I don’t have much interest in personally playing Star Trek Online. Between being totally happy and engrossed with DarkFall, not being a huge fan of the ST IP, generally not being a big Cryptic fan, and not seeing/reading anything about the game that really lines up with my style of play, my motivation to actually play it is non-existent at the moment.
My interest in following it as it goes through beta and launch is not however, as I’m a general fan of the MMO genre and it’s always interesting to see how these things play out. The first piece of interest in all this is Tobold’s negative review of the game versus Darren’s positive one, and then Tobold’s response to Darren’s review (you still with me here?).
Two things from Tobold’s response, this in the context that the first 10 levels or so might not fully show off what STO is all about:
The majority of players reacts in exactly the same way: Test the game in the open beta, or buy it and play the first free month, then unsubscribe if the game didn’t live up to whatever you hoped it would be.
Now replace ‘players’ with ‘tourists’ in the first line, and I agree. Because if STO is a game you have been following and are truly interested in (Darren, TAGN), I doubt you are going to throw in the towel after only a few hours, not after all that waiting and spending $50+ on it. Secondly, if you are somewhat new to the MMO genre (unlike the two reviewers and basically everyone reading here), those first ‘boring’ 10 levels probably are not nearly as boring, but rather a whirlwind of ‘new’ concepts and ideas to wrap your head around. Those players are not nearly as bored of kill ten rats-style gaming as we are.
The only ones who are likely to leave before the first ten levels are up are indeed the tourists, people just looking to ‘check out’ a game, but knowing that short of being blown away completely, they will move on after seeing the new shiny. And if that shiny is not shown 100% to them immediately, out they go a week or so early than they planned.
Let’s all take a moment to morn such a huge loss to any MMO community; whatever will we do without all you little Zitrons running around in the starter areas and flooding the server/forums with “Why is this not like WoW”, or better still, your attempts to bring Barrens chat to any new world you temporarily visit.
Finally, any reviewer that tourists a game like this and then tries to pass off a full review (rather than upfront stating they loaded it up and saw the character creator) is clearly working for EG, and we all know what those people are truly good for (just keep it legal).
The second part that stuck out to me from Tobold’s post is this line, talking about him skipping Fallen Earth because he disliked the 30 minute or so tutorial:
But as long as I’m having fun with whatever else I’m playing at the moment, me having missed a game is the loss of the game developer, not my loss.
While obviously any developer wants to get as many players in their game as possible, the ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach to gaming I just don’t agree with. If I had skipped DarkFall and stayed with Warhammer, I could still say I’m happily gaming because WAR has improved and I enjoyed the game despite its flaws, but without knowing it I would be missing out on a far, far superior (for me) MMO in DF.
Tobold is still in WoW single-serving it up, chasing tokens, asking for builds, and running an AH mod. He might still be having enough fun to not cancel his subscription (plus how else would he get freebies from Blizzard for promoting their game?), but for all we knew FE might be EXACTLY what he is looking for right now, and I fail to see how that’s not a potential loss (since everyone’s time is limited and all that) to his gaming.
How many posts or reviews stating that once you adjust to an MMO not being WoW (FE/DF, or whatever comes up) does it take to make some people realize a skewed (thanks to WoW) first impression is not always the correct one? How many times does someone have to read “once I adjusted my play, I saw what the game was really about” before they don’t write something like that off in the first 30 minutes?
And we wonder why Alganon gets made…