Wednesday, September 29

Steam is great when offline

The past ten days I have been offline. And I will remain offline till at least next week Wednesday. So what am I supposed to do at home? The internet has really become one of life's necessities.

But in stead of going outside (*schudder*) or playing a boardgame (huh? what?) I discovered I have actually a whole list of nifty video games I have never even tried. All of them were bargain downloads from Steam. But when the internet is up and running I never found the time to try them out.

Where the rest of the world is locking themselves up with Civ V I managed to finally start up Civ IV. For a 2005 game I thought the UI looked rather outdated. But the zoom features, and animated troops managed to pull in anyway. I managed to expand my empire to several cities, and then wondered what I was doing it for. So time for something else.

Zeno Clash was next. That is a fun game. The art style is quite different. The characters are ... weird. The whole story is kind of weird. Apparently I killed my father-mother and the rest of my family is chasing after me. It has a very rewarding first person melee combat system. I am taking great pleasure in sucker punching the weirdest characters.

But I am of course rather pathetic at it. My twitch skills serious lack smoothness. And my keyboard-mouse-eye coordination can use some training. I have managed to make it to the first boss where I am sort of stuck. But I will persevere!

In the meantime I have started firefox several time. And it still says I can't connect to the internet. It really feels like I have an addiction. I can't even enjoy an offline game anymore.

Tuesday, September 28

Monday, September 27

Bounding Bear in Bree

My pet John, the bounding bear in question.

First off a bit of history with this game- I think it was Lani that managed to get me in to the early closed beta., I felt it had promise then but didn't hook me. I spotted the game + Mines of Moria and an additional 2 month timecard for the bargain price of £15 in total last year, I didn't play the three months and didn't get any character past level 10, for some reason again it just didn't hook me. After the announcement of F2P and a subsequent closed beta, this beta whore obviously wasn't going to stay away. This time though I noticed a change, something hooked me in, the work they carried out on the beginners experience had done its job nicely and I found myself looking forward to release.

I've been playing it solidly for just over two weeks now, the majority of those days have seen solid play sessions of up to 4hrs during the week and more at weekends, I have one character at lvl 20 and my second character (same class, different race so I could join a friend) is coming up nicely. 20 isn't high if your an end game chaser for that amount of time, but I'm not chasing end game.

I've found that LotRO has more to offer me than my previous incursions had me believe, I'm enjoying the quests, enjoying the graphics and feel charmed by the whole feel of the world they created, I don't think any Tolkien purist would be happy (the IP being one of the biggest hurdles for this game), but standing away from the works of Tolkien and standing in the world they created and feeling it for what it is, I am thoroughly charmed by it.

Any game with a half decent crafting system is always going to get my attention, in the scheme of things this isn't too bad. The system offers nothing new but is completely robust in as much as it does what is needed, at the levels I've played crafted gear is better than most drops and quest rewards, more so if you get a 'critical success'. There is nothing complex about the process except that you choose a vocation rather than individual gathering/crafting skills, as a weaponmaster you won't necessarily get prospecting within the same vocation. It makes for dependency on other crafters, or in my case the creation of an alt. I enjoy the process enough that it has provided a significant portion of XP through mob kills and my game plan at the moment is built as much around gathering the next mats, killing that rare beast and creating that awesome robe as it is following the storyline.

I won't say much more about the game because I know you've all probably played enough to get a flavour for it, I'll just talk a little about the monetary side to this 'F2P' transition.

I've played loads of F2P titles, far too many to mention, for that reason I'm looking at how the cash transactions compare to other F2P titles. I'm going to forget about the previous sub only model and any such comparisons. On the surface LotRO compares very favourably, if all you've played is F2P then you are going to be in for a few nice surprises, I'm seriously impressed by how much you get for so little. The things you'll notice immediately is two locked classes, a reduction in inventory space, the inability to sell at the AH and the need to purchase the riding skill (mounts can be bought with in game cash). The two locked classes are no big deal, you still have choices within the classic archetypes of warrior, healer, mage and rogue, the rest of those items are pretty crucial for a full, unencumbered experience of the game, so what's the cost?

