Flowers for Alganon

Wow… I mean just… wow…

Derek Smart has been on stage running Alganon for… what… 20 minutes now?

Okay, it has been a little longer than that, but already he has brought much attention to the game he is now running, Alganon.  Previously Alganon was primarily known for openly admitting that they copied WoW in every interface detail they could.

But now they have Derek Smart!

You probably don’t know who is in charge of Allods or Runes of Magic or half a hundred other online games, but you know who is running Alganon this month!  That is some seriously fast PR work.

Yes Derek Smart has a history. (Though perhaps not a PhD.)

But previously, at the end of the day, he was running his own company and making his own games.  If he wanted to engage in seemingly endless flame wars in public forums, it was him and his investment that stood to be damaged.

He was his own man and could flip the world the bird if he so desired.

But now he is working for, and representing, Quest Online.  Now he is running the Alganon team.

And you have to wonder if, about now, the investors at Quest Online are feeling that their interests are being best served by the things Derek Smart has written in that thread over at Gamasutra.  The man makes Bobby Kotick look like a choir boy.

Well, Derek Smart has a bit more of a history now I suppose.  One more thread to be quoted for truth… and perhaps entered into evidence… going forward.

I am sure that Alganon will be in the news for a while longer with Derek Smart at the helm.  And I will have to revise an old post, since Alganon is free to play.

I wonder if this MMO experience will help him finish up Galactic Command Online?  That is only what, about 8 years over due?  (Note the last paragraph here.) Still, it has its own web site with information and a FAQ.

GCO is a space and planetary combat MMO that takes place in a large galaxy. The game is developed by 3000AD, a company with over twenty years experience in developing high end and hard core space/planetary combat games such as the Battlecruiser and Universal Combat series, and most recently the All Aspect Warfare games.

It is however not a traditional MMO. For one thing, though the servers are capable of supporting tens of thousands of players, each game “Universe” only allows up to 256 players; though several Universe servers can be linked to form a seamless (to the clients) mesh.

There is no instancing, sharding or waiting in a game lobby queue to play.

Interesting.  But my favorite line prophetic line from the GCO FAQ:

Everyone wants to cater to the Status Quo, develop a “WoW killer”, copy everyone else’s game – then blow through a lot of money (usually someone else’s) and FAIL.

It is like he could see the future.

I, for one, welcome our new Alganon overlord.  If nothing else he allowed me to put up a post title I’ve been dying to use.

And the ride has just begun!

9 thoughts on “Flowers for Alganon

  1. magzorn

    Little typo here: “Previously Alganon was primarily know primarily for openly admitting”.

    Thanks for the summary. I have been following this rich soap staged by Mr. Smart with much wonder. I hadn’t heard about Alganon before, or maybe I already forgot about it. Until recently that is.


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Thanks. Typo fixed. (Plus your own ironic typo, no doubt put in your comment to make me feel better, also addressed.) You can tell when I change my mind on what I want to say mid-sentence… things sometimes get wonky. Plus I seem to only be able to spot those sorts of things after I hit the publish button. I think I squashed 3 others before your comment.

    I used to watch Derek Smart threads on Usenet in awe back in the 1990s. He has mellowed a bit… but only a bit. I am interested to see how things turn out when he is playing with somebody elses money.


  3. magzorn

    “back in the 1990s”: You truly must be an ancient noob. I think I had my first modem between 1994-96. I didn’t use newsgroups back then but the PhD-fraud-investigation-site gives a nice glimpse into the past.


  4. Bhagpuss

    I’d never heard of Derek Smart before, since he appears to have no history in any kind of RPG, MMO or Adventure and I have no interest in any other kind of video game. He’s certainly value for money entertainment.

    I played Alganon in beta and didn’t dislike it. It was bland, very buggy and unoriginal but had it been finished up and released as a F2P cash-shop game I’d have had it in my casual MMO rotation. Given what actually happened, whether Mr. Smart is right in thinking it can be turned around seems unlikely. I believe it currently has no more than a few hundred players.and with the best will in the world it’s hard to see that ever getting past a thousand or two.

    Compare Alganon to Vanguard. They both had appalling launches, terrible publicity and became a byword for failure. Vanguard, however, now has almost all its bugs fixed, is bursting with high-quality content, is enormous fun to play and looks stunningly beautiful. And yet it has only a few hundred players per server and no real prospect of getting any more. Vanguard is a fantastic MMO but it lost all its traction withthat terrible launch and it will never recover.

    Alganon, on the other hand, has a small fraction of that content, none of the originality or depth and doesn’t have even the slightest residue of good will. If Derek Smart and his team can fix every single bug and replace the entire interface so it no longer looks like a copy/paste of WoW, they will have a functioning MMO that most will never have heard of and almost no-one will be interested in.

    That PhD site is interesting. It’s illuminating that people in the U.K. and Europe get their fake qualifications from U.S. institutions and Americans get them from the U.K. and Europe. Why are the Universities of Sheffield and Coventry on that list? They are both completely bona fide universities.


  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Bildo – It is a powerful title and has the strength to support a few posts.

    But will you be able to find something to top a mouse on a scooter? (Wish I knew where that pic came from so I could give credit. I stole it from somebody who obviously stole it from some place else.)

    @Magzorn – Heck, I was reading Usenet back in the 1980s when you could subscribe to a couple dozen of the more active topics, read all the posts daily, and might actually wish that more people were posting. All on a shell account with just scrolling text in a terminal window.


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