Archive for the ‘MMORPGs’ Category

SoE, I Am Disappoint

Posted: January 7, 2011 in Everquest 2, MMORPGs

So I woke up this morning, and my Twitter followers, who have more discipline than I do by waking up early (I decided to sleep in. Day off and all.), were all abuzz over over Destiny of Velious beta forums. In case you’re one of the last to know like I was, or you don’t play EQ2 at all, here is a post describing SoE’s latest faux pas:

Beta Moves to EQ2X, Dev Comments in Tracker

In plain English, SoE deleted the Destiny of Velious beta forums on the live (monthly subscription) forums, created new ones under the Extended (“free” to play model) forums, thus losing all the data and posts collected from the original forums. Oh, and it was viewable to the public aka non-beta testers not bound by an NDA.

This whole situation just reeks of unprofessionalism, blatant stupidity, and, above all else, the push of $med bucks and EQ2X.

Look, I love Everquest 2. Please don’t confuse my love for the actual game itself with the disappointment and hatred for the current team running the operation. The game itself is a masterpiece of the MMORPG genre, in my opinion. I find that it has a great balance of things to do, no matter what kind of gamer you are. Casual, hardcore, progression, crafter, lore-nut, collection king/queen, house decorator ect. This game has it all, honestly. It’s just a god damn shame it never got the respect it deserved from the WoW hungry media.

However, (and this is really big “however” here folks) the current team running Everquest 2 is running it straight into the ground.

The Exchange servers was the first step. SoE saw money to be made via the method of RMT (real money trade aka buying plat/characters with real money). RMT is highly illegal in almost every online game with currency, resulting in harsh punishments such as permanent bans from said game. They enabled Exchange servers, where people could do that at will, without fear of persecution from the community (because they’re all doing it) and without fear of getting banned from SoE’s GMs. Indeed, a smart business move by SoE because they get a cut of whatever is sold, however, it is a slap in the face for us old school gamers who grew up to detest RMT in every form. Those of us who have played games for well over a decade realize that RMT destroys game economies, making whatever the currency of that game (in this case, platinum) obsolete. Why spend all this time farming currency when you can just buy it off some RMT website? The urge to resist was too much for many people (in my experiences, kids with unlimited access to their parent’s credit cards or 20-somethings who enjoyed the fruits of an early career success) and RMT became one of the highest growing businesses. The demand was obviously there. The disappointing thing is that SoE played right into that demand, forgetting about what honest and ethical gamers want.

The Station Marketplace (cash shop) was the second step. After many broken promises that the items on the Marketplace would just be fluff items, we’re seeing more and more items that actually affect gameplay, even if it’s minor. Even after Smedley wrote, in 2007, that Everquest 2 would never, EVER implement RMT into the game, we find out he was only talking about the “other guys.” The ones that supposedly use stolen credit cards and whatnot. (C’mon, Smed, even you’re smart enough to know that companies who use stolen credit cards don’t stay in business long. And sites like IGE have been in business a very long time.)

Then they put EQ2X into effect. EQ2X is the “extended” version of Everquest 2 Live. It’s the joy of EQ2, without the monthly subscription fee. Or is it? Check out their absolutely ridiculous business model for their self-proclaimed F2P version of Everquest 2. EVERYTHING has some sort of restriction. EVERYTHING has some sort of “pay us more money, and you can get less restricted access.” It’s mind boggling how one company can nickel and dime potential consumers and still act like this is some great thing to gaming.

Look, it’s probably because I’m old school, but this type of attitude is seriously pissing me off. I remember when expansion packs cost 20-30 bucks and gave you easily a year’s+ worth of content. Now they cost 40 bucks and you’re lucky to get 3-4 months worth of content. I remember when “game updates” were actually updates to fix really bad problems and give new content and it was all covered by your monthly subscription fee. Now they are nothing more than to fix minor issues easily detected with proper beta testing (which companies don’t do anymore) and add one quest or one item. You seriously spent 6 months on that? Give me a break! I remember a time when developers actually had a passion in what they were making, stuck around for years to see their little “baby” grow up, and things were consistent in story lines, lore, class balance ect. Now a developer does one thing, quits, and moves on to the next game, which causes major plot holes, class imbalance, and an overall feeling of dread as we, the players of the game, realize that said developer really didn’t give a shit about the game that we love at all. They just wanted to make a quick buck and move on.