I'm playing the Turbine version of the game, Codemasters are dragging their feet with the F2P version. Turbine points are bought within the game, you also earn them via Quests and Deeds (proficiency in a skill, completion of certain objectives or kill counts of certain mobs), no F2P title that I've played has ever let you earn RMT currency, if you're a completionist or not shy of grinding you can earn that mount skill, AH slots and extra bags just by playing. F2P players will be well versed in the grind and shouldn't mind too much if they really don't want to spend money. If you bit the bullet and decide to spend then a nice surprise will be that the bag you just unlocked for this character is also unlocked for all the characters on your account, FTP titles always charge for each character for inventory space. Things like the mount skill and AH sales access are each character. I can't remember the exact cost of items but I spent £20 on 2,500 points, so far I've unlocked one extra bag, got access to selling at the AH and bought the riding skill, I have 1,590 points left, 50-70 probably gained through play. My next purchase will probably be the riding skill for my alt, which will leave around 1,200 (plus what I earn through playing), I can mail stuff to the character with the AH unlocked so no need to worry about that and he already has the account wide unlocked extra bag.

The next costs I'm not so sure about, forums would have you believe that quests dry up at 20, so far I'm not at all short of them and in game chat says other wise. Unlocks of some quest content for lvl 20-40 costs around 400 points and is for the account, at my current point level I can unlock 3 quest packs, two would easily get me to max F2P content at lvl 50, from there I would need to purchase the expansions at roughly £20 each.

At the moment I feel like I'm playing a sub worthy title at less than the cost of a B2P model such as GW, compared to most F2P titles out there that's a bloody good deal.

Sunday, September 26

Playing the number game

fame has put out two interesting articles About 'the numbers game' parts I and II.
In the first article his conclusion is that it's hard to get numbers out because it's hard to collect them and also hard to use the same numbers. But if someone else would only give him an "official" measuring stick, he'd use it.

The second article is about how subscription numbers are not really indicative of whether a game is successful or not because, you know, there's this return on investment thingy. Actually he gives three reasons, but dwells the longest on the effect we all see. How we all try the new shiny MMO and drop it within one or two months. Real success should be measured by whether the subscriber numbers (which they're unable to figure out) are in the ballpark of what they were aiming for. How you aim for a number that's apparently so hard to determine beats me.

Actually, I don't understand why Craig claims they're so difficult. In the first article he blithely wishes for something along the Nielsen TV ratings for MMO's. Erm... What? Nielsen ratings are at best a wild guesstimate, a clutch for an industry that has no truly meaningful data available. It's like the fuzzy statistics wizardry used for advertisement in magazines and radio.
New Media, like the Interwebz and MMO's being wholly digital are a rather different breed of animal though. So the statement that meaningful numbers are hard to come by appear... odd... at best.

Why would Craig use the least accurate media rating system as an example of the kind of MMO rating system he'd like to get behind? I mean, it's not like there aren't better alternatives available in New Media.

Other branches don't do it, do they?:
Internet advertisement has grown into different breed of animal from paper magazine advertisement because, well because page impressions, views, unique visitors, click-throughs and what not can all be turned into discrete, analysable data. Unlike the fuzzy wuzzy "No idea if people actually see the ads on page 7 anymore or if the stick with the pictures on page 4" paper mag advertisement. TV ratings are more diffuse than those even.
But that's really still to close to 'old media'. MMO's are something different, something new and never seen before. Or are they? What's the business model again? You purchase a "physical" product initially. A viewer, which enables you to make use of a service. For this service you pay a monthly fee. Hmmmm..... I don't think I have far to go from TV ratings and stay within the medium to find several companies who are actually capable of whipping up those subscriber numbers.
But of course, MMO's are a lot more "difficult", there's people who use time cards you know. And it's not like there's pay-per view schemes in Television we could figure out how they do their measurements on right? Oh wait there are.

But let's look at a different branch. Mobile phones. You buy a viewer, or Jobsian status symbol, which enables you to make use of the services which (in its basic subscription form) costs you a monthly fee *plus* pay-per-view. There's alternate forms like pre-paid cards (time cards actually use pretty much the *same* technology) and partial flat fee models. There's deals and hundreds of models of 'viewer' too. Where a Funcom MMO will typically have a convoluted subscription system, it's nothing like the plethora of options you get at your local Phonehouse store. Somehow mobile phone companies are capable of generating useful, meaningful and very, very data-minable user statistics.

In fact a former colleague at Spellborn, who used to work for one of those companies in their marketing department, explained to me how their data mining gave them an 80% accuracy estimate on when you'd switch subscription plans or want a new model phone and even what way you'd be likely to jump. They had 95% accuracy over a time span of a month. He was bemoaning the fact that privacy laws prevented his company to do targeted advertisement based on that data. They're limited to using the data anonymously (in the Netherlands and EU anyway) so have to play with global campaigns, rather than individually targeted ones.

