Okay, I’m writing at least one of the myriad of things I’ve promised to write since, oh, forever ago. Since I still see requests for help with tackling Inquisition’s nightmare difficulty on the places I lurk, because God forbid I ever try to involve myself in communities again, online or otherwise (I’m ignoring the irony of me posting this and actually liking the bits of chat I’ve had on WordPress but I think it’s because WordPress has a less intense audience compared to, say, reddit or Tumblr)…
But anyway, since there’s that new DLC coming on Tuesday, I figure I might as well do this post today. It might help to know that I did this as a Rift Mage, but this might be good advice for anyone rolling through the game. Spoiler-free too.
Let’s ignore topics about adult fears. Justified fears, like the fear of disease, the fear of flight and/or driving, and the fears that arise from day-to-day life…We will sidestep that whole mess of fears grounded in reality. We’re talking about what terrified a child today, with an innocent fear of something that did not have its fingers in reality, just of a place in a video game. It is the reason why it took her two years to beat Ocarina of Time, released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998.
Christ almighty, I hate this place.
A delightful day spent at the local arts festival resolves itself into a discussion on a gaming company demolishing its consumer base with such bald-faced incompetency that I swear it must be deliberate, that there’s a group inside Trion that is making bets on how fast they can destroy an MMO. Tomorrow I’ll have a post about the awesome things I found at the festival, including the contact information for the artists responsible. I am likely over-thinking things, but I would hate for someone to see a photo of the steampunk anglerfish and want to know how to reach the artist about seeing more of his work or purchasing said-awesome anglerfish and me, being an asshole and not having that information.
So, please, indulge me today with a thought experiment, to devise what can Trion can do, from a public-relations standpoint, to tame the flames. This is operating under the assumption that all of the consequences are accidental, and with the personal understanding that MMO launches can be exceptionally messy. Reading my previous entry on Trion’s practices may serve for good background information, but I would highly suggest Christina Eastwood’s exceptional breakdown over the missteps Trion has made over the course of ArcheAge’s release.
In the spring of 2011, with the hum of a new gaming machine near my leg, I grabbed the first Mass Effect game from Steam. Given I was a huge fan of Bioware’s Baldur’s Gate and Knights of the Old Republic, I was intrigued by their foray into an original science fiction setting. Part of me was worried that the “shooty aspects” of the game would not click with me; I’ve never enjoyed shooters, though I have tried a number of them. With these past experiences in the back of my mind, I launched the game with an open mind and an intent to focus on the adventure.
Just for some common ground before I start furiously flailing away at my keyboard, I’m going to quickly share what my definition of a label is. This is done with zero research and more piecemeal from my personal observations and education background. If this concept wears another name, or the common definition of a label is vastly different than my own, well…
Here is the literary equivalent of a shrug. I am pursing my lips, rolling my eyes upwards while tilting my head slightly to the left, and lifting both shoulders at the same time.
I define a label as a word that informs another of an aspect of the assigned’s personality, beliefs, hobbies, and/or virtues and vices. A label consists of both an intrinsic meaning and meanings associated with the label due to a person’s experiences and preconceptions of the label. For example, someone might bear the label of a bookworm. Its intrinsic meaning is “someone who really loves books.” Other aspects attributed to being a bookworm depend upon the person being informed. They may follow the cultural stigma that bookworms are socially awkward, shun interactions with others to read to the point of fanaticism, are bully magnets and perpetual victims in a society that values physical prowess over education, and so on. These secondary aspects are not always negative; a bookworm may be associated with wisdom, intelligence, and worldliness due to the materials they may be observed reading.
This is a very simplistic framework for labels and I understand the flaws in my own definition (sometimes untangling the cultural aspects from the base definition is a near-impossibility due to the differing perspectives that approach this task), but, for my purposes, it will do.
(This entry…Went places. Small content warning for abstractly discussing depression and sexual identities. And mentions of beating small, pixelated rabbit people.)
Let’s step back to the distant past, to August 21 and my anticipation for ArcheAge’s Conflict and Conquest beta event. I made my plans for this event, to roll a character I would never roll on a live server to experience the “other side’s” content, and I would get my character arrested to experience the trial system first-hand, and not arrested for wuss-evil crimes like uprooting plants. No, it would be for a damn good reason.
In preparation for this, I checked ArcheAge’s forums and opened Pandora’s box for the questionable decisions Trion has made concerning this game.
EDIT AS OF 9/3/2014: Please keep this entry in-mind while reading this review. At this point, I would discourage you from investing in this game and in Trion. Not because the game is bad, but because of the questionable decisions Trion has made in reaction to widespread account compromises in late August and in regards to their cash shop, which devalues character crafting and cooperation by offering crafting supplies on their cash shop.
ArcheAge’s third closed beta, spiritedly named Blood & Bounty, launched Thursday afternoon and will be ending tomorrow at 1 PM EST. I’ve had some time to run around in it and form something of an opinion on the beta. At the very least, I’ve been able to address some of my concerns and decide whether it is an opportunity worth following. My attempts at making my thoughts and reactions coherent are beneath the cut.