Monday, May 28, 2012

Something For The Weekend, Sir? : EQ2

It was a double XP weekend in EQ2. Again. You can pretty much count on one every American public holiday as well as whenever some EQ2 anniversary rolls around. Then they toss in a few more, just for luck.

This one should have passed largely unnoticed. ArenaNet said there'd be a Guild Wars 2 beta weekend at least once a month until launch and we'd not had one in May, so since this was the last weekend of the month... we didn't get one.

Stress tends to show around the eyes
We did have that Stress Test a while back and apparently it came back positive because ArenaNet decided to buy a load more hardware. Which wasn't up and running in time to open the doors again this time round. Since I saw virtually no lag, latency, connection or disconnection problems or cats lying down in the street with dogs during either the BWE or Stress Test it all seems a bit notional to me, but I'll take their word for it. It's not like I have a choice. They have the metrics. Along with my money.

Funcom broke with tradition by publishing a schedule of The Secret World's beta weekends. All two of them. They irritated me no end earlier in the week by moving the launch date to "a more positive launch window which will benefit the launch of the game", thereby ensuring that I'll miss all but one day of the Headstart and the whole of the first week. That apart, it's good to have the dates nailed down.

Anyway remind me again, when did MMOs catch weekenditis? Is it a weekend hobby now like park football or washing the car? What happened to that addiction we were all supposed to have, when our mouse fingers would twitch uncontrollably if we missed a single session and playing anything less than 40 hours a week qualified you as casual?

Mabel! Hide the Gorgonzola! The Horde's here!
I wonder if we've just traded one bad habit for another. Stay MMO-clean all week then binge at the weekend. Loading so much onto a couple of days doesn't always feel natural or comfortable. When a beta weekend lurches into sight, often without much warning, there's an overwhelming urge to abandon plans and leap aboard as it passes, like a nun jumping a paternoster.

I know, I know. First world problem. And I like these weekends, really I do. Mrs Bhagpuss and I spent most of this one tearing around Norrath like the Mongol Horde, if Mongols were ratongas and rode hoverdiscs (and who's to say they weren't and they didn't?). 

Many veteran rewards were claimed and experience potions drunk. Many, many AAs were clocked up. Three more level 90 characters hit the magic 280AA mark that permits continued leveling for the whole two more levels to the new cap. My level 63 Necromancer is now just four short of the completely arbitrary target of 200 AAs that I told her she had to reach before she can level again.

It's such a throwback, though. It's like watching television not just before time-shifting but before the VCR. Use it or lose it.  Still, I quite like the discipline, truth be told.

As for how I square a desire for MMO game designers to slow the leveling process down with an obsessive lust to squeeze every last bonus xp point out of the Double XP Weekend sponge, I refer you to my lifelong motto, originally formulated by Ralph Waldo Emerson and handed down to me by Lou Reed (not personally you understand).

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds".


  1. I am also a little irked about the seeming industry-wide addiction to weekend events (espec holiday weekends). I often have something else to do and miss out.

  2. Shame I didn't hold off a day before writing this post. I came home tonight and logged on to the news that GW2 are having a four-day beta weekend from June 8th to 11th. That means I have a beta weekend option for four out of the five weekends in June!

    Let's hope this good weather ends soon because it's going to feel a bit weird sitting indoors every weekend for a month with the curtains drawn when everyone else is out sunbathing.

  3. I'm still completely shocked you had no issues. I had a lot of performance problems, as did most everyone else playing with me.

    WvW was really laggy with more than 50 people around. Cities would have sluggishness too.

    I'll believe the improvements when I see them, but coming from someone who had issues they will be a welcomed addition.

  4. @Keen It's particularly odd seeing I was on the same server as you but playing from the other side of the Atlantic. Let's hope we all get a smooth run this time.


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