Posts tagged ‘mmo’

Feature Episode series comes to the STO Foundry

Authors from Starbase UGC have teamed up to make a six part series on the level of Cryptic’s Featured Episode series. I can’t wait to check the first one out come October 1st, while I really enjoyed the Romulan expansion my favorite character will always be my first Federation one, Bryn, and I’m looking forward to have some appointment playtime like in the first years of STO when Cryptic was doing their features.

Check out their teaser trailer.

Defiance the Game

I’ve been playing a ton of Defiance lately. It’s fun. You should try it out.

You want more detail? Okay fine.

It’s an interesting combination of shooter and MMO. I think it’s geared more towards MMO players than shooter fans though. If you’re a hard core Gears of Halo Duty fan, I imagine you’ll find Defiance too shallow. The only shooters I’ve ever played and enjoyed much were the Mass Effects and Red Dead Redemption, and Defiance has a fair amount in common with both.

Like those games, Defiance relies on story to get you through the single player campaign. The twist for Defiance is there are other people playing their single player campaigns around you, which is nice when there’s another player or two around to help with a trio of super mutants popping out of a chopper and shooting grenades everywhere. Unlike most other MMOs, there’s no kill stealing or ninja looting to deal with so it’s like Guild Wars 2 where passersby are more likely to help out than hinder you.

Despite there being other players about though, the game is kind of lonely. The chat window is a tiny box in the bottom right and I’m usually so focused on what’s going on in the game world that I never notice it on the rare occasions someone does say something. I imagine that’s why voice chat is built into the game, especially given it was intended for consoles as well. I disabled that after the first day though. I assume it works better on console platforms where it’s the norm, but PC players are used to push-to-talk systems and I was hearing a lot of keyboard and mouse clicking rather than actual chatting. It definitely could’ve been worse though.

Arkfalls will be familiar to anyone who’s played Rift or Warhammer. They are basically the same mechanic as Rift Invasions or Public Quests. I think they are more fun in Defiance. It just works better in a gun-focused game where everyone is highly mobile and there’s no holy trinity baggage.

Vehicles are surprisingly one of the most of parts of the game for me. First, it never stops being funny to crunch a hellbug or clip a 99er as I’m speeding down the road. Second, the boost mechanic and lack of falling damage make hills an absolute joy. There are some racing challenges in the game that are fun and occasionally frustrating, but definitely worth trying.

My major complaint with the game is the UI. EVE is notorious for theirs and rightfully so. It’s complicated but once you learn it its just awkward. Defiance’s UI is awkward in the way most UIs designed for console and ported to PC are. It’s not as complicated as EVE’s, but it isn’t simple.

For example, you begin the game with two loadouts. If you equip a weapon on either one then it’s no longer available to sell, which makes sense. Unfortunately there’s no way to see which loadout has the gun equipped without checking them all. Not a huge deal but it is cumbersome when trying to organize twenty some weapons across three loadouts. I also finally figured out last night why the modifications screen wouldn’t always let me add mod slots to items. That option only appears if the weapon isn’t equipped on any loadouts. Adding a slot takes ten minutes, so I can see why they did it, but I would rather they just allow me to unequip it from the mod window directly.

The UI has also had quite a few bugs. It took half a dozen tries the other day for MMOGC to get a clan invite to send to me. Even then my clan screen didn’t register that I was in one until I logged in later that evening. A few times my friends list has been blank on logging in, and there was a substantial rollback the other night.

Support seems to be on the ball at least. I had bought some Bits, which is what they call the store currency, and picked up a +15 slot inventory upgrade which i unfortunately lost when i logged in after the rollback. My Bit balance was the same as after the purchase though. I got a response to my support email within 24 hours and got the Bits refunded so I could repurchase the inventory upgrade. So all in all, not a bad deal.

Defiance is fun, if a little rough in places. I don’t think Trion has been a successful with this launch as they were with Rift. But Rift didn’t release simultaneously on three platforms. I can’t make any guarantees about it’s long term viability but if you’ve followed my gaming habits at all you’ll know that’s generally not a concern of mine. Besides, there’s no subscription so I can take a break whenever and jump in anytime I feel like hunting an Arkfall.

If you are a casual fan of shooters and enjoyed the Rift Invasions in Rift then I think you’ll have a blast in Defiance. If you’re a hardcore Call of Halo Warfare Gears, don’t waste your money.

