Today I logged back into TSW for the first time in, uh, some months, and it made me wish I hadn’t neglected it so. After some pretty strong disorientation, that is. I always get that going back to games – what’s this skill? How do I do that? Oh crap, the B button isn’t Bags, it’s Browser here (something I remapped immediately). How do I walk and talk, let alone chew gum or kill things?!
Still, it was fun. I instantly spent a bunch of freebie lifetime member points on a snazzy new outfit, then I went off in chase of the End of the World quest, which I’m still working on since walking and talking was proving to be such a challenge. Oh, and because I decided to work on a Blade/AR build I’d been pondering months ago before I stopped playing.
Anyway, it was a day without work, which has been pretty rare of late and thus makes it great and fun by definition. Also it’s Christmas Eve, which rocks, since that’s traditionally when presents are opened in France. One’s Christmas expectations seem to be formed in childhood, so I’ve never really got used to the whole wait-for-Christmas-Day business. Fortunately the spousal unit appears to endorse any option that means opening presents earlier.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyful Oh-The-World-Didn’t-End – whatever it is you celebrate or don’t, be nice, be kind, and have fun.
This has been covered by others already, but fortunately for me I never claimed to be a scoop-hound (I’m far too
lazy busy with work). I’ve let it sit in my mental microwave for the last few days, and when it finally went ping I decided that yes, I’m probably going to try out AC2.
I remember the AC2 beta and how froth-botheringly excited the community was, because AC1 players got priority for beta testing – at least that’s how I remember it. It was a long time ago. Hell, it was THAT long ago that the spousal unit and I actually got CDs through the mail to install the beta client. No, really. People used to send CDs all the time. Then again I’m old enough to remember floppies. Wait, does that sound bad?
Anyway, froth-bothering excitement gave way to puzzlement (wtf is this? it’s not AC1!) to interest (okay, but it’s actually a pretty cool character system) to frustration (oh look, another play-stopping bug!). And before someone berates me for complaining about bugs when I was beta-testing, I know. I know. I know. I like beta-testing and I’m aware bugs are the whole point and hell, I do it professionally now, so don’t teach your internet grandma to suck eggs. Every beta-tester has a point at which they transition from “Hey, this is kind of a cool bug, let’s make that cow’s head explode again” to “Ohhhh Goddddd, not another one… Now I can’t move. Now I can’t talk. Hey, what happened to my inventory?”
I reached that point with AC2 after a few weeks of testing which, coupled with a machine that was only barely able to run the game, kind of put paid to both my testing and my interest in the game. I didn’t buy it at release, though a number of my AC guildies, The Knights Who Say Ni, did.
AC2 had quite a few issues in beta, which is what you’d expect. Chat, as I recall, was pretty gruesome (and the Elder Game post referred-to above explains why), but then chat had issues in more than one game back in 2002 or 2003. Star Wars Galaxies was fickle as a drunken debutante when it came to letting you chat or not, at least for the first few months – setting up one of the first cities was quite the experience without guild chat, especially since this was before anyone much used voice-chat.
So yes, my guildies played it and enjoyed it, though it never got as much momentum within the guild as AC1 did. Nothing’s ever the same as your first… Also, SWG came fairly hot on the heels of AC2 and we ALL wanted to try out a Star Wars game (though again, not many of us played it for more than a few months). Actually, that was more or less the time when the MMO market sort of exploded – after SWG came City of Heroes, then later that year both EQ2 and WoW, and on and on…
I didn’t play AC2 at release, I was probably a little unfair about it for various reasons, and now I’m a jaded old hag – or hack – with nostalgic leanings and I’m going to check it out again. It didn’t take me but a couple of minutes to recover my Turbine account info, and there’s my AC1 account all ready to be activated to grant me access to what’s old is new AC2 (although it’s not my original AC1 account – I didn’t migrate it soon enough back in the Microsoft/Turbine migration or I just plain forgot the details, either way my original chars are lost somewhere in v-space).
We’ll see, right?
This just landed in my inbox:
We’ve just made a major change to the business model of The Secret World in that we no longer require a subscription to play, and have instead introduced an optional Membership. As a lifetime subscriber this will only affect you in a positive way, read on for all the changes to our game!
The Grandmaster Pack continues as a powerful and lifelong commitment to the game for those with true dedication, and contains all the benefits given to members and more [etc etc.]
I doubt anyone else in the blogosphere will be surprised. I’m not disappointed, bothered or offended either – when I bought my lifetime sub it was as much to support the idea of the game as to get a lifetime sub, and I was well aware the game would be free-to-play fairly quickly (though I’ll admit, I didn’t think it would be this quickly).
I’ll get a bunch of goodies points and whatnot, which is fine by me since I like fluff and goodies. In fact, that one email was enough to make me bust out the launcher and start the (long and stupidly laborious, with my internet connection) process of getting the game patched and up to date. It’s probably been about 3 months since I last did that, so I should be ready to play around Christmas.
The shiny new feeling of Pandaclysm is wearing off, too, though I’m still having fun there when I have time to play, so maybe I’ll poke my head back into creepy-land and take on a bit more challenge than WoW offers a non-raider.
It’ll go well with the insanely creepy-scary nightmare I had a couple of days ago, about which I will say nothing except “lunch truck full of cannibal kids”. You can imagine the rest for yourself; it was more Stephen King than SAW, but it was still scary enough to make me extremely relieved when I woke myself up from it.
There you go, a little personal anecdote for free. Now back to work for me!