I'm taking my usually rumbling long way to get to a point here. And it's that the technology required to get meaningful user data about things like MMO players has been in existence, for longer than MMO's exist. So the argument it's hard to get them is poppycock.

Counting bottle-caps is hard you know:
Let's take a look at some reasonably standardisable numbers which I don't for a second believe Craig doesn't have access to:

Concurrent users: This means the nr of concurrently logged on users at time X. You can poll this once an hour on every server, aggregate that and collect the data over time so you can make some nice graphs showing Server load over time for each server. Any MMO company which doesn't at least have the ability to collect this data from logs doesn't deserve to be in business. You don't just gather this data in order to produce nice fluffy "Active User" numbers for your Marketing department to throw around, but your Live Operations team kinda needs to know this as well.
This is all the information you need to produce a number called: Active Players This Day. From there it's real easy to go to Week, Month, Year. Just use the AVG formula in Excel.

Log on/off session data: Similarly to concurrent user data which you're storing for technical use, logging on and off fires a loggable event. The same for Session time outs. Collecting average in-game time from this is a breeze. Heck, EQ-II easily collected a ton more than this and academics are having lots of fun with it. Excel, or a decent data analysis tool can get you nice graphs with average in-game time and the argument that in-game time doesn't necessarily mean play time is moot. Players know this. They play MMO's and have a good idea of how intensively they really use their online time.

So we have two numbers that can easily be fabricated out of data any MMO company worth their salt is collecting anyway... In fact, if you're willing to have a developer spend a few days setting it up you can buy turn-key third party solutions compelte with auto-generated graphs on a nice little web-server or in PDF format mailed to you at configured intervals.

An apple is not a pear, but who cares if you're counting fruit:
Craig also intimated that there's some difference between the definitions of player, user and subscriber and of course there's those pesky time-cards to obfuscate things. But wait. In a subscription based game, isn't a Time-card equal to a month's subscription? Or three months, depending on how many different cards you got? So would it be safe to put a user who bought and activated (you have this data!) a one month time-card be comparable to someone who used their credit card to pay non-recurring for a month's subscription? Yes you can. You can also keep them segregated in your monthly report which your payment services provider is legally bound to provide you with at each month.

Gasp! What? You mean, subscriber numbers are actually readily and transparently provided to MMO company CFO's?
Yes, yes they are.
Any MMO publisher not able to whip up a report breaking down paid for subscriptions into Different subscription and payment plans will not have a clear fix on their revenue streams. Since Investors and shareholders alike take a dim view of that kind of thing, you can bet your rosy butt they do have this information. I've seen these types of reports first hand so I know they exist, and are not that hard to break down into simple numbers.

Of course there's the problem that not everyone measures in the same way. This makes it less transparent. Blizzard's Active Subscribers may mean something other than Funcom's Active Users. Oddly enough this hasn't brought the industry to a halt. The key is transparency. Both Blizzard and Funcom have to provide transparency to these numbers to their Investors/Shareholders. Ofcourse they try to spin, massage and otherwise obfuscate their numbers towards these people as well. It's second nature to them. The computer Branch (hard- soft- and serviceware) has been notoriously lousy at using branch-wide measurement numbers. The reaosn for that is the same reaosn that Craig would rather use something as inaccurate as a Nielsen's rating for MMO Ratings than provide the public with accurate and transparent numbers. It's not in their best interest to provide these numbers.

I can't blame him for that really. He makes some good arguments on how success means something different for each project. Project goals generally aren't publicly announced and it's the meeting of those goals which define success, not an arbitrary number like subscribers. Why he doesn't come out and say so in the first article but but rather pretents his and other companies are incompitent and generating numbers is hard I don't know.
So while his second article actually makes sense, it's undermined by the poppycock arguments of the first article.

Thursday, September 23

Mapping Stereotypes

Somebody pointed me to a wonderful list of great maps of Europe. Of course everybody thinks Holland is the place to go for drugs. Apparently except the Italians, who think that is where Canada is. The entire list of great maps can be found here. Maybe I should try to make an MMO prejudice map...

Monday, September 20

The worst part is...

I recognize most of the references they make in the lyrics

Friday, September 17

Dead Kennedy's were on to a good thing?

Thank God I'm not an American.
It's also a good thing to this guy probably never listens to Punk Rock or he might mistake a certain song for a Good Idea:

Thursday, September 16

Why are we playing games?

Zubon at Kill Ten Rats has a nice article about pro-social design.
While the article is good it also scares me in a way as it seems to hint that the reason I play games has been put by the wayside completely. Here's an excerpt:
For example, consider Marks of Triumph in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. The epic quest chain is a big feature for LotRO, but it was punctuated with instances that demanded full groups. If most of the population had completed them all, how did newer players and alts get through the epics? You asked someone to repeat one. Repeating one was a way to help friends, but you got jack for it. Your friends had to give something up, and you would not meet new people unless someone was a very charitable stranger (or, lucky day, you find a few people who need it, a couple of whom have charitable friends). Game update: repeating one of those instances began to award (once per five days) a Mark of Triumph; accumulate several Marks to barter for various rewards. The rewards were rather nice for when they were released. Pro-social behavior increased.
Ok. very nice game mechanic to make people do something they don't want to. Erm, hold on what is it they don't want to do? Well, play a rather nice grouped instance of a game. You know, have fun playing. Why don't they want to do that? Because there's no reward in it for them. The nice mechanic provides that mechanic.

Now, on the one hand I'm all in favour of mechanics like these, that give a little more incentive, but what bugs me is that the author never once considers people might actually want to redo that instance for the fun of it. Are instances so horrible we really solely do them for the rewards they give? These rewards that ostensibly make us better at playing the game are the goal now, not having fun playing the game. Just the Phat Lootz.

Yes I know, old argument and really not what the article is about. However, it sometimes bugs me the way we're all put on the treadmill of rewards where the joy of game is no longer in having fun anymore.

Worse, its an unspoken accepted fact by now it seems.

Friday, September 10

Tentative connections

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Decisions decisions. Shall I go through the trouble of finding out how to contact Entropia Support Department, which is the only bit not featurieng a hyperlink oddly enough, to have this barely remembered account (I think I tried it for all of 90 minutes that time) and thereby signalling to them that this is in fact still an active e-mail account, or just quietly inform my spam filter to expect another e-mail in 150 days?


This and other equally blindingly obvious should I or shouldn't I quandaries trouble professionals around the world and kept me from digging in on the life expectancy topic this night shift.

Monday, September 6

Steve Erikson explains himself

Of course there are three storm-clouds. Of course this detail is relevant. It's how short stories work.
This in regard to a small detail in the first installment of his 10 doorstopper series...
It may sound odd, but this is the essence of what makes the Malazan Tales of the Fallen at the same time so wonderful and yet hard to get into. Erikson writes his bookstoppers with the same intensity of prose as if they wore short storeis, with every line having deeper meaning. No filler.

Read the full gem of explanation here.

What's your MMO life expectancy?

No I don't mean whether you expect to be playing MMO's into your dotage or if you think you'll be able to achieve the Survivor title in Guild Wars 2.

I'm thinking about churn, and how it has changed, sped up over the years.
When I look back about five to six years ago I would be playing a single MMO for six to ten month straight.
I think it's safe to say that this has been roughly halfed since then. Most MMO's I've tried since have lasted three months (including the first 'free' month). Another thing I've noticed is a higher rate of coming back to MMO's.

Not counting crap like Archlord and RFO of which I didn't make it through the:
  • Guild Wars: 10 months actively playing, several revisits of days/weeks.
  • EverQuest II: 6 months active then moved to Vanguard, 4 revisits of one month each.
  • Vanguard: 9 months, two revisits of a month each.
  • Lineage II: 4 months, two revisits of a month each.
  • Anarchy Online* 3 months, 3 revisits of one month each.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online: 2 months, 2 revisits of a month each.
  • Lord of the Rings Online: 2.5 Months, one revisit.
  • Eve Online: 1 Month, 1 revisit.
  • City of X-es: 3 months initially, several revisits, one of which lasted 4 months
  • Tabula Rasa: 2 months
  • Warhammer Online: 2 Months (and half a year in Closed Beta which was more fun)
  • Age of Conan: 6 months, then two retries of one month each.
  • Aion: One month (barely)
  • Fallen Earth: 4 months of wich 2 months active, one month semi-active, one month inactive.
  • Second Life: Intermittent visiting for over a year.
I probably missed a title and there's several F2P MMO's like RoM, Allods and Free Realms I gave a shot but those universally failed to keep me interested. There's various reasons for the different times I spent in game. Sometimes I liked the game but didn't connect with the community at all (DDO, FE) sometimes the feeling of grind started within the first month (Aion, Tabula Rasa) or sometimes other stuff got in the way. So don't take the length in-game as an indication of how well I liked the game.

