Posted Fri, Jan 03, 2014 by gunky
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.
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 officially planned.
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 the cops.
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
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 around.
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.
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 monkeyshines.
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.
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!