Massively may not be the best place to read about MMO “news” but it tends to have a decent touch on the gaming pulse. Eliot may not be the strongest writer but he tends to have a more realistic approach on all his posts. They aren’t optimistic or pessimistic, just grey.
So when he write about the TESO beta being ho hum – adequate but nothing special – the comments start flooding in. I will say that keeping expectations in check, that TESO isn’t trying to revolutionize the MMO world, just expand on it, is a solid message. It should temper expectations a bit.
That said, the kicker in all of this is that the NDA is still up for non-gaming press. Opinion pieces have to be gated by Zenimax/Bethesda before being posted. Players, in the beta and not, have no such limits and it’s next to impossible to moderate all of them. You essentially have a forum for 800 people to say whatever they want, semi-anonymously, and no one can really attack or defend any given point with proof.
If you break the NDA, as a gamer, the worse that happens is that your beta access is revoked and likely your TESO account. If you aren’t planning on playing more beta or getting the game, then there’s absolutely nothing lost. Those that like the game and want to continue in the beta (or get into more than just weekends) can’t do much without risking getting booted.
That said, TESO apparently is selling well enough. It’s #2 in the Canadian Amazon listing and #7 in the US. The value of the latter is questionable if Path of Exile is #1… Any way you look at it, there are a lot of people with a vested interest in this game. That’s a lot of potential positive spin.