FFXIV Housing F&#kapalooza – Followup

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Back in July, I wrote in length about my feelings about Final Fantasy XIV’s player housing problem, an issue that’s become a hot topic lately. I came to the conclusion that I don’t feel comfortable paying my subscription until the issue, and the various disparities they propagate, are fixed. I don’t know if my sub goes toward sustaining the servers but if they do, I’m paying for rich players to disenfranchise my experience. If my money doesn’t, then I still don’t appreciate the symbolic value of paying for a game that continues to allow players like Seraph Altima and her friend to do what they do.

Shirogane is finally open to the public alongside FFXIV’s 4.1 patch, and it went as well as could be expected. Let’s see how the game is faring…

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Final Fantasy XIV’s Housing F&#kapooloza 2017

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I played Final Fantasy XIV since 2010’s alpha. I recruited a large group of friends into playing around 1.23, Realm Reborn, and Heavensward’s launches. I’ve enjoyed its many successes, minus one thing: housing.

When the playerbase exploded around Realm Reborn’s hype and launch, I was surprised to see Balmung turn from a relatively tiny community into the very same server some players on Mateus are complaining about being too large right now. 

The housing areas were bought out so quickly I never had a chance to get a small plot. When apartments were released, I managed to get one – on the sub-ward – after staying up until 2 am on a work night, waiting in a long queue, then panicking after being glitched behind the new building. A few of my friends snagged an apartment as well. Most of my friends didn’t.

Some of my friends had to buy the game/its expansion, set up their subscription, make their character on another server, then pay about $15 for a transfer to Balmung to get around its closed-but-not-entirely-closed-gates-of-entry. We wanted to play together. We found a way to. Then were were stuck because changing servers would cost a crap ton of money.

Then Square Enix released their New World and World Population Balancing Incentives. This meant a new start on a new server – Mateus – and the possibility to finally own a damned house. When I transferred I had about 1.5m, so I started working toward hitting the 2m mark, and so on. Balancing that and work has been really hard lately, but things were looking up.

Then news spread that wards were quickly filling. My new Mateus friend, who owns a lot of land, said he’ll loan me the rest of the money if I could find an small open plot.

I checked Lavendar Beds. Nothing. Traveled to Mist. Nada. Close to tears from frustration, I teleported to The Goblet. Nich.

As my blood pressure rose, I noticed something different about Goblet, Ward 12. The entire ward was owned by two people. I logged out and haven’t logged in since. Queue rant:

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Will Black Desert Succeed?

This week’s post will be a quickie. I want to publish a long-winded article every week, but the trials of life have been building up lately and I have to spend some quality time squashing them into little, manageable bits.

So Black Desert is finally launching!

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I played around with the recently-released character creator and have had flashbacks to Sims 4’s spectacular Create-A-Sim. It feels natural to me, like molding something out of clay. It’s a lot more satisfying, too.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this game. So why do I feel so ambivalent about it? Because I don’t know if this game will be different enough, and I can’t trust that it will succeed.

There are just too many examples of sandbox-esque games going sour. Mabinogi has been a train wreck for years now; ArcheAge has been rightfully lambasted; Pathfinder Online is clawing its way out of development hell; Final Fantasy XIV’s reboot was developed as a WoW clone on purpose; and EverQuest Next’s silence is just as telling as it is heartbreaking.

I’m not even mentioning the superfluity of open-world gankfest paradise games like Mortal Online, or games much older than FFXIV that “themeparked” their gameplay like Star Wars Galaxies’ infamous NGE update.

As much as I want – deep in my heart – for the genre to innovate, I can’t trust current industry leaders to actually pull that off.

I really don’t know what to think about this game. Maybe I’ll be surprised?

Too Much Skyrim

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I still remember the day The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim launched in 2011. It was a magical time full of wonders and new, memorable experiences.

It was a wonderful time to be a gamer. It was a wonderful time to be alive.

During the golden age of Skyrim’s modding scene, countless mods were released every day. Looking back, most of them were garbage – but that didn’t matter. The community was using a game we universally loved to express our creativity and vision. The mods that stood the test of time are testaments to the hard work, creativity and passion of the modding community.

But everything has its limits, and I’ve finally reached mine. So let’s take a trip down memory lane! Continue reading

First Impressions: Blade & Soul

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After waiting impatiently since it was announced in 2009, Blade & Soul was finally released in North America and European Countries.

Last weekend my friend Derek and I binge played the game, only stopping on occasion for food and sleep. Now that my character is level 23, I feel like I’ve had enough of a taste of Blade & Soul’s mechanics to write about my first impressions. I tend to schedule articles for publishing on Fridays, but I think it’s best to release this while my thoughts are still fresh.

Prepare for a fresh batch of unadulterated honesty.
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Mabinogi Won’t Fix Itself

I have a long history with Mabinogi. The following discussion is aimed for people who have experienced the game at some point. If you have not played Mabinogi, I recommend not playing it and waiting until I move onto another subject. There was a time when I could recommend this game, but that time is long gone.

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My first MMO wasn’t World of Warcraft or any of its clones – it was RuneScape, a freemium sandbox MMORPG with amazing player freedom and quests full of cutscenes and memorable characters (I will always remember you, Zanik). Since I was a poor kid at the time, the only way I could venture into new territory was to try free-to-play Korean imports.

I started Mabinogi around the time Goddess of Light was released. I was much younger back then, and a bigger fan of anime than I am now. After countless bad experiences, I finally found a game that had the freedom that RuneScape had, but with better graphics and a condensed single storyline.

One Long Recap Later…

Fast forward to now. The game I loved is now a shell of its former self. The engine has become considerably worse, more outdated and buggy than ever before. Whatever balance this game had has been completely ruined by new talents, AP overload, and the ill-conceived “Renovation” updates. Continue reading

Update: Blade & Soul Prelaunch Weekend

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I know I just recently posted that I wouldn’t buy the founders pack for Blade & Soul.

Well… I kinda did. I bought the Master’s Pack.

Money is no issue here – it’s about spending the weekend playing with my friends. It’s been difficult to spend quality time with them lately – starting my own business and being part of countless projects and initiatives can do that to a person. When I get home from work, I tend to gravitate towards the couch – most of my job involves socializing and while I may be good at it, I’m still an introvert-by-nature and I need the recovery time. So I can work efficiently. It’s a vicious cycle.

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I may or may not have spent two and a half hours creating this character.

I try not to be flip-floppy about my opinions, but when I saw the opportunity to make up for lost time I had to take it. One particular friend of mine has been waiting for the game for as long as I have. So we’ll be playing together!

We’ll be ingame on the Old Man Cho server starting tomorrow, January 15th at 10 AM PST. My ingame name is Edge, so feel free to send a PM!

Gaming in 2016

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Finally! It’s a new year, full of new opportunities. There’s a slew of new game releases, a world full of new clients for my business, and constantly-shifting drama culminating in the 2016 Presidential Election! #FeelTheBern

This year marks some big game releases and updates to existing MMOs that I’ve been waiting a long time for. Here are the top games of 2016 that I can’t wait to play! Continue reading

Sims 4: Free Updates we Desperately Need

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Since the game’s launch, the developers of The Sims 4 have taken great lengths to provide free updates that add desperately-needed features to the base game. Examples include pools, ghosts, and the dishwasher. With updates like this, numerous gallery updates, and the occasional new hairstyle or clothing option, I’d say the developers have been doing a great job.

There is still a lot left to do, though. Here are three ideas for free updates that I believe we desperately need: Continue reading