Eve Incentives

I’ve been away from writing for quite some time so some updates on my MMO life are overdue, specifically for one of my all time favorites, Eve.  They recently sent out e-mails to past subscribers offering cheap deals for re-subscription.  Guess who re-opened both of his accounts.  I’ve been looking for an excuse to get back into the game for a while and a cheap 2 months is just what I was looking for.  I’ve been training my manti (stealth bomber) skills, salvaging, and a whole shmorgishborg of others.  Really looking forward to some null sec combat once I can get back on my PC to dual box both accounts.  In regards to updates, the latest expansion included the introduction of a dedicated salvaging ship offering some solid bonuses to both salvagers and tractor beams.  While they started at around 200 million ISK, they’ve since dropped to about 40 million and should settle around 20 million in the near future.  A great investment for anyone who can dedicate themselves to salvaging for missioning of any kind.  Hopefully I’ll have some action-packed updates to come after I’m able to dedicate more time to the game and to demolishing ships.  If anyone is interested in flying with me, my corp or really doing anything in game, feel free to hit me up on either Evilperson1 or Evilspawn1.

Game on,
Anthony

Final Failtasy 14: Our Newest F2P MMO

In the wake of some utter disappointment across the board, Square Enix announced Final Fantasy 14 would be free to play until…well until it doesn’t suck anymore.  I’ve seen almost nothing but negative feedback on the game that was hyped for years prior to release.  Many die-hard FF11 fans quickly jumped in and found enjoyment but 14 has not only failed to bring in new fans, but has even lost many old fans.  Personally, I will be playing as much as I can during my much needed winter break.  But for everyone else who hasn’t found a way to deal with FF14’s foreign controls, odd gameplay, and flawed mechanics, I’ll try to keep you updated on any major patches that Square Enix will be implementing in order to try and reverse the shipwreck they’ve created.

Game on,
Anthony

What’s this? An F2P article?

Yup. I’m trying 3 F2P MMOs, 2 of which are fairly new, and one which is… not. I’ll hopefully get reviews in before the new year, but no promises, because I’m really bad at sticking with these games.

First is Vindictus, which is an action-heavy MMO built on Celtic Mythology. It is published by Nexon. It’s made with the Source engine from Valve, and has been very popular in Korea. Early impressions are incredible. It’s a ton of fun, and even grinding for materials to craft equipment feels fun and rewarding. It feels similar to Monster Hunter, but I’m not sure if that was the goal. My only real complaints so far are the inability to block gold farmers/selling services and the network lag when running the instanced dungeons.

Second is Mabinogi, which is made by the same company as Vindictus. I… haven’t played that much yet, but a lot of the people I know who play it love it. It’s an isometric, cartoony point and click MMO, with a seemingly heavy emphasis on the RP part of MMORPG.

Finally, I’m trying Legend of Edda. This game is… overwhelmingly cute. I haven’t played any of it at the moment, but it’s supposedly heavy on the PVP, which is nice.

If anyone wants to play with me, I will be adding my information for all 3 games once I get settled in, or you can comment and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Links:
Vindictus
Mabinogi
Legend of Edda

Cataclysm

So it’s coming, and it’s coming fast.  World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm.     I know I’m getting ready for it.  So many different plans at the moment, and still wanting the collector’s edition, but not sure if I screwed up this year by not preordering.   This whole digital download has kinda screwed me up.   I mean, i want to play at midnight, but to do it  I had to preorder the digital download.  Now, I could buy the collector’s edition too, but that seems a bit ridiculous.   And then what happens if I don’t get a collector’s because I didn’t pre-order it?   At the moment, I plan on either waiting at wal-mart at midnight or get in line at best buy EARLY in the morning.   Neither of those sounds like fun times to me.

I would say it’s really silly, but so far I have the collector’s edition for every expansion, including the original game, so I hate to ruin the streak now.   ARGH.  I’d love to hear ideas from folks.

I’m also working on a 2nd character, a MAGE, which is really my first go at a caster in WoW.  I’ve played priest in the past, and I had a hunter that I originally started with, but I can’t really seem to want to level any of those up.   I’m enjoying my mage so far, and I think it could really round out our guild raiding since we don’t have one in the guild.  And there are like 6 druids that play a LOT.

The one thing that IS annoying about switching characters though is missing all the pets, mounts, and achievements that I’ve worked so hard to get on Durgle.   That is frustrating.    I really with they would do more account bound stuff.  Like why do I need to get all these achievements on ALL my characters, or even on more than one?  Why not just make the achievements account achievements and not even character driven.   You could even then add more achievements like… an achievement for doing EVERY trade skill on  your account, and tons of other ideas.

The big this is that it would allow people to play other characters more freely without that being an issue.