So this whole thing with EQ2 Live forums moving to EQ2X forums has really pissed off a large portion of the Live community. We’re slowing seeing our beloved game pushed towards the 2 dollar hooker version (where 2 bucks can give you a nice high, but it doesn’t last long, so you have to purchase another 2 dollar hooker to keep the high going). Now people will Live accounts need to make an Extended account to post on the Destiny of Velious beta forums. Doesn’t that seem ass-backwards? Just a bit? It used to be Extended and Live were separate entities, as quoted by Smokejumper himself:

We did not change your subscription service. Everquest II Extended (EQ2X) is a completely separate service.

Different forums. Different servers. If you want to keep playing the way you wish to play, then there is no difference whatsoever. You don’t even have to be aware of it (well…after today anyway).

We’re not changing the existing EQII Live subscription service at all.

I guess because Destiny of Velious is “free” for the moment, that means it should go on the “free” forums?

I’m guessing that’s how Smokejumper will play it.

I don’t know. If I have to log on extended forums to post any DoV bugs, it’s kind of hard to “not even be aware of it.”

SoE, I am disappoint. Truly. You’re not fooling anyone anymore. Just kill off Live servers and be done with it. Then you can fire Smokejumper, who said no one wants to see live servers wither and die, so you can keep your conscious clean of this whole mess.

Situations like these make me miss private server development…

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The Expanded Walk-In Freezer

Posted: January 2, 2011 in MMORPGs

I expanded my walk-in freezer. It’s located at Michayla’s 2 Bayle Court in South Qeynos, Unrest server.

I’m slowly working on the house. The freezer is the only thing that it has right now.

Here are some updated pics for your viewing pleasure.


World of Warcraft Memories

Posted: January 1, 2011 in MMORPGs

I was telling Zerky (you may remember him from my previous post) about my delve back into World of Warcraft. We started talking about our old times on the private servers. I wanted to share some fond memories with you all.

1) Siamese Cockroaches

Once upon a time, in Undercity, we were all hanging out. There was an update on the private server we were on, and we found a cockroach vendor. (He wasn’t previously available to us.) We all thought it was odd someone would actually WANT a cockroach pet. But that didn’t stop Zerky. He was determined to find homes for all these cockroaches! Surely, they couldn’t have had a good home with the NPC, who was stationed on the floor of the Trade Quarter, never moving. I mean, the guy didn’t even have a cardboard box, for god’s sake!

So Zerky made it his mission to find homes for all these homeless cockroaches. Within a few short hours, the server erupted. “Why is Berzerk sending me cockroaches???” Alliance and Horde alike were wondering if Zerky’s account got hacked. Soon, people were getting angry.

Defeated in his plight, Zerky got a most fabulous idea: Why not just send ALL the cockroaches to his friends! Soon, my mailbox was full of cockroaches. My boyfriend’s was full as well. One by one, our guild chat is erupting with “lols” and “lmaos” as our mailboxes are filled one by one with cockroaches.

The story is that the cockroaches are siamese, and can’t be separated. So we took our cockroaches and gave them homes. (Mostly via the Delete button but don’t tell him I told you that!)

2) Invisible Caribou

After WotLK was released, we were running around discovering new areas, trying to find places to level up. (The good places were taken by the server admin’s guild. Go figure.) My boyfriend was leveling somewhere in one of the WotLK areas. All of a sudden, he is attacked. He’s being attacked by a caribou, but he can’t see it. I happen to be near where he is, and run over to him to see this so-called “Invisible Caribou.” He died right as I got there.

Now, to his defense, the caribou WAS, in fact, invisible. It was some kind of server bug. But that didn’t stop the poking fun. Zerky, in all his Zerky-ness, kept the joke going for months. He changed my boyfriend’s rank in the guild to “Caribou Pwned.” He made a “motivational poster” and posted it on the server website. We all got a good laugh, and my boyfriend, in his awesomeness, took it in stride. He became kind of a celebrity on the server after that. And here we are, about 3-4 years later, and the joke is still going. There were many lulz.

3) Finwe

Finwe was a (his words) “14 year old faggot.” To be completely PC, he was 14 years old and gay. He was also some Alliance (I think gnome?) Mage.

