Posts Tagged ‘SOE’

[SWG] In Memory

December 16, 2011

Wilhem has a great post up about the final night of Star Wars Galaxies. Apparently it passed into history without too many people realizing it. SWG was the very first MMO I every played, and had it not been for the fact that I was knee deep in graduate school, was newly married, and found out my son was on the way, I probably would have had a lot more experience with the game. As it stands, I probably played for a couple of months. I remember the  experience fondly though.

It saddens me that the MMOverse doesn’t have enough room in it for both SWG and SW:ToR. I know that Galaxies had its ups and downs and wasn’t a powerhouse like it could have been, but there were a lot of people who still enjoyed the game. As much as I am enjoying SW:ToR, I wish it didn’t have to be one or the other. My sympathy extends to all the SWG faithful who just lost their pastime.

-Pid

Advertisements

A Comedy of Errors [EQ2] [WoW]

May 3, 2011

C’mon!

I can’t win for trying it seems.

I decided to relax a bit with a leisurely play style and focus on a single MMO until SW:ToR is released. I really plan to throw myself at that game. I decided that EQ2 was the place for me for the time being. My main character is very solo friendly, I can craft when I don’t want to adventure, and I can decorate my house when I don’t want to do any of that. I have been playing when I feel like it and not feeling guilty when I don’t log in. It was a great match for my play style at the current time.

Then Sony gets hacked.

I am not pleased in the least about my personal info being stolen, but I can mostly forgive SOE for it. Nothing is safe these days it seems. I am simply frustrated that the course of action that I have chosen, and was quite happy with, is not viable at the moment. Not only have I had my pants pulled down by the hackers, but SOE managed to punch me in the junk to boot. I want to do the only thing in my power to do at this point and unsubscribe from EQ2, but stupid me paid for a year sub. It seemed like a good idea considering the decisions I had made about being a monogamist MMO gamer.

To add insult to injury, I decided that I would use a WoW game card I had sitting in the drawer and play some Warcraft today. Oh yeah, I forgot Tuesdays are server maintenance days that last until I get ready to go to work. You know work, that thing that honest people do to make money. Not scam it out of people by hacking their accounts. I have very little free time these days, and I really can’t stand the fact that I have to jump through these hoops to try and do what I want to do with it.

Perhaps the people that hacked this did it just for fun. Well, I hope that the folks that investigate this find them, and then send them to prison. Just for fun of course.

-Pid

SOE Hangs Head in Shame…Again

May 2, 2011

I went to log on to EQ2 today to do a few crafting writs at lunch time, and for some odd reason I couldn’t log in. I checked the server status page and this is what greeted me:

SOE MAINTENANCE In Progress


Dear Valued SOE Customers,
We have had to take the SOE service down temporarily. In the course of our investigation into the intrusion into our systems we have discovered an issue that warrants enough concern for us to take the service down effective immediately. We will provide an update later today (Monday).
We apologize for any inconvenience and greatly appreciate your patience.

Sad times over at SOE. Sad times.

-Pid

Fall of an Empire: SOE Style

March 31, 2011

SOE went and cut 205 positions and closed 3 studios. I am not terribly surprised by this mind you, but I am saddened. I would have to say that more than half of my time spent in MMO-land had been within the confines of an SOE game. EQ and EQ2 have been comfortable homes for the majority of my MMO lifetime.

So what is going wrong here? Everyone knows that EQ was revolutionary for its time and it is no less than amazing that as many people still play this game after 12 years. EQ2 is a great game that has arguably one of the most robust crafting systems and player housing (guild halls too) as any other game out there. Free Realms has mass market appeal to the younger crowd and they have had no shortage of great IP’s with Star Wars and DC Comics to top the list.

In large part I believe that SOE is suffering from some form of Jekyll and Hyde syndrome where sometimes the company is SOE, but more and more the company turns to its alter ego $OE. It seems that gone are the days when the company was trying to develop great games, and it has turned into a company that just wants to rake in as much revenue as it can to hearken back to the good old days.

The company really needs to take a step back and consider what it really wants to do. What is the best way to profitability. I can’t imagine that the current business model is the way to go. It is unfortunate that so many people had to lost their livelihood, but maybe the company can get its bearings back again.