Expectations and Resolutions for 2013

Writing

In January 2012, I’d resolved to post directly to the blog more and edit less. I had an especially bad habit of leaving posts to languish in my drafts folder for months and then deleting them because they weren’t topical anymore. While I did get better about editing, I didn’t post straight to the blog much at all. So I’m renewing the same resolution to be more brave about my posting in the coming year. At least that’s going to be my excuse for any typos people point out.

Upcoming Games

There are a few MMOs that I’m anticipating:

  • City of Steam
  • Defiance
  • Elder Scrolls Online
  • Neverwinter

City of Steam is my novelty game. It’s a steampunk setting with a F2P model using a browser client. I missed a few chances to play in the closed beta, so I can’t say anything about how it plays. I’m a little concerned that they’re relying on just the setting to differentiate the game from other MMOs instead of trying to refine and improve the genre standard mechanics, but that’s based on superficial research on my part.

I’m pulling for Defiance partly because it’s by Trion. I’ve continued to be a fan of how Trion’s developed Rift even after I wasn’t actively subscribing to it (although I did resubscribe when the Storm Legion expansion was announced), and I’d like to see them continue to succeed. The other reason I’m hoping it does well is there’s a real dearth of science-fiction MMOs and I’m hoping this one doesn’t suffer the same fate as Tabula Rasa. I really don’t think that’s likely, considering how invested both Trion and SyFy are in the game and tie-in television series.

Elder Scrolls Online is my dark horse game. I was originally pretty pessimistic about the game’s chances, but my opinion has since become more optimistic based on developer interviews. Of course talk is cheap so who knows if ESO will fly or fall, but I’m hoping that it does well just so I can explore Tamriel more widely than I’ve been able to do in Skyrim.

Of all of the upcoming MMOs, Neverwinter is the only one that I’m genuinely excited for. Prior to going to GenCon this summer, this game was in the I’ll-play-it-when-it-comes-out category but I was really impressed with out beautiful the demo was. The environments were detailed and interesting, and the animations were fluid. The gameplay itself was very action oriented, and reminded me slightly of Torchlight and Gauntlet. Add all that to a supercharged version of the Foundry software that’s currently in Star Trek Online, and I’m not only excited to play the game Cryptic is making but also see what kinds of modules players build. There’ve been some really excellent missions done in STO and I hope that Neverwinter will inspire the same amount of creativity in it’s players.

Backlog

Outside of those few new games, this year is going to be all about the backlog. Anyone want to take bets on how long that lasts?

MMOs

Champions Online has been making a lot of changes and I really want to roll up a brand new hero to see what’s changed with the game since 2011. I know there’s lots of new powers and custom pieces, plus they recently added vehicles, and have just started hinting a some big new content releases.

Lord of the Rings Online has the whole Riders of Rohan expansion that I’ve not touched yet, plus I still have about a third of the Rise of Isengard expansion to finish.

Rift has had a huge amount of new content added, I just need to sit down and force myself to rebuild all of the roles that’ve been reset on my Mage.

Single-player

Even though I completed Dishonored, I was working on replaying a few missions with full stealth/zero kills. I’d also still like to do a second playthrough as more of an assassin than a ghost, but I’m going to bump that down to the bottom of my list for the year.

I’d only gotten through about a third of A Game of Dwarves before I was distracted by some other game.

I haven’t played that last three DLCs for Mass Effect 3.

I never got back to Skyrim last year like I intended, not to mention there’s been one major DLC released for the PC with another one announced.

I’ve barely gotten into Torchlight 2.

I loved the demo for XCOM enough to preorder the game, but I haven’t launched it since it released. I played Dishonored first since I wanted to make sure I finished that, and got distracted before I could even start XCOM.

Plus from my Steam there’s Orcs Must Die 1 & 2, Legend of Grimrock, Anno 2070, SPAZ, and the Back to the Future series all of which barely makes a dent. I also have a few Kickstarter backed games that are in or nearing the beta stages that I want to contribute playtime to like Castle Story, Timber and Stone, and the Banner Saga multiplayer.

Other Hobbies and My 2013 Resolution

Outside of games, I also have some more Star Trek ship models to assemble and paint, plus my long suffering Nanowrimo novel from 2010 that I still want to finish.

Having so little free time with so many demands is the core of what I want to work on this year. I’ve been in the habit of surfing along with my moods and interests and just spending time on games and projects as my id dictated. While there’s not really anything bad about going with the flow like that, it hasn’t been good for finishing projects. So this year I’m actually making lists of games and other projects I want to finish and sorting them in the order I want to tackle them with the intention of focusing on one at a time. I’ve already had some success at that, since that’s basically how I’ve finished all three Mass Effect games, Red Dead Redemption, and Dishonored. My problems nearly always stem from trying to multi-task between games and other hobbies.