We got a group together to do Halls of Lightning or some crap like that. Finwe was in our party. It was me, my boyfriend, Zerky, Suntress (our awesome healer), Danty (a warrior in our guild), and Finwe. Keep in mind, everyone but Finwe was in our guild. So general banter back and fourth was expected. Finwe was either going to join in the fun, or simply shut up.

That’s not exactly how it went down.

Danty called Zerky a faggot, not because they were fighting, but because that’s how we were. It was a term of endearment. And since Finwe has already called himself a faggot in world chat, there was no reason to think he would be offended, right?

Wrong.

Finwe, literally, flipped out. As he was ranting how the term “faggot” is offensive to the gay community, and how we’re going to hell for being bigots, I imagined this little gnome (I’m pretty sure he was a gnome) doing backflips as he was lecturing us (while calling us inconsiderate pricks).

Now you would think we would get all offended and kick him from the party (which is in full swing by now). But nah, we kept him around for entertainment value. Did we NEED him? No. I was doing the majority of ranged DPS (as a warlock) because he was too busy raging at his keyboard. It was entertaining, to say the least.

Then he finally figured out A) We weren’t going to kick him and B) We weren’t going to report him. So he proceeded to pull everything in the zone in an attempt to kill us. It backfired. We ended up killing everything, and I’m imagining the smoke coming out of this guy’s ears like an old Elmer Fudd cartoon.

Finwe ended up getting himself banned for calling the admin a “communist nazi” for not banning us for Danty calling Zerky a faggot. But it was epic lulz all the way around.

4) For The Horde

Back on the old server (the one I went in great lengths about last entry), there was yet another Gnome Mage who thought it would be wicked awesome to use hacks for PvP. I was still a GM at the time, so when I got tickets concerning this, I went invisible and followed him. Sure enough, he was in Stormwind, killing Horde players fron behind walls, in the sky, wherever.

So just for fun, Zerky and I made completely new characters on our GM accounts, leveled them up to 70, and infiltrated Stormwind. We went there and sat in the middle of everything. We didn’t attempt to kill anyone (it was against the GM’s Code of Conduct, afterall.)

Soon, the gnome mage (whose name evades me at this point, it’s been so long), hones in on us. He starts attacking Zerky, who was a Priest. Noticing his health isn’t going down at all, and he’s naked, he starts cursing Zerky out, claiming he’s hacking. Then he hones in on me, and the same result. My health isn’t moving. So he sends a GM ticket, claiming that me and Zerky are hacking, how he tried to kill us and our health stayed the same. Zerky and I got a good laugh about this in GM chat.

I laugh. I say to Zerky in /say “Hey Zerky, did you see this ticket? How stupid is this guy!”

The gnome mage finally realizes that he just reported 2 GMs for being GMs. Then we kill him.

Now I should say, the GM Code of Conduct DID say you can’t kill PCs, BUT it also said if you are attacked, or someone gets the bright idea that they can use you as a skill up dummy, that you have every right to kill them.

You would think the mage got the message, but nope. He kept attacking us. And we kept killing him. He reported us to the admin (which wasn’t me at the time) and the admin laughed at him. Not only that, but the admin disabled his hacks. The gnome mage disappeared. I guess he was only good cause of his hacks.

I recently gave into the pressure and took the plunge back into World of Warcraft last week. I must say, I’m quite impressed with the amount of sheer fun I’ve been having.

Before I go any further, I want to discuss why I gave up on WoW to begin with.

The year was 2004, a year that I remember as being a great year for MMORPG releases. Unfortunately, the novelty of these new games fizzled out for me real quick. As I was taking yet another break from Final Fantasy XI, I was looking forward to two highly revered titles: Everquest II and World of Warcraft.

Everquest II came first, and unfortunately, my PC couldn’t run it. As soon as I got off of Queen’s Colony, I found it hard to navigate. The lag was unbearable. The game was released with too high standards for its time. And to a 17 year old kid who was still in high school making a paltry 150 bucks a week at a part-time job, a brand new PC to replace the one I received as a gift just one year prior was out of the question. So it went back in the box, never to be seen until late 2009 (actually, it’s still in the box, because Steam had everything up to TSO on sale for 5 bucks.).

