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The Catch-Up

September 6, 2011

Well, earlier last month I expressed hopes that August would be a little less “turbulent”, and what happened? We had an earthquake and a hurricane came hurtling up the east coast. Such as it was, we lost electricity for five days last week in the wake of Irene. Still, trees and branches toppling onto power lines every time we even get a slight breeze happens to be a very common occurrence in my area, so no harm done. I know things could have been a lot worse.

Losing power, however, did mean putting a damper on one’s gaming and blogging lifestyle. Even after power was restored it took a while to get the house back in a state fit for habitation (hey, after almost a week in the dark, you’d be surprised to find how much you just don’t give a damn anymore). I was able to play a little catch up this weekend and read up on things I missed last week, but other than that I haven’t really had the chance to do much in terms of gaming.

I missed the bulk of information coming out of PAX Prime this year, only getting bits and pieces from random tweets in my Twitter feed during the power outage, and from catching up on reading blog articles from last weekend. Granted, I know PAX is a fan convention and I was mostly paying attention to MMO-related news especially with regards to upcoming titles, but for better or worse I guess nothing really big happened.

Though if my computer had been connected to the internet last week, I think most of my time would have been spent refreshing The Secret World site, even though after the countdown clock reached 00:00 a whole lot of nothing happened. OMG, it could have been part of “the plan”, after all! Of course, I found out afterward that I was already registered for their beta for doing their “personality test” way back when oh who knows how long ago.

Here’s the thing: I would be thrilled if I got into TSW beta, but I do draw the line at anything that involves the words “requires Facebook”. While participating in the full experience apparently ups my chances, I have a strict no-whoring-myself-on-Facebook policy, call me an old softie but that’s just how I feel.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was a game I’ve had on my radar screen for a while, and after it got good reviews from critics and the people I know I decided to pick it up. Ended up buying the Xbox360 version because every once in a while I want to remedy the fact I’m neglecting the poor console. Unfortunately, I was literally in the middle of playing this game when the power went down last weekend, so I haven’t had the chance to get very far. What I’m really liking so far is the story, which is something I knew I could count on, though sadly I have to say the voice acting is rather atrocious.

Perfect World Entertainment has plans to make Star Trek Online free-to-play later this year.

You don’t say.

I didn’t think the news of STO going where many others MMOs have gone before was going to be that surprising, considering how almost everyone including myself has been expecting an announcement like this ever since Champions Online went F2P. I admit I’ve sort of wanted this to happen for a while now, ever since I realized the F2P model probably better suits the pattern with which I play STO.

When the hurricane arrived last Saturday, Rift’s half-birthday celebration was like the last thing on my mind. I assumed it was over when we managed to get back online again late last week, but to my surprise the perks notification was still popping up and sure enough our alts were still benefiting from the extra experience gain. I didn’t even realize Trion had decided to keep the event going on for another week until just now, citing the east coast weather problems as the reason for the extension.

Honestly, I don’t think anyone was beating themselves up over not being able to take advantage of the half-birthday bonuses, not when there are so many other things that take priority in a storm, but I have to say I am seriously impressed by Trion’s consideration.

17 comments

  1. The 1/2 birthday has been very good to my wife, who jumped from 24 to 31 in just a handful of days, bringing her up to speed with myself, so we can get the hell out of Stonefield (finally)!


    • Wow, nice. My husband and I just made it out of Moonshade ourselves, and have moved on to Iron Pine Peaks. I was really excited about that, since it’s another zone we skipped the first time around, doing Shimmersand instead. Even in the 40s, the levels are zipping by, thanks to this 1/2 birthday exp bonus.


  2. Hey, the info on the Star Trek Online F2P thingy is up on their website now. I think it’s rather fair to subscribers/lifers (you know, like me): http://startrekonline.com/f2p


    • Yeah, I saw that which reminded me to write about it in the first place, but forgot to link. Thanks!

      I’m glad lifers will be taken care of. Stuff like this is why I’ll probably never consider an LTS, but STO going F2P will be really nice for me. It’s one of those games I like to jump into whenever I feel like it, but sometimes it can be weeks between playing.


  3. The infamous FACEBOOK requirement is gone. Supposedly registering for The Secret War will up your chances. I’m really looking forward to TSW!

    Glad to see you back in the saddle.


    • Participating in their “full secret war experience” still requires FB, unfortunately. Which is how you up your chances. It’s okay, like I said I think I’ll pass :)


      • I said the same thing. I deleted my FB account after my sister started tagging me in old baby photos. There is only so much of that I can take. I did the original registration for TSW beta long ago (I am a dragon?) so here’s to hoping that is enough.


      • I still have my facebook account, but I’ve pretty much completely wiped my profile except for the info one would need to find me. I find it to be a nice tool to keep track of my friends and acquaintances, but I definitely don’t need all the bells and whistles and to advertise to everyone my hobbies and what I “like”.

        BTW, I did the original registration too, and got Dragon as well :D


  4. There’s no doubt i’ve been waiting on STO to go F2P, i subscribed a good ahem “68.56″ days and the one thing that hassled me the most was a bad internet connection at the time. All things considered, i never thought even THAT game was worth shelling out 14.99 every month to play.

    Though honestly Cryptic had me addicted to micro-managing my crew down to the last detail of their history, skills, uniform, etc, etc. This one is just a no brainer though, i’m lookin forward to it……maybe to satiate my hunger for TOR until it finally drops.


    • I think for me the problem is STO never started off on a stable footing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s given me months of fun and I love their constant improvements, but the reason for that is because they launched in an arguably incomplete state and have been playing catch up ever since. Beyond the first couple of months, I was never able to find enough to do for the long term, without having to repeat content like starting an alt or doing dailies. Each subsequent update was awesome and fun, but the hook never lasted very long. F2P will be the way to go for me as well.


  5. I have only “liked” 2 Facebook sites ever, and I sometimes wonder what prompted me to cross the line I don’t like to cross with Facebook. They were both SWTOR related so… But I completely agree with you.

    Glad to see you’ve made it back to civilization and reconnected to the wider Net world.


    • I didn’t even end up caving on my facebook policy for SWTOR, that’s how strongly I feel about it :P


  6. I’m really looking forward to STO going FtP.

    I was planning to buy Deus Ex at full price, but I have to admit reports of the tacked on boss battles have diminished my enthusiasm for it. It seems like a pretty glaring design flaw that there is no way to do the battles save via straight up combat. I will still get it, but probably only after the price comes down a bit.


    • One of my friends is thinking the same thing about DX. I’m guessing the price will drop on this one in good time, especially with the holiday season coming up. That will probably be the perfect opportunity to pick it up.


  7. Glad to hear that you all have your power back, and that you finally have a chance to get back into your online activities. That hurricane was a bitch, and I know I was crossing my fingers that anyone affected by it would recover as smoothly as possible.

    On an unrelated note (though somewhat related to the contents of the rest of your article), I can’t help but associate the creature on that poster of The Secret World with Cthulhu. If not him, I still see a pretty heavy Lovecraftian influence in its design.


    • You’re definitely not seeing things, The Secret World has never made the whole Lovecraftian influence thing a secret. I think they take their inspiration from all over, but definitely H.P. Lovecraft’s works have been cited as a major one, along with the Indiana Jones franchise, mythology, etc. etc. A lot of other materials they’ve revealed also show a heavy Lovecraftian influence, such as the creepy New England towns.


  8. It is crazy how far behind with the news you fall when you are out of touch for a few days. It freaks me out when I go on vacation only to come back to a full RSS reader. I’m glad you came out the other side of your forces vacation well.



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