Wish me luck.

2012

What a year! In the past I’ve done an annual review of what I played and how well my expectations from January matched up with reality in December, and I’ve been working on exactly that for this year but feels too long and hasn’t been very interesting to write so I can imagine how much fun it would be to read. None. Instead, I wanted to cover some of the highs and lows for the year on the blog.

Not Games

For my non-gaming life, the birth of my second son, Thing Two, was definitely the high point of the year, more specifically the fact that he’s a good sleeper was regularly sleeping three to four hours a night from the second night he came home. Thing One didn’t sleep like that until he could roll over which he didn’t do until he was nine months old. That was a long nine months for both my wife and I and I’m so grateful that we got an easier baby for the second time through the newborn experience.

The biggest non-game disappointment to me for the year has been my blog. I’ve hit dry patches before but this year was the first time that I had a lull where I actually considered quitting  I got to December and realized I hadn’t posted in two months and had stopped reading probably three quarters of the MMO blogs in my RSS. Reading some year ends posts though has motivated me to work on my own, which has re-energized me to keep up with the blog for another year.

New Games

My favorite new games for the year in no particular order were:

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Dishonored
  • Guild Wars 2
  • Knights of Pen and Paper
  • A Game of Dwarves

Mass Effect 3 was surprisingly controversial for it’s ending, even though I liked it personally I seem to be in the minority. Instead I expected the multiplayer to be the thing everyone hated, yet I’m still spending time in it. I absolutely never expected to be playing ME3 multiplayer once I’d finished the story let alone months later.

Dishonored was a fun combination of branching-linear story with sandbox stealth and combat. I’d never played any of the Thief or Hitman games, so this was really my first exposure to the stealth genre. I really enjoyed the steam-punk style world as well as the the story, characters, and voice acting. The combat and stealth mechanics were tons of fun too, and I’m hoping to see a sequel or some more weighty DLC announced this year.

Guild Wars 2 turned out to be more fun than I hoped. The original Guild Wars never enticed me to explore in the world, not because of a lack of jumping but because of all of the invisible walls in the game. GW2 enthusiastically promotes exploring with all of the hidden vistas and puzzles. I generally dislike platformers, yet I’ve spend several hours on jumping puzzles in GW2.

Knights of Pen and Paper is one of the first mobile games I’ve spent a lot of time playing on my phone. In fact this year has seen a bit of an explosion in good games. In 2011 I maybe had five or six games on my phone that I would kill some time on occasionally, wheres in 2012 I had more than twenty games installed on my phone and fix or six I was spending a few hours a week on.

A Game of Dwarves didn’t get reviewed well on the few critic sites I read, but I’ve still enjoyed it a lot. The quests and dialog are full of puns and twists on fantasy tropes. The game mechanics are a fun combination of Minecraft and Dunegon Keeper. It’s not an open sandbox like Minecraft but it does scratch some of the same itches in having your dwarves explore a level and build a base.

Old Games

I had originally figured on going back and finishing a lot of the games I’d started in 2011 but gotten distracted from, Skyrim being the chief one on the list. That was when I expected to be on an enforced MMO fast. So since I was mostly able to spend my nights how I wanted, I ended up playing whatever my current obsession was. Initially that was SWTOR, then it was STO, then GW2, then STO again. Rift, Champions, and LotRO spent all year on my to-play list but I never found the motivation to spend more than an hour or two in any of them. Of everything I’ve played this year that was released pre-2012, STO’s been my favorite.

Star Trek Online had a really rough 2011. The acquisition by Perfect World, F2P transition, lots and lots and lots of drama, and nearly no content. Really things could only get better in 2012, and happily I think they did. Dan Stahl returned as the Executive Producer, Cryptic’s STO team doubled in size, and they had two very well received Season releases. It wasn’t a perfect year of course, I’d like to have seen more than one new Featured Episode series for instance, and there was still quite a bit of drama, but it was definitely not the year of hell that 2011 was.

Middle-Earth travel plans delayed slightly.

The Riders of Rohan expansion snuck up on me.

Despite reading dozens of articles and seeing lots of mentions on Twitter, I didn’t actually realize how close the launch was until Sunday night. I was catching up on my news and saw the goodie bag reminder from Goldenstar, so I logged in to reopen my home and do some preparation on my main and a couple of alts.

