Archive for the ‘Secret World’ Category

Well, well, those Funcom guys have been more than a little busy. Secret World info is positively streaming out in the wake of GDC. Ysharros has a great round up of the key points – and in addition, there’s the new trailer and an interview with Ragnar over at Gametrailers.com

I have to say… I’m still pretty excited about this game. I know that its Funcom, and that they don’t have the best track record for delivering bug free games at launch. But I also know from my time in Anarchy online that their community commitment is second to none, and I see nothing that makes me believe that TSW will be any different. I was hoping for some indication of a release date, or a beta date… but nothing yet. I’m guessing it’ll be aimed for the end of this year, will miss its date and arrive sometime Q1 next year.

However it pans out… I’m very much looking forwards to it.

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Beta Bounder

Posted: November 12, 2009 in MMO Concepts, promotional, Secret World

Something about Ysharros’ post about The Secret World beta has been idling at the back of my mind since I read it. A little nagging irritant of a thought, that demands attention, only to dodge behind some other matter when I turn my mind’s eye towards it. This thought has lurked at the periphery for a few hours, until a few minutes ago, when, whilst making custard, I pinned the little sod down and forced it to give me the skinny.

Games that I beta test are less likely to get my subscription. Or even get bought, and be played for that first month. This is probably not news, but I find it interesting nonetheless.

I started playing MMOs in 2001 when I bought Anarchy Online (though I had been active in MUDs, MUSHes and MOOs prior to that). I bought it, a couple of months after release, without ever having played it. It looked interesting; I loved the idea of the politics, and a persistent world seemed kinda fun. It was, and it got me hooked. In 2003 I beta tested the Shadowlands expansion, and within a couple of months I had quit playing AO on an extended break. I would go back to it for a couple of months thereafter, but never again would it have the same hold over me. Certainly, that I’d seen much of the Shadowlands prior to release was a factor, but it was by no means the entire reason. After all, my main was at level cap, whilst my beta toon was a starting character.

I beta tested Neocron – and never played it after release (it was a horrid game). I beta’ed Asheron’s Call 2; A Tale in the Desert; The Saga of Ryzom; Earth and Beyond; and Star Wars: Galaxies. None of them saw a penny of my money. I played Lineage 2 in beta, and enjoyed it. When it was released, I subscribed, and within a month had cancelled my sub. A grindy game was made all the less appealing by having to repeat the same grind I’d already completed. I tested Guild Wars too, and actually bought the game box at release – played it for a week, and retired bored from it. Aion recently got beta’ed – but it wasn’t compelling enough (or at all) for me to spend any hard earned on it. The same with Champions. I downloaded the beta of Gatheryn, but bugs prevented me from actually doing anything with it – reported them, but then didn’t bother. I actually gave away my beta key for Wrath of the Lich King to avoid any such problems!

The games I have played for any length of time are interesting. Let’s discount WoW – its horrendously addictive; I joined a guild full of my mates; and it came on a massive recommendation. I didn’t beta test Pirates of the Burning Sea, yet invested about 8 months of play time into it. OK, so it was a game that interested me anyway – the age of sail is a fascinating time – but I wonder whether I’d have played as long had I tested the game. Eve is an  interesting case – I did beta test it back in 2003, but it didn’t grab me and i gave up on it. It would be this year, 6 years later, that I’d pick it up again and get hooked. 6 years to get over the beta test?

So, are these factors linked? After all, correlation is not cause. Is it the fact that a beta exposes me to the content ahead of time, and I’m just not interested in repeating that content again? Well, countless alliance WoW alts would suggest that repetition alone is not enough of a barrier for me. And I generally only play one race/class combo in beta – so it’s not as if there aren’t different areas and content open to me. So is it investment? If I pay for a game, am I more likely to persevere with it? Well possibly, but I have many offline games here that I’ve paid for and never played, and yet I continue to repeat play certain games. Are offline games subject to the same rules, even? Is my beta-block to do with seeing the game in an incomplete and bugged form? Well, let’s not forget that I played AO for years; a more incomplete and bugged release you’d be hard pressed to find – it earned the game a place in MMO infamy. Lastly, is it simply that the games that interest me are the ones that I buy, and I beta test the rest? I don’t think so.

I’m not sure that I have a conclusion for you. It’s probably a composite of all of these things and a few that I’ve not thought of yet. But in the light of these thoughts, I turn back to the pay-beta that Funcom are creating for the Secret World. And if there are many people like me out there, then they are probably wise. Because the chances are that if they don’t get their money pre-beta, they may not get it at all.

NB for Ragnar and/or any others from Funcom: I’m only kidding! I’ll buy your game, even after a beta… g’wan…. let me in… you know you wanna…

Shhhh… pt 2.

