Saturday, June 13, 2009

Patches, Patches Everywhere

It's been an unusually busy week in MMORPG patch news.

Sony is so confident that EQ2's Game Update 52 is ready that they sent out an email announcement declaring Tuesday as the patch's "expected live date". Amongst other things, the patch includes an invasion plotline the almost certainly confirms that this year's EQ2 Expansion will be Velious (a major continent in the original game).

Warhammer's Patch 1.3, including the long-awaited Land of the Dead contested zone, has gone to pre-download status, also expecting a launch on Tuesday. Mythic has once again launched a viral marketing campaign on the blogs - Ysh has a good summary. The campaign is so tasty, Syp can't help but sink his teeth into it.

LOTRO's Book 8 patch is also in the works, and Jairos posts about the new splash screen ad. Meanwhile, true to form, Blizzard has been rolling out patch 3.2 updates all week. The latest is a preview of the new battleground which basically sounds like a remake of Alterac Valley with vehicles. We could very easily see a PTR debut next week.

Overall, it's interesting that so many of the major current generation MMORPG's launching their latest at the same time. Perhaps there's now some level of competition to provide an answer to competitors' latest updates. Perhaps there are external factors - e.g. guilds having a harder time fielding raids with school out for the summer - that favor launching content now to help tide people over. Either way, we've got some interesting times ahead.


Dave said...

The Rime of the Ancient MMO? :D

The title made me think of Iron Maiden's song of Coleridge masterpiece.

"water, water, everywhere..."

Stabs said...

Well you're not entirely comparing like with like. EQ2 and War have patches coming out this week. WOW is spoiling them with previews of a patch that is probably at least 6 weeks off if not more.

I think Blizzard certainly tries to spoil other rivals' big announcement with carefully timed hype. When AoC launched they announced Death Knights even though it would be 6 months before anyone played one on a live server.

Hype is a very important tool and it certainly works to keep people playing games that they have got bored of.