Like Green Armadillo, who wrote a great post about the same topic (no really, go read it, it puts mine to shame), I feel I am one of the few people who stopped playing RIFT. Right now I needed to slow things down a bit and play a game that has more to offer than frenetic public quests and diverse leveling. EQ2 is great for that. For taking your time and looking around and smelling the flowers.

I truly hope that SOE can really focus on the two projects they have in the tank. I’m not too familiar with Planetside Next, but I have a lot of anticipation for Everquest Next. If SOE develops this project I think it could be a great game…if $OE rears its ugly head…EQ3 will be the final nail in the coffin for this flailing company.

-Pid

Image source

[EQ] Out of the Blue Email

February 10, 2011

I received an email from SOE today telling me that one of my EQ accounts has been activated for free for 11 days. Crazy! Here is the bulk of the email:

Are you ready to relive the greatest memories that you’ve ever had in EverQuest? On February 15, 2011 you can roll a new character and jump into the Fippy Darkpaw Progression Server and race through Norrath starting with the legendary first three continents and planes. To get you started, we are thrilled to invite you to come back to play for FREE from 2/10/2011 – 2/21/2011.

That is a pretty neat idea for getting some people back in for the launch of the progression server. I can’t see punishing myself by playing EQ: The 1999 Edition, but for you masochistic folks out there…have at it.

Strangely the account that was activated was my second account and I didn’t receive an email for my primary one. Odd.

-Pid

Console MMO’s

January 24, 2011

So apparently DC Universe Online is selling like hotcakes and is SOE’s fastest selling MMO. The interesting thing is that apparently the majority of the sales are on the PS3 as opposed to the PC. I think this is great for consoles, and the game probably lends itself quite nicely for that platform. For what little I have played it on the PC though, I cannot get over the fact that the game plays like a console port.

Why should this matter?

“Just don’t buy the game.” There are plenty out there that are good and not tailored for playstation/xbox.

Here is the problem, or at least my misgiving with the potential success of hybrid MMO’s:

When a business model gets popular, other MMO companies tend to follow it. Reference any number of articles on the Free-to-Play MMO trend. As it stands, the popularity of DCUO has made SOE consider making EQ Next on a console platform as well.

I have no problem with people being able to play MMO’s on a console. I don’t really understand it, but I have no real problem with it. The problem arises when games get made so that they can be played with a gamepad and then get ported over so that they can be played on a PC too.

Hello, half the reason these games are MMO’s is so that people can be social on them. It is pretty hard to do with a game pad. Not to mention I think the gameplay stinks on a game pad. Every time I log into DCUO (which isn’t much I freely admit) I can only play until the frustration with the controls reaches an unbearable limit. It really doesn’t take much time.

I understand that the gaming companies are out to make a profit. That is the whole point to forming a company…I get it. I just implore them to go the extra mile though. If they are going to make the games on two radically different platforms (PC/console) please don’t make the game for one platform and then just port it to the other.

SOE, I am pleading with you. Please do not make Everquest 3 to be a console port on the PC. Please make the game playable for the folks that contributed to the success of EQ and EQ2. Make a game that is playable on a PS3, but also make a game that is playable designed for the PC as well.

-Pid

[DCUO] First Impressions

January 12, 2011

I managed to get in some game time in DC Universe Online last night and this afternoon. Above is a picture of Pid the Mentalist. He is flying somewhere over Metropolis. I have only played the game a very short time, maybe 4 hours including 20 mins. or so in the character creator. I have already formed some opinions of the game, but I will not give any “verdicts” this early. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts and findings regarding the game so far.

After downloading the game (which was no small feat as it seems like my firewall/antivirus software does not like these clients and I have a similar problem with WoW) I can fire up the LaunchPad software which sometimes works, and sometimes it does not. It seems like it locks up at the “initialization” step 1 out of every 3 times I try and log in.

Once in the game it looks very much like a console game from the start. The opening credits and splash screens remind me of Madden Football or CoD. The character creation process is pretty straight forward although the way the power systems work is a little odd. You pick your super power (in my case I selected mental powers) and then a fighting form. The fighting forms have little to no correlation to the super power. As a mentalist I assumed there should be a fighting form that utilized mind blasts or some such, but instead I could pick things like dual wielding swords or pistols. I wound up selecting hand rays as it was the only thing that was close to something I thought someone with mental powers would possess. After that you may customize your avatar a bit which is definitely more robust than a typical MMO, but not as flexible as Champions Online. In the end I settled for a hooded, arcane outfit with glowing eyes.