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Non-EVE, Secret World

I know… i know… there’s only so many times I can use Shhhh as a title for a post about The Secret World. But I’m not in a terribly creative place today, and in keeping with the theme of not being creatve, this post is a simple linky post to Ysharros’ guide to TSW info already out there. Read it, for TSW info is good. Even if it does come from a Dargon!!1oneone.

So, it’s been quiet around here, hasn’t it? Well, that’s because real life continues to be busy, our little daughter takes up not only a lot of time, but also a lot of my headspace – leaving less time for reflecting on all things Eve. Still, she’s well worth it, and my life is so much better than it was before her arrival.

The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

Time constraints meant that I missed the opportunity to participate in the most recent blog banter; a shame as I had a few thoughts on the possibilities opened by the idea of extending the T3 range to more than just cruisers. In brief, I wanted to avoid the concept of “strategic BS” or “strategic frigs” and instead was looking at a set of ships to offer strategic options to those who would rather mine than fight, or industrialise over fight. Ships with R&D options, kinda solo mobile mini POS… but anyway – I missed the window of opportunity.

Enough with things that I have not done… how about what I have done? Well, Psia has spent her past few concentrating on becoming a leader.  I know, I know… leaders aren’t made, they are born. But, Eve offers the opportunity to train for leadership, and soon P will be able to x up with L5 3/3/3/3. This has the added bonus of allowing her to proudly display the “SC” title on her character sheet. And speaking of titles, she’s graduated! As a graduate of Eve University she gets a neato medal to show everyone what a clever girl she is, and can make her way in New Eden with the acknowledgement that she’s no longer a n00b.

She’s not going anywhere for the time being though. The university provides the ideal place to further develop her skills and my understanding. Frequent wars are giving her fleet, small gang and pvp experience; and the university’s support network is set up to offer all the expert opinion and knowledge base that she could wish for. There’s also an amount of recompense owed to the Uni for their help and generosity in offering her a home, and so she’ll stick around and try to give something back. At 6.5 mil SP, she’s starting to get to be a competant pilot – but some more experience is always welcome, and to be able to continue to learn whilst offering something back to the corp is win/win.

After she’s done with leadership skills, it’ll be time to move on to those elusive T2 medium guns, and from there cruiser V (ye gods that feels like a long haul) and thereafter Recons. Curse and Pilgrim, here she comes!

My alt taught me a valuable lesson the other evening. After a long night of trying to get my daughter to sleep, I figured that I’d log onto my alt and do a couple of quick missions. His L2 agent offered Recon to him, and I duly set out in my Moa. Being tired, and not having read the mission text, or paid any attention to the Eve-survival text, I proceeded to attack one of the three pirates – who spawned a ton of bad guys, who blew me to pieces. Boom went my Moa. Then boom went the speedy frig that I tried the mission with. And the shuttle. And the n00b frig. In the end, I quit. Abandoned the mission, and was several million isk out of pocket. Which is completely sucky, having wiped out a ton of profit. On the upside, this might be the impetus needed to buy and fit a Drake for missioning. He’s a few hours off the T2 shield skills, and so can probably offer decent dps and a good tank. It should enable him to blitz the L2s and get onto L3s as fast as possible.

Outside Eve, I have been toying with some other games. I played a bit of the Champions Online open beta, and whilst I enjoyed it, it didn’t get me excited enough to actually spend actual real money. I have downloaded and installed the Gatheryn beta test client, but have thus far been unable to make it further than a very buggy character creation screen, so I’m waiting for another patch or two before going back to it (having submitted my bug report). As evidenced by the previous post, I am pretty excited by the potential of The Secret World, an MMO by my favourite developers, Funcom (Anarchy online was my first MMO love, for all its faults). It looks, from the little I’ve seen of it, like a cross between Call of Cthulhu, Anton Wilson-ism, and White Wolf’s Hunter. Incidentally, Hunter is a game for which I have a deep and abiding love, driven by my days playtesting it for my good friend Leafshine, who was one of it’s key authors. That WW are now owned by CCP is a neat synchronicity. I know that Funcom do not have the best reputation for quality product at release, but I shall be following this like a frothing fanboi. Do not expect unbiased coverage.

I see that CCP have announced their next expansion, Dominion, whioch will focus on the sovereignty mechanics.  doubt that I’ll be hanging in 0.0 by then, but I look forward to seeing the changes nonetheless. I’m not so sure about their own social networking platform. Being Facebooked, Livejournaled, Tweeted and LinkedIn – I’m not sure that I can stomach yet another niche social network – but we’ll see.

That’s all for now – I hope to have something a bit more substantive to talk about soon.

Posted: September 4, 2009 in Non-EVE, Secret World

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