Shortly after Everquest II’s failure to captivate me (Ok, so it’s not totally the game’s fault, but SoE shares some of the blame in my opinion), I moved on to World of Warcraft. By the time WoW was released, I was already getting back in the groove of FFXI. I found my reason to play that game again, and was spending most of my free time on it. But this shiny new toy caught my attention, and like a typical kid with a new toy, I dove right in.

Unfortunately, like the kid with a new toy, the novelty wore off quickly. My stint in retail WoW only lasted 3 months, and in that time period I had amassed 2 level 60 characters (the level cap back then.) I had nothing to do. My Warlock and Rogue had reached the end of their journeys, and I was sick of sitting in the Undercity or Orgrimmar watching the text fly by my screen. PvP wasn’t much better. I always managed to find the 12 year old brats who cuss you and your mother if you killed them, and on the rare occasion I got killed, they decided to gloat like a 5 year old child. I can handle profanity and insults just fine, but I could not stand these people. They were annoying, arrogant, and ignorant. I hate children to begin with, and the fact that they were infiltrating online gaming pissed me off even more.

Of course, that isn’t to say I’m completely jaded. I was a kid when I was exposed to online gaming. At the ripe age of 12, I was exposed to my first online FPS. But it was my uncle who took me under his wing. He taught me an etiquette to online gaming. Friendly banter between opponents was ok. Telling them their mothers should’ve aborted them because they sniped them in mid-air is not ok. You always said “gg” (good game) once the match ended. And if you didn’t like the person, you settled it on the battlefield, not on their personal clan websites. And, finally, “You’re always, ALWAYS gracious to your server host, even if he is a complete dickhead.”

But these kids, kids not much older than I was, didn’t get it. Maybe I was lucky to have someone like my uncle at my side and teach me the ways of online gaming etiquette. I think the thing that pissed me off the most was these kids weren’t even willing to learn. I love to learn new things. In fact, in my every day life, I learn new things. I’m praised in my real life profession for my willingness and eagerness to learn something new. But these….children…didn’t even want to learn. And quite frankly, it pissed me off.

So I quit.

It wasn’t until 2007-2008 when I got back into World of Warcraft. Only this time, it wasn’t retail. Once again, I was disgruntled with FFXI, the way SE was handling things. My account was raided and looted, and despite the fact I had a request in to roll it back, it was taking them forever. (5 months, actually) I was bored and needed something to do. My buddy Ryan, whom I was in a linkshell in FFXI with, suggested we try WoW, on private realms.

WTF is a private realm, I wondered.

He basically explained to me that private realms were the equivalent of servers in Tribes, my first ever online FPS. They are privately run by people, like us. The obvious upside to this is no subscription fee. The downside? Well, since MMORPGs are constantly evolving, it’s practically impossible to have a completely up-to-date game. Not to mention that most private servers are run by script kiddies who couldn’t code their way out of a paper bag. (Not knocking it, just calling it like I see it.) So a lot of stuff is half-finished or completely not working.

So anyway, my buddy Ryan had a buddy that ran one of these private servers. We installed the game and signed up for the server.

What a mess.

The server, itself, was broken. The majority of the quests were auto-complete, so you could be level 70 within less than an hour. But we played and we had fun. We raided Black Temple most of the time. I met a lot of cool people on there that I still talk to to this day. We had a guild and everything. For being completely and utterly broken, it was a lot of fun.

Then the shitstorm happened. The GMs of the server started getting cocky, and the admin, Ryan’s friend, had finally had enough. He demoted them all. But now he needed a new team. At the suggestion of Ryan, I quickly became the new Junior GM.

Being a GM is not all its cracked up to be. First of all, it requires you to have 2 accounts. Secondly, actually “playing” on your GM account is strictly not allowed. And since our personal accounts were published on the website, you never had a moment’s peace, because as soon as you logged into your personal account, you had to answer yet another ticket about something stupid.

My work hours prevented me from being on during normal play hours. I worked mostly late evenings/early nights (6pm-2am), so I was on from 3am onwards. A lot of Europeans played during that time, and their lack of English made it tough for them to read forums. So I had to answer tons of tickets, written in different languages. Soon, I gave up, and begged the admin to include somewhere that this was an English speaking server.

