Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Overactive Imagination

Yesterday Shannon told me she had "badish" news. Turns out she needs a new chair. Nothings wrong with the old one, it's just not good for her back. This only rates as "badish" due to well... money.

"So what?" you may ask. I agree, it's a little detail. However, at the time Shannon took forever to tell me this "badish" news. There were tangents and then quibbles over how bad it really was. I didn't care, I just wanted to know. My mind was coming up with all the horrible scenarios it could. Is it really not bad or is it in fact a whole lot worse than advertised?

Not knowing is the worst thing. When you know what a problem is there at least exists the possibility of planning for it, facing it or running away like a little girl.

Not knowing in an MMO context is also powerful. I didn't know much of Cryptics plans for Star Trek bar that it was Cryptic and my mind ran away with the possibilities. It was also proven right (sadly) in many of them. I don't know a whole lot about The Secret World beyond that I want it and again, my mind is dancing with what may be.

However recently I've noticed fewer games doing that to me, at least in an online context. C&C 4? I'm thrilled. WoW Cataclysm? Meh. Despite what it could mean for the genre. Sword of the Stars 2? Woo! Allods? I haven't a clue what that's all about. Am I getting crankier and more insular as I get older? Am I more concerned about solo or casual experiences where I can do my own thing despite all the friends and connections I've made through MMOs?

Or is it simply there's not enough wonder in the genre at the moment? Of course everyone's taste is different. What has me fascinated by The Secret World may not work for someone else and they'll instead be salivating over FF14. When I first saw online games, they were mysterious things to me. Ireland was way behind the times as far as online connectivity went. These persistent worlds where anything could happen seemed like a little slice of gaming nirvana, Christmas and my birthday all in one package that I'd get every day.
Now though when people are looking at games it seems to either be "This is <X Game> with features lifted from <Y & Z with some poorly done -i>"  or "This is <A Studio>'s 2nd/3rd/4th/5th MMO with <overdone or rather rubbish signature trademark>".

Right now The Secret World is giving me what Warhammer gave me, what Warhammer 40k will give me and what my other games did. It is giving my mind something to run away with. To imagine the vistas that lay before me, even if the reality is somewhat lacking in the end. I will always treasure the run up to Warhammer for the excitement of the time and the bloggers I met.

It may turn out that The Secret World suffers, or has a bad launch (seriously Funcom, prove people wrong this time), or is simply crap. Either way for now I'm 16 again, seeing those unspoiled unknown worlds laid before me and happy with what may be.


Arliss McGovern said...

Very nice segway from the bit about the the chair. Im super excited about wow Cata. Wow has given me alot over the years. Im also excited about having a new reason to play coh with Going Rogue approaching.

Something interesting Blizzard is supposedly doing is turning the first 20 or so levels of the game into an engaging single player rpg of sorts. I'm curious to see how this effects the overall feel of the leveling track. ATM its pretty "dig your eyes out with a spoon" for anyone who's done it or has a bunch of lvl capped friends they wanna play with.

Ardua said...

If they're doing that to WoW that's just a little disheartening.

Sure they're revamping the world and that's a fantastic thing. Revitalising a game years old (which Going Rouge seems to be attempting too) for new and old players alike.

However the 1-20 solo trip just a) further reinforces the impression that WoW only starts when you hit 80 and b) sounds a lot like Age of Conan's Destiny quests that you start the game with.

Less innovation and more copy/pasting. Still time will tell.