Finally, Syncaine has come BACK to blogging!

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.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings Online, MMO design, Site update, Warhammer Online, World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Finally, Syncaine has come BACK to blogging!

  1. Spleenie says:

    Finally, the ROCK has come back to Azeroth!

    Do you like wrestling?

  2. syncaine says:

    Damn that was quick, haha. You are correct, and yea, watch RAW each week, plus the PPVs. Grew up watching it, had a group I watched it with in HS, and after a break in college, the HS group is back and into our regular monday burgers/RAW routine.

  3. Spleenie says:

    I was a watcher in the mid to late 90s. I always liked Stone Cold.

    Sorry to hear you canceled your WoW account. I started in Jan 2007 and still can’t get enough. I have been tempted to try another MMO, but don’t want to take the time away from WoW.

  4. Crazykinux says:

    WB Mate! Good to see you rant some more. We missed ya!

  5. mikejl says:

    “the neon lovefest that WoW has become, where literally everything has to be big and glowing”

    Excellent!! I loved the WoW look and feel, and it ran with low sys requirements, however I agree it seems the tier x,y, z all really have too much neon and glow.
    I been out of WoW from few months now, into LOTRO.
    Back when I was in WoW and ended up putting purple gear back into the bank to equip a set of blue gladiator rep gear I purchased that looked better (I look more like the warlock I wanted to be). And found at end game you need to look like a skittle that glows to meet min stats to run raids. You need to spend hours grinding the same dungeon to get gear so you can look like everyone else? I knew then my time was up in WoW.

  6. Talyn says:

    Accounts can be re-activated just as quickly as they can be canceled, and I’m sure he’ll go back Spleenie! :)

    On the other hand, when I canceled WoW I did it in style: sold everything I could (turns out most of that bound gear can’t be sold) gave all the gold to my real-life friend, deleted every character (yes, including my 3 raiding characters) on every server *then* canceled my account. That pretty much ensures I won’t go back — I have zero desire to ever level up in that content again.

  7. syncaine says:

    I could never actually delete my characters, especially my old raiding warrior, who will forever remain at 60 with his full t2 set. Just too many good memories with him.

    I hate Stone Cold. As I say to my buddies, every match was ‘punch punch kick stunner’. I actually watched WCW during that time. WWE is good stuff now though, in that brainless silly way. It’s more an excuse to hang out with my HS buddies than anything.

  8. Snafzg says:

    Sold my WoW account… bought a 22″W LCD with change to spare.

    Fair trade IMO! :)

  9. Thallian says:

    welcome back bud, and yeah my feelings towards Blizzards milking schemes are pretty similar. The more they do it the less interested I am. Even with the Warcraft expansions and the diablo expansions it was more of the same.

    Granted I hadnt been playing the same for quite so long as WoW but you get the idea.

  10. Graktar says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if Blizzard reacts to the growing discontent in their playerbase. At this point they’ve kind of back themselves into a corner. If they proceed as planned and release a rather dull more-of-the-same xpac at the end of this year they’re not going to win back any of the burnt out bored players like myself. If they change their course and try to revamp WotLk into something more interesting they’ll have to delay WotLK, which will result in more players canceling due to lack of new content. Choices they made two years ago (if not earlier) are locking them into a path where they absolutely, positively, cannot please everyone and maintain their current subscriber levels.

    I’m sure Blizzard won’t see it as a big deal if they go from 10 million to 9 million subscribers, but I think Vivendi executives might be a little unhappy . . .

  11. Rick says:

    WB Syn.

    I don’t think Blizzard has anything to worry about. A majority of their subscriptions aren’t US or European based, and AoC and WAR aren’t going to pull too many Asian MMO players in, so Blizzard’s going to do just fine. They’ll get some people back with the Lich King expansion, they’ll make money on the box sales, they’ll be fine. I don’t see them dropping below 5 million subscribers for years to come, and I suspect they’ll be fine with those kind of numbers :)

    You’re right about WAR and WoW. I can’t say too much about the beta because of the NDA, but people who call WAR a WoW clone aren’t discerning MMO observers. There are plenty of differences in the games, and dismissing it as a clone is just typical foaming-at-the-mouth forum post/comment garbage.

    I’m waiting for the blog post that calls WAR a WoW clone and lists how every aspect of WAR actually clones Blizzard design elements. Haven’t seen any exhaustive lists doing that yet, have we? Didn’t think so :) They’re in the same genre, but they’re not the same game.

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