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AC2: It's a beta, people.
September 7th 2002, 14:35 CEST by m0nty

The beta period of Microsoft/Turbine MMORPG Asheron's Call 2 opened recently, but very few people have had positive experiences. Problems have ranged from annoying interface bugs up to near-complete blindness and, for many, an almost complete inability to actually log on and play the game for anything more than 10 seconds. Turbine actually had to shut down the beta due to the overload caused by overwhelming demand.

What I want to know is: once you've figured out that the game isn't in a workable form yet, why do you all keep on trying to play?

One of the reasons that have been offered to me as to why Crappers keep on desperately trying to enter the AC2 beta is "because it's cool, or it might be cool". Well, no, it's not. It's clearly not playable, which is the opposite of cool. Login servers are overloaded beyond all expected capacity. Why bash yourselves over the head trying to log in, when all you are doing is helping overload the system? There are plenty of good games you could play in the meantime. Or maybe you could go outside and play in the garden. I mean, come on, there are better things to do than crash your pooter every five minutes.

Many complained when they learned that you could only download the client if you were a paid-up FilePlanet member - in retrospect, Turbine didn't go far enough to try to limit the amount of lemmings trying to jump off the AC2 cliff. Sure, you could blame Turbine for that, but that doesn't explain why when you MMOGers found out that the beta was massively oversubscribed, didn't just give up until the situation got better.

Others have bitched about the fact that the game isn't of beta quality, so it shouldn't have been released yet. Well, of course it is beta quality, and that includes the netcode. That's what you suckers are all being used for, as free QA support staff to help test the system. Whining about how there are bugs in the code is your job, fools. Tell you what, how about you just assume that Turbine hasn't released the beta yet, and you go do something else with your time.

In short, THE DEVELOPERS OWE YOU NOTHING.
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Home » Topic: AC2: It's a beta, people.

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#1 by Quicken
2002-09-07 14:38:00
gdunn@backmeup.net.au
Hmm... I vote no for two seperate topics and they both show up immediately on the front page after I vote. There seems to be a pattern here...

Oh and vaguely on topic. People like new stuff and will accept great pains in (foolish) hope of great enjoyment
#2 by Ashiran
2002-09-07 15:18:12
People are just stupid that way. Ivan Pavlov would have been overjoyed.

Online gaming? Frustration commences.
#3 by Ashiran
2002-09-07 15:23:46
I think what they really want in the end is this.

Online gaming? Frustration commences.
#4 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 16:49:27
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
I think what they really want in the end is this.

You know, I really don't know how to feel about that.  On the one hand, it seems like a nice gesture.  On the other, it feels weird.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#5 by ProStyle
2002-09-07 17:06:18
http://prostyle.deviantart.com
Tell you what, how about you just assume that Turbine hasn't released the beta yet, and you go do something else with your time.


Yeah, like writing a deplorable topic about said idiocy. Great logic.
#6 by Leslie Nassar
2002-09-07 17:27:05
http://departmentofinternets.com
You know, I really don't know how to feel about that.  On the one hand, it seems like a nice gesture.  On the other, it feels weird.

Meh.  They were only there to hit on the guy's sister and girlfriend.  Sorry, I mean 'sister' and 'girlfriend'.  I'd be unsurprised to find out it was yet another hoax.

I just want to stand on land...
#7 by Leslie Nassar
2002-09-07 17:31:01
http://departmentofinternets.com
William Joseph Seemer, a fellow guild member who eventually became close friends with Sheyla, describes an incident in the spring when Sheyla announced that she had cancer of the aorta. Her guild rallied around her and showered her with support and sympathy as she prepared for medical treatment; but many became suspicious when a mere 12 hours after her supposed open-heart surgery, Sheyla was already back at her computer playing the game.


I just want to stand on land...
#8 by Bailey
2002-09-07 17:54:43
Leslie

I thought the recovery time for open heart surgery was only 6-8 hours? What is she, some kind of fucking invalid?