I had planned to log in last night to behind my adventures among the Horse-lords, but it was taking so long to patch the expansion (wish there had been a pre-patch available) that I decided to play some Dishonored while I waited. The next thing I know it’s 1 am.

When Rise of Isengard launched, I ended up making only a brief trip to Dunland where I did a little sightseeing and then headed back to Mirkwood and Dunland to finish the Epic Story quests that I’d skipped. It was nice being in Mirkwood and Enedwaith which were fairly quiet while the launch crowds were in Dunland.

My current plan is to do pretty much the same thing with Rohan. During my last period of LotRO focus, I’d gotten to the border between Dunland and Isengard before being distracted by Skyrim, and I’d like to avoid opening gaps in my Epic Story quests on my main character (who’s the only one above level 30). There’s a decent chance though, that I’ll have so much fun with mounted combat that I won’t want to head back.

Besides the mounted combat, I’m really looking forward to seeing Turbine’s open tapping implementation and how well it works compare to what I’ve gotten used to in Guild Wars 2. I hope that it is so well received that Turbine applies it to old zones as well, even though I realize that’s a massive amount of work. ArenaNet’s design has led to a very cooperative and mostly friendly community, at least in my experience, and I would love to see that same spirit brought to Tolkien’s world as well.

Star Trek Online’s September State of the Game

Despite Guild Wars 2 dominating my gaming time lately, I have been popping into STO every couple of days to check in on the fleet and setup some duty officer assignments. I’ve also been keeping track of updates and news including the recent September State of the Game.

Aside from the usual talk about the successes of Season 6 and plans moving forward, the following quote was what stuck with me the most.

We’ve been very lucky to land some great talent from 38 Studios and Paragon Studios.

I know a lot of people haven’t been happy with Perfect World and STO’s move to free-to-play, which I think can be summed up with the word lockboxes, but it does seem to be working for Cryptic. Their team has grown quite a bit this year, it’s actually doubled if I remember right from an interview I listened to, and seeing that Cryptic’s been able to pick up some developers who unfortunately lost their jobs when other studios were shutdown seems like a good thing all around.

I guess I wasn’t too far off in February after all.

Random things.

Couple of things I wanted to mention.

Thing One

Had you told me last year that I would still be putting hours into Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer game, I would have said you were crazy. Yet that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, even though I’m not typically a fan of shooters.

Why? Two reasons that I’ve come up with. First, I really love the ME universe and the multiplayer is a way to stay engaged with it. Second, I’ve come to realize it isn’t actually the shooters that I dislike, it’s their competitiveness. ME3′s is cooperative against bots. After hundreds of matches, I’ve yet to run across any of the type A-hole personalities that I associate (rightly or not) with games like Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, or Counter Strike.

Thing Two

Guild Wars 2 has its head start this weekend. I’m excited to play but it’s a low-key kind of excitement. I’m looking forward to playing but if ArenaNet came out tomorrow and said they were delaying headstart for a week or a month, I wouldn’t mind in the slightest.

I haven’t been thinking about the game much, or keeping the patcher updated, or coming up with the character names I want to use. Yet I am excited enough that I’m planning to stay up late and to try to get into the headstart as early as possible.

Possibly my excitement has been blunted by getting to play in a few beta weekends (the stress tests always happen when I’m working). I’ve already had the chance to explore the starting areas and try out different races and classes. I’ve already settled on an Asura Elementalist as my main (at least initially) and the guild I’m planning to join has already chosen a server.

Thing Three

LotRO delayed its expansion until October. I’ve seen a lot of surprised comments about that. I’ve also seen a few comments believing that it was done to fix bugs and improve the game a bit more before release. I’m sure Turbine will use the extra time to improve the game, but I don’t think that was the reason for the delay. September is already super crowded and since Blizzard has already set their expansion date in an effort to compete with ArenaNet, it would be stupid of Turbine not to push the release a bit and give themselves more space.

The Secret World

Funcom’s The Secret World is one of several MMOs that I had no interest in before release, just like Tera Online. Also like Tera Online, lots of friends and acquaintances were playing it and talking about how wonderful it was. So just like Tera, I decided to give it a shot.

