The early bird gets the shaft.

Can anyone give me a good reason to buy an mmorpg at launch these days? I picked up LOTRO a couple weeks ago for $19.99. Tabula Rasa is available on Amazon for freakin’ $9.99.

And it’s not just mmorpg’s. When I was comparing Steam and Gametap earlier today, I saw Bioshock listed for $29.99, down from $49.99 when it launched, what, six months ago?

Assassin’s Creed is available for pre-order on Steam for $49.99. Umm, yeah. How about I come visit you, say, next October?

To answer my own question, I’d buy an mmorpg at launch to play with my friends. But given how many mmorpg’s are out right now, how many I still haven’t played, and how many dirt-cheap outstanding single-player games are also around, I gotta think I’m not alone, and there will be a steady stream of new players trying out the mmorpg’s on the market.

It’s a good time to be a gamer.

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7 Responses

  1. I tend not to buy things at launch, mainly because I love saving money and also because … well, games tend to be buggy, be they single- or massively-multiplayer. I guess I’d rather wait and see how things go before committing my money to a game, especially if it’s an MMORPG. Sure, I don’t get to be part of the elite ‘in’ crowd who can claim they’ve played right from the start, but at least there will be less issues/bugs/etc.

    Plus, I’ve been burned on too many games to plunk down my money right off the bat. Heck, during December 2007 I got Vanguard for US$9 (which included shipping to Europe!) and I still felt let-down by quite a few things and was freakishly glad I didn’t pay US$50 or however much it cost at launch.

    I guess it all comes down to the fact that I love a bargain. 🙂

  2. Ahh, Vanguard is such a good example. I keep thinking I should try it, but man, if you paid $9 and still felt let down, that’s quite disappointing.

    I think a lot of us have been burned over the years by buggy games, and that’s another good reason to be patient. I’m just shocked that Tabula Rasa went so cheap, so fast. That couldn’t have been a pleasant conversation at NCSoft.

    I reserve the right to be fickle, though 🙂 I’ll be buying Spore the first day it comes out, I suspect. There are still a few games and a few developers that will get my money right out of the gate.

  3. Oh, Rick, Spore is also a first-day purchase for me! I’ve been waiting for that darn game for more than three years. I’m half-afraid I’ll find it totally disappointing after waiting for it for so long.

    That’s the only game I’m getting ‘at launch’ that I can think of, actually. I’m interested in both Age of Conan and Warhammer Online, but the hype just makes me feel a bit blah. I don’t know. I think I’m still searching for the right MMORPG. Hopefully I can grab somebody’s trial key or whatever to have a look before I commit.

    Deep down, I think I still miss MUDs. *sigh*

  4. Haha! I know what you mean. I miss my friends from MUD’s. It was a different kind of fun, where you almost felt like you knew everyone playing. We used to have maybe 100 people playing at the same time. Peanuts compared to today, but back in the early 90’s, it felt revolutionary.

    I’ve tried to go back and play them again, when I get burned out on current games, but it’s true, you can’t go home again. I can’t imagine spending all that time to set up my triggers and macros in a telnet client again! I do miss how I could disappear into text, though, just like a good book.

  5. Yeah, totally know what you mean. I also tried going back to where I used to play (Achaea) as well as tried other MUDs (Lensmoor, Accursed Lands, Geas, Armageddon, etc.) but … it just isn’t the same. The magic is gone. Maybe I’m trying to recapture something from the past.

    By the way, I still have the trial key from my Vanguard purchase. If you’d like, I can send it your way. They’ve probably made some improvements. I don’t think it’s the game for me, though. I was so excited about the whole crafting thing but I guess I was expecting something a bit different than what it actually is, so I was rather disappointed. Also, for me the visuals look too similar to EQ2 — which can be pretty drab and boring, even if they both do have some stunning scenery. I guess I like the more timeless look of WoW. That, and the fact that I’m not too keen on VG’s UI or animations (which is also similar to how I feel about EQ2). I truly loved the crafting and housing systems in EQ2, but I knew it wasn’t the game for me when I spent all my time harvesting so I could craft, since the quests, animations, mobs, and visuals frustrated me more than I excited me. I never felt like wanting to play.

    Anyway, send me an email here: k.mallika(at)gmail(dot)com

    I’ll send you the trial key. 🙂

  6. …because there is nothing like the first heady days on a new server in a new game.

    …because the noobie zones are crowded and groups are easy to get.

    …because the internet isn’t saturated with wikis and help sites yet and people have to work things out for themselves.

    …because your discoveries about the game world actually feel important and not just stuff that a hundred thousand other players already know.

    …because the game community is new and fresh and eager to talk about their new obsession. People will read your blog posts about the game and reply to your forum posts.

    …because this honeymoon period doesn’t last very long for most games. Perhaps until the first hardcore players hit the level cap.

  7. There are some good points in there.

    “…because there is nothing like the first heady days on a new server in a new game.”

    Agreed. That’s a fun time in any game.

    “…because the noobie zones are crowded and groups are easy to get.”

    Personally, I don’t enjoy the mad rush in the low level zones at launch, but that’s subjective. And I’ve had no trouble getting groups in LOTRO a year after launch, with good players, but the game isn’t necessarily new to everyone I’ve met. If you want the excitement of everything being new to everyone, and the buzz that creates, then you’re absolutely right.

    “…because the internet isn’t saturated with wikis and help sites yet and people have to work things out for themselves.”

    Personal preference, for me. I do like to figure things out, but I don’t like wandering in circles beyond a certain amount of effort. I’m a dad too, and spending a night wandering around the Old Forest not getting anything accomplished is frustrating. A map makes my night that much more enjoyable when I’m stuck beyond my tolerance for exploration.

    “…because your discoveries about the game world actually feel important and not just stuff that a hundred thousand other players already know.”

    Huh, I always feel like a world is new to ME. I don’t care too much what other people are doing, or if they’ve been there first. There are so many games out there, I’m not going to feel like something is ruined if other people have done it first. That’s like not enjoying a band because you didn’t hear about them in the first couple months they were popular. But again, it’s subjective and valid if it matters to you if you’re first or in during the early days. I do understand that early excitement, although I can still greatly enjoy a world that I come to after the initial rush is over.

    “…because the game community is new and fresh and eager to talk about their new obsession. People will read your blog posts about the game and reply to your forum posts.”

    True. I could probably get a lot more traffic and conversation if I targeted something more current. I’m happy talking about what I’m interested in, though, and enjoying what I’m playing, more than worrying about blog traffic. So, it works for me, but you’re certainly correct that I might get a lot more traffic if I was talking about more current events. Of course, there’s also the part about being INTERESTING as well as current that I’d have to master as well 🙂 I might be better off in the mmorpg backwaters 😉

    “…because this honeymoon period doesn’t last very long for most games. Perhaps until the first hardcore players hit the level cap.”

    True. I suspect if I was an end-game, raiding focused player, I’d be missing out in LOTRO. People have long ago gotten over the freshness of new content. I tend to lag behind that curve anyway, though, even if i start with everyone else.

    There are a lot of different ways to play mmorpg’s, and if I was a different kind of player, I’d agree with almost all of your comments 100%. I guess I’ve just changed in my ability or desire to keep up with the leveling curve, and I’m looking for something else in my mmorpg’s that I’m finding in somewhat-older releases.

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