#0

This article seems seems a little ridiculous until you see people spazzing out in #pc everytime the server crashes, the login server floods, some horrible god-killing bug crops up... well, yeah, it's a beta. What's different about this beta from most betas, is that MS actually put people in a position where they had to pay to test. That probably has a fair bit to do with people becoming irritable a hell of a lot faster than what otherwise might be expected.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#9 by Gabe
2002-09-07 18:13:09
http://www.dartpublishing.com
Had to pay?
#10 by Duality
2002-09-07 18:23:53
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
The problem is that nobody had to play to get into the beta.  All they had to do was wait until the 9th, when the beta becomes fully open.

Or maybe I'm just too sensible to think that a piece of beta software is a buying point for anything.

-Jon
#11 by Bailey
2002-09-07 19:33:23
Gabe

They needed to test, durr.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#12 by Charles
2002-09-07 19:54:55
www.bluh.org
I don't have problems playing a beta, crash bugs, horrible slowdowns, whatever.  But seriously, they jumped the gun.  If you are gonna have a beta, you'd want to at least make sure those beta players can play.

Anyway, it's fitting that this topic is up now, because it's possible to get on to the server with little difficulty anymore.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#13 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 20:09:35
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
waits patiently for an actual open beta where I don't pay the bastards! at Eval! GSI (no offense chris) to play a beta.

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#14 by BobJustBob
2002-09-07 20:13:29
Yay m0nty!

Oh, uh, AC2 sucks, or something. Go play ToD which launched on the 22nd and has given me no problems.

So there.
#15 by JMCDaveL
2002-09-07 20:26:56
But but but but what does this have to do with Shadowbane?

--jmc
ICQ-121684 AIM-jmcdavel U=FAG0T
#16 by Caryn
2002-09-07 20:33:09
carynlaw@pacbell.net http://www.hellchick.net
My problem with the beta was the fact that they marketed something clearly unplayable to an audience that may not have fully understood how unplayable it was, enticing them to pay for the opportunity to get in early on it. I'm fine with opening up a beta and explaining that the game is still being tested and that you have the opportunity by playing to help make it better for release, but I assumed that by working up a huge promotion with a partner that was going to invite people to pay to get in early, they were at least at a point where the beta was solid enough to handle the demand. Yes, it's a beta and yes, there will be problems, but they put together a marketing campaign that enticed people to pay early to get in on it, and I just think that wasn't a wise decision on their part.

"Thus the fridge contains the possibilities of no beers and some beers existing in simultaneous superposition!"
#17 by Foodbunny
2002-09-07 21:19:18
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I know I'm guilty of announcing on #pc when AC2 went down, but I don't recall ever bitching about it.  It didn't bother me, I played Anarchy Online after all.  Right now I have a pretty good setup where I can play Earth and Beyond when AC2 goes down and vice versa.

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#18 by Charles
2002-09-07 21:26:09
www.bluh.org
No, that was all me.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#19 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-07 21:38:37
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Foodbunny

How is Earth & Beyond?  I saw the presentation at E3 and was given a demo CD but I've never installed it.  It looked sort of cool ... how is it working out?

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#20 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 21:57:44
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
More importantly, how is AC2?  Hopeful?  Something a jaded EQ/UO/DAOC might be interested in?

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#21 by Charles
2002-09-07 21:59:17
www.bluh.org
So far, the only thing I can really say about it is that it's a standard MMORPG, except faster.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#22 by Foodbunny
2002-09-07 22:02:39
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
I love it.  I like it more than Asheron's Call 2 at this point, and not just because it's more stable.  I like character creation, there's a whole heck of a lot of choice.  There's less choices with ships but you still can make them pretty personal with colors, decals, and names.  As long as you don't name your ship the Outlaw Star LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE GAME.  I'm playing a pure Explorer, so I don't get into combat, mostly what I'm doing right now is trade runs and mining asteroids.

One thing I have to give them huge credit for is that the NPCs are great.  They have personality and humor and just are fun to talk to, at least the first time.  You also get choices in some of the dialog where you can make friends and influence people.  I like the controls for the ship, running around in the various bases works the same way but is not as good in crowded conditions, especially when talking to people.