Heck, I’d love to see them just add in the ability to change classes.   This day and age with Refer A Friend, and leveling being what it is, it’s not like people have to know their class to level up anyways.    So what people would be new to the class.   Make them take some sort of in game test or trial that tests whether they have a understanding of how to play the class before they can group or something.

I dunno…   just ideas.

HIDE YO’ KIDS! HIDE YO’ WIVES! APB is back from the dead.

There are many words to describe the week I had. Most of them are unsutable for print, but lets just say three exams and The Shaft’s server being down has put me in a grim mood. Sure, Black Ops came out, and while that’s been a blast it didn’t really bring my mood back to even.  So on a break from trying to understand what the hell “magenetic induction” is, I browsed the internet. While looking for naughty pictures, I happened to stumble upon Gamespot, and this…

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6283928.html

Needless to say I made a royal mess of my pants. I was hoping APB would be picked up in some capacity. I had given up on the full game being revived, but hoped some developer got the various technical goodies. Not only has the game been resurrected, but it’s now with the company that hosts Knights Online and WarRock.

K2N did not release a statement, but look for APB to re-release before 2011. Knowing K2N, it will likely be F2P with a heavy concentration on microtransactions. And don’t worry about them not making a profit. While RTW spent over $100M making APB, K2N only payed $2.4M for the whole thing. If that’s not a ROFL moment I don’t know what is.

Sadly it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. APB was a very technical game, and without the backing of EA Games’ cash flow, keeping the game up to par may be hard. Thankfully, before they imploded RTW was able to patch up many of the big issues. Granted, if it’s free I doubt many will complain.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go listen to a 10 year old scream expletives at me while running around with an AK47.

Battlefield goes F2P. Again.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Battlefield Heroes, EA’s first Free 2 Play shooter, featuring 3rd person, cartoony graphics. They’ve announced another, called Battlefield Play4Free, which looks… like BF2, but free 2 play. That’s not a bad thing… right?

You can sign up for the closed beta at the moment, and there is a trailer.

Clicky: http://battlefield.play4free.com/beta.php

Cubism Grief, a Minecraft story.

Many ask “What is Minecraft.” Some go on to describe it as an indie game that combines mining, building, and community. I call it digital crack. Combine this with the amazing Dead Workers community and the hours will melt away. Amazing creations, insane landscapes, and oodles of sexual puns await. Personally, I have not had a better time online since I simultaneously joined Control Point, and was in my prime in World in Conflict.

Unfortunately, not everyone wants to play fair in the Mineverse. Its not all sunshine and cantaloupes. While I’m planning a highway, Eric is building a continent, and Clydefrog is building… whatever, some are planning how to destroy our creations fastest. They are griefers. Now, I’m sure we’ve all messed around while someone is building something, breaking a block before replacing it, spawning water on someone’s head, it’s all in good fun. These people are different. Armed with illegally obtained explosives, lava, and common items like flint, they can cause havok on the server.

For some reason, acts of sabatoge seem to have picked up in recent days. Lava was released from it’s container, nearly burning an entire forest. An elaborate trap was set in the post office, destroying the building. Glass was put along roads, chunks of buildings missing. Just this morning, the Communal Forest (TM) was burnt to a crisp, taking GoldenBuns’ treehouse with it. I suspect these are not isolated incidents, rather an organized effort by an individual or group of individuals to undermine our server.

You might say, but Mulder, griefing is not uncommon in any game, why is this such a big deal? You would be right. TF2 saw some pretty hardcore griefing (a quick Youtube search proves this). Here’s the thing though, griefing in a shooter has almost no impact on the victim. Sure, they get pissed, they might die, but it’s no big deal. If it gets too bad one can just find a new server. But Minecraft is no shooter. People invest hours of their free time into making massive structures. It took me three days to finish the Tortuga-Egypt highway. Egypt itself took a week, and God knows how long some of the structures in Tortuga took. These despicable people can take hours of work and destroy it with one flick of the flint, or a few well placed TNT blocks. Teamkilling is good for a laugh, destroying hours of effort requires a twisted mind indeed.

I hope this stops, fast. The admins are hard at work trying to stop these assaults on our creations. Some will say “They’re just digital buildings, they really aren’t that important.” I tend to agree. The buildings themselves aren’t that important. They are just the byproduct of some code in “Teh Matrix.” What upsets me when I see a griefed building is not the destruction itself, but the destruction of the memory. Helping to create these structures, laughing, joking over Vent. Making some very pun-filled jokes about Wes’s hole or Creamy Grandpas. Its the memories behind the building that are important. That is what is truly being destroyed, that is what upsets us most of all.

That’s all for now.

Mulder out.

MINECRAFT

I have been on a tear lately with minecraft.  I would almost call it an addiction.  I’ve even started hosting a minecraft podcast “THE SHAFT” with Eric and Wes from the Nation of Gamers.

