Simple Musings on EQ2X

From what I’ve seen on the blogosphere, it seems people are not particularly convinced that EQ2X is a good thing. Personally I’m torn, because free EQ2 is free EQ2; at the same time, adding new options for people to get the chance to play the game while removing the option to play with the people they actually want to be with (removal of the 14-day free trial on subscription servers) feels like an annoying move.

I want SOE to make money and Everquest 2 to thrive, sure, but not at the expense of stagnating the potential subscription player base, I guess you could say.

Most importantly, if they had implemented this in Vanguard, I think the game could have gotten a second wind of people playing it and loving it.

Speaking of which, I’ve yet to finish downloading the client and begin my two-week trial!

Everquest 2 adds Extended Service Separate from Subscription EQ2

Dave Georgeson, known as Senior Producer for EQ2 and as SmokeJumper on the EQ2 forums, has announced that a new service that will be made separate from the current subscription based-servers for Everquest 2.

Dubbed Everquest 2 Extended (EQ2X), it’s sort of like a super free trial thing that Arkenor was afraid of in a recent post. To see it as separate from the actual subscription service is nice though, as it offers people options more than anything else. For a gamer on a budget, this would be a godsend.

I’ll leave Smokejumper’s full post and a copy of the Membership matrix for EQ2X after the cut, so feel free to read it when you have time.

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What does EQ2 Gold Membership Mean for the Game?

Thanks to a tweet made by @Gamer_Hudson, I found that there may now be reason to speculate on the possibility of some kind of new membership privilege or potential free-to-play change for Everquest 2.

Eq2Wire reports that people noticed the following message when attempting to buy something from the broker on the test and test copy servers for EQ2: “You must upgrade to at least a Gold membership in order to purchase items from the broker.”

What does this mean? Well, not much right now, but if it points to a new kind of F2P system for the game, I’m open to the idea. I just hope it doesn’t affect my characters or some such.

A Starcraft-Related Linkpost for you Terran Scum

Go Protoss! 😛

Anyway, some links I’m putting here for new owners or prospective buyers of Starcraft 2, with some help from Big Download.

First, a great post by Ashelia on Hellmode about the narrative of Starcraft.

Second, System Requirements for Starcraft 2 straight from the forums.

Third, Some known issues for Starcraft 2.

Lastly, a list of known bugs for the game.

Cheers!

Blizzard Says the Process Worked (A RealID Spin)

If you’re wondering what process I’m referring to, it’s the process of getting feedback from consumers and adjusting to the feedback given.

If you’re wondering what the process was about, specifically, they’re going to say it’s about RealID.

Says Blizzard executive Michael Ryder in an interview with Eurogamer:

So we always go out to the players and give them a heads up on what we’re thinking about doing, and we look for their feedback.

In this case we got feedback.

We were able to then take that feedback, reconsider, consider all the factors, of which that feedback was one. Ultimately we decided we would not go in that direction for the time being, and see if there were other ways we could address the objective we had, which was to improve the forums generally.

So, all in all, the process worked. We put the word out. We got the feedback. We reconsidered. We made a change. We appreciate the fact that we have such passionate fans.

They got a heck of a lot of feedback. From irate customers to pensive bloggers to trolls ruining Blizzard employee privacy, they certainly got feedback.

And in the end, they still want to consider trying to sway gamers again at a later point in time.

It all seems like spin to me, and while there is a certain truth to what Ryder is saying, they should not be able to look good because of the RealID fiasco.

Additional credits go to Kotaku for my finding this.

In 1998, I Wasn’t Playing Starcraft…

Instead I was playing Diablo and having a blast with that particular game. Knowing myself, there was also a good chance I had ended my hiatus from Final Fantasy VII that year and defeated Sephiroth in 1998 instead of when it came out.

This isn’t to say I’ve not had any experience playing Starcraft or other RTS games. In truth, I have tried Starcraft, but I consistently failed the game on easy after trying multiple times to get past certain stages that I figured it wasn’t worth it to see the story.  I also had a brief dalliance with Batlle Realms that ended badly and, more recently, I realized that Warcraft III and Defense of the Ancients was not for me.

