This is 100% a coincidence with my resumption of blogging about MMORPGs (and I might end up blogging about other stuff,) but it is Blaugust. So check that out if you’re interested. The Blaugust Discord server is like a festival of old, familiar names, many of whom are participating even if they’ve been inactive for years, and only a few of which I kept up with. And many new voices in this diminished MMO blogosphere.
New World’s launch has been pushed back to September 28. On the one hand, this is irritating! But on the other, a month is no big deal and I’d rather have a polished launch, even if none of the obvious development gaps (like swimming) are filled in this extra few weeks. Lots of folks had a variety of issues both humorous and serious in the recent beta phase. I personally had few issues; some bugs, sure, but on the whole the client and network were very stable for me. Then again, I didn’t get into any big PvP situations, and that’s where things like lag, rubberbanding and framerate are likely to cause significant problems. And of course there is much need for additional tuning of various things, like PvP healing or some of the weapon abilities.
One wonders whether there will be another beta phase now, since they’ve added so much time. Much as I would like to play, I would prefer we not see more beta; I would rather see Amazon focus on fixes and improvements rather than be distracted by running an operating game. Amazon has denied the rumor that a bunch of additional content in the form of new weapons and zones will be making it out for launch; there are clearly “hidden” parts of the map even as it was during the beta. So I’ll be interested to see if Amazon has this or any other surprises at launch. But again, I’d rather they focus on polish and tuning. Regarding new zones, though, which I’m sure we will see sooner or later, there may be concerns about spreading the populace too thin in a game so reliant on its open world. I’d say how that dynamic will work is tricky to predict from the outside until we see the launch landmass and launch populations. If Amazon’s smart their team should have metrics on this and be able to model it.
Speaking of open world, though, it’s damned refreshing to find a new MMORPG that actually has one. This coming from a game in which every building interior is gated behind a load screen. Speaking of ESO, while playing New World I still dutifully grabbed by daily rewards and did my crafting writs (on multiple characters). I should probably just move all characters to Rimmen, which is my preferred hangout with everything (housing, crafting, stables, bank, guild sellers and vendors) in a nice small space. What I wasn’t doing was playing, really. But right around the time the New World beta wrapped up, I started running out of crafting mats… and I remembered the giant horking pile of treasure maps and crafter surveys sitting in my bank. So I’m taking my erstwhile main and going to those zones, grabbing the skyshards, running the delves while I’m at it, and also doing all the various surveys and maps. Certainly I can use the skill points. So I figure I have plenty to do in ESO while I wait for New World.