Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Oops, They Did It Again: SOE, EQ2

Using the now-traditional method, a chaotic flurry of disorganized semi-reveals, mollifying forum posts, half-baked statements of intent, tweets and Reddit convos, Sony Online Entertainment, the company that likes to say "Yes! No! Wait...maybe...we're not sure...", announced...something.

Wilhelm has an excellent account of the shenanigans, including links to Sheldon's usual first-rate news coverage at EQ2Wire, so I won't go over the details here. Go read those if you need to get up to speed.

I just wanted to make a couple of quick observations from a UK perspective.

Smed briefly addresses the PSS1 elephant in the room, albeit rather pointedly not by name:

"European playerswe have an idea on how to include you in this but we need to discuss with our partners.We have a pretty good idea on this though. give us a bit of time to suss this out."

 Really? I should damn well hope you do have "a pretty good idea". I'd hate to think that you were planning on offering the rest of the world unfettered access to all SOE games for a single monthly charge of $14.99 while leaving the poor relations over here in the myriad countries enmeshed in the PSS1 web to pay separate, individual subscriptions to each game.

Because, and please correct me if I'm wrong, PSS1 has no equivalent of the All Access pass. That was one of the reasons that, while SOE stopped accepting new AA Subs from PSS1 territories long ago, existing Access subscribers have been allowed to retain their accounts and pay SOE for them directly.

Then there's Landmark. The only SOE game specifically excluded from the PSS1 deal. A free-to-play title for which I am about to pay a hundred dollars to alpha test. And EQNext, which, whenever it finally arrives, will be played on SOE servers in America but for which access in PSS1 territories will be through their portal exclusively.

A mess is what that is.

Whatever the upshot, it's going to save me money. If I keep grandfather rights to the new deal I'll be paying $14.99 a month instead of $19.99 and I'll save $5.00. If it's deemed that Access no longer exists and those rights no longer pertain then I'll be playing my SOE games for free and I'll save even more!

The way SOE do these things I'm resigned to watching it play out like a slow-motion train wreck over the next few weeks but nevertheless I'm optimistic. They have the most appalling habit of making everything absolutely as difficult as possible for both themselves and their customers along the way but by and large they do tend to wind up in roughly the right place in the end.

If only they'd learn something in the process once in a while.

No, that'd be asking too much.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. (Second try, I really need to look at the preview when I hand type code)

    I was looking at the ProSiebenSat.1 FAQ that SOE put up last year. Do you know how has the promise of that lined up with the reality?

    1. That's a really good question. I'd love to know the answer.

      Very fortunately for us, we were covered by the All Access clause in that giant FAQ, the one that reads :

      "European customers with existing All Access accounts in good standing will be able to continue playing the All Access games until ProSiebenSat.1 Games begins to provide its multi-game plan. We will share more details as available."

      Consequently we've both played on SOE servers and paid SOE same as we always did. I did once have to contact SOE customer service when my credit card renewed and the Access sub auto-cancelled but they were great about it and restored us immediately. As far as I know, PSS1 have no Access equivalent so the "more details" never came into play. What happens when there is effectively no Access level (or rather only that level) I have no idea and I fear neither SOE nor PSS1 will either, or at least not yet.

      As for all the myriad "quality of life" improvements promised, who knows? Maybe someone who reads this blog could let us know. I do know that they have opened most of the SOE games they said they were going to through the PSS1 portal - I looked at it tonight. It's surprisingly hard to find that portal on a Google search - give it a try.

      I actually have a PSS1 account that I made for a non-Sony MMO before all this ever blew up. I might try using it to make a character on one of their EQ2 servers and see if there are any observable differences. I would bet that none of that variant content they were talking up ever happened...

  3. The link to Wilhelm's post is broken. Thanks for the UK perspective. It sounds like pss1 is a mess.

    1. Fixed! Thanks for catching that. Blogger isn't playing nice at the moment, refusing to let me preview anything, so I need all the help I can get catching errors.


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