Guess I should qualify the previous post with a couple comments:
While not falling into a complete cynical cycle, I’m a lot more wary right now about how MMO companies promote pre-launched products. It’s funny that we see them doing the same thing over and over, for different games:
- Highlighting some excellent, interesting, innovative new feature and showing it off like there’s no tomorrow.
- Insinuating that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” for this feature, and that the rest of it in the game is just as polished, in-depth and fun.
- Which isn’t true.
- But readers buy into this assumption, and let their mind run wild over the possibilities — creating even more hype in their minds.
- And when the game launches, cold, hard truth is dumped over their heads and mopey disillusionment follows.
When you don’t give people all of the information and facts, they make stuff up to compensate. It’s an old marketing rule, and it always works against us.
Geez, how many times have we seen this up to this point? Warhammer touted their PQs so strongly you thought they were the second coming — but they were careful to only show the beginning zone PQs that were polished and scripted extensively. WoW’s inscription system. Vanguard’s diplomacy system. Tabula Rasa’s “ethical parables”.
It’s fun to spot the devs pulling this trick, because you see it when they repeat the same example for each and every interview they do. “Characters take physical damage in this game, which you can see,” they’ll say. “For example, here the character gets a cut across their arm — and it shows a red slash that stays for a while! Awesome, right?”
And in every subsequent interview — the same cut, the same arm, the same explanation. It’s misleading, because you assume that there’s dozens and dozens of similar effects, whereas you can be guaranteed of just one at this point. They might not even have any others in the game.
Wow… that DOES sound cynical… but I think it’s the truth.