The New Year has begun - sorry, Julians, we're hardcore Gregorian here at
TenTonHammer - and with it comes all the hopes and dreams of 365 days'
worth of a shiny new 2014. The corpse of 2013 hasn't begun to stink yet
(or, at least, not anymore than it already stunk) and we get a fresh run
at things. Traditionally, this inspires us to make promises to ourselves
to improve our lives over the coming year. Since much of my life revolves
around video games - playing them and writing about them - it should come
as little surprise that many of my New Year's Resolutions for 2014 revolve
around gaming. Or, at least, around one game in particular.
1. Enjoy The Stuff That 2013 Failed To Deliver.
I've been looking forward to the Elder Scrolls Online basically
since Morrowind. It was originally slated for a late-2013 release, but
that got delayed to this coming April. That projected launch date is
inching ever closer, and I can hardly wait. But I won't be holding my
breath - I've been burned by launch dates before. I'll be happy if it
comes out this year at all, and happier still if it's as soon as April, as
I'm also sort of looking forward to WildStar... though, to be
honest, not as much. I'm happy that the WoW-kiddies are getting a new
space-cowboys game, and I suppose it looks sort of amusing. But I'm an
adult, and it looks like a "wacky" cartoon game for kids and furries.
Frankly, I kinda want WildStar to get the hell off my lawn before I call
And, of course, there's always the promise that a Pathfinder Online
beta build might see the light of day sometime this year. I would advise
against any kind of breath-holding, though. They're predicting "early
access" in Q3, so people who donated through Kickstarter might get into
some kind of early "alpha" builds by the fall
2. Stay In Touch With My Roots.
Regardless of whatever else comes out this year, I am committed to
maintaining a presence in the Lord of the Rings Online and Star
Wars: the Old Republic. LotRO is the MMO I cut my teeth on, and
writing about it is what landed me the gig here 3 and a half years ago. I
still love the LotRO community, especially after seeing what things are
like in other games.
The years of exposure to the harsh elements of online gaming's many chat
windows have hardened me and turned me into the bitter, cynical, boiling
rage-monster you see before you now. But the scene in LotRO rarely gets me
above a lively simmer. Fewer damn kids, I guess.
And when SWTOR came out two years ago, it was a given that I would start
playing it. It's a setting I've been obsessed with since I got my first
Kenner action figure as an impressionable kid, and it remains the only
game for which I pay a monthly subscription. At least, until ESO rolls
3. Explore More Games.
I tried a few different games in 2013. Some of them were okay, and some
of them I really, truly despised. Some of them I had to be pushed into
exploring for professional reasons, but others were self-directed
explorations. 2013 was, in my experience, not a particularly great year
for new releases, and I'm hoping that 2014 will help wash some of that
taste out of my mouth.
Having discovered some really interesting gameplay in older games like Star
Trek Online and Fallen Earth in 2013, I'm going to be
looking at older F2P games this upcoming year as well. Of course, this
resolution is likely to fall apart when Elder Scrolls Online rolls around.
I may end up with a new laser-focused uni-game mindset once again. A
narrow focus and deep immersion is not a terrible thing when one is tasked
with writing about games, but neither is a broad palette.
4. Troll Moar.
Gameplay and graphics and whatnot are only part of the reason we play
MMOs. Single-player games usually do these things better. The reason we
play MMO games is that second M. It makes the games social things, a way
to relate to other people with similar interests from all around the world.
It also gives us a captive audience for assorted shenanigans and
I'm not going to make outrageous claims about being particularly good at
trolling, or even doing it all that often, but it's one social aspect of
these games that I very much enjoy. I have developed a real appreciation
for the art form. When it's done well, it's like Saul Goodman on Breaking
Bad - something you know is vile and terrible, but it's also really funny
and you want to keep watching.
I think I'll start in Elder Scrolls Online by making a Dunmer who uses
two swords, and go around telling everyone I'm actually not an evil Dark
Elf like all the rest, but am a Chaotic Good renegade with a troubled past
and a heart of gold.
5. Play Me Some Elder Scrolls Online.
In case it wasn't already obvious, I fully intend to rack up some serious
time with this game. As much as I enjoy ranting and raving about MMO
banalities and peeves that are too big to be considered pets, I'm really
looking forward to sinking my teeth into something with real meat in 2014.
And then writing positive things about it, hopefully.
Frankly, I'm just hoping it doesn't do the same thing so many other games
of 2013 did: tank out after the shiny newness wears off and turn into a
lackluster, laggy grind-fest. It's had a lot longer to build up a good
head of steam on the hype train, and that can be disastrous when a game
isn't actually the second coming of the messiah at launch. Personally, I'm
expecting something more like the second coming of Ronnie James Dio -
pretty awesome, but not nearly as big as it sounds.
Okay, so my New Year's Resolutions are primarily ESO-based. What are your
New Year's Gamer Resolutions? What games are you looking forward to
playing in 2014? Let us know in our comments!
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