August: as with July

I’ve gone from being MMOnogamous to being an MMO-ho. With frickin’ laser beams!

In the last couple of days I’ve been granted access to the LOTRO F2P beta (thanks to Mordor or Bust), spent more time in EVE than I expected (and then, again, less, as my Planetary Installations rot unworking and useless), and tried Age of Conan on their Endless Free Tortage (that’s Tohr-TAAAAJ by the way) Trial.

Speaking of Age of Conan. Requiring me to have a cell phone and give you the number so you can send me an activation code for a digital download purchase is — I’m about to be crude, because I’m irritated — not fucking cool, Funcom. Yes, I have a cellphone, but only under duress and I hide it from myself (and others as much as possible). It’s a DIGITAL freaking download so why, please, do I have to wait for you to TEXT me a code? There are other ways to beef up security. Srsly.

SMS Verification

All new digital download accounts are required to verify their identity via SMS before account registration can be completed.

This new security measure is to allow us to give you the best game experience. If you do not have an SMS enabled phone, you will need a retail box edition to create your account.

Please enter your mobile telephone number without the country code and national prefix (usually 0, 1 or 8).

After you have completed registration you will receive an SMS with a code that will allow you to complete registration and log into the game.

I call shenanigans. I also call total bullshit.

So, “If you do not have an SMS enabled phone, you will need a retail box edition to create your account.” ORLY? That sound is me NOT buying a retail box from a store 20 miles away I can’t be bothered to drive to. That NON-sound is you not getting my money. Too bad, so sad.

What is it with Funcom that they can make some really good — or at least very decent — games and yet be such asshats in other ways? Remember the Great Unplayed Alt Deletion? Database cleanliness my ass, that was a thinly-veiled threat to their property* to coerce people into subbing back up. Seriously not cool.

I’m not even going to mention The Secret World. Oh, I just did. Well. If they’re going to have to have my cellphone number so I can play, maybe I don’t care so much about that either. (I’m also REALLY tired of playing SleuthGirl on The Secret World only to get the same tired crumbs of info to chew on. They’re a little overchewed by now. Am not losing interest but am seriously losing patience. Now I don’t feel so much teased as led on.)

And in the same cantankerous vein, AoC has yet to impress me. I don’t know what it is about the game but 5 hours of play left me feeling “meeeeh,” with that curl of the lip that usually means you’re trying to give a game a chance but you’re not really into it. I’ll try it again, I guess, because I have a friend or two playing, but it’s glary, the graphics are nice yet somehow eye-watering (and a weird mix between sharp/high-def and nasty nasty blurry), and playing left me with a headache I was only to happy to shake by logging off. And the UI sucks, but I’m getting used to that in MMOs (and at least it’s moddable). And all my chars end up looking like skanks.

Oh yeah and the patching download was stupidly slow. Seven-ish gigabytes shouldn’t take most of the afternoon and evening, and it’s doubly frustrating to see the patcher creep to 1.5k+ every now and then only to drop back down to 103 bytes which is where it spends most of its time. (Yeah, yeah, it’s probably my fault somehow. This is me not caring.)

So then I fired up LOTRO — and forgot I’d have to patch, but at least that was blessedly quick. A couple of games of FreeCell and ShireBob was my Uncle. Upside: it’s still a very pretty game. Downside, I’m testing F2P-for-plebs and I only get one char. AIIIIEEEE! Altoholic meets F2P restrictions and explodes. News at 11.

I didn’t do much more than run through the basic intro up to the point where I found myself with other early-intro players. We’ll see how it goes – I expect to delete a lot of characters as I fiddle about trying this and that. Back in the day I played a Hunter, a Minstrel (my fave), a Champion (also fun) and a few less memorables. I’d love to try one of those new classes — Warden and, er, something magicky — but if memory serves F2P-Ps won’t be able to access those without extra payment so maybe I won’t.

NOTE that the Mordor or Bust contest is over. If you entered, yay! We just have to wait for the results. And no, you can’t have my key — I have a surly spousal unit to keep happy.

That’s about it. The last few days have left me feeling somehow hungry yet overly full at the same time, MMO-wise. I’m standing in front of the fridge looking at all the goodies, but nothing appeals — which usually means, at least to me, that it’s time to find something else to do for a while. Which I’ve done. The weather here is ridiculously gorgeous and it’d be a shame to waste it by sitting in an overheated office anyway (well, unless I were getting paid for it, which I’m not-so-much right now).

Now get off my damn lawn!


* Yes, I know we don’t own those chars. That was the whole point of the great Alt-Deletion Threat, wasn’t it.

(And as far as I know, by the way, they did carry the threat out. When my friend resubbed a few weeks back she couldn’t find most of her chars and couldn’t figure out why. It was purely by chance that she mentioned it to me and I remembered what had been threatened.)

8 thoughts on “August: as with July

  1. Eventually gamers will have to give a blood sample and use voice recognition in order to register and play online games.

  2. That really sucks. I have a cellphone, but text messaging is turned off. I wonder if you could get around it by buying the client from steam or something?

    1. Oh aye, I’m sure there are ways around it. But as a company move, it’s bone-headed and doesn’t dispose me well towards Funcom — in addition to the deletion-threat and whatnot, it makes me a little more cynical about The Secret World, that I was previously so excited about. I know design /= corporate, but corporate makes the marketing rules, and these ones are just… piss-poor.

  3. By the way, waiting for Ysh to get 20, complete at least 1 Campaign and then travel with me in the cold north to see the wonders of northern Tyria, including a ton of differently themed dungeons.

    This was GW promo. You will need at least a year to experience all of this solo, with your significant other, or in a group. Enjoy. 🙂

  4. I’m not sure that Funcom actually went through with their “cleanup,” since I had 4 or 5 characters all under 20 still sitting on my account from launch when I resubbed a couple of months back. In some ways, though, I think that makes what they did worse, since it seems like a pure bluff to try and get people to resub.

    1. See that’s odd, because when my friend & neighbour resubbed a few weeks back, she had a bunch of low-level alts missing. It’s unlikely (though I guess not impossible :D) that she deleted them without knowing, heh.

      But yeah either way. Database space excuses don’t wash with me because unsubbed char details are essentially static so it’s not like they’re bloating as the months go by – at least not as far as I know. And since databases are one of the underlying components of MMOs, not making plans for big enough DBs is sheer development dumbassery.

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