What I'm getting at is that I see a shifting trend from playing an MMO for six to ten months in 2004-2006 to playing three months or so after launch then revisiting occasionally since. Actually I revisited the 'classics' as well, so maybe that's not important. If an MMO I'm interested in were to launch October first, I expect to be cancelling my subscription around New Year's Eve as a result. While working at Spellborn I learned that the average churn at the time was six month. This was 2006 and that seems to match my MMO playing habits at the time.

Now my questions for you are:
  • Do you sense a similar trend in your playing habits / those of people in general?
  • Why do you think that is?
  • Do you think MMO deisgners are adequately anticipating this trend or causing it (inadvertently?)
* not counting the $5 a month year long subscription I'd forgotten to cancel

FFXIV - A few thoughts and info

First thing to do with this game is forget everything you've ever learned in the majority of MMO's and approach it as a genre unto itself. Second thing to do is be prepared for a steep learning curve. On top of an open mind and a degree of patience you'll also need a half decent machine to play it on. It's been optimised a lot over the course of the betas and I'm guessing that work isn't yet finished. On my system ( Phenom 2.4ghz Quad, 4gb RAM and Gforce 260GTX) it runs very nicely, with visuals set at max, it's not a great system so I'm of the belief they've done a pretty good job to get something looking this good working so well on a machine of this level.

Controls have been one of the big bug bears since info started to leak from earlier betas, it's obvious that the game is optimised for using a controller. I find using the traditional keyboard and mouse set up works well enough for navigating the world, there is some lag with the mouse but not enough to make me dig out that PS3 controller buried in the depths of my messy drawer. The biggest problem with using keyboard and mouse is the menu, if you've played any of the Final Fantasy series on a Playstation you'll be familiar with the way it works. Mouse lag on the menu and the extra button presses do slow down getting through options, it's not a game breaker, just something else that requires some patience.

The fatigue system has been another cause for controversy - You get 8 hrs at full XP threshold (SE have some formula for the max possible xp earned per hour) , the following 7 hrs sees a slowing down of XP to zero. The system resets weekly. SE say the idea of this is to not give players with more time an advantage, the cynic in me says time sink. In effect it currently limits you to 15 hours a week of full level boosting play time but if your not a pure grinder it means much more than that. You can of course still get on with other things like being social or gathering and crafting.

There are five races to choose from, The Hyur (Human types), Elezen (Elf type), Lalafell (small childlike race), Miqo'te (Cat people but only female available) and Roegadyn (Big brutish humanoids, only male). Each race has up to 4 sub types with slightly different looks and stats. After choosing your main race and sub type you can customise your character, 4 or 5 face options, 4 or 5 hair options and colour, ears, nose, mouth, eyes and a few characteristics like facial hair and tattoos. Not the most far reaching of options but not the worst either, it is likely you'll see a carbon copy of you sooner rather than later.

Once you've picked your race and customised your character it's time to pick your class, there are 4 main archetypes which split in to further sub types:

Disciples of War
  • Gladiator
  • Maurador
  • Pugilist
  • Archer
  • Lancer
Disciples of Magic
  • Thaumaturge
  • Conjurer
Disciples of the Land
  • Fisher
  • Botanist
  • Miner
Disciples of the Hand
  • Carpenter
  • Blacksmith
  • Armorer
  • Goldsmith
  • Leatherworker
  • Weaver
  • Alchemist
  • Culinarian
Once you've picked your class you aren't limited to it, by simply equiping the appropriate weapon or tool you switch classes and have access to their skills. When you first switch to a different class you start at zero experience so they need to be leveled up individually.

Switching weapons will switch your class and the first weapon skill in your action bar, the rest of the skills need to be changed manually, skill slots need to be cleared before a skill can be replaced. There is no quick way to switch weapons and skills without setting up macros, patience is needed again to find your way around the system and set up the macros, once that's done life gets a hell of a lot easier, just edit your macro as you gain new skills. I currently use a macro to clear all skills except for slot one (switching weapon does that automatically), I then have seperate macros for each class that switch the weapon and add the appropriate skills in to their slots. Finding the skills wasn't easy, I was running around with only one skill for ages before I decided to take a closer look at that blank drop down menu which then revealed a set of skills for each class I had unlocked.

