Thursday, January 28, 2010

News Filter: You Must Be This Tall To Ride Champions Online

  • The wildest roller coaster in MMO gaming nowadays has to be over at Cryptic Studios. They're building a whole park full of them. At least they give us all something to talk about.

  • Bill Roper, the big cheese over Champions Online, has released his latest State of the Game. Along with the new patch notes, he lays out an exciting future for the game. A huge number of fixes, new technologies being added, and an entire new zone are forthcoming.

  • All that sounds nice. But as proof that nothing Cryptic ever does can go right, Seraphina Brennan from Massively reports that none of this has gone right. There are the inevitable technical issues. But there is also word that Vibora Bay, the new high level zone, will not be a free expansion. People, as is their want, have pointed their Self-Entitlement Wagon for nearest cliff and are barreling toward it at full speed.

  • It's not like Cryptic doesn't deserve all the crap it gets. Patches are always a mess. And they haven't done a great job to justify their C Store. But at the same time, settle the eff down people. This isn't the end of the world. Complaining about a C-list MMO just makes you look crazy.

© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. If you're into forum drama, now's a great time to check out the boards. I think miffed is an epic understatement.

    All I know is I spend 7 hours in the game yesterday and had a blast.

  2. I think the decision to make the new area a pay only area was pretty bad from a PR standpoint. It's still too soon after launch, and the general perception (deserved or not) is that the game didn't ship with enough content.

    When you launch a sub based MMO with content gaps, it's standard procedure to release content for free for a few months in a sub based MMO. See the first year of DDO, CoH, LoTRO, and AoC for example. Further, asking lapsed players to sub up and buy a new zone if they want to see the new content seems a little crazy for an MMO that is struggling in terms of population. Finally, right before they launch a major new MMO, Cryptic should be bending over backwards to look like they treat their customers well, and provide high value for a $15 sub.

    I am not saying that the negativity around the game or the current forum drama is justified. I'm just saying it was a bad PR move of stupendous proportions.

  3. Totally agree with you, Yeebo, about the PR aspect of this. Actually Roper's SotG post was non-specific enough that it wouldn't have cause much of a stir, it was Daeke's two line post that really did it. I mean why say anything at all about charging for the expansion until they know what the pricing is and what all is in it exactly. It is especially weird after reading dev posts for two months saying they weren't going to announce anything until they were ready. If they had waited and released all of the details about this expansion/adventure pack/whatever along with a date and pricing there would be much less of a mess.

    Of course most people would balk at having to pay for that anyway, I know I assumed that the expansion mentioned would be free until seeing Daeke's post. But the way they've handled it so far has been the worst way to go. Plus, there was no follow up after that post. Seemed like he threw gas on a fire and then went home for the night.

    Makes you wonder though, are they just that bad at PR or was this an intentional act to stir up publicity and maybe lower the bar for expectations. Are they crazy or crazy like a fox?

  4. While I don't think it's the end of the world and it would be better to wait and see before the rage, Cryptic should have seen this coming.