Tobold's Blog
Monday, August 17, 2009
 
Beta week

This weekend was the last Aion beta event. I would have had a last look, but in spite of updating my password and client, the game wouldn't let me in. Not really a problem, because I already decided not to play it on release.

Today the open beta for Champions Online starts. The game has been, in my opinion, unfairly maligned by several bloggers complaining that Champion's Online offer of lifetime subscription or cheap 6-month subscription was expiring before the game comes out. But as those offers expire only September 1st, everyone gets two weeks of open beta to decide whether these offers are worth it, which I find totally reasonable. I don't know yet whether I will end up playing Champions Online, but I sure will check it out this week.

Also this week begins the US open beta for Dragonica Online, a Chinese Free2Play game which is already up and running elsewhere. The interesting part of that news is that in the US this game will be run by a new company, THQ*ICE, subsidiary of veteran game developer and publisher THQ. While previously Free2Play games were dominated by small companies specialized in these sort of games, now more traditional game companies also appear to want a piece of the pie.
Comments:
I was in the Chineese Beta for Aion, I remain unimpressed.

I also have been in the closed beta for Champions Online for a short while, Its not perfect, I'm not sure it even really brings any new ideas to the table. Its basicaly a better?? Newer verson of City of Heroes.

I like the combat more, and while I enjoy that you can pick and choose from a number of different power sets, rather then being locked into only two, There overall seems a lot less powers then City of Heroes had.

Also considering the dev's can't say a single sentence without blurting out the word customization I'm surprised you can't choose how your weapons look (at least I didn't notice a way to)

Sure, you can change the color of your force blast (a welcome addition) but when I make a character with their exhaustive character builder, and said character looks like a cowboy, and said character then runs around with two desert eagles and an sub-machine gun I can't help but feel they took a step backwards from CoH.

I enjoyed CoH a great deal. I found it to be an extremely enjoyable game up to around level 30. Around level 30 (32 if i recall) you get the final power in your primary set. This is the thing that you've been working towards the entire time. So once I got that power, I tended to lose all interest in leveling, since any future advancements to my character would be minimal things, primarily small percentage shifts in damage or healing or what not.

Its my hope Champions Online has fixed this issue, and what little I played of the closed beta showed enough potential to warrant a pre-order from me. I may, given my experience in the open beta purchase the 6month deal, I'm unlikely to buy the lifetime sub. I have no interest in the Star Trek game so really I'm just looking for a bargain.
 
Couldn't find any way to get the CO open beta without actually preordering the game. I feel that I'm being unreasonable for wanting to try the game out before I put any cash down?
 
Well, I didn't preorder, and I'm in the open beta. One way to get in is via Fileplanet, but this being an "open" beta, there are others. Maybe you just failed to get into the closed beta? Open beta only starts today.
 
I'm not so sure a $16 entry fee (for those of us not holding fileplanet subscriptions) is particularly open. It's more than a month's subscription.

Cryptic's financial planning is really starting to look like they're expecting a botched launch.
 
Not everyone can get into open beta and, by it's own definition, it should not be taken as a representation of the final game anyway. Thus I think it's perfectly acceptable to complain that Cryptic are only offering lifetime subscriptions for such a limited period of time :)
 
There's also the Fallen Earth beta beginning today. I don't know much about it atm but signed up. Seems like a FPS MMO. Beta invitations can be found at Fileplanet, probably just for the subscribers though.
 
I can only recommend to stay well away from Fallen Earth. It is considerably less good than Tabula Rasa or Hellgate London, and see how those games did.
 
Noted. But as I signed up I might as well have a peek. :)
 
Two weeks of BETA is not enough time to make a value judgment on spending $200. For most people that's a significant chunk of cash to drop down.... and on a game that's not even released, to boot.

Sorry Tobold, but the CoH "deals" are scams.
 
Gah - Obviously I mean Champions... not CoH. Darned similar acronymns.
 
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