Tuesday, November 15, 2016

You Wait All Year For An Expansion... : EQ2, WoW

My intimation that I might get the Legion expansion for World of Warcraft for my birthday turned out to be entirely correct. Of course, back in the summer, when I added the box to my Amazon wishlist, after I decided not to buy it for myself, I had no idea that the EQ2 expansion would get scheduled for the same week

Then there's ArenaNet, trying to get a foot in the door as usual. They may not even have given their expansion a name yet, let alone a release date, but that doesn't mean they can't contribute to my bandwidth overload. I'm typing this as Legion installs and not only is Kunark Ascending on its way later this afternoon but that's when GW2 will patch its regular, bi-weekly update too.

It's just as well I'm not planning on buying the EQ expansion, Empires of Kunark, (not this year anyway) because that's due tomorrow. Also not on my agenda: jumping right on the EVE goes F2P bandwagon the moment it starts to roll - also happening today I believe. Seriously, do these people not compare diaries?

When am I meant to find time for all this anyway? As it happens, I do have a couple of free days this week but generally, when you work in retail (and much though we booksellers like to pretend otherwise, bookshops are part of the retail environment) this time of year is when you get the absolute least opportunity to take time off. The predilection gaming companies have for piling all their releases on top of each other come mid-November isn't exactly what I'd call convenient.

Nevertheless, I'm sure time can be found, probably at the expense of GW2, which has lurched, stumbled, slumped into yet another malaise. WvW is in freefall, sPvP is on some kind of time-out (I don't really follow that mode) and the Living World has gone into a coma.

Since the new "Quarterly" schedule for Living Story 3 was announced ANet have successfully managed to release two episodes. The first arrived somewhat later than anticipated at the end of July but the second came a month early in mid-late September. At a generous estimate each episode so far has had about a couple of weeks content at best. Maybe a month if you really like farming and/or have a lot of characters you want to keep updated.

That's not to question the quality, which has been high, but it's clear that one major content drop every three months is going to leave a lot of thumb-twiddling in-between. That is, if it does turn out to be "quarterly". The asynchronous delivery of the first two episodes does muddy the waters somewhat on when the third  might be considered overdue.

Are we counting in three month tranches from the start of the process, in which case we have until the end of January before the next episode is due? Or does the clock reset each time an episode drops, meaning Part Three should be here just before Christmas?

No idea. Nothing's been said. For all we know it could appear this afternoon (it won't) or any time before the end of the month. Based on precedent from LS2 I might speculate that we're unlikely to see a big content release scheduled across a major Holiday - Wintersday is Coming - but the last episode kind of crossed over with Halloween so who knows?

EDIT: And guess what?  Color me surprised. No, make that amazed. I guess there are two months in a quarter now.

Whatever they have planned, including, I very much hope, some more of the Current Event crumbs in today's update, my feeling is there will be plenty of time to fit in some WoW and some EQ2. Probably a lot of the latter and a little of the former, which is why, although I'm (still!) patching Legion as I type, I haven't yet decided whether to pull the gun on a subscription.

Since it's a trivial cost and since I'm not one of those folks that feels obligated to play a game just because I'm paying for it, I'm minded to sub up for the rest of this year even if I don't have much expectation of doing Legion justice. I've been reading several people's accounts of how easy is to make money in Legion, funding a sub by selling herbs, so I might give that a try. Or I might just pay money.

Either way, first the dam' expansion has to install! I wasn't taken aback at Legion's immense footprint since I'd read somewhere that it weighs in at 40GB but why is something that I cannot begin to fathom. My existing installation, which is complete up to and including Warlords of Draenor, which got dumped on me for nothing back in the summer apparently, is only 28GB. How can a single expansion come in at 150% the size of the base game and the previous five put together?

What's more, even though I have the DVD, apparently that only installs about 10-15% of the content. The rest has to be downloaded and even with Blizzard's fast download speeds that's taking a while. I did imagine that writing this post would occupy the time but apparently not. As I write there's still 20GB to go. Then it's on to Kunark.

Enough. I don't think I can string this out any longer. Maybe I'll go and listen to my new Limananas CD or watch some Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated or start reading Diana Spiotta's Lightning Field...



  1. Becoming monogamous solves all sorts of problems. Just look at marriage!

    1. There's an analogy I wouldn't touch with two ten-foot poles tied together!

  2. Legion was great, even though the story depended on running quite a few dungeons to get through it. Overall I enjoyed it enough for one play through.

    I wish I had waited on EQ2, right now it's a joke to try to do anything on a casual character. I'm so glad I didn't get the CE. Here's to hoping Rift delivers a more fun experience...

    1. I just read your KA first impressions (in Feedly because for some reason your actual blog is timing out right now). I think you have a point about the way your character is introduced to the new open zone, which does take a bit longer than it needs to, but as for the pre-reqs (Greenmist, languages, Proof of the Pudding etc) I really appreciated that. I've been playing since beta and I never got round to any of those.

      I appreciated the motivation and I thoroughly enjoyed doing them - far from being boring to do them at 100 I decided I much prefer questing that way, when everything is either non-agro or a one-shot kill and I can actually concentrate on and enjoy the story.

      All the congestion and mob-tagging issues will disappear in a day or two. EQ2 doesn't have a population heavy enough to make that a problem beyond the opening few sessions of a new expansion, sadly. It's very clear that the resources for DBG to make something like the original Rise of Kunark (which could almost have been released as a stand-alone MMO) no longer exist. I think they're doing a stellar job with the very limited resources available - really I'm just glad the doors are still open.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide