Guild Wars and MMO review cycles

I wrapped the *Guild Wars: Eye of the North* review this weekend. While I can’t comment on what’s in the review it did make me think about MMO reviews in general.

MMOs are a huge time sink—it’s in their nature and I don’t have a problem with that. The goal is too keep you playing, even a non-subscription game like *Guild Wars*. Finishing a review, though, gives me an odd form of closure; when I’m done with the review, I’m done with the game. *LOTRO*? Loved it. Only logged in once or twice after the review. Same thing with *Auto Assault*. When I wrapped the *Burning Crusade* review it was a few months before I logged into *WoW*—and was a combination of it running on my MacBook, an awesome guild, and the ability to get something done in an hour or so.

The industry is either shoving games out the door so fast you can’t think straight or they aren’t putting any out. It is not unusual for me to have reviews stacked up like planes at O’Hare National. January had *Burning Crusade* and *Vanguard* back-to-back and *LOTRO* wasn’t far behind. Usually when I do 2-3 MMO reviews in a row, I get burned out on them for a bit and by the time the urge strikes to play one again, well, heck, there’s another one that needs to be reviewed. So, as much as I loved the game during the review, the cycle the dictates I’m likely to not to do much with it afterwards. Even though I live in the world of Fun Tax Deductions keeping a lot of subscriptions going isn’t feasible (yay for companies that comp press!).

*Guild Wars* has always straddled that line. It’s free and, thus, well clear of the Anger Spouse With More Fees issue. But, it’s hit the Closure rule where I finish the review but make a note that I need to finish up a few things when the urge strikes—clear off some side quests, etc.. Which is where I’m at now. I’ve beaten *EotN*, but there’s a bunch of content I didn’t see. There’s bits from the older chapters I haven’t seen either. I’d like to think I’ll follow up in a month or so and cross them off my list. Since one of the driving forces on playing old games is if it’s something I’ll need for a future review, and *EotN* is the last of the *Guild Wars* line, I doubt I will. Besides, *Tabula Rasa* ships in a month…

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