Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm Back. Back I tell you!

Thank-you Funcom for scheduling three hours of maintenance on The Secret World starting just as I got up this morning on my first day back from holiday. Perfectly timed to allow me to skim-read analyse the 262 blog posts in my Reader.

I can feel a crunch coming. Not that I'm one for taking my own advice but what with The Secret World just starting, EQ2's GU64 and both City of Steam and GW2 beta weekends in late July and the Big One landing at the end of August, I'm going to need to pace myself. Where blogging is going to fit in around all this I'm not quite sure, but we are getting WiFi access at work in the next couple of months...

One thing I wanted to do in any case was to begin varying the length and format of posts here at Inventory Full. My natural inclination leans towards articles with something approximating a structure. An introduction, some exposition and a conclusion to wrap things up. With illustrations. Something along those lines. That can take a while. Maybe now would be a good time to investigate some snappier, zappier, faster options...

Coming Soon To An MMO Near You...Clown School

I came back to a wealth of material on TSW, naturally. Rowan has a linkfest here although he didn't include this or this). That last one, Keen's post, is possibly the most interesting because it points up something about TSW and the beta weekends. I think a lot of people might have come away from those with a poorer impression of what the game's about than they'd have gotten from a more traditional couple of weeks of open beta so how well the format works as a marketing exercise I'm not quite sure..

Beta weekends seem to be here to stay, though. City of Steam, rather to my disappointment, have opted for the format starting later this month. Oh alright, "alpha weekends" if you must, although that sounds even sillier. Why City of Steam are in "alpha" at this stage beats me. Someone is going to have to invent a new Greek letter at this rate.

You say it's a secret society?
Julian at KTR has an interesting and informative interview with the Mechanist Games team that's well worth reading. I wasn't familiar with The New Epoch RPG that predates the setting and content of City of Steam but it goes some way to explain the distinctly tabletop feel of the systems, at least as they presented themselves in the Sneak Peak (which now I come to think of it is an even sillier term than "alpha").

The other big news was the Vanguard combo of the F2P Matrix and the return of Brad McQuaid. I might have to add a Label for "You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up". I've moaned about the former over at PvD and Ardwullf's Lair but just to emphasize my irritation, I really don't like the way SOE have decided to go with Vanguard's F2P. I'm a massive fan of the Silver Account level on EQ2 In some ways I prefer it to the Gold (which I have under Station Access).

I was planning on making several of our EQ2 Silver accounts (we have six between us) into Silver Vanguard accounts. Now that option isn't available chances are that I won't even play those accounts for Vanguard at all. Oh well. The upside is that's time I didn't really have to spare that I can now reassign to TSW, GW2 and the rest of the new stuff coming down the pike over the next couple of months.

One bit of news that seems to have gone largely uncommented on is Sony's acquisition of Gaikai. Intriguing. That could mean playing EQ2 on an iPad or Planetside2 on Surface. What with the (delayed) SOEmote there seems to be a lot of futurework going on at SOE. I wonder if they are positioning for the demise of the PC? I do hope so.

Oh look - it's 12:58. Two minute warning for the TSW servers coming up. Kingsmouth here we come!

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