My memories of High School are more or less fuzzy, unfortunately, as those were times I aimed to forget more than anything else.

What about you? What were you doing in 1998? Besides playing Starcraft, I mean.

Anime Recommendation: High School of the Dead

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZO-b8ni1ZY]

Doing a 180 from the happy world of Digimon, my second anime recommendation for the day would definitely have to be High School of the Dead.

The premise? Worldwide zombification pandemic. You’re in High School when the poop hits the air conditioning device, and the outbreak reaches your school from the front gate. How do you survive?

Well, if you’re a team comprised of a well-meaning high school kid with a baseball bat, a girl who’s good with spear martial arts, the class genius, a gun nut, the captain of the kendo club and the school nurse, you’re bound to find a way out of your zombie-infested school.It’s everything that comes after getting out of school that’s the problem.

Now, High School of the Dead is pretty depressing fare. People will die, and some of the living will turn on their friends just to try and survive, but will die anyway. Thing is, it’s compelling because the zombie outbreak scenario hasn’t been done from a school angle, as far as I know, and the high production values of this anime make it a must-see if you like horror, action, and  nail guns being turned into submachine pistols.

They’ve currently got three episodes aired so far, and it’s been quite intriguing to see what’s been happening to the people in the show. I won’t spoil anything else, but suffice it to say that zombies are only one pesky problem in the show.

Feel free to watch the opening sequence above, and then look for the anime online. Cheers!

Anime Recommendation: Digimon Xros Wars

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjoDnJdH_3g]

It’s been a while since I did an anime recommendation, and with a new season of Japanese anime upon us, it seemed like a good time to focus on some pretty interesting series.

My first recommendation from my current viewing roster is Digimon Xros Wars, which is a new anime set in yet another alternate Digimon universe. It began on July 6, 2010, and currently has three episodes so far, with all of them being quite good, production value wise.

The story follows the adventures of a new child, Kudo Taiki, chosen by some mysterious force to carry the power of a new Digimon evolution device, called a XrosLoader (said as Cross Loader). With the XrosLoader, Taiki can evolve his stable of digimon by combining them into stronger forms. These DigiXros combinations give the fused digimon amazing power, and allow them to defeat the current baddie of the series, the Bagura Army.

Together with friends, rivals and his partner digimon Shoutmon, Taiki resolves to grow an army of digimon with which to fight the Bagura Army, ultimately allowing him and his friends to find a way home.

The premise is fun to imagine, since Xros Combinations would be very cool if you had an ever-increasing stable of digimon to help you out in battle. Like a little kid, I look forward to Taiki shouting, “DigiXros!” and seeing his digimon combine into awesome forms. It’s not a very deep series, but if you’re looking for something light-hearted and action-packed, it’s not a bad way to spend 23 minutes of your life.

Final Fantasy XIV to have 18 Classes at Launch

Thanks to an article over on FFXIVCore, there’s now information (from Famitsu) showing that the 18 character classes that have already been announced will be the classes made available to gamers at launch.

To wit, here’s a listing of the 18 classes according to their disciplines.

Disciples of War: Archer, Gladiator, Lancer, Marauder, Pugilist

Disciples of Magic: Conjurer, Thaumaturge

Disciples of the Land: Botanist, Fisherman, Miner

Disciples of the Hand: Alchemist, Armorer, Blacksmith, Carpenter, Culinarian, Goldsmith, Tanner, Weaver

Final Fantasy XIV’s armory system allows players to start and change classes at will, simply by changing the weapons they have equipped. According to current information made available, it is possible for players to essentially use any of the 18 classes at their leisure, though the implementation of the class changing hasn’t been made publicly available (as an NDA exists for the beta testers) as of yet.

FFXIVCore notes that other classes will be added down the line, though a time frame for such additions has yet to be revealed.