mmorpg

I am now in the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta

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Star Wars the old Republic CoverYes, I am now a beta tester for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and that is literally all I can tell you. The NDA says everything is confidential except for two addendums:

  1. The fact that there is a Game Program.
  2. The fact that you are a member of the Game Program.

So until the NDA is lifted, I have to be silent! Please don't tempt me!

I am rather excited about beta testing, I recently went from seeing The Old Republic as a must-buy to being on-the-fence, so I see this as my free trial at the game before I plunk down $60 for the box plus $15/month. When I finally can write about the game, I will have plenty to say, with hopefully first hour impressions of every class. (yes, the game has classes and that's a well known fact, I can say that!) I'm also a big fan of Mass Effect and Knights of the Old Republic, and I usually put tons of trust into BioWare blindly, so that too will be put to the test.

Hopefully this won't cut into my regular gaming too much, but I'm actually not playing much at the moment though besides Xenoblade: Chronicles, so they will definitely compete for time. In the meantime, I'll probably pop up some first hour reviews of a few of my Steam games, Recettear has been calling to me for a while.

Final Fantasy XIV Beta Impressions

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Ff14 CoverWithout question, Final Fantasy XI deviated strongly from MMO traditions and norms.  In doing so, it managed to greatly polarize the community.  By moving at a slow, calculated pace throughout (even for an MMO) and requiring players to rely on others to accomplish the most simple goals, many players were forever turned off, including Greg and myself.  Past level 15, players required a party to do any sort of leveling.  Many damage-dealing classes were simply not wanted and sat in the main city for hours until they could find a group, while tanks, healer and support classes were welcomed into parties within seconds.  The economy was absolutely broken, with incredible inflation stemming from gil selling and the gap between rich and poor players.  Farming for money (outside of instanced colliseum-style fights) consisted of sitting at rare spawn locations for hours along with the other farmers and bots, just hoping that you manage to attack the monster before anyone else and then praying that it would drop what you wanted.  Simply put, the game had a lot of glaring problems that pushed people away.

Years after its original Japanese and subsequent North American release, FFXI began changing significantly, modifying nearly everything and adding features to appear more tempting to the average gamer, especially once under the shadow of MMORPG behemoth World of Warcraft.  FFXI has always enjoyed a degree of success, as a profitable long-running MMO with a stable user base.  However, it has not gained significant market share either.  By hearing customer feedback for the past few years as well as observing current MMO trends, Square-Enix is surely hoping that they'll be able to grab more of that growing market with Final Fantasy XIV.  But how much have things really changed?  Have they fixed the basic and more complicated issues that people had with XI?  I was genuinely curious and tried out the beta for just this reason.  Here's what I've found...

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