Getting the weapons and tools is of course your crucial first step in playing the other classes, finding them however isn't that simple. None of the NPC's have titles, which means that in that row of 8 stores one of the NPC's might have something you need, your going to have to speak to each one, the current problem there is that there's a significant delay between selecting the buy option and the goods window showing up, it gets frustrating after the fifth shop keeper has nothing you want and theres three more to go. Luckily a lot of what you need can be bought in the class guild shop, once you've located it in your local city, if of course they have a building in your local city. I've yet to find an armorer or blacksmith in my current starting city.

There is no ability for your character to jump, at first you think 'no big deal' but then you realise that as you explore your limited by terrain, some areas are worse than others, in a forest area I felt like I was continually being railed in, see that foot high hill there? forget getting over it until you've walked further to find a ramp, the desert area on the other hand felt free and open despite its elevations. While I'm on exploration - mob levels can seem quite random, you think you've conquered those mobs in your local area that are hitting you for 40 damage, you decide to explore further, see something new and before you know it you've been one shot for 3000, caution is your friend. Exploring in some directions is too dangerous for your health. Mob difficulty is colour coded - blue to red, blue being easy, green about right, orange getting likely it will kill you and red your pretty much dead when it looks at you, or so the theory goes. I've had blue mobs get me closer to death than some red mobs, the colours are a general guide but no guarantee of difficulty.

Instead of quests FFXIV has something called leves. Each leve has a starting point based at an aetherite (sp?) crystal based in some camp away from the city, there is also one in each city but so far no content for them has been forthcoming. Currently repeatable leves are on a 48hr cooldown. Leves can be scaled to match how you play, solo or various sizes of group. leves do not reward xp, they reward currency, faction and the occasional item. Completion of a leve will result in the spawning of another aetherite crystal at your location, use it to pick up your reward and teleport back to the starting crystal or let it disappear and carry on exploring. A leve is usually picked up in a city from the guilds, the leve will tell you which camp you need to go to start it. Leves are timed. Leves are available for all classes.

As you'll have seen from my earlier screenshot post this game is a stunner, it is very easy to lose yourself in the world if graphics are your thing. The animations are the best I've seen anywhere. The areas have environmental effects, from heavy downpours in the woods to sandstorms in the desert. The day night cycle is wonderful, subtle changes happen throughout the world day.

Combat is slower paced than what you would be expecting in an MMO, you'll either get used to it or run away bored to tears, I got used to it and now enjoy the relaxed pace. There's nothing innovative about combat and most of the time you'll just be button mashing to get through.

Content is really lacking in the Open Beta, having exhausted the first 4 adventurers leves your left with doing the crafting/gathering leves or grinding until the 48hr timer is up. Various speculative posts across the interwebz give the lack of content as SE holding back so as not to spoil the story or holding back so that you need to play the real deal to properly experience the content.

Reading through various forums and blogs it's clear that there are a lot of people non too happy about having to work just to grasp the basics of this game, if you need a solid tutorial and aren't prepared to live through some frustration then this game isn't for you. You need patience to battle through menu options and be prepared to work a little to get things moving.

I think this game has loads of potential, I'm enjoying my time, somehow within a world so beautiful, peopled with strange inhabitants the grind doesn't feel so bad and there's the clincher, is this world for you? I'd recommend anyone take a look while they can but to do so with an open mind and a willingness to learn a different way of doing things.

I was initialy anti a pre order, the lack of content has me concerned but as pre ordering is cheaper than buying the standard edition I'm throwing caution to the wind, getting it for sub £30 doesn't seem a waste to me and I'm intrigued to see what else this game has to offer.

Sunday, September 5

Sunday Screens FFXIV

All screens are from Open Beta.
Sign up at :

Yes they have Chocobos

This Opo-Opo looks cute but would have killed me if I attacked
PWNed by Naked Moles

For a desert area this is pretty damn nice

Copper Coblyn - I blame it on it's diet

Another weird creature found in a cave
Another desert view, the lighting impressed me here

Nahkti - trying to work out how to join in on the carpentry

At least someone sussed out crafting

City streets

Wednesday, September 1