Soon, I was promoted to Senior GM, and eventually admin. I hired my own team of GMs, and that server was in top shape GM wise. (Coding-wise, it was still a mess.) Unfortunately, none of us had coding experience, nor was I allowed to give up server database access at whim. So it left me in a predicament. Broken server with awesome GM staff.

But people wanted the server to succeed. I wanted the server to succeed. Donations were flying in, to the tune of 5 grand a month. We were hoping for updated, faster servers. We were hoping for working code. We got none of the above.

A short time before the shitstorm, the admin promoted his BFF as server admin. On the spot. No application, no background check, not even a courtesy heads up to the rest of the team who has been doing his work for months. But we survived, for a bit. Until things started becoming fishy.

My one buddy, also a GM, Bezerk (we often called him Zerky), rang me up on Ventrilo one day. His account was no longer in existence. I start looking through the database, only to find his account was deleted. The logs showed that this newly appointed admin deleted this guy’s account. Zerky was the 3rd person to ever join the server. And his account was gone.

I reversed the damage, and sat and waited. Zerky logged in. We played for a bit. New admin logged in, saw Zerky logged in, deleted his account, and kicked him from the server. (Deletion won’t take affect until you’re kicked.) This went on for a few hours. Him deleting Zerky’s account, me restoring it. Until finally, I had enough and revoked his database access and banned his IP address from accessing it.

Apparently, this didn’t sit well with the admin, because he got into Ventrilo the very next day and attempted to rip me a new asshole. How dare I revoke his friend’s access? What right did I have? I was just a GM! I corrected him and said “No, I’m an admin. You made me an admin and this guy has been abusing his power since the day you made him admin.” (Turns out he kept deleting Zerky’s account because Zerky wiped the floor with him in a duel.) He told me not to revoke his power again, and reinstated him. Zerky got banned, for no reason whatsoever. And the shitstorm started.

My buddy Ryan started slipping me information about where the donation money was going. (He and the server admin were friends in real life.) The money, as it turned out, was going towards cocaine, heroine, alcohol, and a 16 grand engagement ring for the admin’s now ex-fiance.

I was livid. I spent many hours panhandling WoW style in game for those donations. I spent many hours trying to fix things, or create workarounds so the players would be happy. Hours upon hours I spent chasing down speed hackers the right way, instead of banning them on the spot.

I exposed the son-of-a-bitch on his server forums. I let everyone know where everyone’s hard-earned donation money went. I explained to them why they weren’t getting server upgrades, or updated code, or even Wrath of the Lich King. Because the admin and his girlfriend were snorting up their donation money up their noses. I asked the general question “How does a guy who works at a GAS STATION afford a 16 thousand dollar engagement ring for his girlfriend?” and backed it up with Facebook photos and posts. Not only that, but I had screenshots of the whole Zerky fiasco saved for a rainy day. And I pulled those out as the final “fuck you Kyle.” (The admin’s name is Kyle.)

I was banned, naturally, but not instantly. My post was erased. But it was too late, the damage was done. It was up a full 3 weeks before the admin finally logged into the website. It didn’t matter, though, because I went into the database and deleted my accounts. The admin’s friend was never given moderator access to the website (oops) and never bothered to inform the admin of the shit I posted (double oops). So everyone who logged in the website for the 3 weeks the post stayed up saw it.

The population of the server diminished. Soon, Kyle couldn’t afford the server and his coke/alcohol/heroine habit. Care to guess which one faded into obscurity? The server, of course.

Last I heard, Kyle and his fiance broke up, and he is still working at a gas station.

Anyway….

My retail and private experience in WoW flat out sucked. I don’t blame Blizzard for all of it, certainly not for my private server experience. It’s not Blizzard’s, or even World of Warcraft’s fault. But it still left a bad taste in my mouth. A really bad taste. Kind of like the taste you have in your mouth after you scarf a bag of Doritos and drink lots of alcohol, then vomit. That kind of taste. I just could never get back into World of Warcraft.

It wasn’t until early last week I got a text message from a near and dear friend of mine. We played FFXI together. We used to roleplay together (not THAT kind of roleplay. We were adventurers, afterall). Eventually, real life got too complicated for him and his wife (who was expecting their first child at the time). But we kept in contact through the years. (His wife eventually became one of my most closest girlfriends, actually.) He texted me with the great news that his wife, who is now expecting their third child, had her ultrasound today and it was a girl. I was at work, and knew that she was having her ultrasound (thank you, Facebook), but I didn’t expect to hear the results of it until after I came home. I congratulated him (especially since I knew they both wanted another girl), and the conversation turned towards video games.

