All pink from the frost (EQ2x)

outside, now inside fed and snuggled in a blanket with my trusty laptop. I’m not playing EQ2x tonight because tonight’s the night AoD launches – night for me anyway, and Freeport is revamped, and the free & live servers are merged. It won’t be f2p, not really – to me the payment model looks like a funnel to subscription.

I never played any of the Everquests – luckily for me its all still new and I’m content with what’s free plus one payment for silver membership and one for a house (half price). If they want more money, they’ll have to drop their prices some. Meanwhile I’m ok with plootering about crafting, questing, decorating. More than ok. I’d like to give them more, I really would, but I find what I get for what I pay to be underwhelming & cannot bring myself to do it!  The house was nice to buy – might get another of those – but paying for a race/class I may not like doesn’t really sound like a good idea for example.

As a new player I find myself constantly amazed by how much World of Warcraft copied the game. My goodness, I had NO idea. That’s interesting in it’s own right, just that aspect keeps me involved. As an artefact, historically,  it’s fascinating – but there are other things I like. The delicacy of the artwork is refreshing. I have no idea how it can be called dated – photorealism and photographs date – works of the imagination do not since they are not linked to the space/time continuum. I don’t find old paintings dated – their style carries with them into their imaginary space – like cartoons. Herrumph getting my head in knots here and diverting from the point. I like the artwork. I spend a lot of time zooming in on things. I like that it’s not huge flashy stuff but has some sublety and grace.

Having a house is a semi-revelation – after all, I do play Wurm. Having a house without decay is an indescribable relief. Repairing decay is what will eventually drive me from Wurm to nurse my incipient RSI for a good long while. Decay in Wurm will get a blog all to itself, I dislike it so much. Having nicer furniture, similarly is a huge relief. I am pretty tired of the Rough Hewn Nordic Plank look, though it totally suits Wurm and probably shouldn’t be changed. Like most of Wurm’s graphics it’s somewhat unrelieved. A change is most welcome.

The quests and dialogue in EQ2x are beautifully done – that’s another thing. Questing really is a pleasure and there is enough choice too, it seems to me (at this early stage). The crafting system is new to me. Not sure I like having to babysit the process quite so intensively but in short stints it’s enjoyable. Yes, it’s fine – sometimes I feel a yen for a bit of intense crafting.

I feel happy and relaxed in Norrath – I think thats the main thing, and right at this moment it is my favourite place to be. As always solo play is heavily restricted compared to group play & guild participation. So I probably will only play it for a little while, maybe visit now and then after that. Its something of a non-starter, with the limits in place, for consideration as a long-term game & bless it not worth the subscription at current levels – especially if cash purchases are expected of one – on top of the subscription. Such on-top purchases may be voluntary but they devalue the sub even further.

So that’s it – the suitable and unsuitable – for me. I hope they don’t mess up with the revamps – I do not like revamps, too much is usually lost. It will be interesting to see. I’m a little more immersed than it looks from what I wrote perhaps – it’s a lovely place to end the day, adventuring in another world (scenery is splendid!) or crafting a little and then going to one’s own online home. That’s very attractive to me. Now that it’s offline downloading or whatever, I do indeed miss it.

I am not one to sit about griping frustratedly for too long. The offspring and I have embarked on our own game-writing – we are a good 6 months into the project already – mostly preparatory work, no big rush. There are things we want that just aren’t out there is one side of it. The other is all the stuff they don’t teach at school which fits so nicely into such a project. Sensible stuff like… mmmm….ha! setting up a company – project planning, time management, resource allocation, economies of scale, coding, design, basic office systems, integration of components, compatibility of platforms, financing, demographics.  (Boring as dust the lot of it but digestible when seen in practice and as the needed framework for something more exciting.)

This weekend a small milestone, we are moving into our first real creative phase and pausing the backround nuts and bolts – we’ll be comparing synopses we’ve come up with while we were working through the more mundane things, and creating a few more. I can’t wait to be honest.

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