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Pokket Says: High Expectations

Column By Hillary Nicole on October 03, 2012

I played this new game recently. I won't say the name, but let's just note that I played it. I played it a lot and I liked it a lot. It was fully polished, it had modified questing in a way that, well, I didn't feel like I was questing, and when I got a fully leveled toon, the end game was so vast that I wasn't bored at all. The gear grind was actually enjoyable, there were very few bugs that I encountered, and the content in the game would rival the gigantic beast WoW has become over the past 7 years.

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By now you should guess that this game is made up. It is a figment of my imagination, but I feel it is something that many people, perhaps yourself included, think games will be when they release when that's just not possible. There are a lot of things a beta can mitigate, including honing the game to the crowd they are targeting, but they simply cannot compete with the expectations given to them by the average, jaded player and media personality.

A huge trend, and I bet you've noticed this too, is people asking for more from a title though they've yet to even experience the gameplay announced. Oh, you're releasing a new raid? That's great, but is there another raid coming out? Oh, you're going to release a new battleground map? That's great, but what about the next one and what about ranked?

Sure, there are mistakes the developers make, and when I say "developers" I actually mean executivess because in my opinion, devs can make some mistakes, but quite a few of them tend to be driven by the men in suits (at least for larger companies). We can see examples of this in many games, including WoW, Warhammer, and SWTOR. It has circulated in the community and media that WoW, arguably, took it's "A-team" off WoW and put it on the Titan project. Warhammer was a game based around RvR, but the calls were made to make it include PvE content as well, taking away resources for refining RvR. SWTOR had so much money pouring into story that other areas of the game, including end-game and functionality, seemed to be missing components.

You can really call out every major game for components that are missing, or emphasis put on the wrong areas of the game (PvE in a PvP game, and vice-versa). And, of course, this doesn't just work for MMOs, it happens in every game and the players just become more jaded and frustrated with the industry as a result.

As much as I'd like to blame all the problems and disappointments on the games, the developers, then men in suits, etc... as much as I'd like to blame everyone else but myself, I've learned that the best way to get around this is to just not overhype games anymore. Overhyping the next title, and having high expectations is what leads to disappointment.

 

There is another industry where we see this happen a lot, movies. You'd think by now people would be coming out with top-notch blockbusters every week, but there is a lot of crap to sift through before you find a gem (like Inception, The Dark Knight, and even Looper - all of these are gems in my book).  But just as in gaming, shots are called, budgets are maxed, writers create flat characters, etc. The same issues that happen in the game industry happen in other industries as well. The problem is, as games become more and more mainstream (like movies), there is going to be more crap to sift through, and less gems to relish.

We just have to start looking for the diamond in the rough.

Hillary "Pokket" Nicole

Twitter: @Pokketsays

Facebook: /pokketsays

Youtube: /pokketproductions

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