Ah finally back. After so many days off, the ‘blogging itch’ has certainly hit me hard, especially with MMO land finally seeing some activity with the AoC release. I’m still not sold on the idea that AoC will become a major MMO hit, despite its somewhat promising release. I think the relative strength of the release can be credited more towards WoW burnout than anything AoC actually does. We will find out when it’s time to start paying for more than just the box if people hang around once the ‘new and shiny’ has worn off.
Speaking of WoW, I cancelled my account. Paying a monthly fee to raid Kara once a week just did not make sense, especially considering how enjoyable our return to LoTRO has been. Overall I was fairly impressed with TBC, although it does have a ton of ‘more of the same’ to it, which is good at first but does not last very long. Quitting also makes me even less excited about WotLK, as so far that just seems like more of the same with some gimmicks tossed in. I’m not sure what I WOULD like to see in WotLK, but I do know the stuff announced so far does not leave me anticipating its release. WoW also starts looking very long in the tooth (for a graphics whore anyway) when compared to other MMOs now. The low res textures, the lack of complex shadows/lighting, the low poly count, it has all started to add up. That ‘charm and style’ is still there, but now with a blurry and muddy overtone. If WAR and WotLK come out at similar times, I think the major graphic difference between the two will be very apparent, as everyone will be making direct comparisons.
As for WAR, I’m still waiting for my beta invite on that one. Over my little break I took some time to look over some screen shots, and I really don’t understand the whole ‘it looks like WoW’ argument. To me it looks almost nothing like WoW in terms of style and feel. I made a comment to Aria when looking at one shot that if this was a WoW screen shot, the trees would be pink and impossibly shaped, while in WAR they are dark and almost real, with just a bit of fantasy/cartoon to them. It’s a minor example, but I think sums up the overall feel WAR is going for. Yes its fantasy, yes it has humor and some over-exaggeration, but it’s not the neon lovefest that WoW has become, where literally everything has to be big and glowing. It’s a style that makes WoW what it is, but it’s not the style WAR is going for. Just based on SS and video, WAR certainly has that dark and ‘war is everywhere’ aspect to it, and I think the art style goes a long way in setting the mood. Plus 8 pointed snowflakes in the symbol of chaos are awesome…
*bonus points to the first person to get the title reference and post it in the comments.