It’s been fairly quiet on the MMOG front here. Since moving on from Lord of the Rings Online a couple of months ago City of Heroes has been providing splendid weekly group-type fun, but nothing to really inspire bloggery (though some of the user-created content in the Mission Architect has at least raised an eyebrow…) While not exactly in danger of being dragged under the Slough of Despond, there’s a risk of losing a welly in the Fen of Listlessness at least.
After three years of hype I hadn’t exactly given up on Star Wars: The Old Republic, but had become inured to official cinematics and shakeycam footage from expos and had no great desire to jump into the recent beta, but the subsequent dropping of the NDA and tidal wave of blogging that followed rather piqued my interest. A good chunk of the blogroll over there headed off to a galaxy far, far away, and many splendid posts resulted; those of Spinks and Warsyde spring to mind, with apologies to the myriad other fine authors also available. It’s all sounding pretty good (in a balanced, genuine opinion about the (almost) final game sort of way, rather than a frothing extrapolation of a fuzzy screenshot and out-of-context quote into some idealised wündergame), so I’ve stuck a pre-order in.
I’d seen an occasional blog post before the beta complaining about the NDA, some suggesting that leaving it in place so close to launch was a clear sign of damage control, but the broadly positive impressions belie that. From my perspective at least it’s just sensible timing; with a month or so to go before a firm release date it’s all rather more tangible (as much as a digital download can be), if we’d had impressions over a series of developing builds for the past six months I imagine I’d be just as bored of them as official screenshots.