Waiting for launch? Give us something to do!

Yesterday I finished up the Guild Wars Factions campaign, marking the length of this journey so far around a year or so.  It’s a nice feeling of accomplishment, coupled with the realization that I’m finally making real progress on my Hall of Monuments (and can, y’know, actually see said Hall pretty soon).  I’m trying to suss out how I can get two more titles without a huge amount of time and effort, but I don’t see any shortcuts presenting themselves.  It’s either grind or time at this point.

That’s probably fine, since it’s not like Guild Wars 2 is beating down our door here.   One step at a time and you can walk around the world, although the wet stuff is probably going to impede your progress.

Looking over Hall of Monuments details last night got me thinking about just how much I appreciate having something — anything — to do in preparation for an as-of-yet unreleased title.  Lately it seems as though studios are giving players more to do to fill in the gap of the long wait and take the edge off the impatience:

  • Guild Wars:  Hall of Monuments
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Guild registration and structuring
  • Dragon Age: The Journeys flash game
  • The Secret World: ARG and faction test

Heck, even giving us special promotions to hunt down in the real world (like Del Taco’s STO shuttle offer) is usually preferable to sitting on one’s butt.  It’s a satisfying feeling to not only be given a task to do, but to know that that task will ensure you a nice little bonus, toy or trinket in the game when it launches.  It’s why the appeal of pre-orders (with their assured bonuses) is so strong.

I know dev teams are pretty much absorbed 100% with testing, polishing, and creating new systems for the game in the months leading up to launch, but if the studio can swing it, special promotions, games and tasks can not only appease anxious players but grab some extra publicity in doing so.  After all, there’s never going to be a time post-launch where the studio has the playerbase’s attention so fully as it does prior, so why not take advantage of that?

3 thoughts on “Waiting for launch? Give us something to do!

  1. I actually find SW:TOR’s pregame guild set-up annoying. I was planning to purchase the game and play at least one single player story before cancelling (I’ve made a policy that I will not pay subscriptions for theme park style games), but then guild recruiting began, and SW:TOR’s facebook posts became filled with spam from barely literate teenagers trying to recruit people to guilds that technically don’t exist yet. While I know not everyone planning to play this game is like that, it gave me flashbacks to the WoW community and killed the game for me.

    Also, no Del Taco here. 😦

  2. “and can, y’know, actually see said Hall pretty soon”

    You haven’t traveled to the Eye of the North yet?

    Seriously, I wouldn’t spend any time fretting over titles and HoM points while you’ve still got so much actual _game_ ahead of you. That stuff is for players who have run out of content, gotten bored, and need something to grind to pass the time!

  3. At the risk of sounding callous, I think it has more to do with publicity tan appeasing the player. I, for one, am a rabid follower for anything related to The Secret World, but I am also acutely aware of the fact that the ARG, the cryptic clues, the tiny morsels of threadbare information, are all part of a clever marketing ploy to gain the maximum publicity while revealing the least amount of information.

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