Rants tag

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

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Love May Make the World Go 'Round, But Money Greases the Axle.

I was going to talk a little bit today about fundraising schemes and supporting projects you believe in. But I also want to talk about lockboxes late in the post, because it's something that has come up in several venues over the past week or so.
I'd have a picture of my progress on the old homestead, but SOE has chosen yet again to bring down the servers during primetime.
Syp is struggling to find a reason not to ask for a refund on his $60 EQNL Explorer Pack. When Scooter and I discussed purchasing that same level, we both had the feeling of making investment rather than a purchase. A lot of people are very enthusiastic about funding Kickstarters, and that's cool. But I'm very leery of throwing money at an unknown quantity (and yes I consider Richard Garriott, Brad McQuaid and the like to be unknown quantities). While plenty of people don't think a big company like Sony Online Entertainment deserve that sort of support; having played a bit of EQ2 and talked to the folks behind Storybricks, I felt the $60 dollars for EQNL was a decent investment in the game. A show of faith, if you will. Not to mention the opportunity to get in on the ground 5th floor of this new game.

I know that the game isn't perfect, but it does show promise, and most of the features I consider important to an MMO are promised as being on their way. Besides, other folks with more experience at this sort of thing than I are saying it's a little beyond what they'd consider an alpha test anyway. I have certainly been having fun in the limited exposure I've had to the game. I am a little curious about bug reporting, the one critical interface for a test seems to be missing. But I haven't looked that hard for it, so it may be there. Most of the bugs I have encountered so far seem to be macro-level issues that the devs know about before I do.
Is it Marsellus Wallace's soul?
Yesterday evening, I discussed  with my cohorts on Beyond the Veil the new "Phoenician Mystery Boxes" that are now for sale in TSW's Secret Store. Are they worth it? I personally don't think they are, and it's hard to assess the value of some of the items, as they are not available for purchase. But I am not much of a gambler anyway. Frankly, I have railed against in-game RNG looting in the past for this exact reason. My fellow BtV buddy, Gigabyte, goes gaga over lockboxes. I'd generally rather purchase something I know I will use at a set price.

This morning, Belghast discussed the vagaries of a new offering by Trion, namely that a fancy new Rift mount supposedly available through in-game means, does in fact require the purchase of several of these sorts of mystery boxes, at least in the short term. I have some experience with Rift's housing mystery packs, and have a bunch of cool stuff out of them. But I wasn't looking for anything in particular, just "stuff" to decorate my little dimension with. If I'd wanted something specific, I'd purchase it directly, or go without if that were not possible.
Sadly, there's no bacon for breakfast.
Tobold has done a series of posts recently regarding F2P and Subscription business models, as have I. All over the blogosphere and social networking sites, people are constantly discussing the merits—or demerits—of games that quite simply need to make money to continue operating. The truth is that these companies have bills to pay, not the least of which is the salary and wages of the developers and staff. There is no such thing as a free lunch; and if you're not paying, you might just be the product.
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  1. Two things about the Landmark Alpha:

    1. To report a bug just type /bug in game. You'll get a pop-up window with categories to select and plenty of space to detail the issue. This is common functionality in all SOE games (or all the ones I've played) which may be why they haven't specifically mentioned it.

    2. They've said (I think Dave Georgeson mentions it in his intro video) that Alpha is not primarily for bug-testing. Alpha is for testing concepts and playability and for making suggestions on the direction of development. They want people to use the forums for this so the discussions can be carried out in public. Closed Beta will be the stage with a heavy bug-testing focus.

    1. Hey thanks for the info. I wasn't sure where suggestions and stuff should go. As I said, I have encountered any serious bugs that they weren't already working on.