Shocked, not

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

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!

Categories: MMO, The Secret World Tags: , ,

A little light reading

November 3, 2012 9 comments

From Rampant Coyote’s “Why the AAA Games Industry is Screwed” – an always-interesting blog with a link to a fascinating article.RC’s post itself is short and to the point, but if you don’t have this blog on your radar, you probably should.

The article linked is long but well worth the read if you have even an armchair interest in the industry, as I do.

Death March: The long, tortured journey of Homefront

“There is an expectation,” explained one producer, “that if you spend eight months developing a demo for E3 that does really well in the press, then that’s eight months well spent. Because you just sold another 500,000 copies of the game. It comes down to this very, very bizarre math. … No other industry would actually let you work like this. … So a lot of people are abused in the gaming world. Especially for marketing and things like E3. And I think that’s a business problem.”

I won’t comment – partly because it’s way too early in the morning, I’m under-caffeinated and I only just read it, and partly because it’s one in a long stream of “OMG how can an industry with so much potential get like this?”.

Well okay, maybe one little tiny comment. As a player and not a developer, I don’t necessarily care who makes my games (actually I’d rather it were smaller studios, since I have a cynical dislike of any megabusiness, even in gaming), but if the giants are screwed, will the indie studios be good enough to pick up the slack? There’s some amazing stuff coming out of indie studios and I’m not implying they’re not capable, but there’s a certain level of… glitz and glamour, I guess, associated with the humungous productions which – as it does with Hollywood blockbusters (whether they’re good or not) – does contribute to the buzz, anticipation and pleasure that flies around AAA game releases.

For me, gaming these days is almost as much about the anticipation for a game as it is about the game itself (which might be worth pondering further). While I decry the hype-wave fairly regularly, I also don’t shut it off completely because sometimes it’s fun to jump on.

Hype doesn’t make the game, of course, as we well know – I won’t even name names. But still… I’d miss the glitz if it were to vanish. On the other hand, I’d gladly ditch the glitz if developers and studios were able to feel a little more stable and not work psyche-breaking crunch hours. I’m not the first one to float the ridiculous idea that a little job security and a little less insanity in the workplace might make for a better industry in the long run.

Maybe part of the problem is that game studios seem to be run like Hollywood studios?

Categories: Gaming Tags: , ,

Dailies and dragons and pandas, oh my

October 31, 2012 1 comment

Prescriptum: I was going to write this at the end of the post, but as usual I’m rambling far too much and I’m adding pictures and this post is going to be a mile long before I’m done. So: I’d like to thank the folks who have been mailing me in support of this blog. I’m eternally surprised that people read this not just out of bloggerly solidarity but out of – apparently – interest and for entertainment. Personally, I think my post quality has gone down the drain in the last couple of years, but I’m hoping the doldrums will pass and at some point I won’t mind revisiting some of the more interesting discussions & themes out there. In the meantime, thanks for reading and most of all thanks for writing to let me know you’re reading – it’s not essential, but it’s very nice to receive.

TL;DR - No time to play, waah. Pandaclysm kinda cool. Where’s my hatchling? Dailies dailies everywhere and not a drop to drink. Move along now.

My gaming time has been somewhat limited these last few months – okay, for most of this year actually – with the occasional glutton-day interspersed with weeks of not logging into anything much. Which is a shame, because there are several games out there I could, would, should and want to enjoy. Two of them are even “free”, more or less – TSW and GW2 – but when there’s no time, there’s just no time. Read more…

A very merry un-blogday

September 14, 2012 7 comments

Whoops. The actual blog ‘birthday’ was a month ago, August 13th. I noted that it was coming up a couple of days before the day itself and meant to do a long and involved post, but in the end Real Life took over and… I didn’t.

TAGN sort of reminded me the other day, because his blog-birthdays can’t be counted on the fingers of one fingerless hand and he posts regularly – more than Syp at the moment, and that’s saying something!

Happy belated also to Harbinger Zero, who I’m pretty sure has almost the same anniversary as me, since we both started blogging through the crazy CoW crew (should that have Ks in it to make it more hip?).

So anyway, I started this blog 4 years ago in honour of Warhammer Online. I’d be happier doing a HBD post-type thing if I’d actually posted much of anything in the last year and a half, but I haven’t and it feels sort of like cheating to claim a blogging year when you didn’t do any blogging.

Nevertheless, I’m not gone yet, this blog isn’t quite dead yet, and I’ve resumed posting, albeit sporadically and without a great deal of content. Thanks to those of you who have stopped by in the last fingers-but-no-thumb set of years.

Categories: Misc., Site Tags: ,

Bees!

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I always love finding references to other things – movies, books, in this case other MMOs – in games. This one made me laugh out loud.

What’s the GW2 equivalent of Men in Black Vans?

Auction Houses: Pandering to those who hate crafting

September 10, 2012 6 comments

This. Elder Game’s The Case Against Auction Houses.

But I mean, what are you gonna do, not have an auction house in a modern MMO?

Sure! There’s no reason every MMO should have an auction house. Lots of MMOs implement it unthinkingly, because they believe it’s a mandatory back-of-the-box feature. Few MMO developers take the time to think about the ramifications of the feature.

I’ve got a lot to say on the subject myself, as a self-professed crafter before anything else in MMOs, but having ignored most of my work over the weekend I’m now forced to actually do some in order to pay the bills. Bah humbug.

Also: I miss SWG. The whole crafter/merchant/harvester thing did sort of turn into a second (and sometimes third) job, but it was the most fulfilling crafting and selling in any MMO, evar.

Categories: MMO Tags: , , , , , ,

Saving City of Heroes – linkage

September 7, 2012 3 comments

This is as much for my own use as anything else – I came across this post yesterday but haven’t had time to do more than scan it. Thanks to whoever else I read who linked it in the first place, even if I don’t remember who you are!

City of Heroes / Villains: An End of the World Event

I was surprised to see a large spike in my site traffic today, especially to older posts about how many players CoH/V had. Then I looked further and saw that NCsoft announced its intentions to shut down CoH/V and Paragon Studios. This has taken a lot of people by surprise, given that it seemed that CoH/V was doing well since its conversion to F2P and lots of extra things being announced.

Go read it, it looks very interesting. I know I will once I get done with work (yes, I’m skiving off for a quick blog post because I need the sanity break, relatively-speaking).

Categories: CoX, MMO Tags: ,
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