Once I picked my character name and selected “next,” I was thrust into a starter area that had some tutorial tips to help guide you through it. This area is all solo content and had a casual pace. The first thing I noticed is that you can’t move via the mouse buttons like I am used to, and you have to use the WASD or arrow keys for movement. There is also no mouse cursor, but rather the game is always in  mouse-look mode. The left mouse button is for punching and the right is for ranged combat. The 1-9 keys are reserved for your super powers that you acquire as you gain levels. Ultimately it is very awkward to control with the mouse and keyboard as you need to keep your fingers on the movement keys, but then have to take them off to use super powers and use the block ability.

I managed to muddle my way through and after the tutorial area, I had already gained two levels. The game prompts you to select your new skills (no trainers, awesome!) and when you open up the powers and skills UI, there are some skill trees with available options. I have to say I am completely lost with how I should spend my points, but as it stands I am just picking things that allow me to do ranged combat.

The game’s graphics are pretty good and have that cell shaded look to them. Not quite as obvious as Champions, but there nonetheless. I don’t have the settings cranked up to full, but I will attempt to play with the settings later.

Once you complete the tutorial you are thrust into the game world. I chose Superman as my mentor, so I was placed in Metropolis. You start in the metropolis Police Station and are told to find a quest giver to get a quest. Along the way you find a kiosk that also gives a quest that requires you to tour various parts of the city and gives you a history lesson or colorful anecdote for each site. The game directs you into Metropolis proper and you go about doing your quests. They involve killing x mobs and destroying y whatevers. Often the quests will update on the fly and your mentor will chime in and tell you what the next step is.

The first quest line I ran through had me rescuing citizens from Gorilla Grod’s troops and stopping the contraptions that the evil primate had set up around the city from de-evolving the citizens into ape-like baddies. Ultimately the quest line has you rescue a super hero and the two of you take on Grod in a boss battle. This reminded me of boss battles in any number of console games like Arkham Asylum or something of that ilk. The very best part was at the end when Grod monologues before making an escape at which time he tells you and the other super hero that we will “Rue the day” that we meddled in his plans. That is some good comic book shtick right there.

Some other random things I noted:

  • The spawn rates for the mobs seemed adequate for the number of people playing.
  • Screen caps automatically hide the UI so you don’t have to.
  • Screen caps are saved as 4 MB bitmap files instead of much smaller jpg’s (so be careful).

All in all the game reminded me a lot of Champions Online with a different IP. I admit I have never played CoX so it may be similar to that too. The game did seem to lack a lot of in game guidance and I often felt kind of lost as far as what I should do with skill ups and gear and such. Following quests was easy enough with the mini-map.

I have not done any group content as of yet, and I don’t see anything in the game that helps facilitate people finding groups. I hope to do some of that in the future. I need to dig up my xbox controller too to see if the game is a little less awkward with that.

More to come in the weeks ahead.

-Pid

 

[DCUO] Midi-chlorians?

January 11, 2011

I can never resist an opportunity to take a crack at Georgie and his midi-chlorians. Anyway, I was planning on logging in to DC Universe Online (it shipped today in case you didn’t know) before work and create a character. Unfortunately due to the mechanic running behind, I didn’t get home early enough. I did manage to validate my account and opened up the game to watch the intro.

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead. Stop now if you don’t want to hear any as I will feel no remorse if you continue.

The intro movie was pretty awesome as far as MMORPG’s go. I was at no time tempted to Esc out of it. It seemed like some time in the future in an apocalyptic type setting. All hell was breaking loose and the good capes were going toe-to-toe with the bad ones. I was actually jonesing for some popcorn about halfway through it. We get to the end and it appears as if one of the heroes/villains triumphs and more or less is the last man/woman/thing standing. Then we realize that it gets worse because super duper, mega awesome, ultra powerful entity arrives on the scene and ultimately destroys the planet. The one person that survives the onslaught goes back in time with what is akin to “parasites” that contain the super powers of all the capes from the future to transfer the powers of tomorrow’s super heroes to today’s average Joe/Jo.

