/AFK – Huge Tracts of Land Edition

“Don’t like this MMORPG? What’s wrong with her? She’s beautiful, she’s rich, she’s got huge… tracts of land.”

  1. On Beyond Zebra thinks Evony’s gone classy.  Really classy.
  2. Whereas the Ancient Gaming Noob has just gone bonkers.
  3. KIASA offers up one of the funniest articles of all time — on fishing
  4. Player Versus Developer takes a hard look at LOTRO’s direction
  5. MMORPG.com puts a complete MMO newbie behind the wheels of WoW and writes down the results
  6. ITG! has a list of demands… 10 demands, to be precise
  7. The Banstick lived to tell about the end of Star Trek… beta.
  8. Some Italian website puts Cryptic on the horns concerning Klingon content in STO
  9. Corpse Run introduces us to Allods Psionicist
  10. TTH has ten improvements they think should rule the next MMO generation
  11. Scott Jennings lines up the most notorious MMO failures of all time for our pity
  12. Backhand of Justice says that print is dead.  And should stay that way.
  13. The STO beta ends, and Banstick generally likes it, while Ark decidedly does not
  14. Spinks has an excellent STO beta recap
  15. Ysharros looks at the real reason why people are jerks in game, and how it can be stopped.

Star Trek Online: Day One

Just a few notes from the first day of the head start, as experienced by yours truly:

  • Good: They launched the game at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule
  • Bad: …Which didn’t matter, since I couldn’t log on until 45 minutes later due to the server crush
  • Good: Performance and framerate is doing well, a LOT better than a few weeks ago in closed beta.  I had no problems with the actual gameplay, and no crashes whatsoever.
  • Bad: Day one stupid little problems abounded, like the Liberated Borg for the lifetimers not being available, or my little shuttle pet being unavailable because I used it in beta (guess that’ll be my first support ticket).
  • Bad: General chat.  It just hurt the eyes, and the inelegant chat names (Syp@Syp[Zone-21]: Hi guys!) didn’t help whatsoever.
  • Good: I made it to Lieutenant grade 4 in a couple hours, so leveling felt decent.  I really want Lt. Cmdr, as everyone else does, because then you can choose your first ship type past the default one.
  • Good: I guess I didn’t figure this out in beta (dur), but you can choose different ship models for the same ship type.  So even though there’s only around (I think) 13 Federation ship types, there’s about three times that in the looks department.
  • Bad: Cryptic’s obviously holding back some of the customization options, like races and uniforms for special offers or for the C-store, not to mention the paltry 2 character slots (which goes up to 3 when you hit level 6).  It just makes you feel as though you’re being set up for the nickel-and-dime microtransactions that are to come.  Really, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have every Starfleet uniform type available right away to make this the ultimate Trekker’s dream.
  • Bad: Currency?  Dude, I read an entire article on STO’s wacky currency types, and I was still lost in the game.
  • Good: Space combat felt great, and what’s even better, ground combat grew on me a little bit.
  • Bad: Sector Space.  Really, this is a gigantic “MISS” in the features department, and I hate going to the sector map to move between systems.  As Werit said, it looks like outerspace has been populated by waterslides.  More on this later.
  • Good: Nice progression between the stages of missions, and I thought they showed a good bit of variety in with the tasks.
  • Good: My engineer can throw down a circle of mines, and this makes me very very happy.
  • Good: Being able to hail Starfleet for mission completion and new missions, without having to return to spacedock each and every time.
  • Bad: The game automatically throws you into open groups for certain missions, and I couldn’t disable that option fast enough.
  • Bad: Looting in space is a CHORE.  If a ship you destroy drops loot, guess what?  You’ve probably overshot it by a couple lightyears already, and now need to turn slooooowly around and head on back.  Loot in this game, I feel, should be automatically dumped into your inventory without the whole “picking up” part.  It’s really annoying.
  • Bad: I bought this through Steam, and I guess that Steam up and decided it wanted to redownload the entire client in a different directory this evening.  So there goes any play time!
  • Good: The music, sounds, ship designs and fun factor is spot on.

Launch Day Traditions

  • Log onto the client to make sure I have the latest version downloaded and that there’s no last-minute 500GB patches that need to be applied before playing.
  • Clear my schedule for the day, knowing full well that the odds are it won’t launch on time and I might get an hour to play if that.
  • Spend the final hours before the servers open scouting around the web and blogs looking for others who are eagerly waiting and chatting about it.
  • For amusement purposes only, read the official forums and note how many people have pretended to be sick and/or lied to a spouse or parent to stay home.
  • Agonize over what class I want to play first.
  • Do a lot of chores around the house while I wait.
  • Log in.
  • Get disconnected.
  • Server’s down.
  • Go outside, shirtless, and wave a fist at the sky while yelling “CURSE YOU, [Name of Developer]!” until the neighbors call the cops to do a drive by.
  • Log back in.
  • Roll a character.
  • Hit “play” and sigh happily.