Home > APB, Bronte, Cataclysm, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings, Rift, The Secret World, Weekly MMO/RPG Crock-Pot, World of Warcraft > Weekly MMO Crockpot: “APB, RIFT, WoW” or “LOTRO, GW2, and a Very Secret World”

Weekly MMO Crockpot: “APB, RIFT, WoW” or “LOTRO, GW2, and a Very Secret World”

Every once in a while I accumulate too many things in my reader that I want to talk about, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Most often I just end up deleting those things after a week or so, and other times, I just mash them together in a crockpot and put up this post. Now granted this isn’t a weekly segment by any definition, but it helps me square away a plethora of information that I think is important enough to share.

APB Closed Beta Information

APB was a great, ambitious project gone horribly awry. Mere months after launch it was shut down due to a wide range of issues and acquired by GamersFirst. The game will now ship as an F2P MMO titled APB Reloaded. A twitter post last week claimed that closed beta could begin as early as February. You can sign up here. I avoided this title because of… well… I suppose you could call it intuition, or sixth sense. Some prefer to call it lessons learned from open beta! I played the game for a few level pre-launch, and I knew right there and then that it needed some serious re-tweaking. Milamber tried it, I don’t think he’s too happy about the eventual outcome. That’s a good amount of money down Realtime Worlds’ bankrupt gullet!

CEO Bjorn Book-Larsson, in his latest blog post claims that nearly 20,000 people have signed up for the beta, and they expect to leverage the input from 6,000 to 8,000 players during the first round. Bad news for fans/players of the original title though: nothing will carry over from the original game, even if you had the highest level character. Sorry! Here’s to hoping the second time around will be met with boast-worthy success.

RIFT Launch Date and Design Principles

Rift will launch on March 1, 2011. WoW. I did not expect that. Given that they are just going through their closed betas, I honestly expected the game not to launch any point before the summer. I guess they are a lot more ready than I imagined. More accurately, they believe that they are a lot more ready than I imagined. So Rift hits in March. Will it be the next WoW-kil- oh forget it!

There are countless unwritten rules for creating an MMO world that successful designs in past games have impressed upon the entire industry. No monsters on the roads; never stop the player from questing or doing what he plans to do; group content should always be separate from solo content. While I will acknowledge that these sorts of rules of thumb are the guidelines that we designers live by, challenging them is where we have found a lot of success in RIFT.”

- Will Cook, Trion Worlds’ content designer for Rift (RIFT?), RIFT challenges unwritten rules of the genre in a new dev diary, Massively.com

1. We like it when you surprise us. We don’t it when you surprise us with something that we can’t even wrap our heads around.

2. Is it Rift or RIFT? And wasn’t it Planes of Telara at some point? Or Excalibur Tractor or something?

What the WoW?

In shocking news of the week (not really though), Cataclysm sold 4.7 million units in one month. That is ridiculous. But also curious. If WoW has 12 million players worldwide, does that mean 7.3 million people were simply not impressed enough by the game to actually buy the expansion? 60% of the alleged WoW base never actually bought the expansion. Is it me, or is that just a little strange?

Either way, nearly 5 million active WoW players in Cataclysm is impressive as hell, especially when you consider Cryptic was ecstatic over 200,000 players in Star Trek Online.

Second, as is the case with all systems in WoW, the Dungeon Finder tool was met with resounding success and was one of my favorite additions to the game. It seems Blizzard isn’t hanging up the old towel, and is at it again to further improve the dungeon finder tool.

“Groups could benefit if they knew they didn’t wipe because the healer didn’t manage mana well enough, but because the DPS wasn’t high enough, or boss adds weren’t properly rounded up, etc.”

- Zarhym, Dungeon queue should be performance-based

Now that is smart. Educating the player why their group failed will go a long way to alleviate the tensions in pugs. As someone who has played a Holy Paladin for over six years, I actually breathed a sigh of relief when I heard this. That is fantastic, let’s finalize that and put it on live servers ASAP!

Three Times the LOTRO

Turbine tripled their revenue by going with the Free-to-Play model in Lord of the Rings Online. You hear that Afrasiabi? *sigh*

Make Love, Not Guild Wars

10 years of Guild Wars have passed if you include the development of the title as well. The team has come a long way, and some of their most glorious and touching moments are highlighted in this short and sweet video that goes over the last 10 years.

The Secret World, as Forced Upon us by Ragnar Tornquist

I hate you Ragnar. Months of wait for some but of information My face lights up when I see the title mentioned in my feed reader. And what do I get? EA will be co-publishing The Secret World. That’s it. You suck Ragnar, you suck.

It does take one red flag though. EA has previously published The Sims Online, Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond and Hellgate: London. Do you know how many of those were successful? I’m nervous now.

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  1. pitrelli
    January 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm | #1

    re cataclysm sales the reason it looks low compared to overall accounts is it has not been cleared for sale in china etc yet. That alone accounts for around 6 million players or more

    • January 12, 2011 at 12:35 pm | #2

      China! I didn’t count China!

      I guess that explains it! Thanks Pitrelli!

  2. Milamber
    January 12, 2011 at 7:42 am | #3

    I loved APB. I thought it was so entertaining. The fact that I could design everything I wore and make my own theme music and shit was amazing. I met some pretty awesome people too. The problem became that the people that played it even slightly more than me gained huge advantages. The only APBs getting posted with huge groups of top level criminals that would fuck me up. That was the only reason that made me stop playing. If they find a way to get more people playing and balance a little better and add a bit more content, I’ll be back in a heartbeat.

    • January 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm | #4

      And the driving rocked? Come on man! That wasn’t the only issue APB had…

      And I am not talking about the game alone. I am talking about a fledgling studio with deep economic quagmires and alack of communication with the player base.

  3. Milamber
    January 13, 2011 at 7:28 am | #5

    I was having too much fun to pay attention to how well the car drove. If I wanted a car with realistic physics, I’d play Gran Turismo or something. As long as it can get me from A to B without herp derping too much along the way, I’m fine with it. I actually remember some really funny things because of the way driving was in that game. Pinning friends and enemies to walls accidentally and on purpose and what not. Honestly if they just fix a few balancing issues and some other minor things, I’ll be back playing that game in a heartbeat. Here’s hoping it saves all my designs though =/

  1. January 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm | #1

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