What was the last game you were extremely hyped for? Did it live up to the hype? If so, how? If not, how as well? Do you follow hype? In my experiences hype is a bad thing. We get all excited over promises and then when it’s not delivered we tear the game apart for not delivering on what was told, and sometimes it kills the game. Kills maybe an overkill word to use but eh, I will use that term for now. Whether it be friends hyping a game, major websites, or developer themselves, most of them seem to over hype the game, and we get super duper excited over it, and when the game is finally released we are left like… “Wait, what happened, where is X and Y?” I’m sure it has happened to all of us at one time or another…
I’ve fallen victim to hype as well, don’t you worry more times than once as well. Single player and MMORPG. I think I’m going to go through the stages of hype, at least for me, and we will talk about the games that have been involved along the way. I think it’ll be easier for all of us to follow along and truly understand what I am trying to convey to you all. Let’s talk about the first step shall we?
1. Excitement: It all happens to us, we get excited and we count down the days till the game comes out/launches. We hope there isn’t any delays, and we hope when the time comes launch will be smooth. We mark our calendars and X out the days until the day or launch finally arrives. We monitor the forums/reddit/websites for more information until the game comes out, and we tweet out the excitement and do all the stuff we can to show our excitement to the devs and hope they hear us. We make sure we have our pre-orders ready, and if money willing we buy the “Deluxe/Special” editions of the games, and we buy the season passes, if we are truly committed to the future of the game. The last game I was excited for was Overwatch.
2. Hope: This is where a lot of my problems stem from, aside from excitement. All of these hopes and dreams that this will be the game for me, the only game for me, and I will stop having to go back and forth between games to find some sort of fun. It never really works out that way, and that’s how I get burned most of the time. There is a ton of Kickstarters out there today that are giving us gamers a lot of hope, but we still have to wait for the delivery part, and sometimes these games give us false hope, and we are left with nothing. Years ago, every new game that has immense hype around it, was dubbed “WoW killer” did it ever happen? Depends on who you talk to, but to me, that never happened… Now we are in the world of Early Access, and Kickstarters. Each one promising something new and innovative. I don’t know what is worse, proclaiming to be new and innovative, or proclaiming to be a “WoW killer”. You decide I guess…
I’ve been a huge supporter of Wildstar since it’s inception and rocky launch, and it’s rocky path so far… I’ve had a lot of hope, and it has dwindled in the past couple of months. Not because I believe the game will die anytime soon, what I had left in the game, just has dwindled. Guild has left, IRL friends have left, I alone in the game again, and even though I know the game isn’t truly empty, to me it has become a barren wasteland of what could have been an amazing game… I will of course keep my tabs on it throughout Steam launch, but I can’t find myself to login into the game anymore and have fun… Will that feeling ever come back? I highly doubt it, because everyone that I have played with has left and don’t have any plans on returning to the game, sad, but true… Even hope can be dwindled to nothing given time.
Do I have hope for some upcoming games? Indeed I do. How much? A lot for this one. What is the name you ask? Well, I won’t tell you all just yet. I don’t want to spoil the upcoming blog entry I have for it. I’ve spoken with the dev crew, and will have an interview with them as well in the first blog entry. Which I am super stoked and hyped about… See what I did there?! Anyways, the point being I do have hope for future and current games. Despite what happened to Wildstar, that won’t hinder future and other current release to have hope from me.
3. Dreams: We often pair hopes and dreams together, but for the sake of this entry I am doing them separately. Dreams are more like this for me in the gaming genre… “Man, I hope this game has this coming in future updates, a man can dream right?” It could be anything we are talking about update wise… New raids, new zones, level cap increased, etc etc. This one could also come post launch, but for the sake of argument, I am leaving it in the hype section as well, because when I am hyped for something, I think about this. We listen on what the developers have in store for us post launch, and we get more hyped with what they are saying. Whether it be the first content update, or a year one plan, whatever it is, we get stoked for it.
4. Launch: The day finally arrives for launch, in this instance we will talk about MMORPG launches. Now, most launches in my history of gaming haven’t gone so smoothly, and we are talking about the first day and the days following for launch. Let’s say the first week… The worst I can remember in recent years was the FFXIV 2.0 Launch, and Wildstar launch. Both plagued with login issues, login queues, and crashes. I will say that Wildstar’s was the worst, because once you got inside the game, you would have multiple game issues, including: Optimization, insane lag, and of course plagued with bugs. Optimization was by far the worst, and even though it’s gotten way better in time, we needed that on launch to keep people playing. FFXIV was plagued with login issues, and once you got in-game you were praying that you weren’t kicked, and had to wait all over again. I don’t know if it was like that for PS4 and the like, but for PC, it was a terrible time, but we were so excited to play, we just kept trying to login and hope it would stick.
