Free Torchlight? Great game, shitty distribution.

A free copy of Torchlight sounds good to me, so when the offer below ping’ed my email I started jumping through hoops to get it. Several resets, installations, and such later and I still have to wait for a key. Stuff it.

My advice to people is: unless you’re already using Arc (a steam style launcher, which is perhaps used for Champions Online or the StarTrek game?) for games don’t bloody bother.

When you have a problem – try their facebook link, which tells you to try the Support site, which has a different login to be created (wtf?), or open a ticket, which then links to an article which confirms that you’ll have to wait for a key AFTER you login to the game. Huh?

Too many hoops to jump through, a process too unclear, and frankly there are better ways to run a promotion than this malarky. Skip this and do something else.

I’m willing to bet thumping your head on the wall while listening to One Direction’s back catalog on a freighter ship bound for Iceland in winter is better than this crap.

Aside – Why in a god’s green earth does each game, game distributor, reseller, or whatever need a separate “launcher/service” to star their games? Blizzard get a pass because you can run the apps from the icons easily, and they’ve got 3+ games in the market that are current. I accept Steam happily too, although I’ve only two games on Steam at the moment.

Especially when they try to run in background and start when the PC does by default. We don’t need 5x different launchers sitting in the background chewing CPU and bandwidth, so stop frakking making these games use them. At least make the “optional” check boxes deselected.

TLDR = IF I WANT TO PLAY YOUR GAME I’LL CLICK THE ICON. DOLT!

See you online in a game which knows how to give things away, understands that hoops are painful, and at least tries to help. But Torchlight is (apparently) free at the moment, and you’ll need to see how much pain you’re willing to go through. I certainly think the game itself was great when it was released. Great game, shitty distribution.

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Grumpy TyphoonAndrew today. I pity the virtual monsters I’ll meet tonight.

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I suggest you do not trust Perfect World

PW-nope

I wrote a post recently about disliking Perfect World’s spammy emails, but then credited them with with a single click unsubscribe. Well that feature is not working, so they really they fail on all counts. I wrote:

The best feature that Perfect World offered in that email was a “one click remove” link which removed me from all future offers.

Love that! A darn good feature right there. They got that dead right and kudos for them for doing it. I respect a company which lets folks opt out.

Well I was grumbly then, but they’ve sent the same junk, so now it is actually spam filter time for them. Then I do some digging through their policies, and while they claim to respect and protect as normal good companies do, they follow it with this junk:

No guarantees

While this Policy states our intended policies and practices for the collection, use and handling of personal information and we endeavor to follow such policies and practices, we are not in a position to guarantee these standards. There may be factors beyond our control that may result in disclosure of personal information or in the handling of personal information in a manner other than as stated in this Policy. As a consequence, we disclaim any warranties or representations relating to maintenance or nondisclosure of any personal information collected from visitors and users.

What utter fail. And lastly:

If you object to your personal information being transferred or used as described in this Policy, please do not use this Website.

Well we agree on that.

I had started toying in Neverwinter but cannot see that happening again now until my boredom rises past Warcraft, through SWToR, and back through Diablo 3. If a company cannot handle a simple opt out, I cannot trust they’ll do much else correctly, especially when they’ve written a part of their policy to disclaim any responsibility without consideration to the cause. It would be fine to disclaim events beyond their control, but they’ve written that they disclaim everything.

I suggest you do not trust Perfect World.

Death Knight Tier 14, dress wearer’s set

Why is the DK t14 set wearing a robe/dress? (source)

It’s creepy, has skulls, and will be immediately recognisable. It does not suit the rest of the Death Knight style gear. Heck the Hunter gear looks more like DK gear than this. Perhaps there was too many Warlock sets crafted and they thought the feminine side of DKs needed a spin. I hate that dress.

Still in other T14 news the Monks are wearing lamp shades, the Priests have funny hats, and the Warlock looks awesome.

No Greg, you’re missing the point

GhostCrawler was asked for his impression of Theramore.

What’s your take on the Theramore event?

We did not do a great job on messaging. Players expected an event — but what we were really doing is giving players a preview of scenarios, there are a ton of scenarios coming in Mists of Pandaria. It’s saying “this is what scenarios are like”, they’re a new feature, a way to do content quickly, in a your lunch break, to get some more valor or gear.

I think players who understand that it’s a scenario preview are enjoying Theramore, while those expecting a world event aren’t. Players expecting a huge challenge aren’t going to find it in scenarios, challenge modes are more for those players.

You missed the point entirely. That response makes me furious. Continue reading

Has SWToR Tanked? Is that even a balanced question?

Star Wars: The Old Republic

MMO Melting Pot article took a somewhat imprudent view on SWToR’s longevity since the recent server merges – and asked “how’s the SWTOR server transfer experience treating you and your friends?