But I also have to take away credit for difficulty.  Apparently the last patch turned up the difficulty on the mobs quite a bit and put them freaking everywhere.  While jumping in and out of warp and using my cloaking device to get to that particulary juicy asteroid I want to mine is pretty exciting, dying is not.  Drains all my cash usually and gives me an experience debt.  And the areas I'm supposed to be mining in frequently give me one hit deaths.  But that's probably because I am the weakest class in the game and because people aren't grouping with Explorers.  

Over all I am having a blast, I just have a few problems.  Working off experience debt isn't that hard since I'm leveling my trade skill right now anyway, but if they don't turn down the number of mobs in some areas I'm going to have a real hard time.

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#23 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 22:06:00
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
FB

I've heard the game is lacking in depth.  Once you played it for a week, you've done all you can do.  Thoughts...?

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#24 by Foodbunny
2002-09-07 22:09:34
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
AC2 is fun but shallow.  They've really worked themselves into a hole with the Paragon skill.. if you want to be able to hit anything past level 40 you have to have Paragon in one of the classes, but then you can't branch out.  The skill trees aren't terribly exciting right now and there's some balance issues they're trying to work out, since missle and magic users are just treading all over the melee classes.  Crafting is pretty nice.  Death has little bite and so far I have never had to sit to regain health and vigor, they recharge pretty nicely when walking around, at least at the lower levels.

The game is very visually appealing, but their character creation is very shallow and you'll be meeting lots of identical twins.  KvK is going to be incredibly onesided since everyone wants to be the Goth Libertarians (aka the Shadows).  There will probably be a decent number of Order members and only a handful of Dominion.  So the Shadows will pretty much own everything.

Nothing I'm too excited about, but nothing terrible either.

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#25 by Foodbunny
2002-09-07 22:09:53
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Matt, I'll let you know in a week.  Right now I'm still excited ;)

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#26 by Matt Perkins
2002-09-07 22:12:13
wizardque@yahoo.com http://whatwouldmattdo.com/
Oh fine, hold off, don't make snap judgments...what kind of friend are you!

Seeking motivational idea man/woman with good idea for current hankering of being a do-boy to a good cause.
#27 by AnalFissure
2002-09-07 22:32:56
http://www.speedstacks.com/qt_lg.html

Check out the stack store for all of your stacking supplies.
#28 by jafd
2002-09-07 22:34:31
Just tell me about the stuff one will be able to sell on Ebay. Everything else is fluff.

Poofy fluff.

Boot to the head! (SH-ZOOMP!)
#29 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:36:53
www.bluh.org
Here's a link to beat that AF...

http://auto.joins.com/upboard/pds/pdst/robo_h_classic4[1][1].mpeg

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#30 by jafd
2002-09-07 22:37:37
Even the urls are betas. /shriek

Boot to the head! (SH-ZOOMP!)
#31 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:38:33
www.bluh.org
Erm, [1].mpeg]link.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#32 by Charles
2002-09-07 22:39:13
www.bluh.org
errrrrrrrrr

http://auto.joins.com/upboard/pds/pdst/robo_h_classic4[1][1].mpeg

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#33 by AnalFissure
2002-09-07 22:40:33
Haha, riveting, Nova.

I admit defeat.
#34 by Foodbunny
2002-09-07 23:03:09
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Another pointless link!

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#35 by Bailey
2002-09-07 23:28:42
FB

Like Nova said, mostly it was him, germz, et all, whining and kvetching and bitching and OI VEY. I suppose I'll go check out E&B now, if only so I have something to complain about as well.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#36 by Foodbunny
2002-09-08 00:29:26
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Do NOT play an Explorer.  It's really neat at the first couple of levels but now the mob level and density is so great that I can't do the things I am supposed to do.  I've taken to free warping and just stopping when I finally see something I can mine that doesn't have anything anywhere near it.

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#37 by Warren Marshall
2002-09-08 01:14:01
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
That's too bad ... that's the class I would have played if I had installed it.  Crap.

