Black Desert and Western Anticipation
I used to be really excited for ArcheAge and I still kind of enjoy the concept, but the launch and the various issues affecting it isn't giving me the best of taste in my mouth right now, especially considering I just want a really fun zany sandbox MMO and non of the drama. Black Desert has been that game sort of on the horizon, just sitting there, it's name on your news feed every now and then, but it's getting closer and closer to an actual for real launch here at some point in our lives (2015, to be published by Daum).
I'm not sure still on how it'll make its way over to the states, but boy howdy is that game pretty. The big issue though with games in the Asian or even eastern European market is that they rarely move over to the states quickly and while they are in the process, there is very little in the way of information other than wrong or bad information, because the game isn't exactly translated yet.
For ArcheAge, the original idea is that you could run around and literally build whatever you wanted within the world, but in the end it was more of a mix of Wushu-era styled games where you run tradepacks around with the added bonus of building some really cool forts if you get super into the game.
For Black Desert, it's having all the same trimmings - naval combat, building, and even armor that shows combat damage, but at the same time I ponder, is it gonna be fun? We're still too far to even ever know if it will or won't be, and even those who can access the Korean open beta on the 17th will probably either be such fans that the game can do no wrong or not be able to understand the concepts that they're seeing (see the ArcheAge stream-fest).
I think there is some weird mysterious desire here in the west for a game to come from the east that's fun, exciting, and different but often times these games are... just not what anyone wants. Blade and Soul is the next super hyped eastern game to prepare for western waters, but even as pretty as it is and how excited I am for it, is it going to entertain my interests?
The odds are no, it's not, and I'm going to feel this odd disappointment yet again. In a lot of scenarios, I've played a lot of games and their associated westernization / translations, and in a lot of instances I just go meh. It's a great game, sure, but it's not the greatest game, which given so many great games, it's hard to just single a game out and go okay this is my game.
Steam has, strangely enough, helped to open the market up. When you have a client that's just sitting there handing out free games, it's easier for people to move through them and find the best free game, but even then in the top list, you've got Marvel Heroes and Warframe, but no Aura Kingdoms. Wakfu barely makes it into the top 20. Is that marketing? The big western companies obviously want to pour money into their own markets or is it the type of games and their game mechanics.
Wakfu and the previous incarnation Dofus which absorbed a ton of my time is an oddity, in the sense that it appeals to the western market, but with a very eastern feel to it. A very, very eastern feel, since it's essentially Final Fantasy Tactics Online, but you know what's funny about that. FFT has done very well in the west and even games like Disgea have done very well, even though they're not generally the standard faire we expect here in the states.
It's a lot to think on, but I do suggest that we all don't forge our opinions of future titles by any failings in the past. Each game is its own unique snowflake and we should judge each title irrespective of others. That's not to say that bad games should be played, but we shouldn't hold another game like Black Desert to say ArcheAge, even if the titles are similar.
That's my thoughts today. Have a great weekend everyone.