Responses from comments and community are mixed, although while the fan base is obviously diminished, there is certainly hope.

A view on longevity really depends on how far the owning company wants to stretch, and what is considered a profitable player base. As a market commodity there is probably value in keeping The Old Republic going for as long as possible, as an extension of the franchise. Much of the Star Wars brand strength comes from the many sources of direct connection it has from the fans, and there is a value to having an active MMO, especially if the costs can be curtailed to a moderate profit.

The server merges come along with some seriously large redundancies in the dev staff too. Large sections of the team have been let go, and while that too is initially a worry it actually is to be expected. The dev team size needed for a game once it a few months post-launch are far less than when it is being built. Devs, testers, managers, and all others should expect to either move to new projects, or move on. That is the reality in software development.

It depends on what you consider a failure too. It is fair to say that Conan did not survive, but Rift continues regardless of the fact that a very large number of people have “tanked” the game. Perhaps a few hundred thousand people paying the equivalent of five coffee breaks a month is enough to continue a game franchise. In Jan 2012 the Rift publishers declared that they’d made over $100 Million from the game. Tanked? Not really, and they’re now letting folks play to level 20 for free. That’s the best demo around, and other game creators should take note.

I have friends who were fanatics about the Star Wars game, quit all other gaming aspects, and then have now relinquished their fanaticism. Others still play regularly, and some never even started but still love the brand.

I played while the free weekends were in session, but didn’t subscribe as Blizzard has locked me into the annual pass for a while longer. Nice strategy there by Blizzard, although many forum posts now tell me that their time in the sun has faded too. If they fade like Rift tanked then World of Warcraft will be around for a long time to come.

What is a tanked game anyway? Eve is another game that plays well still, after so many years and expansions; and so many declarations of death by corners of the gaming community. A player-base far smaller that the megalithic World of Warcraft, but still  successful.

The Star Wars dev have started talking about SW-ToR going free to play upto level 15, akin to the free pass for WoW/Rift. I like this idea a lot as I’ll get to play more of the story lore, but it may not be enough to get me to subscribe every month. More likely is that I’ll play each class till level 15 and then stop. Is that really a good idea – well it is if you consider playing the game is the best ad a game can have.

So we won’t know really the game has tanked until the servers shut-off and the podcasts fade. The Old Republic might slowly fade from the MMO market over time. I hope it stays around long enough to add a few more features which get absorbed into the “standard” mmo feature set. It’s focus on story was certainly controversial, and bloody enjoyable.

I’ll leave you with this cartoon by Scott Johnson, on ExtraLife. No Comment. Kek.

MoP needs a Goal

I first thought that MoP was disturbing because it did not have a big bad enemy, but that is not it. It has no goal for the players – no draw-card, no massive call to action that creates an excitement and sense of impending challenge. The Pandas are ok, monks are cool – but not even close to the “You are not Prepared” trailer.

Think about it, you login, create your panda monk, level it and then…nothing. The announcement should have had a call to action. It is basic marketing to have a draw-card, and the audience for wow need more than this to get excited.

In an effort to post solutions as well as problems – We have no villain, but we can have goals.

  1. I like the idea that the war between the factions will heat up, that is good and makes perfect sense. They should be at each others throats and trying to kill each other – especially now that you’d think that resources are that much more scarce. That is a side plot, but does not make an expansion. It is a theme that WoW has had since inception, its not enough to blow up about with out further development.
    1. How about making the War have a tangible affect on the cities and realms?
    2. Use phasing to make the areas either under siege, at war, or victorious based upon the player participation.
    3. If each city has basically all the trainers and vendors duplicated, then allow a city to get locked out – in affect totally taken over by another faction for 1-2 days.
  2. Use the Emerald Dream, and hook the mystical side of the panda lore (they have mystics and seers I assume) into using the dream to repair the damage to the world from Cata.
    1. Instance to purge the remaining twilight enemies from a holy site, and have the instance change as the players succeed. A clean-up and purge can be as useful a goal as a big bad, if the setting is correct.
    2. Have the dream fight back against the changes, so that we see Dreaming Beasts, which are like the defense mechanism of the realm.
    3. Maybe they could add a message about the big-bad being partially us too, and we work to build and restore our world ourselves. Do we do this by raiding another place perhaps, another realm?
  3. The Burning Legion. We raid the lands burnt out by the Burning Legion, for resources – but find remnants and survivors. We may also find outposts of the Legion. That is a nice way to have a feeling of striking back, and could start the prep for taking the fight to their homeworld.
  4. What ever happened to fighting against the Old Gods? The creatures that corrupted Deathwing should be made to answer for what has happened, even if that answer was to permanently displace them into a dead world, rather than Azeroth.

Happy hunting.