Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Alganon beta key contest

[UPDATE: I already got over 50 entries, and as I promised the keys to the 10 *first* correct applications, the contest is over.]

Alganon is a new fantasy MMORPG which will launch on October 31, 2009. Not a big budget production, so it might have slipped under the radar of many of you. I'm unable to voice an opinion about the game for legal reasons, but what I can do is give you a chance to find out for yourself. I've been given 10 keys for the private beta, to hand out in a contest, and given freedom to design the contest myself. So here are the contest rules:

1) The contest is a basic IQ test, checking whether you are able to follow simple instructions, and whether you have a minimum skill to express yourself politely and intelligently.

2) Send your entry to by e-mail, with the words "Alganon beta key" in the subject. Applications in the comment section will be ignored.

3) Your mail should contain two things: A nickname, and one paragraph (more than one line, but less than ten) explaining why you want to beta test Alganon. I will post the 10 winners' nicknames (not their real names nor e-mail adresses) plus their application paragraph on my blog. (Thus, legal disclaimer: By writing me that paragraph you give me permission to publish it.)

4) The first 10 applicants who manage to both follow these instructions *and* whose justification paragraph is literate will receive the Alganon beta keys. If atrocious spelling, rudeness, or leet speak makes a contestant look like a moron, his application will be ignored.

5) You need to send me your application *before* Sunday, October 4, because on that day I will post the results, whether I have 10 winners or not.

Not part of the rules because unenforceable: When the Alganon NDA drops, I'll put up a post asking everybody who played it what he thinks about the game. It would be nice if the 10 winners would participate in that discussion.
I'm surprised to see that this game is playable actually. This is coming out from the company that David Allen from the Horizons fiasco founded after the implosion. I think most people called him David "Mr. Vaporware" Allen at the time. Can't wait till the NDA drops so we can hear more.
please send the invite to Mr.AlganaonFan


oh almost fortgot to write the parragrpah you reguested: I want to play durid in Algannon, or whaterver the durid is in ALgannnan. In Wow TeH preist is boring, the huntar I did not like, the paladan seems boring, the rouge is too vivid, the shamin is teh fail.

Thats why I wanto played AGanoN.

I applied. I followed your directions to the letter. My paragraph won't wow people, but I think it is more than enough justification for a spot in the beta.

Thanks for the opportunity, Tobold.

(As an aside: I've been noticing a marked increase in the quality of your posts over the past month or two--you're making neat, short posts that offer an idea and keep it punchy. I like it. Please keep it up.)
For those with the time and inclination, you can read a bit more on the David Allen / Horizons 'fiasco' here. Personally, if I had to pick a David, I'd side with Allen over Bowman any day of the week.
Even single player RPGs look like WoW now. And not just a little like it.

This has to be a nightmare.
Huh, I was focused on reading about the features and didn't notice the names behind it. David Allen, eh? You know, Horizons was the first MMORPG I ever played. I wasn't subscribed for long and I'd be lying if I said it was a good game but I'd also be lying if I didn't acknowledge what a massive effect playing it had on the course of my life over the past 5 years.
If Wikipedia is to be believed then one of Alganon's goals is to enable less active players to remain competitive and to keep up with the more active. It seems this is to be achieved by having a cap on progression that only advances in real time.

I think the goal of enabling hard core and casual to play together is entirely laudible but there are other difficulties with a real time based advancement system. Somebody who joins the game later for example will never be able to catch up with those already in the game.

I know you probably aren't allowed talk about this yet Tobold but I am intrigued to know how this will work out.
Damn someones first MMO love is Horizons... that's just a shame.

@Nils: Dude the game is nothing like WoW, the bags and key ring are on the RIGHT side. Totally different! But yea, it's crazy how similar the whole game looks/reads to WoW. How far do you have to go with the copy/paste before it's illegal? I mean the first screenshot in the gallery is someone in front of the Dark Por... err Mysterious Portal.
@Nils: no kidding. They didn't even try to make their UI distinct from WoW's at all, except they moved the bags to the left... Blech.
These fantasy names are starting to blur into one another.

I looked at this and thought it was about a boss in Ulduar.
I applied too, and like evizaer, my paragraph is lackluster, more factual that anything. But I do hope I get chosen.

If this was a terrible MMO, I doubt that Tobold would even bother with a contest. So that leaves this being anywhere from a middle of the road MMO to spectacular. I doubt that a surprise spectacular title would have gone so low key despite an NDA so I have to assume its middle of the road with perhaps some pleasant surprises.

Fingers crossed.

It's not a single-player RPG, it's an MMO.

There's more I'd like to say, but, yes, NDA.
I hope there's a checkbox option to place your bags on the right side of the screen.

But seriously, I do hope the interface is similar to WoW. I remember during one of my WoW breaks, I started playing Fable (PC version), and found the controls too different from WoW. Same with Bioware's Jade Empire. Thousands of hours of WoW have burned neural pathways in my brain, so it's become my default method of interacting in a (MMO)RPG.
Heh I simply must comment on the second comment entry. Please tell me this is some elaborate joke from someone?
Whoah, hey now Syncaine, I never said Horizons was my first MMO _love_, I said it was the first MMO I _played_!

The game was bad as hell. But the massively multiplayer buzz hooked me, and sent me off trying a bunch of other games. I was only subscribed to Horizons for one month.

That link that "anonymous" posted re the David Allen situation was interesting, though. He may not be to blame for its badness.
I think time progression is a pretty ballsy idea. Kudos to them for trying to address a decade long problem in a different way.

And how come no one has heard of this game? It's the first I've heard of it, and I read a fair share of game sites.

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