I started off with a 24 hour trial key (thanks GC). For someone like me with a job and family responsibilities it’s kind of hard to get much more than four to six hours out of a 24 hour key, and frankly that’s not enough time to get a good impression of the game. I actually got about four hours of playtime in, which was enough to get through the tutorial and a few quests in the regular game, one of which was an investigation quest that the game is become well-known for. Based on that experience, I initially decided not to buy a full key. I ended up changing my mind though after about two days of near universal praise, something exceedingly rare in gaming. I thought maybe I’d just made some rookie mistakes on my initial play session, like choosing a weapon that didn’t really match my play style, and not picking up a second weapon right away.

So I ended up buying a game key and committed to trying the game for thirty days. I figured if the game hadn’t hooked my by then, it wouldn’t. Plus, I was really curious about what everyone saw in the game that I was missing.

I rerolled a new Templar character because I wasn’t happy with my original’s name from the 24 hour trial, but decided to skip the tutorial the second time around (which is a nice feature and one that most MMOs don’t include at launch). It also gave me a clean slate for skills and abilities, which wasn’t really necessary but I’m retentive that way.

Character creation is decent a little thin on customization. There just isn’t enough variety in available facial features and hair types compared to the amount of customization that can be done with clothing. Funcom has promised some improvements are coming soon, which I would normally be skeptical of, but they’ve gotten off to an impressive start with their first content patch already so I’m inclined to believe them.

The worst part of the character creation was coming up with a name. Names are made up of a nickname, a first name, and a last name. The nickname has to be unique across the entire game because of the way that players can group and guild across dimensions. In fantasy games I have no problem coming up with a good name that’s lore appropriate, but since TSW is based on the modern world I had quite a bit of trouble coming up with something I was happy with. I ended up just giving up and naming my character Bryn “Kaerr” Aev after my main in Star Trek Online. While it was a pain, I am happy that the names are unique so if Funcom decides to merge dimensions no one will lose their character names, although I would’ve preferred a Cryptic system with names unique by handle instead.

The combat system is pretty novel, although the actual combat mechanics are not. You can pick two from among various weapons (including three different types of magic). This allows for tons of combinations of weapons and skills to try to build synergies with. Even better is you’re not limited to those, if you decide to change weapons then you can put skill and ability points into as many different ones as you want so you don’t have to worry about rolling alts to try out different classes (there’s no point cap that I’m aware of). The actual combat itself though is very MMO-standard: you have an action bar and tab targeting.

The first questing area, Kingsmouth, is a Stephen King style New England town that’s under assault by zombies and Lovecraftian creatures. I spent most of the nine hours I played the game in Kingsmouth, so I can’t comment on the rest of the zones, but I can say it’s full of interesting and well-written missions. If you’re a fan of King, Lovecraft, or zombies, then it is a real treat to play in.

Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of King (except for some of his non-horror stuff) or Lovecraft and the zombie fad has really started to get old for me. Were Funcom to make a science-fiction game in the same style as TSW, I would probably be having tons of fun, but the horror genre is not something I’ve ever enjoyed.

This is a good fun game even though it’s not for me. I’m impressed with what Funcom’s done and how well they’ve been communicating and making updates. They’ve actually been reminding me of Trion, which is not a comparison I’d ever thought I would make. So if you like the idea of a modern horror setting for an MMO, I recommend you try it out.

Two steps forward, one step back.

Oh, Cryptic…  Of course the same day I say nice things about them in reference to character names, they have to make a major gaff (regarding forum names). This especially disappointing since they were just starting to get some positive buzz for Season 6 after all of the lock box drama.

Yesterday I noticed a lot of drama on Twitter from fellow Star Trek Online players that I follow. I got especially curious when I read a few things about names (which I’m a tad sensitive about still). Apparently the website maintenance that took place the night before was not actually maintenance in the normal sense, but a cut-over from Cryptic’s old infrastructure to their parent company’s (Perfect World Entertainment). This included requiring anyone who wanted to use the website to have a PWE account, especially to use the forums.

Not long after Cryptic was sold to PWE by Atari, an option appeared on the game’s launch and website allowing you to choose whether to login using your Cryptic account or a PWE account. I know a few people went ahead and merged or created PWE account because I remember them complaining on the forums about problems they were having afterwards. I had avoided merging my accounts and dreading the day when I would be forced to, because everything was fine with my Cryptic account and I didn’t want to tempt Murphy by touching anything. I treat cellular phone and cable services the same way. In my experience, any change no matter how small likely results in multiple calls to customer service.

So the merge was now being forced. The official PR statement claimed that this was for the players’ convenience, which is laughable. I think it’s much more honest to say that merging benefits the PWE IT and CS staff since they won’t have to maintain Cryptic’s old systems. Which is fine, just don’t try to sell me something claiming I’ll benefit when it’s really a zero sum (or net loss in this case) for me and you that benefits.

