Happy birthday to meeeee, happy birthday to meeeeeeeee, happy birthday dear Musings… Yes, it’s exactly one of your earth years since I started this “blogging” business, and my, how times have changed. Why, to think when this blog started the Berlin Wall was still standing, the EU was still the EEC, Patrick Troughton was still playing Doctor Who and nobody had even thought of this “fire” business, let alone the wheel. It’s been an eventful twelve months and no mistake.
But what have I been doing? An excellent question, and thankfully part of answer appears to be “keeping a blog”, which I can flip back through and go “Ahh, good/bad times, delete as applicable”. Exactly a year ago, I was on my second stint of World of Warcraft, picking up the Rogue I’d got to level 60 in the first stint; November through January was largely taken up with running the old end game instances as a team of four and the FREE EPIX!!1! fever of battlegrounds while waiting for the Burning Crusade. Mid-January, I packed up along with the rest of the world (of Warcraft) and headed to the Outlands, and spent three months (punctuated by a few days in Second Life to see what all the fuss was about) happily wandering around the instances, battlegrounds n’ stuff found therein (well, I say “happily”, going strictly by the blog posts it actually seems I spent three months whining that I hadn’t got any “phat” “lewt”, WAAAAH, but I remember it as a much happier time than that, especially as the withered husk of the original guild I’d joined the game with was rejuvenated by a few returning players and some new blood as other guilds disbanded). May and June brought Lord of the Rings Online, which only just made it into a second month of playing, and a new issue of City of Heroes, the only game I’ve remained subscribed to for the whole year. Peace was shattered for a couple of weeks of July by some extreme Guitar Hero rocking, and a free trial of Star Wars Galaxies, then in August I bought my first ever console in the form of a Wii (and I’d just like to congratulate myself on my uncanny prescience in predicting Wii shortages later in the year, even though the cause turned out not to be giant Wii-eating badgers). A few holidays and a dead PC processor later, the gaming highlight of September was Bioshock (the Tabula Rasa beta not really inspiring), October brought the rather splendid Orange Box, and here we are in November, with my hands oddly cramped from over-Guitar Hero IIIing and another issue of City of Heroes due to go live today. There was a chance for a poetic “cycle is complete”-type return to the start, as honeyed words of short queues and well-matched WoW battlegrounds reach my ears (apparently daily quests there have made battlegrounds as popular as they were about a year ago after the revised honour patch) and tempt me back to Arathi Basin, but the combination of Issue 11 of City of Heroes and the extreme rocking of Guitar Hero III have been enough to stop me reaching for that subscription button.
Astute readers may notice a trend, of the games becoming less Massively Multiplayer and more Offlinely Singleplayer over the year, I’m not sure if that’s more to do with me, or the wave of MMOG delays and cancellations that’s postponed the most likely looking next MMOG candidates to 2008. Let’s hope it’s the latter, or I really will need to change the title. Anyway, here’s to the next year of blogging, and whatever games that holds!
I’d like to say that I bought you a cake, but as we all know by now, that would be a lie.
This blog is a triumph.
I’m making a note here: HUGE success.
Still there’s no use crying over every bad post,
You just keep on typing ’til you run out of toast…
I’m being so sincere right now.
As you wrote it hurt because I was so happy for you!
Now these points of data make a beautiful blog.
Not surprised that you have fallen in love with single player games again. This has been a classic year for single player gaming. A while ago I was worried that the runaway success of World Of Warcraft would put an end to single player gaming on the PC but thankfully it has not been so.
Interesting point, via Random Battle I was just reading Epic Fail, where they have “Every North American MMO Since World of Warcraft” as their #1 failure of the past five years:
It was only a few years ago when the entire game industry seemed geared toward everything massively multiplayer. A quick look at 2004 and 2005’s E3 rundown reveals dozens of MMOs either in development or planned. WoW killed or crippled all of them.
Skipping over the “worst failure” hyperbole, and ignoring the fact that they manage to “illustrate” their point with two games that launched before WoW (The Sims Online and Star Wars Galaxies), I think the comparative lack of success of post-WoW MMOs (failure is overstating it in most cases, they’re just not raking in bathloads of money every second) has led firstly to this year’s wave of cancellations/delays (hopefully resulting in games like Pirates of the Burning Sea and Warhammer being better at release), and secondly to more room in the market for offline/single player stuff. Not such a bad thing, really.