Are there 50 ways to read WRUP? Probably not. But there are at least 50 things we could all be doing over the weekend, and until you jump past the break, you'll have no way of knowing. We also talk about whether or not we really want innovation in our games, and as always, we've left you plenty of room in the comments to tell us what you'll be up to. Also whether or not you can come up with lover-leaving method number 26.
@Beau_Hindman: I'll be trying a deeper look at Vendetta Online, a multi-platform space MMO. I'm going to try to stream it live on my tablet, which is a challenge but could be interesting. I'll also be playing some Mabinogi and plenty of an undisclosed beta!
I think most players want to see innovation in MMOs, but most of us are pretty used to the sluggish pace of development of new and interesting systems. While indie developers seem more willing to put something new out there, the standards of MMO design are standard because the audience tends to scoop up anything new if it is hyped enough despite how old the game's systems are. The more people pay for it, the more those standards will stay in place.
@nyphur: I'm testing out the newly revamped EVE Online tutorial, frigates, and mining ships this week in an effort to re-evaluate the new player experience. If you've ever wanted to get into EVE but had difficulty starting, check out this week's EVE Evolved column on Sunday for my verdict on the new tutorial and some tips for getting started.
I think most developers misunderstand the concept of innovation in game development and just call anything new and different innovative. Historically, the most successful innovations have been incremental improvements on existing ideas rather than completely new ideas that come out of nowhere. In that sense, yes, I would love to see more innovation on server models, PvP systems, dungeons, quests, item systems and countless other features we take for granted. To think we've plumbed the depths of what's possible with even those basic mechanics is frankly ludicrous.
@nbrianna: I'll probably poke my head into City of Heroes a bit because I think my superheroines might be seeing less playtime once a certain game prelaunches next week. NCsoft wins either way, I guess.
I like to see studios trying new things, but new doesn't always mean better. Bad innovation is a good thing for figuring out what works and doesn't, but if it sucks, it sucks, and saying so doesn't mean we're anti-innovation. In many cases, what I really want is something that's already been done to be done again with way more awesome. I don't think I'm alone, else World of Warcraft wouldn't exist.
@Eliot_Lefebvre: It's pretty much the same routine I've had for the past several weeks -- Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, and Persona 4 Arena. (Well, the last one is pretty new because it wasn't available until recently. You know what I mean.) Unfortunately, my new computer was supposed to arrive this week and won't be here until Monday, but I can at least spend some time backing up important files.
Asking whether or not I want innovation is a kind of silly question; of course I do. But innovating just because you can is generally a bad idea; you have to understand why you're adding something new, why you can't stick with existing ideas, and so forth. Refining existing systems well is just as challenging as creating innovative systems, and it sadly doesn't receive enough credit.
@elixabethclaire: I'll be taking my last Guild Wars 2-free weekend to play some The Secret World, which is exciting. A little more Guild Wars adventuring is in order to get some folks a few extra Hall of Monuments points.
I am a fan of innovation, in MMOs as in most things. Is it always necessary? Nope. But it can be healthy.
Skyrim and The Secret World for me.
And I dunno, it depends what is meant by innovation. If you mean thinking of MMOs as virtual worlds with lots of non-combat features, sure. If you mean more attempts to put lipstick on the same old progression pig, then no.
@Jeremy_Stratton: Haven't had much time for gaming, lately. I'm playing around with a MUD codebase to try and tweak, change, and add enough of my own ideas to make it my own game and world. If I do get any MMO-time, I think I'd like to run around in Vanguard and see what the F2P conversion has done for the community.
@Sypster: This is the final pre-Guild Wars 2 weekend, so I've got to make the most of my time... by just being lazy and enjoying myself. Maybe I'll take some time to check out an unnamed closed beta I've been wanting to experience, hm?
Innovation? I know not the word. Regression, that's what we need! Go back to the days of text-only MMOs and their ilk and consider ourselves fortunate for it!
@JayeRnH: I'll be up to the usual, RIFT and EverQuest II, but it will be limited because family game time lately has been dominated by a certain pirate MMO that's still in beta.
I do want to see innovation, but more importantly, I want to see MMOs get better, and I agree with Justin that looking back on the past could be just as valuable as a forward thinking approach.
@mvmatt: I'll be playing "holy crap my lease is up in a week," which entails furiously cleaning and packing my apartment. If I manage to find some time for R&R, though, I'll be hopping into The Secret World for some delicious investigation mission goodness.
And do I want to see innovation in MMOs? Of course I do. Do I think that every new MMO has to be innovative? Of course not, that's just silly. Not every title needs to be groundbreaking, but at the same time, studios should be constantly looking to see which areas could use further development and refinement. There's always room for improvement, as they say, and it's silly not to try to improve; otherwise, the genre becomes stagnant and we get stuck with years and years of every major developer trying to clone the most recent "big thing," and that's not good for the players or for the genre itself.
@MJ_Guthrie: ZOMG! I haz twitterz! Wait, does that make me twitter-pated? Oh sorry, you were talking about gaming. Let's see... this weekend I will be finishing up Blue Mountain in The Secret World; I really want to finally feel the sand between my toes in Egypt. I also have plans to finally snag another level in Aion and redecorate my little condo. And because I am sooooo excited to be participating in the ArcheAge beta, you better believe I will be spending oodles of time there! In between that, I get to hang out at a chili cook-off! Yum!
To me, innovation means stretching beyond the same old, same old, so yah I want to see it in MMOs. It isn't always about mind-blowing paradigm shifts but about just doing things a bit differently or a little better. I mean, who really wants everything to be the same experience? Not I!
@terilynns: To say that I'm not sure what I'll be playing is an understatement. I'm exhausted. The Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas was a blast, and the Star Trek Online Discussion with the Devs panel and the Hangin' with the Devs gathering that followed were both great successes. Alas, along with success comes the con crud -- that nasty nasal virus that gets spread around in large groups of convention-goers. I think I just might end up sleeping all weekend.
I would love to see innovation in MMOs. I think the problem with the genre is that MMOs are too much alike. I like games that provide an alternative to the grind structure that seems so prevalent in most MMOs.
At the start of every weekend, we catch up with the Massively staff members and ask them, "What are you playing this week?" (Otherwise known as: WRUP!) Join us to see what we're up to in and out of game -- and catch us in the comments to let us know what you're playing, too!