Bro, Do You Even F2P?

Man, these F2P titles are killing it! What a great weekend we have lined up! All except one.

SWTOR is doing a double XP weekend – well, not even that, a whole week! With the announcement that next week they will bring back the popular bounty hunting for another week as well. All this along with their usual weekly sales.

And TERA? Also a double XP weekend! And they also are running a cross promotion with ZMR for some silly outfits and also free loot boxes.

World of Tanks is celebrating their gaming league and their 4 year anniversary, last weekend handing out x5 XP bonuses and huge sales on premium tanks and in game gear, and more stuff anticipated this weekend. And War Thunder is running their popular Chronicles series allowing you to reenact popular battles from WW2, as well as running a contest to help fill out their Wiki with good articles. All this in addition to the usual daily random boost and standard weekly contests.

STO continues to run their Delta Recruitment promotion with various skill boosts. NWN has a Wonders of Gond event with free items to collect and such. Uncharted Waters Online (I know, none of you play it) is celebrating a new Chapter of their story and a big game update along with a 50% boost to skill proficiency gain!

And the newest F2P contender, Elder Scrolls Online, they are doing a Welcome Back Weekend, trying to get people to come in and give the game a shot! With a live stream! And … um … yeah. That’s about it. No bonuses. No sales. No boosts. No free stuff – well, unless you enter the costume contest or the orienteering race and try to win a prize. You could buy an exclusive mount this weekend only, for $20. But that’s about it.

Bethesda has a long way to go if they want to succeed at this F2P thing. I know they are trying to be generous in their model, and I appreciate that, but right now they are the one restaurant on the boulevard that doesn’t have a sign out front or a coupon in the newspaper. It looks like its going to be a bumpy road for that team for awhile.

#mmo, #2015, #elderscrollsonline, #theweekend

The Merry Month of May

Well, I was gone for about half of it. Nothing bad really, just three separate out of town trips, plus family coming into town twice. And if you have kids finishing one school and moving to another (I have two fitting in that category), then it gets even crazier.

So, I only played one game for most of the month. World of Warplanes was running their “Summer Wind” event, and completing all the missions got you two tier 6 premium planes, 15 days of premium time, and 5 hanger slots. That’s about $40 in goods, for those of you keeping count at home.

And I did manage to “catch ’em all” to borrow a phrase, but it did take a rather humorous ending. I was on a silent prayer retreat most of last week. I snuck down to the retreat center lobby at 1am and played with the speakers on my laptop muted for the last five battles I needed to complete everything.

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But as you can see, it was worth it.

So what now? Well, I am trying to slow down a little. I am alternating my two serious games (Elder Scrolls, Warplanes) with more casual game (Hex), and a brand new casual one (Marvel Heroes). And I am saving a couple of nights a week on reading and catching up on some time with my spouse…

Customer Service Redemption

Some of you know that, like others, I have had issues with Bethesda/Zenimax in the customer service department.

Well, they finally got it all sorted out this week. It took opening a new ticket, but that did the trick. I got an answer within 24 hours (and an apology), and 24 hours later, had my Explorer Pack waiting for me. The total wait time for resolution: 25 days. But, I am glad that it is done.

Like Kaozz though, this has taken some of the wind out of my sails for the enthusiasm I had for the game. It seems a rule by now that every time you stop playing an MMO, it is harder to start up again. And after some number of starts and stops, you just lose interest. And its a shame that my first stop wasn’t a choice I made but through circumstances beyond my control.

I played last night and had a blast, but I know in the bottom of my heart its just not the same.

eso

Five For Friday: ArcheAges, Hexes, and Planes, Oh My!

So, now that Easter and Holy Week are over, I can breathe again and resume some posting. So this is a bit of a catchup post.

