Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (February 23, 2012)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^). We wouldn’t be “Nerdy Bookahs” if we started this Geekwatch with anything other than a loud cheer: You can sign up for Guild Wars 2’s beta now! The website will be up for a bit more than one day from now (came up yesterday evening and will be online for 48 hours). It does ask you to scan your system (with a programme called “Scannertron.exe”). And I assume that this news wasn’t really necessary as most of our regular readers already knew about that anyway. ;) Still, it’s worth repeating as this is something we have been waiting for! Be careful, though, as there are apparently scammers out there already. Only go to the official website (with the subdomain “beta”. So… “beta.” is in front of the ^^), especially as the beta sign-up asks you to run an .exe file!

Something less fun: SOE and Pro7Sat1 have partnered to distribute most of SOE’s MMOs in Europe. I wrote about this in January. Now they have finally released a FAQ about the implications this will have for EU players (and also for their US friends who may not be able to play together anymore in the future). Being German, I know Pro7Sat1 at least from TV (they’re TV programmes but also offer browser games). I don’t think that fits to MMOs. All I know is that while yay, I can at least continue playing EQ2 on US servers even after the switch, no other EU friends can join me in the future because they’ll only be able to play on EU servers with Pro7Sat1 apparently. Region-locking, if you ask me, is very bad. Gaming communities are only separated by time differences and language barriers. But if neither of those are a problem for you personally, why add additional barriers? *sigh*

I’ve gotten most of the related news from Stephanie Morrow who managed to keep up a lot better than me since they released the FAQ. So, for one, here is her blog post about it. Then there’s this thread that either includes a typo or a hint at Vanguard becoming f2p under Pro7Sat1 (though I thought Vanguard isn’t part of the deal in which case it’s just a mistake). And last but not least, a posting about a player calling Pro7Sat1 to get more answers.

On to hopefully happier news. Aion EU will go free to play on February 28, 2012. NCSoft will not be the publisher anymore. Instead, Gameforge will take over. So far, not a word about any region locks and I hope it stays that way! ;) However, US players will get their share of “f2p” as well: Aion US will go truly free in spring.

I especially like the last paragraph with: “We understand that an active player population contributes to the fun factor for the entire player population, so we want everyone to experience the game as it was intended.” – I’ve seen it in all MMOs that have free clients as well as sub versions that those who decide to play a monthly fee give bad names (“free loaders” for example) to those who don’t pay as if they were better people or players. They just seem to forget that on the one hand, they also get to enjoy a more active playerbase and on the other hand, most of those f2p models come with an item shop which means that even without paying a monthly fee, you can very well spend more than twice the amount of a monthly fee in their shop every single month. Either way, I enjoy being able to play several MMOs without having to pay several monthly fees. It’s just not worth it for playing maybe one or two evenings a month. I do very much enjoy my additional character slots in STO, though. Or my prestige house and my ratonga in EQ2. ;)

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (January 14, 2012)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^).The first Bookahneer’s Geekwatch this year starts with some Guild Wars 2 “news”. Tivac, a web developer at ArenaNet, answered a few questions in several forums. The summary can be found on Reddit. The first closed beta phase is over.

Then there was an interview with Angel Leigh McCoy who’s a writer and game designer for Guild Wars 2. I’ll just leave the most important quotation here although the rest of the interview is also interesting if you want to know more about her and her work.
“What I can tell you is that we’re currently in Closed Beta and planning has begun for an Open Beta. It’s all extremely exciting, and the game is coming along smashingly. It really is like magic when it all starts coming together and you see what an enormous accomplishment you’ve contributed to.”

Last but not least, GuildWars Insider has an interview with Ree Soesbee. I love seeing her talk about the game (though here, you either have a transcript of the interview or you can listen to it). Her eyes start to shine brighter than her hair (I love her hair colour ^^). It’s just great seeing people talk with such passion!


Now, on to something less fun. Turbine disappoints me once again. The story can be found on Massively: Lotro will soon start selling (low level) gear in their real-money-shop that has stats on it. Even though they said that they’re not going to do that! It’s the principle here more than anything that annoys me. And the explanation is that they had feedback from players saying that there’s not enough low level armor in the AH and they want more options. As I commented on Massively: Why not add more rewards for tasks, skirmishes, quests, etc.? Why not look at why the AH economy is the way it is and do something to promote it? Why is the only solution nowadays putting something into their shop? Ah yes, money. -.- If only I could see it getting reinvested into the game. I’d even have an idea: Hire more voice actors. ;) Casual Stroll to Mordor has a poll about the players’ reception. Participate if you care about this topic. Maybe Turbine will have a look at it.


SOE has partnered with ProSiebenSat.1 to distribute their games exclusively in Europe. “Their games” include Everquest, Everquest 2, the upcoming new Everquest, DCUO and others. But I didn’t see Vanguard in that list. Here is the announcement from the other side (that is, from ProSiebenSat.1). Not much is known so far. There are lots of questions and worries, of course. I also saw the rumour that this means IP bans for European players. We shouldn’t jump to any conclusions, obviously. But I really dislike the lack of answers and information here. You can’t make such an announcement and not have any more information ready for your players!


And the last things for today: Star Trek Online will officially go free to play on January 17. Here is the feature matrix. Former subscribers were already allowed back in. I created a new character and have been enjoying myself, even though I haven’t done much yet. Unfortunately, free players can’t access player-made missions (the foundry) at the moment. I hope they’ll fix this soon because I really liked those.

The European version of Aion will go free to play soon as well. For that, NCSoft gives the game to Gameforge. Look here for its feature matrix.

All in all, I guess we have lots of games to choose from without having to pay while waiting for Guild Wars 2. No need to play any other MMOs that still require you to pay every month. *coughcough* ;)