(cue painful wretching sound)

What a way to take a cool, engrossing video/intro and make it lame. The whole time all I could think of was midi-chlorians and how much of a dud the ending of this was. Really? That is the best you could come up with for a reason why all these new super heroes are appearing? Did we really need a reason? Ugh. Anyway, hopefully the game has a whole lot more awesome, a la the majority of the intro movie, and a lot less of the “suck.”

-Pid

Comic source: pvponline.com

DCUO a Couple of Thoughts

January 6, 2011

Clearly this post is just an excuse to post a pic of the wonder twins!

I read an article about DC Universe Online today in PCGamer and I am intrigued by a couple of things that are planned with this game. The game really wasn’t on my radar, but as I am trying to fill out some 2011 goals, I thought that trying this game out might be a good break from my normal fantasy style MMO’s. Anyway, here are some things I found interesting about the game:

  • You can play as both heroes and villains: I guess that makes sense, but I would have figured they would have added villains later as an expansion.
  • SOE is planning on having a fully fleshed out endgame when the game goes live to the point that half of the content at launch will be endgame content.
  • Piggybacking on the previous point, the intention is to have the time it takes to get to level cap take about 40 hours of game play. Even a casual gamer could reach level cap (which is 30) in 1-2 months. This is a bit of a disappointment for me as I like the leveling game and playing lots of alts.
  • Duos: Dynamic or otherwise, there are instances at level cap that only require two people to enter. This is awesome and I wish more games had something like this. Most games it is pointless to group with a friend or two to run quests, but you just don’t have enough people to run a dungeon w/o looking for more people. Often you can run lower level dungeons, but the rewards are … well, lower level. Apparently these “duos” are to train you to do the 4-man instances later, but I really hope they take off so that more games might copy the idea.
  • The 4-man instances are designed to take 1-2 hours to play through. This seems a little excessive and will prohibit the casual player (translation: me) from being able to do too many of these.
  • Raids are 8-man instances and the game will launch with 3. At least with only 8 people required to run a raid, small guilds and possibly PUGs will be able to run them.
  • Dual role system: Each character will have a DPS “spec” and another “spec” based on character generation. This is definitely a good thing. This way you will be able to solo in DPS role and then switch to whatever your other role is in order to form groups and whatnot. This will definitely eliminate the lack of Tank/Healer/CC characters because every character created is one of those three AND they can DPS as well.
  • Anyone can perform a resurrection: Well, if dungeons alerts will take 1-2 hours, it makes sense. This should eliminate having to run all the way back all the time when the stealthy character survives, but can’t revive anyone.
  • Instances will not have the same bosses each time: There are more bosses slotted for each instance than the number of boss encounters, so it will be somewhat random which one pops for each instance run. This should at the very least make the instances a little less “grindy” considering it appears that is what the focus of the game is going to be.

There is a lot more about the game that I still need to investigate, but this is a short list of some of the content that the game will offer. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to play a game that is so endgame focused and also has 1-2 hour instances (except the duos I forgot to mention they are designed to be shorter). It could be a great time though and at the very least, you might be able to punch a wonder twin and wipe that stupid grin off of their faces!

-Pid

Picture source: KryptonSite.com

Reader Spike

May 12, 2010

I am a very casual blogger. I mean maybe I get a post a week. Typically if I get 15 hits in any given day that’s pretty good. What can I say, either people don’t know about my blog, or they just don’t care. Either way, I am fine with that. I blog mainly as a creative outlet for my gaming life. For whatever reason my wife has very little interest in it. Anyway, I digress.

I am a very casual blogger. (Is there an echo in here?) So you can imagine my surprise to log into the WordPress dashboard and see that one of my posts has more hits in two days than my blog typically gets in a couple weeks. I was puzzled. Did I accidentally tag the post as “free porn” or something? So I did a little sleuthing and saw that there were a bunch of hits coming from the SOE Station site. I click on the link and scroll down and there in the middle of the website is a link to my post on making it to level 42! Some of you veteran bloggers out there might think of this as no big deal or old hat, but it is pretty exciting to me. Anyway, thanks to someone at SOE for noticing my silly ol’ blog.

-Pid