It's the start of a New Year, and what better way to start a New Year than with setting yourself with some challenges?
Well, there probably are better ways to start a New Year, but I'm going to challenge myself in 2008 by trialling 12 MMOs that have passed me by but I should experience. Some of these MMOs will be good, some will be bad and some will be ... interesting. These MMOs passed me by for a number of reasons - they were too old, too uninteresting at the time, too niche, too poorly reviewed, etc - but now that I can play them on a free trial, they are worth having a look at so that I can at least say I've played them, rather than just reading about them.
1) No box purchase required. In fact, I'd prefer to play every single trial for free, but there is one MMO that has a small price for its trial period and I really want to give it a shot, so it won't be completely for free. I'll be doing this on the cheap, however.
2) I play the trial period only and as a total newb. I'm not going to be doing a lot of pre-reading on forums / guides to find out how I should play or what class I should roll or where I should go. The point of a trial is to give players the ability to experience the game for themselves - if you actually need to read a 15 000 guide to find out how to play 'properly', then the trial will be a failure and the game shouldn't be offering them. (Also: you've developed it wrong.)
3) At the end of each trial, I'll do a write up on it and post it on this blog. Things like how fun the game was to play, how friendly the community was and how likely I'd be to subscribe based on the trial. All ratings will be highly subjective and also likely to be highly sarcastic.
4) The character I will trial with will be UnSub and I'll play him as whatever seems cool to me based on their up-front descriptions (e.g. robots and lizardmen are good, as are ninjas, martial arts and dual-wielding). If that name is unavailable, I'll create a variant and run with that. Say hi to me if you see me in-game. In-game gifts won't be accepted, however, unless you are willing to give every trialist the same thing.
That's it. I won't be posting a list of the games I want to trial because I want to play it by ear - no point in listing Elf Bowling Online now if it closes its doors within the next month, is there? However, I can list the first trial I've signed up for. To start off, I thought I should go with a big name that really disappointed a lot of people on launch, a MMO that everyone knows the name of but not that many chose to play and, most importantly, a title that should have been a slam dunk success but only raised questions about whether the devs could be trusted with another big IP title.
First cab off the rank will be Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach.