Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Consistency of the Anti Hype

[Edit: Premise and dates..heck even the title has changed for this article due to an error on my part. The new dates have spawned a new issue that I have with MMO reviews in general.]

Well, I was looking more into the reviews at 1Up.com and I came across something really interesting:

1) Everquest II:
Release Date: Nov. 8/2004
1Up Review: Dec. 1/2004
Score: 7.5

2) City of Heroes
Release Date: March 17/2004
1Up Review: June 14/2004
Score: 8.0

3) World of Warcraft
Release Date: Nov.15/2004
1Up Review: Dec. 3/2004
Score: 8.9

4) Lineage 2
Release Date: April 27/2004
1Up Review: June. 11/2004
Score: 6.5


5) Vanguard: Sega of Heros
Release Date: Jan 29/2007
1Up Review: March 2 /2007
Score: 3.0

The average lead time for these guys is about 2 months given the corrected dates from the original reviews. Now, Vanguard seems to have been given about one month below average of this sample..which is about right for 1UP.

Now, as I was sitting here saying "ahhhhh shit...wrong dates you idiot", something else hit me as I was looking at the new dates...."This is still not looking right to me". Why are MMOs being reviewed 1-3 months after release. Not just at 1UP, but on other sites as well. Take a look at gamerankings.com for Vanguard, EQII, City of Heroes to name a few. For MMOs, this type of release then review just seems a bit off for the gendre.

I consider MMOs to be a really "special" breed of game and there is a pattern of development that they usually follow. From a feature perspective, very few of them are really done at release and are constantly being patched...much more so than your typical single player game. So why are they being treated like a single player game? EQ2 is not the game it was in 2004, neither is CoH....so why aren't we giving MMOs 6 months, 8 months of leg time before the press gets in there and "reviews" an MMO. Impressions, opinions I can deal with...but scored reviews a month after release on a dynamic game like an MMO?? I don't know...it doesn't sit right.

How long do you think an MMO needs before it is reviewed?

D out.


Wearfannypacks said...

Well done... well done...

I feel the same way about their review.. I would expect more leeway from them when it comes to a newly released MMO

ogrebears said...

i tend to like the way MMORPG does it. (By user vote on the games). They make it so that only member who use the site can vote.

Though theres problems with that, since it depends who uses there site.. if a lot of eq2 players use it they might give it a higher ranking than so it can be off.

darrenl said...

Well, MMORPG is mostly filled with EVE Online players...so that site's votes are really biased towards that game I find.

You're right though..a system like that is only valid if you have a large diverse community...which sadly, MMORPG does not have.

Michael said...

Without having read the review, in general you might argue that software _should_ work when it is released and not half a year later. Of course that is wishful thinking (Gothic 3 anyone?)...

Anonymous said...

I enjoy this blog alot, but this most recent posting really needs to be edited or retracted. The thought that a major game review site would wait almost a year to review what is arguably the most influential game of the decade made no sense to me, so I took a look.

1UP reviewed WoW on 12/3/2004, giving it a score of 9.0. If you search "World of Warcraft" in their main box, that review is right there. They have another review in August of 2005 that you reference, which makes perfect sense to me...if I'm looking to buy a new MMORPG, I want a review of it as it is today, not what it was like at launch. But the assertion that they somehow gave WoW a 9 month cushion to work out the kinks before their review is plainly false.

Same deal with Everquest 2, original review posted 12/1/2004, score of 7.5.

I didn't check City of Heroes and Lineage, lesser profile games so I imagine the impetus wasn't on 1UP to review immediately as much.

Regardless, the premise that somehow Vanguard got unfair treatment from this site is clearly false, if I'm doing my math right Vanguard actually had a longer lead time from release to review than Warcraft or Everquest 2 got.

-Orestus, 70 WoW Druid

darrenl said...

Son of a...you're right Orestus. I completely did not notice the older reviews at the bottom of the page.

I've corrected the article...by corrected I mean changed the premise completely and posted a blog about the error.

Live and learn.