Anyway, regardless of the reasons why, the merge has happened. Despite the fact that there’s been a major loss of functionality for the forums, my major issue with the merge way PWE handled the transition. There was zero warning beforehand that I’m aware of. The only message I found about it was on the STO forums, posted on the evening of the 19th.

Now I understand that there are always difficulties when transitioning from one system to another, I’ve done that kind of work myself in my day job and there’s always unforeseen issues.  Which is why you have to over communicate and make sure that there are extra staff on-hand to help support users. Neither of which PWE did.

The biggest hitch in the transition process appears to be display/forum name conflicts. It appears from the FAQ that Cryptic/PWE went through and reserved any account and display names that weren’t already taken for existing players so that they could get them during the linking process. But this wasn’t communicated well enough beforehand and somehow many players ended up with a new PWE account and got a message that the display name they wanted (their old Cryptic forum name which supposedly was reserved) was taken.

Losing a forum name probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but there are some players who are extremely active on the forums. People like Foundry authors and podcasters have spent a lot of time building a reputation on the forums which is now basically wiped out. In several cases (most?) they’ve lost their forum names and either had to tack a number on the end or go with something totally new, plus the old forum posts have all been converted to archived posts so people’s posting history is gone as well.

Now, I’m not very active on the forums, so I wasn’t much affected by this, but after my recent experiences in TOR I’m very sympathetic to the loss many of the forum-active players are feeling. Hopefully it doesn’t kill the podcast community for the game.

Ironically given how little I used the forums, I actually got to keep my forum name and I owe it to Torchlight 2.

I happend to create a PWE account a few weeks ago so I could pre-order Torchlight 2. I’d had a lot of fun during the beta weekend and decided to buy through PWE because they were offering beta access to Neverwinter Nights and I always try to buy games direct from the developers when I can (a habit that also saved my $10 on Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion). I was afraid though that signing up would cause conflicts with my Cryptic account, so I used a different email address but still picked the same display/forum name. Apparently I did this before all the reserving was done in preparation of the Cryptic merge, which saved me some of the problems others have had.

I had really hoped that when Cryptic moved from Atari to PWE that we wouldn’t see the publisher causing problems for the development team.

Naming, Roses and Earthsea

It doesn’t look like I’ll ever get around to writing up all of the notes I took on Star Wars: The Old Republic, even though it’s way late for a review anyway. I’ve cancelled my subscription and even though it doesn’t expire until August, I doubt I’ll bother logging in because my character died.

So he’s not technically dead, as in deleted or lost, but I lost both my character’s name and legacy name in the recent server merges (because let’s be honest, that’s what they are). Now, I’m sure at least half if not more of you are thinking so what, and that’s probably because you agree with Shakespeare. I don’t, at least not for proper names. I’ve always thought Ursula Le Guin and Pat Rothfuss had it right. Names matter. I realize a large number of people couldn’t care less, log into just about any MMO and spend half an hour in a major social area if you don’t believe me. But I get highly invested in a characters name in both stories and games.

Honestly, I really shouldn’t have bothered with the character transfer from Sanctum to Ebon Hawk. I should have stayed on the dwindling server and finished my class quests (which I’d left sitting for a month or two) and not worried about it. I assumed though that I would eventually want to join up with friends a be a bit more social eventually, so I might as well get it over with. Had I known that BioWare was condensing six PvE-RP servers into one I would’ve realized the chances of keeping the name Kae or legacy Bluestar were infinitesimal. Hindsight, blah blah.

The end result though is that after doing the super quick transfer, I logged in and had to change my character’s name. After seventeen attempts I found a variation on Kae that wasn’t taken, although by that point I didn’t really care. When I tried to set my legacy name back and got the message that it was taken, I decided I was done. Melodramatic? Probably, but it was a completely honest reaction and has stuck with me days later.

It’s ironic that the very process which will hopefully revitalize the game, has completely killed my interest in it. Even more so since BioWare seemed to have some really interesting stuff planned for the next release.

So rather than returning to my Jedi Guardian, Kaevn Blank, I’ve headed back to Star Trek Online for my science fiction fix. Cryptic get’s a lot of heat, sometimes deserved and sometimes not, over their business practices, but I really like the way they’ve done their server architecture. Like with CCP’s EVE, there’s only one server/world/shard for STO. Even better names only have to be unique for my account handle and account handles can hidden in chat (I don’t think they ever display on-screen).