- As Keen rightly points out, we are in a gaming slump at the moment. This isn't surprising since it happens every year at around this time. Why release a new game now when you can sell it in during the Christmas season? Of course with all the delays we've seen recently, even Christmas seems like a bad idea.
- Doom and gloom aside, the MMO community has a couple games to look forward to. Both Champions Online and Aion will be released (knock on particle board) next month. As well, Dungeons and Dragons Online's free-to-play option will finally come out of beta. With all of this action, September should be a great month for MMO blogging. Hopefully we'll see a lot few MMO burnout posts and more excitement and debate about the new games.
- Of the games coming out, the one I'm looking forward to most is Champions. I could not get into City of Heroes because, even under the spandex exterior, it was still an old school MMO that hadn't benefited from the lessons World of Warcraft taught. Rumors are the CO has maybe taken WoW a little too close to heart. Personally, I don't find the gold exclamation mark style of questing as repugnant as many. At least the long wait is coming to an end and I'll be able to try it for myself.
- DDO is going to get a separate write up, but I'm wondering how the community at large will react to this relaunch. What I've played (now that I can play) has me fairly hooked. I haven't spend much funny-money in the cash shop, other than a leveling sigil and access to one quest series, but I haven't felt like Turbine is trying to take advantage of me yet. And I'm having fun! Even soloing these lower levels has been a good time. Whether that holds out is still to be seen. I can see myself splurging on hordes of henchmen to get through later quests. Of course if I get to that point, I'll be well and completely hooked.
- Of these three, I'm least interested in Aion. It doesn't have anything to do with the game itself. It looks beautiful and sounds like fun. I just don't need another fantasy game yet. Admittedly, the grouping roadblocks sound frustrating and I've never sought out PvP for more than a lark. It doesn't sound like a game you would dabble with. If pick up groups become the norm and raids are more forgiving of newbs like myself, I might be interested. But if I'm going to invest in a game to see endgame content, I'm more likely at the moment to do so in Champions than anything else.
- Lest we forget, Syp reminds us that the next MMO juggernaut on the horizon is Bioware's attempt to resuscitate George Lucas' franchise again. He compares the burgeoning SWTOR blog community to the one that sprung up around Warhammer Online. Ouch. It does sound like EA's marketing department is moderating itself better this time around. But unless this game launches straight into the stratosphere, I'm afraid we'll see the same attrition WAR has faced. And by the way, I care at all. A Mass Effect MMO might be a different story, but SWTOR? Ugh.
- So, everyone, don't worry. There is going to be plenty to blog about in the foreseeable future. I can't wait to read all the raves and rants that are sure to come!
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