@angryjedi I’m curious as to why The Secret World necessarily needed to be a subscription-based MMO, instead of something like Guild Wars. What’re the components that necessitate such a model? I’m not anti-subscription, it just seems like a bit of a gamble at this point…and having Guild Wars-esque expansion packs seem like a great way to craft fine booster experiences down the line.

I’d hate to see, especially in the wake of Funcom stock dropping after the CEO stepping down, such an apparently innovative title lose traction on account of the current MMO landscape despite itself.

@beige Fair points, all of them. I think, as discussed with comrade of the stars @angryjedi, I draw my world-building satisfaction and thus “personality” via the emergent, self-determined narrative of such a minimalist universe. Endless Space was actually one of the main talking points in the most recent Three Moves Ahead podcast on the very topic of world-building, with Rob Zacny coming to the same conclusion as your fine self. For me, personality…or closer, accessible anthropomorphisms…aren’t nearly as exciting as the sheer concepts of terraforming or the notions of fleets quietly thrumming through the starlanes, the outpost developments, finding a bountiful planet locked beneath the dangers of Kessler Syndrome. It’s more the inference of civilisation than actual civilisation.

And like many of the post MoO2 titles, it does appear to take a few expansions for 4x developers to begin injecting heavy-duty “personality” into their games. GalCiv2 needed two hefty expansions to really ‘world-build’, and some say Sins of a Solar Empire, though not really a 4x game in the classical sense, has finally arrived at the point where you can totally get a feel for factions and for the universe. It’s a big call, especially when it’s a game not inferencing or referencing history. You’d think a fantastical slate would be the easier option, but I daresay it’s far harder to weave in the narrative or personality tenets into non-historical titles. Paradox titles are dry as hell mechanically, but they’ve got more personality under the hood and through the regular historical and player-driven ahistorical timelines than most other games – in the genre and out.

I’m taking a quiet break from it until the Mac release; have a friend currently in a holding pattern waiting for that release date and we’ll kick off again from there. But magical game.

I don’t much care for Civ, but gee I’d like to read any squaddies’ opinions and experiences with Gods & Kings.