autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Gaming Shenanigans: It’s everywhere

1032 hours elapsed since September 28, 2021 (1 month, 13 days).

I have over 400 hours of playtime since launch.

Quick calculation: roughly 39% of hours since launch, I have played.

Five characters, total; four were deleted to restart on various servers (didn’t want to be bothered with the potential transfer errors, etc).

The current character is now 42.

I have 35 of the Steam achievements.

Me, over coffee this morning in a legitimate cost/benefit analysis of my gaming choices lately

Throughout my time with New World, I have provided pointed feedback on the things that both professional and personal experience have demonstrated to be literal poison to an MMO game.

I feel I have been listened to, but not truly heard. Which, I suppose, is to be expected given what we know of game development culture, leadership, and biases… very little of player or market feedback is heard – generally speaking, excepting the following three:

  1. Exponential backlash (it must be exponential to gain their attention… thanks, social media, this one is on you).
  2. Actual player abandonment (not the stuff you read avidly on the forums, the quiet, real stuff).
  3. Strongly negative pop culture/opinions/reviews and their active circulation/viewership.

New World and AGS have had them all.

That alone exceeds the ‘zero tolerance’ policy I have set for my ongoing support. I have given them “extra strikes” well beyond what I would normally because, well, the likelihood of actual innovation in this genre is comatose thanks to the “normal” practices of the industry, the sheer predation of the P2W and Freemium models, which now seem to be trying to evolve into Buy-To-Play including P2W, P2C(ustomize), or both.

(deep breath)

This game is under-cooked. It is unbalanced. It is, literally, bug-ridden, and this, combined with the struggles of the clearly under-funded and under-staffed to deliver at “Triple AAA Studio” level has given me the genuinely perturbing experience of arriving at a Black Tie Opening only to find the owner has opted to serve PB&Js on wet napkins.

The audacity of a spectacularly over-priced “store” filled with clearly fast-tracked items is yet another nod to the short-sightedness of leadership combined to lethal ends with the obesiance of crispy development and community teams in a somewhat “yeah, we all know where this is going, but we must sing and dance happily as it does” position.

A position that no one deserves to be in; surprisingly, the one and truest herald of penultimate display. The final success presented in a gasp cum death rattle to an empty theater.

Oh, but I’m just being dramatic. Overly-emotional. Pessimistic. Hyperbolic. Holy shit, pleonastic!

I said in similar and pointed fashion way back in closed alpha that all of these problems had a solid fix. I was far from alone, even as it was cacophony in those forums as it is in the official ones.

The game that was rushed out too early shows the skeleton required for any of those systems to work. We now know the design was not complete as it was never balanced just released to be retested.

That’s what we’re being asked to do now. For free. Because they need our help to succeed!

Only one problem with that:

It is EXACTLY the promise that they utterly failed to meet the first time around… and we PAID $40 to help as well as tested our hiney off and offered both solid (frankly, valuable) product design feedback that they have roundly, soundly failed to effectively hear, let alone incorporate.

I am not angry. I am not upset. Frankly, I’m just done. 22 years is a long time to support something that simply refuses to support you, too.

Especially so when it seems the internal culture is still that special blend of contemptuous superiority gaming has…. “You do not tell us what to do. We deliver and YOU EXPERIENCE.”

Well… how ’bout ‘No.’

This industry needs to go learn about the concept of “GAME AS A SERVICE©” and level up to meet the customer where they now are…. ahead of you and /waiting.

Shame on me for expecting a global web services provider to produce a truly Triple A gaming experience.

Lesson Learned™.