Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hooray For No NDA!!

Did I mention I have the most awesomest wife ever? Prior to last night (Friday, 31 Jan), she had not expressed any particular interest in EverQuest Next Landmark. So. we were texting as I packed to come home from a business trip:

Scooter: Hey, did we miss the EQ Landmark train?
Me: Not that I know of. Interested?
Scooter: I thought so, I know it's in alpha.
Me: I'll look, but least a few days ago, they were still hawking it on their website.
Scooter: $100, $60, and $20 are the levels. So I'm guessing some started today.
Me: Yeah, mostly I want the pickaxe.
Scooter: Well, the $60 would be OK.
Me: Oh yeah? You're really liking EQ2. . .
Scooter: It seems the most reasonable. . .

This was not the first time Scooter has surprised me by suddenly showing interest in a video game. This evening after I had returned home, we made our purchases and downloaded the game. Watching the tutorials and forums that contain multiple reminders that this an alpha test, and the game not nearly complete. I got in and made myself a character and went into "New Norrath." I tried to grab a screenshot but I'm not sure it might be on my computer if it was successful.

Then this happened:

This makes me very happy as a blogger. Today's post from the Aggronaut covers the difficulties NDAs pose to those that want to the praise a game with details to back it up, especially in the face of negative conjecture regarding the game in question.

In my case, Landmark is the first time I've participated in any game alpha test. It's already pretty cool, though admittedly it's not a finished game. It is amazing how many complaints there are from people that just cannot seem to grasp the concept that they are part of a testing community, not just a gaming community.

Heck! I'm using this evening's server downtime to write this post, which you would not have gotten until tomorrow, otherwise. I've only gotten a brief nibble so far, but am very interested in attending the feast, and getting a chance to help cook the sauce. And being able to share my thoughts with you, Dear Reader.
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  1. Dropping the NDA was a great move. This whole "Alpha", "Beta" denomination of release phases just has to go, though. It's entirely meaningless now. I'm absolutely fine with buying into a game at an early stage but once you start taking money for access you are dealing with customers not volunteer testers.

    Companies need to start describing their release schedules more accurately and meaningfully. Landmark currently is in the first stage of release, which is, according to Dave Georgeson's introduction (did you enjoy that?) about 60% of the expected "Launch" release. I've been in alphas; they do not look or play like this. Compared to several other MMOs I've tested this would fit somewhere around what they used to call mid-beta.

    Only played a couple of hours so far. Already enjoying myself more than I expected.

  2. I did like Georgeson's video, along with the tutorials included in the download package. It seems a lot of people didn't bother to watch them.

    Before plunking down our money. Scooter and I discussed the fact that, to us, it was more like a show of faith in SOE than a purchase, much like all those kickstarters out there. It's a perspective others can disagree with, of course. But that's how we saw it.

    Right now I'm stuck in a queue, I only got a few minutes in before the servers crashed last night, and a few minutes this morning.

  3. I need a better pc for run EQNL alpha... but I will not ask for a refund! By the way, I tore a lot of trees, but where I find copper ore?

    1. I don't really know for sure. I think copper ore appears as an orange patch of stone on the ground. I actually haven't been able to play much to to the queuing problems they had yesterday.

    2. If I dig deep down (the wrodl is 1 mile deep), maybe I will find ore...

      The life and adventures of a mole...