"It's pretty common for pussies, dumbasses, and their families to blame their problems on vague influences like the media and society. The truth is, fuck you."
#38 by Foodbunny
2002-09-08 03:01:49
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Ok, I'm over my temporary fit of anger over dying over and over again.  It IS possible to advance as an Explorer.  It's difficult and you have to be tricky about getting away from mobs, but it is possible.  But then you'll be sent into the Mazzeroth and it swirls and oh god it made me sick to my stomach.

They do have an interesting class story.  You leanr the history of the Jenquai and I'm now being introduced to some intrigue.

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#39 by Bailey
2002-09-08 03:41:59
I'll be a smashing type guy and we can group together if you want.

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#40 by VeeSPIKE
2002-09-08 04:07:03
I think what they really want in the end is this.


I've seen things like that before, particularly in the flight sim communities, where they will get together for missing-man formations in honor of people who have died.
#41 by Foodbunny
2002-09-08 04:15:48
foodbunny@attbi.com http://www.foodbunny.com
Bailey, that'd be awesome.  You'd get to recharge your weapons faster by being grouped with me.  And get experience from me mining.

Come back!  You're not a freak, you're just stupid!
#42 by Bailey
2002-09-08 04:35:56
Yay! Weapons recharging!

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#43 by Duality
2002-09-08 05:22:47
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
I'm sure VH1 will do a bit on the history of Jamiroquai.

-Jon
#44 by Bailey
2002-09-08 05:42:23
Big Dumb Hats, next on "Behind the Music".

Poison Kool-Aid. It's the death that refreshes.
#45 by crash
2002-09-08 10:59:11
[ holy schnikes this got long. if you don't want to read a relative comparison of MMOGs, scroll down to the next avatar now. thanks. ]

AC2 is aimed straight at the mainstream. this is why it's being so heavily marketed. MS finally figured out one of the larger reasons why the fuck no one was playin AC--cos most people didn't know about it--and they're playin catch up by throwin money at it. which is what they usually do. it does work, but it's slow going.

AC2 turn-ons: really fast, easy leveling (cap's at 50 and even a mongoloid can make 10 in four hours of play); real pretty visuals; not a lot of depth combat- or craft-wise; no painful "bad choice" mistakes (in fact, none at all, since you can sell back every skill but the basic ones); brain-dead simple play (i.e. AO's "click 'Enter Combat', make dinner, eat, sit down, loot the bodies" dynamic); combat macroing now and finally against the rules and bannable; plug-ins/3rd party apps not only encouraged but built into the system.

AC2 turn-offs: backbreaking system reqs; horrifying system latency when new textures/models are loading (esp. in towns; holy crapoly); unfamiliar milieu (still); forced PvP at the high end (yes, you don't have to, but the design decision to make "uniques" only available if you go PvP is... questionable); can still macro trade skills, so expect to see gangs of bots by the forges; plug-ins/3rd party apps not only encouraged but built into the system.

based on a... significant amount of time playin the thing, and all else being equal, here's how much you'll probably like it depending on what games you've liked before (0% = stinko pew, 100% = second coming):

UO: 60%. good crafty stuff, lots of stuff to do other than fight, plenty of RPing stuff, might be able to run stores/shops in future with NPCs, forced PvP means Dread Lords are pissin their pants in anticipation of gankfests. not as deep or intricate as UO, weird backstory for RPers ("Yea, verily, yon Drudge hath slain my ancestors!" doesn't quite fly), would be really shallow to an ex-UOer.

EQ: 35%. no punishment for bad choices in AC2 means EQ masochists might find it... unchallenging. prettier, though, and reasonable PvP and character customization might appeal, but no elves or dwarves or "standard fantasy" in AC2 (though AC2 does have dragons, oddly enough). better female models, tho; beefier/more curvy but with the freakish proportions modern society has come to love.

AO: 25%. i'd imagine the bulk of AO people are EQ folks that like sci-fi better than fantasy. AC2 won't make em switch.

DAoC: 70%. if you can get over the weird milieu, AC2 and DAoC look a hell of a lot alike, except AC2's prettier, and probably won't have an RP-only server--an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it.

