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WRUP: This is kind of a silly demo edition

Eliot Lefebvre

I haven't played it yet, but the Mass Effect 3 demo strikes me as silly. For me, and I suspect pretty everyone else who played the first two games, this is not a game that had to do much to sell itself. BioWare could have just announced the title and done nothing else, and I would still have been getting out my wallet. All that playing the demo does is make you more anxious for a thing that's a while away and have probably already preordered.

I'm not saying I can resist it, mind. But it seems a bit silly.

In other news, it's time for this week's installment of WRUP, where the Massively staff members talk about what they plan to do over the weekend. This week, we're also discussing whether or not we'd fund an MMO project via Kickstarter. So storm on past the cut for our weekend plans, and let us know what you'll be up to in the comments!

Beau Hindman, F2P and Mobile Columnist
@Beau_Hindman: I'll be switching to Seven Souls Online for the next Rise and Shiny this weekend. I'll also be working more in construction (the ability to build a house) in RuneScape. I need to complete a few more levels in MilMo and hopefully will get around to spending some time in Illyriad. I also need to make my house in Second Life presentable for my livestreams, which means straightening everything out and decorating the heck out of it. It might sound easy, but I can promise that the sheer number of cool options in that game will stop you in your tracks if you let them overwhelm you. I could also name all of the games I hope to get to, but there are so many right now that I need to catch up on. Spiral Knights, Wakfu... someone help!

I'm not sure I would fund an MMO on Kickstarter. While it might sound easy, it's just as easy -- if not easier -- to fund it through classic methods like PayPal donations or just asking around. The fact that some recent titles were funded there really has more to do with the fact that those games and developers already had the backing of some very deep-pocketed individuals. Raising money once you're already famous is quite a bit easier than if you are truly an independent developer. So no, I would probably skip it. What's the point? If you need to raise money and the bank won't work for you, use PayPal and a ton a patience. In the meanwhile, continue to work on your game. Scale back. Your new MMO doesn't need to have a "AAA" budget to be a success.

Brendan Drain, EVE Columnist and Contributing Editor
@nyphur: In EVE Online, I'll be spinning some of the new revamped assault frigates in a station this weekend as I try to put together good setups for each of them. I've been on a bit of a Heroes of Newerth kick lately too, so I'll probably get a few matches of that in. As if that weren't enough to eat up all of my time, some friends have started playing Runes of Magic, so I'll probably fire up my old account on the Siochain server to give them a hand.

I actually do plan to fund game development partially via Kickstarter, but an MMO is beyond the scope of what I can manage for now. When you think about it, crowdsourced funding sources like Kickstarter essentially function as pre-order services for games that are still in development. Some people will donate large amounts, but most will donate the minimum level required to get a copy of the game, and so that money should be thought of as an advance on sales rather than funding. Realistically, Kickstarter itself won't introduce tons of people to your project; it's just a set of tools you can use to let people donate. Without your own fanbase or good publicity, you won't get funded through it.

Bree Royce, Senior Editor
@nbrianna: I expect to be in Star Wars: The Old Republic this weekend. I've also gotten re-addicted to Glitch. Just one more run through the Ancestral Lands. Just one. I promise. Well, maybe two. And then I need to make another stack of sammiches to donate, and while I'm there, I may as well finish exploring all the streets in this zone for the completist badge, and... yeah.

Kickstarter just seems like reinventing the wheel to me. We already have ways to invest in groups of people whose ideas and projects we like. But if it takes that reinvention to get people to see how the market works in the raw, then I can't complain. Sure, if someone were making something I wanted, I'd pitch in. Kinda doing that already whenever I buy an MMO or sub since most games are unfinished at launch anyway.

Eliot Lefebvre, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
Ryzom will take up some time, as will hitting 50 for the first time in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Hoping to get some online and offline time with some Final Fantasy titles, and I may very well try out the Mass Effect 3 demo. Nothing all that novel.

I like the way that Kickstarter handles its donation models, but there are very few projects on there that I've actually funded. Then again, that's part of the appeal of how it handles things. I can't say I would never fund a game through the service, but I can say that I would need more to go on than a title and a handful of screenshots.

Elisabeth Cardy, Guild Wars 2 Columnist
@elixabethclaire: The Guild Wars 2 closed press beta has officially started, which means I'll be running around like mad in there until they close the servers down and kick me out. I've spent the last few days stocking up on sleep and food (and wishing one could stock up on showers) to clear up as much time as possible for this event. Do I sound excited? Not excited enough, probably.

I'd like to see more games being funded on Kickstarter, but I'd actually be very wary of which MMOs I invested in. I think that unless you're a really well-proven studio with a stellar history, you'd almost have to let contributors have a small amount of control of where the game goes -- or at least be incredibly explicit about what the fundamental design of the game was going to be. As an example, I wouldn't contribute to an MMO that said it'd be subscription-based because I think that's an outdated model, and I'd be upset if the developers declared that it was subscription-based only after they received funding.

Jeremy Stratton, Contributing Editor
@Jeremy_Stratton: My Priest/Rogue is very close to tipping into level 65, thus unlocking the ability to wear the crazy, pimped-out hammer-and-wand combo I bought in Runes of Magic. WURM Online has been slowing down my RoM progress a bit, though. I've been sketching and doodling blueprints for a dream starter deed, but I have a lot of skilling I need to do. Thankfully, a village has taken me under its wings until I get strong enough to make it on my own.

I'm not an expert on how Kickstarter works. Are there stipulations to creating a project with donator input? If it's just the money, sure, I think Kickstarter is as good a place to raise funds as anywhere else.

Justin Olivetti, Columnist Extraordinaire and Senior Contributing Editor
@Sypster: Too... many... games! Too... little... time! Seriously, I've been wanting to play so many titles lately that I'm having a hard time staying focused on just three. But three it shall be, with Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Lord of the Rings Online gobbling up what few spare minutes I get. I'm really hoping to hit endgame with my first SWTOR character so I can finally roll an alt (although I'm not complaining about the journey thus far), and my Intrepid-class starship in STO is a hoot and a holla' to pilot.

Matt Daniel, Contributing Editor
@mvmatt: The Mass Effect 3 multiplayer demo is out. Do I really need to say anything else? I do? Ugh, fine. I guess I'll also be dabbling a bit in RIFT and Star Wars: The Old Republic or whatever else happens to catch my attention. Other than that, it's going to be a nice, relaxed weekend of sleeping in and generally being lazy and worthless.

For the bonus question, I've actually supported multiple games via Kickstarter, the most recent being Guns of Icarus Online (which looks amazing, might I add). So the short answer is yes, yes I would. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some Cerberus agents to shoot.

MJ Guthrie, Aion and Sandbox Columnist
I'm celebrating a family birthday and still out of state with only a couple of games loaded on the laptop, so gaming will be minimal this weekend -- I barely have time to pop into EverQuest II and Aion to see how things are. I do hope to get a couple matches in Tribes Ascend in as well. The good news is I am off hotel wifi and finally have a dedicated internet connection (I can't call it stable because it is Comcast, after all).

Right now I am busy funding a savings for upcoming college tuition for two, so funding any kind of game beyond purchase and subscriptions is beyond me. Ask me after I publish and earn my millions.

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!

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