Tag Archives: MMO

The Elder Scrolls Online beta weekend.

The Elder Scrolls Online has had a few closed beta weekends for the lucky people who were selected to participate. If you weren’t selected, you possibly knew someone who was. I remember talking to my friend about how the closed beta. About an hour later, she got an email with a beta key.

Dunmer elf 'Radey'

Dunmer elf ‘Radey’

Just my luck.

Thankfully, I got an invitation to the open beta Bethesda was running this weekend and if you were the lucky winner of my beta key give away, you did too!

Let’s talk about the download and the drama that came with that.

The download size is ENORMOUS. It’s between 15-20GB big and it took several hours to download; an overnight download for me. My DC: Universe Online file size tops out at 25GB and that’s a full game. I’m somewhat worried about how big the final game will be.

After the download and install phase FINALLY finished, you log in, watch a quick opening video and go into character creation. You start by choosing your faction and race. Races are restricted to factions, but you’ve got

3 different races for each faction to choose from, so there’s a nice amount of variety. The sliders have a nifty locking feature (like layers in Photoshop) so you can play around with certain elements of the body sliders without accidentally screwing up another part of your character.

The factions and races are:

The Ebonheart Pact: Argonian, Dunmer and Nord.

The Aldmeri Dominion: Altmer, Bosmer and Khajiit. (Kitty!)

The Daggerfall Covenant: Breton, Orc and Reguard.

You can also be an imperial who are free to join any faction.

My character is a Dunmer (Dark Elf) so she’s a part of the Ebonheart Pact.

 

After character creation, you enter the game play. That’s where my problems started. First bug that I encountered was a UI error. Which is fair enough, it’s still in beta, bugs are going to happen. But when I went to close this error, it error’d out. After having to update a secondary program that you install with the beta, it fixed it. However, it wasn’t until some Googling and asking around that I figured that out.

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2014-03-01_00002A few other graphical bugs and some pretty interesting ping issues, the experience has been pretty polished. The graphics are better looking than those in Skyrim, although some people think they look cheap.

The final debate for users is going to be whether the game is worth $15 a month (€12.99 / £8.99). Hardcore Elder Scrolls fans will willing pay as much as Bethesda charge. Others are going to be more difficult to convince. It’s a pretty standard MMO. You’re the chosen one to do something or other and save the world. With all the talk hyping this game up, it shouldn’t take long for the initial game release to make money hand over fist, but I’m yet to find something that will set it apart from other successful MMO games like WoW or Final Fantasy 14. Still fun to play, but it’s not anything special.

 

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Jumping on the EA Bashing Bandwagon.

SimCity launched the other day. It’s had a pretty disastrous first few days with server issues plaguing users and everyone is pretty pissed off about it.

Amazon has temporarily pulled SimCity from their catalog, EA have disabled some global features until they can get the server issues under control and give a pleasant experience for their users. All-in-all, they’re desperately trying to avoid a mass exit of their customers. The masses seem to have another idea. News outlets like Kotaku US and Kotaku AU are reporting everything and anything as fact and inspiring a lynch mob. People are even bombing Metacritic so that the Metascore of SimCity is negative and everyone is bashing EA without looking from the facts.

A source, who wished to stay anonymous, has revealed that EA had different plans for the relaunch of one of their biggest series. Attempted to provide resources like a server base similar to SW:TOR so that there would be enough servers to deal with the enormous load that they expected. However, the Maxis department (owned by EA) wanted to go another direction which is the way that SimCity is now set up. Since the game is being distributed by EA, Origin is how you download the SimCity client. Origin handles the authentication of servers then hands it over to the Maxis side of things. It’s pretty much the same way Steam handle their MMO’s.

While none of this has come to light (it probably won’t because the aforementioned news outlets won’t research anything past hits and revenue), it’s important for users to remember that this has happened before and no, I’m not talking about Diablo 3; I’m talking about Guild Wars 2. I remember that Boyfriend and I had issues connecting to servers, Amazon pulled their digital distribution of GW2 until ArenaNet got their issues sorted.

Don’t remember that? There wasn’t a lot of press about it but there were a lot of people who had issues like myself.

Unfortunately, what you learn from this is that bashing “evil” developers is the cool thing. EA bashing has been in fashion for years and even I’ve been guilty of bashing EA over their constant stream of The Sims 3 expansion packs every few months to get dollars from their users. (You thought I was infallible?)

It’s disappointing that the news outlets won’t present an unbiased front on the game because, when you can get on, it’s a spectacular game. It’s beautiful, challenging and a great amount of fun and all that gets drowned out by all the entitlement of gamers of our generation. I hope that one day we mature past this childish behaviour and can enjoy games without complaining about the first few teething days.

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