AC: 30%. AC and AC2 are really different games. i mean, really different games. if you liked the intricacy of AC, you'll dislike AC2. if you liked AC's magic, you'll dislike AC2. if you enjoyed thinking, you'll dislike AC2. if you liked AC's lore and backstory, you'll probably dislike AC2 because Stormwaltz left Turbine on September 6.

never played an MMOG: probably upwards of 80%. AC2 is very easy to pick up, very easy to get into, very forgiving of "mistakes," very light on death penalties. you don't have to worry about your friends outleveling you because it's dirt simple and easy to catch up. they all max at 50, and you can buy back and re-train skills, so you never have to reroll. no stats to fuck up at creation, no min/max templates because there are no stats, gameplay is terrifyingly easy (i.e. a melee is a melee is a melee; use a sword, an axe, a hammer, a spear, don't matter, you're melee and that's that, you can use 'em all, or whichever has the best numbers), level-restricted gear and item degradation on crafted items means no twinking... figure a casual player (an hour a day maybe or 5-10 a week, let's say) can hit the cap in about three, four months depending on play styles. yeah, no shit. you can reach "the end," so to speak, pretty rapidly.

will be very interesting to see how the powergamers deal with that, and if the game can hold their interest post-cap. and for how long.

for me? i been playing AC for three and a half years now. i most likely won't be buying or switching to AC2; will finish the beta, uninstall it, go back to AC2. if they bolted the AC2 graphics engine onto AC? i'd pay fifty bucks for that expansion pack, without hesitation. AC2 may well be a good game. looks like it will be. probably not my bag, though.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#46 by crash
2002-09-08 11:14:59
er that's "go back to AC" in the last para above. i r teh tired.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#47 by Terata
2002-09-08 11:15:22
What I've seen of AC2 so far looks pretty cool.  I'll almost certainly pick it up and have a good time with it, though I don't know if I'll be in it for the long haul.  It's very solo friendly, and the mechanics are designed to make hopping on for 20 minutes and doing something not a problem.  Running around and exploring is very doable, it wins points from me for that.  The tradeskills are straightforward but seem pretty cool.

Amazingly it took this long for a MMP other than UO to learn the lesson and have a skill system with which you don't have massive player regret.  I was rather hoping we'd be the first with that particular 'feature,' but oh well.
#48 by Charles
2002-09-08 12:31:03
www.bluh.org
I'd like to add to crash's list with this:

Hate every MMORPG out there:  10%.

AC2 is the same old same old, and doesn't particularly add anything that hasn't been done in something else.  Yes, I'd agree it's more accessible, but more accessible same old thing is still the same old thing, just more accessible.  Might be fun to explore the world once over, I hope to do that before the beta ends, then I won't have to bother paying for it.

"'Halo 2' is a lot like 'Halo', only it's 'Halo' on fire, going 130 miles per hour through a hospital zone, being chased by helicopters and ninjas," explained Jason Jones, the head of Bungie Studios, "and the ninjas are all on fire, too."
#49 by Duality
2002-09-08 13:12:48
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
That was much of my intent as well.  I like the ideas behind a lot of the things they've done.  The monster AI is supposed to be relatively dynamic, and change tactics based on combat situations.  But since many of my friends are planning on going over to SWG, that is likely where my dollars will go to next.

I find it interesting crash, that you mention the combat is what you described it.  One of the things they've touted was how much combat is supposed to be a dynamic set of events where the player actually has to decide between certain actions.  I've seen this happen in regards to needing to time some of the attack skills, though I have yet to see a real pattern as to when that timing is.

I still like diving, though.

#50 by Rambar
2002-09-08 14:30:56
Foodbunny, you missed the hey day of playing an EnB explorer.  When you could mine deneb all day for level 9 minerals and make a million credits in a few hours and if some level 33 mob came out of nowhere to kill you it really didn't matter because there was no debt to work off.

Since the last P-wipe combat as been much more frustrating for me though.  Seems they've gonna around elmiting all the truly easy experience areas.  At least I've got the pictures of me killing a comet before the P-wipe. :)

--
Rambar
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