The Daily Grind: Which long-in-testing MMOs should just toughen up and launch already?

    
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Come on, man.

I like a lot of the stuff that Warframe does, but it still sparks anger in me when someone reminds me that the game is technically not launched by the studio. The game is, in all real senses, well into its post-launch updates… but for some reason Digital Extremes loves to traffic on the idea that the game isn’t really launched just yet. Around here, we all basically ignore that fact, but it’s still frustrating.

Of course, Warframe is hardly the only offender here. There are a lot of games that keep claiming they’re still really in testing when they have, in fact, launched in all but name ages ago. This particular post was inspired from talk about Legends of Aria, which still claims to be in testing instead of launch for reasons that are beyond confusing to me and don’t seem to really serve anything. So what titles can you think of that really get your goat in this category? What long-in-testing MMOs should just stop pretending and admit that they’ve already launched, or at least stop drawing out the idea that they’re not launched?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Ashfyn Ninegold

None. If they are long in development, I’ve lost track of them. If they’re forever pinging for funding, I’m not interested. If they’re pseudo-released, selling DLC and have a storefront open, they’re launched.

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Bryan Correll

Yup. If the game is already being played and monetized as it would be in official release, then the game has launched whether the studio admits it or not.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Honestly, with Warframe I think it’s to the point that the game just failed to have the whole official “press release and fancy parade.” The game has a functional cash store, it just celebrated it’s official seventh anniversary. It’s launched, the devs know it’s launched the players know it’s launched. It’s weird that they don’t just officially say so, but at this point it’s like saying that you’re waiting for the Grand Opening of a bridge that you drive across to get to work every day.

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Anstalt

I take a fairly hardline approach: if the game is released, I’ll consider playing it. If it hasn’t released, I won’t, except maybe to join in with some (free) beta testing. But if they’re charging money for a game that hasn’t released, they’re doing it wrong and I won’t support that business model.

This is even more important with MMOs.

The community is a very important part of the game, and the launch community and the six months that follow launch is the best time for being in the game. Before launch, or too late after launch, and you miss that golden window. So, a game like Warframe, or anything else in paid betas, will never achieve the highs of the community because that launch community has been spread out, trickling into the game in drips and drabs over a long time.

Ofc, I wish CU would release, but I know it’s not ready for release so pushing them would just result in failure.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

Warframe never had the super spike of interest of “an official launch day.” On the other hand, it’s also never had the sharp falloff that tends to follow that either, as 50% of the people who showed up for “Launch Day” decide three days later “Boring. Bye.”

Warframe is a really weird anomaly though, since it’s really had like three official “not Launching” launches as it get ported to new consoles. Plus over the last few years there’s been HUGE interest spikes following new content.

If you choose not to support Warframe because they never had an official Launch Day that’s definitely your right. At this point though it feels to me more like they just forgot about it because everyone there was super busy. And now that they’ve had their Seventh Anniversary it’s too embarrassing to change direction.

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Adam Russell

If you arent doing anymore character wipes, then its launched.

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Brazen Bondar

Star Citizen of course, and maybe Crowfall? I don’t see that mentioned. As an aside I heard someone I respect explaining why people should not give Star Citizen a hard time. I listened carefully, and basically what they said was, if it gets launched, it will be mind boggling. I was still having a problem with the “if” part.

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Bruno Brito

We avoid talking about SC because most SC shittalking stays in it’s threads, and we got a handful of SC whiteknights here which will make us waste our time and the mods time.

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EmberStar

Plus SC is pretty self evident, in sort of the opposite way as Warframe. Everyone can see what SC is, and the people who won’t admit it aren’t going to be convinced. The lead god of any pantheon you like could pop into their living room, shake his/her/its head sadly and explain it, and it wouldn’t make any difference.

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Paragon Lost

Game I first backed years ago. Camelot Unchained, back when I still enjoyed and cared about pvp, realm versus realm etc. Don’t get me wrong I’m still a huge fan of Mark Jacobs, but man has this project gotten long in the tooth. 🙁

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Robert Andle

About 20 years ago, there was mention of a game called Star Citizen. Is it ever likely to launch before the end of time?

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Paragon Lost

Yeah that’s my number two on my list. CU and Star Citizen. I resisted backing that one, just barely but still root for it. But like CU I’m tired of the wait for SC.

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Robert Andle

Due for release in 2014 and it’s now 2020 and still no sign of it. I’ve spent the last few years expecting an announcement that it’s been cancelled.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Neither. Because who gives a fk about launch in genre, where games are in neverending cycle of development.

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Loopy

Launched games are held against different standards than the ones that are still in development. It’s much more socially forgiving for a game to be riddled with bugs and holes because “hey we are technically early access”. We all know very well what happens to buggy games after they officially press that magical “publish” button.

Never launching is like a perpetual Get Out of Jail Free card for developers.

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squid

Legends of Aria will never launch, if only because it’d deprive the developers of their only excuse in regard to the continued wild swings in design and direction on the main server.

Not stopping them from releasing paid DLC, tho.

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Dug From The Earth

Warframe is one of those hilariously unique “have we launched yet?” games…

But for other mmorpgs that arent officially out yet, I dont think ANY of them should launch. Having tried the alpha of 99% of them, none of them are ready for release. They are all in a very unfinished (and in many cases, just awful) state for going live.

This is why I continue to say that the mmorpg genre is stagnant. Despite all these supposed “new games” in the works, a huge majority of them (imo) are gonna have an awful release, or simply just be forgotten about 2 months later because they drastically failed to deliver on the hype they promised.

The sad thing… the games being made by the semi larger studios, with the bigger kickstarter funds and budgets arent really any better than those games being made by rag tag teams of fans around the globe. The only 2 games that actually semi feel like a professional work are New World and Ashes of Creation. Ashes is still very heavily in the early alpha stages…. New World has a big team of talent behind it but has changed direction so many times it made Firefall worried that it would lose its award for this.

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squid

I feel like New World might actually pull something together in the end—thanks to that aforementioned talent—but that end is still a couple years out. The real question is whether or not Amazon cancels it after its upcoming disappointing launch.

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Jeremy Barnes

I haven’t seen anything to indicate Ashes isn’t on the same course as the rest.

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Dug From The Earth

1. Ashes is so early in its development that its really too soon to tell if it will fail or not.

2. What they have shown however is much more grounded, functional, and solid than many other mmorpgs that are further along in development.

Its like so many of the mmorpgs being worked on have spent 90% of their time focusing on developing all the new, different elements of their game that might allow it to stand apart from other games, but forgot to work on the core aspects of what makes up the bulk of an mmorpg. Imagine making a shooter FPS game, and spending nearly all your dev time focusing on the upgrade system for weapons, but then releasing a game that had horrible and janky actual gunplay.