I’m really developing a love/hate relationship with MMORPG’s. It seems the past couples years has done nothing but spit out recycled garbage that is hardly innovative, over hyped, and in the end dead after a few months. Look at 2009: The big hit to make waves was Aion. It was an alright game; I’m not necessarily opposed to going back to it. But it wasn’t anything revolutionary, different, or even on par with World of Warcraft. I hate comparing games to that title, but the sad truth is when you seek out to emulate a game’s success by copying it, you will be compared. It’s time for something different in the industry, it’s time for new approaches and fresh ideas.
Enter into the foray 2010’s first big contender for the MMO market: Star Trek Online. Oh dear, do we have a lot anticipated on the title alone. I shouldn’t have to explain the amount of uber-geek weight the Star Trek franchise carries. I shouldn’t have to mention the scope of such a universe. There is only one sci-fi franchise that can even compete with it on scale of fanboy love, and that one already had an MMO that went from nerd heaven to one of the largest disasters in the MMORPG industry (however, like all good Star Wars stories, there is “A New Hope.“)
Now, Star Trek Online is soon approaching its release date in February. And right now, I have the Open Beta client downloaded and installed and ready for punishment. I wasn’t even considering this game a couple days ago, but, it’s in my lap now. I’ve hardly even followed its development, most due to me being wary of Cryptic Studios. Nothing against the development team that made City of Heroes, but I have heard some rather negative things about Champions Online. And the fact Bill Roper works for Cryptic is sort of a strike against them in my book (I was a rabid Hellgate: London fan and Lifetime member. Too bad that “lifetime” didn’t even last a year.) Long story short: I haven’t followed the development of ST:O because I’ve followed the development of the company instead; and I can’t help but wince when I see someone like Roper repeating the same claims — and apologies — to their customers like I had heard him make before.
That said, one of my really close allies from Guild Wars, Kahless from SoK and Subspace-Radio.Net, gave me the run down yesterday of the overall game play impressions he had. He told me about the more dynamic quests, the tactical levels of the space combat, the open character customization options and all the other things that will make the game stand out from other titles on the market. For me, the big issues is it doesn’t sound like a “Kill 10 Rabbits” kind of a game, so I’m stoked to try it just for departure’s sake. Considering I have a reputation of Gamer ADD, and have played more titles than I care to admit (and own more titles than I have played, sadly) I decided “Oh, why the hell not.”
These are the voyages of the Chaos Grenade, it’s continuing mission: To explore strange new games.
I write this prior to even setting foot in the game. At this point, aside from Kahless’s chat from yesterday, I haven’t a clue what’s in store for me. I’m about to dive into a nerdfest in Open Beta. Key note here: Open Betas mean Lag, and lots of it. It means servers crashing, it means connections lost, and lots of other unpredictable things. I understand this. Pending the game doesn’t absolutely piss me off from the get-go, I will venture into the first month just to see it. A lot can be said about games during that first month….whether issues get resolved, whether patches fix things or destroys them, whether or not the community will even stay or the developers will make us want to (or drive us off.) This, my fair readers, is Chaos in Motion. It’s an exciting time, and a scary one. And I will be reporting from the trenches.
Take note: I’m a Star Trek fan, but not a Trekkie. I couldn’t even tell you most of the technical crap, timelines or how many chicks Riker has slept with. So, anything about Lore and Canon within the Star Trek universe will be completely lost on me. So my reports will be coming in completely from a “Gamer” perspective. Also to note: I will be playing with the guys and gals of Sword of Kahless, so, a lot of my experiences will come from the Klingon Empire/PvP angle. For the sake of the blog and my reports, I’ll try to mingle in some more Federation time. But my enjoyment time will be spent killing Federation crybabies.
And now, your moment of Zen, courtesy of DayJobOrchesta: