Friday, July 30, 2010

Wait and see.

At the expense of sounding like a homer for SOE or a defender of the EQ2X faith, I think I am going to refrain from further posts arguing against those whose sole knowledge on the new F2P service is ignorance. Frankly I am just tired already of reading the same type of comments from people who have decided not to wait and see but instead offer up their prophecy of doom for SOE and EQ2.

Honestly no one will know what the short term and long term effects will be till after the beta starts in the middle of August. My goal from now till beta will be to flood the forums with questions about the new service in order to learn more about what I am getting for free. Free. I think I will say it one more time, FOR FREE!!! Community concerns aside, it seems some are forgetting that if they if they do not like the free service, there is a perfectly good paid server that is still available for them to play on.

I am going to make an assumption here and say that although the community may be great, it hasn't been growing much which means little revenue coming in, and the popularity of micro transaction based games was the fuel for this move for EQ2. Let's not forget that in June Massively had an article about another SOE game called Free Realms hitting 12 million registered players. I'm not going to pretend that Free Realms actually has 12 million players, kind of like WoW still has 11 million players, but they certainly are not new to the F2P model like some may think.

My hope is that everything works out, the community on both sides grows really strong and SOE continues to bring substantial content to EQ2. Why not hope for the best instead of just spewing out irrational uninformed commentary on a service that hasn't started yet?

On a side note; I activated my free Fallen Earth key that Werit game me almost two months ago. So I think I might do some progression posts on detailing my experience starting with the tutorial and how different the game is now from launch. That is of course if I can remember the game from launch, but it will give me something to do for the blog. And thanks to Anjin I am like this close |-| to reactivating my Champions Online account. Problem is the new City of Heroes expansion comes out in a few weeks and that has some interesting things in it. Who knows, I have a bad habit of wanting to resub to games, but not doing it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Word of the day.

The word of the day is: Conjecture.

Pronunciation: \kən-ˈjek-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin conjectura, from conjectus,past participle of conicere, literally, to throw together, from com- + jacere to throw — more at jet
Date: 14th century
1 obsolete a : interpretation of omens
2 a : inference from defective or presumptive evidence b : a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork c : a proposition (as in mathematics) before it has been proved or disproved

If you would like a current example of the use of conjecture, please see any and all blog posts on the subject of the new EQ2 Extended service and how it along with SOE will die because of going F2P. In fact, you could read any post that foretells the future of the game and company, because at this point no one knows what exactly is going to happen.

I'm not here to fight the good fight for SOE or EQ2, I haven't been an active player in quite a long time. But what I am here to do is to be a counter weight to the doom and gloom rhetoric that is being tossed around. What I would prefer to see are more posts that are picking apart EQ2X and asking questions to try and get clarification. Green Armadillo points out something that is quite important to those who are intending on dungeon crawling or raiding. This is a legitimate concern that I think everyone should be questioning, it's just to bad the rest of the post is based on assumptions about the future of the game.

I believe what has me most peeved about the whole situation is the comparisons to what Turbine did with LOTRO and how those same people believe SOE should be doing the same thing with EQ2. I believe that the success of DDO instilled a certain confidence that Turbine would be able to handle the transition of LOTRO to a F2P business model. It would seem that SOE hasn't instilled that same confidence.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some EQ2 Extended Info.

For those who have decided to sound the death knell for SOE and Everquest 2 and its community due to the new f2p EQ2X, please check out this handy FAQ page that available for your viewing pleasure. Let me just point out a few things of interest in the order that I read them:

  • Active players can create a new account on EQII Extended for free or copy over a version of an existing EQII live character for $35.
  • Extended is an accessible game purposely developed to grow the gaming community through new players. The free adventure service allows new players to experience more quality content and increased participation than the previously offered 14-day trial.
  • The purchase of items in the EQII Extended Marketplace is entirely optional. While many items in the Marketplace are designed to immediately enhance your in-game experience, some of the best items and gear are the rewards of adventuring or tradeskilling and are only gained by playing the game.
  • To become a Silver member there is a one-time item purchase called the "Silver Membership Pack." That pack grants you an additional character slot, better chat options, extra inventory capacity, raises your quest journal limit, gives you the ability to create guilds, and more. It also grants you two very cool Advancement potions so you can level more quickly. Once you purchase a Silver Membership Pack, you are permanently raised to that membership level. There is no recurring fee for this pack or membership.
  • Like everyone else, you can come play Extended by simply downloading the new Extended client and activating a freeExtended membership with your same Station account.
  • Active subscribing EQII players in good standing are able to copy a limited version of the EQII subscription character to EQII Extended for a fee of $35 (except during Alpha). Your character is copied over with all combat, AA and tradeskill experience intact. You also keep your ATTUNED and NO-TRADE items, as well as all your backpacks, but your use of such items will be restricted by your Extended membership tier. However, nothing else is copied over included coin. Please note that this process copies your character, your EQII live character will remain, as is, on its EQII live subscription server. There will be no character copies from Extended servers to the EQII live subscription servers.
  • Despite the fact that the two services are separate worlds, SOE knows which expansions you've activated and we'll ensure that you have access to those expansions in both of the services, subject to your current Extended membership limitations.
  • Once Extended launches, the 14-day trial will no longer be available to the general public. New players can try the Extendedfree adventure service instead. However, 14-day trial passes for the EQII subscription service will still be distributed by active players on the live subscription service via the Recruit-a-Friend program. This way, friends can play together on the same server and still enjoy free time. The RAF program will be updated at a later point in time to include Extended invitations and rewards.
This is just a sample of the information that can be found on the FAQ page. My only concern is with the Gold and Platinum memberships and how that will differ from the live servers. My guess is that those two payment plans will be geared towards those that have invested a lot of time and effort into the game, but don't want to have to start over on the live servers. Which would make EQ2 live that much more enticing to someone who plans on playing that much.

I really shouldn't let a couple of posts and the subsequent comments from one of them get me so riled up, but it has. It's frustrating to read posts on the future of SOE and EQ2 when no one knows what is going to happen, it's all conjecture at this moment. From what I can gather, there is nothing new in EQ2X besides being free that is going to draw a player away from EQ2 Live if they are already a paying subscriber.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

EQ2 Extended? Yes Please!

I have always liked Everquest 2, but for one reason or another I just haven't stuck with the game for any real significant amount of time, not like WoW. Hmm, I guess when looking back at the MMO's I have played since the launch of WoW, none have been able to grab me like WoW has. Maybe for short amounts of time....but this is a topic for another post.

I am really excited for EQ2 Extended, I know for a fact that once it goes live I will be playing. From the information that has surfaced today I have already planned on purchasing a silver upgrade, I will probably purchase some if not all classes and races and most likely if needed I will purchase the level cap increase from 80 to 90. Why you might ask? Well it's not that I am a huge EQ2 fan or have a load of money sitting around, but instead it's from the fact that I will have the closest thing to a lifetime sub to EQ2. That's my thinking anyways, things could change once EQIIX goes into beta testing.

When compared to what Turbine is doing with LOTRO, is much more in line with what I would want out of a game without a monthly subscription price. And I have just really grown a small amount of disdane towards LOTRO in general, which is sad cause coming out of beta I was very much looking forward to playing. I have never been keen on the small amount of races and classes in LOTRO. Does it need to be to the excess found in Vanguard or EQ2, not at all. I am not a fan of the combat as well; yes there was a change, but I didn't notice it when playing my Warden, and it felt worse when playing my Champion. And let's not forget about the constant running around from one part of the map to another, or the standard gather/kill/collect quests that are enough to drive one insane. Please remember these are my personal gripes about LOTRO, if you are enjoying the game than by all means continue.

I did get invited to the beta for the new and improved LOTRO, and all I can say is that it's pretty much the same game. If you have been playing and are a lifetime or paying sub, no change for you. But if you are like me and have been playing off and on for ages and had hoped the F2P switch would have something to draw you in, guess what, it doesn't. If you are not a paying subscriber now, then there is nothing that the switch will do to entice you into playing again. That may all sound a bit negative, but for me there is nothing in LOTRO that interests me anymore, and being able to log in for free doesn't change that.

Well that's my little rant on LOTRO and why honestly that last bit could be applied to EQ2 as well. Regardless, August could be a nice month for MMO's; Champions Online getting a big update, City of Heroes Going Rogue launches and then the beta for EQ2X.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dub's Playlist of the Week.

Since finishing Alpha Protocol for the fifth time last weekend I found myself jumping from one game to another as I find something that will hold my attention. I thought Resident Evil 5 would do that, but I ended up starting and finishing that on Monday, my day off. I really enjoy RE5, I had it for the Xbox and bought it when it was on uber sale through Steam a week ago for only $12.50. I do plan on returning to it at some point, being a Games for Windows Live title I don't mind playing more to get me some achievements.

After that it's been a few games; a little bit of The Witcher and Stranglehold, some Empire Total War when I can at work, even some Napoleon Total War multiplayer with a friend. I did play some WoW this week in the hopes of getting my Paladin to level 80 so I can start the emblem grind that has become the end game. I do like many things that WoW does, so much so that I sometimes find myself wondering why other MMOs don't do those things like WoW.

I did have a friend point out why I might not be having the fun I think I should be having and why the game has slowed to a grind; I'm not doing level appropriate content. At level 79 I am currently questing in the Grizzly Hills, content for level 75-77 by the looks of it. I does make sense when thinking about it, I didn't have the instant dungeon finder with my last two characters that made it to level 80. And neither my warrior or mage had the awesome AOE grinding power that the paladin has. So I guess everyone can ignore my whinny post I made about WoW the other day!

I can't forget to mention that I played about twenty minutes of the new Medal of Honor multiplayer beta last night. If you've played Battlefield Bad Company 2, well you've played the new MoH. Shouldn't be too surprising seeing how DICE is working on the multiplayer portion of MoH. Still, it does look good and runs better than BFBC2 does.

Well that's it for this week. Not really sure what to expect gaming wise next week, I just purchased a handful of used PS3 games from Gamestop so I may be slumming it with the console. I am probably going to spend some time playing some of the games I have owned for ever but haven't played much, like The Witcher, and if they don't grab me now then it might be time to trim down the game collection. Or at least put them in the box that's in storage just in case!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WoW is fun!

I don't what it is lately, but I am not finding the joy I once had in WoW. I had resubbed after almost a year off back a few months ago when a friend told me he was going to play again. And for the first few weeks I was having a blast; a blast with the random dungeon finder that is. But then things started to slow down and I just wasn't really wanting to raise my gear score just to run ICC.

Then one day I decided to jump on my Alliance Paladin, and suddenly the fun came back! I was playing at home in the morning, playing at work then back at home at night! I did this till I reached level 78 and had to stop because of losing the internets and moving to a new place.

I have this problem when I go long periods without playing a MMO, I suddenly lose my momentum and realize that I could be playing something else. That something else turned out to be Alpha Protocol for about two weeks. So eventually I relogged into WoW and take the Pally out for a spin, and I noticed the fun was gone. Instead there was pain, anguish and some seething hatred.

I think something is wrong with me because I just don't have the patience to put up with the grindy quests in Northrend anymore. I am tired of collection quests that require me to kill 50 creatures in order to loot 3 quest items, or run all over the know continent just to give some NPC a stupid (insert item here)! Frankly the main thing that killed my enjoyment of LOTRO was the questing, and getting from level 78 to level 80 is reminding me of that.

But maybe I am just tired of playing MMOs, who knows. But I am determined to make it to level 80 with my Pally, even if I have to kill someone, I mean if it kills me!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Best Thus Far.

I just finished Uncharted 2: Among Thieves only minutes ago, and I can say without a shadow of doubt that it is the best Playstation 3 game I have ever played.

Sure I have only played a small amount, but Uncharted 2 deserved every bit of praise it received. It is by far the best looking PS3 game I have seen and I wish all games looked half as good.

So does that mean I absolutely loved Uncharted 2? Not completely. I will say that I do think Uncharted 2 is as close to perfect as a game can get. My issues with the game come from my eternal hatred towards platforming, and the not so great and annoying boss battle at the end of the game.

I really do hate platforming, I find it to be a way to slow a game down in order to extend game play time for the player. Honestly most of Uncharted is great, it's when I had to do some rather annoying jumping and climbing to solve stupid puzzles that drove me nuts. But again, I hate platforming.

The final boss fight in Drake's Fortune was laughably easy, in Uncharted 2 it wasn't as easy, but more annoying. Still, I was able to finish the game and was left more than satisfied. I felt Drake's Fortune was a bit over rated, maybe because I was expecting something different, but Uncharted 2 is plain awesome. I have finally found the game that made owing a Playstation 3 worthwhile.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Some Randomness...

There are a few blogs that I read that I am having difficulty leaving comments on. I type my comment, hit the button to leave the comment, and then the page reloads and my comment is not there. It's becoming very frustrating!! It's not happening on blogspot or wordpress blogs it appears, but only those bloggers who have their own website set up, no idea what to do about it.

I have just finished Alpha Protocol for the fourth time, and it seems that I have invested around 67 hrs of play time in the past two weeks. Despite the bugs and jankyness, I really like the game. If there is anyone even remotely interested in giving the game a try, I would suggest waiting till it's on sale. Great game, but not worth fifty bucks.

I forgot to cancel both my WoW and AoC accounts last week, so I guess I'll have to make the most of it. I've got a paladin that is really close to level 80 that I can play and I have been thinking about leveling up a shaman. Between AoC and WoW I'm not sure if I will be able to make the time to play any of the awesome games I bought on sale from Steam this month.

Speaking of Steam, I spent just over $106 on games during the sale! Doesn't look like I'll be running out of anything to play anytime soon.

Getting back to the topic of MMOs, it's such a curse having many interests in gaming. I bought Champions Online on sale for about six bucks, and after playing just a bit I had an overwhelming desire to re-up my original account to play with the toons that I already have. Then there's my desire to play WAR, or maybe City of Heroes now that the new expansion is just around the corner, or what about Pirates of the Burning Sea with their expansion going into beta, then there's......ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Corpse runs are cool.

