If you’ve been burned one too many times by alpha, beta, and early access testing, perhaps you can relate. Read on for more essays from the MMO blogosphere, and don’t forget to check out this month’s exciting Blaugust Reborn event that’s raging across blogs!
“My main concern was scarcity of resources. I remember struggling to get enough to keep my life support and hazard protection up and was very concerned that we would really be scraping the bottom of the barrel to support two. This ended up not being the case. The rate at which I was acquiring resources for just myself was enough to survive and build up a supply.”
“I had intended to screenshot this outfit somewhere in Eryn Lasgalen, after U22 released, but that didn’t work as planned. I’ve decided to leave this photoshoot in Webs of the Scuttledells, the original setting. The natural lighting was somewhat poor when combined with the misty atmosphere. Thanks to the personal lantern, I was able to take some screenshots and make my Hunter feel like he was hunting at twilight, that otherworldly period between dusk and night.”
“Other MMORPGs have this to some degree, Elder Scrolls Online presents you with choices on occasion, although I can’t remember any choices that made a big impact to my character’s experience of the world thereafter — the decision may have been impactful within that narrative, but I usually don’t notice a big effect on the world that is permanent for that character.”
“The weeks and months either side of the original Bazaar of the Four Winds were arguably GW2’s creative peak. With everything that’s happened since, it’s been all too easy to forget. Everything we complained about back then gleams like true riches right now. Spoiled. We were spoiled. And we cried like brats.”
“The quick and dirty answer to that was solved by RIFT — quick grouping. With a single button press you would join nearby players, all attempting the same event. Was great for group quests, and even better for rifts. The system only started to breakdown when there was a lack of players around you (say mid-game when most were top level). Still, the model made sense.”
“This criticism can be countered somewhat by adding in some sort of failsafe against bad luck. The simplest and most common way to do this is to add some sort of currency found within lockboxes alongside an option to purchase lockbox items directly with said currency. Overwatch and Elder Scrolls Online both do this by converting duplicate items found in boxes into a currency.”