I started thinking, maybe this would be a good place to put some good Minecraft Information up, so be expecting it!

First off — THE PODCAST, “THE SHAFT”  it’s a must listen.  Yes I know I’m on it, but it’s still great.  Eric has taken out all the stops and has done a fantastic production job on the actual bumpers and what not for the show.  And besides wes  ( :) )getting things wrong all the time, the information is great!  So listen!

Anyways… just wanted to warn you.   The minecraft train is loading up with passengers and this blog is getting on!  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Untimely but not unexpected. The end of APB.

I know I have been very critical about this project since I started writing here. My first post was about my experience in APB’s open beta, what I thought could be improved, what had potential, and about how the game was shaping up in general. I thought the game had potential to be something great, and knowing what I did about RTW back then, I thought for sure they would delay the game last minute much like Alpha Protocol was.

I was wrong. They went full speed ahead into release, and some of the minor technical glitches and bugs got turned to 11 when full release load was applied to the servers. The driving, which I felt was a bit off, ended up being slammed over and over in professional reviews and player criticisms alike. The shooting was akin to giving a three year old kid a shotgun and asking him to hit something. He may eventually get a hit, but it’s mostly just luck.

This was all tame compared to what greeted me when I visited the APB forums post-release. I saw a once (relatively) friendly community crumble. Every other post was knocking RTW for this bug or this incomplete feature, all wrapped in enough expletives to last a lifetime. Normally I would dismiss these people as trolls, but in this case I actually feel what they are going through. I was lucky enough to see what APB was pre-release. I held off putting down $50 because I felt the game wasn’t finished. Not everyone was so lucky. Most were attracted by the gargantuan hype surrounding the project, payed the entry fee, and then what? You can’t get a refund because you opened the box, so you’re basically screwed out of $50.

The thing is, it wasn’t just jilted forum posters. Despite RTW’s continued promises to keep the game updated (this post was supposed to be about the new update that was set to roll out today) nothing could change the slew of mixed or poor reviews. While some reviewers touted the games customization, most called the game a work in progress at best, broken at worst. Armchair empire sums it up nicely.

“APB had a simple concept, one that anybody who used to be young and a dead shot with a squirt gun could have gotten behind, and Realtime Worlds managed to screw it up completely.”

And so I just have a few questions for the (former) staff of RTW. I would post this on the forums but they’re down now…

How the hell was this not noticed? I mean seriously. You can’t tell me that in your months of closed beta one person didn’t pipe up and say “wait a minute, this game releases when again?” Did any employee go “guys hold on, having a music editor is great and all but shouldn’t a shooting game be about shooting?” Was his one of the first jobs to be made “redundant” prior to your company imploding? And seriously, how could you make a game with such a poor shooting mechanic? Koreans are making free FPS games in their basements with better shooting this this game, and they don’t have $100M to throw around.

What happens now to the people who recently renewed their subscription? What happens to people who may not know about this, and buy the game?

To be fair to RTW they may not have know about this beforehand. Them announcing a patch a day before shutting down tells me one of two things happened. Either RTW had a buyer for APB and they pulled out, or they hit a court-set deadline. I had hoped when the new social interactive game was bought that APB wouldn’t be far behind, but in the end it probably proved far too toxic for anyone to take.

And so here I am. It’s been five long years. Years of hopes squished by delays, elation when things were (on the surface) coming together, anticipation when I got into the open beta, and ultimately disappointment. I had high hopes, I’ve said that many times before, as did many. Right when I think I couldn’t get any more angry at the mishandling of APB, I go to the official site. “The end of an era” heads the official shutdown announcement. RTW, if any of you are reading this, I want to say this…

If you mean by “The end of the era” you intend to imply game’s life should be described as an “era” then the words I wish to use are inappropriate for this blog. If however, you mean the end of a five year money-sink filled with shattered expectations, broken promises, and an even more broken game then you have described it right. And you know what RTW, if this is the end of an era then the gaming world will be better off tomorrow.


F2P Bars

If you were paying attention to this year’s PAX, then you probably heard about Firefall. An absolutely beautiful 3rd/1st person MMO shooter. Many were raving about the graphics and gameplay, and I personally was considering dropping money for it. But now, I won’t have to. It’s going to be absolutely Free To Play. With microtransactions, of course, which, according to sources, will be both cosmetic and in-game use (but not game-breaking).

It looks like this game will be raising the bar for free2play games. But, the question is raised: can you raise the bar for something you’re not paying for? Are you justified to complain about balance, gameplay, or graphics for something that isn’t getting a steady stream of income from purchases, that you’re not paying a cent for? What are your thoughts?

Source: http://kotaku.com/5633822/its-a-topsy+turvy-world-because-firefall-is-going-to-be-free

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