“So Jam told me you’re not too excited about us playing wow?”

A couple of months ago, I jokingly made fun of his wife on Facebook about playing WoW. Apparently, she told him and he remembered.

I told him I was actually considering going back with Cataclysm. The conversation turned into the usual. What server are you on? Horde or Alliance? Is there a recruit-a-friend program? Ect. He asked for my e-mail address and sent me a recruit-a-friend code. I downloaded the game, created my character (a Blood Elf Mage, of course), and started to play.

Honestly, I’m impressed.

People make fun of the “cartoony” graphics all the time. I used to be one of those people, until I realized the graphics in other games, games that looked more realistic (FFXI/FFXIV) weren’t that awesome, either. Everything in those games (FFXI, especially) was drab. Boring. Dull. The graphics in WoW are cartoony, yes, but isn’t it a FANTASY game? What’s wrong if a FANTASY world is colorful? Is it a crime if everything is bright, cheery, and in-your-face? No, not at all. It’s a fantasy world. No one argued with Bethesda when Mania in Oblivion was bright and in-your-face. (The Shivering Isles expansion pack. If you haven’t played it, go buy it. Now.)

As far as gameplay goes, people (aka haters) complain it’s too easy. Yes, it’s easy. The days of hardcore MMORPGs died with the original Everquest. People claim FFXI is hardcore. I disagree. Everything about FFXI is a timesink, and to me, timesink doesn’t mean hardcore. Doing the same instanced zone everyday for a straight year, and completing it, but never getting the one item I need (because drop rates are atrocious) is not “hard.” Needing a party of 5 other players to complete anything, and never getting one because you’re not playing the right class is not “hard.” Farming for hours on end for money because the “hardcore” linkshells drove up the prices of the one item you need is not “hard.” Leveling a craft to level 100 is not “hard.” None of these things are “hard.” They are just extremely time consuming. And that is how SE made their money, by creating a game of nothing but timesinks.

Blizzard takes a different approach. They actually give you content, which I like. I like being able to explore new areas. Completely new areas. Unlike SE, who rehashes the same areas over and over again, with harder mobs using the same design but different colors (Dynamis, Abyssea, the entire Wings of the Goddess expansion pack), and tries to call it “new content.” I like being able to get new pieces of gear. NEW pieces of gear. Not camp the same fucking mob since Rise of the Zilart (which was released in 2003) to get a fucking sword because the developer was too lazy to release anything remotely better.

The population doesn’t hurt, either. I’m constantly meeting new people. I like meeting new people.

There’s also something that Blizzard does that a lot of other developers don’t do: They give you reasons to return to your starting cities. With FFXI, the starter cities were a barren wasteland. Everyone hung out in Jeuno until Treasures of Aht Urghan was released, and then everyone and their mother was hanging out in Whitegate. In Everquest II, everyone hangs out in Paineel. Qeynos and Freeport are barren, except for World Events. There’s no reason to go there, really. But in WoW, I see loads of people in Silvermoon City, and there’s even more in Orgrimmar, the unofficial hangout spot for the Horde. Yea, there’s newer cities, like Shattrath, and Dalaran, but there’s still a population in the starter cities. These are the cities that started it all. There SHOULD be reasons to go back to them. But Blizzard is really the only developer I’ve seen that made a genuine effort to bring people back to those cities.

The simplicity of crafting in WoW is what I missed the most, probably. I don’t need to press a million buttons (Everquest II), and I don’t need to check my in-game clock to see if it’s the right day/moon phase and make sure I face the right direction to complete the craft (FFXI). Also, there’s no way to fail. In FFXI, the price for failing a craft can cost you MILLIONS of gil. Everquest II, it’s not as bad, but still equally frustrating. In WoW, you just need the materials. Is it unrealistic? Absolutely. Afterall, who successfully makes something 100% of the time? But does it avoid dreaded timesinks, a staple in most MMORPGs today? Yes, yes, and yes. The materials, for the most part, are easy to find, too, at least in the lower levels. (Unlike FFXI, where even low level materials were rare.) And I can level TWO crafts?! Sweet!

