And here we are about the enter the golden time, a period I like to call, The Naked Now, it’s that period of time in an MMO’s development cycle when fans of the game are whipped into a frenzy as the promise of the game becomes almost tangible. It happened with Aion, a few months ago, and now, millions of Aion Kinah later, we’re entering that phase with Star Trek Online.
Interviews, information, screen shots and video are coming thick and fast, and the likelihood is that we’ll get open beta details some time early next week. But what exactly, pray tell, is The Naked Now? It’s the time just before an MMO launches, when the visuals, sound and lore start to really come together, when we start getting a good idea of what the final package is going to look like. It’s the time before we actually get our hands on a game, when our imaginations run wild with the possibilities, when we pore of the details of crafting, items, and class and race combos in an effort to hit the ground running once we finally get our greedy mitts on the game.
However, if you’re like me, The Naked Now can be a bit of a mad time, as you begin to scramble and scrounge for every little worthless bit of information you can find on the game. I’ve read and re-read interviews, gone over the entire “Path to 2409″ storyline, re-ogled all the screen shots on official website, digested most of the Jupiter Colony Star Trek Online podcasts, and now I’m making my way through Season 5 of Deep Space 9 in an attempt to bring myself up to speed on the geography of Star Trek sector space (as much as one can anyway).
Of course, if these latest figures from Diret2Drive’s first week of PC sales are to be believed, I’m not the only one jonesing for some STO right now, as the Digital Deluxe edition of STO comes in right at the top in the number one spot, beating out the Mac version of Dragon Age: Origins. The regular version comes in at number ten, and it’s cool to see Aion’s still selling at a decent clip, hitting the number four spot.
Speaking of Aion, if you’re still on the fence about picking it up, perhaps the recent award of a shiny “Best New Game” award from MMORPG.com will help convince you. No? Well, then you might want to cast your eyes in the direction of this page, which lists all of Aion’s numerous, and impressive plaudits for 2009. Yup, the new kid on the block is lookin’ mighty fine indeed.
If you’re lamer than me, then you’re still playing Star Wars Galaxies (I keeeeeed!… if you’re lamer than me, you’re playing Vanguard Online). Ahem! Anyway, Galaxies gamers will be pleased to hear that the next major patch, Galactic Civil War, is now up on the test server. It’s a fairly meaty patch, and SOE have gone the extra step beyond just text patch notes to really outline just how the patch changes the game, have a look here.
You see, this is why Eve Online is awesome, to a degree, the player base is allowed to do pretty much whatever the heck they want, and for the most part, decide their own future’s, it helps create the holy grail for developers, emergent gameplay. Enter; Hulkageddon II. What is Hulkageddon? Simple, it’s Armageddon for Hulks, no really, Hulkageddon, ladies and germs, is a player created event in Eve Online universe, wherein pirates, looters and miscreants (or really just anyone looking for a bit of fun), arms up and wages war on the game’s most popularly piloted ship class, the Hulk, flown primarily by miners. Yes, it’s awful, and borders on griefing, but it’s fun! So far over 250 Hulks, and 40 pilots have been slain, if you happen to be a Hulk pilot, now might be a good time to hire some escort ships to keep you safe, if you’re a bit tight for ISK, then you might want to park that Hulk in at a spaceport and wait out… HULKAGEDDON II!
I admit I’ve never actually tried Fallen Earth, regular readers will know I’ve not been impressed with what I’ve seen thus far, and a video review I watched last week on Yootoob didn’t do much to change my mind. However, I do think that it’s really cool such a small company can make a fully fledged MMO, what’s even cooler though, is their apparent commitment to making sure that the game is the best it can be, with a new patch that just went live fixing tons of small bugs and tweaks, and best of all, bringing with it a major graphical upgrade in the process. Words rarely do these sorts of changes justice, so you might want to head on over to TenTonHammer for some before/after screen shots.
On the World of Warcraft front, WoW.com has a pretty fascinating article in which they bust out their crystal ball and speculate on what might happen with Blizzcon 2010. I know it seems like Blizzcon ’09 was just last week, but 2010 seems like it could be a major year for Blizzard, what with Starcraft II, Diablo III and Cataclysm well into development, give it a read if you’ve got a moment. Also, a few more tiles from the astounding BattleCry mosaic have been revealed, it’s looking really cool.
And with that I’m off, I’ve got some real work to take care of here at HQ… and maybe an episode or two more of DS9 to squeeze in.
– Ever wonder how stupendously crazy cool a Bethesda developed Star Trek RPG would have been? It could’a happened. We got robbed.