You know what, somehow when Blizzard was developing World of Warcraft, they set out to have a fun game that made money, which is not the way it's suppose to be. Everybody knows that Everquest was the pinnacle of MMO design and it's been downhill for the genre ever since. It's really hard to argue against that when looking at the booming server population that Everquest has right now.

The MMO genre has evolved, WoW has evolved, and society has changed, such is the way of life. It's shameful that developers and publishers want to make fun games that make money. I know this much; terrible level grind along with horrible death penalties does not make a fun game for me.

It's funny how it's now the in thing to criticize the one game that made the MMO genre what it is today, whether that's good or bad is up to you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lions, Tigers and RealID, Oh My!

So it appears that the new mass hysteria on the blogosphear is Blizzard's RealID. I admit to not knowing much about what RealID's potential is and how it works, but for me it's just a way for me to trim my friends list down, cause instead of having every toon a friend has made, I just have their name and I know what server and character they are on.

So apparently a person's real name will be somehow shown when they post on the official WoW forums, boo freakin' hoo.Don't like it, don't post on the forums. Think RealID is bad, then don't use it in game, simple as that.

It gets pretty annoying when one blog starts to complain, so every other blog feels they need to jump on the band wagon and add their complaints. Heck, now I'm complaining about the complainers!

I am going to make it my mission to find the truth behind RealID from the source, cause if I was to believe the blogosphear then it would seem the world is going to come to an end, or that WoW is going to suddenly loose all their subs from this.


It's probably best to never write a knee jerk post right before bed!

For those who like me are looking for well written articles about the problems RealID could cause, I suggest starting with a post by Stabs. For me it was an eye opener about the real problems that players could face with the implementation of RealID.

The only RealID's that I have on my friends list in WoW are people that I have know for years. I know where they live, work, even their real names. But I am not sure that I want RealID to extent past that and it sounds like Blizzard does.

Thanks Stabs for the insightful post.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Oh no!

Hey everyone, the crazy folks over at have allowed me to write something on their site, nuts ain't it! Go check it out here, if you dare muuuuuahahahahahahah.....

It's nothing fancy but I am grateful to them for giving me the chance to help contribute to the site.

Dub's Playlist of the Week

Even with Steam's awesome sale there have been only two games I've been playing this week, Empire: Total War and Alpha Protocol. Empire continues to be my game of choice while at work, its turn based campaign and the ability to pause during combat make it ideal.

There is a gameplay mode in ETW called The Road to Independence which tells the story of how America won its independence from the nasty British. The campaign itself is made up of four scenarios, with chapter four being the most interesting of the bunch. Honsetly, RtI is really just a glorified tutorial, but it's the only way to play as America because in the grand campaign they are not playable.

I actually met the victory conditions for the game awhile ago, but you are given the option to continue your game, so I did. I wanted to see some of the later military units and try for an achievement or two. The campaign by now is past that plateau of difficulty and is pretty easy; I have the largest army in the world, I'm making more money than I can hope to spend and I am pretty close to having every tech in the game researched.

So rather than continue with that game, I decided to try the grand campaign as Poland-Lithuania. So far I am having fun; I have been able to build up my infrastructure enough to support a couple of armies, made a deal with Prussia that gave me East Prussia for West Prussia (I came out on top in that trade), made a few alliances and even went to war with Prussia which saw me wipe them from existence!

Eventually I will be making my way over to Napolean: Total War, but for now I am still enjoying Empire too much.

The other game I have been playing is Alpha Protocol for the PC. Review scores for this game have been all over the place, with the PC scoring higher than the console version. I have a feeling I know why - Alpha Protocol is a third-person action RPG, and it's too easy to try and play the third-person action part and forget about the RPG aspect of the game. Alpha Protocol is like the first Mass Effect with regards to combat. The higher level you get, the more points you can invest in skills, the easier it is to kill things with guns.

There are a few other problems with the game as well like bugs, but I am hopelessly addicted to this game. I have completed the story twice now, and have already progressed about a third of the way through for a third time. Chances are looking good that I might even try a fourth play through because I would like to see how the game plays out if I make some decisions I have yet to choose the other times I have played. Hope that made sense.

The game made a lousy first impression for me, but something has worked cause I can't put it down. Even now as I write this I am looking forward to going home and playing. Maybe not worth fifty bucks, but I do think it's worth playing at some point for those who may be interested in the game.

So that's what I have been playing for the week. As of right now I don't know if that will change much for the coming week, but who knows, I did purchase an ass load of games from Steam during this insane sale and I may hop back on WoW and finally get my Pally up to level 80.