One of the better launches recently and least stressful for me was: Overwatch. No login issues, got into multiple games quickly, and didn’t disconnect once, and still haven’t. Of course, it’s Blizzard and they have the money to add servers, and fix issues quickly, but even Blizzard has had rocky launches. When the Hearthstone expansion, Whispers Of The Old Gods came out, it was laggy, and some people couldn’t login, and once you were able to login, you couldn’t buy packs, or open the packs you pre-ordered, that was a mess that was at least sorted out within a couple hours. Let’s get back on track, we are on launch week, and all the hype, all the hope is now real and the game is live, but was it up to par, and was it what we were expecting? If the game had an open beta, we played it, if the game had a closed beta we hoped to get in a play a portion of the game. Here we are though, launch… Did it live up to the hype? We play and play and hope it does, and we take days off work, or we skip class to play the game we are talking about. I’m going to talk about two games here, again we will talk about Wildstar, and then we will talk about The Division. Now to be completely honest, Wildstar wasn’t on my radar as much as other games have been, but when launch came, I watched all the previews, and all the youtube videos, and got hyped. The game looked to good to be true for me, there was no real performance hitches in the videos, and everything looked smooth from what I saw…
Of course, we now know the game didn’t play as smoothly as the videos looked, and the game was plagued with issues, and some of those issues still are there today, but what was the main issues that were with the game? Performance was the biggest factor for me, and I am sure a lot of other people. AMD people were screwed, and the people with Nvidia cards, and higher up cards, still have unstable fps, and most of the time you couldn’t hit 30 FPS, even when you were alone in a zone. A game with fast combat, a lot of dodging mechanics, and the game didn’t run well, well that spelled disaster for Wildstar, and for Carbine studios, and when the plague hit, it hit where it hurts, and people left in drones… A few hardcore people stayed, but even they dwindled, and when the servers were merged, the PvP players didn’t have much left to do, and with all the staff reductions, people were becoming doomsayers, and the pve players were left wondering and still are wondering if they will get any new PvE content.
I noticed, I skipped straight into launch, without talking about closed or open beta. I did that on purpose, just for the sake of time and formatting, you guys are already looking at a lot of text, didn’t want to strain your eyes more! Let’s move on to The Division, a game that I am still playing every day since launch, and I did buy the Gold Edition, because I was so hyped and stoked for this game. Even due to the bugs, and somewhat rampant hacking, (I haven’t ran into any hackers in my hundreds of hours of gameplay) they are annoying, but I can get by them because the game is so much fun to play. Update 1.1 came out, and soon update 1.2 adding new stuff, it’s going to be more fun. Launch didn’t come without a hitch though, login error codes were rampant, and when you were able to login, you had to wait to use the in-game computer by loads of other players hoping you could move on, and some people blocking the entrance/exit to the area… Seriously? WTF!?
A lot of people, and when I say a lot of people, i mean A LOT OF FRIGGIN people, slammed The Division, and sadly if you look on Steam Reviews, it currently sitting at an unfavorable review. Which will probably deter a lot of new and potential customers, but meh, I am still having a blast of a time with my friends, going into the DZ, killing other groups of players for sport. (I don’t kill solo players, unless they shoot first.) Of course, the game isn’t perfect, no game is, but it’s kept me going since launch, and I haven’t missed a beat yet with the game. That brings me to my next and final point… Post Launch....
5. Post Launch: Well, we’ve made it this far, we’ve followed the game since the beginning, and we’ve played the game, and we need to decide after the initial launch if the hype was worth it all. In many cases in the past for me, hype hasn’t been worth it, with a few select few that have sustained the hype. In the era of kick-starters and early access, we want all the features we were promised. When we don’t get what were promised and hyped for we take to the forums, multiple websites, and the Reddits to show our hatred and dislike for what was there and wasn’t there. It seems to me in this world, first impressions mean everything, and if the majority of the players are out and about crying instead of playing, the future of your product looks very grim. Now, that isn’t always the case, but with what I have experienced in the past, every game that fails to deliver on said promises, tend to have a grim future, or die off quickly. I hate to go back to Wildstar, but it seems to be the best way to describe what happens when things don’t go exactly to plan, and how games buckle and die off pretty quickly. The many people that played during launch, and had those terrible first impressions, most likely never step foot back into the game. Do I blame them? No, but I do wish they gave the game a second chance.
We sort of have this effect going around where we talk about what we dislike about the game, rather than what we like about the game. I’ve fallen victim to that as well. Sometimes I talk about what I dislike about the game, before I even mention what I do like about the game… If I go and read some reviews about a game that I haven’t heard before, and think I would like but all I see is negativity before positivity, chances are I won’t try the game, especially when it comes with a hefty price tag. Free to play games are different, because I can just try for myself to see if I like it with the only downside being I wasted my time I didn’t like it.
The post launch effect it has only some games nowadays is pretty terrible. We, the gamers can make or break a game in a heartbeat if we really wanted to. We can all rally and hype a game up, and hope it succeeds after launch, and when it fails to deliver, we crush it until it has nothing left to give. We seem to sometimes forget we have that type of power, but with multiple forums, social media and the like, we can tell our opinions whenever we like, however we like to. Just look what happened to The Division, rampant bugs, and hackers took over the game for awhile, and just look at the Steam reviews.
If you have stayed along for the ride this long, I would like to thank you for reading. I know this one isn’t the best of my work, and is a little confusing, but I just wanted to talk about how hype can make or break a game, literally. Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there any games you are hyped for this year, or the next? Please let me know in the comments below or tweet me @SirIsaacJewton
You can also catch my adventures over at my stream www.twitch.tv/isaacjewton