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Close to the end and searching for passion

November 26, 2012 3 comments

In a couple of days City of Heroes will be end as a playable game and I will not longer have that game as a fallback when the MMO space looks a bit bleak at times.

The last months now has perhaps more than before put the spotlight, for me, the importance of the MMO game company’s interaction with its customers and game community. Not only is the presence of other players important, but also the relationship with a game company and the players of their game(s). Is there a passion for a game vision, a willingness to interact with the   players, a mutual respect?

Combined with theme/settings preferences, this has resulted in a few games that I am going to look more into when City of Heroes comes to an end.

  1. The Secret World. I love the setting and what Funcom has tried to accomplish here, so I will most certainly return to TSW in about a week. Funcom is one of those MMO developers that ranks quite high on my list – they certainly mess things up from time to time, but sometimes it works out quite well. They do not try to play safe all the time, but do try new ways to do things and they do seem to be pasionate about what they do.
    I have not come very far in my progress in TSW – my most played character is still in Blue Mountains – a zone which I thought was pretty ok actually, before I took a break to focus on City of Heroes. Not sure what the state of my cabal is at this point, but will see about that later.
  2. Anarchy Online. Another Funcom game and my first MMO. This is a game that probably does not have a huge amount of paying players and only a handful of developers working on the game. But Funcom still supports it and does not just try to keep a status quo and keep it running only.
    The new game engine as well as a revamp of the new player experience is expected to go into beta early next year (yes, I know – the usual Real Soon Now, not holding my breath). Server merges for RK-1 and RK-2 is expected to happen before the end of this year.
    While the new engine is interesting to see what comes out of it, I really also hope there will be some revamp of the combat eventually – it has been to much dependency towards auto-attacks for my taste.
  3. The Repopulation. A Scifi sandbox/sandpark:ish MMO under development. The feature list is quite neat,looks pretty niced from what has been shown so far and the developers behind it seems quite nice and passionate about what they do. I was a backer in their Kickstarter campaign and I will look forward to jump into a beta some time next year. They are amining for a late 2013 release – about a year from now.
  4. City of Steam. Another City of-game, but in this case an MMO with a steampunk:ish flavour. And it is a browser-based MMO, using the Unity engine. I have picked up a key for the closed beta. The game company, Mechanist Games, seems to be quite transparent and willing to interact with the players – I get a definite positive vibe from what I have seen so far here.
    I have only played a little bit in closed beta so far. While I have not seen any any NDAs  I will probably not write much details about it yet, since there is still changes being made and things missing. But I think it looks like a charming game with potential. CLosed beta weekends will continue in the coming month and I suppose an open beta at some point early  next year.
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The Repopulation Kickstarter campaign successful

July 3, 2012 Comments off

The Kickstarter campaign for the SciFi sandbox MMO The Repopulation has ended now, reaching quite far above the original $25000 goal. With over $53000 in funding they have added a number of additional goals along the way for what should be added to the game from the original target.

This included a number of additional character customisation options, mountable turrets, major interface upgrade, an underwater city (!) and an NPC species. The last one based on votes from people who funded the campaign.

I am glad to see that the campaign was successful, good luck to the dev team here! It is also interesting to see the added goals set up since it may possibly indicate a price tag for the amount of effort in making something like this with the HeroEngine toolset. Probably not the whole truth though, especially when it comes to NPC species and underwater city.

Categories: The Repopulation

The Repopulation Kickstarter campaign reached its goals

June 17, 2012 Comments off

The Kickstarter campaign for the MMO The Repopulation has reached its goals of $25000, with about half the time left for the campaign. Congratulations to the dev team!

With that much time left the team will be working on figuring out some stretch goals over the weekend, to be announced in a few days. The dev team is also open to suggestions, so feel free to submit ideas to them if you have any.

Categories: The Repopulation

The Repopulation is almost at its Kickstarter goal

June 14, 2012 2 comments

Indie SciFi sandbox MMO The Repopulation started a Kickstarter campaign about 2 weeks ago. This campaign is going quite well money-wise it seems, with 18 days to go they are at this time of writing about $1800 short of their $25000 goal.

What strikes me as interesting here is that there is not really a huge number of backers, less than 300, but a fair amount of those backers have put a sizable amount of money in their pledge. There are 6 persons who is backing with $1000 each, the average pledge is over $84 and median pledge at $50. And this for a title that will have a “free-to-play” business model.

I think this may be a good indication that there should room for smaller games and not every MMO title need to have a gazillion bucks budget to reach any success and it is not all about player numbers. If you can manage to hit the sweet spot for your target audience there is a good chance that it can be profitable even with smaller player numbers.

Personally I have put an above average amount in my pledge and it seems that there are many people who used to be Star Wars Galaxies pre-CU fans have noticed this title and are putting in their support for it. I would not want an exact replica of SWG (there were a bunch of bad parts also), but for 2013 this game is at the top of my list so far for games I am looking forward to.

Categories: The Repopulation

The Repopulation kickstarts

June 3, 2012 1 comment

I have seen the name of the upcoming SciFi sand-park MMO The Repopulation a few times, but I have not paid much attention to it, to be honest. I saw the post on Massively that they had started a Kickstarter campaign for the game, so I decided to take a look what it was all about.

The game has a small team of developers and they seem mainly to have been doing work on the game in their spare time and funding the game themselves. Alpha testing should start fairly soon and the game is planned to be released next year, it seems.

From what I could see on the web site, it seems they probably had a fair amount of inspiration from Star Wars Galaxies – a number of features similar to what SWG seems to be included in the list. This is promising I think, although I think the skill system might end up quite grindy. At least you do not lose your progress if you change your mind in the way it did in SWG.

Other areas also sound interesting, with engagements sounding a bit similar to what Guild Wars 2 is doing with events in the world and that the NPCs will actually remember you and behave accordingly.

Boss fights are supposed to have an element of randomness to them in that they will pick a few powers/skills from a pool and thus may behave a bit different each time and the teams will need to adjust on the fly. This can work out, but can also become a bit annoying if the team set-up and skill sets are totally inappropriate for the boss skills. If there is room and option to change skills to use on-the-fly similar to what The Secret World is doing, I think this can work out.

Anyway, I am a bit intrigued by what the game may offer and I do want to see smaller projects like this succeed, in particular after seeing the result of what likely was quite huge budget efforts, like SWTOR and Copernicus. Thus adding my pledge to the Kickstarter project for The Repopulation was a no-brainer for me.

Looking at the pledges and the amount of money collected so far, it seems people are willing to put in a fair amount of money in support for the title.

Categories: The Repopulation