Saturday, 21 January 2017
Next Cab On The Rank: Revelation Online
According to a somewhat sketchy Wikipedia entry ("This article has multiple issues"), Chinese developers NetEase began working on the game over a decade ago, all the way back in 2005. George W Bush was in the first year of his second term. It all seems a lifetime ago.
If these dates are accurate it took a full decade to bring revelation Online to market, which seems a long haul even by the slothly standards of MMO development. It wasn't until 2015 that the game entered Open Beta in China.
I thought I remembered reading that things hadn't gone so well for RO in its home country but as I look for evidence to confirm that impression this morning it seems I may be misremembering. Maybe that was some other would-be global MMO heading this way from the East. The official website describes Revelation Online as "tremendously popular", but then they would, wouldn't they?
Mail.ru, Russia's second-largest internet company and owner of My.com, which publishes Allods and SkyForge among others, is now also the global home of RO, "global" here being defined as Russia, Europe and North America. Whether their remit extends further I couldn't say.
Their press release affirms "the game has already become a success in the market in China", where it operates under a F2P mandate and is, apparently, often compared to Blade & Soul, although whether in terms of commercial success, style or storyline is not clear. Unclear too is the business model under which RO will release when it comes out of beta. As the FAQ gnomically has it, "We are not ready to reveal the details of our business model just yet."
If you can't stand the suspense you can, naturally, buy in at an early stage by way of the now-traditional Founder's Packs. The cheapest comes in at a fairly accessible $17.99 and the highest at a Landmark-challenging $79.99, although for that you do get an "exclusive" Flying Cat mount that can carry five people, which I have to admit is tempting - just not eighty dollars worth of tempting.
If you'd rather keep your money in your wallet but you'd still like to kick the tires before Open Beta and the confirmation of that mysterious payment model you could do what I did: keep your eye out for one of the many giveways that pop up every time another in the ongoing series of Closed Beta tests is announced.
For CB1 and 2 most of the handouts seemed to come via streamers and social media, none of which I was prepared to change my habits to pursue, but a couple of days ago, when I checked my Feedly, Massively OP had a basketful of keys to Closed Beta 3 to give away, first come, first served. I grabbed one and went to my My.com account (handily, I already have one, what with being a longtime Allods fan - great MMO...must actually log in sometime...).
After some kerfuffle with expired email accounts that I won't bore you with I got that working and entered the promo code...which didn't work. It came up as already used. A glance at the M:OP thread suggested I wasn't the only one having a problem. I emailed Bree at M:OP and within a few minutes she sent me another code that worked - thanks again Bree!
That just left the 15GB download. I was playing EQ2 at the time and Mrs Bhagpuss was playing GW2 so I thought I'd let it chunter away in the background and maybe get it all tidied away in time to play the next morning. My.com had other ideas.
I'll say this for them - you can't fault their patcher for efficiency. Or thrust. It ramped up to 4mbps and held. Everything in Norrath turned to treacle and Tyria gave up altogether. It was late anyway so I paused the patcher and left it until a convenient moment, which happens to be right now. I began the download just before I started this post and it finished about two paragraphs ago.
I'm off to make a character and take some screenshots. There's no NDA so first impressions when I have some.