1) ArcheAge is Finally Starting to Appear On the Radar Screen

Some of the fun has gone out of this for me, since I have had an account on the RU server for about a month now. But its hard to play when you don’t know what anyone is saying, so I’m happy to had this game in English finally. I’m not keen on the Founder’s Packs, but I guess that’s how business is handled these days.

The packs themselves are pretty fairly priced, though I am surprised there is not a $20 version (perhaps that will come later?). The $150 version gets you plenty of “credits” ($75), 3 months of subscriber status ($45), a pretty sweet looking glider/flying mount (~$15?), a full armor/cloak wardrobe with options to let you put your own design on them (~$10?), and some random consumables and lockboxes (apparently you don’t need keys to open the boxes?). So there is still no real cost to the testing process (which is good) and if you are willing to plop down the equivalent of a collector’s edition, you get Alpha time as well. If that is too rich for your blood, the cheapest $50 pack is not bad either, though a bit misleading. It says $20 in credit, but the exchange rate on that is lower than the other packs. So really the breakdown is “credits” ($16.67), a month of sub status ($15), and a dumb looking glider/flying mount (~$10). So…yeah, not as good a deal. You are paying a little extra for Beta access in that one I guess.

Which is odd to me – are you trying to push people up the ladder? For a game that has not gotten the reception or hype of other AAA games and has, in addition, the skepticism of being an “eastern mmo” transplant? Wouldn’t you instead want, like $150, $75, and $20 options? For heavy hitters who want to go up, and skeptics who want to taste without getting burned? How is having a $50 minimum package helpful?

In any case, with Zenimax/Bethesda now 11 days into ignoring my support ticket, I am without a staple fantasy MMO. I’m not sure I can swallow another $150 package after TOR, but since I know and enjoy the basic game from the RU server, I could see putting down $100.

2) Hex Digital TCG Enters “Closed Beta”

As of yesterday, Hex is live and rolling. Despite the Closed Beta status, there will be no wipes, and I have 155 regular booster packs and 7 primal packs (all rare/legendary cards) waiting for me. I’m debating how many to open and how many to hold on to for the future. VIP status is not active yet, and none of the PVE game is running, but casual and tournament PvP is live! The game looks and plays great, and even in Alpha was a pretty stable game. Since I am mostly fascinated with the PvE side of the game, I’m still in waiting mode, but its nice to have my for real cards and deck builder rolling, and a chance to play around. I spent $120 on the King status, and unlike TOR, so far I am in the opposite direction – had I the capacity, I would have spent $500 on the Grand King status instead. CZE has really outdone itself with this thing.

3) World of Warplanes Gets Pancakes

Its finally here, along with the P-38 Lightning!

4) Elder Scrolls Was Awesome…for the Five Days I Got To Play It

fern teso

Now its hiding…like a fern I suppose. Anyway, the story behind the story – I ordered the Imperial Edition from Amazon, got my headstart, and then apparently Amazon failed to charge my card and cancelled by order. Without telling me. So now I don’t have the game. And if I buy it now, I don’t have any of the preorder bonuses either. Amazon, which is usually good with these things, has categorically refused to reopen the order, and will not give me any information about which of my credit cards they attempted to charge (or proof that they did so, since I get notified of failed transactions as account protection). Zenimax/Bethesda was originally good, saying they could handle it. I sent them the information they said they needed…and eleven days later, I still stand waiting. I could go ahead and buy it, but its the only real leverage I have to get the preorder bonuses that I wanted. So we are in a standoff to see who is more stubborn. In the interim, they are losing the ~$200 or so from the Imperial Edition and the planned six month sub, and I am without the fantasy MMO that was to be my flagship game this year. So, its a lose lose every day. And yes, I am continuing to contact them, every day. I could call…but its the principle of the thing.

5) EVE Is Apparently Dismantling Hi Sec?

EVE, always good for drama. The key touchstone here for me is that I wanted to start up a small hi-sec industry line (and maybe POS) for income. So now I have to go back to finding something new to do in EVE…or just quit again like I always do.