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The staff of gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

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Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Aren't All Games Worth a Second Look?

Posted by BillMurphy Wednesday April 7 2010 at 6:50PM
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You may have noticed if you read this week's list, and if your eyes aren't bleeding from anger at my choices of top P2P games, that I've recently picked up Age of Conan again.  I have a friend, we’ll call him Adam (that’s his real name; he just doesn’t read my blog because he’s a bad friend).  He’s the type of gamer who will forever dismiss an MMO based on his first five minutes in the game, never to give it another try down the road.  It’s not that he doesn’t know the nature of the games, and how they change and update and mature with time.  Anyone who has been following City of Heroes of Everquest 2 can tell you that both games are entirely different in 2010 than they were upon release.
So why won’t some people own up to the fact that games, especially MMOs, deserve a second look?  Is it the same thing that makes a person hate green beans into adult hood because he once choked on them as a toddler?  The memory of the bad taste is never able to be forgotten?  First impressions are lasting impressions and all that, but in the world of online gaming second chances should be given.
I recently re-subscribed to Age of Conan, for the first time since originally cancelling my account a few months after launch.  I stopped playing back then because I ran into a content wall where I had no way to level outside of a few group quests and grinding.  No excuses here, but when it comes to PvE I prefer solo-questing as my main mode of play.  So I figured I’d quit for now and check back later on after the game had time to add content. 
But my return kept getting delayed.  New games launched, they seemed shinier, prettier, newer… and for a while I doubted I’d ever actually check in on Hyboria.  Until I started to notice a few friends of mine taking the leap and trying it out again.  Reports started coming in of improved stability, tons of new content, better user-friendliness.  Sure the UI is still ugly as all get out, but it’s functional at least.  Knowing full well that I have plenty of gaming to do with Global Agenda’s Sandstorm coming, Warhammer Online and my love for the Slayer growing, and a renewed interest in my revamped Champions main… I paid up the $15 and reinstalled the client.
It’s only been a week, but I’m finding Hyboria a much-changed world.  Believe it or not, the game really did deserve the Most Improved awards it was given, and with the expansion looming on the horizon I might even stay a while much to the chagrin of my other virtual characters.  So next time you put down a game in anger, disappointment or disgust, don’t forget about it forever.  With time in this industry, even the disappointments can gain redemption.
MadnessRealm writes:

I tend to give most MMOs that have caught my attention, to some extent, a second chance usually 6-12 months later ,unless a significant amount of posts claims that the game has greatly changed, in which case I might give it a second chance earlier.


That said, that "second chance" is usually the last one. If the MMOs just doesn't work well in my opinion, it's off my list and it really requires something MAJOR for me to even take a glimpse at the website.


But yeah, as long as I find the core features of an MMO interesting but the game is just unplayable for various reasons, I'll just leave and wait 6 months or so. Most recent game that I gave a second chance would be DarkFall when I played in May, didn't like it, went back in November and loved it.

Thu Apr 08 2010 1:56AM Report
ghstwolf writes:

"New games launched, they seemed shinier, prettier, newer… and for a while I doubted I’d ever actually check in on Hyboria. "

That pretty much is the problem defined entirely.  There's usually something new to heap our hopes and dreams on, which will always seem better than that "old" game we've already quit.  New games are often in their worst state at launch, be it unsquashed/unnoticed bugs, balance issues or a lack of content.  Yet that is when we swarm to them and decide if "this" game is finally "the one".

Thu Apr 08 2010 3:14AM Report
GrumpyMel2 writes: Well, if you have infinite cash and infinite time to play, maybe. In general though, if a game dissappointed you the first time there's a pretty good chance it will the next time. The thing is, for most people there are way more new games coming out then they could possibly try if they wanted to... so why go back to something you already tried and didn't like? Note... a possible exception might be something which you really, really liked in general but had one or two things which were "deal-breakers" and you find out those got fixed. Thu Apr 08 2010 1:03PM Report
Wardrop writes:

In most cases no.

The core combat mechanics remain the same despite the change in dresses and makeup. Its these very mechanics that have driven players like myself away.

Basically a turds a turd, no matter how much whip cream and ice cream you try to stack on it. I'm not that hungry.


Thu Apr 08 2010 1:20PM Report
SnarlingWolf writes: I don't give MMOs a second chance, there's too many other ones out there to bother with it. I don't care if you improve as a company, good for you, I care only about my enjoyment since I'm paying money. I enjoy it, I stay. I don't enjoy it or stop enjoying it, I leave and never try it again. Thu Apr 08 2010 2:25PM Report
nate1980 writes:

A previous responder said if the reason why you leave isn't core gameplay related, then it might be worth giving a second chance. I agree with this. If the reason you leave a game is because it's too instanced, too quest oriented, or you just didn't like the combat, then "improving" the game isn't really going to change your mind.

I left AoC because at the time, I just wasn't into quest-based MMORPG's. However, when I finally did start liking quest-based MMORPG's, it was a year later, and it was after WoTLK released and I played that game to death. Nothing else released that was promising, so I gave AoC another shot. I was getting into the game, but there was one gamebreaking graphics glitch that no one could help me with. It was when the color black on the summoned monsters and other really black monsters appeared as some wierd color and all overly shiny. I asked on the forums, and I asked in the game. The community just ignored me.

That's another deal breaker with any game. If you have a new player asking questions, and they aren't getting answered, you should assume that that person may leave the game. If you have an answer for that person, help them. Otherwise that person may feel the community is too busy flaming each other, or talking about WoW vs. AoC or whatever else to care that the new player even exists. Who wants to play with people like that?

Thu Apr 08 2010 2:57PM Report
Battlekruse writes:

Just for score. The blog writer friend Adam is right. There is no mmo there is worth a second chance. Why?, because then can other companies still release ½ finished mmo like Funcom did twice.

btw: Age of Conan is still bad.

Thu Apr 08 2010 3:30PM Report
Astralglide writes:

I had the same issue with WAR. I pre-ordered, played for a month and was so disappointed that i thought I'd never go back. I did. I played for another month and then gave up again. Not that its a bad game, and not that it doesn't deserve a second look, its that it isn't what I wanted it to be. Most gamers are like that.

Thu Apr 08 2010 4:22PM Report
Khalathwyr writes:

Not always. If you really, really liked a game and it was almost there as far as what you wanted but not quite, then maybe. That said, the I've only went back to two games: SWG and Vanguard. I went back to SWG last year and that last all of a week. It cemented my decision as the right one of leaving the game the week the NGE was announced. With Vanguard, I was in the beta and did not sub at release. Later one I subbed and that lasted around a week as well.

Thu Apr 08 2010 4:58PM Report
peacekraft writes:

Conan is great now, worth another try for sure. I agree also yes, most games do deserve a second chance.

Thu Apr 08 2010 6:26PM Report
zaxxon23 writes:

If a mmo failed upon release I will rarely if ever consider giving the dev another chance.  I'm well aware that mmos change and improve over time, but I'm pretty firmly set in the belief that if a dev couldn't get it right the first time around, they're probably not going to get it right the second time either.


I look for a mmo that is very good at release so that I can actually play the game while they are improving it.  I look for a mmo where I can play from the start for years.  If a dev screws up that chance they've likely lost me for good.

Fri Apr 09 2010 8:48AM Report
darkpath19 writes:

Good article. Myself and some buddies re-subbed and started a re-roll/newbie guild on Cimmeria called Saga. We're having a blastw and it's surprising how quickly the guild is growing. There are a lot of new players entering Hyboria!

Fri Apr 09 2010 9:23AM Report writes:
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