What I’ve been playing (not enough of)

Ah, the week of Christmas – hectic times for a procrastinator like myself. Being busy finishing my last minute shopping and working 5 of the last 6 days, has left my MMO time pretty slim the last week. Here is what a few hours in a week has given me:

– I’ve attempted to log into my EQ2 trial when I get the chance, but besides the voice-over NPCs, it’s not grabbing me much.

Dungeons & Dragons Online lasted about 20 minutes before I remembered why I quit the trial the first time I tried it. If I want a DnD rpg, I’ll go play Neverwinter Nights. Too bad I don’t want one.

– SOE has once again reactivated old Vanguard inactivate accounts, which includes me. Haven’t had time to log in and check it out, I will hopefully before the free time comes to an end.

– Downloading Planetside Trial, curious to see if I can actually get it to work on Vista64. Any excuse to hear the epic Planetside soundtrack and bask in the nostalgia is fine to me.

Guild Wars. Finally got my Trilogy + Eye of The North pack from amazon. Knowing that I have LOTRO waiting for me later this week, I’m having a hard time diving into it, but you can’t beat $40 shipped for every Guild Wars retail release and a beautiful 13″x9″ art piece. The Guild Wars campaigns will probably go on my backlog or for when I need downtime from a real MMORPG (zing?).
What have you been playing?

Trials & Tribulations: Everquest 2 & Vanguard

Being the holiday break and on the wings of my recent MMORPG epiphany, I’ve been on a stint of catching up on MMOs I’ve skipped over via free trials, or retail purchases such as a complete Guild Wars package or Santa bringing me Mines of Moria (expect impressions for those in the future). My current, pre-Christmas week appetizers? Everquest 2, with Vanguard trial downloading as we speak.

I’ll be updating the blog with updates on my experiences in the respective games, rather good or bad, concluding with an overall take on my experiences and whether or not they left a lasting impression on me.

Update: As if 2 massive game trials weren’t enough, a recent fantastic podcast from one of the damn finest podcasters, Beau Turkey, reminded me about the Dungeons & Dragons Online trial – so I have that downloading as well. Will report back on all 3 of them – though it may be a while!

Real Money Trading


With the recent addition of Station Cash into Everquest and Everquest 2 the MMO community has been abuzz, mostly full of angsty forum kiddies with their pantaloons up in a bunch, crying foul as if Sony has just killed their dog. I know a thing about SOE and wrongdoings to their game fan base (Star Wars Galaxies’ NGE, yeah hi), but this is nothing of the such, but rather a horrible misunderstanding from the community, on what RMT (real money trading) means in MMOs and why it is here to stay.

For as long as I can remember, Americans have been wary of RMT in MMOs like the plague. I think it has something to do with consoles, and how this generation of gamers has grown up on Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, and they have seen the pyramid scheme of paid download-ables that Microsoft and Sony plop on their respectable marketplaces. That said, the micro-transaction and RMT method has worked WONDERS in every market besides the western market, where it hasn’t hit the hardcore mainstream yet. RMT *is* alive here, it’s just not in your big hitters yet. Kids go bananas for Nexon cash and Webkinz and the like, essentially RMT. I still remember a trip to Walmart where I saw a kid drag his mom to a store clerk to ask if they had any “Nexon cards,” and of course they did, to my surprise. I had no idea Nexon had soaked in that much.

But my main focus of this post, is to share my astonishment at the overall astounding negative response to Station Cash in EQ and EQ2. SOE has said that they will never sell any items that create imbalance in the game-world, obviously, yet it’s as if players are just completely ignoring that sentiment. I’ve heard accounts of people who just reactivated right before the announcement, who are now claiming to be canceling already, just because of this inclusion of Station Cash into their game. Sad.

I think gamers, for whatever reason, have some natural knee-jerk reaction to RMT, that tells them to be afraid and react aggressively, without even trying to understand it and why it is becoming more of a standard. Games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and EA’s Battlefield Heroes will be, in my opinion, the first games that will illustrate how RMT can work in the western market. Gamers may be shy at first, but I think SW:TOR will have critical success based on the graphic style and how it will be marketed alone (Bioware + EA + ‘Star Wars” = $$$), and this critical success will eventually lead to acceptance.

So friends, don’t fear the RMT. He is your friend, and he won’t bite. No one is forcing you to spend any money on RMT goods. It is just an option added to broaden the appeal to more players who might be just as afraid of a $15/mo fee, as some are to RMT.