Overall, I’m having a lot of fun in WoW. It’s such a relief to log in for half an hour and actually get something accomplished. I can play in quick spurts and get quite a bit done. It’s such a change from FFXI, where you had to dedicate hours upon hours to get one thing accomplished, even if it was just attaining a level. Everquest II, while still near and dear to my heart, is starting to wear thin on me. (Mostly due to SoE’s push on the F2P business model of “milk the consumer for every penny they got via the Marketplace” and not due to the actual game mechanics themselves.)

One final note: The biggest benefit of WoW probably is the fact that both my boyfriend and I are enjoying it. It’s been almost a year since we played an online game together. (Not including the very short-lived FFXIV.) I quit FFXI over a year ago. He still plays, rarely, but I could never get him into Everquest II. But not we’re both enjoying WoW, which is great, because I don’t enjoy Bad Company 2 or World of Tanks all that much.

As a long time player and fan of FFXI, I was really, REALLY looking forward to Square Enix’s next installment, FFXIV. However, mistakes SE made in the past with FFXI seemed to trickle down into FFXIV all too quickly. I left the game as soon as I started, disgruntled at the fact I actually paid for the Collector’s Edition. I had hoped this would be the new MMORPG of the era. I wasn’t expecting it to topple the colossal giant that is World of Warcraft, but I at least hoped it would be a contender.

I soon realized that wasn’t the case.

FFXIV, at release, is a failure. Yup, I said it. I expect the following flame comments, so if you’re included in this, don’t bother. Trust me, I’m already well aware:

“The game has only been out X amount of months! How dare you demand it be perfect!”
“SE is just gearing up for PS3 release.” (Don’t you feel like a fool now?)
“No MMO is ever complete. Why would you expect this one to be?”

Truth is, I DON’T expect this MMO to be complete.

But god-fucking-damnit, I expected it to be playable.

This is what pre-launch week was like, in case you’ve forgotten:

– Skill points you earned in battle weren’t going towards your level/rank.
– Enmity was non-existent. It didn’t exist. Period. Don’t argue with me on this one.
– The servers couldn’t even stay online for the pre-launch week 24/7. Keep in mind, SE had pre-order numbers in already.
– Click and Buy. My boyfriend calls it Dick and Screw.
– Conjurers reaching Physical 50 within a week because of a “bug” that allowed them to generate massive amounts of skill points by curing themselves until they run out of MP, clicking the Aetheryte crystal to regenerate MP, and do it all over again.
– No MP regeneration. At all.
– No Auction House or Broker of any kind.
– Menu lag.
– Unable to mute ambient sounds. (wind, rain, footsteps, ect. Personally, this was very annoying to me.)
– SE’s failure to code anything for a PC or DirectX. (Can’t tell ya how many DirectX errors I got because I opened up task manager.)

And that’s just pulling shit off the top of my head at 4:30am.

No, I don’t expect a game on release day to be complete. I expect the basic mechanics to simply work. EXP gain, enmity, menu lag. They had how many betas and alphas to fix this, and didn’t? Rumors were going around that Closed Beta 3 and Open Beta testers were simply there to test out SE’s hardware for the servers. What did they call them? Oh yea, “hardware slaves.” Simply put: Those testers’ only job is to log in and congest the servers. That’s it. Way to go, SE!

So it was no surprise to me to see the articles that flooded the internet early Friday morning that Tanaka has been fired from FFXIV and replaced by some dude who can’t make it any worse than it already is. Tanaka has ruined this game. Period. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. This game is so terrible that I actually considered going back to FFXI. And anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fan of FFXI anymore.

Oh, and did I mention PS3 version is delayed indefinitely? Yes, this game is so crappy, SE is putting the brakes on the PS3 version until the PC version meets the standards.

And here’s the biggest kicker of all: FFXIV will continue to be free.

I’m a fan of free games, but I’m not a fan of having absolute crap on my harddrive.

Everquest II Tome Collection

Posted: December 7, 2010 in Everquest 2, MMORPGs

With the help of Aurelis at BiblioNorrath, I created an up-to-date spreadsheet of the Everquest II Tome Collection.

The Everquest II Tome Collection

Please, add any suggestions/complaints ect.